WASHINGTON (Sept. 7)—Ford Motor Co. is establishing an "early warning system" to detect the first sign of defects among original equipment tires on Ford vehicles, Ford CEO Jacques Nasser told a congressional panel. Ford will seek the help of tire makers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Congress to develop the system. "This early warning system must use comprehensive, real-world data that—we now know—is so critical to spotting defect patterns," Nasser said. The major problem with the current recall of 6.5 million Firestone tires, he said, is that "Ford did not know that there was a defect...until we virtually pried the claims data from Firestone´s hands and analyzed it ourselves." Nasser claimed it has been standard auto industry practice up to now to let tire suppliers handle tire warranties, but the Associated Press has quoted a General Motors Corp. official as saying GM started including tires in its vehicle warranties in 1996.