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Not all motorists rushed to replace recalled tires

SHARE Not all motorists rushed to replace recalled tires

Tila Penna's Ford Explorer had sported the now-recalled Firestone tires for nearly two years, but a planned trip and a TV news report prompted her to get them replaced Tuesday.

The Salt Lake woman uses the vehicle usually on short, in-town trips and even then it's when she's not driving her more-used Chevy Suburban.

"Long distances had scared me, but I've not been traveling excessively," Penna said. "But now I'm not as worried about taking two children with me to Wyoming."

A TV news report also got her attention. "A thing on the news showed that when those tires blow, people could be upside down (in a rollover accident)," she said. "I had thought it would be just like a flat tire — nothing life-threatening, and you'd just pull over."

Penna said she delayed making the tire switch because she was "just very busy," but Michelle Mason of Salt Lake City had to wait because her shop needed a shipment of replacement tires. She had the Wilderness tires taken off her Ford Explorer Friday, nearly two weeks after she learned they were among those being recalled.

"I don't drive that much and I never take the freeway, so I wasn't too worried," said Mason, whose vehicle has only about 9,000 miles. "But I also took all the back roads and made sure to be under the speed limit."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun investigating reports of at least 62 deaths and more than 100 injuries in crashes reportedly connected to the Firestone tires.

Mason's Explorer now carries a different brand. "I'm still worried that maybe another brand will do the same thing, but I don't think I trust the Firestone name any more," she said.

"Just knowing they were attributed to 62 deaths made me a little nervous."