Firestone mess prompts fixes at Ford

Radio Commentary
Edward Lapham is editor of Automotive News

Oct. 9 - The Firestone tire mess isn't over yet, but there already are two new Ford campaigns to improve quality and catch potential safety problems.

Beginning Feb. 1, Ford's Tier 1 suppliers must meet tougher quality standards or risk losing Ford's business. The new Q1 standards are intended to avoid the kind of embarrassing quality glitches that plagued recent Ford vehicle launches -- such as the Escape and the new Explorer, which were each recalled almost before they went on sale.

Ford also is scrutinizing every dealership repair order that is related to safety, rather than relying on spot checks. Ford execs want to catch any problem before it escalates into something as big as the Explorer tire catastrophe.

You can reach Edward Lapham at elapham@crain.com

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