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Old 31st December 2009, 18:26   #1
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Default Michelin Primacy LC - Bad experiences

When I got new Punto in first week of November, I promptly exchanged the Goodyear OEM tyres with Michelin Primacy LC (both 195/60R15), ensuring that it was recently manufactured (Sept). Within about 750kms (in 3-4 weeks), front right tyres developed a bulge, as shown in second picture below - circled in yellow. There was no incident that could have led to this - except to say that I have driven at 100-110kms/hr at maximum on NH4 - only external road I have used. It was detected by TASS (BU Bhandari) in one of the inspections.

Michelin's representative in Pune examined and rejected the warranty claim, saying that it is due to hitting pothole. I had prolonged interaction with him - I wanted him to let me know how he examines and determines the cause. It turns out that there is no special instrument or process, and it is just by visual examination.

Two days back, I noticed that the another tyre (which was now moved to front-right position) has developed a horizontal crack - as you can clearly see in the first picture below. Now the mileage is about 4500kms. This was after I had just returned from trip to Bijapur, which is 50% internal roads (and 50% NH4), but all of them are quite good and one can drive at around 80kms per hour. I had examined the tyres in Bijapur and they were OK. I am yet to show it to Michelin. I have tried contacting their main office in Delhi. Their customer support phone goes to answering machine mailbox, and there is no response to my query through their website. Hence the decision to go through a lawyer. I am trying appalled by overall response.

Since Michelin didn't accept the claim, I have already talked to a lawyer to engage them in consumer court.

Is the effort worth it? Does anyone else have similar experiences? It can be a public safety issue as well, if particular batch of tyres was found to be defective.
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Old 1st January 2010, 19:40   #2
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Originally Posted by privin View Post
Since Michelin didn't accept the claim, I have already talked to a lawyer to engage them in consumer court.

Is the effort worth it? Does anyone else have similar experiences? It can be a public safety issue as well, if particular batch of tyres was found to be defective.
Don't want to dishearten you, but don't think it's worth the effort. Most tyre manufacturers don't honour warranty claims in case of a tyre bulge. They blame it on Indian road conditions. Don't think that a particular batch of tyres would be faulty.

Tyre gurus, please share your comments/views.

Quote:
Originally Posted by privin View Post
Two days back, I noticed that the another tyre (which was now moved to front-right position) has developed a horizontal crack - as you can clearly see in the first picture below.
Could this be due to incorrect mounting of tyre on alloy. Did the person at tyre shop use correct method to mount the tyre?
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Old 1st January 2010, 20:02   #3
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Michelins are known to have soft sidewalls which offer better ride comfort. Downside is that they are prone to tearing and bulges which form on impact with kerbs, stones and potholes. If you are travelling to and from smaller towns better to go in for tyres with stronger sidewalls/compounds. Tyre gurus will be able to advise.

It will be very difficult for you to prove that it is a manufacturing defect Regarding the legal route, it may be more trouble than it is worth when seen against the price of a pair of replacement tyres.

Cheers!
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Old 1st January 2010, 20:07   #4
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First thing you should do is contact your dealer, the man you bought these tyres from. I am sure he will help you resolve the issue.
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Old 1st January 2010, 20:20   #5
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Sad to see such things happening with Michelin Tyres, but you could definitely try the courts...
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Old 1st January 2010, 20:23   #6
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I am using the same tires in my Elantra. But i faced no problems like this so far. Infact I given them hard treatment when i go through bad roads, they withstand them pretty well.. Most of the time , i drive through village roads.
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Old 1st January 2010, 22:01   #7
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Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Could this be due to incorrect mounting of tyre on alloy. Did the person at tyre shop use correct method to mount the tyre?
The dealer is quite well known in Pune (Darshan tyres), and has professional setup. Unlikely that this could happen during handling.
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Old 1st January 2010, 22:17   #8
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Privin, though I sympathize with you for the monetary loss issue, there is zilch you can do trying to get a claim from the manufacturer on this. That 'cut' on your tyre has been caused by the alloy hitting the tyre at the spot, commonly referred to as 'pinching' it is not a manufacturing defect by any yardstick. You'll only be wasting your time and money apart from peace of mind going thru a lawyer and stuff. It's just one of those things that happen. Change your tyres and enjoy driving. P.S. - This thing could have happened to any brand of tyre,so don't think you made a bad choice. Michelins are good tyres.
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Old 1st January 2010, 22:54   #9
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Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
First thing you should do is contact your dealer, the man you bought these tyres from. I am sure he will help you resolve the issue.
Of course, the dealer is very much aware of the issue. All they help you is to interface with Michelin.

I was not very happy with the type of analysis they made; all they tried to convince me was that it is due to impact. To look at type of impacts,
- During motion: Due to variable road heights and speed breakers, say going at 80kmph.
- Small potholes which may suddenly appear when you are cruising at 80-100 kmph. May be punto's suspension has absorbed those impacts.
- During kerb parking - you may brush on the side without being aware.

But then, why doesn't everyone get these sort of problems? I never had these type of problem in previous bridgestone tyres on Indigo for last 6 years.

Also, Michelin person only did visual inspection. If this case was an outlier, they should give more importance (Remember that popular internet legend? Pontiac that was allergic to particular ice cream). He wrote the report as if the customer (i.e. me) has reported an impact, which is not true at all.

Also, I couldn't do any email communication, nor could I contact their customer support - the phone goes to a mailbox.
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Old 1st January 2010, 23:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WasavaTyres View Post
Privin, though I sympathize with you for the monetary loss issue, there is zilch you can do trying to get a claim from the manufacturer on this. That 'cut' on your tyre has been caused by the alloy hitting the tyre at the spot, commonly referred to as 'pinching' it is not a manufacturing defect by any yardstick. You'll only be wasting your time and money apart from peace of mind going thru a lawyer and stuff. It's just one of those things that happen. Change your tyres and enjoy driving. P.S. - This thing could have happened to any brand of tyre,so don't think you made a bad choice. Michelins are good tyres.
Oh man! You saved me the trouble!!

I agree word to word with everything WasavaTyres says. Michelins are awesome tyres. This could have happened with ANY Yoko/Conti/Michelin/Apollo Acelere. Probably only the local S322s, MRFs, etc could have withstood such abuse. Even most Goodyears would have been damaged.

Now, you dont necessarily have to crash into a huge pothole to cause such damage. Most of the imported tyres which offer you a level of grip and comfort most Indian tyres can only dream of will get damaged easily. When you buy such soft tyres(be it Michelins, Yokos, Contis, etc), you will have to drive with a bit more care.
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Old 1st January 2010, 23:36   #11
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C'mon! Those tyres are just 2 months old!!
Indian roads are full of potholes and you do run over a few at high speeds.
If these tyres cannot withstand them, i am at loss of words.
Anyway, what does warranty mean if Michelin is not replacing the below specimen?
Privin, i hope you get a replacement.
@Nikhil/Wasava: Could you kindly shed some light on when/what situation can one claim warranty? Is there a replacement only if there is a manufacturing defect?
Cheers,
Deepak
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Old 2nd January 2010, 00:33   #12
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i lost 2 tires as well in 24 hours. next day sold the other 2 and got back to good year. michilen is not for india PERIOD.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 00:50   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasava
Privin, though I sympathize with you for the monetary loss issue, there is zilch you can do trying to get a claim from the manufacturer on this. That 'cut' on your tyre has been caused by the alloy hitting the tyre at the spot, commonly referred to as 'pinching' it is not a manufacturing defect by any yardstick. You'll only be wasting your time and money apart from peace of mind going thru a lawyer and stuff. It's just one of those things that happen.
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Originally Posted by Wasava
Michelins are good tyres.
Excellent tyres. And overpriced too.
Only a matter of time before they get a lot more competition from the east.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 01:06   #14
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I believe all this talk about how Michelins are soft compound tyres etc is really an eyewash to skirt the real issue at hand. It may be true to an extent in iteself but is not sufficient here. The real point here is that this is not an isolated case. In fact just a few days back another member also complained how his new Michelin tyres developed similar problems in another thread.

The question is, if these tyres are so soft that they tend to develop such problems within such a short timespan why has Michelin launched such tyres in India? The roads here were never so well paved. And if these tyres lose their shape, crack open on every bump etc then what good are they for in this country? Also, it begets a question. In a forum this large, where arguably we have people using all sorts of tyres in their cars, why is it that only Michelin users keeps turning up with such problems so regularly?

P.S.: Looks like the tyre dealer is the same one in both the cases (Darshan Tyres) and so is the timeframe when the tyres were sold. Hmmm. Could this really be a case of a bad lot of tyres that Darshan Tyres is selling?
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Old 2nd January 2010, 09:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
I believe all this talk about how Michelins are soft compound tyres etc is really an eyewash to skirt the real issue at hand. It may be true to an extent in iteself but is not sufficient here. The real point here is that this is not an isolated case. In fact just a few days back another member also complained how his new Michelin tyres developed similar problems in another thread.

The question is, if these tyres are so soft that they tend to develop such problems within such a short timespan why has Michelin launched such tyres in India? The roads here were never so well paved. And if these tyres lose their shape, crack open on every bump etc then what good are they for in this country? Also, it begets a question. In a forum this large, where arguably we have people using all sorts of tyres in their cars, why is it that only Michelin users keeps turning up with such problems so regularly?

P.S.: Looks like the tyre dealer is the same one in both the cases (Darshan Tyres) and so is the timeframe when the tyres were sold. Hmmm. Could this really be a case of a bad lot of tyres that Darshan Tyres is selling?
Trust me Zappo. There is no bad lot or anything like that.

People saying Michelins are not meant for India is ridiculous. It is not meant to take on Indian roads the way MRF does. But with a little bit of care, they perform very very well indeed.

Do you mean to say that the Honda Civic should have never been launched here because it has low GC and cant get over so many speed bumps? What about the BMWs with theur RFTs which give a back breaking ride? It's personal chouice in the end. People who know how to take care of tyres will never have a problem with Michelin.
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