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Goodyear disputes congressional claims about "other" tires

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has responded to allegations made at this week's Ford/Firestone congressional hearings that certain tires us

ed to replace recalled Firestone Wilderness AT units on Ford Explorers are faulty.

During Tuesday's hearings before the joint subcommittees of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep. Billy Tauzin (R.-La.) revealed he had evidence that some tires replacing the Firestone Wilderness AT brand on Ford Explorers had comparatively higher failure rates.

However, he refused to name them, despite the possibility that all tires might receive a bad rap from consumers while they are waiting to hear if their tires on his suspect list (two brands unofficially leaked out according to press reports; as soon as they are officially released, Modern Tire Dealer will print them).

"As this issue progresses and additional special interest groups gain access to more information, it is imperative that the public understands the facts around claims data and the potential manipulation and misunderstanding of that data," Goodyear officials say.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker says it has given the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration 10 years of data covering 87 million passenger tires applicable to all types of SUVs, pick-up trucks, minivans and station wagons. "The data shows Goodyear has not had a single injury or fatality attributable to the quality of these tires."

In addition, damage claims do not equal defects, according to Goodyear officials. "There is no industry standard for acceptable levels of property damage claims," they say. "Causes for tread separations leading to the claims can vary from a road hazard to puncture to under-inflation and overloading as well as the remote possibility of a problem with the quality of the tire."

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