Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday that sales of its popular Ford Explorer were on target for August despite the recall of 6.5 million Bridgestone/Firestone tires, most of which were installed on the best-selling sport utility vehicle.

Ford spokesman Ken Zino had said Monday that the company had seen a "temporary slowdown" in Explorer sales, and that one of the reasons the company had taken the action it did was to stave off any long-term effect on sales.

However, George Pipas, Ford's director of market analysis, said Tuesday that as of last weekend, the Explorer was meeting Ford's internal sales targets for August targets which were set to surpass the totals from last year. He declined to give specific figures other than to say that was better than the rest of Ford's vehicles, which are about 5 percent below sales targets.

Pipas said it was probably too early in the recall to find an effect on sales. Many dealers don't report sales until the end of the month, and most consumers take two months to decide to buy a vehicle.

Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s recall last week of certain 15-inch truck tires came after a cluster of complaints from consumers about the tire tread separating at high speed. The number of complaints has since climbed to 750, and the tires are believed to be linked to 62 deaths and 100 injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Tuesday.

Many of the complaints involved Explorer SUVs, most of which were sold with Firestone tires.

Ford has sold 3.6 million Explorers since 1990. For the past decade, the Explorer has been the best-selling SUV in the country, and its sales are up 15 percent this year.