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Firestone Case Study

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Firestone: A Reputation Blowout
The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was founded in 1900 by Harvey Firestone in Akron, Ohio. Firestone began their long relationship with the Ford Motor Company in 1906 when Henry Ford purchased two-thousand sets of Firestone tires. In 1978, due to defective tires, Firestone was forced to recall 14.5 million tires. They also faced $500,000 in fines for concealing safety problems. Since then there has been a large number of tire recalls and has been a major problem for the tire industry for over 25 years. This recall financially weakened Firestone and resulted in their merge with Bridgestone. In 1990, the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company was purchased for $2.6 billion by Bridgestone USA, Inc. In 1998, Sam Boyden sent an e-mail to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advising them about the potential dangers resulting from recent Firestone tire tread failures. No actions began to take place until 2000 when news reporter, Anna Werner publicized this story on television. Following this news broadcast, many citizens began to complain that they experienced problems as a result of the Firestone tire failures mostly on the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles. This case study gives an overview about the controversy involving Ford Motor Company and Bridgestone/ Firestone, Inc.  
Both Ford and Firestone were aware that they had problems with their products prior to these accidents, but for some reason they did not take any action until the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) intervened. The NHTSA was also to blame for their delayed response to investigate the potential dangers associated with Firestone tire tread failures. This proves that these organizations were not concerned with the well-being of their consumers and their actions were completely unethical. Firestone tires have been linked to a large number of accidents that resulted in injuries and even deaths. Although Firestone knew about such...

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