Automotive

Why Costco's tire road hazard warranty is virtually useless

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 19th, 2013 4:21 am
Tags:
None
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 15, 2005
962 posts
48 upvotes
Medicine Hat and SW …

Why Costco's tire road hazard warranty is virtually useless

Although I have purchased 5 sets of tires for 4 different vehicles from Costco over the years, I probably won't be buying any more from them. That is because some of their slightly bizarre tire policies are distinctly anti-customer.

I encountered this the first time when I purchased winter tires for my SUV. Costco refuses to sell you winter tires that are less than the speed rating of the factory supplied vehicle tires. As my SUV is a special trim level it came with high speed rated all season Pirelli tires (a lower trim level does not). This policy meant that I paid about $300 extra for a set of Pirelli Scorpion Ice&Snow tires even though these tires are relatively poor winter performers compared to the many other less expensive winter tires they sell. Unfortunately I do not drive my SUV at very high speeds, and I certainly would not do so on winter roads.

But that experience pales in comparison with one I just had. One of my Michelin LT truck tires was punctured on the sidewall and I took it to Costco to see if it would be covered by their road hazard warranty. It was but ... because the wear on the tire is more than 2/32 of an inch (I have 22K kilometers on the tires and their wear is between 4/32 and 5/32), Costco insisted they had to replace ALL 4 tires! Yes, in order to collect on their road hazard guarantee, I'd have to buy 4 new tires - one of which would cost me $100 and others $230 each. So in effect their road hazard guarantee is only of any benefit if you have practically new tires with no tread wear. That 100k kilometer tire warranty sign you see in the store is irrelevant.

In the end I was able to convince the employee that my damaged tire is strictly a spare tire (well that what it is currently as it's off the truck) so their policy of not installing any tires with more than 2/32 of an inch variance is not applicable. But what a hassle this was and I don't think it's worth buying tires at Costco when their corporate tire policies are so evidently designed by a team of lawyers.
7 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 7, 2007
1219 posts
82 upvotes
Ctrl-Z wrote:
Jul 18th, 2013 1:47 pm
Although I have purchased 5 sets of tires for 4 different vehicles from Costco over the years, I probably won't be buying any more from them. That is because some of their slightly bizarre tire policies are distinctly anti-customer.

I encountered this the first time when I purchased winter tires for my SUV. Costco refuses to sell you winter tires that are less than the speed rating of the factory supplied vehicle tires. As my SUV is a special trim level it came with high speed rated all season Pirelli tires (a lower trim level does not). This policy meant that I paid about $300 extra for a set of Pirelli Scorpion Ice&Snow tires even though these tires are relatively poor winter performers compared to the many other less expensive winter tires they sell. Unfortunately I do not drive my SUV at very high speeds, and I certainly would not do so on winter roads.
I think that there's two scenarios, and I'm not sure if accurate:

1.) You have an accident using tires that weren't rated for use on your car. You can turn around and sue the store for selling you improper equipment.

2.) You have an accident using tires that weren't rated for use on your car. Your insurance company refuses to cover your damages as your car was improperly equipped.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 24, 2007
10777 posts
789 upvotes
Richmond Hill
thetim wrote:
Jul 18th, 2013 2:22 pm
I think that there's two scenarios, and I'm not sure if accurate:

1.) You have an accident using tires that weren't rated for use on your car. You can turn around and sue the store for selling you improper equipment.

2.) You have an accident using tires that weren't rated for use on your car. Your insurance company refuses to cover your damages as your car was improperly equipped.
..lol

sounds like a labyrinth of bureaucracy and the customer gets short end of the stick. :angry:
Don't argue with THEM, get EVEN!! ;) :D

RFD's member NewEgg experience
Deal Addict
Oct 26, 2008
4905 posts
825 upvotes
BC
Most tire shops have a policy of not installing tires with a speed rating below the O.E. ones.

Agreed it does not make much sense in some cases, such as your higher trim level having V-rated tires instead of H-rated (if diam. and aspect ratio were indeed the same),
or in the case of winter tires (to some extent).

On the policy of not fitting one new tire if there will be more than 2/32nds. difference in tread depth, this is not to weasel out of their road hazard, but just for their protection and yours.
If your truck was a 4x4, it's possible that the difference in tread depth would cause transfer case issues or other driveline and/or electronic control problems.
They don't want to be held responsible for expensive transfer case or differential repairs, but there is often some leeway for compromise on that policy as you eventually found.

Far be it for me to stand up for Costco (never ever joined), but you risk the wrath of the RFD majority when you criticize them.
Banned
Jan 7, 2011
3170 posts
260 upvotes
Here
Ctrl-Z wrote:
Jul 18th, 2013 1:47 pm
Costco refuses to sell you winter tires that are less than the speed rating of the factory supplied vehicle tires.
Wrong. Winter tires are actually the exception. All other tires need to be at least the speed rating of factory, and if you don't like this well you better get used to it as that is becoming policy for more and more places.
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2010
803 posts
105 upvotes
burbs
thrifthunter wrote:
Jul 18th, 2013 6:38 pm
Wrong. Winter tires are actually the exception. All other tires need to be at least the speed rating of factory, and if you don't like this well you better get used to it as that is becoming policy for more and more places.
LOL. Sitting in TO traffic everyone really only needs a tire rated for 60 km/h :D
[OP]
Sr. Member
Nov 15, 2005
962 posts
48 upvotes
Medicine Hat and SW …
thrifthunter wrote:
Jul 18th, 2013 6:38 pm
Wrong. Winter tires are actually the exception. All other tires need to be at least the speed rating of factory, and if you don't like this well you better get used to it as that is becoming policy for more and more places.
Well they must have implemented this exception very recently because I was explicitly told 2 years ago they will not install winter tires of a lesser speed rating. And imagine the nerve of the factory that puts higher speed rated tires on a higher trim line while the exact same vehicle in a lower trim level gets lower speed rated tires. Talk about unsafe ;-/
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 19, 2010
14312 posts
1975 upvotes
Toronto
Ctrl-Z wrote:
Jul 19th, 2013 4:08 am
Well they must have implemented this exception very recently because I was explicitly told 2 years ago they will not install winter tires of a lesser speed rating. And imagine the nerve of the factory that puts higher speed rated tires on a higher trim line while the exact same vehicle in a lower trim level gets lower speed rated tires. Talk about unsafe ;-/
Go to a small tire shop. Non-franchised.
× < >

Top