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Firestone recalls tires on Altimas

Tires made for about 23,000 vehicles affected

MSNBC STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Feb. 20 — Firestone said on Tuesday it is voluntarily recalling certain model Firehawk GTA-02 tires made for about 23,000 Nissan Altimas, saying an analysis revealed a surface crack that could spread in extreme cases.

THE RECALL affects Firehawk GTA-02 tires in size P205/55R16 manufactured at Firestone’s Wilson, N.C., plant.
The tires were mostly fitted as original equipment on certain model 2000 and 2001 Nissan Altima SE vehicles made through Nov. 30, 2000 and sold in the United States, Canada and Guam. Approximately 22,937 Altima SE vehicles are affected by the recall: 21,603 in the continental U.S. and Hawaii; 1,315 in Canada and 19 in Guam.
The recall does not affect Altima GXE, GLE and XE models, or any other Nissan or Infiniti vehicles supplied with Firestone tires.
The tires subject to the recall have one of the following DOT numbers:
W2T2 VF3 289 through W2T2 VF3 529
W2T2 VF3 010 through W2T2 VF3 170
W2T2 VF3 1800 through W2T2 VF3 4500
The Altima SE 2001.
Firestone said it will replace the recalled tires at no cost with new Firehawk GTA-02 tires in size P205/55R16. In order to ensure an adequate supply of replacement tires, Firestone said it will also make the following tires, which have been approved by Nissan for use on the Altima SE, available as replacements:
Bridgestone Potenza RE92
Bridgestone Turanza EL41
Recalled tires will be replaced at no cost to the customer at their local authorized participating Firestone retailer. For the location of the nearest Firestone store, customers can call toll-free, (800) 465-1904.




Width & aspect ratio
The "P" in front of the number stands for "passenger." "215" represents the width of the tire in millimeters. "65" is the ratio of height to width. The "R" stands for "radial" and the "15" is the diameter of the wheel in inches. A "B" in place of the "R" means the tire is belted bias construction. A "D" in place of the "R" means diagonal bias construction.

Service Description:
"89H" in this example, consists of the load index (89) and speed symbol (H). This only appears on speed-rated tires.

DOT code:
The letters "DOT" certify compliance with all applicable safety standards established by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Adjacent to this is a tire identification or serial number. This serial number is a code with up to 11 digits that are a combination of numbers and letters.

Ply composition:
The sidewall also shows the type of cord and number of plies in the sidewall and under the tread. The DOT requires tire manufacturers to grade passenger car tires based on three performance factors: treadwear, traction and temperature resistance.

Load limit:
The maximum load is shown in lbs. (pounds) and in kg (kilograms), and maximum pressure in psi (pounds per square inch) and in kPa (kilopascals). Kilograms and kilopascals are metric units of measurement.

Treadwear, traction & temp.:
The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test track. A tire graded 200 would wear twice as long on the government test course under specified test conditions as one graded 100. Traction grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. They represent the tire's ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. The temperature grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B and C. These represent the tire's resistance to the generation of heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel.

Printable version


SURFACE CRACKS
Firestone said it decided to initiate the recall after an analysis of tires returned for adjustment showed a surface crack at the edge of the tread and shoulder that, in extreme cases, could develop along the circumference of the tire. Nissan said it has had no reports of tread belt separations or detachments in any of the tires that have experienced this cracking.
Firestone, a unit of Bridgestone Corp., emphasized the recall is not related to any other recall announced by Firestone.
 
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