BFNAT Begins Secondary ATX, Wilderness Recall
(Akron/Tire Review) Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire has again undertaken a recall of certain Firestone Radial ATX, Radial ATX II and Wilderness AT tyres in size P235/75R15 and Wilderness AT tyres in sizes P255/70R16. These tyres were originally recalled in August 2000 and October 2001 as part of the massive tyre recall in connection with Ford Motor Co. SUV and light trucks.
The recall was announced this afternoon. BFNAT said it was taking the action “in an effort to try to recover the small percentage of tyres that may still remain in the marketplace.” These tyres are believed to be primarily spare tyres that consumers may not have had replaced during the original recalls.
BFNAT’s voluntary move comes less than a month after Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies, called on NHTSA to investigate the effectiveness of Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT recalls.
“Even though millions of defective tyres were collected, there were potentially millions of tyres that weren’t – and these campaigns were so huge, the number of uncaptured tyres is bigger than the number of tyres retrieved in most recalls,” said Kane. “While we don’t know how many spares are out there, the number is potentially significant.
“A re-notification to consumers as well as tyre and repair shops is needed to prevent these tyres being used unknowingly,” Kane said.
BFNAT said the recovery rate for the recalled tires that were believed to be in service exceeded 95 per cent. Kane said that Ford and BFNAT estimated that approximately 12 million tyres were captured by the recalls, but that spare tyres were often forgotten.
The tyremaker said it was taking these steps:
• Sending letters to current registered owners of Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer -and Mazda Navajo SUVs located in the United States, U.S. territories, Puerto Rico and Canada, as many of these vehicles were originally equipped with the affected tyres.
• Sending letters to every Firestone company-owned store as well as participating authorized Firestone dealers to provide another reminder to look for these tires, to regularly check the spare position, to alert consumers if they have an affected tire, and to replace, mount and balance that tire free of charge.
BFNAT said that consumers can confirm whether a tyre is covered by either programme by taking their vehicle to a Firestone Complete Auto Care, ExpertTire, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tire or Wheel Works location or any authorized Firestone dealer for a free inspection.