After reading the article headlined, “Safety group wants Firestone recall query,” in the July 3 issue, a couple of thoughts occurred to me. It's possible many others also thought about this back in 2000 as well.
I was struck by the relatively low number of rollover and tire failure occurrences per millions of vehicles that Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone were dealing with at the time of the original recall in 2000, not that this diminishes the loss on each individual basis—those were tragic.
However, I am sure we could pick out any sizeable parking lot anywhere and find a much greater relative number of unsafe tires per vehicle.
Perhaps we should start with the parking lots of Safety Research & Strategies Inc.—the company petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reopen an inquiry into the BFS recall—or NHTSA itself.
This brings me to my first point, which is most vehicle owners are rarely aware of what is going on with their own vehicles. This is very scary—scarier than a few Firestone ATX, ATX II or Wilderness AT P-metric light truck tires still out there on the road.
Second, everyone is always looking for someone else to blame. Based on what I see every day in our dealership's service bays, I would be willing to wager that a good percentage of the tragic accidents that occurred involving the Firestone tires could have been avoided.
The drivers of those vehicles were probably driving way too fast and thus were not ready for any adverse situation that then resulted in a catastrophic loss of control.
It is my humble opinion that anymore time or money spent on this issue should be used to teach drivers to be more aware of these two- to three-ton rocket sleds in which they are cruising down the highway.
It is more cost effective to help drivers to realize that responsible driving starts even before they get in and turn the key.
With proper awareness and maintenance of each of our own vehicles, we all would be safer.
Bruce A. Adams Jr.
Adams Tire Service Inc.