WASHINGTON (June 11, 2001)—House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman W.J. “Billy” Tauzin, R-La., has sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking it to answer a series of questions regarding the steering and stability of the Ford Explorer.
Although stopping short of calling for a formal investigation,Mr. Tauzin accused the agency of avoiding the question of “whether the problem with the Firestone tires is solely a tire issue, or whether it is a tire-vehicle application issue.”
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. CEO John T. Lampe visited Mr. Tauzin and other lawmakers over the last couple of weeks with the results of a BFS-funded study showing an oversteer problem with some Ford Explorers.
Ford Motor Co., with its recall of 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires, continues to insist Firestone tires alone were at fault in the accidents which reportedly killed 174 people.