Firestone and Ford: the Tire Tread Separation Tragedy

2032 Words Feb 28th, 2013 9 Pages
Firestone and Ford: The Tire Tread Separation Tragedy
Business Ethics

November 8, 2011

Executive summary.
Firestone/Bridgestone and Ford companies caught public negative attention in the end of 1990s because of their relation to tire tread separation cases, which caused numerous car accidents not only in US, but also abroad. Because they did not take proper actions to eliminate the number of this cases and remove all dangerous products from the market timely, even if they knew that something was wrong, it lead to injuries, rollovers and even deaths. In this work I tried to investigate what were the reasons of this crisis, what action, that caused this scandal, had been undertaken or had not been undertaken, who were those that
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Each was calling other 's product unsafe and it made the whole situation even worse. CEO of Firestone, Masatoshi Ono, referred tire problems to driver error and poor maintenance by customers, while Jacques Nasser, Ford 's CEO claimed that "this is a Firestone tire issue, not a vehicle issue". (Noggle & Palmer, 2005)
However, the situation did become worse, when it was investigated that Firestone had received complaints on tires and knew about problems years before taking the actions, and the reason identified sounded as improper customer use. Also critics were concerned with Explorer 's instability from the beginning. The number of serious injuries and deaths could be reduced, if the companies did not try to keep in secrecy that their products could be dangerous. Thus, they would earn less money, but saved images of the companies. It was known that they had received near 1500 legal complaints and also knew about tire tread separation cases abroad (Omar, Qatar, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia), however the recall happened only years after (O 'Rourke, 2004). In August 2000 Firestone Bridgestone made recall of 6,5 million tires (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2006). In October 2001, they recalled additional 3,5 million tires.
The actions were taken by both companies on 2000-2001, were almost the same -24 hours hotlines, websites, conferencing, and etc. They tried to convince
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