WASHINGTON (Sept. 1, 2000)—Some 1.4 million non-recalled tires, manufactured by Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., are subject to the same problems as the 6.5 million already being recalled, according to a consumer advisory from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NHTSA said its on-going investigation has indicated the rate of tread separations of the tires in question "exceed those of the recalled tires, sometimes by a large margin."
The agency said it will continue its investigation "which may result in an order directing Firestone to recall these tires and any other defective tires."
However, NHTSA said it decided to alert the public of its concerns at this time in view of the potential safety risk.
Although approximately 1.4 million such tires were produced, NHTSA said, many were manufactured years ago and "it is likely that far fewer are currently on the road."
The agency listed 27 different lines of Firestone ATX, Firehawk ATX, ATX 23 Degree, Widetrack Radial Baja, Widetrack Radial Baja A/S and Wilderness AT tires as having at least the same high rate of tread separation as the Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. recalled Aug. 9.
Most of the recalled tires were made in Bridgestone/Firestone´s Decatur, Ill., facility, except for two lines manufactured in Oklahoma City, Okla., and one made in Wilson, N.C.
One line was original equipment on the 1991 Chevy Blazer; one on the 1991-94 Nissan pickup; and one on the 1996-98 Ford F150. However, the majority of the tires were sold in the aftermarket as replacement tires for light trucks and sport utility vehicles, NHTSA said.
Bridgestone/Firestone refused NHTSA´s suggestion to recall the extra tires at a meeting in Washington Aug. 31, according to the advisory. Nevertheless, the agency urged motorists to "consider replacing the tires in question" and retain all documentation on the replacements.
BFS officials could not be reached for comment.