I read Harry Stoffer's April 21 column about the Ford-Firestone episode ("Ford should collect from Firestone") with some interest. He noted some information I had not seen before.
I have been involved in the automotive industry for more than 20 years, and I have watched the tire companies shoot themselves in the foot many times.
But this time, based on the info I have been able to piece together, the only thing Firestone is guilty of is building the tires to Ford's specifications.
Some of the ply separations were due to quality problems at one of the tire plants, but that was not the main problem with the Ford Explorer.
The fact that Ford has not approached Bridgestone to share some of the expense of its (Ford's) voluntary recall just shows that that position is not tenable. Stoffer is right; that brings up one important big unanswered question: Why not?
Could it be that, if pushed, Ford would have to admit that, contrary to what Jacques Nasser told Congress, it really was due to the vehicle, not the tire?
Three things came together to cause that tragic situation: poorly engineered product, supplier acquiescence and consumer neglect. Do you think that any of the tires that failed were properly inflated?