Saturday, September 16, 2000

Used-tire dealers may be selling recalled versions

The Associated Press

        NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Attorney General's Office said Friday it is investigating reports that some independent used-tire dealers are selling recalled Firestone tires.

        Once purchased, the recalled tires could be traded by customers for free new replacements under Bridgestone/Firestone's recall program.

        Sharon Curtis-Flair, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee attorney general, said several states have been talking to Bridgestone/Firestone about the matter.

        She said she could not comment on how widespread the practice might be.

        “Normally, we don't comment on anything the state might be doing on any investigation; but in this case, the attorney general felt that because there were deaths and injuries, it's a very serious situation,” she said.

        Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman Susan Sizemore said the company has no way to monitor whether used-tire dealers are selling recalled tires already in their stock.

        She said recalled tires brought to Firestone dealers for replacements are not resold to used-tire dealers. “Those tires are then cut and sent for scrap and recycling,” she said.

        Seattle television station KIRO reported Thursday that it was able to purchase the recalled tires from several used-tire dealers. At least one dealer said people could buy the used tires cheaply and then go to a Firestone dealer to get the replacements.

        The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it is investigating 88 deaths and more than 250 injuries over the past decade involving Firestone tires.

        A recall of 6.5 million ATX, ATX-II and Wilderness AT tires was announced Aug. 9.


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