WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. are expected to report Monday to government investigators they have reached similar conclusions regarding tire failures blamed for 148 deaths nationwide.
The conclusions apparently would clear workers producing the Firestone tires and the Ford Explorer vehicle, to which many of the fatalities have been linked.
The companies are expected to focus on problems in the tire manufacturing process involving adhesives and a layer of rubber between the tires' steel belts, USA Today reported in its Monday edition, quoting sources familiar with company plans.
Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone would not say in advance what they will tell the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, USA Today reported. The newspaper said Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone have conducted separate investigations of the tires and why they failed, and have been discussing their findings with each other.
NHTSA figures link 148 deaths to separations, blowouts and other tread problems in Firestone's ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires, 6.5 million of which were recalled.
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