Bridgestone/Firestone Asks Dealers to Repeat Tire Recall Training
18 September 2000Bridgestone/Firestone Asks Dealers to Repeat Tire Recall Training Reminds Customers of Reimbursement Availability
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 15 Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s (BFS) nationwide network of authorized dealers and tire stores has been asked to repeat tire inspection and replacement training for tire technicians by week's end. John Lampe, BFS Executive Vice President, is coordinating the company's effort to provide additional outreach and training to tire technicians. The company took this action following Wednesday evening's NBC Dateline broadcast, which reported that several dealers in the Washington, D.C.-area could not correctly identify tires voluntarily recalled by Firestone on August 9. Lampe said, "In the interest of consumer safety, we are taking the precaution of asking our dealers to repeat technician training relating to identifying recalled tires. By noon yesterday, about 2,000 dealers and company-owned stores had already been contacted, and by the end of the day we reached the rest." "We don't believe the isolated cases reported reflect a widespread problem, but we want our customers to have full confidence in the service they're getting." With nearly 2.4 million tires replaced to date, the voluntary recall of P235/75R15 Radial ATX and ATX II tires produced in North America and the same size Wilderness AT tires produced in the Decatur, Ill., has led to delays in some areas in obtaining replacements, creating concerns among consumers about driving on recalled tires while they wait for replacements. While BFS is working to supply replacement tires as quickly as possible by expanding production and airlifting tires from Japan, it recognizes the frustration and concern of its customers as they wait for replacement tires. The company reminds customers to consider purchasing replacement tires from independent dealers. BFS will reimburse the cost of replacement tires purchased at an independent tire dealer up to $100 per tire. For customers who either want to wait for replacement tires provide by a Firestone Tire & Service Center or a Firestone-authorized dealer or are concerned because no tires are currently available in their area, the company is providing safety information relating to proper maintenance of tires. BFS recommends the following safety tips: * Inflate tires to the manufacturer recommended levels; for Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers with recalled tires, Ford has approved a range of 26-30 p.s.i. and Firestone recommends 30 p.s.i. * Check tire pressure frequently -- and visually check for defects * Obey the speed limit and other rules of the road * Don't overload your vehicle (check owner's manual for load limits) * Always buckle your seatbelt!