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Dealership installs Passenger tires on a Heavy Duty Pickup

By Greg on 4/30/2015 at 3:13 AM. Helped by Sales Manager.

Summary of Events: I purchased a 2013 Chevy Silverado 2500HD from Joe Lee Chevrolet in Clinton, AR. As part of the sales agreement, the dealership agreed to replace two worn tires, upon taking possession, they had replaced all four tires. This was a pleasant surprise; until I found out they were not rated for a 3/4 ton pickup. They are passenger tires, Bridgestone P255/70R17 (4 ply tires). I have contacted GM and they said the recommended replacement will be located on a sticker inside the driver door, which states LT245/75R17E. I have also consulted with several tire dealers and a Bridgestone dealer, who all said that 'P' (passenger) tires should not be installed on a 3/4 ton pickup and should have E (10 ply) rated tires. Joe Lee Chevrolet’s own ‘tire finder’ website list only LT tires as replacements. The following quote is from a Bridgestone representative in an article titled, ‘Advice: Light Truck vs Passenger car tires: what you should know’*: “It’s a serious safety issue,” says Dino Tenuta, Bridgestone Canada’s Manager of Technical Services. “A P-metric (passenger) tire will generally not stand the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of a truck designed for LT-metric tires…” “Additionally, he explains, handling, braking, and stability can all be affected when mounting a non-OE rated tire on the vehicle.” Another quote from the same article: “Vehicle manufacturers and tire companies alike stress the importance of sticking with OE LT-metric tires on your truck. Swapping an OE LT-metric tire for a P-metric tire can have dangerous consequences.” They have admitted to pulling them off of a 1/2 ton pickup which weighs 4,860lbs. When I told the sales manager I didn't buy a 1/2 ton pickup, I bought a 3/4 ton pickup, a Silverado 2500HD, which weighs 9,500lbs, he said “this conversation is over” and hung up. When I originally brought this to their attention, I was told that if I wanted to 'upgrade' the tires, I would have to pay the difference in price and the cost of mounting/balancing. It should not be considered an upgrade to have the original equipment rated tires to be on a vehicle when you purchase it. Negotiating was not an option; I was told flatly by the sales manager “I am not buying anymore tires for that truck’. I asked for the original tires back, but the dealer said they no longer had them. I have tried to negotiate with the dealer, but the sales manager said 'I am not buying anymore tires for that truck'. I was told if I wanted to 'upgrade', they would give me $80 'trade-in' for the tires on it now and I pay the difference for the upgraded tires (over $100 per tire), plus the cost of mounting/balancing. I declined this offer as I did not consider original equipment tires an upgrade. I understand that I bought the truck used and ‘as-is’. As it was when I agreed to purchase the truck was with LT tires. I requested the two rear tires be replaced as a condition of purchase, they agreed to do so. It does not seem unreasonable to expect a dealership to install the properly rated and sized tires. I liken this to the dealership fueling the vehicle with the correct grade and fuel type. It is not expected that they would use anything other than what is recommended for the vehicle. It seems that it would be reasonably expected that they would do the same with the tires, such a critical part of the vehicle given its Heavy Duty nature and the loads it is capable of hauling. I use a truck to haul a 1,000lb four-wheeler and tow a 7,000lb camper, all of which I relayed to the salesperson, Hassle. Now, if I drive on the currently installed tires, not rated nor recommended by GM, any tire dealer I have contacted, Bridgestone industry experts, or any tire manufacturer I have found, I put me and my family’s lives at risk. Greg H.

I would not recommend this dealer.