Spare Tire Recall Lawyers
Personal Injury Lawyers - Representing People Nationwide
Many of us recall the Ford/Firestone tire recalls of 2000 and 2001 after several SUV rollover injuries and deaths that took place in the late 1990s. The recalls were for Firestone Wilderness AT and Radial ATX tires primarily in Ford Explorers. Both Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/Firestone blamed each other for the tire tread failures that resulted in the rollovers. By 2000, experts estimate that about 3000 catastrophic injuries and 250 deaths were attributable to the defective tires.
But while Firestone claims that 6.3 million tires were replaced, about 200,000 were missed because some owners did not think about turning in their spare tires. In many cases, Ford Explorers and similar SUVs were sold with the original spares mounted on the undercarriage, where it is difficult for the new owners to easily read the tires’ brand. Another factor contributing to subsequent fatal rollover accidents is that tires can become defective with age, even when they are not being used. With regard to these older Firestone tires, bad tires have become worse!
Firestone issued a renewed recall in July of 2006. But this was not until after several complaints about injuries and deaths involving SUVs with the old Firestone spare tires. Additional efforts by Firestone and Ford include:
- Firestone has offered to replace pre-2000 spare tires on SUVs free of charge, no questions asked. The company has announced that it will send letters to owners of Ford Explorers, Mazda Navajos and Mercury Mountaineers made prior to the 2000 model year (more on www.Firestone.com).
- Firestone will request that its stores and dealers search vehicles for the recalled tires. For the location of a participating store in your area, you can call 1 (800) 465-1904.
- Both Ford and Firestone recommend that a six-year-old or older tire should be replaced, even if it looks brand new or has never been used. More information can be found on Ford Motor Company’s web site.
Efforts involving governmental agencies have included:
- A consumer advisory by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges owners to replace tires included in the more recent recall campaign. Affected tires comprise the P235/75R15 Radial ATX and some P255/70R 16 and P235/75R15 Wilderness AT models made prior to May 1998.
- Passage of the federal TREAD Act in 2000 intended to spot safety defects earlier.
But these efforts are no solace for those who have already been injured as a result of old Firestone tire tread failures. In a recent NHTSA test in the Washington, D.C. area, up to ten percent of older Ford SUVs were found with the older Firestone spares. And the number of fatal SUV rollover accidents cases resulting from such tire tread failures continues to mount across the country.
If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in a rollover accident as a result of tire tread separation or other type of tire failure, please call or email us today to consult with an experienced rollover accident / tire blowout lawyer.