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Old 6th March 2016, 17:17   #1
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Default Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Dear BHPians,

I'll get straight to the point. Today morning brought me a shock. Please see the pictures:

Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?-image.jpg
I was shocked to see all 4 Michelin XM1+ tires develop identical failures. I certainly did not expect to see this sight just after 4 years of purchase of a product from such a premium manufacturer.

The background of the story is that I bought a set of 4 Michelin XM1+ tires on 01/11/2011 for my Zen. As you are aware that Michelin commands a premium over many other regular brands of tires, I did pay substantially more for those 8 alphabets compared to other regular brands available. I held no remorse as these tires performed true to the name and did offer much better grip on the road and do offer a silent cabin; however I was deeply disappointed today when I saw what I have shared above.

I am putting some honest facts before the community so that I get proper, frank and unbiased opinion:

1. The age of these set of rubbers are 4 years and 4 months to be precise.

2. They have done just 11K kms, a fact that can be verified by looking at the deep threads still available on the tires. (The tires have seen a lot less of roads they should have I agree but that should probably not be an excuse to develop such defect as far as my knowledge is concerned.)

3. All 4 tyres have developed identical failure with cracks running through the entire circumference of the tires mostly in the channels present for water wading.

4. All tires are 2011 manufactured.

5. They have seen wheel rotation at every 4K kms which can again be ascertained by the fact that they have seen a very even wear/ depreciation.

6. I personally check tyre cold air pressures and maintain them at 28 or 30 psi. I have 2 gauges (one with a compressor) and hence I am sure that I have not fallen prey to faulty gauges. Also, I have had a long experience with cars and I can tell by the ride and steering stiffness if tires are over or underinflated. However, that does not mean that I have ever become complacent on checking air pressure every 15 days.

7. The car is most driven on very good roads. In percentage terms, I would say over 95-98% on good roads.

8. The car has never been stranded in a water logged area. May be sometimes under the sun which normally every car undergoes during normal usage.

9. The car has a covered parking shed.

In case I have missed on passing some more useful information, please let me know and I will answer that with honesty.

What I have done:
I took my car to the tire dealer but they were closed due to Sunday.

I called the owner of the shop and discussed the matter with him. We have fixed Tuesday for the inspection as he is out of station.


My questions are:
1. Is this normal wrt the age of tires? I expected them to run at least 5-6 years. Probably even then I would not expect this kind of failure.

2. Is it safe to use them? Honestly I do not feel that way.

3. If you guys feel that it is not normal then do let me know the way forward. What kind of negotiations should I be open to?

I will update the thread as things move but please keep posting your observations, opinions and suggestions so that we can reach to a fair closure of the matter.

Regards
Saket.

Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?-image.jpg

Some more pictures.
Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?-image.jpg
Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?-image.jpg
Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?-image.jpg

Last edited by Eddy : 6th March 2016 at 18:34. Reason: Merged
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Old 7th March 2016, 07:45   #2
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Default re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Wow! Never seen 4 year/11K km old set of tyres in this shape. I'd suggest you get some professional advice from Michelin or its dealer. Michelin tyres have a 3 year warranty so unfortunately you're out of luck for a replacement.

Just 2 questions - was the car unused for lengthy periods of time? And were you diligent about maintaining tyre pressure? A stationary car with low tyre pressure could cause minor cracks in the tyre sidewall and carcass. I speak from personal experience. It's happened to my low mileage car (even with proper tyre pressure) and I had all the tyres changed. I don't compromise on safety.

I would have these tyres replaced if I were you. Not safe especially if you do high speed highway runs.

Last edited by R2D2 : 7th March 2016 at 07:49.
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Old 7th March 2016, 08:36   #3
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Hi Saket,

To me it looks like age related issues.

Reason, Look at my Hero Honda Karizma thread where I had the same kind of damage in the thread. It was a MRF though but similar damage.

The tyre was nearing 4 years old.

Mostly environmental impact and not much of usage would have caused this.
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Old 7th March 2016, 08:41   #4
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Default re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

The 3rd Set of tires on my WagonR were XM1+. 2 of the 4 tires suffered sidewall damage in under a month after installation that every time someone mentions about XM1+, the weak sidewall comes to my mind.

However, both my WagonR and Ertiga run on XM2 now and they are much better in terms of everything (Read Balanced) - Grip, Ride Quality, Longevity, Sidewall strength.

A point to mention before I forget - Since 2013 October, the WagonR runs 20-25 kms a day and the tires are around 60,000+ kms (or ~4 Years) now and I have started to notice small little cracks on the surface of the tread which is part of the contact area of these tires.

They resemble exactly like those small cracks in the pictures you have posted (I am not referring to those large linear cracks that appear all over the circumference).

An important point that comes to my mind after reading your post - Even with a regular running of 25 kms a day, with 4 years after purchase, the tires are almost giving up. Contrary to this, the same XM2 on my Ertiga have done 70,000 kms and have no sings of such cracks anywhere at all. In terms of age, those on the Ertiga are less than 2 years.

I am wondering if age of the tires is a crucial factor here!!
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Old 7th March 2016, 08:45   #5
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Default re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
I will update the thread as things move but please keep posting your observations, opinions and suggestions so that we can reach to a fair closure of the matter.
Michelin tires have a warranty of 3 years so that should tell you something about their expected life. All the best at getting a 'deal' from the shop owner, but I wouldn't expect the tire company to give you any benefits. No harm in trying though.

Btw this didn't happen overnight - so its surprising you didn't notice this beforehand.

The default assumption would be the tires have been un-used for a long period. Is that so?
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Old 7th March 2016, 09:04   #6
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Default re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

I have started with XM1+ in my Figo and replaced it at 45K KMs in 2.5 years. I haven't faced any issue like the one posted here, but the road noise increased after 40K KMs and that is the reason I changed the Tyre even though i didn't face any other problem and enough tread (for another 20K KMs at least) was left in the Tyre. I replaced with XM2 and the quality of XM2 is considerably better when compared to XM1+. Now my XM2 is 2.2 years and with 25K KMs, so will not able to comment on longevity, but the Tyre is doing as good as new.

Last edited by GTO : 7th March 2016 at 11:35. Reason: Typo
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Old 7th March 2016, 09:56   #7
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Default re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
The background of the story is that I bought a set of 4 Michelin XM1+ tires on 01/11/2011 for my Zen.

1. The age of these set of rubbers are 4 years and 4 months to be precise.
Wrong there!

Check your own information and your image:



The tyre manufacture is 0611 - 6th Week of 2011, Feb 2011.
You are running on tyres of age 5+ years as of now.
It is a different matter if you got fitted on 01/11/2011 which is Nov 2011.
Essentially the tyre guy sold you old stock tyres from rack, that itself is quite a bit of aging.


Quote:
2. They have done just 11K kms, a fact that can be verified by looking at the deep threads still available on the tires. (The tires have seen a lot less of roads they should have I agree but that should probably not be an excuse to develop such defect as far as my knowledge is concerned.)

3. All 4 tyres have developed identical failure with cracks running through the entire circumference of the tires mostly in the channels present for water wading.
Doesn't matter. As long of the tyres are on road for longer the rubber will stay pliable but the more stagnant it stays it will tend to harden and develop fissures whatever good treads it may preserve.
The fissures are surely age-related although very grave ones, I wouldn't expect this from Michelin ones atleast. Also, why were they on tyre rack for 9 months until you fitted?

Quote:
4. All tires are 2011 manufactured.
See above points on manufacture, fitment and usage.

Quote:
5. They have seen wheel rotation at every 4K kms which can again be ascertained by the fact that they have seen a very even wear/ depreciation.

6. I personally check tyre cold air pressures and maintain them at 28 or 30 psi. I have 2 gauges (one with a compressor) and hence I am sure that I have not fallen prey to faulty gauges. Also, I have had a long experience with cars and I can tell by the ride and steering stiffness if tires are over or underinflated. However, that does not mean that I have ever become complacent on checking air pressure every 15 days.

7. The car is most driven on very good roads. In percentage terms, I would say over 95-98% on good roads.

8. The car has never been stranded in a water logged area. May be sometimes under the sun which normally every car undergoes during normal usage.

9. The car has a covered parking shed.
Not relevant.

Quote:
My questions are:
1. Is this normal wrt the age of tires? I expected them to run at least 5-6 years. Probably even then I would not expect this kind of failure.
Hardening rubber, developing fissures on standing tyres is pretty common. Still I am alarmed by looking at the extent of them on such premium XM1+.


Quote:
2. Is it safe to use them? Honestly I do not feel that way.
Absolutely not. Just get rid of them, don't take any risks.

Quote:
3. If you guys feel that it is not normal then do let me know the way forward. What kind of negotiations should I be open to?
Refer earlier points.
Although, it is natural, the extent is just not digestible.

Additionally, why did the dealer fool you with old stock tyres lying around stacked since 9 months - Manuf Feb 2011 - Fitted Nov 2011. It is ridiculous.
This is probably the single most point in your bag right now. But not much to negotiate I am afraid.

Still, discuss calmly with dealer with all point and questioning above anomaly and get discount for a fresh set set of new tyres.
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Old 7th March 2016, 14:26   #8
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Thank you gentlemen for your suggestions and opinion. The car does run less, no doubt about that. But it has never been stranded for more than 5 days at a stretch. Moreover, I am all the more surprised because even the previous set of JK tires, which do not have a great reputation did not suffer such a failure even when the age was more.

@Parsh: when I got them fitted, I scouted the newest tires in the shop. These 4 were the most recent ones to be manufactured. I have to check but I think that other tires would be newer than one whose image I posted.

However, I am not very convinced that a 5 year Michelin would develop this kind of problem.

Regards.
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Old 7th March 2016, 14:58   #9
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

I have seen similar damage on the tyres of an Indica and Honda City, which had genuine running of 33K (Bridgestone) and 23K (Goodyear) respectively.

In both cases, this was at age 5 for both cars' tyres (from the manufacturing date printed on the sidewalls). Rubber ages or develops cracks faster if not used as desired. Usage keeps the rubber flex in check as well as prevents flat spots - something that needs to be felt by driving with such tyres. Can be referred to as atrophying of rubber.

Last edited by GTO : 8th March 2016 at 09:37. Reason: Strictly no acronyms when referring to cars (e.g. ANHC). Thanks!
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Old 7th March 2016, 15:18   #10
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Hi Saket,
This is very troubling. It is not expected that a five year Tyre will develop such glaring cracks. Moreover, your usage is also very low.
This looks to be a manufacturing defect.

Did these cracks appear gradually, or they all appeared at same time in their full form as shown in pictures?
Do you check pressure at reputed shops? There are many idiots who have faulty instruments and they fill up tyres with ridiculously high PSI, which can damage the tyres within short time.
How is your parking area? Is it wet and soggy? Any oils coming into contact for prolonged time?
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Old 7th March 2016, 16:01   #11
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
My questions are:
1. Is this normal wrt the age of tires? I expected them to run at least 5-6 years. Probably even then I would not expect this kind of failure.

2. Is it safe to use them? Honestly I do not feel that way.

3. If you guys feel that it is not normal then do let me know the way forward. What kind of negotiations should I be open to?
The rubber in tires shall crack at some time depending upon age and weather. It is an indication of the state of the tire.

Rubbers have oil and chemicals and weather can make them vanish. Once that happens, rubber will become brittle, resulting in cracks.
During running, the rubber shall flex and the crack would grow further.

Even if your car was under the shed, the contact surface would be hot or cold based on the location weather.

Weather cracking drifts from a cosmetic issue to a safety issue and its hard to draw an exact line between the two. X ray image analysis can only conclude that.

You don't have a strong chance of winning a warranty claim here.

Overall, it is safe to change the set of the tires soon.

Last edited by kpzen : 7th March 2016 at 16:02.
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Old 7th March 2016, 17:31   #12
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Thank you gentlemen for your suggestions and opinion. The car does run less, no doubt about that. But it has never been stranded for more than 5 days at a stretch. Moreover, I am all the more surprised because even the previous set of JK tires, which do not have a great reputation did not suffer such a failure even when the age was more.

@Parsh: when I got them fitted, I scouted the newest tires in the shop. These 4 were the most recent ones to be manufactured. I have to check but I think that other tires would be newer than one whose image I posted.

However, I am not very convinced that a 5 year Michelin would develop this kind of problem.

Regards.
Certainly, one would not expect Michelins to show degradation upto such an extent, purely on the basis of them being referred premium. But frankly, such can be state with any of brands in such situations.

The only reasoning would be weather effect, aging, standing still, even if for a 2-4 days at a stretch and a sudden burst of 30 kms on 5th day would still qualify for the same.

You have atleast one in your set with 5 years. That shelf life aging is good enough to begin with. You should always outright reject such old stock no matter what, select other manufacturer for that matter or postpone upto stock becomes available.

It may be possible you did not face this issue with JKs earlier by chance or whatever, or maybe they were running little bit more or were in routine daily run even if small.

Take it with a pinch of salt and forget about it. There is no use breaking your head over something you can't control, similar for any +/- discussions with the tyre dealer. Getting a new set of FRESH stock at decent price should be your objective.
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Old 7th March 2016, 17:32   #13
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

I was also using michelin xm1 (not sure about the + part though) tyres on my zen until last year. These were on the car for close to 6 years and still had some tread left on them, but i had to change them because the rubber started to disintegrate, exposing the carcass underneath. The carcass itself tore apart at places leaving bulges on side wall. Never ever have i faced such catastrophic failure on any other brand of tyre, on any of mine/my relatives cars even though some of them ran upwards of 6 years.
It seems the earlier michelins, before they started manufacturing them in India, were imports/dumps from some south east asian country and probably of poor quality.
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Old 7th March 2016, 17:33   #14
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post

However, I am not very convinced that a 5 year Michelin would develop this kind of problem.
1. Michelin's warranty is 6 years or tread life whichever is less.

2. Were your tyres under inflated for a long period when the car wasn't in use as it has done only 11000 kms over 5 years?

3. If the answer to the above is a yes, then you most probably will not get them replaced under warranty.

4. In any other case, this is a warranty claim and you can get it replaced through Michelin any time before 6 years are over.

5. Do not use the car with these tyres.
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Old 7th March 2016, 20:47   #15
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Default Re: Michelin XM1+ Tyres: Age-related damage or failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
1. Michelin's warranty is 6 years or tread life whichever is less.
A correction there: for tyres sold 3 years after date of manufacture, I quote:

"Where the tyres are sold 3 years after the manufacturing date, the warranty shall be for the life of the original usable tread pattern or 6 years from the date of manufacture, whichever comes first."

Net warranty in this case is still 3 years. Also, buying 3 year old stock is not advisable.

For warranty details:

http://www.michelin.in/IN/en/why-mic...-warranty.html

I've purchased 2 models for my car the Primacy LC and Primacy 3 ST. All came with a 3 year warranty.

The OP will not get warranty cover as >3 years have passed since the purchase.

Last edited by R2D2 : 7th March 2016 at 20:49.
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