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Firestone Tire Recall Includes Military Exchange Customers

Special to American Forces Press Service

DALLAS, Aug. 17, 2000 – Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps exchange customers can swap Firestone tires affected by the recently announced recall campaign at local military exchanges or local corporate-owned dealers.

Bridgestone/Firestone will replace free an estimated 6.5 million ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT all-terrain tires, company officials have announced. Officials of all the military exchange services said their stores would take back eligible customers' recalled Firestone tires, regardless of the original purchase location.

Military customers at any AAFES Autopride Car Care facility are authorized credit equal to the AAFES retail price of a recalled tire. The credit may be applied to a new Firestone tire of their choice or any other brand. The customer pays the difference the sale price of the replacement tire, or tires, exceeds the credit. Likewise, AAFES will refund the difference if the customer buys a cheaper tire.

The replacement tires will be the same size, type, load range, and tread design. Mounting, balancing and transfer of any AAFES road hazard warranty will be free.

Customers who are not sure if their tires are subject to recall, and those who suspect they have defective tires not subject to recall, can bring them by any AAFES Autopride service facility for a free inspection, possible replacement or pro-rated exchange, if warranted.

The Navy and Marine Corps exchange services' Firestone tire policy includes:

  • Whenever possible, customers will be directed to a Firestone company-owned tire and service center to replace recalled tires and to discuss the exchange of tires not covered by the recall. Autoports will handle the recall and replacements in overseas and remote location where a Firestone company store is not available to patrons.
  • The stores will use pro-rata tread life warranty guidelines if a customer insists on returning nonrecalled tires.

Customers with technical questions best addressed by the manufacturer are encouraged to contact Firestone directly at (800) 465-1904 or www.bridgestone-firestone.com.

AAFES stopped selling the problem tires before Firestone's announcement, and it is now taking steps to ensure the recalled tires are completely removed from its inventory, officials said.

The decision to recall the tires came after a meeting between officials of Bridgestone Corp., the Japanese owner of Firestone; Ford Motor Co., which equipped many of its best-selling Explorer sport vehicles with the tires; and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Overall, about 47 million of the tires have been sold. The ATX models have been on the market for more than a decade and the Wilderness model since 1996.

The voluntary recall is limited to one size of three styles sold by the exchanges, and no others are eligible for automatic adjustment or replacement by Bridgestone/Firestone or AAFES. Working with Ford, Bridgestone/Firestone so far has pinpointed the following tires for recall:

  • Firestone Radial ATX P235/75R15, all dot codes.
  • Firestone Radial ATX II P235/75R15, all dot codes.
  • Firestone Radial ATX II P235/75R15 XL, all dot codes.
  • Wilderness AT P235/75R15; only codes beginning with "VD."
  • Wilderness AT P235/75R15 XL; only codes beginning with "VD."

(Based on an Army and Air Force Exchange Service news release. Gerry Gilmore contributed to this story.)

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