In this day and age, why do people have to die to highlight these problems? This latest case of tire recalls is only now going public because the importer of the cheap tires is being sued in connection with deadly road accidents that could be directly related to defective tires. The importer is alleged to have known about the problem two years ago but only came forward – to ask for help for funding the recall – after being sued.
Until recently, the Chinese government has shown little interest in product quality and safety but then again, the importers have shown little interest either. Both parties have been happy because China has a fast growing export business and importers have cheap products that can provide comfortable margins when sold in quantity.
The loser in all of this has been the consumer, who is asked to be the guinea pig in the process. At the same time we see the Bush administration aggressively trying to remove the rights of Americans to sue, dismissing all lawsuits as the “McDonald’s coffee is hot” category. America can be excessive with lawsuits, but especially without safeguards for consumers as we see these days, there are few options left. Call me old fashioned, but I believe consumers in a country like the US should expect much more.