FORD: FIRESTONE PLANT HAD QUALITY PROBLEMS
Tires made at the Firestone plant in Decatur, Ill.,
during the mid-1990s had numerous quality control problems, according to data
released by Ford Motor Co. Monday.
The central Illinois plant manufactured many of the 6.5 million light truck and
sport utility vehicle tires recalled last Wednesday by Bridgestone/Firestone. A
Ford spokesman said an analysis of Firestone documents shows the tire maker
received a disproportionate number of complaints of injury and property damage
involving ATX and Wilderness AT tires made at the Decatur plant but that the
company did not notify Ford.
Bridgestone/Firestone recalled millions of P235/75R15 size ATX, ATX II and
Wilderness tires after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
began investigating more than 300 tread separation failures in accidents linked
to 46 deaths and 80 injuries.
Ford said tires made at the Decatur plant were
"over-represented" in complaints and accident claims. For 10 months during that
period, striking United Rubber Workers were replaced by managers and temporary
employees who made ATX and Wilderness tires.
About two-thirds of the recalled tires were original equipment on Ford Explorer
and Mercury Mountaineer SUVs and small Ranger pickups. Ford bowed to pressure
from consumers Friday and agreed to allow recalled tires to be with other
The Washington Post Monday reported six former Firestone employees said quality
control was virtually nonexistent during the labor strife in Decatur and that
plant workers manually punctured bubbles in the rubber of flawed tires that
should have been scrapped.
Bridgestone/Firestone said the charges came from disgruntled former employees
who left during the walkout and defended the quality of tires produced at its
Attorneys for Public Citizen and Safetyforum.com, two safety groups, and
plaintiffs suing Bridgestone/Firestone called for the Japanese-owned company to
expand its recall to include 16-inch ATX, ATX II and Wilderness brand tires.
Firestone voluntarily replaced 16-inch SUV tires in South America and Saudi
The city of Chicago sent a letters to NHTSA, the Nashville-based tire maker and
the National Transportation Safety Board questioning Firestone's decision to
replace tires in hot-weather western, southwestern and southern states up to 18
months before the Midwest.
"A delay of more than one year in recalling potentially hazardous tires cannot
be justified," wrote Caroline Shoenberger, commissioner of the Department of
Consumer Services. "The Firestone Corporation should take whatever measurers
necessary to immediately recall and replace these potentially dangerous and
defective tires, not only in Illinois, but in all 50 states."
GO-KARTS, EYE AND EAR DROPS RECALLED
The Consumer Product Safety Commission Monday
announced the recall of 91,000 go-karts and the Food and Drug Administration
warned Rich's MSM Eye & Ear Drops may be contaminated with yeast and a bacteria
that can cause sight-threatening injuries.
AMD UNDERCUTS INTEL WITH LATEST CHIP PRICES
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. finally
agreed to reduce the price of its 1-GHz Athlon microprocessors, introducing its
1.1-GHz Athlon in the process.
NEWS CORP. TO ACQUIRE CHRIS-CRAFT
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
(NYSE:NWS), owner of the Fox Television Network, announced Monday that it will
acquire Chris-Craft (NYSE:CCN) and subsidiaries for about $5.35 billion, about
$2.13 billion in cash and approximately 73 million American depositary receipts
WRAP: BROADCOM TO BUY NEWPORT COMMUNICATIONS FOR $1.24 BILLION
Broadcom Corporation, the provider of
integrated circuits enabling high speed broadband communications, said Monday it
has agreed to buy optical communications chip maker NewPort Communications Inc.
in a stock deal worth $1.24 billion, extending Broadcom's reach in the
Sithe Energies, Inc.
announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement with PECO Energy
Company (NYSE: PE) under which PECO will acquire 49.9% of Sithe North America.
Upon completion of the agreement, the remaining 50.1% of Sithe North America
The European Union (EU) said Monday that it has
granted regulatory clearance to France Telecom's acquisition of the sole control
over the British mobile phone operator Orange.