A Georgia woman who suffered permanent injuries in a 2012 crash where a supposedly recalled tire shredded warned that the tire recall system is “broken” and needs to be fixed before the next tire shreds.
The woman, Kristen Rose was driving a borrowed 1998 Ford Explorer when the crash occurred on Interstate 85 in Coweta County, WSB TV reports. Rose had just dropped off her 4-year-old son, when, she said, the Explorer “started swaying and then it started flipping.” A Firestone Wilderness AT tire on the rear driver’s side had shredded; the Explorer rolled over three times, ejecting Rose through the back window. She was airlifted to the hospital. Rose has a 4-inch scar on her head, she walks with a limp, and she said she is now unable to lift her son.
The defective Firestone tire had been part of a recall about 11 years earlier – the second recall involving tires on Explorers. Bridgestone Firestone Vice President Paul Oakley said in an email that together Firestone and Ford recovered 1.5 million tires, 83 percent of those recalled. But an attorney representing Rose told WSB TV reporter Jim Strickland that these numbers “don’t reflect the actual filings they’ve made with NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).” NHTSA documents indicate Firestone had a 12 percent success rate in recovering the tires.
Firestone is not the only tire maker facing questions about the effectiveness of tire recalls. A BF Goodrich tire “detreaded” on Interstate 75 in Florida, WSB TV reports, and two people in a church van were killed in the rollover crash. That tire had been recalled 18 months earlier. Rose warns that the next shredded tire could be on “the car next to you,” and she urges regulators to fix the recall system before that happens.