NEW YORK (Oct. 2, 2000)—During an interview televised on the CBS network´s "60 Minutes" program, Sunday, Oct. 1, the president of Bridgestone/Firestone in Venezuela, Jorge Gonzalez, denied that his company´s Venezuelan-made Firestone tires were responsible for 47 deaths involving Ford Explorer rollover accidents in that country.
Mr. Gonzalez told CBS commentator Ed Bradley several factors may have played a role in such accidents, including the:
*Explorer´s suspension system;
*lower air pressure (26 psi) initially recommended by Ford Motor Co. for that sport-utility vehicle; and those
*Individuals who were driving the vehicles involved in such accidents.
Earlier, in a document made public by the Congressional committee investigating circumstances behind BFS´ Aug. 9 recall of Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires, he also has pointed to the vehicle´s design as a major factor in contributing to those accidents.