My fiance went in for an alignment and tire rotation.They told her that her tires had the wrong “speed rating"and sold her 2 tires for $320.

Is this legitimate?

She was akso told"they"were cracking down on speed ratings.

Who are"they”?


Noone is cracking down on speed ratings in NJ or PA where I drive. Sounds like a rip, but she has the tires now. Telling her she got shafted isn’t going to help your love life. Let it go.

Tell your fiance to avoid that place of business from now on. There are “speed” ratings but they are usually of no concern for everyday drivers. Here is a list of speed ratings.

H- Up to 130mph
Q- Up to 100mph
R- Up to 106mph
S- Up to 112mph
T- Up to 118mph
U- Up to 124mph
V- Up to 149mph
W- Up to 168mph
Y- Up to 186mph
Z- 149mph and over

As you can see you will never run these speed in the United States. If you own a Maserati in Germany and plan to run the Autobahn then speed ratings may come into play. “They” are the U.S. Government and the shysters at that tire place used “they” to sell a couple of tires. So…they were not legit.

They just ripped off your fiance. Ask for a refund,when they say no go to the local or state consumer protection bureau. Talk about slimey!

They were worried about liabiliy concerns. Also is should be pointed out that often using tires of lesser speed rating than that your car is specced for will often result in less traction. IMHO tires are not place where it’s okay to be cheap.

They can’t be worried about liability for tires that were on the car. Pure scam.

The OP never mentioned the condition of the tires that were replaced. May or may not be a scam, granted if the tires were not worn then the OP’s finance probably would’ve been okay regardless. At any rate even the people at Consumer Reports recommend replacing tires with the ones of equal speed rating than the OEM tires.

What raises my suspicions is that the vehicle is a Trailblazer. Unless it’s the SS model then the tires should’ve been S rated or so. Virtually any road going tire these days is at least S rated. I wonder what tires the OP’s fianc? had on there. If she does have the SS Trailblazer then she should definitely be using Z rated or better tires. But for a standard model, pretty much any speed rating will do.

What tires were on the truck and what were they replaced with? Were the old tires the ones from the factory?

I am not sure it was a scam. I understand that they are cracking down on tyre retailers who sell tyres rated below the manufacturers/government specs. It may vary by location.

I agree she was ripped. If she was driving on the Autobon or elsewhere in Europe she might consern herself with the speed rating or if she is a crazy manic and drives at speeds that exceed the US speed limits but then she would have to be more concerned with the price of the speeding ticket and not the tires!

Why weren’t all 4 tires replaced then? Perhaps it is like my vehicle is, different brands on the front axle and rear axle? Were they about ready to be replaced anyway? Were they wearing badly? How old? Really we need more info.

I would take UncleTurbo’s advice and move on. She should have walked away and got a second opinion, but she didn’t and now tires are one less thing to worry about. Its a car owner’s responsibility to know what kind of shape wear & tear items are in, to avoid potential scams.

There’s more to it than that. Generally speaking tires with a higher speed rating, particularly V-rated or better, offer superior traction than tires with lower speed ratings, this is one of the reason why even more ordinary cars these days are coming from the factory with H and V rated tires. This is also a reason to use replacement tires with the same capabilites. You wouldn’t run a marathon wearing flip flops would you? Same principle applies to tire selection.

Even the chgeapest Walmart tire is rated for speeds in excess of US speed limits, exept those states that have NO speed limits! Yes, she got took by an unscrupulous salesman who banked on her fear and sense of obligation to do the right thing.

If she was my fiance, I would go back to that place and “REASON” with that salesman to the point where he would gladly make amends.

“You wouldn’t run a marathon wearing flip flops would you? Same principle applies to tire selection.”

Wanna bet? The Tarahumara in Mexico’s Copper Canyon do exactly that as a way of life. They even run ultramarathons in sandals. Page down through the link to see the sandals they wear. They are basically flip flops. They get their protein by outrunning turkey, deer, and other animals in Copper Canyon. They aren’t as fast, but they have more endurance. Eventually, the exhausted animal drops and it’s dinner. It’s a strange and wonderful world.

Wow, I’ve never seen that before. While I wouldn’t attempt such a feat (no pun intended), it’s impressive that people can actually do that.

Funny you should mention WalMart.This is exactly where the tires came from.A $39.95 rotation turned into $320 for 2 tires.
My guess was she had about 15,000 miles left on the tires.
I know one family that will never buy tires from Red China Distributing again!
Thanks to all for your responses.


I’m not convinced that anyone was ripped off because my opinion is that a lot of things referred to as details are not provided. What is provided is 3rd party info based on more information from someone who may or may not have misconstrued what they were told.

It’s possible I could agree that someone was gouged, either on purpose or by a clueless person in the service dept., but without the details I don’t know how anyone could blindly assume this is a ripoff.

As to tire prices, compare what has happened to tire prices over the last 5 or 6 years. They’re gone up tremendously and even a set of low end, small size tires like 195/60/15 Goodyear Vivas will set you back a couple of hundred dollars at WM.

Please give us more info - What rating did the old tires have? What make/model/year vehicle? Chevy Trailblazer?

The Trailblazer OE tires listed on are “S” rated - so there is no way you had the wong speed rating, as far as I can tell. This, combined with your estimate of 15,000 miles left (if correct) confirm this was a scam. However, the price is about right, depending on the tires you got.

I would go to the management of the store and complain, they have more at stake being a national chain. Then move up the Walmart chain of command.

Alignment at WalMart, are you kidding me? I wouldn’t trust them to do a rotation, much less than an alignment. I can’t imagine a certified mechanic working for WalMart wages.

Ditto. And to throw more wood on the fire, I thought WM had done away with the alignment racks quite a few years ago and simply became a basic TBA store.