Rename Explorer? A ridiculous idea

To the Editor:

I am responding to John Teahen’s July 23 column on changing the name of the Ford Explorer. That is absolutely ridiculous. Very simply, we have let Ralph Nader, safety institutions and insurance companies dictate where this great automotive world is going.

The argument should be driver education. The Firestone tires exploded and, naturally, if the driver didn’t react correctly, a spinout or rollover resulted.

My automotive experience dates from the early 1960s and includes fuel dragsters, American Motors, NASCAR, Indy and the Bonneville Salt Flats. I developed, built and drove my own cars. I feel my background qualifies me to write this letter.

I realize we cannot rectify the deaths, but we cannot allow wild statements to affect a vehicle like the Explorer simply because of tire failure. When a tire fails, your chances of saving the vehicle and your life are based on your ability — called control.

The name changes Teahen mentioned are vehicles that had problems. The Explorer should stick to its name and not let wild, untrue statements affect its great future. We cannot and should not hold Ford Motor Co. or the Ford Explorer accountable for a defective tire.

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