NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 5, 2000)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. said it will not issue a formal recall notice regarding an estimated 1.4 million tires not included in the company´s earlier recall of 6.5 million Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT light truck tires.
The Nashville-based tire maker said it disagrees with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration´s Sept. 1 consumer advisory warning consumers that as many as 1.4 million non-recalled Bridgestone/Firestone-made tires may have tread-separation rates that "exceed those of the recalled tires, sometimes by a larger margin."
NHTSA´s advisory listed 27 different lines of Firestone ATX, Firehawk ATX, ATX 23 Degree, Widetrack Radial Baja, Widetrack Radial Baja A/S and Wilderness AT as allegedly having at least the same rate of tread separation as the Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires recalled by the company Aug. 9.
Rather than issuing a formal recall notice, BFS said it will provide a free inspection at company-owned Firestone Tire and Service Centers or at authorized participating Firestone retailers.
"Obviously, if there is a problem, we´ll fix it, " BFS said in its Sept. 1 response to the NHTSA advisory. "If a customer is still concerned about their tires, we will replace the tires at no cost to the customers; we will use competitors´ products if necessary." The company described this as merely a continuation of its longstanding commitment to customer satisfaction.
"We disagree with NHTSA´s analysis that led to (the) advisory. Our preliminary review of the advisory reveals differences between our information about these tires and the agency´s. This will be a topic of future discussions," BFS said.
The company said few of the tires listed by NHTSA are still on the road. "It´s important to remember," BFS said, "that our estimates show fewer than half of these 1.4 million tires are still in use after years or service and millions of miles of safe driving."