Looking back: The Firestone-Ford controversy

Rollover accounts for a majority of road-related incidents in the country. According to the website of the lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.,® rollovers could be a result of almost anything: a defective tire, poor road condition, defectively manufactured car suspension components, and driver negligence. Whatever the cause of a rollover might be, it could be life-changing for the victims, and may even be tragic for some.

In August 2000, incidences of rollover caused two closely-knitted companies, tire manufacturer Firestone and automaker giant Ford, to part ways in a somewhat bitter manner. The issue started when Firestone initiated the recall of 6.5 million of its tires, most of which had been mounted to Ford Explorer – Ford’s most profitable car unit during those times. The recall was made after the company learned about tire tread separation, triggering road accidents such as rollovers.

But the move did not significantly curb road incidents across the country. In fact, by 2001, rollover incidents involving Ford Explorer mounted with Firestone tires climbed to more than 200! Firestone said that there’s something about Ford units that makes them more prone to rollover crashes. In retaliation, the automaker giant promised that it will remove all Firestone tires equipped on their Ford Explorers, totaling 13 million tires, all at their own expense.

The two decided to end their partnership in a curiously distasteful way. The two giants of the auto industry had a century-long supply relationship before Firestone vowed not to enter into any agreement with Ford in 2001. Harvey Samuel Firestone and Henry Ford were personal friends, and they were even connected more closely in a marriage with their grandchildren, William Clay Ford, Sr. and Martha Parke Firestone.

Until now, nothing is really clear about who’s at fault. That’s why the website advises car owners to have their vehicles secured with an insurance that could cover for any untoward incidences, such as property damage and bodily injury. Most importantly, Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® recommends inspecting your car for any defects before hitting the road is always a wise, reliable way to keep rollover accidents at bay.

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