08 January 2001
Ford has a different idea
Ford Motor Co. was quick to respond to Firestone's report of its root cause investigation, agreeing with Firestone when the company acknowledged problems and stoutly denying suggestions that the design of the Explorer may contribute to tread separations.
A 19 December press release from Ford responded to Firestone's remarks about vehicle weight and load distribution by saying, "The weight of the Explorer is well within the load rating of the tires." The release further stated: "Our experience . . . leads us to conclude that the vehicle is not a significant contributor to tread separation." The company added, "We believe it is a combination of manufacturing factors and the reaction of the tire design to field operating conditions . . . that have caused the increased failure rate of these tires."