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Firestone Will Recall Tires Linked to Deadly Crashes

Feb 26, 2004 | Wall Street Journal

Three and a half years after a massive recall of its tires linked to deadly highway rollover accidents involving Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicles, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC. is preparing to announce another, though much smaller, recall of tires mounted on Ford Motor Co. SUVs, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

The Nashville-based company, the U.S. unit of Japan's Bridgestone Corp., is preparing to announce the recall of tires mounted on the Ford Excursion, following three fatal crashes that claimed five lives, people familiar with the matter said. The tires, which are called Steeltex Radial AT, LT-265/75R16-Load Range D, were made between March 1999 and December 2002, according to one person familiar with the matter. About 300,000 are believed to be still in use, according to another person.

A spokesman for Firestone declined to comment, but said a 1 p.m. EST announcement was being planned.

Ford spokesmen couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration became aware of the accidents after Firestone in December submitted claims and warranty data to the agency, according people familiar with the matter. The submission was in keeping with a provision of a federal auto-safety law passed in the wake of the 2000 Firestone recall of 6.5 million tires that took effect late last year. The new regulation requires manufacturers to submit volumes of additional information about their products to NHTSA officials.


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