Firestone tire recall: Are mine a problem?

pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
edited April 2014 in Ford
I've noticed a number Firestone topics cropping up
throughout Town Hall, so I thought it would be a
good idea to create a general Firestone recall
topic here in the Maintenance & Repair Conference.

I'll link up other Firestone topics I see
throughout Town Hall to this topic, so people can
discuss their concerns and/or share information

In addition, we can link important articles we see
,on the tire recall, to this topic. To start here
are a couple from Edmund's:

1. August 10, 2000: Update: Vehicles Equipped with
Firestone Tires.

2. August 9, 2000: Firestone Recalls Tires.

Check for other articles at Edmund's News You Can

Drive safely everyone. ;-)

Community Leader/Coupes, Convertibles, and
Sportscars Conference


  • goose77goose77 Member Posts: 1
    I know that all recent reports have said that the problems are mostly on the recalled size, Ford Explorers, in Texas, Florida, . . .

    I know that the Subaru Wilderness tires are not All Terrain tires - Subaru says they are car tires with the Wilderness nameplate stamped on them (are they really Wilderness HTs?). I also know that they do not have "VD" after the DOT label on the black side of the tire.

    However, should I really stop worrying that these tires will have a tread separation problem now or a year or 2 from now? Can I trust that someone will let us know if there are incidents with these tires on Subaru Outbacks? It appears that if I want new tires I will have to foot the bill. Right now I am leaning towards keeping them but will buy new ones if I hear of problems on Subarus.
  • fs_wheelfs_wheel Member Posts: 3
    I sent a note to Bridestone-Firestone last week (8/10) requesting specific information on my tires (265/70x17 Wilderness AT's) OEM on my '99 Expedition. Told them I was going on a 2000 mi trip next week towing (I live in OK and it was only 104 here yesterday!).

    Got back the reply - standard boilerplate with FAQ. I'm off today to get new Michelin's. Good thing that their parent company has deep pockets, because this thing is not going away for a long time.

    Good luck to all
  • tapdtapd Member Posts: 19
    So you know where I am coming from, I manage a large tire distributor. I distribute or have distributed both Michelin, Uniroyal, Bridgestone and Firestone. Hears my 4 cents on what I have been reading.
    1. ATX and Wilderness P235/75R15 have been OE on Ford Explorers, but also they have been used to replace tires on pick-up trucks, vans ect. 48 million of these tires have been produced. The majority of these accidents have involved only Explorers.

    2. The P235/75R15 tire holds 2,028 lbs at 35psi and only 1,736 lbs at 26psi. Ford recommends 26psi. 26psi gives the Explorer a comfortable ride. Ford has now tested the Explorer at higher psi. The following is from the website.
    "All vehicle owners using Wilderness tires should keep their tires inflated at the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. For owners of Ford Explorers or Mercury Mountaineers, with P235/75R15 ATX and Wilderness AT tires on their vehicles, Ford recommends these tires be maintained at a minimum of 26 psi. at the request of Firestone, Ford has evaluated the performance of these tires at 30 psi and has determined that the vehicles maintain good performance characteristics at this higher pressure. Ford recommends a tire pressure range of 26-30 psi. Firestone recommends a tire pressure of 30 psi."
    The only real PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTIC that will be affected by higher pressure, within reason, is RIDE.

    3. The Ford Explorer Limited Edition 4X4 weighs 4,113 lbs add gasoline and it now weighs 4,275. GVW for it is 5,013,(These figures are from Edmunds.) In go 4 adults and luggage and that vehicle is overloaded.

    4. Lower air pressure means more flexing of the sidewall and that leads to more heat. Heat destroys all tires. Michelin is thanking the tire gods for not being the OE supplier for the Explorer. Trust me.

    5. Nylon cap ply is used in high speed tires to keep them from growing and hold the tire together. Nylon shrinks when it as it gets warmer. Most passenger tires Do Not use nylon caps. Would it have helped the ATX and Wilderness...maybe, but Mich, Bridgestone, Uniroyal,and BFG don't have nylon in passenger tires either.

    6. Why is the Explorer rolling over and killing people when a tire throws it's cap or blows out? Vehicles have tires that blowout every day and don't roll over. Maybe some questions should be asked of Ford. The roll over is killing people not the tire.

    7. Joan Claybrook doesn't work for a non profit public safety agency, but, works with a group of attorneys for profit. HMMMMM.

    Long enough, I feel a bit better.
  • butch11butch11 Member Posts: 153
    If you remember this is the person who was appointed by Jimmie Carter to a cabinet level position. She proposed requiring making auto manufacturer's limit the top speed of all vehicles by making them become uncontrollable at speeds over 80 mph.

    Anything out of this person should be included with a truck load of salt. Her association with trial lawyers adds a finishing touch to a distinguished career.
  • stikshftstikshft Member Posts: 5
    I have had several tires fail due to belt separation and could almost always trace the problem back to a period of low inflation or nail cause flat. In short many drivers I see on the road are often running with a low tire. This will cause overheating and eventual failure. [one scenario described in an article I cannot source is a low tire driven in excess of 50 miles over 50 miles will get hot enough that it will fail before the end of its tread-life even if the under pressure condition is corrected. Tires are manufactured and molded by heating to high temperatures. Abusing same with high temperature will cause it to fail. Anyone that drives should have seen the "road gators" on the interstate. This is the truck tires that have separated due to heat. Without exception the tire failures I have experienced were not without warning. Pay attention! Your car will give some feedback when a tire is about to fail, the amount will depend on the suspension characteristics. Look and compare your tires with the others. Own a good digital tire gage and use it about once a month. Tires have a max pressure molded on the sidewall somewhere, it is small and hard to read but it is a good guide. I personally use it and keep my tires within 3 psi of this maximum, cold. I have a little higher gas mileage as a bonus. Tire failures are usually premeditated carelessness. I would almost guaranty that the Firestone problem will be 90% user and 10% manufacturer. These tires are probably slightly less tolerant of heat than some others. I hope this helps cut through some of the misinformation on this situation and helps all of us be more aware of tire maintenance. Learning to control a car with a blowout is another topic I will leave to others.
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    I believe that another SUV (a Nissan Pathfinder) fitted with the Firestones also rolled over after the tire blew out, so perhaps it's not really limited to the Explorer.
  • kb7nvrkb7nvr Member Posts: 1
    I live in the Norwest. Les Schwab Tires will swap out my Wilderness tires on a Sport Trac. I upgraded a bit to a bit wider Goodyear. I saw a recall notice on their desk. No questions asked, also called Ford dealer and will pull Firestones off for Goodyear.
  • btmanbtman Member Posts: 2
    I was recommended General Grabber AP tires (by a tire retailer)as a replacement for the Firestone ATX tires on my Explorer. Anyone have an opinion on these tires? He also said the Goodyear Wrangler R/T is not a very good tire - has poor traction - and that the General's are much better.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    You might want to post your question in our more generic Tires topic.

    You can just click on that highlighted link to go there.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • onegraniteonegranite Member Posts: 9
    What is happening with Firestone and Ford serves them right. They knew about this long before the news "blewout". Now they are using their PR resources to take cover. They even have their standard "blame the consumer" response. The only mistake these people did was buying their inferior products. IMO, lawmakers should start making incidents such as this a criminal offense, charge these executive with voluntary manslaughter and when convicted, have them pat each other in prison.
  • snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    Who could have provided tires to Ford to be utilized/pressured under safety limits????
    Not Michelin, not Goodyear but subsidary of Ford which is Firestone.
    I believe Ford forced them(Firestone) to cover up their faulty design on SUVs. If Ford used recommended pressure on Firestone tires,Explorers and other family members would have failed on rollover test.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Here's another Firestone article from
    Edmund's News.

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Member Posts: 541
    It should be noted that the tire Honda uses on their Civic models and some Accord models is the Firestone FR680, which I believe is a variant of the tires made by Bridgestone.

    If there has been problems with the FR680, Honda would have replaced those tires in literally a blink of an eye.

    The Bridgestone RE910 and RE92 are actually well-liked tires and many Civic owners who originally had FR680's when they bought the car new swapped them for these Bridgestones.
  • tjwtjw Member Posts: 14
    There was an article this week in the Washington Post that concerned Wilderness tires that were produced at Firestone's Wilson, N.C. plant. It stated that there were approx. 4 fatalities and numerous accidents contributed to the tires produced at Wilson. A former employee described production situations like those detailed at the Decatur IL. plant. I have tried to contact Ford and Firestone about this but have been dodged like a red rubber ball. The tires on my daughter's Explorer Sport were produced at Wilson and I'm not at all happy about it. All you get from Ford and Firestone is that they have extreme confidence in the tires produced at their other plants. What a crock. I guess it will take another ten or so lawsuits to get them to recall these tires also.
  • pat455pat455 Member Posts: 603
    You can read about it on if you are interested:

    Florida litigants press for expanded recall of Firestone tires

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • seacrowseacrow Member Posts: 22
    I live in Florida and was told that there is a waiting list for tires until summer 01. Thta was the Firestone dealer. The Ford dealer was very pleasant but could not get tires any quicker. I finally went to Sams club and bought some Michelin X Radial LTs that I am very happy with. I returned my code VD tires to Firestone and will send in my reimbursement paperwork today.

    When this news first broke, I went out and checked my tires right away. I had one tire failure (98 Explorer) late last year and have been wary of these tires ever since. The replacement tire they put on was a W2 code. The other four were VD (including the spare) I inspected them closely and all of the VD tires had a large crack around the outer circumference of the tire where the tread meets the body. The drivers front was a W2 with no crack, the passengers front was a VD with the identical mileage and it had the worst crack. I kept my pressure at 35-40 psi all of the time. I have pics of all 4 tires and when I get the film developed I will post them on my website and link it here. There is clearly something going on with the VD tires. I also have a set of W2s on my Dodge van that have no signs of the crack.

    I had always had good luck with the Firestone FR360s that came on the Rangers I owned. The Wilderness AT's let me down early on. I also think that the air pressure recommendation from Ford is fishy too. My experience blows that theory though. I kept mine at Firestone's recommended pressure or slightly above.

    Good Luck to all that have yet to enjoy this replacement experience.
  • nmotennmoten Member Posts: 4
    I have been trying to get dealer to do something about resonance problem since april when I bought the Tahoe. They finally have new softer body mounts ready to install, but I don't want any Firestone tires,,period.. Do you think the recall will extend to WildernessLE P265/70R16's?
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    Just curious, but why did you go with the LTX A/T instead of the LTX M/S. If you don't go offroading, the A/Ts are noiser because of the more open thread design (for offroading). Other good bets as far as tires go (and according to Tirerack and Consumer Reports) include the top rated BFgoodrich Radial Long trail T/A, in addition to the LTX M/S. The former are much cheaper than the Michelins, which are always more expensive in general anyway.

    Personally, I recommend the Dunlop Grandtrek TG35s, if you can find them in the right size for your vehicle. They're quiet, have good traction in all weather, have a fairly high load rating, are able to go though some mild offroad conditions (more than any normal SUV owner will put the vehicle though) and are relatively cheap!
  • tjwtjw Member Posts: 14
    Yeah, I think you are probably right about the MS being a better on-road choice, but I just could not find any. The only other set of tires I could locate in my area were Kelly-Springfield, about which I know very little. I even tried going online to locate appropriate tires (tried tire rack) and still could not locate the MS. I,m sure that I am probably a little paranoid about the Firestones that were on my daughter's Explorer (they still looked good and have been kept at 30 psi,) but she was in a bad accident two years ago and broke her neck in three places. Since that I have become obsessed with safety in my families vehicles. I used to buy cars by how good they looked and how good they drove. Now I get on the internet and find out which ones got the best crash test results.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Member Posts: 2,242
    While I have no doubt that Firestone has a serious problem with the tread separation problem on the recalled tires, I want to know why the Explorer rolls over so easily. This sounds like the old Bronco II problem that started the comment, "I saw a Bronco II in an accident today." "How did you know it was a Bronco II?" "It was upside down."
    I don't intend this as humor, but a sad truth. Just this summer, while traveling through Arkansas, a woman in an Explorer passed us on the interstate outside of Hot Springs. Just a few minutes later, we came upon a large strip of tire tread and her Explorer on it's top, having obviously rolled several times. Others had already stopped to render aid, and I chose not to subject my young children to a horrific scene. I only hope that God was with that lady.

  • tjwtjw Member Posts: 14
    Yeah, i looked at a MB suv, but just could not get myself to pay that much for a vehicle with a poor build quality reputation that looks so much like a MINIVAN. sniff, sniff
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    The '00 models are much improved quality-wise. I've had only a couple of very minor problems (fixed by the dealership) with mine. Yes, in stock form and from certain angles, it does look sort of minivan-ish, but the payoff is lots of cargo room and the ability to seat 7.

  • trenttrent Member Posts: 86
    I just wondered how you chose an explorer if safety was your main concern? Wouldn't something with a lower center of gravity be an overall safer vehicle.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    I understand that this topic may lend thought to
    other subjects, so:

    -Hi jlflemmons, The likelyhood of roll over
    increases with a higher center of gravity. You'll
    find more discussion on this in Suv Topic 2262.

    -For those interested in subject of general safety
    and crash tests, here are some topics to read.

    - -MB enthusiasts- Yep, nice suv. Let's continue
    this discussion in Suv 1206, ML320.

    AND now for the benefit of those that are effected by the Firestone recall, let's try to focus on issues that are directly related to this topic. ;-)

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • aquaticaquatic Member Posts: 12
    I read that the Firestone tire that are failing may be missing a layer of nylon that helps prevent tread seperation. They may have tried to save some money and got rid of a nylon layer. I wonder if there are other Bridgestone tires that are missing this extra layer of nylon too.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    8/28/000: Bridgestone/Firestone Executives Questioned on Tire Failure; Latest Snag in Venezuela, by Carmen Tellez.

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • mazman1mazman1 Member Posts: 229
    Once again firestoe and Ford got caught!
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    I read in my local paper today that Ford has established an email address exclusively for answering questions about the Firestone tire recall. The address is [email protected]

    Hope this is helpful.

    Town Hall Community Leader
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598

    Scroll down to close to the bottom of the page to the section titled "Firestone Fiasco".
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Interesting article. ;-)

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    You're welcome. The rest of the newsletter, as well as ones from other months are worth reading as well.

    I especially like this part:

    "I might suggest that a truck which rolls over so easily that a 4 psi difference in tire pressures makes a difference is a flawed design to start with."

    P.S. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you the Minivans host a while ago?
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    First of all, the M-class is not double the price of the Explorer (just a couple thousand more than the Explorer Limited or JGC Limited). Secondly, I did not mention anything whatsoever about MB in my previous message. Thirdly, the M-class is built in Alabama by Americans, just as the BMW X5 and Z3 are built in SC by Americans. Lastly, I said that I liked (and agree with) that quote from the article, nothing wrong with that in my eyes. I dunno, perhaps you're being overly defensive because you know its true? You did say a while back that you've been "obsessed" with safety.

    I posted the URL to the article because it had some very useful tips as to what to do in the event of a tire blowout. Who knows, if you remember and apply the tips, it may save you from a rollover.

    Thanks for your time and drive safetly...
  • floridianfloridian Member Posts: 219
    With all the bad press, labor problems and possibly the loss of ALL OEM sales to the manufacturers will F/B be able to continue. It may end up that they just merge (fade away)into Hankook or Summo or other mfg. willing to take them under their wing. Do any of you "old timers" remember that Firestone had a similiar disaster back years ago with a model"721" bias ply tire. They lost a lot of business back then too. That was long before they had any association with Bridgestone tho.

  • snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    After government's warning for other tire models, I don't think Firestone will be able to survive. But Ford is using them to cover up their design problems. Why Land Cruisers, 4Runners or MBs, Pathfinders are not subjet to rollover issue.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    the overall effect of the Firestone recall, I'm curious to know if anyone here has been personally effected by this recall?

    If so, I'm sure other's would be interested in hearing about your experience. Thanks for everyone's participation.

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • tjwtjw Member Posts: 14
    Baloney! What do you especially LIKE about this part? Do you LIKE the fact that Explorer owners or their children might be involved in a rollover accident due to an inherent design defect? Even as much as i dislike the smug, superior attitudes of some of the higher end auto consumers (you know who you are) I would most certainly NOT LIKE the possibility that they or their family might be injured.
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    "I especially like this part" meaning that I liked the particular statement in the article because it is one of the only ones that has stated spelt it out so bluntly. Of course, Ford still maintains that there is no problem with the Explorer's design. You're reading too much into what I wrote! Chill out! If you're really that concerned about the design, perhaps you should consider selling the Explorer?
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    Let's stick with the topic. The purpose of this forum is to share/address information specifically related to Firestone tires and the recall.

    Tjw & Aling- Thanks for your participation. You've both contributed some good information here. But can you two either shake hands and make-up, or just ignore each other's posts? Opinions (post 47) about someone's intentions, and opinions (post 49) about whether someone should sell their Ford Explorer... are not appropriate for this topic.

    Everyone, let's try a little self monitoring. Read your message once it's posted: if it's off topic, please be considerate and delete it. If you're not sure... that it's on topic or not, then please hide it. Okay?

    And now for the benefit of those that are personally effected by the Firestone recall, let's please continue this topic on a friendly note. Thank you.

    Talk to everyone later. ;-)

    Town Hall Roving Host
  • shayes1shayes1 Member Posts: 12
    Does anyone have any info if the Wilderness Tires made in Canada will be affected by any sort of
    recall? thanks.

  • snowmansnowman Member Posts: 540
    I just did hear, in Texas, a family has lost 10 years old boy in an Explorer roll ever accident with separated tire on it. It is so sad that Ford is still lying people.
  • blyndgesser1blyndgesser1 Member Posts: 17
    Snowman and others:

    The Texas accident in which a ten-year-old was killed was tragic. Even more tragic--it was a one-vehicle accident in which six were injured. 6+1=7. The Explorer has only six seatbelts. The death was preventable--by the driver.

    Firestone tires are obviously a problem, as is Ford's apparently marginal suspension setup. I've just ordered a set of Michelins to replace my Wilderness HTs (not on the recall list--but on the NHTSA list of tires that should be). And I'm not happy with either Ford's or Firestone's response to the problem.

    But let's also remember that drivers have some responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. Not all fatal accidents involving these tires are the fault of the tires alone.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Let's don't forget that Ford also equips the explorer with Goodyear Wrangler RT/S at the same 26 psi, and you don't hear about them failing.

    As far as rollover, blow a tire on any SUV with a high center of gravity and it would roll, too.

    As far as replacements go, I highly recommend the Michelin LTX M/S (X-radial LT or XC LT4). I've had them on an explorer and my current 99 Expedition and there is no comparison for ride and noise. And they don't separate.....
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    "As far as rollover, blow a tire on any SUV with a high center of gravity and it would roll, too."

    That's absolutely untrue. It is possible to blow a tire and still be able to maintain control. I know of a couple of people who have done that (albeit they were driving the M-class fitted with General Grabber ST tires - no thread seperation though) with no prior experience or training. Read the section titled "Firestone Fiasco" in this newsletter <<A HREF="">; for tips on what to do in the event of a blowout.
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    and I second the recommendation for the Michelin LTX M/S. Another good tire to consider (highly rated by Consumer Reports and Tire Rack) is the BFGoodrich Radial Long Trail T/A.
  • butch11butch11 Member Posts: 153
    This past weekend a EMT Van (ambulance) with less than 10K miles on it had a Firestone Steeltex tire blowout. Fortunately the ambulance was not traveling at a high rate of speed and the driver did not loose control. The local TV station showed the tire-the side wall had a rip about 18" long all the way through the tire and then it extended into the bead of the tire. The owners of the ambulance removed the tire-leaving it on the rim and replaced the tires on this vehicle with non deathstones.

    The person they were transporting died-not yet determined if the wait for the life flight helio was a factor.
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    I wonder if the ambulance was fitted with the moose in the tires which allows the vehicle to keep travelling even (at pretty high speeds, but for a limited number of kms) with a flat.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Note the words "high center of gravity". Some SUVs may have lower centers of gravity (like the M-class?) and may be less prone to rollovers. I think driver input also has a lot to do with it. I just don't think the explorer is alone in it's proneness to rollover after blowouts. I think other top heavy SUVs in the same circumstance would also roll over. I'm not defending the explorer - I just think the problem is with this class of vehicles in general (top-heavy SUVs) and not necessarily unique to the explorer. That's just my opinion - you're welcome to yours.

    BTW - when you put the moose in the tire, what do you do with the horns??
  • alingaling Member Posts: 598
    LOL, you cover the horns so they don't puncture the tires :-)

    Yes, SUVs in general should not be driven like cars, despite how car-like they may feel. Unfortunately, the majority of owners treat them like high up cars. Personally, I have taken an SUV handling class, as well as a few other advanced driving courses. In fact, I'll be going to one sponsored and organised by BMW later this year. As such, I'm very comfortable and aware of the limits of my vehicle.

    I agree that driver input/training has a lot to do with it too. If you yank the steering wheel to one side to try to (over)correct, that will definitely flip the already unstable vehicle. Avoid any sudden movements or stomping on the brakes.
  • floridianfloridian Member Posts: 219
    Just got a letter from Ford informing me that my 1996 Ranger's tires are NOT subject to recall. I have not owned the truck for over 6 months so I guess they have old info. This has got to be costing them a pile of money to let you know that your tires are OK. My son got the same letter on his 1998 Ranger as well.

    Ford will probably need to change the name of their explorer to "the exterminator" and Firestone to "Gravestone" Just a little dark humor here.

  • teoteo Member Posts: 2,508
    Ditch those Firestones. Replace them with Michelin's, Goodyears or BF Goodrich. Keep the receipt for the new ones handy. Soon, Firestone will soon be history and in the end they will have to recall all their junky tires from the street.

    Firestone is not worth losing your life or compromising your security....after all $400.00 is a very, very small price to pay for a safe and reliable set of rubber.
This discussion has been closed.