Michelin Tires - What has happened to the quality?

by Patrea Pabst
(Hartwell GA)

After 30+ years of buying michelin tires for cards and trucks, and getting great milage out of them, the most recent tires I purchased in 2011 for my Acura TL and my son's Mercedes Benz have shown uneven wear and very poor milage - barely a year.

Multiple calls to Michelin have results in me being stonewalled - they refuse to answer questions about what changes have been made or why there are problems - lots of us apparently, based on the crowd in the service lounge at the Acura dealership.

A warranty that is prorated on wear, where wear is excessive due to defects in the tires, is worthless.

Any one else?

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May 31, 2019
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Awful Michelin Defender Tires NEW
by: Mike

Have owned my vehicle for 3 years and put 50,000 miles on it, all Michelin Tires. If fact, I have owned nothing but Michelin tires for 45 years on all my vehicles, no other Brand ever. ON April 25, 2019, Costco installed a new set of Michelin Defenders T & H. When driving away, immediately noticed Vibration/Shaking/Wobbling. I called back to Costco on my way home to make the next appointment. Prior to this, vehicle has always been enjoyable to drive, always silky smooth. For the next three weeks, made at least four return trips to Costco. They never could get the tires balanced. I called Michelin Customer Service directly and spoke with them. I explained all that I have said here and that I have been a dedicated Michelin Brand Loyal Customer since the 1970's when I got my first car. I wanted to see if they would admit doing something different that would caused such vibration from previous generation of Defender XT Tires to current Defender T&H? I know, I knew better. They revealed nothing only to say we really appreciate your 45 years loyalty and good luck on your search with different brand of tires. They knew exactly which tires I had since I had registered them. Thank you Michelin, for nothing.

On May 25th, not believing Michelin could ever make a bad tire and giving them the benefit of the doubt, I purchased my second set of same model Defender T&H tires from my local Toyota Dealership and returned the first set back to Costco for refund. Same thing occurred, lightening struck twice. Same continuous Vibration/Shaking/Wobbling. I purposely drove vehicle for approximately one week trying to determine if anything else was going on. This vehicle has been pampered and the only variable was I purchased the Defenders on April 25th. Same issues continued same as first set. Took vehicle back in to Toyota Dealership and left all day since 7:00 that morning to check everything out. All they came up with was replacing one of the tires that would not balance on special Road Hazard Machine or something like. It supposed to be some super duper fine tuning machine. They re-balanced the other three, now a second time. Why did they not balance the first time? Same issues exist with what I now know to be the other three remaining tires, or could even be the replaced tire? The only variable in both cases with Costco and Toyota Dealership are the same model Defender T&H tires. Never had any such issues prior to these tires. Dealership had also mentioned a possible out of balance drive shaft. I noticed this was also mention to another person leaving a review on this forum. Amazing, even the Dealerships are stunned and confused that Michelin's Quality has slipped so badly from decades of outstanding quality recognition. I did not want to believe it either. So now I am going for Goodyear tires at the local Goodyear Dealership and will return the Michelins to Toyota Dealership. They had my truck all day and if they suspected the Drive Shaft, they could have inspected and repaired then, but it's not the drive shaft. This is a costly, time consuming journey for all of us leaving reviews. I cannot and will not accept the current Defender tires as is. I made one out of town trip that was a pure nightmare. Absolutely hated driving my vehicle that I once enjoyed.

Shame on Michelin for now the Cover Up and Denial Game, and for continuing to sell Defective Defender Tires. After 45 years, I'm done with all models of Michelin Tires. And the way of Customer Service's not wanting any responsibility in this, will never trust them again.

The Rating on this Form is confusing. I rated five stars for the opportunity to tell my story on this Forum, I rate Michelin Zero to One Star.

May 04, 2019
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Balancing problems with Michelin Defender LTX tires NEW
by: Paul

These tires have been a nightmare! I bought the tires new on April 4, 2019 and the tire dealership has not been able to balance them, nor has the Toyota dealership. I have a 2005 Toyota Tundra SR5 2 WD truck and had to replace them early with approximately 15K miles left. I had absolutely no problems with the balance of my tires for the last three years. And, now after I put on the new Michelin tires, they can't balance them. I had the same trouble three years ago with the old Michelin's LTX/MS. It took eight times to finally balance the tires. Total nightmare. The Toyota dealership after two tries finally balanced them. The mechanic was very experienced and the way he balanced them was by turning one or more of the tires on the rim instead of just trying to add more weight to the rim.

Now, the tire place where I bought the new Defender tires says its mechanical and not the tires. Really? I bought them there, they said they were balanced. I drove off and they were not, but I drove for about a week to make sure. I brought it back and they said 3 tires were out of balance! WTF. How could they be balanced and then come back and not be? Whatever, I brought it to Toyota dealer, they couldn't balance it. They said I need shocks in the front and change the union joints. I went back to the Tire place and they said it was balanced as good as possible, and I needed to change my shocks in the front, AND I needed to change the union joints and the drive shaft. I went to another Toyota dealer where I knew the mechanic, and he said they were all out of balance.

I went to another Toyota dealer where I knew the mechanic, and he said they were all out of balance. He check everything underneath and said it was NOT the drive shaft or union joints, all my ball and joints and tie rods were okay as well. Did a brake job as well.

OKAY, seriously, all of a sudden its my shocks and drive shaft causing the problem as soon as I put new tires on. No way, especially trying to say it is the drive shaft. They were not 100% sure. I changed the shocks, it helped some, but the shaking vibration still existed. I asked if I change the union joints and drive shaft and it still vibrates will they give me my money back for the $1300 cost to do that? Surprise! They said no. lol

So, I called Michelin and they said they would let them send all the tires back under the 30 Day customer satisfaction. Called the Tire dealer, and the owner said Michelin told them they would not allow them to send them back. What a big mess!!

I talked to the Tire Dealer and he said if Michelin lets them send them back he will do it and put another brand of tires on my truck. I told him if they, or the Toyota shop can't balance the tires, then I will change my drive shaft. **I still say it is either the tires or they just aren't taking the time to properly balance the tires. I read and heard that the Toyota rims on trucks are difficult to balance.

Anyway, I'm going to a different tire because my last set of Michelin's were supposed to be a 90K mile tire and I was short by 15K miles easily and the tread was worn.

Mar 26, 2019
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Michelin Defender Tires NEW
by: Anonymous

Bought four Michelin defender tires about three weeks ago at Hixsons Ford in Alexandria, La. Had balanced two times already. Still bounces at certain speed. Told wouldn’t replace tires. Never had a problem with other Michelin tires.I live on limited income and now have to drive bouncing down road. Michelin should have to stand behind warranty.

Mar 14, 2019
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New Mich LTX Defender car vibration NEW
by: J

I just had costco install 4 new michelin defender on my vehicle
and even after rebalance the car vibrates at why speeds

Mar 14, 2019
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New Ltx Defenders vibration NEW
by: jftire@costco

i just purchased a new set of michelin Ltx Defenders and my vehicle
steering started vibrating at hwy speeds. Costco told me they don't have a road force balance to find the out of round tire....there are many complains about new defenders with vibration problems..
note the other option ltx premier from Michelin the tire tread on a new
tire starts at 8.32 . shame on Michelin time to look else where for
tires

Feb 20, 2019
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LT Defenders LTX MS NEW
by: Anonymous

I bought a set of LT Defender LTX MS in 18 inch for my 2500HD Silverado...shaky. The Cooper M&S snow tires are smoother by a long shot. Tire shop thinks I'm nuts...balanced with powder and lead, no difference. This shop convinced me it was bad rims, bought straight replacements and same shake.

I'm going to find a shop with a Hunter road force and find the bad tire...$1300 for tires, shake is unacceptable for a Michelin.

Will never buy another set.


Feb 17, 2019
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Bad News Tires NEW
by: Anonymous

I really wish I had found this web site before I purchased the Michelin wobblers. Also known as Michelin Defenders. I have a 2004 GMC Yukon XL 1500 RWD. Purchased a set of Michelin tires to replace the tires that came on the truck. They were great and got good wear from them so when it came time to replace them, went with Michelin defenders. Noticed the wobble/shudder on the 1st day. Took it back to the place where I purchased and had them to rebalance them. Noticed I still have the same problem. It is hard to explain this to anyone that is not a regular driver of the vehicle. Found this web site and no longer think that my crazy was going up a notch. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to this site. Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of these tires and go to another brand with out coming out of pocket for another set of tires. I have less than 100 miles on these tires but I am dun with Michelin for now. Good luck to everyone .Thank you all again.

Jan 10, 2019
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defender ltx ms wobble NEW
by: Carl

Has anyone had any wobble out of these tires. just put 6 new tires on and it's like its floating

Dec 27, 2018
Rating
star
Sames Story Here NEW
by: Ody - Defenders

I had defenders installed on my Odyssey. I spent hundreds of dollars trying to eliminate vibrations I experienced with the new tires. I could not get to the bottom of the issue. Having so much faith in Michelin, I assumed it had something to do with the van. Finally, a very good dealer mechanic conducted all kinds of experiments - moving the tires around etc. The issue was the tires are in fact out of round. To make matters worse, the tires started cracking withing a couple of years. Just like the shift away from directional tires for purely profit reasons, I think Michelin has lost its way. I understand manufacturers can have problems, but their bottom line driven mentality is apparent. For the first time in twenty years, I will be looking at other brands.

Nov 11, 2018
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Defender Tire wear NEW
by: Anonymous

my defender tires were suppose to last 90,000 miles they are worn out at 41,000!!! What is going on?

Sep 20, 2018
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Same problem, TK manager says it's just my car NEW
by: Anonymous

I too purchased four defenders from Tire Kingdom. I didn't pay extra for the lifetime balance and immediately noticed a hop in my right front tire. I thought it might be because they were brand new and so I drove for a few weeks. Then while getting oil changed at another store asked if they would balance tire (embarrassed to take back to Tire Kingdom cause they tried to sell me lifetime balance and I didn't buy it) , they couldn't and said it was a defect in tire.

I scheduled an appointment for early this morning at Tire Kingdom on Gunn Highway. Standing out front he said it wasn't the tire. Very adamant it wasn't tire and he wouldn't just check it for balance before doing any other assessment because he has been doing this for 30 years and there are never problems with Michellin tires and that I had to wait for his other mechanic who would start by driving it and then they'd rotate all tires on car. Very sad. Horrible experience felt like he was taking something out on me. Shamed me into believing there was something else wrong which he said he could fix for 400 and sent me on my way. Now every bump I feel like my car is falling apart. Funny all these other people are having same problem. Tire Kingdom Gunn Highway - manager mistreatment is awful.

Aug 20, 2018
Rating
star
Unsolved balancing issue NEW
by: Anonymous

I had for new Michelin defenders installed. Have been balanced 3 times, still vibration at45-54 mph. Tire Kingdom replaced 3 tires. They apparently must have felt were defective. Still vibrates. Maybe should have repacked the 4th one to. My old Michelin’s were wore out, but had no balancing issues. Today I will try another brand. How sad. When you pay up front for the best, and then have the worst experience ever. Who is doing quality control anyway. I’m 60 years old and have never had such a issue with tires, and I have bought a few in my life.

Aug 17, 2018
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Same story as many here NEW
by: Mike

I'd bought Defenders for three different vehicles in the past, loved their handling qualities, and so bought a set for my 2014 Toyota Tacoma pickup. Vibration and shudder at various highway speeds, starting at around 55 mph...which started on the way home after having tires installed.
I had my Toyota dealer rebalance three times and check out every other possible cause, but the issue is still there. Of course it's the tires...why else would the problems begin as soon as the tires were installed?
I'm so disappointed, and now I'm stuck with these tires for the near future.

Aug 06, 2018
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Shudder Vibration - Michelin NEW
by: John in SoCal

Different model Michelin Tire - Same Symptoms

Re: Rate this page: I give it 5-stars,
but 1-Star for these Michelins.

Bought 4x Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ for my 2013 Nissan 3.6L Maxima from Costco in October 2017. Two tires were produced in week 25 and 1 each in 28 & 30 of 2017.

They exhibit a shudder type vibration ~35-45 MPH and diminishing until ~75-85 when it begins again. Same at most of you good folks - Re-balanced and rotated twice at Costco, once at Big Tire along with a 4-wheel alignment and once at Team Nissan with a 4-wheel alignment check.

Alignment is all-good. Balance is all-good Wheel bearings, CV joints & rotors are all good - Car only has ~ 28K miles on it yet I am still experiencing shudder vibrations.

I've had Michelins on my Explorer and my '86 Maxima and they were terrific but I'm rapidly losing faith in that big rotund tire guy.

Next step is to contact Michelin...

Jul 27, 2018
Rating
star
Vibration at low speed NEW
by: Phil

Just bought some new Michelins for my F250 Superduty. They have a bouncy vibration from 40-45mph. I have had them re-balanced 3 times including a road force balance and still the same issue. I am within the 30 "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" so I am going to try to get a new set and hope that solves my problem.

Jul 27, 2018
Rating
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Vibration at low speed NEW
by: Phil

Just bought some new Michelins for my F250 Superduty. They have a bouncy vibration from 40-40mph. I have had them re-balanced 3 times including a road force balance and still the same issue. I am within the 30 "100% Satisfaction Guarantee" so I am going to try to get a new set and hope that solves my problem.

Nov 07, 2017
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Five Stars For Crappy Ratings??? NEW
by: Anonymous

Why do nearly all the poor owner accounts on Michelin tires carry five stars? Shouldn't it be one star????

Oct 11, 2017
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No more Michelin Tires NEW
by: sylvester c. umacheid

I will not purchase any more Michelin tires. After the second set on my pickup and the second set on my Impala wore out with barely half of the mileage rating I have purchased another brand. I got 47,000 miles on on a set rated at 90,000. I wouldn't expect to get 90,000 but half that? Looks like I am not along. I have talked to two other peole with the same problem.

Aug 30, 2017
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Michelin Defender - Don't Buy.. Can't balance NEW
by: Billy

I am on my 3rd set of Michelins .. the tires still vibrate at different speeds. Dealer also balanced and checked front end.. still get the vibration at different speeds... I had ran Michelin before and loved them on a previous car. I didn't even check the reviews of the Defender.. shame on me.. Michelin must have cut some corners on the quality of the Defender. I will never buy Michelin again. Sheesh.. :-(

Apr 05, 2017
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Defender vibration NEW
by: Anonymous

Switched from Bridgestone Turanza to Michelin Defenders this go around on my 2010 Corolla S. Just had them try to balance them for the third time in two weeks since new. Still have vibration 65-80mph. Will try to get them to swap out to a Toyo tire. Thought I was buying the best. Sure paid enough for them. Have a set of Toyos on another vehicle-great ride! Should have stuck with the Bridgestones or Toyos! Damn!

Apr 05, 2017
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Defender vibration NEW
by: Anonymous

Switched from Bridgestone Turanza to Michelin Defenders this go around on my 2010 Corolla S. Just had them try to balance them for the third time in two weeks since new. Still have vibration 65-80mph. Will try to get them to swap out to a Toyo tire. Thought I was buying the best. Sure paid enough for them. Have a set of Toyos on another vehicle-great ride! Should have stuck with the Bridgestones or Toyos! Damn!

Mar 22, 2017
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Defender wobble NEW
by: Anonymous

yes 3 of 5 got "slipped belts" these are defender green x tires and they have uneven sidewalls

and they make noise at high and low speeds once per rotation. Minimal miles with deep tread. 2008 Nissan Altima. My 4 primacy mxm4 are doing well, though.

Jan 19, 2017
Rating
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michelin defenders NEW
by: Anonymous

90,000 mile tires got my wife's civic 41000 miles .DONT BUY!!

Dec 10, 2016
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Michelin defenders out of round..made in mexico!!!! NEW
by: Dawn

Wow, my rainforest tires were replaced by defenders.
I have had my celica since 1993 and always used Michelin tires. These may be my last michelin tires...out of round, so says discount tire company. 5 guys standing around a tire getting balanced seemed fishy to me. He said some are out of round bUT within the acceptable rage so is not a defect bad enough to be replaced by other tires from michelin.
Had them for 1.5 years and they drive me crazy in slow traffic like I'm driving on oval tires that aren't syncronized..plus a lot louder at high speeds compared to my other tires. I hate them!!!!


Aug 14, 2016
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Michelin Defenders - Unhappy! NEW
by: Charles

Michelin Defenders - disappointed. Bought 4 brand new. I have a Subaru with MXV4's and they are great. I drive a Mazda3 with Defenders. . I have been the only owner. One (or 2) of the Defenders keeps vibrating. Discount tire was nice and last time there balanced it 3 times. Had the Defenders 30,000 miles. Still vibrates - out of round. When I rotate front to back - better but not perfect. It is also apparent they will NOT get the mileage stated. Will NOT buy Defenders anymore. Lot of money for a tire that did not turn out all that great. Did not think this would happen with a Michelin!

Aug 14, 2015
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Dry Rot NEW
by: Ray Goodwin

Tires with almost 40k miles , 4.25 years old are UN-repairable, due to dry rot on the shoulders. Poor quality from manufacturer. Pro-rating for replacement is unacceptable.

Aug 26, 2013
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Vibrations
by: Akhanan

I checked out many cars ( I am a licenced mechanic) in my search for a used vehicle. Finally really loved a fantacstic Toyota Camery - instead had to buy a Honda Accord - simply because of vibrtion that I could not attribute to anything else but Michelin Tires on it - not a balance problem. HAd slight uneven wear patterns. Vibration speed would also vary - 110 km to 140 km/ hr. - I suspected out of round tire - similar to a shifted belt. Tire would also heat up unevenly after a fast long ride.

Jan 20, 2013
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Vibration
by: Anonymous

Have had 9 new defender tires on my odyessey , only paid for 4 but dealer cannot get vibration out of van. New suspenion, new brakes,I took van to front end shop , they said it was in the tires . out of rond.Tires will always balance .but out of round to much causes vibration at various speeds.Is it to much to ask for ROUND tires. Still have vibration ,wish I had never used these tires ,Next step back to dealer. number 10?

Jan 20, 2013
Rating
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Vibration
by: Anonymous

Have had 9 new defender tires on my odyessey , only paid for 4 but dealer cannot get vibration out of van. New suspenion, new brakes,I took van to front end shop , they said it was in the tires . out of rond.Tires will always balance .but out of round to much causes vibration at various speeds.Is it to much to ask for ROUND tires. Still have vibration ,wish I had never used these tires ,Next step back to dealer. number 10?

Jan 20, 2013
Rating
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Vibration
by: Anonymous

Have had 9 new defender tires on my odyessey , only paid for 4 but dealer cannot get vibration out of van. New suspenion, new brakes,I took van to front end shop , they said it was in the tires . out of rond.Tires will always balance .but out of round to much causes vibration at various speeds.Is it to much to ask for ROUND tires. Still have vibration ,wish I had never used these tires ,Next step back to dealer. number 10?

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