Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires were installed as original equipment on Ford Explorers, Ford Rangers, and Ford F-150s. The complete list of vehicles installed with recalled Firestone tires as original equipment is listed below:
Manufacturer Model Model Years Ford Explorer 1991-2000 Mercury Mountaineer 1996-2000 Ford Ranger (pick up truck) 1991-2000 Ford F-series Light Trucks 1991-1994 Ford Bronco 1991-1994 Mazda B-series (pick up truck) 1994-1996 Mazda Navajo 1991-1994
Bridgestone/Firestone estimates that 6.5 million of the 14.4 million recalled tires are still in service. 3.8 million of recalled tires are thought to be Radial ATX and ATX II tires and the remaining 2.7 million tires are Wilderness AT - 15 inch brand.
On May 22, 2001, Ford voluntarily expanded the Firestone recall to include all 13 million Wilderness AT brand tires. Ford has replaced all Firestone tires with competitor brands. The replacement tires, however, have also come under scrutiny. In July 2001, the NHTSA opened a defect investigation into an Explorer replacement tire manufactured by General. The NHTSA found the tread-separation claim rate on the General replacement tire to be 124 per million tires, well above the claim rate of 6 per million on some Firestone Wilderness AT tires under the August 2000 recall.
The significant number of accidents and claim rates has many believing that the Ford Explorer's high center of gravity is also part of the problem. Reports issued in connection with the ongoing litigation have stated that the Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle rolls over more often than other SUV's do in tire-tread accidents. These reports have also stated that about 31% of Explorer owners who bring their vehicles in for service complain of vibrations while driving. Many could not be cured, even after dealers changed tires, shock absorbers and drive-shafts. Less frequent is an odd tire-wear pattern called "cupping." It shows up in less than 2% of Explorer complaints, however, it never shows up in most other Ford truck models. According to documents obtained after a congressional investigation, Ford had data that Firestone tires installed on the Explorer had little or no margin for error in high-speed driving. Click on Failure to Warn to learn more about this issue.
In all Firestone / Ford blowout and rollover cases it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to enable physicians or other expert witnesses to thoroughly evaluate any injuries. If you or a loved one is a victim of a serious automobile accident, call Law Offices of Robert Dourian now at 800-790-8856 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don't delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.