Chronology - Firestone Recall

May 2, 2000 -The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into approximately 47 million ATX, ATXII, and Wilderness AT tires, after four accident related deaths are reported. The NHTSA also issues a letter to Ford and Firestone requesting information about the high incidence of tire failure on Ford Explorer vehicles. In July, Ford analyzes the data on tire failure and concludes that 15" Firestone ATX and ATX II models and Wilderness AT tires had very high failure rates of the tread peeling off.

August 4, 2000 -Sears announces that it will stop selling Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness tires at its Sears Auto Centers and its National Tire & Battery shops. Morgan Tire and Auto, Inc. also announces that it will begin to offer concerned customers free inspections and partial rebates on the Firestone tires in question.

August 8, 2000 - Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford meet with NHTSA during which the agency suggest to recall certain Firestone tires.

August 9, 2000 -Firestone announces that it is recalling 14.4 million of all Firestone Radial ATX and Radial ATX II tires in size P235/75R15 produced in North America and Wilderness AT tires in size P235/75R15 produced at the Decatur, Illinois plant. The recall is announced in three scheduled phases. The first phase beginning with warm weather states: Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. The second phase includes: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The third phase includes the remaining states. Firestone customers are expected to wait as long as a year to have their tires replaced under the recall phase schedule.

August 12, 2000 -After public complaints regarding the regional phase schedule and expected delays, Ford offers replacement tires for its customers who owned vehicles equipped with Firestone tires covered by the recall. Ford owners can go to Ford, Lincoln-Mercury or Mazda dealers and obtain replacement tires, including other brand tires.

August 30, 2000 - NHTSA staff meets with Firestone representatives in Washington and recommended that Firestone expand the recall to include other tire models.

August 31, 2000 Firestone advises the NHTSA that it would not voluntarily expand the recall.

September 1, 2000 - The NHTSA issues a consumer advisory warning vehicle owners about safety risks associated with specific models of Firestone tires. These tires are not a part of the original tire recall.

September 6, 2000 Senate and House hold hearings on the Firestone recall. The hearings address concerns regarding the slow response by the NHTSA, Ford, and Firestone to notify consumers of a tire defect despite documented knowledge of problems dating back from 1999.

November 1, 2000 - President Clinton signs into law the Transportation Recall Efficiency, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act. The act requires automobile, tire and automobile parts manufacturers to make several changes to improve tire safety.

January 2, 2001 - Firestone announces the recall of 8,000 Wilderness LE tires in the P265/70R16 size produced in Cuernavaca, Mexico during the week of April 23, 2000. Firestone discovered a substantially lower rate adhesion in the belt area rubber due to the unintended small inclusion of a non-specified rubber material in the #1 stabilizer belt. The tires may have been used on approximately 4,700 model year 2000 GMC Yukon XL 1500 series vehicles and Chevrolet Suburban 1500 series trucks.

February 20, 2001- Firestone announces the recall of 98,500 P205/55R16 Firehawk GTA-02 tires. Most of the recalled tires were fitted as original equipment on the 2000 and 2001 Nissan Altima SE. The recall was ordered due to a design defect on the shoulder and edge of the tread.

May 21, 2001 - Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. announces it is terminating its almost 100-year business relationship of supplying tires to the Ford Motor Company.

May 22, 2001 - Ford announces a further recall of all 13 million Wilderness AT tires - 15, 16, and 17 inch - original and replacement. Ford's says the action is precautionary due to limited confidence in the future durability of Wilderness AT tires from field data analysis provided by the NHTSA.

June 19, 2001 NHTSA issues a report to Congress regarding the status of the Firestone tire investigation. To read the report, click on NHTSA Report To Congress.

July 19, 2001 Firestone announces that it will not issue a broader recall of its tires saying the federal government has failed to show that other tires pose a danger to motorist.

July 30, 2001 The NHTSA issues four proposed rules under the TREAD Act. The proposals include: (1) A final rule requiring anyone who knowingly sells or leases a defective tire to report that transaction to NHTSA; (2) A ''safe harbor'' final rule spelling out the provisions under which people who knowingly misled NHTSA about auto and tire safety defects can avoid criminal penalties; (3) A proposed rule to reconcile the regulations of the TREAD Act and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act regarding the sale of defective vehicles, tires and parts; (4) The tire pressure monitoring proposed rule that covers all new passenger cars, light trucks, buses and multi-purpose passenger vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less.

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.

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