Spitzer Says Nyers Face Unacceptable Risk From Tire Recall

Attorney General Spitzer today released the attached correspondence to the Bridgestone/Firestone Corporation. In the letter, Spitzer urges the Nashville-based company to either expand its recall program or make other provisions for consumers to obtain immediate replacements for the company's defective tires.

Bridgestone/Firestone announced yesterday that its recall of defective tires would be phased in over a number of months. The company said the recall would start immediately in southern states, but would not begin in New York until late next year at the earliest. Spitzer said this phased recall was unacceptable because New York consumers would be at risk for as much as 18 months.

More than 6.5 million of the company's sports utility vehicle tires and light truck tires have been identified as a possible cause of serious accidents. The tires are susceptible to blowouts, sudden breakdown and deflation.

"A defective product is a defective product," Spitzer said. "It is simply not acceptable to acknowledge a serious safety hazard, offer immediate relief for some consumers while telling other consumers to wait up to 18 months until the problem is corrected."

Spitzer urged the company to immediately provide substitute tires or pay replacement costs of new tires for New York consumers.

The Attorney General also wrote to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, urging the agency to reevaluate the terms of the company's national recall program.