Belle Tire faces lawsuit over alleged deception

Belle Tire
© Belle Tire/Facebook

Belle Tire faces law suit over alleged deception

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Belle Tire for allegedly deceiving customers over unnecessary tire purchases from 2009 to the present. New York law firm Hach Rose Schirripa & Cheverie LLP launched the class action against the company for violating the Consumer Protection Act and the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act.

It alleges some customers with all-wheel drive vehicles were told they had to replace all four tires at once. If not, their standard and manufacturer’s warranties would become void, regardless of how many tires actually required replacement.

The complaint says Belle Tire, which operates throughout Michigan and Ohio, “took affirmative steps to ensure that Plaintiffs and the members of the Class pay for and purchase a complete set of four new tires as well as labor, regardless of how many tires actually required replacement due to damage”. It also stated the company “benefited substantially from this deceptive sales practice” at the expense of those customers.

The lawsuit was filed in the Michigan State Circuit Court, Wayne County, earlier this month. The law firm is encouraging any Belle Tire customers to join the class action if they think they were urged to buy and replace undamaged tires at Belle Tire service locations after August 2009. There is no information as to how many plaintiffs are currently involved.

Belle Tire and Tredroc to merge commercial services

The legal drama comes just after it was announced Belle Tire’s commercial division would merge with Tredroc Tire Services, to create one of the biggest commercial dealerships in the U.S. It’s not the first time the two companies have joined forces; in 2009 Belle Tire and Tredroc entered into a joint venture in Michigan under the name Belleroc Tire Services. Under the new merger, all the combined stores will operate under the Tredroc Tire Services name and Belle Tire will continue to run its own retail division.

Belle Tire has made no public statement about the lawsuit and as of Thursday, its website was inaccessible. On August 23rd the company posted photos on its Facebook page, celebrating the building of two new stores. It said: “We are proud to have broken ground in Fort Wayne. Stay tuned for updates as we continue our construction of two new stores.”

Belle Tire was founded by Sam Waze in 1922 in Detroit and quickly grew to be one of the largest tire companies in the greater Detroit area. In 1984 it was bought out by the Barnes family and continued expanding, with commercial centers – retreading and retail – covering Michigan and Ohio.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Troy

    August 31, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Car dealers eagerly sell the benefits of all wheel drive, but rarely if ever educate their purchasers to the costs. Every AWD vehicle’s owner’s manual I’ve ever looked at in the past couple of decades has some version of “all tires must be matching” verbiage to provide cover against the manufacturer facing the expense of warranty claims likely if tires are mis-matched in diameter and run for any distance. If you press dealer service managers at any number of makes offering AWD models, you’ll get answers ranging from most commonly “always replace all four” to sometimes “you’re allowed x tread depth difference” with “x” usually being between 2/32nds and 4/32nds difference allowed from old to new tires’ depth–but still requiring matching make and model tires be used. Had Belle made a practice of selling singles or pairs on AWD vehicles, and those vehicles’ owners started getting $3500-4500 center differential rebuild bills, would Belle then have been sued and/or held responsible for those damages since as the “experts” they knew of the probability that damage would be done by running mis-matching diameter tires? If we had car owners smart enough, or responsible enough, to accept the consequences of their choices made despite expert recommendations then hell, yeah, sell ’em what they want and let them deal with those consequences. Regrettably, personal responsibility is largely dead in this country, a victim of trial lawyers diving for dollars for which we all, ultimately, pay. Who needs a national lottery when we have courts? Belle’s recommendations seem to be “best practice” and few rational folks would willingly roll the dice on a multi-thousand dollar potential repair bill when the alternative is to spend a few hundred additional dollars that improve your vehicle’s safety and handling as well.

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