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Aug 9, 2000

Bridgestone/Firestone Recalls Millions of Potentially Dangerous Tires

Nashville, 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.

"At Bridgestone/Firestone, 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 plant:

  • 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
    the states.

  • 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.

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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