Ford has asked the former administrator of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help review the Explorer recall issue.
Ford has hired the former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help prove that the Explorer is safe.
Dr Sue Bailey, who was chief of the federal safety agency for five months, is assisting the manufacturer as a part-time consultant.
Ford’s chief spokesman Jason Vines said Bailey will review Ford’s $3-billion (R24-billion) programme to replace 13 million Firestone Wilderness AT tyres on its vehicles, mainly Explorers.
Ford is trying to prove that the tyres were to blame for the deaths and injuries that resulted in tread separation that caused the SUVs to roll over. Firestone/Bridgestone, however, is trying to prove the problem was caused by a design fault on the Explorer.
Ford has already hired James Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, to help the manufacturer develop an early-warning system to detect potential defects on its cars and trucks.
Bailey said that during her time with the NHTSA there was nothing “to indicate the need for an investigation of the vehicle. I perceived it at the time as a tyre problem, and I still perceive it as a tyre problem.”
She left the NHTSA in January with the change in administrations.