Aug 9, 2000Bridgestone/Firestone Recalls
Millions of Potentially Dangerous Tires
TN (SafetyAlerts) -
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., has announced a voluntary recall of all Firestone Radial ATX
and Radial ATX II tires in size P235/75R15 produced in North America, including Mexico,
and Wilderness AT tires in size P235/75R15 produced at the Decatur, Illinois plant.
The recall includes original equipment and replacement tires of that size, regardless of
the vehicle's manufacturer. Vehicle owners will be notified of the recall by mail.
Bridgestone/Firestone will replace all of these tires with brand new Wilderness AT or
other Bridgestone/Firestone tires.
The company estimates that the number
of tires still in use and involved in the recall is 6.5 million.
nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers," said Gary Crigger,
Firestone Executive Vice President. "We felt we must take this extraordinary step as
a precaution to ensure consumer safety and consumer confidence in our brands. So, no
matter how old the tires, no matter how many miles they have on them, we will replace them
with new tires."
Although noting that accidents
involving these tires are rare in comparison to the millions of tires produced, he said
that the data shows the majority of the incidents are in the southern-most states of
Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, which suggests there may be a direct correlation
between heat and tire performance.
The company is also urging all
consumers to take additional steps to increase the lifespan and safety of their tires by
maintaining proper inflation. "When under inflated, all radial tires generate
excessive heat," Crigger said. "Driving on tires in this condition can lead to
tread separation. Maintaining the proper inflation level will enhance the performance and
lifespan of these tires."
For the owners of the P235/75R15 size tires in the ATX, ATX II produced in North
America, including Mexico, and Wilderness AT tires produced at the Decatur, Illinois
Customers who have a recalled tire
will receive a letter from the company notifying them of the recall and the steps they
need to take. Customers who need assistance should call the toll-free customer service
number at 800-465-1904.
Those who have a recalled tire
should call their nearest local Firestone retailer to set up an appointment for an
exchange. Because the preponderance of incidents is in the four southern states and given
the limited supply of replacement tires at this time, the company will be undertaking a
three phase recall starting in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. The second phase
for the recall will be implemented in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada,
Oklahoma and Tennessee. The final phase will include the remainder of
Keep non-Ford vehicles with
Wilderness AT tires at the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
All vehicle owners using Wilderness
tires should keep their tires inflated at the pressure recommended by the vehicle
manufacturer. For owners of Ford Explorers or Mercury Mountaineers, with P235/75R15 ATX
and Wilderness AT tires on their vehicles, Ford recommends these tires be maintained at a
minimum of 26 psi. At the request of Firestone, Ford has evaluated the performance of
these tires at 30 psi and has determined that the vehicles maintain good performance
characteristics at this higher pressure. Ford recommends a tire pressure range of 26-30
psi. Firestone recommends a tire pressure of 30 psi.
Consistent with the company's
long-standing policy of commitment to customer satisfaction and service, all Wilderness
tire owners were urged to contact their nearest company-owned service center for a free
inspection. "We will inspect each customer's tires for damage or excessive wear,
while checking to make sure the tires are inflated to the level specified by the
vehicle's manufacturer," said Crigger.
Crigger reiterated that these steps were being taken to protect consumer safety and
satisfaction. "We extend our condolences to families that have lost loved ones in
accidents. We also apologize to our customers for the inconvenience this recall causes and
we ask for their patience," he said.
Notice of this product warning was
sent via email to SafeMail
subscribers August 9, 2000.
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