Tuesday, September 3, 2019
The Irresponsibility of Firestone :: Exploratory Essays Research Papers
The Irresponsibility of Firestone Ã¢â¬Å"It was extremely difficult to control the truck at the time, and I had both my wife (two months pregnant) and my 16-month-old daughter screaming and crying in a panic...My wife has developed a fear of the only vehicle we have, understandably so. She fears other tires may also be defective and that we may be in dangerÃ¢â¬ (Nathan). Much like the 4,300 similar complaints the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received, this Firestone tire consumer warned the agency of the faulty product and asked it to take action. Imagine a similar problem happening to you. While leisurely traveling down the highway, your SUV is suddenly thrown to the pavement. The tire tread on your left rear tire separates from the steel belt, and your vehicle can not overcome its speed of 65-mph, and crashes uncontrollably. The SUV rolls over, killing your family. Even though you complain, the NHTSA does nothing about the problem, and you hear about other similar accidents. On August 9, 2000, Bridgestone/Firestone, an international tire manufacturer, issued a recall of all its ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires. To date, the company has replaced 6.5 million tires (Ã¢â¬Å"Firestone death...Ã¢â¬ ). Ford had contracted with Firestone to supply tires for all the SUVÃ¢â¬â¢s it produced. Together Firestone and Ford investigated the problems with the recalled tires. Despite much bickering between the two companies, the tires failed due to flaws in FirestoneÃ¢â¬â¢s manufacturing and production. The NHTSA has reported a total of 148 deaths and 525 injuries involving tread separations, blowouts, and other problems with Firestone tires. The Middle East has reported at least seven deaths and Venezuela has reported forty-six due to the same kind of problem (Ã¢â¬Å"Firestone death...Ã¢â¬ ). From both foreign countries and the United States, complaints state that the tires lose their casings when traveling at high speeds. The tire maker claimed it knew nothing of the tread problems until late July, yet consumers have warned the company since the mid 1990Ã¢â¬â¢s (Nathan). It also stated that the complaints it finally received did not raise any Ã¢â¬Å"red flagsÃ¢â¬ because in relative terms, few tires had failed; less than one in every 10,000 of the 47 million ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness AT tires produced since 1991 have failed (Nathan). Most of the recalled tires came from the Decatur, Illinois plant, the main concentration of the investigation. The company claimed that a workersÃ¢â¬â¢ strike at that plant in the nineties, when replacement workers made the product, caused most of the problems.