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Consumer Investigation Reveals Recall System Flaws

Tina Robinson3 years ago

It’s been 11 years since Firestone recalled 14.4 million defective tires. One consumer investigator, Jim Strickland, found that those same tires are still easily sold and installed on vehicles over a decade later, according to a report by WSB-TV.

About the 2000 Firestone Recall

Firestone initially recalled 14.4 million tires in August 2000. At the time, the company claimed only about 6.5 million of the tires were actually still on the road. A report filed by the company 10 months later claimed to have recovered 97% of the tires; Firestone’s final report claimed 6.5 million tires were recovered overall – a 100% success rate.

Some have questioned those numbers, citing the typical recovery rate for tire recalls is somewhere around 20%.

A recent e-mail from Bridgestone Firestone VP Paul Oakley, however, said that together with Ford, 1.5 million tires had been recovered. Even that number, an 83% recovery rate, is dramatically higher than average recalls. Those claims were never filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because, according to Oakley, Ford recovered the majority of those tires.

Firestone did file documents with NHTSA that say the company attempted to recover 768,000 tires and were able to retrieve 90,000 – a 12% recovery rate. All of the numerical discrepancies have raised questions among safety advocates about the effectiveness of safety recalls. 

2014 GM Ignition Recall

Concerns about the effectiveness of safety recalls come at time when many eyes are on the massive 2.6 million vehicle recall issued by General Motors earlier this year. The recalled vehicles include older models of the Chevy Cobalt and HHR, Saturn Ion, and Pontiac G5 that were installed with faulty ignition switches linked to engine stalls, brake failure, and steering defects.

Lawyers, senators, and safety advocates have urged NHTSA to order a “park it now” notice urging owners of the vehicles to stop driving them until repaired. GM has insisted the vehicles are safe to drive as long as drivers remove any extra weight from the GM key. Critics warn that the cars are responsible for many more deaths and injuries than just the 13 acknowledged by GM and are an imminent danger to both owners and other drivers on the road.

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