MIAMI (October 9, 2001) — Mike Eidson, partner at Colson Hicks Eidson and co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful death cases in the Firestone/Ford Federal Multi-District litigation now pending before United States District Court Judge Sarah Barker in Indianapolis, Indiana, today held a press conference responding to Ford’s statements in Congress this morning and Firestone’s actions taken yesterday.
Eidson stated: “I am responding to what Jack Nasser, CEO of Ford Motor Company, said today in Washington and what Firestone’s CEO, John Lampe, said yesterday about Firestone and the actions taken by Firestone’s CEO, John Lampe to cease being a tire supplier to Ford Motor Company after 96 years.
The blame shifting continues.
Although the details have not been released, we want the public to know this is not to be taken lightly.
We applaud Ford for announcing its plans to replace up to 13 million B/F tires. But make no mistake – the reason that Ford is taking the extraordinary and unprecedented action of replacing another manufacturer’s products, at a cost of up to 3 billion dollars, is because they finally faced up to the fact that these tires are defective and dangerous. This does not excuse the Explorer’s shortcomings. These tires are especially lethal if combined with the Ford Explorer, which is four times more likely than other SUVs to roll over when tires fail. When Firestone Wilderness AT tires are put on Ford Explorers there is a system defect in the vehicle.
This is not a recall. It is a consumer service program operated by Ford like it did in Saudi Arabia. This is something that could have been done a long time ago. Ford is doing it now because of pressure from litigation and the media.
Once again Ford is depending upon tires to cure the design ills of the Explorer.
What you should do: Take your car to a Ford dealership and request replacements. If they can’t, consider having your tires replaced elsewhere. Save the tires and the receipt to seek reimbursement from Ford. I cannot guarantee you that Ford will reimburse you but you will be safer if you do this.
If you have Firestone tires on a vehicle other than a Ford have your tires replaced.
We urge both defendants to cooperate with NHTSA to conduct this campaign as an official safety recall.
This will ensure adequate consumer notification and public accountability.”