Goodyear Objective Targets Majority Of Firestone Replacements
AKRON, Ohio, June 4 Just 13 days after Ford's announcement
to recall 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires, Goodyear said that its
plans to provide more than half of those tires to consumers were on schedule.
Included in those plans by the world's largest tire manufacturer is a
10-fold increase in production of the Ford-approved replacement tires, and
stepped up shipments to a network of nearly 9,000 outlets, including Goodyear
independent dealers, company-owned outlets and Ford dealers. These are
outlets where consumers may go to obtain approved tires without having to pay
for the tires up front and wait for reimbursement by Ford.
"This situation differs significantly from the recall of a year ago when
consumers had to pay out of their pocket and wait for reimbursement from
Firestone," said John C. Polhemus, president of Goodyear's North American Tire
Polhemus said it is also an assurance of quality replacements. "Ford has
stringent performance requirements on its approved list of replacements," he
said. "Obviously, the tires we are providing not only meet Ford's
requirements, but Goodyear's high standards as well. It just wouldn't make
sense for someone to go out and buy non-approved tires with no assurance that
they are any better than the tires being removed."
With 26 different tires on the Ford-approved list, Goodyear leads the
industry in both tires approved, and available outlets for replacement, all
key factors in Goodyear's efforts to supply the majority of the replacement
"People need to understand that replacing 13 million tires is an enormous
undertaking for this industry," said Polhemus. "Our people are working around
the clock to keep tires flowing through Goodyear retailers and Ford dealers.
"We've had some stores with runs on tires, and some without a great deal
of activity," Polhemus said. "Therefore we have experienced some spot
shortages, which certainly could be expected in a recall of this magnitude."
Polhemus said that the company is continuing to work with Ford to gain
approved-status on additional tire brands as well, which could help improve
delivery time even more.
Polhemus suggests that consumers call their local Goodyear retailer and
check on availability. If tires are not available locally, they will be soon,
so consumers should request to be put on a call-list for the next shipment.