Wal-Mart Auto Tire Scam

I'd like to let people know about a fraudulent automobile tire scam going 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 Wal-Mart.
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 practices.
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.
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If what you suggest is true you should be speaking to one of those shark lawyers that works for a contingency fee, not posting in a NG ;)
mike hunt

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Do you know if this applies to tires sold through Sam's Club as well? I'm considering a set of Michelin X-Radials from Sam's because they were well rated by Consumer Reports.
At least now I'll know to check the warranty, so thanks.

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What a load of BULL. I have a copy of the tire warrantee for the tires I got from Wal-Mart right here. The difference is that Wal-Mart themselves provide the support NOT the tire company. This is the same thing with ANY item that is a custom store item. Like the Compaq computer you buy at Staples/Best Buy/Wal-Mart or any other store. That store is the one providing the coverage NOT the company that made it.
Yes the tires that are sold are different, Guess what so are ANY other tires sold at chain stores that rebrand tires. They provide the coverage. Maybe you should actually find out the truth before you spout a bunch of rubbish.
The warrantee that Wal-Mart shows IS what comes on the tires they sell. It is available right at the tire counter in the stores and is posted behind the counter as well.
--
Steve W.

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Ford Motor Company directly warrants the tires on their vehicles, no matter the manufacture. Ford is the only automobile manufacture to do so. Ford provides the warranty so that their customer does not need to argue with the manager at the local tire store if a tire is not up to snuff. You can rest assured they will get reimbursed by the tire manufacture when they buy the next 100,000 tires. My guess WalMart does likewise LOL
mike hunt

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Steve W. wrote:

You are confused, as are some of the other responders. Wal-Mart has what they call the Wal-Mart "protection plan." This is NOT the tire mileage warranty. For $10 the protection plan provides lifetime balancing and flat repair. It is not the mileage and defect warranty. Go to www.ftc.gov and read the document I cited or go to www.uniroyal.com to see the legally required sections for a mileage and defect warranty. I then invite you to go to your local Wal-Mart and ask to see a copy of the Wal-Mart MILEAGE AND DEFECT warranty for the Uniroyal Radial A/S or any of the Goodyear Viva-type tires. I then invite you to write to the address given on the Wal-Mart website to obtain a copies of the warranties for these tires. Your requests will go unanswered. Why don't you try all this and get back to us.
Listen, I've been dealing with this for many months and have talked to a Wal-Mart shop manager, store manager, district manager, customer service people, and a representative fromn the Wal-Mart corporate office. They are well aware of the problem, but seem unable to solve it. As I mentioned, the "Automotive Troubleshooter Show" on AM 760 in Denver broadcast a story in December about Wal-Mart not honoring an advertised treadwear warranty, and the customer was also not given a copy of the warranty in that case.
Your point about the store warranty is also bogus. Obviously, a store CAN warrant their own tires that they purchase from a manufacturer. That is what Big O tires, Discount Tires, and Peerless Tyres all do. And they actually give you a copy of the mileage and treadwear warranty. But they don't call them Goodyear or Uniroyal tires, they have their own store brands. On the other hand, if you buy a national-brand tire from these places, it is covered by a national warranty and can be serviced by any shop that the manufacturer authorizes. Some of the national-brand tires that Wal-Mart sells ARE warranted by the manufacturer, but some are NOT. That's the problem. They don't tell you this. And the only way to find out is to go to the manufacturer's website and search on the name of the tires. Go to www.uniroyal.com and www.goodyear.com and do search on the Uniroyal Radial A/S and Goodyear Viva or Viva II or Viva Touring.
By the way, Wal-Mart, Sears and other retailers buy their batteries from various manufacturer's including Exide, Johnson-Controls, and others. But they use the Wal-Mart brand "EverStart" or Sears "DieHard" and they make it very clear in the warranty book that these batteries are only covered by the store. You can also get a copy of the warranty; it's in the battery catalog, available in the store. If they followed this practice with the tires, there wouldn't be a problem.
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One more point. The pro-rating treadwear statement that Wal-Mart has on their website is NOT a mileage and defect warranty. That is why they tell you how you are supposed to be able to get a copy by mail. Those requests go unanswered. A legal warranty has these sections:
1. What is Covered: This can include defects in materials and defects in materials or workmanship (like treadwear separation), installation errors, as well as wear-out coverage. (Note that my Wal-Mart receipt does not tell you how long the treadwear wear-out pro-rating is good for on the particular tire. I guess you are supposed to remember that).
2. How Long Coverage Lasts: The warranty must tell you specifically how long the warranty lasts. (Are defecfts in installation, materials and workmanship covered until the tread wear bars appear?. This has been an issue in a number of fatal accidents over treadwear separation. What you cite says nothing about defects and how they are covered.)
2. What is not covered. 3. What The Company Will Do 4. How To Get Service 5. How State Law Applies
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Not confused at all I have the tire warrantee for the tires I own right here. It has on it what is covered, for how long and what to do if I need to have a tire repaired or replaced. It says that tire defects are covered for the life of the tire and will be covered if they are not user caused. The tread wear states that they are covered for wear for 40K with a prorated coverage schedule. This is NOT the protection plane which is a road hazard plan and covers flats and other problems that might happen while your driving which are not a result of improper tire construction or defects in the tire itself.The warrantee I have shows all of this and was given to me when I got the tires.
--
Steve Williams

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Walmart does stand behind ALL gurantees and warranties they sell or provide thats all I have to say. Weather its the tire milage or the protection plan they offer they stand behind it.

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Steve W. wrote:

I have talked to a number of Wal-Mart managers and people at the corporate office who have all told me that NO such document cuurently exists. As I said, it is not available at any of the Wal-Mart Tire and Lube shops in my area. However, I am told that the Wal-Mart legal department is now "examining the problem." If you really have such a Wal-Mart warranty, it should have a document number and date printed on the bottom. What are these? Also, perhaps you will just post the text of the document here; then I can e-mail it to Walmart, they can copy it, and start sending it to customers as their website says they will. Or perhaps not.
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I checked the Michelin website about the X-Radial DT sold at Sams, and they indicate it is fully warranted by Michelin like any other tire they make.

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gad wrote:

Yep, I just checked it out too. Here are the two links:
http://michelinman.com/care/warranty.html
http://michelinman.com/catalog/tires/MichelinXRadial.html
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pv4812
Nonsense!
Dave S(Texas)
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Look I have bought tires from walmart for every car I own, just recently I purchased a set of Douglas X-Trac tires and walmart has stood behind every set I have bought from them.......Take ur false complaints to somplace else!

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I find this very hard to believe. I really hate WalMart and I don't shop anymore there but I belonged to Sam's Club for over a decade and I know that both WalMart and Sam's will stand behind what they sell. Report the store to the home office.
Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Sat, Apr 8, 2006, 9:01am From: snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (Adam) Look I have bought tires from walmart for every car I own, just recently I purchased a set of Douglas X-Trac tires and walmart has stood behind every set I have bought from them.......Take ur false complaints to somplace else!
I'd like to let people know about a fraudulent automobile tire scam going 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 Wal-Mart. 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 practices. 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.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "Sometimes, when you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember that the intial objective was to drain the swamp." ~ Unknown ~
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If Walmart was REALLY so bad then WHY are they still in business? Running out Kmarts Penske Service Center and other low end service centers? Not only do their prices beat the competition, but their service does also most of the time.
Now as far as the milage warranty, they have replaced my tires after they have not made it the 40k milage the tire warranty has, I've taken a set of Douglas x-trac back with the wear indicators showing at around 30k and they replaced all four of them at no cost to me.
(Adam)

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That guy is full of what the horse left behind. Just another anti-Wal-Mart guy spreading nonsense. It's Ok if you hate Wal-Mart, but not to lie about them.
(Adam)

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