Just before news time, Firestone emailed this statement. Channel 2's Jim Strickland asked them for documentation to substantiate claims that 97 percent of their 2000-2001 recalled tires were recovered. Documents filed with the federal government as of late at 2009 do not support the claim.
Statement from Bridgestone Americas Regarding Sale of Recalled Firestone Tires:
"At Bridgestone, nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and teammates. We applaud efforts, such as those of Action News 2 – Atlanta, to bring visibility to safe driving practices and keep the driving public aware of these important issues.
Firestone voluntarily withdrew the P235/75RR15 Radial ATX, ATXII and various Wilderness AT Tires from the marketplace in 2000, and issued a follow up voluntary replacement program in October 2001 as well.
Company-owned retail stores (Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, ExpertTire and Wheel Works) have not sold the tires since that time. Any individual or business selling these tires is doing so without the company’s knowledge or aid, and are in direct violation of the law.
The Firestone voluntary tire recall in 2000 and the voluntary replacement program in 2001 were among the most effectively administered automotive product safety recalls in history and were supported by comprehensive advertising and consumer outreach campaigns. Resulting in one of the fastest major recalls in history, of the 6.5 million tires estimated to be on the road at the time more than 6.3 million (or 97%) were recovered.
Pursuant to its focus on safety, in 2006 Bridgestone Americas executed another communications and awareness campaign to recover closer to 100% of the suspect tires. In the years following, Bridgestone has continued to replace affected tires and has reached out to drivers through its stores, dealers and media campaigns to raise awareness and educate consumers on how to get their tires replaced free of charge.
The simplest way for a consumer to confirm whether a tire is covered by either program is to take their vehicle to a convenient Firestone Complete Auto Care, ExpertTire, Tires Plus or Wheel Works location or any participating authorized Firestone dealer for a free inspection. Consumers can call 1.800.465.1904 for the location of the nearest participating store."