Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dill Air Controls Products Announces Voluntary Recall of Automobile Tire Stem Valves

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Dill Air Controls Products announced the voluntary recall of automobile tire stem valves sold in the United States between November 2006 and July 2007. The snap-in rubber valve stems, manufactured by Topseal (Shanghai) Auto-Parts Co., Ltd., in Shanghai, China, and imported and distributed by Dill Air Controls Products LLC (“Dill”) under the “Dill ACP” brand name, may lack the required additive to protect the rubber against deterioration from ozone exposure. As a result, affected valve stems, when subjected to high levels of ozone, may weather and crack earlier than normal for this product. Over time, such a crack could progress to the point that it leaks air resulting in a loss of tire pressure. Loss of tire pressure can result in a flat tire and/or loss of vehicle control.

Dill advises all consumers that bought new tires between November 2006 and July 2007 containing the unique Dill valve cap to have their valve stems inspected for cracks. Dill ACP valve stems from this time period exhibiting cracks in the rubber will be replaced at no cost to the consumer.

Consumers can check their own valves by flexing the valve (located where one inflates the tire) outwards toward the tire and inspecting the area where the valve meets the tire rim, or they can simply return to the place they purchased their tires for professional inspection. Data collected to date indicates that, by this time, cracking will be visible on any of the recalled valves likely to exhibit cracking. If consumers are unable to return to the point of purchase, they can have their valves inspected at any participating Sears Automotive Center, Tire Kingdom, Big O Tires, Les Schwab Tire Center, NTB or Merchant’s Tire. For more information please visit or call 888-364-2982.

Dill has concluded the problem relates to two specific lots manufactured in July 2006. Based on field returns and testing data, Dill believes that the number of valves from the two suspect lots subject to increased cracking risk is 200,000 or fewer. However, the valve stems are not traceable by lot number once the stem is installed; in that light, the recall necessarily includes many more valves than are likely to contain the defect. Consumers who are unsure if their current valve stems were purchased during the recall period should have their valves inspected.

Dill and Topseal have taken numerous corrective actions to prevent a recurrence of this problem, including using an enhanced rubber compound, using an automated inspection system to ensure all additives are mixed properly, performing more testing of the valves in the United States, and re-establishing production of valve stems in the United States.

If consumers experience any difficulty in connection with this recall, they can call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

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