Photo of damaged tire not enough to get customer what he wants

Photo of damaged tire not enough to get customer what he wants »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — After two tires were destroyed, a Bakersfield man said he wants the manufacturer to reimburse him. But, he said Hankook Tires will only refund his money for the tire that blew out, not the second one.

The problem is Ronald Marvin left the second tire behind, and he only has a photo to show the damage.

In August, Marvin was towing an SUV behind his motor home. On Highway 58 near Boron, a trucker motioned that the front driver-side tire on the SUV was badly damaged. Marvin pulled over and found that tire simply shredded. And, the front passenger-side tire was also damaged.

"By the time I got it pulled over, all the tension and the stress on the tire from moving back and forth just destroyed the tread," Marvin said. "It was so bad, that it needed to be replaced."

He limped the motor home and SUV into Kramer Junction, and bought two tires. The wheel on one was also badly damaged, so he used the wheel from the spare, and called ahead to St. George, Utah to get a replacement for that.

Marvin said he had only so much room to bring back the damaged tires.

"I had the spare tire that I had to put in the back, plus this (blown-out tire), and I decided to photograph the bad tire and left it," Marvin said. He kept a photograph of the damaged tire to show the company.

Once he was back home, Marvin went to the Sears Auto Center to get reimbursed for the two destroyed tires. "I had road hazard tire insurance from Sears," Marvin says. "But they and Hankook America refused to honor it, as I did not have the other tire."

Marvin says he contacted Hankook USA spokesmen by email. On Sept. 14 he got an email reply.

"Hi Ronald: If the tire that had a blow out was the result of a road hazard and falls within the first 2/32 of tread, we would be able to warranty that tire," it reads. "Unfortunately, we cannot warranty a tire that you do not have."

Marvin is unhappy with that response. He thinks the photo of the badly damaged tire should be proof enough. Marvin has documents showing he bought four tires on Oct. 14, 2011. That makes the damaged tires about 10 months old at that time, and Marvin said they had 3,282 miles on them.

He said the company had agreed to reimburse him for the tire he brought back. But that leaves the second tire, and the cost of a new wheel -- which he said the company had declined to cover. Marvin figures he's out about $400.

On Monday, Eyewitness News contacted Hankook USA by phone and email. A spokesman said he'd do more research into what the company has done about this case so far.

Marvin thinks there was clearly a problem with the tires from Hankook. At the time of the blow-out, "None of the other tires were damaged," Marvin said. "And I didn't see anything on the road, I didn't hit anything with the motor home."

Marvin is convinced the company should make good on all the damage from this tire blow-out, even if he only has a photo to demonstrate the second damaged tire.

"I'd like to get reimbursed for the rim and get my tires replaced," Marvin said. "I just figured Hankook, just for good customer relations, would say, 'Alright, we'll replace it.'"