Ford Explorers with Firestone Tires – Exploding Tires

“FORD EXPLORERS WITH FIRESTONE TIRES – EXPLODING TIRES ‘ Page 1 Safety issues force vehicle recalls all of the time but when defects spur 271 fatalities and more than 700 injuries , the recall can become a bit more controversial .Such was the case seven years ago when Ford Motor Company and Firestone /Bridgestone Tire Company went head to head in a blame game when tires on the Ford Explorers began separating and causing accidents and rollovers . The debate over who was at fault created such media attention that the recall has become one of the most successful in history despite the efforts initially taken to cover up the problem . In March of 1990 , Ford Motor Company introduced the Ford Explorer .The vehicle came equipped with four Firestone ATX , ATX II , or Wilderness tires . By 1993 ,five lawsuits were filed against Ford and Firestone tires for crashes and rollovers due to tires , most commonly the left rear tire , heating up and the tread separating causing the vehicle wield out of control and crash or rollover . More lawsuits followed over the next few years , all of which were settled with a gag order stipulation to prevent those involved from discussing the cases . Rather than making the public aware and correcting the problem , the companies involved chose to remain silent . However , the problem did not disappear , it worsened . The problem was a growing concern which was no longer just nationwide , it was global . Ford did make an attempt by changing the vehicle ‘s suspension in 1995 but that had little effect in reducing rollovers . This effort only applied to the vehicles distributed in foreign countries , not ones sold in the United States . Ford also instructed Firestone to add another layer of nylon to the tires . A year later , reports of tread separation in the Firestone tires used on Ford Explorers began piling up . “FORD EXPLORERS WITH FIRESTONE TIRES – EXPLODING TIRES ‘ Page 2 In 1999 and 2000 , Ford stepped up to the plate and issued a customer notification enhancement action in numerous foreign countries . Firestone remained silent during this recall for fear that the Department of Transportation would make waves in the United States . On the other hand , Ford tried to conceal the recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA . By the time the NHTSA got wind of the situation , 59 lawsuits had been filed against Ford and Firestone . Therefore , in 2000 , the NHTSA opened an investigation into the possible life- threatening defect and the accusations began flying . Ford blamed faulty tires on the part of Firestone and Firestone alleged the Ford Explorer had an oversteer and brought a shadow of doubt among the safety testing at Ford regarding handling and control issues . These issues held more weight than earlier accusations stating it was consumer negligence with such problems as incorrect air pressure and overloading . This case was not the first of its kind for Firestone . In 1978 , it was documented that Firestone covered up a defect in the Firestone 500 tires . Management changed…

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