For years, the owners of sport-utility vehicles, including the Ford Explorer, remained unaware about the very dangerous safety defects in their vehicles’ tires. However, documents show that both Ford and Firestone, which manufactured the defective tires, were aware of a potential tire tread separation problem. The companies were aware that the separation problem was serious enough to increase the risk of a fatal or serious vehicle rollover but concealed the defect.
As both Ford and Firestone concealed evidence that linked a tread separation defect in their tires to an increased risk of a rollover, thousands of motorists who drove these cars continued to be at risk of injury.
If you were involved in a fatal or injurious accident in a car equipped with defective Firestone tires, you may have grounds for a product liability claim. Speak with an attorney at Chalik & Chalik by calling 855-529-0269 and set up a consultation to discuss how to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income and disability.
Defects in Firestone Tires
The Ford Explorer was first available to the American public in March 1990. Later, documented evidence showed that engineers at the company were concerned about the increased risk of a rollover in these SUVs. However, the company only made the most basic fixes to these vehicles.
Reports of rollovers involving Fords in driving conditions that should never have caused rollovers began to come in. In almost all of these rollovers, the cause of the rollover was tire failure involving tread separation. In these cases, the tread peeled off, followed shortly afterward by complete disintegration and tire blowout. Even when vehicles traveled at moderate speeds, there was a risk that the sports-utility vehicles would flip over, causing devastating injuries.
The already-traumatized victims of these accidents and families of those who were killed in Ford rollover accidents related to the Firestone tires had more to deal with. Both of the companies denied any accountability for the injuries or fatalities resulting from the defective vehicles.
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Defective Firestone Tire Recalls
Firestone Wilderness AT Tires in 2000: In August 2000, safety advocacy group Public Citizen called for a recall of the Firestone Wilderness AT tires. In 2000, Ford and Firestone announced the first recall of tires manufactured at the Decatur, Ill., plant. The recall involved 6.5 million Wilderness AT tires.
Subsequent Recall in 2001: However, that didn’t eliminate the risk to Explorer drivers and occupants. In October 2001, investigations found tires that were not included in the earlier recall continued to be defective, and more recalls followed. Even that did not solve the problem, and the Ford Explorer continued to be plagued by tire blowout-related rollover issues for years after.
Firestone FR380 P235/75 Tires in 2008: In 2008, Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire announced a recall of 135,000 Firestone FR380 P235/75 tires from the United States and Canada. The manufacturer admitted that there was a production defect that contributed to insufficient tread base gauge, leading to a potential for tire failure.
Subsequent Recall in 2009: In 2009, Bridgestone expanded the previous recall to include more Firestone brand FR 380 P235/75 r15 tires because more tires were discovered to have the same defect.
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These claims involve complicated legal matters. A person who has suffered injuries or lost loved ones in accidents directly related to a defective Firestone tire is up against corporations that have years of litigation experience and extensive legal resources dedicated to defeating injury and death claims.
Our lawyers at Chalik & Chalik help people harmed by defective tires pursue compensation to which they’re entitled. If you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by a defective Firestone tire, you may have grounds for a product liability claim. Call us today at 855-529-0269 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.
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