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Old 14th January 2010, 23:37   #1
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Default Michelin Energy XM 1+ Tyres - A bad experience which I hope turns to good!!

Hi Guys,

This is to let you all know of my experience with Michelin.

I have a Swift Zxi 2006 which has run only 15000Kms. At about 8000Kms ( and 9 months ago) after reading all the various rave reviews about Michelin tyres on this site, I decided to take the plunge and changed from the original JK Vectras to Michelin Energy XM 1+.

I have had no problems the last 7000 Kms.

However three days ago I went down to find the car had a flat tyre. Took the tyre to a repair shop (petrol pump) a short distance away. The tyre had a very, very small nail in it which was well embedded. It was removed, the puncture repaired and the tyre re-fitted.

Came down the next morning to find the tyre flat again!!!!
Took it back to the tyre repair guy and after a thorough check found a microscopic hole on the INSIDE of the tyre on the sidewall - exactly on top of the "E" of the word "Energy".

The repair guy said he would have to put a patch on the inside of the tyre but suggested I check where I had bought it from.

I had already decided that this was no puncture but some sort of manufacturing defect.

I went back to the shop I bought it from and, as expected, the guy said it's a puncture not a manufacturing defect and the company will not replace it!!! So much for your friendly neighbourhood tyrewallah!!! That's the last time I buy anything from him.

Went home and called Michelin in Delhi who were very polite and promised to get in touch with me asap. That was yesterday. The same evening the Bombay representative called and fixed up a meeting for this morning.
I was supposed to be at Reliable Tyres at 10:45 today and arrived there bang on time. Needless to say the rep was late and arrived 55 minutes later.

The tyre was photographed by him from all angles and even he commented on the good condition of the tyre (and my car). On pouring soapy water a tiny bubble could be seen. The tyre was then removed and checked from the inside. If the tyre was pushed with one's finger a tiny, tiny hole was visible.

I must stress here that there was absolutely no damage to the sidewall or the wheel itself as can be seen from the pics.

After a lot of head scratching the rep says it is a puncture and will not be covered under warranty. I asked him what he thought could have caused the puncture? His initial response was that it was done intentionally by someone with a needle!!!! I asked him if that was the case, why would they bother to do it from the INSIDE???? He had no answer to that. I also told him that the car is parked in a closed garage which is locked at all times. He could come to my building and check if he wanted.

He then suggested that it was done by the tyre repair guys. A load of BS as I was standing there while the original puncture was being repaired.

Finally he filled up a long report sheet and said he would get in touch with me but warned me not to get my hopes up as 80% chances are I would NOT get a renewal under warranty.

I explained to him that I have 3 cars all running Michelin Energy tyres and I am shocked at the way they treat their customers. If he could give me even a half decent explanation of why this happened I would have accepted it.

When he heard about the 3 cars his attitude changed a bit and he said this was only the second time in all his time of working with Michelin that he had seen such a case.

I am waiting for the final decsion tomorrow morning and will keep you all updated.

Meanwhile, I would appreciate the mods/gurus thoughts on the above subject matter. Am I in the right? Any suggestions?

Fingers crossed!

SS

Sorry guys. Unable to upload pics.
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Old 14th January 2010, 23:46   #2
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Hi Guys,

Have managed to upload the pics.

The first and last are just to give you all an idea of the condition of the wheel and tyre.

Regards,

SS
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Old 14th January 2010, 23:50   #3
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Well, it could be a small thorn, needle or nail from the road. What you have experienced is very very rare and unusual but by no means a manufacturing defect.

Sorry to say this, but no way you will get a replacement for that.

Another theory is that the puncture wallah might have caused this small hole when he was repairing your previous puncture. Mostly by mistake.
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Old 15th January 2010, 00:01   #4
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I dont see any scars so that rules out sidewall impact, also tire repair theory. I think it IS a minor manufacturing defect which tyre company should inspect and decide.
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Old 15th January 2010, 00:12   #5
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I agree with Jaggu, this mentality of tyre manufacturers i.e. blame it on the roads has to change. You don't get smooth as baby bottom's roads even in the best of countries.

With this mentality all consumer goods items warranty can be rejected with excuses like too much dust in india, input voltage is not clean so we wont give for warranty even part is isolated from input supply.

in this case I don't see any scar or scratch or roughness on sidewall to warrant hitting something. Any hole from outside has to leave an impression/mark on the outside.
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Old 15th January 2010, 00:25   #6
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http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/tyre-a...se-vote-3.html (Michelin Tyre Woes: Fact or Fiction? (Michelin users please vote))

Your vote counts!
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Old 15th January 2010, 00:30   #7
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If there wasnt a nail in that hole, his chances would have been much better. However, the nail proves it was a puncture.

However, I'm unable to figure how a nail got through the sidewall. If we rule out mischief, it's very difficult for a small nail to cause a full size hole in the sidewall.

@Suzuki san --- When you saw the tyre was flat, did oyu remove the tyre and take it to the puncture shop? Or did oyu drive there?

My other theory is this: You realised the tyre was flat one morning. The pressure might have been lower than usual for a couple of days prior to that. Maybe the low pressure resulted in the upper part of the sidewall making contact with the road and picking up the nail?

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 15th January 2010 at 00:34.
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:15   #8
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Hi Nikhil,

Thanks your quick response.

Please note that there was NO nail in the hole we are talking about - hence the Michelin guys theory that someone had maliciously damaged the tyre.

The nail I mentioned was the previous puncture and was on the bottom (tread section) of the tyre - where one would expect it. It was removed and that puncture repaired. This "puncture" (or manufacturing defect) was totally free of any nails, thorns or needles.It took the puncture repair guy about 10 mins to find the leak - it is so tiny.

I doubt he did anything wrong. All he did was immerse the tyre in a tub of water. I was standing right next to him. Also, this is the "Lotus" pump at Andheri Link road and I have been dealing with them for the last 20 odd years. Sometimes do the odd car wash there and all nitrogen filled there. I know the guys. They would not do something like this. What do they stand to gain?

To answer your next question : Yes! I drove about 50 metres on the low pressure tyre but stopped and used my portable compressor to fill it up before proceeding to the pump.

Regards,

SS
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Old 15th January 2010, 15:18   #9
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Hmm.... it does sound like there is a problem. I hope the guys give you a replacement. Cross your fingers!
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Old 15th January 2010, 17:58   #10
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Just wondering how would a manufacturing defect showup, only after 7000 kms?
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Old 15th January 2010, 18:13   #11
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That one sure looks like a manufacturing problem. Did they revert back to you yet?
Waiting to see how Michelin guys treat the warranty claims, after a use of 7K km.
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Old 16th January 2010, 00:25   #12
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Hi Guys,

Michelin have today rejected my claim on the grounds of "Malicious Damage".
They are insisting that someone has deliberately punctured the tyre.

I ask again : WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THIS FROM THE INSIDE?????? On a Swift one would practically have to lie on the ground to poke a needle into the inside of the tyre!!

I have now written officially to Michelin India and will do the same to Michelin France.

This is not a case of the cost of a tyre. I can repair/replace that easily enough (with a Bridgestone this time!!!). It is the principle involved.

One of the TBHP members responses was why should this have occurred after 7000Kms? Good question. I'm afraid I don't have an answer. I am not a tyre expert.

However, one thing I should mention is that these tyres were "Made in China". Could that make a difference?

I have been driving for 30 years and have seen all sorts of "punctures". Never one like this.

Will keep you guys updated.

Cheers,

SS
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Old 23rd January 2010, 23:50   #13
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Hi Guys,

Michelin have point blank refused to replace the tyre.

As a good will gesture they have agreed to pay 20% of the cost of a new tyre so, tired of fighting with them and also having other more important things to do, I succumbed and fitted a new tyre today.

Final cost was Rs. 3040/= including balancing.

The discount was Rs. 760/= and they took the old tyre.

End of story!!!

Regards,

SS
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Old 24th January 2010, 12:46   #14
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Is there no agency in india who can check the quality and verify if its a manufacturing defect? Any ideas anyone. I think this could be a real good business with companies like michelin around.
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Old 24th January 2010, 13:22   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
As a good will gesture they have agreed to pay 20% of the cost of a new tyre so, tired of fighting with them and also having other more important things to do, I succumbed and fitted a new tyre today.
People ask why they are taken for a ride? You've answered that question. A slap to the face by forfeiting a few hundred rupees would've atleast left a nice mark on Michelin's ego. And you did talk about principles too, right?

Last edited by pranavt : 24th January 2010 at 13:24.
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