WASHINGTON (Aug. 15, 2000)—Two of the most powerful men in Congress have sent letters expressing deep concern over Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.´s 6.5-million tire recall involving Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness radials.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., wrote Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater urging the speeding up of the phased recall and a review of federal mechanisms for collecting and reporting tire defect data.
"I ask you to work with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. to expand the scope of this recall to ensure that all consumers are protected," Mr. McCain wrote.
Meanwhile, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., ranking Democrat on the House Commerce Committee, wrote Bridgestone/Firestone Chairman Masatoshi Ono seeking his assurances that the company will reimburse ATX and Wilderness owners who buy or have already bought new tires.
"Reimbursing affected consumers in this way would effectively deal with both Firestone´s inventory problem and the safety concerns of consumers," Mr. Dingell wrote.
In a conference call/press briefing, a Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman said the company is working out reimbursement procedures for ATX and Wilderness owners who paid for pro-rated replacement of the tires.