Dozens of Rochester drivers find metal pieces in deflated tires, but why?

Drivers are out thousands of dollars to replace their tires. How the metal pieces got on the road is still unclear.

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 5:50 PM
Updated: Jan 27, 2020 7:12 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Dozens of drivers in Rochester are frustrated and out hundreds of dollars after having to replace their tires.

They say tiny pieces of metal are to blame. If you drove home on 19th Street NW near the Rochester Athletic Club late last week, you may be as deflated as Luke Schmit.

He may have a new pair of tires, but he's out about $300.

"I was driving home from work on Thursday afternoon and I was driving past 19th Street by the RAC," Schmit said. "About halfway home I got my lower tire light turned on. And when I got out of my car I could hear air flowing out of my tire and it went completely flat."

He found a sharp piece of metal sticking out of his tire, so he took his care to Discount Tire where he found out he wasn't alone.

"Talking to the workers there, they said they had reported about 30 different incidents on both Thursday and Friday," Schmit said. "And then an extra 10-15 on Saturday."

The shop kept the metal pieces that some customers including Schmit left behind. They all look the same, which raises the question: are these incidents linked?

"I was just wondering you know what caused the incident," Schmit said. "To have it happen to like over 50 people, there must've been something pretty bad that went wrong. Whereas some of these scrap pieces fell off of like a truck or something like that."

Schmit is now looking to get his money back.

"I'd really like to get reimbursed for the cost of the tires," Scmit said. "Talking with the Discount Tire people, they said someone would be in contact with me within the next couple of days to talk about a possible reimbursement."

KIMT News 3 reached out to the city about the issue. We're still waiting to hear back.

How the metal pieces got on the road is still unclear. KIMT News 3 plans on checking back with all the parties to see what happens next.

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