Dealers speak out on Ford tire recall
Editor's note: The following responses are to the question currently put to visitors of TB's Web site, www.tirebusiness.com.
Question: What is your reaction to Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. dropping Ford Motor Co. as an OE tire customer in the Americas?
It's unfortunate that this had to happen, but at some point you have to draw the line and not work with business partners you cannot trust. BFS did the right thing...tough decision!
GCR Tire Centers
It is about time BFS stuck it to Ford. Ford has the problem, not BFS.
Ford redesigned their 2002 Explorer. Wonder why? I have ridden on Firestone tires for 1.5 million miles with no problem.
I applaud Bridgestone/Firestone. There obviously is more to the story than defective tires-one should say overworked tires. As an Explorer owner and independent Bridgestone/Firestone dealer who carries all other major brands as well, I think there is something to the design of the Explorer that makes it unsafe in certain driving conditions.
Having used both the Wilderness AT and the ATX on my own truck and having sold tens of thousand of them, I know they can travel for 60,000 to 100,000 miles easily.
There is more than one kind of SUV out there but only one that is rolling over at an alarming rate.
Can Ford step up to the plate and say that ``if there is a problem with our product we will replace it,'' as BFS did? Consumer safety comes first. I have driven Fords all my life, but this is the last one. I won't be associated with them again either.
Independant store manager
Mission Tire Center
Mission Viejo , Calif.
This action is a good example of legal positioning by Ford and brings unwarranted negative attention to the entire tire industry.
The public needs to become aware that many of the accidents in question were due to underinflation and failure to pay attention to early warning signs of tire separation.
Pat Reilly Jr.
Cooper Tire & Auto
The supplier-customer relationship has always been a two-way street until Ford Motor Co. abused this relationship. It is about time somebody stood up to Ford!
Go get `em John Lampe (Bridgestone/Firestone chairman). Prove to the American buying public what a dangerous vehicle the Explorer is!
B. E. Jergensen
Import Tire Co.
I was a store manager with Firestone for 20 years and was a manager in Fort Myers, Fla., next to Sam Galloway Ford back in the late `80s.
I would get my weekly tire shipments and sometimes would be the last stop before the truck would deliver its shipment of tires to Ford's testing facilities in Naples, just a few miles south.
It was common knowledge back then shared by Firestone truck drivers that those tires (ATXs and later Wilderness ATs) all were designed to Ford's specs-and that at any time upon delivery of these tires, white Ford Explorers that appeared to have rolled over would be sitting around in back lots! Looking back, I think I might have been seeing the future of this truck's problems.
From day one when this truck was introduced, being the Firestone outlet across the street, I saw ride complaints, handling problems and-most common-excessive tire wear that was the result of poor suspension design....
I am glad to see all Explorers getting somebody else's tires. Time will tell the true nature of the beast.... And, let's face it, it's cheaper to change four tires than the truck.
Owner and President
Good move for both (companies)!
Ray Carr Tires
I think Firestone has gotten a raw deal. Too much evidence shows that the Explorer has a rollover problem.
BFS had to do this to protect their name. Ford is not blameless and should take some blame as well.
It's sad because they have one of the longest relationships in the business world. It's a shame these companies can't find common ground.
I am very glad Firestone stood up to Ford. They make very high quality products. Besides, how come no other manufacturer like Chevy experienced these problems? Bottom line is that the Explorer's wheelbase is too narrow!
Mid America Tire
Webster defines ``partners'' as ``one of two or more persons owning a business jointly; either of two persons dancing together.''
Since last August it was obviously clear that Ford Motor Co., specifically Jacques Nasser, found it easier to blame Firestone rather than admit that Ford was indeed a major ``dance partner'' in this unfortunate event.
I applaud John Lampe and Shu Ishibashi for their bold stand.
It should be a catalyst for all tire dealers and distributors to support BFS' future efforts to restore Bridgestone/Firestone brands and to insure the company remains viable and healthy.
Henry J. Broadway
Heafner Tire Group