Almost four years after a massive recall of its tyres linked to deadly highway rollovers of Ford sport-utility vehicles, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tyre LLC announced another, though much smaller, recall of tyres fitted to Ford SUVs, Friday’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
The report, carried by Dow Jones Newswires, said the US unit of Japan’s Bridgestone Corp. has announced that it is replacing 297,000 tyres fitted as original equipment on Ford Excursions built between 2000 and 2003 and sold in the US, following reports to government regulators of six crashes in which five people died and 20 were injured. The company also said it will replace 20,000 of the same type of tyres on Excursions, of the same model years, that were exported.

According to the WSJ, Firestone officials said they hadn’t determined what caused the accidents. Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reportedly said that in some cases, the tyres’ treads separated, while in others their sidewalls failed. The agency reportedly said Firestone has stopped making the tyres.

The Wall Street Journal said the tyres are Steeltex Radial AT, size LT-265/75R16-Load Range D, and were made between March 1999 and December 2002 at a plant in Joliette, Quebec, in Canada.

The tyre maker reportedly said that it still is gathering information about the accidents, but said that in one, the vehicle in question was towing a 40-foot recreational vehicle.