NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 7)—Firestone 15-inch ATX tires made in Decatur, Ill., had 10 times the claims for tread separation as 15-inch Wilderness AT tires made in Decatur, which in turn had a much higher number of performance-related claims than Wilderness tires made in Wilson, N.C., or Joliette, Quebec. Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. gave this information in a news release describing interim results of the company´s search for the root causes of tire problems which so far have caused 119 deaths and 500 injuries on U.S. roads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Bridgestone/Firestone is concentrating its search on differences in design between the ATX and Wilderness tires, manufacturing variability in Decatur and "factors that generate excessive heat and weaken the tire´s construction in the belt-edge area," the company said. Bridgestone/Firestone said the recall of 6.5 million ATX and Wilderness tires is nearly 75-percent complete. Meanwhile, the final report by Sanjay Govindjee, the University of California engineering professor Bridgestone/Firestone hired to study the ATX and Wilderness tire problems, should be finished early in 2001.
Bridgestone/Firestone study focusing on design, manufacturing variables
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