Ford Recalls 50,000 Explorers to Fix Tires

DEARBORN, Mich. (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co. is recalling 50,000 of its new Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles because a narrow gap in an assembly line may have cut the vehicle’s tire treads.

The recall is the second problem for the new model since it went on sale in March. The launch had already been delayed for months to ensure the quality of the vehicles following last August’s Firestone tire recall.

A Ford spokesman said about nine or 10 percent of the 50,000 Explorers made at its Louisville, Kentucky, plant had cuts from 5 to 9 inches long and up to half an inch deep in the right tire treads caused by the assembly line conveyor belt.

No Firestone tires were involved in this latest recall-Explorers made at the Kentucky plant are fitted with either Goodyear or Michelin tires.

Ford said it had received no reports of accidents or injuries involving the tires and fixed the problem at the Louisville plant after the cuts were discovered. Explorers made at Ford’s St. Louis plant were not affected by the problem.

In April, Ford contacted owners to fix about 56,000 Explorers and its sister vehicle, the Mercury Mountaineer, for a rear liftgate window that could break when being shut. About 12,000 of the SUVs were in customer hands at the time, and most of the rest were on dealers’ lots.