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Consumer Advisories
Tips for Bridgestone/Firestone Recall-Tire Owners

Bridgestone/Firestone has recalled certain tires for safety concerns -- namely, that the tire tread might separate and cause serious accidents. NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is investigating over 60 deaths and many injuries that could be linked to those tires.

Bridgestone/Firestone has recalled the tires, offered replacement tires, and offered reimbursement - including for recalled tires replaced with other brands. At this time (Aug. 28), 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.

We advise citizens to replace all recalled tires and monitor whether the recall is expand-ed. 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 also will check your tires. (For more details on recalled tires, see below.)

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

Bridgestone/Firestone - 800-465-1904. Web site: www.Firestone.com

Ford Motor Co. - 800-660-4719. Web site: www.Ford.com

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site: www.NHTSA.DOT.GOV

There are several ways to get replacement tires: To get replacement tires free of charge, you may wish to start with a Bridgestone/Firestone retailer or Ford dealer. If they are out of suitable replacement tires at the time of your visit, they will likely include you on a waiting list.

You may choose to replace tires from other sources than a Firestone retail store or a Ford or Mazda dealership. Keep the recalled tires you are replacing. Bridgestone/Firestone is making return of the tires a condition of reimbursing consumers - up to $100 for each tire replaced. If you replaced your tires and Bridgestone/Firestone is denying reimbursement because you didn't keep your recalled tires, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

Bridgestone/Firestone also has said that it will reimburse consumers who exchanged recalled tires between January 1, 2000, and August 8, 2000, whether the tires were replaced by Bridgestone/ Firestone tires or another brand. Go to a Bridgestone/Firestone dealer to get a reimbursement form. Again, reimbursement is up to $100 each for non-Bridgestone/Firestone replacement tires.

If you are buying a used vehicle or used tires, be sure to avoid buying recalled tires.

For more information, contact the Consumer Protection Division, Hoover Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. The phone is 515-281-5926. The web site is www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org.

Details on 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. As of Aug. 28, 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.

Using information from the three website sources listed above, 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. Check ALL tires, including spares.

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.

How to check tires to see if they 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 also 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. (See also, letter to licensed car dealers)

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