well known North American companies, Ford and Firestone, have each
accused the other's products of causing crashes. Firestone, the tyre
maker, wants the American government to investigate Ford's vehicles.
Stephen Evans reports from New York.
and Firestone,two American corporate legends, have already
severed their links, which go back nearly a century since
Harvey Firestone sold his first tyre to Henry Ford. Now they're
going for each other's jugular over why Explorers, Ford's
best-selling four-by-four sports off-road vehicle, have toppled
over when tyres blow out. Ford says it's the tyres; Firestone's
now blasted back with a report on the Explorer done at Ohio State
University. The engineers there tried different makes of
vehicle with different makes of tyres and concluded, as they
put it, it's a vehicle problem, not a tyre problem.
legends - very famous and well known companies
their links - cut all connections
for each other's jugular - making strong attacks with the aim
of seriously damaging each other
over - fell over
out - lose air in the tyre very quickly
- a manufacturer's model is a make, for example, Firestone
produce a make of tyre
engineers say it's harder for the driver of an Explorer to keep
control if a tyre bursts. In such a sudden situation, the engineers
conclude, the vehicle turns more sharply than the driver intends
as he tries to steer out of the accident. Firestone's now
taken the gloves off in its fight by asking the American
government to investigate the vehicle. Ford replied to the Firestone
report by saying that what it called the 'real world data'
showed the Explorer was one of the safest vehicles on the road.
It's also started a big advertising campaign this week. Both companies
are fighting for their corporate reputations -- and in this
business, where safety's involved, reputations add up to billions
of dollars in sales.
keep control - to stop the car from crashing
steer - to choose which direction the vehicle travels
the gloves off - started to fight very seriously
world data' - information gathered from actual experience
- a company's reputation is how well or badly people
think about it