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Reporting defects to the CPSC

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Reporting defects to the CPSC

Old 09-30-21, 10:55 AM
  #1  
DangerousDanR
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Reporting defects to the CPSC

I guess I am not the only one who doesn't like to report even a serious issue to the CPSC (https://www.saferproducts.gov/). Thinking about it I am trying to understand why? I have come up with two reasons.

Firstly, I am not a fan of "big government" and I have had to deal with regulatory agencies who were just plain ignorant and who had a clear agenda that was not related to their stated reason for action; desiring to ban something and using the coercive power of the state to make it cost prohibitive.

Secondly, I believe there is also the fear that the cost of a legitimate regulatory agency action will convince the makers of niche products that the market is just not worth the effort. Like, for example, while there is a big market for general use road bicycle tires the market for performance tubeless tires may not be big enough to justify the risk which comes with selling to performance oriented customers.

This brings me to the experience several of us have had with the Continental GP5000tl tires. (See Conti GP5000 tire life-span: how many miles did you get?) Having the bead separate from the sidewall of the tire causes sudden deflation and in the wrong place and time would cause even the most skilled rider to crash.

We all like the performance of the tires. But I am not very happy with Continental's handling of this issue so far. I have notified them of my issue via their web site twice and once by calling their support phone number. The phone call was enlightening: options for lots of things, but none for bicycle tires. Then passed off to some sub-group where I was prompted to leave my name and phone number and they "will call back soon."

Searching the CPSC database I found two complaints about Continental GP4000 and none about the GP5000. One was nonsense: the slick tread pattern caused a crash due to poor traction on a clean dry road. The other was for bead separation from the tire and sounded like a legitimate complaint.

But I still have not submitted a complaint to the CPSC about the GP5000. And I do not believe that anyone else has as well. Why?
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Old 09-30-21, 11:27 AM
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"Searching the CPSC database I found two complaints about Continental GP4000 and none about the GP5000. One was nonsense: the slick tread pattern caused a crash due to poor traction on a clean dry road. The other was for bead separation from the tire and sounded like a legitimate complaint."

Two complaints (one not valid) about a product that sells many, many units.
Could there be a few tires that sneak by QC that have damage near the bead? Of course. Could the tires have been damaged somehow in mounting, or by hitting a bad pothole while riding? Possibly. It would take a lot of complaints with all other variables taken out of the equation before the government would issue some type of investigation or recall.
Here's some interesting reading about the infamous "exploding Pinto". Hundreds were injured or killed before they even started looking at the issue.

The Disaster Of The Exploding Ford Pinto (ranker.com)
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Old 09-30-21, 03:29 PM
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Paul:
I am well aware of the fact that the CPSC has criteria that they apply before they will take action.

The report record is at https://www.saferproducts.gov/Public...portId=1189461

The main parts are:
  • Incident Description: I have just experienced my second unexplained sidewall blowout with Continental's "Grand Prix 4000 S" road bicycle tires. Obviously these are not just a "recreational product", as they are used at high speeds and in traffic, so this is a serious safety issue. There are no signs of cutting where either tire has blown out; the sidewall casing appears to have simply pulled itself apart, leaving a ragged hole. There is a little more to this than just 2 tire failures. "Once upon a time", probably 3-4 years ago, these were great, reliable tires. More recently, all of the stock I have bought in the USA and elsewhere has, after short periods of use, started having threads dangling out of the sidewall near the tire bead, shown signs of rubber cracking where one would expect it on maybe 10-year-old tires, etc.
  • Incident Date: 6/28/2011
  • Incident Location: Street or Highway
  • Comments from the Manufacturer/Private Labeler
  • The Continental Two Wheel Business Unit received the report regarding a consumer complaint with a road bicycle tire on July 19th, 2011 via the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission. We confirm that the safety and the satisfaction of our customers is of paramount importance to us. It is our goal to resolve all customer complaints in a fast and reliable manner through our local business partners. In the meantime, a Continental Customer Service Canada representative, has contacted [REDACTED], who submitted the report, in order to obtain additional information and the complained tire. Once this input becomes available it will be professionally analyzed by qualified experts. Based on the results we will work together with [REDACTED] in order to establish a solution that meets the legitimate expectations of all involved parties.
  • Comments from the Manufacturer/Private Labeler
  • The Continental Two Wheel Business Unit received the report regarding a consumer complaint with a road bicycle tire on July 19th, 2011 via the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission. We confirm that the safety and the satisfaction of our customers is of paramount importance to us. It is our goal to resolve all customer complaints in a fast and reliable manner through our local business partners. In the meantime, a Continental Customer Service Canada representative, has contacted [REDACTED], who submitted the report, in order to obtain additional information and the complained tire. Once this input becomes available it will be professionally analyzed by qualified experts. Based on the results we will work together with [REDACTED] in order to establish a solution that meets the legitimate expectations of all involved parties.
I am very familiar with statistical quality control. I once quit my job because there was a 20% failure rate and the entire batch wasn't scrapped. So I am assuming that beyond a cursory examination, a small fraction of each production lot is tested and if the failure rate is too high the entire lot is scrapped.

What I am asking is why don't we report these kinds of failures more often? We have maybe half a dozen failed tires mentioned in the BF thread I referenced above and none of us, myself included, have filed complaints with the CPSC.
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Old 10-01-21, 10:32 AM
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I had a bead separation on a Gator Hardshell a few years ago.

I may still have the tire up in Portland. But don't think I have any photos of the non-booted tire.



Tire was brand new and mounted the night before the ride. About 70 miles into the ride the bead blew (rear tire). No brake rub.

23mm Gator Hardshell.

I blamed it, in part, to inflating it to 110 PSI (or so) during the cool evening before, and then heading out on a hot day. Nonetheless, the tire should have had adequate buffer to take the temperature change.

I managed to make it 20 miles further north on my ride in "limp mode" to the nearest bike shop where the shop sold me a replacement 23mm Rubino Pro, and told me that they did not sell Continental tires due to durability issues.

I've read news that that shop has since closed.

As far as 4000's, 5000's, gators, 4s, etc... my interpretation is that the sidewalls are all similarly constructed, and the primary difference is in the tread.

I have had tires with which the cross hatch pattern was damaged over time, and the tires were fine. So, my interpretation is that the outer cross hatch is primarily cosmetic.

=============================================

As you noted, a blowout could put a person at risk. In my case, the tire blew in a low traffic area just north of Jefferson, Oregon, relatively straight stretch, and it was on my rear tire.

The biggest problem was being self-supported, 70 miles from home, and between towns large enough to carry spares.

And, even riding into Salem, I realized that finding a 23mm replacement required a bike shop (25mm would fit, but would be awfully tight, nothing bigger).

Last edited by CliffordK; 10-01-21 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by DangerousDanR View Post
Paul:
I am well aware of the fact that the CPSC has criteria that they apply before they will take action.

The report record is at https://www.saferproducts.gov/Public...portId=1189461

The main parts are:
  • Incident Description: I have just experienced my second unexplained sidewall blowout with Continental's "Grand Prix 4000 S" road bicycle tires. Obviously these are not just a "recreational product", as they are used at high speeds and in traffic, so this is a serious safety issue. There are no signs of cutting where either tire has blown out; the sidewall casing appears to have simply pulled itself apart, leaving a ragged hole. There is a little more to this than just 2 tire failures. "Once upon a time", probably 3-4 years ago, these were great, reliable tires. More recently, all of the stock I have bought in the USA and elsewhere has, after short periods of use, started having threads dangling out of the sidewall near the tire bead, shown signs of rubber cracking where one would expect it on maybe 10-year-old tires, etc.
  • Incident Date: 6/28/2011
  • Incident Location: Street or Highway
  • Comments from the Manufacturer/Private Labeler
  • The Continental Two Wheel Business Unit received the report regarding a consumer complaint with a road bicycle tire on July 19th, 2011 via the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission. We confirm that the safety and the satisfaction of our customers is of paramount importance to us. It is our goal to resolve all customer complaints in a fast and reliable manner through our local business partners. In the meantime, a Continental Customer Service Canada representative, has contacted [REDACTED], who submitted the report, in order to obtain additional information and the complained tire. Once this input becomes available it will be professionally analyzed by qualified experts. Based on the results we will work together with [REDACTED] in order to establish a solution that meets the legitimate expectations of all involved parties.
  • Comments from the Manufacturer/Private Labeler
  • The Continental Two Wheel Business Unit received the report regarding a consumer complaint with a road bicycle tire on July 19th, 2011 via the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission. We confirm that the safety and the satisfaction of our customers is of paramount importance to us. It is our goal to resolve all customer complaints in a fast and reliable manner through our local business partners. In the meantime, a Continental Customer Service Canada representative, has contacted [REDACTED], who submitted the report, in order to obtain additional information and the complained tire. Once this input becomes available it will be professionally analyzed by qualified experts. Based on the results we will work together with [REDACTED] in order to establish a solution that meets the legitimate expectations of all involved parties.
I am very familiar with statistical quality control. I once quit my job because there was a 20% failure rate and the entire batch wasn't scrapped. So I am assuming that beyond a cursory examination, a small fraction of each production lot is tested and if the failure rate is too high the entire lot is scrapped.

What I am asking is why don't we report these kinds of failures more often? We have maybe half a dozen failed tires mentioned in the BF thread I referenced above and none of us, myself included, have filed complaints with the CPSC.

So one complaint of it 10 years ago on a previous model of the tire? That certainly doesn't seem like a pattern. Most of the BF thread you linked was people saying how outstandingly long their Contis have lasted, and a couple complaints.

Would I report this to the CPSC if it happened to me? Don't know because I've never had a problem with a Conti. Maybe ask the people who have posted about it why they didn't report it.
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Old 10-01-21, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I had a bead separation on a Gator Hardshell a few years ago...

I blamed it, in part, to inflating it to 110 PSI (or so) during the cool evening before, and then heading out on a hot day. Nonetheless, the tire should have had adequate buffer to take the temperature change.

I managed to make it 20 miles further north on my ride in "limp mode" to the nearest bike shop where the shop sold me a replacement 23mm Rubino Pro, and told me that they did not sell Continental tires due to durability issues.

I've read news that that shop has since closed.

As far as 4000's, 5000's, gators, 4s, etc... my interpretation is that the sidewalls are all similarly constructed, and the primary difference is in the tread.

I have had tires with which the cross hatch pattern was damaged over time, and the tires were fine. So, my interpretation is that the outer cross hatch is primarily cosmetic.

=============================================

As you noted, a blowout could put a person at risk. In my case, the tire blew in a low traffic area just north of Jefferson, Oregon, relatively straight stretch, and it was on my rear tire.

The biggest problem was being self-supported, 70 miles from home, and between towns large enough to carry spares.

And, even riding into Salem, I realized that finding a 23mm replacement required a bike shop (25mm would fit, but would be awfully tight, nothing bigger).
Jefferson! My wife used to drive up there to buy cloth from the Jefferson Woolen Mill. You are fortunate this didn't happen a very few miles north of where you were.

But my question still stands: why don't we report these things in a place where many other cyclists can see them? Maybe there will be an incident report about a GP5000tl that failed out on the Minnesota prairie later today.
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Old 10-01-21, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by DangerousDanR View Post
Jefferson! My wife used to drive up there to buy cloth from the Jefferson Woolen Mill. You are fortunate this didn't happen a very few miles north of where you were.

But my question still stands: why don't we report these things in a place where many other cyclists can see them? Maybe there will be an incident report about a GP5000tl that failed out on the Minnesota prairie later today.


Talbot?
Buena Vista?

That trip I did meet the Portland C&V group, but didn't do one of the Portland Hill Climb rides (never on that bike).

I like my Gator Hardshells and continue to ride them, and I do recommend them for moderate performance long wearing tires.

However, I've added a caveat to my recommendations (which I've posted here on Bike Forums several times, not hidden away in some closet).

In my case it was a pain in the behind to deal with (as you might note from the photo). My bike had very little rear chainstay clearance, and I struggled with bulging and rubbing.

However, I didn't experience any actual danger, and it occurred early enough in the day that bike shops were still open.

If you want the tire, I can try to track it down.

And, I can dig up more details of my event, and send them.
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Old 10-01-21, 12:16 PM
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Here is the info about the bike shop that I went to, and said that they no longer sold Continental Tires due to problems with the tires. I can't remember exact details.

The most interesting LBS in Salem will be gone in a couple of days...

That was from mid 2018, and it had been the previous year (summer 2017) when I blew the tire.

They seemed to indicate their problems with the Contis had been several years before that.

My interpretation is this is a continuing problem.
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Old 10-01-21, 12:20 PM
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Maybe Ankney Hill? Fairly steep and that kind of event would not have been any fun. Me? No, I was over in the coast range in a small town that is trying to become a MTB destination.

And as for the tire, if the CPSC wants it I will PM you.
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Old 10-01-21, 03:40 PM
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OK. The incident report was submitted. We will see what happens.
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Old 10-02-21, 03:36 PM
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https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm is an outlet to be a voice for such concern.
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