Ford Motor Co. is regarded as the second largest automaker in the United States and among the biggest in the world. This reputation that they have in the automobile industry has been greatly challenged by the defective Firestones tires that the company used in their Sports Utility Vehicles like the Explorer, Expedition and Mercury Mountaineer as well as Ranger pickup trucks like the F-150 pickups. Because of this, there have been numerous accidents that are related with the deficiency of the tires in these vehicles, which resulted to multiple deaths.
Being the case, Ford Motor decided to make a recall of the Firestones Tires that are used in their vehicles. This includes replacing defective Firestone tires without any cost (Kumar, 2001). On the other hand, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has also been very responsible in making up for the incompetence of some of their products. They have also made a recall of their tires that have been used in the aforementioned Ford vehicles (Bridgestone/Firestone, 2000).
However, the company also pointed out that the fault should not be solely blamed to them; rather the Ford Motor Co. should also be investigated regarding the quality of their vehicle. Based on the investigation of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. , the faulty tires have three factors in common. First, the number of reported accidents involves the P235/75R15 Radial ATX and ATX II that are higher than the other sizes in line. Second, the Decatur, Illinois plant is more represented in the accident claims and reports in comparison with other plants.
Third, most of the accidents took place in the southern-most states of Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas that suggest that there can be a direct correlation between heat and tire performance (Bridgestone/Firestone, 2000). The synergistic effect of defective Firestone tires with the design of Ford’s SUVs could indeed be very detrimental for the people that will use it. Ford’s SUVs like any other similar kind of automobile is characterized by its large vehicular body that needs a quality tire in order to sustain its weight as well as the passengers in it.
Moreover, since most of these vehicles are used during off-road trips, it is necessary that the tires should be strong enough because if not, the tires could split or explode that will eventually lead to accidents. The Ford’s Firestone tire recall affected the company tremendously. Ford has to pay an amount of $2. 1 billion to replace the 13 million Firestone tires that are on their SUVs. This amount does not even include the expenses they have to pay for the lawsuits that they are facing (Kumar, 2001). As such, the company is losing a huge amount of money because of this problem.
Aside from the loss of income, the more disadvantageous effect of this issue is the tainted image that it left the company. Ford Motor Co. had built their reputation as one of the largest and leading automobile company for the span of many years. However, the quality of their products is now being questioned due to these faulty tires incidents. The graveness of these incidents is clearly seen when it was referred to as the “most deadly auto safety crisis in American history” (Firestone Tire Recall Legal Center, 2008).
References Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. (2000). Bridgestone/Firestone press statement issued on August 9, 2000. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://usgovinfo. about. com/blfirestone. htm. Firestone Tire Recall Legal Center. (2008). Overview of the Recall. Retrieved January 11, 2008, from http://www. firestone-tire-recall. com/pages/overview. html. Kumar, A. (2001). Ford recalls Wilderness AT Firestone tires. Retrieved January 12, 2008, from http://www. sptimes. com/News/052301/Worldandnation /Ford_recalls_Wilderne. shtml.
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