I'd like to let people know about a fraudulent automobile tire scam
on at Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express stores.
Wal-Mart has agreements with tire manufacturers such as Goodyear and
Michelin/Uniroyal/Goodrich (same company) to exclusively sell certain
tires from these manufacturers. These include the Goodyear Viva/Viva
II/Viva Touring, Uniroyal Radial A/S and others. However, the
manufacturers DO NOT provide their normal warranties for these tires.
If you search on these tire names on the manufacturer's websites, you
will find that they specifically disclaim warranty coverage for these
tires, and say that warranty coverage is only available through
Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart provides no such disclaimer in their advertising,
so there is no way to know this without going to the manufacturer's
websites. Customers are led to believe that they are buying
national-brand tires with a national warranty, when they are not. It
appears that these manufacturers are simply allowing their names to be
used so they can sell a high volume of lower-quality tires through
However, the problem is much more serious. Wal-Mart still advertises
mileage and defect warranties for these tires, but in fact, they WILL
NOT provide copies of warranties to customers, nor are they available
in the stores or by mail. These warranties apparently DO NOT EXIST.
This is a violation of Federal Trade Commission regulations under the
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which requires advertised warranties to be
provided to customers or be available in stores. (See "A
Businessperson's Guide To Federal Warranty Law" at www.ftc.gov). It is
also a violation of federal and state laws for deceptive sales
I have tried for nearly a year to get a copy of the warranty for some
tires that I purchased at Wal-Mart, and they will not send it to me.
The Wal-Mart managers and customer service people seem oblivious to the
requirements of the federal regulations. Even worse, an automotive
consumer radio show on KKZN radio (760 AM) in Denver has reported that
Wal-Mart is not honoring these advertised tire mileage warranties.
Obviously, if they won't give you a copy of the warranty, it makes it
impossible to enforce it's terms.
This same sort of scam is going on with various manufacturers of other
products such as car batteries. For example, Exide batteries will not
honor warranties for their auto batteries sold through the now-defunct
Country General farm supply stores.
Michelin/Uniroyal/Goodrich and Goodyear are well aware of this
situation and disclaim any responsibility. I will not buy any
Michelin/Uniroyal/Goodrich tires or Goodyear tires so long as this
nonsense is going on.
I would suggest that, whenever you buy tires, ask for a copy of a
MANUFACTURER'S warranty in advance, before you buy the tires. Don't
settle for a store warranty or verbal promises. If the warranty has a
list of tire models that are covered, make sure your model is listed.
If you don't have something in writing, you've got no warranty.