WASHINGTON (June 22, 2001)—Ford Motor Co. has agreed to a request from the House Energy and Commerce Committee to review tire claims data the committee collected and perform high-speed rig tests on all the tires Ford is using to replace 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires.
At a congressional hearing June 19, the committee identified seven replacement tire models for the Wilderness which exceeded Ford's benchmark level of five tread separation claims per million tires. A few days later, it identified four more, bringing the total to 11.
“We are proceeding with all possible speed to analyze the raw data,” said Sue Cischke, Ford vice president-Environmental and Safety Engineering, in a prepared statement. The auto maker also is consulting with tire manufacturers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the matter, Ms. Cischke said.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin, R-La., called Ford's action “an important step toward resolving this controversy and safeguarding American consumers.”