Another Firestone Recall

Carlos Anaya accepts the "Outstanding Variety Program Segment" award onstage at the 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards March 26, 2007 in New York City.
Bridgestone-Firestone Tuesday announced a voluntary recall of thousands of tires because of worries the tires' surface could crack.

The recall involves "approximately 98,500 P205/55R16 Firehawk GTA-02 tires, the majority of which are fitted as original equipment on the 2000 and 2001 Nissan Altima SE," the company said.

The Firehawk recall comes after months of controversy over the August recall of 6.5 million tires used mainly on Ford Explorer SUVs, pulled off the shelves because of possible tread separation problems that may have been linked to 148 deaths. The problems with the tires recalled earlier led to dozens of lawsuits and a Congressional investigation.

In a statement, Firestone said of the new recall, "The company decided to initiate the recall after an analysis of tires returned for adjustment showed a design-related issue that could result in surface crack at the edge of the tread and shoulder."

"Firestone is not aware of any claims, accidents or injuries relating to these tires and company testing of the tires has not resulted in the development of tread belt detachment," the company added.

Firestone said that overall, the tires "were performing at appropriate levels,"

A Firestone analysis found that the Firehawk GTA-02 have a belt that doesn't create enough of a buffer between the steel belt inside the tire and the tire's surface. That flaw could lead to a crack developing on the tire's edge and possibly exposing the steel belt.

The company said the problems were limited to the batch of Firehawk GTA-02 tires included in the recall, and that changes in design that eliminate the problem have already been made.

Firestone will mail notices to customers with the tires in question and replace them at no cost.

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