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State officials flat on Firestone recall

September 06, 2000
By: John Sheridan
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Highway Patrol reports it's not using Firestone tires at all, but the recall effects on other state agencies are unknown.

Jim Miluski, of the state Office of Administration, said his office had not purchased vehicles with Firestone tires for the last several years, but he did not know from the centralized purchasing department what agencies, if any, are using Firestone tires.

He said, many state agencies handle their own vehicle accounts and the office of administration does not record that information.

Miluski also did not know about a new consumer advisory about the new consumer advisories, "to be honest with you I was not aware of that list."

The Sept. 1, 2000, consumer advisory issued by, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration annouced a new consumer safety advisory for 24 additional models of Firestone tires, but, like Miluski, many Missouri government agencies are still unaware of the advisory.

The statement said, that although the NHSTA investigation is not complete a cursory review showed the rate of tread separtion for several other Firestone tire models and sizes, "exceeded those of the recalled tires, sometimes by a large margin."

Rae Tyson, an NHSTA spokesman, said Firestone refused an addtional recall and said it could take over a year to for a decision to be reached.

For Missouri state employees the delayed decision could be costly.

The Firestone recall has not effected Missouri state agencies on a large scale, but there is a problem in knowing what agencies have Firestone tires and keeping atop new developments in the recall.

Jeff Briggs, spokesman for Missouri Department of Transportation, does not believe the Firestone problems will effect the department of transportation.

He estimates that few cars in the fleet of over 8300 vehicles have Firestone tires because Goodyear holds the state tire contract.

Briggs said that since a small number of vehicles would be effected Missouri would go through the same procedure as consumers for replacing tires.

Stan Perkins, fleet manager for Department of Natural Resources, oversees a fleet of over 700 vehicles, but says most of his fleet did not fit the criteria for the Firestone recall.

He did say vehicles for several natural resource offices may be effected by the recall, but he is unaware which offices are involved because individual offices usually maintain their own cars.

Perkins believes offices that had Firestone tires had changed them.

Perkins was also unaware of the new NHTSA advisories, "I have not (yet) done my research," he said.

The highway patrol has done their research. A highway patrol spokesman said, an investigation turned up no patrol cars with Firestone tires. Goodyear has the tire contract with the highway patrol

For agencies who have tires on the new NHSTA consumer advisory list, AAA spokesman, Mike Wright, has little advice for consumers who have tires on the new advisory.

Since the tires could be faulty, but Firestone has not recalled them, and probably never will, the situation is, "tremendously frustrating for people who do have tires."

Wright recommends agencies and consumers make sure there are no visible signs of wear on tires, refrain from speeding on the tires, especially in hot weather, do not overload vehicle, and wear seatbelts.

If a consumer or agency does decide to replace tires, not yet recalled by Firestone, Wright suggests, "be sure keep a receipt."

ate employee's are driving on tires a federal agency has identified as potentially unsafe

Jim Miluski, of the state office of administration, said his office had not purchased vehicles with Firestone tires for the last several years, but he did not know from the centralized purchasing department what agencies, if any, are using Firestone tires.

He said, many state agencies handle their own vehicle accounts and the office of administration does not record that information.

Miluski also did not know about a new consumer advisory about the new consumer advisories, "to be honest with you I was not aware of that list."

The Sept. 1, 2000, consumer advisory issued by, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration annouced a new consumer safety advisory for 24 additional models of Firestone tires, but, like Miluski, many Missouri government agencies are still unaware of the advisory.

The statement said, that although the NHSTA investigation is not complete a cursory review showed the rate of tread separtion for several other Firestone tire models and sizes, "exceeded those of the recalled tires, sometimes by a large margin."

Rae Tyson, an NHSTA spokesman, said Firestone refused an addtional recall and said it could take over a year to for a decision to be reached.

For Missouri state employees the delayed decision could be costly.

The Firestone recall has not effected Missouri state agencies on a large scale, but there is a problem in knowing what agencies have Firestone tires and keeping atop new developments in the recall.

Jeff Briggs, spokesman for Missouri Department of Transportation, does not believe the Firestone problems will effect the department of transportation.

He estimates that few cars in the fleet of over 8300 vehicles have Firestone tires because Goodyear holds the state tire contract.

Briggs said that since a small number of vehicles would be effected Missouri would go through the same procedure as consumers for replacing tires.

Stan Perkins, fleet manager for Department of Natural Resources, oversees a fleet of over 700 vehicles, but says most of his fleet did not fit the criteria for the Firestone recall.

He did say vehicles for several natural resource offices may be effected by the recall, but he is unaware which offices are involved because individual offices usually maintain their own cars.

Perkins believes offices that had Firestone tires had changed them.

Perkins was also unaware of the new NHTSA advisories, "I have not (yet) done my research," he said.

The highway patrol has done their research. A highway patrol spokesman said, an investigation turned up no patrol cars with Firestone tires. Goodyear has the tire contract with the highway patrol

For agencies who have tires on the new NHSTA consumer advisory list, AAA spokesman, Mike Wright, has little advice for consumers who have tires on the new advisory.

Since the tires could be faulty, but Firestone has not recalled them, and probably never will, the situation is, "tremendously frustrating for people who do have tires."

Wright recommends agencies and consumers make sure there are no visible signs of wear on tires, refrain from speeding on the tires, especially in hot weather, do not overload vehicle, and wear seatbelts.

If a consumer or agency does decide to replace tires, not yet recalled by Firestone, Wright suggests, "be sure keep a receipt."