Complaints About Non-Recalled Firestone Tires Outstrip Recalled Complaints
25 October 2000Complaints About Non-Recalled Firestone Tires Outstrip Recalled Tire Complaints 7-1, Safetyforum.com Finds
ARLINGTON, Va., Oct 25 Firestone Wilderness tires made in Wilson, North Carolina have produced five times more reports to NHTSA than recalled Wilderness tires produced in Decatur, Illinois. Canadian-made Wilderness tires have produced twice as many reports to NHTSA as those made in Decatur. The data were released late Tuesday by NHTSA and analyzed overnight by Safetyforum.com (http://www.safetyforum.com ). "These data are further evidence that Ford and Firestone have distorted the facts about Wilderness tire failures. It's time for them to complete the job by recalling the rest of these tires," said Little Rock, Arkansas attorney Tab Turner, Safetyforum.com's "Attorney of Record" for tires. NHTSA released the numbers on the same day another tragic rollover crash near Orlando, Florida left a pregnant mother in serious condition fighting for her life and the life of an unborn child. Florida State Police report that the crash was caused by the failure of a 16 inch non-recalled Wilderness tire, according to press reports. "How many more people have to die and how many more families have to suffer before these two companies act responsibly and ethically by getting the bad tires off the road," Turner asked. "If Ford and Firestone refuse to recall these tires, NHTSA at least should warn the public about these tires and advise tire owners to replace them at their own expense with non-Firestone tires until the government can force the manufacturers to act. While the NHTSA is studying tire mechanics 101, people are dying. The time has come for the agency to quit pandering to the industry and do something to protect the consumer," Turner said. The Safetyforum.com analysis revealed that about 20 percent (685) of the 3700 complaints in NHTSA's database have enough information to identify the tire size and where it was made. Only 62 of the complaints involve recalled tires made in Decatur, Illinois. About half (320) of the complaints involve tires made in Wilson, NC, five times more complaints than the recalled Decatur tires. Canadian-made tires account for 133 of the complaints, twice the number of complaints about recalled Decatur tires. More than 20 percent (174) of the complaints involve 16" Wilderness tires, none of which have been recalled. "Not only should all Firestone Wilderness tires be removed from vehicles, they should not be used as replacement tires. Using these same tires as replacement tires is like putting time bombs under a vehicle. The data indicate that in time they too can be expected to fail," Turner said. "As we said more than 10 weeks ago, Decatur is nothing more than a smoke screen designed by Ford and Firestone to avoid the monetary consequences associated with a full and complete recall of the bad tires. The message from NHTSA's own database gets louder and stronger every time it is released," Turner said.