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News
No Firestone recall plans
August 8, 2000: 2:46 p.m. ET

Firm calls tires safe despite growing reports of links to fatal crashes
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNN) - A spokesman for Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. said Tuesday the company does not plan to recall its ATX and Wilderness tires despite increased reports the tires might be linked to fatal crashes.

When asked about the possibility of a recall, Fred Fields, a company spokesman, said there are "no plans. We are continuing to assure the public and business partners that we are making an intensive effort to address any concerns about the ATX, ATX II and Wilderness tires that are being evaluated. We believe that properly inflated and maintained, these tires are among the safest on the road."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether the failures of those tires are to blame for some 46 fatalities across the country, up from 21 fatal accidents under investigation just last week.

NHTSA spokeswoman Liz Neblett told CNN Tuesday that the increase is partly the result of media coverage of the problem, as local authorities learn of a possible connection to accidents elsewhere.

The tires come on some of the nation's most popular sports utility vehicles, including the Ford Explorer.

Ann Doyle, a spokeswoman for Ford, said, "We expect action soon. We have said all along, we are looking at this thing very intensely, and if we believe we need to take action we will to protect our consumers."

Ford is urging consumers to take advantage of an offer Bridgestone/Firestone made last week to check the tires free of charge at any Firestone tire dealership.

graphicInvestigators said some of the Firestone tires in question have "shredded" so that the tread separates from the core of the tire.

The NHTSA spokeswoman said the agency now has received more than 300 complaints or inquiries from consumers.

A family injured last week when a tire blew apart on their sport utility vehicle in Florida announced a lawsuit Monday against the tire maker.

Randall Smithwick, his wife, their 14-year-old twin daughters and a family friend were driving across the Everglades Thursday on a portion of Interstate 75 known as Alligator Alley when the vehicle's right rear tire blew apart. The Ford Explorer flipped three times before coming to rest on a grassy median. All were hurt.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the right rear tire tread separated, causing the vehicle to swerve. Authorities said the tires were the vehicle's original Firestone Wilderness ATs, as supplied by Ford Motor Company. NTHSA said it would add that accident to the list it is investigating.

A lawyer for the family said Firestone and Ford knew the tires were faulty when they began replacing them in South American countries as long as six years ago, but that the companies never alerted U.S. consumers to the dangers.

Sears (S: Research, Estimates) announced Friday it was halting the sale of Firestone ATX and Wilderness tire models at its stores and at a chain of tire stores it owns, National Tire and Battery. Montgomery Ward also has pulled the tires from its auto centers. Back to top

  RELATED SITES

Sears stops selling Bridgestone/Firestone tires under probe in crashes - Aug. 4, 2000

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.