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
  • Monday
    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
  • When it’s too late

    Statistics show that most rollover accidents involving injuries and deaths occurred after a rear tire separated, a trend reflected in the St. Petersburg Times analysis of accidents in Florida during the past six years. Tire experts say a tread separation on a front tire may still allow you to steer the vehicle to safety but that it’s much more difficult when rear tires are involved because you are left with virtually no control.

    1. The first sign of a tread separation usually is a vibration, similar to going over speed bumps.
    2. As the tire comes apart, the vehicle will pull toward the side of the separation. You may hear pieces of the tread hitting the underside of the vehicle.
    3. A common mistake is to brake or try to correct the steering. Instead, you should hold the steering wheel as tightly as possible and take your foot off the gas pedal. Let the vehicle coast to a stop.
    4. The vehicle may become impossible to control if you swerve into traffic, a median or a shoulder.

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