A Pasadena attorney is gathering complaints about Firestone Steeltex tires from across the U.S. and plans to deliver them to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November.
Bridgestone/Firestone, meanwhile, said it knows of no consumer problems involving Steeltex tires, against which Joseph L. Lisoni and fellow attorney Steven Weinberger filed a class-action suit Aug. 13.
Because of the 34,000 letters he has sent to Firestone dealers and possible Ford vehicle owners, the number of reports Mr. Lisoni is receiving about alleged failures of Steeltex tires is growing steadily, Mr. Lisoni said.
In addition to collecting complaints about the Steeltex, Mr. Lisoni is offering to buy consumers' tires from them as evidence for the class action.
The class-action suit was filed Aug. 13 before California Superior Court, against both Bridgestone/Firestone and parent firm Bridgestone Corp. It seeks the recall of an estimated 27.5 million Steeltex tires as well as unspecified damages.
Noting that NHTSA closed an 18-month investigation of Steeltex tires in April 2001, despite receiving 872 complaints against them, the suit claimed that Bridgestone/Firestone ``falsely represented to NHTSA that it knew of no common cause of the failure problem.''
A Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman said the tire maker is hearing nothing out of the ordinary about the performance of Steeltex tires from consumers.
``We've checked with our dealer group, and except for the occasional letter from Mr. Lisoni-which we think is inappropriate-they aren't hearing any complaints,'' she said. ``Our dealers are and continue to be completely supportive of the Firestone brand. They've not seen the sorts of problems these people are talking about. They work from their own experience, and they are satisfied with the product.''