QCS’ study is a follow-up to their January 2006 report “NHTSA’s Secret Data and Ford Explorers in Fatal, Post-recall, Tire-related Crashes
,” which found that since the tire recalls were completed, there have been more reported fatalities related to tire failures than there had been up to the time the scandal was first given wide publicity. QCS president Randy Whitfield noted that “Unfortunately, the types of tires involved and the specific nature of these failures is not publicly known.” However, linking the publicly available data in the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) with the Early Warning Reporting (EWR) that the NHTSA possess could aid an investigation of this issue.
Timeline: Ford Explorer and Early Warning Reporting Data
The QCS study commissioned by Safety Research & Strategies poses the following Research questions:
How often are tire-related, death claims for Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers in the Early Warning Reporting (TREAD) Data reflected in the FARS database?
What conditions determine the likelihood that a death claim related to tires on Explorers and Mountaineers in the TREAD data can be linked to a tire-related, fatal crash in FARS?
When the FARS data are linked with the EWR data, is it possible to identify segments of the Explorer fleet that are most vulnerable to these types of fatal crashes?
Can risk factors be identified in the linked data that would help consumers to lower their risk of tire-related, fatal crashes in Ford Explorers?
Phase I – Obtain the EWR data from NHTSA.
Phase II – Link the EWR data with the FARS data based on crash dates and VINs present in both databases.
Phase III – Perform appropriate statistical analyses.
Phase IV – Write and publish the research results.