Ford's Response to Comments on the Firestone Tread Separation
28 August 2000Ford's Response to Published Comments on the Firestone Tread Separation Issue Attributed to INDECU (Venezuelan Consumer Defense Institute)
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 25 The following statement is attributable to Helen Petrauskas, Ford vice president - Environmental and Safety Engineering: We have met with INDECU and will continue to meet with this consumer protection agency in Venezuela to ensure the agency has a complete and correct understanding of the Firestone tire tread separation issue. It is absolutely incorrect to assert that the design of the Explorer is contributing, in any way, to this serious safety problem. We have made stiffer shock absorbers available to our customers in Venezuela to address ride quality complaints related to washboard road surfaces. These are two completely separate issues: the tread separation safety concern, which Ford has addressed beginning in May with the announcement of our tire replacement program for all owners of Ford vehicles with Firestone tires; and a customer satisfaction issue related to high speed driving on rough road surfaces. Also, the suggestion that Ford promised to lower the electronically- governed top speed of the Ford Explorer to match the speed rating of some Firestone tires, is incorrect. We have no knowledge of Firestone requesting a lower top speed for the vehicle. Firestone was contracted to supply tires with a speed rating appropriate for the vehicle's electronically governed top speed.