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February 20, 2001

Firestone Announces Voluntary Safety Recall Of P205/55R16 Firehawk GTA-02 Tires

Torrance, CA (SafetyAlerts) - Firestone has announced it will voluntarily recall certain model Firehawk GTA-02 tires in size P205/55R16 manufactured in their Wilson, North Carolina plant.  These tires are primarily fitted as original equipment on certain model 2000 and 2001 Nissan Altima SE vehicles manufactured up through November 30, 2000 and sold in the US, Canada and Guam. The remainder of the recalled tires have been made available to the U.S., Canadian, Puerto Rican and Trinidadian replacement tire markets.

Approximately 22,937 Altima SE vehicles are affected by this tire recall: 21,603 in the continental US and Hawaii; 1,315 in Canada and 19 in Guam. The Altima GXE, GLE and XE models are not equipped with these tires. No other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles supplied with Firestone tires are affected by this recall.

Firestone decided to initiate the recall after an analysis of tires returned for adjustment showed a surface crack at the edge of the tread and shoulder that, in extreme cases, could develop along the circumference of the tire. Nissan has had no reports of tread belt separations or detachments in any of the tires that have experienced this cracking. Neither Firestone nor Nissan are aware of any accidents or injuries relating to these tires. It is important to note that this recall is not related to any other recall announced by Firestone, the company stated.

According to Firestone, an analysis of the affected tires found that the original belt width specification created too narrow a distance between the steel belt edge inside the tire and the surface of the tire. As a result, a crack could develop at the bottom of the shoulder groove and progress to the edge of the steel belt, and in extreme cases, eventually expose it.

Firestone's analysis of other tires found that the issue was limited to the design of the P205/55R16 Firehawk GTA-02 tires. The necessary design change, which decreases the width of the steel belts, has already been implemented by Firestone.

Firestone will mail notices to customers whose vehicles may have been equipped with the recalled tires by March 12. Customers who have purchased the recalled tires in the replacement market or those who want to know if their tires are subject to the recall before receiving the notice letter, can determine if their tires are subject to the recall by checking the DOT identification number found on the sidewall of the tire, near the wheel rim.

The tires subject to the recall have one of the following DOT numbers:

W2T2 VF3 289 through W2T2 VF3 529
W2T2 VF3 010 through W2T2 VF3 170
W2T2 VF3 1800 through W2T2 VF3 4500


Country Vehicle
Size # of Affected vehicles
US/HAW Altima SE 2000 Firestone Firehawk GTA-02 P205/55R16 16,773
US/HAW Altima SE 2001 Firestone Firehawk GTA-02 P205/55R16 4,830
Canada Altima SE 2000 Firestone Firehawk GTA-02 P205/55R16 963
Canada Altima SE 2001 Firestone Firehawk GTA-02 P205/55R16 352
Guam Altima SE 2000 Firestone Firehawk GTA-02 P205/55R16 15
Guam Altima SE 2001 Firestone Firehawk GTA-02 P205/55R16 4

Firestone will replace the recalled tires at no cost with new Firehawk GTA-02 tires in size P205/55R16. In order to ensure an adequate supply of replacement tires, Firestone also will make the following tires, which have been approved by Nissan for use on the Altima SE, available as replacements:

Bridgestone Potenza RE92
Bridgestone Turanza EL41

Recalled tires will be replaced at no cost to the customer at their local authorized participating Firestone retailer. For the location of the nearest Firestone store, customers can call toll-free, 1-800-465-1904. "At Nissan, customer safety, security and satisfaction are our highest priorities," said Emil Hassan, senior vice president, North American Manufacturing, Purchasing, Quality and Logistics, Nissan North America, Inc.

"While we are relieved that no accidents or injuries have been reported relating to these tires, we nonetheless urge all 2000 and 2001 Nissan Altima SE vehicle owners that receive a notification letter from Firestone to have their vehicles inspected by a Firestone dealer. We also advise consumers to properly care for tires and to maintain proper tire inflation according to the specifications called out on the vehicle tire placard and owner's manual."

For further information please contact: Dierdre Dickerson at 310-771-6461 or Scott Vazin at 310/771-3455, or visit the Nissan Online News Bureau at

Notice of this product warning was sent via email to SafetyAlerts subscribers February 20, 2001.  For more information regarding the SafetyAlerts free email alert service please click here.

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