The Firestone/Ford Tire Controversy (A)
1.) Why did Sears, Ford and Firestone react differently to the same incident? Sears was one of the largest retailers of Firestone tires in the United States during the 2000 controversy. As they were simply just a dealer of tires to the public, they were inclined to halt sales of the tires before the official recall was announced for the benefit of their customers. Even though they had a longstanding relationship with Firestone, they had to pull the tires off the shelves for the good of their company’s image and the safety of their customers. Even though Ford and Firestone both opposed this, Sears made a decision to pull the tires off the shelves because it was a moral call, not a business call.
Ford reacted more aggressively by enlisting of research parties to find out flaws in the Firestone tires. Since Firestone and Ford had a long relationship dating back to the early 1900s, this seemed like a last minute effort to push the blame off of Ford and onto Firestone 100%. While Ford conducted these research studies, they shifted focus from their Ford Explorer performance issues and pushed the focus onto the tires the Explorers were equipped with. Seeking out the tire manufacturing plant in Decatur, Illinois, they tried to make a case for improper manufacturing techniques as reasons behind the recall. Ford pushed the blame away from themselves and ultimately severed a longstanding business relationship with Firestone.
Firestone produced tires that had poor performance and durability, especially at higher temperatures. To levy this lack of performance, they insisted on using the tires at a higher pressure to increase the lifespan and reduce the heat generated by these tires which ultimately was the cause of the defects. Once it was discovered that these tires were the cause of the accidents because of the separating treads due to high temps and low pressure, Firestone then attached Ford and pointed the finger at their...
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