WASHINGTON (July 20, 2001)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. today released a list of 16 accidents involving failures of non-Firestone tires on Ford Explorers that occurred between 1997 and 2001. Fourteen of the accidents involved tread separations, and 13 caused fatalities, according to the list.
A total of 15 people were killed and 29 injured in the crashes. Michelin, Dunlop, Goodyear, Uniroyal, BFGoodrich, General, Cooper and Kelly-Springfield brand tires were all involved.
The accidents occurred in California, Mississippi, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Missouri and Puerto Rico.
At the July 19 teleconference announcing Bridgestone/Firestone's defiance in the face of a pending further recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Bridgestone/Firestone CEO John T. Lampe said he had information on tire failure accidents involving non-Firestone tires on Ford Explorers, and agreed to share that information with the press.
“Real-world data shows that other tires when mounted on Explorers can experience tread separation,” he said. “Removing our tires is not going to be a solution.”