Continental Tire North America Initiates Voluntary Recalls

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Aug. 19, 2002--Continental Tire North America, Inc. today announced that it is initiating a voluntary safety recall of 595,000 of its Continental P275/60R17 ContiTrac AW and General Grabber AW P275/60R17 tires.
    Consumers will receive free replacements.
    The tires involved have DOT codes from 109 to 4400. They were produced between March 1999 and October 2000 and furnished as original equipment on 106,701 2000-model year and certain 2001-model year two-wheel-drive Ford Expedition and two-wheel-drive Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles. Approximately 60,000 of the tires are in the replacement market.
    "Ford Motor Company has been fully informed of this action," said Mark Sowka, vice-president Original Equipment, Continental Tire North America, "and Continental has been working in close cooperation with Ford to ensure an efficient implementation."
    "We closely monitor the performance of our products," added Sowka. "When we recently became aware that these tires were not performing up to our standards, after two years in service, we were quickly able to identify the period of production in question."
    "The voluntary recall we are announcing today shows how Ford and Continental early warning/quality systems work together and why we are at the forefront of testing, data analysis and responsiveness."
    "Continental is focused on automotive safety and we want to be certain that only the highest quality products are on the road."

    Continental announced these additional steps to assist and inform consumers:

- Toll-free Hotline & E-Mail. Consumers can get questions answered and receive information about how to identify the affected tires and where to get free replacements. Operators will be available from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. (EDT). The number is: 1-800-TIRE-FIX (847-3349). Consumers can also e-mail us at
- Notification letter. All consumers will receive a letter from Continental Tire directing them to the appropriate dealer for replacement, and providing them with all necessary information.
- Special Website. A link from will provide information about the process of identifying and replacement of the affected tires, and answers to frequently asked questions.
- Additional Communications. The company will work closely with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in this effort and will take whatever additional steps necessary to keep the public informed.

    Separately, Continental is also initiating a voluntary recall of 3,505 Continental 315/80R 22.5 154/150MHSR1 tires, produced from September 2001 to June 2002. These tires are used in a specific commercial application on certain buses. Continental will notify affected customers and will provide free replacements. For further information please call the Commercial Tire Group Warranty Center, toll free at 1-800-726-7113.
    Continental urges consumers to be mindful of tire maintenance at all times.

    Based in Charlotte, N.C., Continental Tire North America, Inc. is a group company of Germany-based Continental AG, a leading systems supplier to the automotive industry. Continental tire North America, Inc. has 9,000 employees and operates plants in Bryan, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Mayfield, Ky.; Mt. Vernon, Il.; Barnesville, Ga. and San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It is a major supplier to the original equipment and replacement tire markets, selling Continental, General, Euzkadi and private brands in NAFTA.


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