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Firestone Announces Tire Recalls Affecting Nearly 20,000 Tires

Sep 10, 2002 | The Wall Street Journal Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC announced two separate tire recalls, one for mislabeling and the other for a flaw in manufacturing.

The first recall involves 18,912 tires produced at Firestone's Wilson, N.C., plant, some of which may have a production flaw that resulted from a machine malfunction. The company said some of the recalled tires may have pockets of air trapped under the treads, which could lead to chunks of rubber coming loose.

Firestone, the U.S. unit of Japan's Bridgestone Corp ( news - external web site)., said it thought it had identified all of the flawed tires shortly after they were manufactured, but recently became aware that some 890 of the 18,912 tires manufactured during a two-week period in April were shipped out. The recalled tires may have been used on Toyota Motor Corp's 2003 model-year Toyota Corolla S and LE vehicles assembled from mid-April through early September.

In order to assure they locate all of the affected tires, the company is recalling the entire production from those two weeks. The recalled tires are Firestone FR690 tires in the size P195/65R15 and are identified with the Department of Transportation numbers W2C6T001402 and W2C6T001502. There are no claims for property damage or injury caused by the recalled tires, or any of the tires in this line and size, the company said.

The second recall involves approximately 754 Widetrack brand Baja A/T tires in size 30x9.50R15 produced over a 21-day period beginning Sept. 23, 2001, at Firestone's LaVergne, Tenn., plant. The recalled tires didn't comply with the tire marking requirements set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for new compressed air tires for nonpassenger car vehicles.

The company's analysis and review of the manufacturing process showed that all of the affected Widetrack brand Baja A/T tires met all other requirements, and the company believes that the incorrect tire markings didn't compromise motor vehicle safety. The maximum load as stated on the tire, in both English and metric units, was actually less than the actual maximum load for these tires. The company said that it's not likely the tires would be placed in an unsafe, overload situation as a result of the incorrect marking.

The tires which are the subject of this recall can be identified as follows: Widetrack brand Baja A/T with Department of Transportation serial numbers W166WB03801, W166WB03901 and W166WB04001. The company will immediately begin contacting dealers who have been shipped these tires in order to identify any consumers who may have purchased these tires.

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