WASHINGTON (April 25)—Fatal accidents involving Firestone tires mounted on Ford Explorers were "largely the responsibility of Ford Motor Co.," Public Citizen and plaintiffs' attorney Web site Safetyforum.com contend in a new report that claims to unveil the root causes of the Ford-Firestone tragedy. "Ford designed a vehicle that was prone to rolling over" and "also drew up the specifications for the now-infamous Firestone tires with treads that unexpectedly separate," said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook at a news conference unveiling the report. But Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. also deserves blame because it "agreed to manufacture the tire despite the fact that the tire was inadequate for the vehicle," Claybrook said. The report uses data from various sources to back its charge that Firestone tires not included in August's 6.5-million-tire recall are just as prone to failure as the recalled tires. Claybrook and Safetyforum.com Director Ralph Hoar called on the tire maker to recall 10 million more tires. They also called on Ford "to launch an owner notification program and a public information campaign to inform Explorer owners of the dangerous propensity for the vehicles to roll over, as well as the difficulty in controlling an Explorer when a tire tread separates." Last week Ford issued a report absolving the Explorer from blame in the accidents which have cost at least 184 lives by Public Citizen's count. Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone officials couldn't be reached for comment.
Public Citizen says Explorer accidents "largely the responsibility" of Ford
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