WASHINGTON (July 19, 2001)—A spokesman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined comment on a USA Today story stating the safety agency has recommended to Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. that it recall millions more tires. The story said NHTSA gave Bridgestone/Firestone until July 20 to respond.
The agency started investigating Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT tires in May 2000, beginning a separate investigation of Firestone Steeltex tires in September.
The tire maker recalled 14.4 million ATX and Wilderness tires in August, of which an estimated 6.5 million were still on the road. Bridgestone/Firestone announced in June that the recall had been successfully completed.
A Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman, responding in a prepared statement, said the company has been meeting regularly with NHTSA officials and continues to believe that its tires are safe.
"We´ve supplied NHTSA, Congress and the public with volumes of data, both from the field and the lab, that clearly supports this position," she said. "Removing our tires is not the solution.
"Rollovers continue on Ford Explorers regardless of tire brand. That has become abundantly clear in the past few months. We´ve engaged a well-respected expert to help us better understand whey these tragic accidents are more likely to occur on the Explorer than other SUVs. We will continue to share that information with the agency and with Congess," the BFS spokeswoman said.