WASHINGTON (Sept. 27)—Complaint data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the ATX and Wilderness tires Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. recalled Aug. 9 have better safety records than tires the company didn´t recall, according to online consumer advocacy group Safetyforum.com. Of the 2,226 complaints against Firestone tires now logged at NHTSA, Safetyforum.com said 267 can be identified as to size and source. Only 42 percent of those tires were made in Bridgestone/Firestone´s Decatur, Ill., facility, according to the group; the rest came from plants in Wilson, N.C., Aiken, S.C., or Joliette, Quebec. "A partial recall focused solely on Decatur tires allows Ford and Firestone to play a shell game that replaces defective tires from Decatur with more defective tires from other Firestone facilities," said Tab Turner, a plaintiffs´ attorney and legal counsel to Safetyforum.com. A Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman said Safetyforum.com "is a biased Web site run by plaintiffs´ attorneys with a vested interest in the outcome of litigation stemming from this recall." The data the group cites, she added, are claims reports unverified as to the cause of the accidents. "We haven´t seen a pattern of failure in the 16-inch tires as we have in the 15-inch," she said.
Worst Firestone tires aren´t being recalled, consumer group says
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