Ford, Goodyear announce tire replacement plan
DETROIT (AP) – Drivers affected by Ford Motor Co.’s recall of 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires can get free replacements at more than 5,000 Goodyear dealers, the automaker and tire company announced Wednesday.
In a joint statement, Goodyear said it would also make replacement tires available at Ford and Mercury dealerships. The Akron, Ohio-based company said increased shipments began last week.
Goodyear also said it had increased production at seven North American manufacturing plants.
The automaker is still in negotiations with Continental and Michelin for replacement tires, said spokeswoman Della DiPietro.
”Our goal is to get as many tires as quickly as possible into the hands of our customers,” DiPietro said.
On May 22, Ford announced it would recall 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tires. Its analysis suggested the tires failed at a higher rate than tires produced by other companies.
The move came a day after Bridgestone/Firestone broke off its 95-year relationship with Ford.
The two companies have been at odds since last August’s recall of 6.5 million Firestone tires the federal government said could be linked to at least 174 deaths and over 700 injuries.
Many of the recalled tires were installed as original equipment on Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles. In some cases, after the tread separated from the tires, the Ford vehicles rolled over.
Ford has maintained the tire was solely at fault while the tire company believes both the tire and vehicle played roles in the accidents.
On the Net:
Ford Motor Company: http://www.ford.com
Goodyear Tire and Rubber: http://www.goodyear.com
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