Tire Concerns: are the Michelin tires sold at Wal Mart the same as those sold at Michelin dealers

Tire Concerns: are the Michelin tires sold at Wal Mart the same as those sold at Michelin dealers


A local dealer told me that Michelin tires sold at Wal Mart stores are made specifically to be sold at Wal Mart and are not the same quality as those sold by Michelin dealers. A Wal Mart employee told me that they were actually built by Goodyear. Is any of this true?


Editorial Comment:

I really doubt that either of these statements are true but there may be some bits of truth in them.

In the case of Michelin tires sold in Walmart, if you're looking at the exact same model and design of tire then there would be no difference between them no matter where you bought them.

Keep in mind, though that Michelin makes many different tire designs and modles, so you might get the same size but a different design with different characteristics.

Michelin and Goodyear are totally different companies and they certainly do not make tires for each other, no matter where they are sold. However, BFGoodrich has been bought by Michelin and it is possible that the person who you spoke to in Walmart was confusing Goodrich tire with Goodyear.

TG

Comments for Tire Concerns: are the Michelin tires sold at Wal Mart the same as those sold at Michelin dealers

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Wal-Mart versus local tire dealers
by: big al

question have checked at local wally n at local Michelin tire store for 215/55/r17 mxv4 primacy tires for 2012 se Camry, 176.00 cheaper at wally, which way would u go?


Editorial Comment:

It's hard to believe you even need to ask the question.

Let me offer you a couple of things that may make the issue a bit more clear. First, are you sure you are going to get exactly the same service, convenience, and attention in both places? There may be some differences even though the tires are identical.

Have you taken the price offered to you by WalMart back to the Michelin dealer and asked if they might be able to match it? If they cannot or will not, ask them what they are offering to you that might make it worth your while to pay the difference.

Finally, which place do you feel most comfortable with? Hopefully, you may never have to go back to either for service to the tires except for rotation, but if you do have to return will the price difference make up for the reception and service you would receive at that time?


TG

Box store tire vs retailer
by: wild bill car smart

I've been doing cars and tires, looooonnnng time.

I've asked my sales rep and the only answer I have is the dot # is diff, mich has a tire that box stores will have a small name change, ex defender, and box store tire is defender x.

last if you have a warranty pro you MUST take it back where you got it from.

There also may be how the stores are to handle warranty, retailers from factory and box stores pull the defect cost from gross profit.

Editorial Comment:



Your comments contain a lot of speculation and offer nothing of any concrete or specific value from which anyone can draw any valid conclusions.

I've added a few spaces and punctuation to try to make what you've written a bit more readable but if you wish to post something that will help others, it would be useful to at least provide some specific details. For example: What is the DOT code used for a tire sold in a big box store and what is the code for that same tire which is sold through tire dealers?

The name changes you mention seem to be possible changes which you have invented rather than specific examples drawn from actual cases. If you know of any, please tell us what the differences are, and include both the DOT codes and the stores or locations where each is sold.

Photos which clearly show these differences would also me most valuable, and I would be delighted to publish these if you can provide them.


TG


"The same" is not an easy thing to define
by: Anonymous

I worked as an engineer in the automotive business for many years. I will throw out the following complexities.

Say Michelin makes Costco tires and "Dealer tires" to the same specification and puts exactly the same model label on them. What if:

1) Costco tires are made in "plant A" and Dealer tires are made in "plant B." Are they the same? Does it matter if plant A is in the USA, and plant B is in China? Does it matter if plant A is owned and run by Michelin, and plant B is owned and run by a different company? (Yes, sometimes a manufacturer may outsource the supply of some of its products.) As far as the manufacturer is concerned, these are likely all considered to be the same (as long as they are made to the same specification.) However, the Dealer may use this info to claim they are "different."

2) What if Costco tires contain "corn sugar" and Dealer tires contain "cane sugar." Are they the same? Of course, here I am using "corn sugar" and "cane sugar" as stand-in names for some other ingredient. The point is, manufacturers may approve multiple ingredients as being "equivalent" because their tests show they offer similar performance. As far as the manufacturer is concerned they are "the same." However, again, maybe the Dealer will use this info to claim they are different.


Editorial Comment:

Some interesting thoughts.

To help people think about these, keep in mind that the DOT codes on tires sold in the USA specifies at which plant a particular tire is made and that includes who is the owner of that plant. This could mean, that a tire which is privately branded could still be made in the same plant as another name brand tire. That, in itself, doesn't assure anyone that the tires will meet the same standards of performance or quality because certain things might be changed between one batch of tires and another.

On the other hand, all tires which are covered by a manufacturer's warranty will be the same no matter where they are made unless the manufacturer makes some exceptions in their warranty description. For this reason,
I always encourage people to read and understand the warranty they get with their tire BEFORE they finalize a purchase so that they don't have any unpleasant surprises when they want to make a claim and --equally important--
so that they know what claims to make when certain events happen. I know from personal experience that there are times when people fail to get the advantage of a warranty or insurance coverage because they don't even know that they are entitled to make a claim. It's not always the seller who tries to weasel out of an obligation ... people do it to themselves by being ignorant of what they are entitled to,
or the procedure they need to follow to make a claim.


TG

No help at all.
by: Larry

I read all the comments. This has not helped me at all. One guy says one thing and another guys says another thing.
I will subscribe to Consumer reports and ask them what they think about this issue of selling cheap versions of tires to the big box stores. When you know nothing about tires it seems to be impossible to know who to believe. For sure I won't go to Walmart. I'll probably end up at Sears.

Cheap Tires:



The whole idea behind this website is to help tire users learn more about tires which can be confusing even to people with many years of driving experience.

Rather than trying to decide "who" to believe, learn what you need to know and believe yourself.

For more information about buying low cost tires read our article on Cheap Tires. This may give you more ammunition for your arsenal.


TG


reviews make it sound like tires are not made the same
by: Anonymous

Reading reviews from posts concerning Michelin tires, it certainly seems as though there is a difference. I recently switched from Michelin Cross terrains to the LTX A/T2's. The Cross Terrains were one of the best snow tires I've had, so I had High expectations with the LTX tires (wanted something a little more aggressive for winter hunting trips). They are the absolute worst tire in the snow I've driven on. (My father said the same thing.) I began doing some research because I was in disbelief Michelin would make such an awful tire. Reading reviews many people were thrilled with the snow performance, while others had the same reaction I did (people stating they could hardly get out of their driveway, and didn't want to drive in the snow because they were afraid from sliding backwards or sideways once they were stopped). I have had literally the same thoughts, and I have been driving in the snow/ice since I was 14 - I'm now 34.
Other people have raved about the snow performance of the same tire. On numerous forums I have noticed that nearly all of the reviews are extreme in one direction or the other (more positive than negative) but there were no reviews that were in the middle. This kind of tells me there must be some big difference between the same tires
I did purchase my tires at Costco, so it is making me think that some of these claims on this website could have some merit.


Difference in Tires:

Some claims about a difference in the tires purchased in one location are FALSE, others contain a grain of truth.

Here's the part that many of these claims fail to tell you, either because they don't know, or they have some motive to deliberately mis-lead you.

Some major tire manufacturers, may sell certain designs and models of tires through exclusive channels of distribution. There are many different possibilities and reasons for doing this but when you are comparing one tire with the Michelin brand on it with another tire that also has the Michelin brand on it, that isn't enough to be certain that they are the same tire.

Let's make an analogy to make this a bit more clear. Jello is the name for a specific brand of gelatin but many people also just the word Jello to refer to any brand of this product. Jello, also comes in a wide variety of flavours.

Now if somebody tells you that the Jello they had for desert yesterday tasted horrible, and that they bought this at the corner store, would you immediately conclude that ALL Jello tasted bad, or that any Jello bought at a comer store would be awful? Or, would you maybe ask that person what FLAVOR of Jello they had tried? If you were a true Jello lover, you might even ask the person if they were certain that they had been eating the real Jello brand.

The point I wish to make here is that if someone claims that their Michelin tire --purchased at XYZ store-- is worse than a Michelin tire bought somewhere else, you need to be sure they are talking about the same tire, size, model and possibly other details to determine if you are really comparing the same things. Not only that, but the rendition you get from any tire will also change depending on the vehicle it is installed on, they roads on which it is driven and even who the driver is.


TG


Michelin tires -from costco, car dealers
by: Anonymous

Told at Kia dealer. Said the Michelin tire you wish to buy here is different at Costco, big box stores. Example costco has same tire brand, model tire cheaper cause is not same quality.

I called and talked to Michelin rep, and was told. A michelin tire of the same model tire is the same, no matter where you buy it. Michelin won't put reputation on line, selling same model tire and its not same quality as sold else where. Totally untrue.

If its a Michelin Premier LTX tire, its the same, no matter where purchased.


Costco Michelin VS Auto Dealer Michelin
by: Anonymous

I too have been told by a car dealership that their Michelins were better than the exact same tire at Costco because they got a premium version with "more Kevlar". I emailed Michelin and got the same response as others have: no difference in auto dealer vs Costco for the same model/size tire. When I questioned the dealer further where they got that info, was told it came from their suppler: Dealer Tire Co. So, it may be that the auto dealers are being misled by Dealer Tire Co. sales people and just passing on what they are told. Maybe we should be directing our ire at Dealer Tire Co. of Cleveland, OH.

Ask regular Michelin Dealers if they will warranty a Michelin tire purchased at Walmart and the answer will be NO!
by: Dennis

As soon as a regular Michelin Dealer looks at Michelin tire from Walmart they know it and will not warranty it for you. If you do not believe me try it for your self! I have been there and done that 2 times.

Editorial Comment
What you need to do is read the warranty which applies to the specific tire you purchase.


As far as I am aware, when you buy tires from Walmart, the warranty you receive (or should receive) states specifically that the warranty is managed by Walmart (not the tire company) and that you must make a claim at a Walmart store and present a copy of your original purchase invoice.

The requirement for presenting the original purchase invoice also applies to warranty claims made under the Michelin warranty. Obviously, if the tire was bought at Walmart, it will show on that invoice.

As with anything, before you start comparing different things, it is best to read and understand the specifications which apply.

TG


Tire Quality
by: Dewing

I'm a Service Advisor and had gone to a class on tires. The instructor said if you were to purchase a single tire at a dealership or Discount Tire (for example) and the identicle tire at one of the Big Box stores (Costco/Sams), the one purchased at the Big Box store would weight less due to the materials used in the manufacturing of it. Is this true?

Editorial comment

I am not in a position to categorically deny this claim, but it really does not make any sense. If you purchase a brand name tire from any outlet, the manufacturer's reputation and warranty are still in effect. For this reason I doubt that any reputable tire maker would run the risk of having inferior tires sold through any channel.

On the other hand, if the same size tire were purchased, but a store-brand were used it is possible that since these tires are specially made for sale only by that retailer that there might be differences in materials, designs, warranty and so on. It is a valid fact that major tire companies do make private brand tires, but you can always tell by looking at the DOT code on the tire where the tire was made and which company made it.

TG

china
by: Anonymous

the china made tires for the last few years have had large tariffs, which has raised the price of all tires, there was a NJ distributor bankrupted by poorly made suv tires china gov said they were ok but they lost treads here the co made good on as many as they could before closing.
but old tires slip through the innovatory but if the tire abc co model aaa will be the same everywhere
but the co man make aba abc abd they may be different. but its the tire co whose name on the tire is the one that will be held responsible in court if there is a tire defect the installer if not installed properly.
plus the dot regulates how tires are made the bottom tier tires are gone
we now have to worry if the CARB tires get forced on the rest of the country walmarts service stinks
they refused to honer there lifetime balance deal

Question motives
by: Anonymous

I feel from reading these comments that the creators and operators of this site are most likely affiliated with Walmart in some way. As a private dealer of name brand tires, I can tell you that we love Walmart for handing us so many of their unhappy tire customers. The tire you buy from the big discount chain store is not the same tire you get from independent dealers. Look right on the side of the tires from Walmart and they will say made in China. They wear half as long, and unevenly. I would question the motives of an informative website that is also sponsored by large tire stores. Just look for yourself by clicking the buying tires prompt.

Editorial Comment:

Do you get any other exercise other than jumping to conclusions?

I am wholly responsible for this site and I have never had any affiliation with Walmart other than as an occasional customer.

Our policy for "approving" comments is to allow any and all opinions even if we do not agree with them, but we do sometimes comment on opinions where it seems that facts or conclusions are in error.

It is my opinion that local dealers are likely to give more personalized service and better support than big box stores, but for a buyer who is more concerned with price than knowledge or service they may be useful.

Where a tire is made is not so important as how it is made, the materials used, AND how the driver cares for it. Most major manufacturers have plants in China, and it is possible that certain sizes or designs are manufactured only there for sale everywhere in the world. The DOT code on a tire's sidewall will identify what country a tire is made in and even which plant.

TG

none
by: LP

Your right TG, Michelin has too much invested into quality and safety to make an inferior tire for profit. They spend millions per year just for R&D to improve tires and to out do competitors. OE is original fitment, this is when Michelin will contract with a car manufacturer to provide tires for the vehicle coming off line based on the desired performance the customer wants. After market is what you can buy in the store, if you replace with the same line of tires it is essentially the same, but take into consideration: no tire is the same, each have different weights and you may not get all 4 from the same batch either. Once they launch a tire its highly unlikely the compounds would be changed for any reason, much less because Walmart would like it.. I will give you two tips. Do not use tire shine with silicone on your tires! And the most important of all. Maintain your tire! pressure

michelin tires
by: james

I've worked in the tire industry for over 8 years now, first off any tire dealer will tell you michelin is top tier but has very high standards for there tires.

Michelin does not use distributors and only as of late contracted with one to help increasing orders. Now they do make club specific tires as the such as the harmony and the xradial, which can only be purchased from Walmart b.j.s Costco etc... They do not and I repeat do not on there other tires have any differences in there products.

Walmart and other companies are resalerers not dealers so they cannot warranty a tire that was not sold at there company . The tires they sell are already paid for before they hit the shelf for sale which is different from how an authorized dealer works .

The only true differences in a tire is the tires that come stock and a after market tire. For instance as of 2011 michelin offers limited mileage warranties on stock tires the first of its kind . These mileage warranties are different from the same tire sold from any dealer / store . Stock tires are comprised of different rubber compounds made for ride comfort not longevity to help sell cars and there cheaper to produce, all tire companies do it . So for example an mxv4 stock on a car will last the first 30k of the vehicles life and the warranty is only 40k compared to an mxv4 purchased at a tire dealer with a 65k warranty because of the different compounds used .

So in short any salesman that tells you there is a difference between the tires is flat out lying.

They are not the same
by: Keen Tire

I have a customer that is is a Law Firm for Michelin

And they were told by Michelin that the tires I sell are 100% Better than the club tires. They wanted to know why my price was more, I told them why and Michelin executives confirmed it. So they now buy from us. Take your club Michelin to a Michelin dealer for a defect and see what they tell you, It's not a Michelin tire you have to take it back to the Club for warranty.


Answer from Michelin
by: Richard

I am looking for Michelin Latitude 255 / 60 / R19 size tires and I see that the clubs are cheaper so I posed this question to Michelin today and here is their answer:

"All tires shipped to retailers are first quality. We do not manufacture, sort or ship lesser quality tires to any particular tire dealer or Club. The Latitude Tour that is offered at the Clubs is the same Latitude Tour that is offered thru the independent dealers."

I found this very helpful and I hope it helps others who are told by the dealership that these are not the same tires.

Buy USA made!
by: LC

Look at where the tires are made!! The mass retailers are generally made over seas. China, Mexico, ext.. If you go to the local mom and pop they are usually made here in the good ol' USA!! So... Support mom and pop they are usually priced close enough and you get to know who you actually buy from! And support the US economy. How cool is that! All tires are stamped where they are manufactured.

Michelin tires dealer versus Costco
by: Anonymous

I had an experience recently where a Honda dealership's servie representative tried to tell me that the Michelin Primacy MXV4's that they would sell me were superior and different than the same exact tire - Michelin Primacy MXV4 being sold at Costco. I refused to believ it and told the service representative that I believed that they couldn't match Costo's price. Hence they made up this fairy tale to try to convince cutomers to buy their more expensive tires. $30 per tire more expensive.

Michelin Tires from BJS
by: Anonymous

I bought a michelin at bjs wholesale and it wore out and burst within a year. After taking it to a known, reputable tire dealership to get a replacement, I was informed that the tire from bjs was installed past it's expiration date. I never knew tires had an expiration date. I still shop at bjs - just not for tires.

Michelin wear
by: Anonymous

A friend of mine has a Michelin tire blister on him. The dealer said that this is becoming a more regular occurrence in the last couple of years. He feels that Michelin may be using more inferior material or manufacturing in China. I have noticed a considerable increase in wear with my latest set. What has changed? I always buy the highest wear tires that Michelin offers.



Editorial Comment:

You are certainly starting out by asking the right question: What has changed?

From my own personal experience, I've found that whenever I'm disappointed with the results I get from anything which I use regularly, this is the best starting point, however, I usually start at the end closest to home ... that is I wonder if there's anything which I did that has changed.

I do this because it is easier for me to correct some condition which I might have provoked that it would be to go after a manufacturer or the government to fix something at their end.

So I'd ask myself, in this case if I am driving the same way, at the same speeds, on the same highways, on the same kind of roads, etc, etc to see if there's any thing which might have caused this.

Next, see if there has been any change at the next closest level. Has road maintenance changed? What about weather conditions? Speed limits?

Generally speaking, in the tire business, there had been a tendency for tires to get more and more reliable over the years and I still see no reason to consider that to be changing even though that is a definite possibility. This, to me seems slim, because the makers still guarantee the quality of their tires for 5 to 6 years after their manufacture date. If they were using inferior materials, this would increase their warranty costs and cut their profits ... something no company wants.

The suspicion that Michelin is making tires in China is rather ridiculous to me because all tires sold in the US have a DOT code which shows where they are manufactured and, in addition, they usually even say somewhere on the tire "Made in Country." So, look on the tire and you'll see where they are made.

TG


Michelin at Wally World vs. Mom and Pop Shops
by: Richard C. August

Readers,

When "Wally World" contracts with any manufacturers for anything, they always contract for the lowest quality, most cheaply made items possible, and tires are no exception.

Compare Michelin, Good-Year, Firestone/Bridgestone, or any other tires between Walmart and a locally owned tire specialty store. Run these tires on the road for a month or two. Guaranteed, you'll never go back to Walmart ever again for service on your car, especially with faulty installation, car vandalism, and abysmal customer service when compared to that of a local tire dealer.

See, many times, local tire dealers have been in business a lot longer than Walmart ever existed, or they are run by people who used to work for these businesses. They KNOW their best sources of supply. They KNOW where to pick up a good quality tire with good tread at a fair retail markup instead of a cheap hunk of rubber that will shred to the cords in 2 months, marked up some 4000% to make a profit. They KNOW where to hire a good mechanic who will properly install the tires and not just pop-off, pop-on, pump-up, push off, and pump your wallet.

You go to Walmart, "ya pays yer money, ya takes yer chances." If you go to a locally owned tire dealership with respectable and ethical installers, you might pay a few dollars more, but you won't be returning to that shop for several months, when the tires finally wear down.

Basic rule: unless you can't find what you need anyplace else, stay out of Walmart.




Your friend,


Richard C. August




Editorial Comment:

Although we feel that a local specialized tire dealer is superior to a big box store for tires, we don't necessarily agree with all of the opinions expressed in the preceding comments which suggest nefarious motives behind the actions or policy of Wal-mart. Example: While Walmart might seek the cheapest price possible for a tire, this does not mean that they insist on the lowest quality to get the price down. In fact, it is more likely they would insist on the highest possible quality that could be made at a certain price. Whether they would give highest priority to quality or price is, of course, a different issue.

We appreciate the time Richard has taken to share his views and we publish them because we believe in discussing all issues and allowing readers to form their own conclusions based on the facts presented.

TG


Costc vs Tire Dealers
by: Anonymous

What about Michelin tires sold at Costco. Are they any different than what is sold at a tire dealer?

Co-Brands
by: Green Pumpkin

Often a manufacturer, like Michelin, makes tires based on the exact same platform with slightly appearance and name.

The Michelin Harmony and Destiny (one for dealers, one for a warehouse club channel) are the same tire internally.

Goodyear does similar "co-brands" but it very strange that when I search Walmart website, the only tires that show up are Goodyear brands or affiliates and not Michelin info? I don't get it...

MICHELIN tire differences
by: Anonymous

Tires sold at Walmart and Sam's Club and Sears are different from Michelin tires sold at tire dealers. Many people don't want to believe it but, yes, it is true!



Editorial Comment:

You may be right, or partially right, but this doesn't mean that Walmart, or anyone else is deceiving anyone.

Michelin, like many tire manufacturers, makes a great variety of tires. They have premium, top-of-the-line tires and others which have less exacting standards, and also older designs which they often will sell to mass retailers so they can offer them at a lower price, but which are not promoted by the tire dealers who promote the best.

Also, Michelin, may sell certain tires under private labels but these tires may state on them, in small letters, "made by Michelin".

So when you're comparing tires make sure you are comparing the exact same design, model and size, not just the name Michelin.

I'd be amazed if you find any difference in two tires which are exactly the same Tire Design, Tire Size and Model in two different locations unless one of them happened to be a false imitation. Michelin has too much invested in their reputation to stand for any deception of this type.

TG


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