WASHINGTON (June 7, 2001)—Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader had harsh words for Ford Motor Co., Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at a June 5 speech before the National Press Club.
The lesson from the recall of Firestone tires on the Ford Explorer is, “You don't put an unstable vehicle on a deficient tire,” Mr. Nader said during a question-and-answer session after his speech. He added that Ford and Firestone
thought they could get away with selling bad products because “NHTSA was basically no longer a law enforcement agency, but a consulting firm to Detroit.”
Ford has consistently blamed Firestone for safety problems that caused the deaths of 174 people on U.S. highways, whereas Firestone insists the design of the Ford Explorer is at least partly to blame.