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Old 02-27-2004, 00:33   #1 (permalink)
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U.S.A.:Firestone tire recall hits Ford again

By Jeff Plungis / Detroit News Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Bridgestone/Firestone on Thursday launched its largest tire recall since the headline-grabbing Wilderness AT campaigns of 2000 and 2001 that involved Ford Explorers.

Once again, the recall involves tire failures that led to serious accidents in Ford Motor Co. SUVs — this time the large Ford Excursion.

The recall covers 16-inch tires sold as original equipment on 2000-02 model year Excursions, and some early 2003 models.

Firestone estimates 297,000 of the 490,000 tires produced are still in use in the United States.

The tire maker took the action after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted five deaths and 20 injuries tied to tire failures.

NHTSA noted multiple causes, including some of the same problems that led to the earlier recalls. Firestone said the tires were not performing up to expectations.

Firestone is replacing the tires at no charge.
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