See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Blowouts and rollovers 

Like kids in a schoolyard standing next to a broken window, Firestone and Ford continue to point fingers at each other and yell, “It’s your fault!” “No, it’s yours!” “Is not!” “Is too!”

Who’s to blame for the tragic deaths and injuries associated with the rollovers of Ford Explorers equipped with Firestone tires?

Joan Claybrook, president of the watchdog group Public Citizen and former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, offered her opinion last week to the Institute for Public Accuracy. Her take: Both corporations share part of the blame, but there should also be considerable finger-pointing in the direction of federal regulators.

“Ford and Firestone have been blaming each other for the more than 200 deaths and 700 injuries that have occurred in Ford-Firestone crashes,” said Claybrook. “Both are right — Firestone produced a faulty tire, as Ford has said. And Ford manufactured and zealously marketed its Explorer despite knowing it was prone to rolling over. However, an ovelooked issue is NHTSA’s failure to issue key rollover crashworthiness standards.”

The technology is available to install synthetic roofs that act as a roll bar and prevent roofs from crushing, says Claybrook, but “constant pressure from automakers” has kept NHTSA from forcing change.

The agency, contended Claybrook, “has failed the American public.”

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation