Would You Buy An Explorer?

Customers are pelting dealers with safety questions

Throughout much of the monthlong controversy over deadly accidents involving failures of Firestone tires on Ford Explorers, Ford Motor Co. has managed to deflect most of the blame and pin it squarely on the tire manufacturer. But as government officials continue their safety probe, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has finally begun to fire back: It's not just the tire, it's also the vehicle. "We made some bad tires. We take responsibility for that," Firestone Executive Vice-President John Lampe told a Senate committee on Sept. 12. But "the interaction between the tire and the vehicle should be the focus."

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