by CEO Jac Nasser calling for the replacement of 13.5 million Firestone
tires on its SUVs has re-ignited debate about responsiblity for the alleged
safety problem, a nightmare likely to drag on for years.
Following the news of the Ford recall, which will cost the automaker $3
billion, Firestone counterattacked almost immediately, calling for a federal
investigation of the Explorer.
It was a PR guy's worst nightmare and a trial lawyer's dream: the targets
of an investigation turning on each other in front of the cameras. It
wasn't long before the opportunists came roaring out of the woodwork.
The Florida State Attorney General took the dramatic step of declaring
SUVs unsafe and launching a full investigation. An over reaction that
probably had as much to do with the Florida State Attorney General's deep
concern for the well-being of the Florida State Attorney General's Office,
as it had to do with his desire to protect Florida consumers.
It appears that this imbroglio isn't going away anytime soon. Unfortunately,
no one will come out a winner. Certainly not the consumer, and certainly
not Ford or Firestone whose brand reputations have been severely tarnished,
nor the safety advocates who are looking more unreasonable every day.
Ford CEO Jacques Nasser prepares to answer questions regarding the safety
of Explorer before a Congressional committee [again] on June 19th, the
also responded strongly to an impending NHTSA
ER will continue to watch this. In the meantime, we are presenting analysis
of 2002 Explorer as well as
a very significant White
Paper by DRIVE-TEK, the Dana/GKN Automotive joint venture. This PDFx
document discusses the utilization of driveline torque management as a
stability enhancement tool in HCOG (high center of gravity) vehicles;
We're also presenting a fact sheet
from Ford Motor Company that addresses misconceptions surrounding this
controversy. Obviously, ER does not necessarily endorse the information
presented in the report, but we certainly felt it was appropriate to provide
more background in the interests of fairness.
Myron D. Stokes
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