Tire trouble with your double-double: Tim Hortons pays for pothole damage

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Tire trouble with your double-double: Tim Hortons pays for pothole damage

Josh Rumbolt's early morning coffee fix ended with a popped tired, a cold walk home and a $600 repair bill. 

Rumbolt was headed to work when he pulled into a Tim Hortons in Grand Falls-Windsor.

"As soon as I turn in the vehicle just drops, there's a big bang," he said. "As soon as I started driving again I could feel that my car was pulling to the right."

Rumbolt pulled over to discover his front passenger tire was flat. 

"I noticed that my tire was blown out — completely," Rumbolt told CBC News. 

"I wasn't even going fast enough for it to register on my speedometer," he said. "It's the last thing you'd expect for a tire to blow out."

Rumbolt found himself on the side of the road wondering how he was going to make it to work on time.

"It's not something that you're going to be able to fix right on the spot," he said, adding he didn't trust a dummy tire to get him through the 45-minute trip to work. 

Not the first

Rumbolt ended up walking home and made a post on Facebook warning others about the pothole.

"Then people started commenting and messaging me," he said.

"They're saying 'I hit the same pothole. I was there, did the same thing, blew out my tire' and another guy said he damaged his steering. It seems like it's person after person."

Rumbolt contacted the owner of the Tim Hortons after hearing the company may have paid for tire replacements in the past. 

He also contacted the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor to see who was responsible for fixing the pothole. 

"It was actually confirmed by the town that somebody else blew their tire out on that Monday — this was on a Thursday morning," said Rumbolt. 

Costly Repair

After waiting days for a response from Tim Hortons, Rumbolt paid to replace the tire himself. But there was more bad news.

"I didn't have a choice but to put four on because the tires that I had originally were discontinued." 

Rumbolt said it cost him around $600 to replace the four tires, which he paid for using his tax return. 

"It's really frustrating," said Rumbolt, who recently moved from Labrador to Newfoundland. "I don't exactly have money to throw away."

"When you're young and trying to get out on your own, this kind of thing could make or break you," he said.

After speaking to CBC News on Tuesday Rumbolt contacted Tim Hortons to say he was going public with the story. 

The owner called him back to say the company would reimburse him for the tire.

Owner Responds

The owner of the franchise, Duane Sutherland, told CBC News that they've been filling the pothole at the Cromer Avenue location with gravel even though he thinks it's a town problem.

"It's been an unusual year," said Sutherland, who doesn't remember having these kind of problems in the last 15 years.

Sutherland said Tim Hortons will reimburse Rumbolt for his tire while working with the town to try to figure out a more permanent solution for the pothole. 

He said the decision to replace Rubmolt's tire had to go through corporate office before they were able to reimburse him.

Rumbolt said he's satisfied with the response.