08/09/2000 – Firestone Tire Recall


Source: Ford Motor Company

Firestone Tire Recall

The following statement in response to Bridgestone/Firestone’s
announcement of a recall of Firestone P235-75R15 ATX, ATX II and
certain Wilderness AT tires is attributed to Helen Petrauskas, Ford
vice president, Environmental and Safety Engineering.

Ford Motor Company has worked closely with Firestone to thoroughly
investigate tire tread separation concerns. As we have repeatedly stated, we
are absolutely committed to doing the right thing to protect our customers
and to maintain their trust.

An analysis of field data by both companies and reviewed with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that tires being
recalled today account for the overwhelming majority of tread separation
failures reported on Firestone tires.

After extensive review of the data, we are satisfied that Firestone has
isolated the affected population of tires that should be recalled. We believe
that the Wilderness AT produced since 1996 at Firestone’s Aiken, S.C.;
Joliette, Que.; Oklahoma City, O.K.; and Wilson, N.C. plants have an
outstanding safety record. We have confidence in Wilderness AT tires
produced at these plants.

NHTSA has not closed its investigation. But in the interest of customer
safety, Firestone is not waiting to act and should be commended for its
comprehensive and decisive action. We have been working with Firestone
and NHTSA, and we strongly support Firestone in its voluntary recall and
customer satisfaction actions. Firestone has long been, and continues to be,
a valued supplier to Ford.

Ford Motor Company and its dealers will work with Firestone and its
service centers to replace tires on our vehicles as quickly as possible. The
safety campaign will concentrate first on customers in Arizona, California,
Florida and Texas where more than 80 percent of the reported Firestone
tread separations have occurred.

Maintaining tires at the appropriate air pressure is necessary to protect tires.
Underinflated tires deteriorate more rapidly than tires that are properly
maintained and are at an increased risk of tread separation, blowout or
other failure.

At the request of Firestone, Ford has evaluated the performance of these
tires at 30 psi and has determined that the vehicle maintains good
performance characteristics at this higher pressure. Ford recommends that
Explorer and Mountaineer customers with 15″ Firestone tires maintain their
tire pressure in the range of 26-30 psi.

Customers with other vehicles should check the door plate on their vehicle
for recommended tire pressure and make sure that tire pressure does not
fall below the recommended level. If customers have any questions about
tire pressure or safe operation, they should contact their vehicle dealer or
Firestone service center.

If customers have any questions about tire pressure or safe operation, they
should contact a Firestone service center or their vehicle dealer. Firestone
has established a toll-free number – (800) 465-1904 – for concerned
customers. Ford Motor Company customers can call (800) 660-4719 or
send a note to tireinquiry@ford.com for information on the recall and tire
safety.

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