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Consumer News Release

For immediate release -- Tuesday, August 29, 2000.

Attorney General Issues Tips for Owners of Tires Recalled by Bridgestone/Firestone

Consumer Division also cautions used car dealers to replace recalled tires, or to give buyers written notice that recalled tires on vehicles may pose a danger.

DES MOINES-- The Attorney General's Office issued a bulletin today with tips for consumers who have tires recalled by Bridgestone/Firestone company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating over 60 deaths and many injuries that could be linked to the tires.

The "Consumer Advisory" provides information on how to determine if tires are part of the recall, how to obtain replacement tires, how to obtain refunds, and where to get more information.

Bridgestone/Firestone has recalled all Firestone ATX and ATX II tires in the P235/75R15 size, and Wilderness tires of that size that were made in Decatur, Illinois. The Advisory spells out how to determine which Wilderness tires are subject to recall. Bridgestone/Firestone is offering free replacement tires and reimbursement up to $100 each for tires replaced with other brands.

The Consumer Protection Division also is advising several thousand licensed used car dealers in Iowa to remove recalled tires from vehicles on their lots whenever possible, and to provide written notice to customers if tires on a used vehicle are subject to recall and may pose a danger.

The Advisory, an information sheet telling how to identify recalled tires, and the letter to licensed car dealers are available at the Consumer Protection section of the Attorney General's web site: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org.

The letter to dealers states that failure to replace recalled tires or provide a clear written notice to buyers might be found by a court to be an unfair sales practice and a violation of the Iowa Consumer Fraud Act. "Your cooperation is needed," the letter states. "Thank you for taking these measures for safety and fairness." The letter to dealers is going out at the end of this week.

Bridgestone/Firestone is providing compensation up to $100 each for recalled tires that consumers replace with other brands. The company asks consumers to return the recalled tires to a Firestone retailer. The Attorney General's Office recently wrote to Bridgestone/Firestone President Masatoshi Ono urging swift replacement of all recalled tires and asking the company to explain how it will handle situations where consumers replaced but did not turn in recalled tires - especially if the consumers had not received notice to return them.

The Consumer Advisory invites Iowans to contact the Consumer Protection Division if they have difficulty with obtaining replacement tires or reimbursement. Consumers should write to the Consumer Protection Division, Hoover Bldg, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, call 515-281-5926, or send e-mail to: consumer@ag.state.ia.us.

Detailed information about the tires and recall arrangements also is available from:
Bridgestone/Firestone - 800-465-1904.

Ford Motor Co. - 800-660-4719.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site

How to Identify Tires Being Recalled

Bridgestone/Firestone has recalled certain tires, offered replacement tires, and offered reimbursement, including for recalled tires replaced with other brands. At this time (Aug. 25), tires recalled are all Firestone ATX and ATX II tires in the P235/75R15 size, and all Firestone Wilderness AT tires in the P235/75R15 size that were built at the Decatur, Illinois, tire plant.

Auto dealers and citizens are advised to monitor whether the recall is expanded, and to replace all recalled tires.

Here are sources of information about the tires and recall arrangements:

Bridgestone/Firestone - 800-465-1904
Ford Motor Co. - 800-660-4719
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site

Using information from those sources, here is more detail on identifying recalled tires:

  1. Tires being recalled: all Firestone ATX and ATX II tires in the P235/75R15 size and all Firestone Wilderness AT tires in the P235/75R15 size that were built at the Decatur, Illinois, tire plant. (Note: the recall may be expanded without further notice to you by the Attorney General.) See below for details on how to identify the recalled tires.
  2. Vehicles with these tires: Firestone recall tires were installed as original equipment on the following: Ford Explorers1991-2000; Mercury Mountaineers 1996-2000; Ford Rangers 1991-2000; Ford F-Series pickups 1991-94; Ford Broncos 1991-94; Ford Explorer Sport Tracs 2001; Mazda B-Series 1994-2000; and Mazda Navajos 1991-94. (However, not all tires included on these vehicles are subject to the recall.) Recall tires also were sold in the aftermarket and may be on any light truck or SUV with P235/75R15 tires. Tires are being recalled regardless of the vehicle they are on.

Details on how to check if the tires are included in the recall:

The recall includes ALL ATX and ATX II tires of size P235/75R15 (but not other ATX sizes.) The tire size is located on both sides of the tire in raised black letters.

The recall includes certain Wilderness tires: Wilderness AT P235 tires made in Decatur, Ill. (Wilderness HT and LE tires, other size ATs, and tires made elsewhere are not recalled at this time.)

If you have a Wilderness AT P235/75R15 tire, here's how to determine if it was made in Decatur, Ill.: Find the "DOT code" on the back or blackwall side of the tire. Tires made in Decatur have numbers beginning with VD - for example: DOT VDHLA 16089. The code is ten characters following "DOT," and only tires starting with "VD" are made in Decatur and subject to recall.

Remember: you can always take your vehicle to a Bridgestone/Firestone store if you want them to determine whether your tire is included in the recall. Ford dealers also will check Ford vehicles, and most tire retailers will check your tires as well.

Dealers and citizens also should check with vehicle manufacturers or tire retailers to be sure replacement tires are acceptable for their vehicles.

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