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Some Ford vehicle owners will not get a letter warning them of
recalled tires dangerously in need of replacement because the salesmen
falsified sales documents, according to an industry whistleblower.

“People may get killed because some salesman didn’t like them when
they bought their car,” former car salesman Stick Bogart told
WorldNetDaily.

Bogart claims 10 to 15 percent of all new-car buyers are not reported
properly to the car manufacturer. He said salesmen who fear that some
buyers may not give them a glowing report in customer satisfaction
surveys often falsify the address of new car buyers on documents sent to
the manufacturer.

Ford confirmed Bogart’s claim about the value of the surveys, but
denied knowing about falsified sales documents.

“This is very unusual,” said Ford spokeswoman Gerry Martin. “I’ve
never heard of this.” She said Ford does send customers a survey after
each sale, but she was surprised to hear that salesmen might falsify
addresses to avoid bad results. She said there would be an immediate
investigation to determine the extent of the problem.

Several new-car dealerships contacted at random by WorldNetDaily
denied knowing about such practices. Several said they were not
permitted to speak to the press, and others would only deny the claims
without permitting their names to be used.

Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Company have announced a
voluntary recall of at least 6.5 million tires, and notices of the
recall are being sent by mail to affected owners, according to Martin.
Ford has provided addresses to the tire manufacturer. Martin did not
know if the list of addresses used for the recall is the same list used
for the customer satisfaction survey.

Bogart told WorldNetDaily that after years of “getting people to give
me their money,” he decided to work to help buyers turn the tables on
less-than-honest car salesmen. He now runs a Phoenix-based business,
Auto Buyer’s Advocate, to educate new-car buyers and help them make
better deals.

“When there’s a ‘heat’ deal — unhappy customers — what they do is
send in false addresses, false phone numbers, even work phone numbers,
pagers, cell phones, anything that would allow the manufacturer to
contact them,” explained Bogart. He provided WorldNetDaily with
documents to show some of the deceptive practices used by salesmen.

All car manufacturers send out surveys to ask customers how they were
treated when they made the purchase. The results are used to determine
the level of discounts and incentives paid to dealers for car sales, as
well as for customer service awards. Good surveys bring higher profits
for a car dealer, explained Bogart.

Bogart claims many people will not get the letters and may assume
that their tires are safe, a condition he says could lead to injury and
death.

“Firestone and Ford are trying to do the right thing by sending
notices to all the owners. They’re trying to contact people and get them
on good tires, and they can’t do it because some of the dealers have
been sending falsified contact information. There are people out there
driving these cars who don’t really keep in touch with the media news
and all that. They’ll find out after an accident that their tires were
defective,” explained Bogart.

Bogart recommends that all car owners, regardless of the year and
make of their vehicle, call the manufacturer’s customer service number.
The manufacturer will be able to tell consumers over the phone if any
particular vehicle has ever been subject to a safety related recall, and
whether or not the recommended repair has been made.

“Don’t leave it to chance. You don’t know the history of that car,
especially if you bought it used. Why take chances,” said Bogart. Safety
recalls are paid for by the manufacturer, so repairs will be free, he
added.

“Don’t wait for a letter,” Martin agreed. She said anyone who is
uncertain about the recall should simply go to a Firestone dealer for a
free tire inspection to determine if their tires are the ones being
recalled.

Letters are being sent to certain Ford owners and others who
purchased the tires on a state-by-state basis in three phases, according
to Cat, a spokeswoman at the Firestone information line. She said only
customers in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are getting the
recall letters at this time, “because they have hotter temperatures,”
she explained. By the end of the year people in all other states will
receive the recall notice.

Gary Crigger, executive vice president of Bridgestone/Firestone, said
there have been a total of 14.4 million questionable tires produced, but
not all of them are still in use.

Anyone with Firestone Radial ATX, Radial ATX II tires or Wilderness
AT tires in size P235/75R15 should go to a Firestone dealer for free
replacements without waiting for a recall letter, according to Martin.
Consumers with questions can contact the company toll-free by calling
1-800-465-1904.

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