Custom Wheel Product Quality Problem
Posted Fri May 11, 2012 2:59 pm, by David D. written to American Tire Distributors, Inc.
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In July 2010 I purchased a set of Gear Alloy rims (719B-Back Country) from Barker's Tire in Princeton, WV. The wheels were for my 2007 Jeep Wrangler. I also purchased a set of Firestone Destination tires from Barker's that same day to complete upgrades I was making to the vehicle, including a lift kit installed elsewhere earlier that day. The wheels were very attractive and I have received many compliments about them.
My problem is that in January of this year, 18 months after purchasing the rims (and tires) I noticed spots on all four of the wheels. I thought little of it at the time as I thought the spots were just mud splatters from driving through a puddle. But since I do not drive the Jeep during the winter months (it is simply a middle-aged man's toy that stays in the garage and is not driven off-road), I figured that I would just wait until springtime and warm weather to wash the Jeep and remove the spots.
Today I drove the jeep out of the garage and discovered that the spots weren't on the surface at all. In fact, after realizing this I took the vehicle to a wheel dealer here in Princeton and was told that the clear coat on the alloy part of the wheel has separated from the metal beneath. I wasn't sure of this diagnosis and took it to two other tire and wheel dealers and was told the same thing. I also went to Barker's but was told that the wheels have a one-year surface warranty and that nothing could be done for me by them. They suggested I contact the manufacturer to see if something could be done.
A short time ago I called your company and was informed that it owns Gear Alloy but could do nothing about the problem since the warranty had expired. I was disappointed to hear this since I had hoped there would be more concern and interest in resolving my customer service issue. And even though I realize the wheels were six months out of warranty when I first noticed the problem, I still find it hard to believe that such a serious problem would happen with such an expensive product less than two years after purchase. To me, that speaks of an inferior product.
Since this problem affects the appearance of my vehicle, I do plan to replace the wheels. I had hoped that I could get some consideration from Gear to either replace the rims with a solid black version or get an adjustment of some type to help with replacing the defective wheels. Understandably, if this is not possible then I most likely will not take the chance of purchasing anymore wheels from Gear since I don't want to risk something similar happening again.