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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Sold Wrong Size Tires

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: California
    I replaced my front two tires in November because they were worn, while the rear tires were fine. I went to a local tire specific store for the tires. After the tires were installed, I did not realize that the two new tires were larger (aspect ratio) than the rear tires, because I assumed a tire company would double or triple check that they were installing the correct new tires. In March I had my car serviced by a different company and they told me they could not rotate the tires because the front and rear tires were different sizes.

    A couple of years ago I had purchased all four tires (current rear tires) at Costco, and I still have the receipt. When I returned to the tire company, the manager told me he could only offer me a discount on replacement tires, because they sell tires based on what is already on the car, so I must have had the wrong tires on my car when I bought the new ones. I know for a fact that my older tires were a match to the rear tires, not only because I have the receipt, but because I’ve had those tires rotated, and if they were mismatched I’m sure it would have been pointed out. Also, as a professional tire retailer, shouldn’t they check the tire placard inside the door jam, as well as their database for that specific make and model of car, before selling the consumer a new tire?

    So the argument that he only sold me tires based on what was already there is total BS! I’ve done some further research and have learned that having the wrong or mismatched tires on a car not only affects the speedometer, but can ultimately cause damage to the transmission. I feel, as a professional tire company, that they should make this right and replace the incorrect tires with correct ones, at no additional cost. What are my legal rights in this situation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.

    Default Re: Sold Wrong Size Tires

    Can you PROVE that the tires that were installed were not the ones that were specified? How do you know that Costco, several years ago, didn't sell you the wrong tires? Are they the different than the tires that you specified or did you leave it up to them?

    There are a few hurdles that you'd have to clear to be able to demonstrate before you could really claim some legal culpability on their part. The tire dealer will sell you whatever tires you want and have no real legal obligations unless the tires are patently unsafe...which is why they will only install what is recommended by the manufacturer (as they claim). It's a bit weird and you'd think they'd mention it prior to you driving away, but it's been 4 months. Even if they chose to, say, reimburse you they'd owe you the current value of the tires, not new.

    Manufacturers recommendations are just that: recommendations. tires would have to get much larger before they start to chew away at your transmission. For instance, I have BF Goodrich AT's on my old underpowered VW van. The work great! They are different than stock but the stock tire size are no longer available and the new ones still fit inside the fender bay.

    Mechanically, depending on your car and whether your car is AWD of not, yes, there could be mechanical issues but you noticed no difference in ride of the car after 4 months.

    At the end of the day, if you didn't specify what tires size you have your part in the blame. I'm not letting the seller off the hook, they should've pointed out the discrepancy, but you should've known what size you wanted. It's right there on the size of the tire. Caveat emptor.

    By the way, if only the front tires were worn out how could you been rotating the tires? That's the whole point of rotating them, to even out wear. I'd think that if you're orating them properly that all 4 tires would be worn out.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Sold Wrong Size Tires

    The tire company that you purchased the tires from should have notified you before doing any service if you had the wrong tire size on your vehicle to begin with. So I think that they looked your tire size up from their database and installed the correct tires on your vehicle without checking to see what size they were replacing.

    As for your transmission. In order for damage to happen to your transmission, it would have to have two different size tires on the same drive axle. And then it may take years to damage the transmission that way.

    The only thing that could happen to your transmission by having a larger or smaller size tire ( say if your vehicle came with 15" tires and you replaced them with 16" tires) is your speedometer would be off by a few miles per hour. So if your vehicle were going 55 mph, your speedometer would read 58 mph.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Re: Sold Wrong Size Tires

    You've already been given correct advice on who is accountable for the tires you bought, so I won't address that, but do wish to address the rotation BS.

    These days when shops rotate tires, they only move the front to the back and vice versa. Right hand tires stay on right, left on left - this is to keep the tire treads wearing in the same direction the started with (some treads are designed to spin in one direction. Moving bigger tires to the front or vice versa while keeping it paired with an equal tire does no harm to your vehicle or reduces traction or anything. Hell, a lot of the high performance cars come with different size tires on the back than the front.

    Why shops tell this bs is only to get more tire sales.

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