DETROIT -- The recall of 6.5 million Firestone tires could be completed
as early as November, now that the tire industry has ramped up
production of replacement sizes, Ford Motor Co. said Friday.
Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said that as of
Thursday, 3.7 million recalled tires had been
replaced -- 57% of all those recalled.
Bridgestone/Firestone Corp. spokeswoman
Anne Conrad offered a similar estimate and said
the companies were replacing more than 79,000 tires a day.
When the recall of certain 15-inch Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness
AT tires was announced in August, the companies estimated it would
take until next summer to complete the recall. But after a public outcry,
Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone, a unit of Japan's Bridgestone Corp.,
allowed the use of tires from other manufacturers.
Mr. Vaughn and Ms. Conrad said production of replacement tires had
picked up in recent weeks. Ford gave three tire suppliers -- Goodyear
Tire & Rubber Co., France's Groupe Michelin and Continental General
Tire Inc. -- a total of 130 tire molds for the P235/75R15 size tire in
September, Mr. Vaughn said. Those molds should produce an extra
300,000 tires a month.
Ms. Conrad said Bridgestone/Firestone had doubled production of
replacement tires, but declined to provide specific numbers.
Goodyear said it had supplied about 1.5 million replacements so far, and
was now producing 1 million replacement tires a month -- five times
more than it was making before the recall.
As a result, the long waiting list for replacement tires has eased in some
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the
tires over their possible role in at least 101 deaths and more than 400