Van, Truck, Trailer, Bus and Coach Aftermarket News in Ireland

Hankook warns of ‘unlawfully manipulated’ tyres being sold

Hankook Tyres UK has warned that it has recently seen evidence of Hankook branded truck and PCR products being sold into the UK market, where the condition of the tyre has been “unlawfully manipulated” after production.

Inspected tyres were found to have had their unique identification/serial numbers removed, along with their unique tyre barcodes being substituted with bogus barcodes.

These identifying marks are placed on all Hankook tyres to enable traceability through the manufacturing process.

In the case of any issue in manufacturing, these identifiers are used to identify affected production to assist any marketplace actions.

(Photo: TyreCall)

Wholesaler TyreCall, who is an agent for Hankook in the UK and Ireland, posted a customer notice on its LinkedIn page on behalf of the tyre manufacturer to highlight the issue, which read: “The altered tyres have been inspected by our technical teams and we have concluded that the grinding away of barcodes and serial numbers represents a safety-relevant modification to the tyre.

“The removal of rubber in the area of the sidewall and bead can lead to premature tyre failure through lack of sealing with the rim and the consequent air loss from the tyre. In extreme cases this could lead to sudden and catastrophic failure of the tyre in use.

“We concluded that the removal of the barcode can lead to a serious safety risk and the distribution of tyres that have been altered in this way could result in significant legal consequences for the supplier.

“Hankook Tyres UK Ltd. do not provide any warranty or guarantee for tyre failures caused by the alteration, removal or replacement of the barcode, serial number, or other identification details of the tyre.

“We also anticipate that used tyres with these illegal modifications will not be accepted for retreading because the traceability codes have been removed.

“The offering and sale of such altered tyres is an infringement of our rights in the Hankook trademark. A trademark is infringed when it is affixed to products and these, after being placed on the market by the manufacturer, are intentionally altered.

“Hankook is legally entitled under trademark law to prohibit the further distribution of the tyres and to demand their destruction without the dealer being entitled to any compensation. Should Hankook be held liable due to accidents caused by tampering with the tyres, Hankook has also a claim for damages.

“We are committed to protecting the reputation, safety and value of our brands and products for the benefit of our dealer and fleet partners and will therefore take appropriate actions to enforce our trademark rights where necessary.

“If you are offered or supplied with altered tyres, we strongly recommend that you do not accept them, do not use them, and return them directly to the supplier.”