Millions of faulty rubber snap-in valve stems were recalled in 2008 for premature cracking, which led to air leakage and tire deflation. We believed this to be a serious issue and consequently ran a number of stories on tire valves. (Read: “Got a leaky tire? Check your valve stem.”) The faulty tire valves were manufactured by Topseal (Shanghai) Auto-Parts Co., Ltd., in Shanghai, China, and imported and distributed by Dill Air Controls Products of Oxford, NC, under the Dill ACP brand name.
For the consumer, it was impossible to determine if they had one of these recalled valve stems unless they had the tires removed from the wheels. The valve’s size number and manufacturer ID were hidden on the rubber grommet area of the valve, only visible from inside the wheel. Consumers had to bring their car to a mechanic to dismount the tire from the wheel to see the valve information. It was also frustrating for the manufacturer and distributors of the valves. They identified the period when faulty valve stems were made, but there was no obvious date coding, so many more valves had to be recalled just to be on the safe side.
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