BFG All Terrain T/A Failure

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 00:55
ThreadID: 78980 Views:5019 Replies:5 FollowUps:11
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I have seen the historical threads on this website about BFG tyre failures. Such a failure occurred to my left rear tyre while travelling on a clear bituman road in the Pilbara at 110km/hr speed limit - the result was just under $10K damage. Note that the tyre clearly delaminated - the offending tyre was still inflated after I changed it. Interesting to note is that only the day before, all my tyres (all BFG AT T/A) were inspected and cleared at a RACWA service centre as having the right pressure (38psi) and all 4 tyres had over 65%+ tread remaining.

I do want any salesman spruiking about the pros of these or other tyres. What irks me is that only after chasing up Michelin (and submitting my tyre for analysis) for close on three months do I finally get a response from the manufacturer. I am not satisfied with the initial response and offer without admitting to any liability noting that I almost lost my life. I swerved into the wrong lane a few times trying to maintain the car from rolling over and I ended up on the road shoulder facing oncoming traffic. I was lucky in that in my two young kids and heavily pregnant wife were not in the car with me.

Michelin confirmed that the tyre was within the 6 year warranty period. The offending tyre had been kept as a spare.

I have done a scan on the internet and it would seem that there have been a few incidents in Australia where BFG tyres have had similar delaminating issues (inc bulging side walls leading to replacement which other pictures taken of the offending tyre show) and yet there doesn't seem to be any adequate explanation or acknowledgement that maybe, just maybe, there could be something more than isolated incidents? I have been told by Michelin that my tyre DOT code indicates that it was manufactured in the US in the second week of 2005. This is less than a year after BFG recalled tyres made between Feb and Apr at one of their US plants.

I was wondering whether anyone could point me in the right direction if they know of:
1. Any trend analysis (for particular tyre makes) done by any group into such incidents (doubtful)?
2. Any people that have had this happen to them before and what DOT code was applicable?

The actual costs associated with this incident, while not light, is not my primary concern ... the fact that there may be tyres out there that could result in the injury, or worse death, to people is a concern. I am relatively confident that BFG tyres are good - everyone seems to agree and I have not had any other issues with my other BFG AT T/As in my relatively short 6 months of owning my Prado.

The fact that there does not seem to be any forthcoming assurance from Michelin that there has been no trend or an acknowledgement that my incident is just a freak accident, is a worry. Any advice out there?
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Reply By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:06

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:06
Ron
I accept all that you say and am delighted that you managed to survive this incident without injury. Can I suggest that your difficulty lies really in the fact that you have only owned the vehicle for 6 months. I am assuming that you bought it with the offending tyre on it. AND that tyre was the spare. Unfortunately you don't know the history of the tyre. It could have been run deflated, or run for considerable distance/s on low pressures, or even been invoved in a heavy impact with a gutter or rock or some other unforgiving object. Any of these incidences could lead to the tyre subsequently delaminating. And in most of these cases the tyre would not show any external damage beforehand. This sounds like a case of "caveat emptor" - let the buyer beware. I note that you say "I am not satisfied with the initial response and offer without admitting to any liability". What exactly did Michelin say? I am sorry I can't help with the questions you ask, but let me say that I have had 2 tyres delaminate on my caravan over a short period of time. Fortunately both were detected before any major damage was done. But both of those were because I was silly enough to run them at car tyre pressures rather than light truck pressures. I have now been educated.

teege
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:45

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:45
THats a fair comment Teege , I have been concerned about trips I have lead where people have not aired the tyres back up because they don't have compressors, its to much hassle etc and "The service station is only 20km down the road, and we will drive only at 80kmh for sure" , so who knows if you don't know the history !
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: CJ - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:22

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:22
But
If that spare was indeed inspected by HQ then surely they would have found this (your assumption/possibility) in an instant, and would have used it to hide behind?

CJ
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Follow Up By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 14:27

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 14:27
CJ
At this stage we don't know what Michelin said, or what inspections or examinations they carried out (if any, on a 5 year old tyre), or who carried them out. Ron says "only after chasing up Michelin (and submitting my tyre for analysis) for close on three months do I finally get a response from the manufacturer. I am not satisfied with the initial response and offer without admitting to any liability". He doesn't say that have even examined the tyre. And it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't, given that it is 5 years old.

teege
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Follow Up By: RonD1972 - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 23:31

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 23:31
Hi, thanks for the comments.

Michelin took hold of the tyre very quickly after I reported it and had it transferred to their Product Marketing Division for review - or so I was told at the time. After I finally got through to someone who could answer any of my follow-up questions, I was told that it was received but there no further analysis done on it ... I guess that they just checked it was as stuffed as I said it was? They cannot provide me with any sort of report - to be expected I guess in case any defect was found .. have to agree with CJ here in that anything found attributable to owner error would have been used as a defence.

I would have to disagree Teege - any company with a reputation to uphold would track and monitor trends in case there suddenly was a batch quality assurance issue ... eg recall back in 2004. Five years old or not, it was within their specified warranty period and product manufacturers allow for tolerances above the 'normal' expectations of the product covered by the warranty.

You've given me food for thought in my response to Michelin.
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Follow Up By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 08:33

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 08:33
Ron
You have mentioned twice now that the tyres have a warranty period. Can you tell me where you got that information? I have found a "Limited Warranty" on their USA website which specifically applies only in the USA. It seems to me that you would only be able to rely on the statutory warranty in the Trade Practices Act in Australia. That warranty does not contain a time frame and in my opinion you would be hard pressed to convince a court that a tyre that was five years old was "not fit for purpose". And, I think you are drawing a long bow in your second paragraph. Surely that decision is theirs to make, considering in this country they don't seem to have the warranty period you speak of.

teege
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:59

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 07:59
Ron,

It isn't just BFG At's that have a known issue of tread delamination. I had a Cooper ST on the rear drivers side let go. There are pics in my profile of it still fully aired up but with no tread.
Was a great thing to happen when towing downhill NOT.
Coopers were good at the start but subsquently lost the tyre when returned to one of their Authorised Dealers. They have therefore washed their hands of my claim. So not only have I been slugged for repairs caused by a known Cooper tyre Fault (there was a recall on that tyre), but I also lost all confidence in Coopers and therefore bought 5 new BFG AT tyres hehehe


Cheers Kev

Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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Follow Up By: Indigo Jones (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:11

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:11
Similar incident with a Cooper STT, all the inside lugs had chewed off and you could see the belt. The rep said it was lug tear from rocks even after explaining that tyre had only done 8000 km and producing the receipt with the date of purchase and explaining that it had not been off the road as yet - Three reps later and me whinging loudly convinced them to replace the tyre.

Would i buy Coopers again ? after the treatment by the reps, i am not so sure
They seem to be good at promoting their product, but not backing it up.
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Follow Up By: howesy - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:52

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 09:52
careful trying to convince people the truth, that Coopers are overpriced garbage no better than any other, the cooper die hard fan club police will be out. (LOL)

After syaing that people will keep buying what they know until the let them down. I personally have always had a good run out of Kumho tyres and they are cheaper than BFG and cooper
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 10:02

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 10:02
Kev,
I had the same thing happen years ago with a brand new Double Coin brand tyre, It was a steer tyre on a Kenworth and let go on the Boorowa road just out of Yass. The tread just peeled of like it was a retread and done a heap of damage to the front of the truck, The tyre agent replaced the tyre and payed for the damage to the front of the truck.
Cheers Dave..
GU RULES!!

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Reply By: cycadcenter - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 14:41

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 14:41
Happens the world over..............

I read the start of this thread this morning before I left San Diego to go the Phoenix.

I was in my F-150 and had the cruise control on 140k (divided road 4 lanes) moving along with the traffic flow when bang the tread came of a front BFG A/T front tyre, by the time I stopped there was nothing left of the tyre.

No damage to anything but it did wake me up real quick.

It was 45C in the desert and was a bit hot changing it.

Bruce
San Diego/Childers
AnswerID: 419240

Follow Up By: RonD1972 - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 23:34

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 23:34
Can relate Bruce - changed the tyre in 44C heat .. not as hot as 45C but close enough!!

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:06

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 16:06
Two of my A/t's are well over 5 years old and have given no trouble.

More than I can say for the Dunlop L/T's I had on the van.
Had two of them chuck treads completely off and they were pumped up correctly and werent old either.

Would suggest that previous owner may be responsible for unseen damage and you copped the result.

Have seen very few complaints on the forums I haunt regarding these tyres.

I would certainly buy another set.
AnswerID: 419245

Follow Up By: Muntoo - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 17:48

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 17:48
About due for 2 new ones then i guess if there well over 5 years.
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Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 18:14

Wednesday, Jun 02, 2010 at 18:14
Will tempt fate as they more worn than the others and will probably only do another 10,000 Had 11mm on them at start of trip others had 13


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Reply By: paul6108 - Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 17:57

Thursday, Jun 03, 2010 at 17:57
Ron
Good to hear you survived your near death experience. As drivers we place alot of faith in our tyres and most would agree you only get what you pay for. therefore one would expect the product to be fit for its intended purpose, or match any sample or description given, or you have the right to a refund. Having had a similar near death experience with BFG A/T a young sales rep was the best I got for the tyre inspection. Not only could he not explain what causes oversteer, and acknowledged the vehicle drove poorly, he suggested it was my slightly out of balance front tyres giving me trouble. Its a pity Michelin dont provide better backup for there product or send someone with some real technical experience to check the complaints from there customers. Very disappointing
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