Case Analysis Report Ford Motor Company and Firestone

3599 Words Apr 10th, 2012 15 Pages
Case Analysis Report
In August 2000, Ford Motor Company and Firestone Tire Company recalled 6.5 Million ATX and AT tires that had been installed on Ford’s Explorer model SUV. At the time, it appeared as though Ford and Firestone were doing the right thing. They had found out that the tread separated on Ford Explorers in states with intense heat, such as Florida and Texas. However, it later came to light that both Ford and Firestone had known about these problems earlier than 2000 and that Ford had even had a similar recall in 9 countries the previous year. Firestone however had disagreed with the recalls prior to 2000. Many of these countries were in the Middle East where temperatures are frequently in excess of 100° Fahrenheit.
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The people who lost the most were those who were in rollover accidents caused by tire separation. Many times in these cases, loved ones in the car with them died as a result of these rollovers.
This could so have happened to me or my family. I owned a brand new 1991 Ford Explorer with Firestone tires for 11 years. I always replaced the tires with the same Firestone tires, call me naïve, but I did this because I felt that they were the best tire for the SUV, as that is what Ford used as standard tires on the Explorer.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The NHTSA has a role in this also. Their mission on their website states
“Save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards and enforcement activity.” (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
In July, 1998 State Farm Insurance Companies notified the NHTSA about 21 Firestone tread failures on 14 Ford Explorers (Kumar, 2001) the NHTSA did not act on this information. It took until May 2000 for the NHTSA to open a preliminary investigation (Kumar, 2001).
The NHTSA has a responsibility to the drivers in the U.S. to protect them. If State Farm felt that they were seeing a large percentage of tread failures per accident on Ford Explorers, then the NHTSA should have investigated. I am sure if State Farm was seeing them, then so were other insurance companies.
Insurance

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