Firestone and NHTSA Launch Consumer Alert for Recalled Wilderness Tires; SRS Had Urged NHTSA to Investigate

Nashville, Tenn. - Bridgestone-Firestone has announced that it will be notifying SUV owners, Firestone company stores and authorized dealers to look for and replace any Radial ATX and Wilderness ATs that were captured in the 2000 and 2001 recalls. The tire maker gave no reason for the consumer notification program, launched on July 21. But, it comes one month after Safety Research & Strategies publicly requested that NHTSA investigate why many recalled spares were left behind during the recalls. SRS pointed the agency to a spate of catastrophic rollover crashes attributed to tread separations in recalled spare tires and evidence that potentially hundreds of thousands of these tires were missed or overlooked during the recalls. NHTSA also issued a "Consumer Advisory" on the notification program that urged consumers to have their tires checked, particularly spares.

Persistent RV Tire Problems Prompt Fifth Recall; NHTSA Investigation Focuses New Attention on RV Safety

Washington, D.C. - Country Coach, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of Class A motor homes, has launched its fifth recall in seven years to replace the tires on some of its motor homes, blaming the Toyo tire company for outfitting its recreational vehicles with tires unable to carry their weight.

Country Coach, a Junction City, Oregon-based subsidiary of RV Holdings Inc. told NHTSA that Toyo's M102z models were responsible for more than 50 tire failures since 2003 - a charge that Toyo has strenuously denied. This most recent safety campaign underscores what appears to be an industry-wide problem: RV manufacturers under-rating the axle weight of their vehicles and outfitting them with tires that cannot bear the load, particularly in the left front. In the last several years, at least five manufacturers, including Fleetwood, Newmar, Airstream, Four Winds and National RV Inc., have initiated recalls involving more than a dozen motor home models with incorrect weight or tire pressure ratings.

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