Ford says the problem has nothing to do with its trucks
German tyre company Continental has recalled 600,000 tyres fitted on Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles in the US because some tyres have been losing their threads. Continental is also keen to find out whether a fatal accident in the US in May was caused by faulty tyres.
Continental's recall is the largest since the 2000 recall of 6.5 million tyres by its competitor Bridgestone/Firestone after a series of fatal accidents involving the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle.
At the time, neither the tyre maker nor the car maker admitted any wrongdoing and both tried to place the blame on the other in lengthy law suits.
In all, Ford voluntarily replaced 13 million tyres on its Explorers, in addition to 3.5 million tyres which were replaced by Bridgestone/Firestone.
Continental Tire North America said the cost of the latest recall should reach about $20m (ё13m).
But beyond that, it could add further damage if it dents consumer confidence, both in the tyres and in the cars.
In April, both Continental and Ford discovered a rise in claims, and the two companies held discussions about this.
The following month, six people died in an accident where a Ford Expedition fitted with Continental General Grabber tyres rolled over.
"We have no indication this is related to [the Ford Expedition] design," a Ford spokesman said.
Continental said its ContiTrac AW and General Grabber AW tyres have been producing vibrations and noise and they have been wearing irregularly.
In addition, 3,500 bus tyres which were found to wear down fast with heavy use have been withdrawn. ©