In 2000 and 2001, Firestone recalled about 6.5 million of its Radial ATX and Wilderness AT tires after separating tires led to a number of serious accidents involving Ford Explorers, Mercury Mountaineers and Mazda Navajos made before the 2000 model year. Although the recall successfully replaced 6.3 million tires, an estimated 200,000 tires are still out there, and accidents are still being reported. Apparently, many of the tires missed by the recall were fitted as spares, and are only now coming into service.
A random check by the NHTSA in the Washington, D.C. area found up to 10 percent of older Ford SUVs still carrying the recalled tires as spares. Meanwhile, new lawsuits are pending against Firestone.