Cooper Discoverer SRX Feb 5, 2016
(The Mother Lode)
I wanted to buy "Made in America" which leaves Goodyear and Cooper. Both companies received $1.5M DOE Grants in 2011 intended for research and development of more fuel efficient passenger and commercial tires.
They concluded their testing in mid 2014, even they were impressed by the results.
In 2015 Cooper received Good Design awards for four of their tires from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies for their design excellence. Two of the tires were "Made in America, the Discoverer STT Pro and Discoverer SRX.
I needed new tires for my Wife's SUV, did all the research and found that the SRX was competent in performance areas important to me, as were several Goodyear and many main stream "off-shore" brands I've purchased in the past four decades.
Price wasn't a major concern, buying "Made in America" was. Goodyear won a single "Good Design" award in the 2015 event and it wasn't for a passenger, SUV or light truck tire.
Goodyear has a much larger market share and deeper pockets but could use a little friendly US competition so I figured I'd give Cooper a chance.
I ordered a set of four Discoverer SRX tires from a local tire store and had them installed yesterday, 02/06/2016.
The tire shop is less than two miles, hence I have two miles of experience driving on the tires. I've spent much more time pondering what in the world went wrong with the vulcanization process than behind the wheel.
These tires are touted as using an innovative "vent-less" technology during production that results in a tire more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This technology may work as intended on 99.99% of the SRX tires they produce but it certainly didn't on the set of four I ended up with.
The side walls of all four tires have what I would characterize as casting flash or blow out in two key areas, one being where the side wall meets the tread and the other where it meets the bead.
This resulted in rubber "wing" rings of varying thickness protruding a quarter inch in these places around nearly the entire circumference of all four tires.
The retailer is closed on Sunday but tomorrow these tires are going back so I can stand there and listen to the line of excuses and assurances (not solutions) I'm sure I'll be handed.
Quality control was certainly out-to-lunch throughout the entire birth to installation cycle on these!!!
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