WASHINGTON (May 21, 2001)—News sources such as the Washington Post and USA Today said Ford Motor Co. seeks to expand last year's recall of Firestone tires on pre-2002 Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers.
The auto maker wants to replace tires other than the 15-inch ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires listed in the original recall, the articles stated. Ken Zino, the Ford spokesman quoted by USA Today, could not be reached for further comment, and a Ford spokesman who works under Mr. Zino said only that Ford continues to cooperate with NHTSA's continuing investigation of Firestone tires.
An NHTSA spokesman said the agency had heard “all kinds of rumors” on what Ford intended to do, but had no further information. Officials of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. also could not be reached for comment on the Post and USA Today stories, although they said last week they were “extremely concerned” over Ford's statements to the New York Times about alleged safety problems with non-recalled Firestone tires.
“It is difficult to understand why that company would choose to go to the media and not review their data and analysis first with Firestone,” the tire maker said in a prepared statement.