Michelin’s Lee Willard Issues Statement on Cracked C7 Corvette Tires


Corvette Forum user “sdtoothdoc” was pretty excited to finally be receiving his new eight-speed automatic Corvette Z06 last week, but that excitement has been tempered after he noticed a series cracks on his high performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires.

In the C7 Z06 forum, the new Z06 owner posts:

“Hey guys…my A8 Z finally got here in San Diego and took her home a few miles away. As suspected, all 4 tires have cracks like Dennis’s from Las Vegas. When at the dealer, they said that 4 other Stingrays all have the same cracks in the tires. “

Corvette tires aren’t cheap and a new set of the Super Sport Cup 2 tires can go for more than $2,000. And nobody wants to pony up another $2,000 after just taking delivery of their new sports car. So what’s going with these tires cracking?

Michelin engineer Lee Willard who is the tire manufacturers’ liaison with the Corvette engineering team offered the following statement on the forum:

“This winter has been extremely harsh in much of the country and some recently shipped Corvette tires may exhibit cracking. In general, summer tires should never be driven on or moved in temperatures under 20°F because they may crack. Tires should be carefully inspected at the dealership before taking delivery of a vehicle. Never use a tire with freeze cracks, breaks, or damage to the sidewall or tread. For those residing in colder climates, Corvette owners should have a plan for vehicle storage during cold winter months. If your garage drops below 20°F regularly, consider removing tires and storing them inside. If you live in colder climates and want to drive your vehicle in temperatures below 40°F we strongly recommend investing in a set of winter or all-season tires.”

Michelin's Lee Willard Issues Statement on Cracked C7 Corvette Tires Michelin's Lee Willard Issues Statement on Cracked C7 Corvette Tires Michelin's Lee Willard Issues Statement on Cracked C7 Corvette Tires

Without weighing into the debate about how smart it was for General Motors to begin building and shipping their high performance sports cars equipped with summer tires in the dead of winter, we do know that many of the Z06s that were recently built ended up sitting outside in either the plant’s lot or at their secondary storage location in Spring Hill, TN as the cars underwent their quality checks prior to shipping.

We have spoken with two high volume Corvette dealers, Rick Conti in Ohio and Mike Furman in Maryland and both have reported not one instance of cracked tires on any of the Corvettes they have recently delivered. Mike told us in an email that “I deliver 40 per month and have 35+ in stock all Winter long and have not had one case of cracked tires yet.”

So far it appears that the tires on sdtoothdoc’s affected Corvette Z06 will be replaced by the dealer and most likely they will be returned to GM as a warranty claim.

We don’t expect this to be the last we’ve heard on the situation and we’ll keep you up to date on any other news related to cracking tires on the new Corvette.

Corvette Forum

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