Michigan dealer snagged for selling recalled tires

Michigan's attorney general charged a used tire dealer with reselling recalled Firestone Wilderness AT tires even though the tires' serial numbers had been gouged from their sides. Vernald Cole shipped about 560 tires recalled under Ford Motor Co.'s recall program to another dealer in Florida, according to Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm. Cole was charged with breaking a state law that

Michigan's attorney general charged a used tire dealer with reselling recalled Firestone Wilderness AT tires even though the tires' serial numbers had been gouged from their sides.

Vernald Cole shipped about 560 tires recalled under Ford Motor Co.'s recall program to another dealer in Florida, according to Michigan Attorney General Jennifer Granholm. Cole was charged with breaking a state law that bars the sale of auto parts without a serial number.

Though the tires were shipped to Florida, Firestone officials said customers nationwide who had bought used tires since May 2001 should check whether their tires were missing serial numbers.

Ford last year recalled about 13-million Wilderness AT tires fitted as standard equipment on its light trucks and SUVs. That followed an earlier recall by Firestone of 10-million tires, most of which were also on Ford trucks.

In both recalls, dealers were told to render the tires useless, usually by drilling a hole in the sidewalls. Ford's program also required dealers to shave the serial numbers off the tire's inner sidewall before reimbursement.

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