FINDLAY, Ohio (Aug. 21, 2000)—Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. said it´s boosting production at least 50 percent in certain sizes of SUV and light truck tires, obviously in anticipation of increased demand created by Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.´s recall of 6.5 million such tires under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for alleged tread separation difficulties.
While Cooper made no mention of the BFS recall in its Aug. 18 announcement, BFS has admitted it doesn´t have enough Firestone or Bridgestone replacement tires on hand to meet demand. So BFS has agreed to reimburse motorists who buy competitors´ tires as replacements—provided they bring their recalled tires to an authorized Firestone retailer and complete the necessary paper work.
BFS is offering free replacement of all P235/75R15-sized Firestone ATX and ATX II tires as well as certain Wilderness AT tires—namely those produced in Decatur, Ill.
Cooper said its planned production increase will apply to all the company´s proprietary and private label tire lines.
The Findlay-based tire maker has told Cooper dealers its Discoverer Radial, Discoverer A/T and Discoverer H/T tire lines are suitable replacement for Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers and other SUVs and light trucks on which many of the recalled tires were original equipment.