A Special Report: St. Petersbrg Times Deadly Combination: Ford, Firestone and Florida
Deadly Combination:
Ford, Firestone and Florida
Part One
  • Main story
  • Companies warming to settlements
  • At a glance
  • The players
  • Questions and Answers
  • A Timeline
  • What the companies say
  • Interview with Anita Kumar, the reporter
  • Graphic: How the tires failed
  • Graphic: When it’s too late
  • Graphic: By the numbers
  • Graphic: The human toll

  • Part Two
  • After the rollover
  • Suspect tires still on road
  • Driver side rear tires fail the most
  • About this report

  • Contact Anita Kumar:
  • Via e-mail: Click here
  • By phone: (727) 893-8472

    Further coverage
  • In first trial, Firestone settles lawsuit
  • Battered Firestone counting on local ties
  • Rollover crashes are hard to track
  • Ford leaves 2-door SUV unchanged
  • Recall may leave Firestone bankrupt
  • Government to expand tire recall
  • FHP says Firestone tire a factor in fatal crash
  • Two bay area lawsuits target Ford, Firestone
  • Ford agrees to test replacement tires
  • Ford recall: from bad to worse?
  • Ford's sub tires may fail more
  • Attention shifts from Firestone to Ford Explorer
  • Ford widens recall; companies cut ties
  • Ford recalls Wilderness AT Firestone tires
  • Dealerships brace for Ford tire recall
  • Tire decision not just for Ford owners
  • Voluntary tire recall rolling smoothly
  • Firestone cuts deal on bad tires
  • How the tires failed: An interactive graphic

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    What the companies say

    Times staff reports

    © St. Petersburg Times, published May 20, 2001

    FORD MOTOR CO.: Ford has apologized to the American people for its part in the problem, while insisting that Firestone tires were to blame. "This is a tire issue, not a vehicle issue," Jacques Nasser, Ford's chief executive officer said to Congress last year. "If I have one single regret, it's that we did not ask Firestone the right questions sooner." Despite that, Ford did agree to make changes. The company pledged to voluntarily tell American consumers of safety problems that happen with Ford products overseas. Ford also will cover tires under its vehicle warranty program, not a common industry practice and will introduce a tire pressure monitoring system for sport utility vehicles and light trucks. Ford now offers customers a choice of tires brands, including Firestone, on its 2002 Explorer.

    FIRESTONE: Firestone took responsibility for faulty tires and apologized to the nation for the company's role in the deadly accidents. "I also come to accept full and personal responsibility on behalf of Bridgestone/Firestone for the events that led to this hearing," Masatoshi Ono, former Bridgestone/Firestone chief executive officer said to Congress last year. Company officials acknowledged design and manufacturing problems, particularly at the Decatur, Ill., plant. As a result, Firestone stopped some manufacturing at that plant, instituted design changes and broadened the availability of tire warranty and money-back programs. But Firestone still blames Ford for the Explorer's design problems and drivers for improper tire inflation and repairs.

    Source: Times files, Ford Motor Co. media releases, Bridgestone/Firestone media releases

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