2013 Ford Fiesta Tire Dry Rot

ford
fiesta

#1

Hello All,

I am brand new to this site and I thought it might be a good venue to ask some questions as I am sure many of you out there are much more educated than I in this matter. I will try to make it short!

I purchased a brand new Ford Fiesta in 12 of 2012. In January of 2016 my Ford Service Advisor told me I have Dry Rot on all 4 of my Kumho Tires. This was all totally new to me. He did say it is not urgent and I have time before I really needed to do anything. That was somewhat comforting as a set of 4 new tires is not cheap, esp if you add in the mounting, balancing and alignment.

Fast forward to June of 2016, I am in for a Recall at Ford and Steve, my very nice Advisor tells me it is now time, the Tires are all but shot. I am in a bit of disbelief as the car is less than 4 years old and I have only 19,000 Miles on the Car. The tread is at 4/32" but the cracks are visible to the naked eye and they are abundant.

I decided to contact Kumho and inquire about the Warranty. I was informed to look at the date on the tire. It reads 0712. Which I learned was the Seventh Week of 2012. So essentially the tires sat for many many months before my car was even manufactured.

Kumo States that I have a 4 year Warranty from Dry Rot but it begins with the Date Of Manufacture, NOT the date of my Car Purchase. They also told me, my Ford Advisor should have directed me to contact Kumo back in January of 2016 when he first saw the Dry Rot as it would have been under that 4 Year Threshold. At that time I would have been completely covered for 4 Brand New Tires.

I find this quite troubling. Who is to blame here? Was it really Ford’s responsibility? The only reason I didn’t do anything back in January was because Ford told me not to worry it was not a pressing situation.

Now I find myself going back at forth with Kumho, I have sent them photographs of the tires, given them all my Service Reports from Ford, I even went as far as to shot a video of the Tires on my iPhone and posted it on YouTube only for him to see.

If interested, you can see the link here:

What Kumho came back with is a Voucher for 25% of each tire. I must say I am not thrilled with that.

I have also done some Consumer Affairs research on Kumho Tires and the results could not be worse. You may be shocked at what you read here:

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/tires/kumho.html

So after all that, I would be grateful for some feedback and perhaps some advice for you nice people out there on your experiences, if similar and perhaps how you think I should proceed.

With Many Thanks,

DA


#2

The average driver puts 12k miles a year on their car, so for most people that would not have been an issue because the tires would have been worn out by then. In my experience most companies put cheaper tires on new vehicles that are not going to last 70 or 80k miles and since tires are a consumable item and you stated there is only 4/32nd tread left anyway, I would honestly be happy with the 25% voucher.

They are basically giving you the money for the tread left on the tire. 4/32nds is starting to get a little thin, still serviceable and legal but they are getting close.

Is the car parked in the sun all of the time? That does make a difference. It is normal for rubber to dry rot, 4 years is quick, but kumhos are cheap korean tires so you got what you paid for.

If it was me I would put 4 new Michelin tires on it. Thats me. But those might be still get dry rotted in 7 years from now instead of 4 years.

I suppose I would considering putting tires on using you voucher and try to see if there’s a better tire kumho makes for it or get the same set and keep an eye on it before the 4 year mark for signs of dry rot.

In the end I think they are being fair about it since the tires likely only have 25% life left on them anyway. Even if they had more tread, tires usually start to become suspect when they get 6 to 8 years old regardless of the miles on them or appearance, due to the fact the rubber starts deteriorating.


#3

Here’s one way to look at it. Regardless of the dry rot, if your tread is down to 4/32, you’d be replacing these tires anyway now or very soon. If you’re getting 25% off, that’s better than nothing, so you could choose to be happy with that.

Are you sure that the warranty would have replaced the tires for free in January? Most tire warranties are pro-rated based on the tread used, so perhaps you wouldn’t have gotten much more than 25% anyway.


#4

I watched the video, and Let me say I like those cars, they are sharp, and I love the color but im weird like that.

I noticed 2 things.

  1. The left rear wheel appears to have been run with low inflation for at least some time at some point. The only way the lettering will wear off the sidewall like that is running under inflated or really grinding up against something for a long time.

That LR tire looks really bad, but I honestly don’t think its the fault of the tire.

  1. I noticed the Florida plate, the sun is really strong down there which is hard on tires. Thats why you see some Rvs stored with covers on the tires.

I would definitely be happy with the 25%, consider the tires getting dry rotted part of living in a sunny place, you know a “sun tax”.

If you lived here in my part of Indiana you would be needing new tires by next winter anyway to get thru the snow safely anyway, so be happy your in the sunshine state, I would sure like to be!

I would probably take the 25%, get some new kumhos, and try to find a rubber protector spray to put on the tires that helps block UV rays.


#5

Thank You RIck,

I appreciate your comments and the time you took. I actually live in NY, and go back to Florida for maybe 2 months a year. My FOrd hasnt left NY in over 3 years and I am fortunate enough to have a very shady spot!

But I hear you on the sun-tax, but in this situation it does not apply to me.

Thanks for your words! I can appreciate Indiana, that is for sure!

DA


#6

I haven’t finished reading your post yet, but 4/32" is a good spec to replace your tires anyway. On commercial vehicles 4/32" is the minimum for the front tires and 2/32" is the minimum for the rear tires.

If you want to protect your next set of tires from dry rotting, use an Armor All type of tire shining product on them once a month. It will help prevent dry rot.

Edit: I’ve finished reading your post, and considering how much use you got from your tires, picking up 25% of the cost of your next set of tires is more than fair.

2nd Edit: If you park on unpaved ground, getting the tires off the ground can also prevent dry rot. You could park them on concrete patio tiles (although they will crack under that kind of weight) or a piece of wood underneath each tire.


#7

BUT . . the tires ARE five years old and who’s to say how they’ve been stored during all that time .

I KNOW about tires aging with little miles on them .
I have a 1979 truck with merely 71,000 total miles on it . . on its THIRD set of tires !
Yep, THIRD set of tires.
TIME and storage is the culprit here as my truck is parked outside awaiting its annual trip to Home Depot and my rental house
so . . . .
Because of time ,UV exposure and lack of miles, I bought a set of RV tire covers like you see on boats, trailers and motor homes in the storage lots.

btw; Kumho is a cheaper brand of tire in the first place so I bet a name brand will last longer.


#8

I’m with the others on this. While it would have been nice to have gotten in on the warranty in January, your tires are ready to replace (I replace mine around 4/32"). Original tires often don’t wear all that well. Time to move on with a new set of tires. I’d take them up on the 25% coupon, check out tirerack and discount tire reviews on Kumhos, get a good set that fit your car. But I’d understand it you want nothing to do with them, there are lots of other good tire brands out there.


#9

What part of the country do you live in and is the car pretty much parked in the sunlight most of the time?

It’s quite possible for tires to develop dry rot in a few years. The Bridgestones on the back of my Lincoln started getting dry rot at about 3 years of age although they’re not critical yet.

Don’t blame Kumho. It happens to all brands and Kumho should be applauded for even offering 25% vouchers.


#10

Thank You, Lion9Car, WhoSaidRick, Whitey, Ken_Green, Texases and OK4450…

I appreciate all of you taking the time to comment, I really am grateful for your point of views…

May I ask, would the Dry Rot be a contributing factor in the wear getting down to 4/32? What puzzles me is the Dry Rot started to show in January. At that point I had a mere 16K in miles. And to answer those also kind enough to respond, I am in NY. and am fortunate to have a nice paved driveway and it is mostly in the shade.

I am just trying to make sense of it all…

I also just read a ton of stuff about Kumho from consumers like you and I and it is not pretty, in fact it is pretty darn scary… Have a look, I was shocked!

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/tires/kumho.html

Thanks All! You are very kind.

DA


#11

In my cases, the dryness did not effect the tread wear.
Just last year I put new tires on my wife’s 06 Escape hybrid.
They had great tread depth left ( 8 or 9/32 ) . .enough to fool anyone.
But . . looking at the SIDE of the five year old tires was scary !
looked like a dry lake bed with all those spider vein looking micro cracks.
( Parked out doors beside the 79 but with no tire covers for her daily driver )

the tread wear rate COULD be age related though as the rubber compound changes with age.
It gets harder and less pliable much like an old pair of shoes that just aint what they used to be.


#12

I had a set of hankook tires on a vehicle once, made in Korea and shipped over on the boat. They were ok, not great but ok. I think I got 30,xxx miles on them but by then they were bald.

I don’t know for sure but Kumho may have different grades of tires available. I am sure Ford probably put the cheapest set of tires on it they could get away with. Many manufactures do this. I know a guy that had a Camry and I think he got 20k miles out of the original tires which were either bridgestones, or dunlops or something.


#13

Generally, tread wear and dry rot are two separate issues, and one is unlikely to affect the other.

After looking at your link to consumer complaints, I have two observations:

  1. Tires are expensive and they are wearable parts, so not every complaint is necessarily valid. In my opinion, people often expect too much from their tires.

  2. If those complaints disturb your peace of mind, use another brand. Peace of mind is valuable whether the complaints are valid or not.

Back when Tom and Ray were recording their Car Talk radio show, they used to complain that new cars came with cheap tires. Selling a model with cheap tires helps keep costs down and only leads to minor dissatisfaction with the car maker. Case in point: You don’t seem to be holding Ford responsible for the quality of these tires, even though they came on your new Ford Fiesta. Members of this forum have challenged this assumption of Tom and Ray’s, so I’m not sure if this criticism of car makers is still valid, but it is something to consider. Going forward, you have the power to choose a brand you trust, and I see no reason not to take advantage of that, even if all it buys you is peace of mind.


#14

Just my 2 cents, but I would throw the 25% off coupon away and buy a different brand of tire this time. In the old days, a lot of people buying new cars would have the tires replaced in the first week of ownership. I’ve been fairly happy with the original Michelin tires though and the set of Generals I bought have been pretty good, but the tires are worn anyway… You really can’t blame the service adviser and really would you want the same brand again anyway, even if they were free? But then I question a free replacement for dry rot and suspect it would have been pro-rated anyway. At any rate, the owner of a new car needs to read the warranty terms for the car and tires and not rely on the dealer. So I’d just hop on down to a tire shop and get a good set of tires.


#15

Depending on how you use the car, your budget and your expectations I agree with Bing. I am a huge fan of Michelin tires, they ride better, last longer, wear better and seem to have great traction.

That being said it impressed me that Kumho gave you a 25% off voucher. Thats really good customer service in my book.

That Fiesta is a nice newer car that I assume you plan on keeping for many more years, so it might be worth it to look into premium tires for it.

If it was an older car with questionable life, or it stayed in town and never went over 45 mph I would consider getting the cheapest tires I could

In my opinion cheap tires are a false economy because cost per mile I truly believe you are better off with Michelin or equivalent.


#16

Overall, I agree with everything that you stated, Bing.
However, the salesman at that tire shop might be focused only on moving some old tires out of his stock–possibly for a bonus.
So…How does one determine what is “a good set of tires”?
Relying solely on the advice of a tire salesman may not yield a good choice.

Several years ago, a friend of mine had to do some tire shopping in a hurry for his Rav-4, as a result of blowing a tire when he hit a curb.
The salesman was pushing a particular model of Bridgestones for his Rav, because “this is a truck, and you need truck tires”. :scream:

Luckily, my friend called me from the tire shop before making a decision (this was before he had a Smartphone), I did some quick online research for him, and found that those Bridgestones were a discontinued model that was–at best–mediocre when it was new. I sent him on his way to a different tire shop, where he bought totally superior Michelin passenger car tires for his Rav, for only a few bucks more than that charlatan at the tire shop was going to charge him for old tires that were…mediocre…at best when they were new.

:ok_hand:


#17

I would use the 25 % and choose the best Kumho tire for the OP’s needs. At 5000 miles a year any tire they buy will need replacing by time rather than wear.


#18

I’ve had Kumhos on some of my cars

They were some kind of Kumho Solus . . . I don’t know WHICH solus, however

They had a pretty low treadwear rating, and I got about 40K out of them

Fair, but nothing to brag about

Then again, the tires were priced on the lower end, so I really can’t complain

I got what I paid for


#19

I’ve had a number of sets of Hankook on my vehicles, and IMHO the ride, traction, tracking, and handling are great… but at a cost. They use a softer compound than most, and 30,000 miles is just about it for the tires’ lives, less than other brands on the same vehicles. But they track dead-on, and I’d definitely get Hankooks again. :nerd:


#20

Your tires sat for months and months, that’s true. It’s also perfectly normal. Until a tires sits for years there’s nothing to worry about. There’s no possible way that a manufacturer can order and have just the right number of tires on a weekly basis.

I too would be disappointed with tires rotting after only 4 years in a mild climate, but with the weather extremes of NY and FL I wouldn’t be surprised. And as was mentioned above, with tread down to 4/32", it’s time new tires anyway. 2/32" is the absolute minimum legal limit, but 4/32" is the common sense limit.

Kumho makes a range of tires, I’d use your voucher and upgrade to a better line in their brand.