Bridgestone/Firestone: Recall expansion is unwarranted

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There is no reason for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to demand an expanded Firestone tire recall, say Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) Inc. officials.

"The facts they've presented do not support (it)," says John Lampe, BFS chairman, CEO and president.

Lampe says NHTSA has declined to reveal details of their tire analysis to BFS "in a meaningful way."

Representatives from both organizations met this morning at NHTSA offices in Washington, D.C.

"We don't know what NHTSA will be requesting in the future," Lampe says. "They haven't made a final determination on what action they might take."

The Firestone Wilderness AT tire has been discussed as a candidate, he admits. "I believe the tires they're discussing could be a subset" of the units involved in Ford's recent recall.

Lampe speculates that if NHTSA demands a recall expansion, it will be limited to two unspecified sizes, possibly P235/75R15 and P255/70R16.

"We know what tires they're looking at but not what they're considering for further agency action," says a BFS spokesperson.

BFS maintains its tires are safe. "They're performing well. We're not going to replace good tires with good tires."

Furthermore, the tiremaker does not "owe a response to NHTSA," Lampe says, and has no meeting with the agency scheduled for tomorrow.

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