Firestone Destination LE3 Problems (Explained)

Firestone’s Destination LE3 is an all-season tire with excellent traction and an impressive lifespan.

While the tire scores highly overall, some of its batches are plagued by defects severe enough to warrant a voluntary safety recall.

Some defective batches of Firestone Destination LE3 tires have a pinhole in the upper sidewall. The pinhole can penetrate the tire’s inner liner and cause air to escape slowly. As a result, the tire manufacturer Bridgestone has issued a voluntary safety recall targeting those made between June 14th and July 18th (2020). It promises to replace them with equivalent tires, free of charge.

In this guide, you’ll discover more about the problems affecting the Firestone Destination LE3 tire, its risks, and how you should respond to the recall if it applies to you.

What’s The Problem With Firestone Destination LE3 Tires?

Firestone’s Destination LE3 tires are not the best for off-road performance, but according to Tire Rack, the place where they truly shine is the overall comfort. 

Take a look at our comparison table between the top 10 tires in the Highway All-Season (HAS) category from the data that Tire Rack provides.

Tire% vs. Best In CategoryOff-RoadComfort Treadwear
Michelin Agilis CrossClimate100%8.5 / 10.08.9 / 10.09.2 / 10.0
Michelin Defender LTX M/S99%8.2 / 10.09.1 / 10.09.0 / 10.0
Continental TerrainContact H/T98%7.9 / 10.09.0 / 10.09.1 / 10.0
Firestone Destination LE398%7.6 / 10.09.1 / 10.09.1 / 10.0
Kumho Crugen HT5197%8.2 / 10.08.8 / 10.08.7 / 10.0
Michelin LTX M/S295%7.7 / 10.09.0 / 10.08.8 / 10.0
Cooper Discoverer HT394%7.9 / 10.08.6 / 10.08.5 / 10.0
Sumitomo Encounter HT94%8.1 / 10.08.3 / 10.08.8 / 10.0
General Grabber HTS 6093%8.0 / 10.08.5 / 10.08.6 / 10.0
Yokohama Geolandar G91FV92%7.2 / 10.08.4 / 10.08.2 / 10.0
Source: Tire Rack

Firestone Destination LE3 is ranked 4th in the % vs. Best In Category, trailing behind only Michelin Agilis CrossClimate, Michelin Defender LTX M/S, and Continental TerrainContact H/T.

However, the most significant problem with Firestone Destination LE3 tires is that some batches had dangerous defects. 

The defected tires featured a tiny pinhole in them. More specifically, they have a pinhole in the upper sidewall of the tire that could put the vehicle and its occupants at risk.

Although rare, the pinhole can penetrate the tire’s inner liner, causing air to slowly leak out.

The slow air loss might not seem like a significant problem at first, so it might seem like an issue that’s easy to ignore. But unfortunately, the opposite is true. 

An underinflated tire could become overheated and potentially blow out. So if the driver doesn’t notice that their LE3 tires are losing air or chooses to ignore it, they face an increased risk of getting into a car crash.

Experiencing a tire blowout and losing control of your vehicle while driving could lead to injuries (fatal or non) and property damage.

Not only are you and your passengers at risk, but you’re also putting other vehicles and people in harm’s way.

The affected tires were those produced between June 14th, 2020, and July 18th, 2020, particularly those of the 255/60R19 and P255/60R19 sizes.

Still, it’s always an excellent idea to err on the side of caution. If you’re using these tires on your vehicle, you should have them thoroughly inspected regardless of when they were made.

Is There A Recall On Firestone Destination Tires?

Yes, there is a voluntary safety recall for Firestone Destination LE3 tires. 

More specifically, the recall targets LE3 tires that:

  • Were manufactured between June 14th and July 18th in 2020
  • Have DOT date codes 2420
  • Have press identification number E07L

The recall affects about 1,923 Firestone Destination LE3 tires. Those tires were sold to drivers as replacement tires, which means they were not used in manufacturing new vehicles.

The joint recall notice was issued by Bridgestone Americas and Bridgestone Canada, who manufacture LE3 tires under the Firestone brand.

The recall seems to be a preemptive measure on Bridgestone’s part. That’s because no injuries or accidents were reported when they issued the voluntary safety recall.

As part of the recall, Bridgestone provides buyers with replacement tires free of charge.

What Do You Do If Your Tire Is Recalled?

Suppose you have Firestone Destination LE3 tires that are affected by the recall. 

In that case, here’s the 3-step process that you’ll go through:

Step 1: Contact Your Dealer

First and foremost, contact your tire dealer to let them know that you have tires affected by the recall.

Then, you’ll want to make an appointment with them to have your tires thoroughly inspected for the pinhole that triggered the recall.

Bridgestone has already notified their dealers, retailers, and distributors about the recall, so they’ll know what needs to be done.

Step 2: Get Tires Verified

Next, bring your tires to the dealer to get them verified.

The dealer will inspect the wheels to confirm that they’re from the affected batch and that they have the defect targeted by the recall.

Step 3: Get Replacement Tires

If your tires are affected by this problem, you will be provided with replacement tires.

Those tires could be other Firestone Destination LE3 tires that weren’t part of the defective batch, or the dealer might give you an equivalent replacement to use.

Remember that there are no charges for the customer to pay during this recall process.

Are Recalls A Big Deal?

Yes, tire recalls are a huge deal and should never go unnoticed. That certainly applies to the recall for Firestone Destination LE3, as well.

Tires are designed to sustain the weight of your vehicle while maintaining traction on the road. So, defective tires don’t just affect the performance of your car, but they can also undermine its overall safety.

The danger is especially significant with a defect that’s easily unnoticed, like the pinhole that causes slow air loss in LE3 tires.

After all, a slow and unnoticed air loss can lead to tires overheating and potentially blowing out.

The bottom line is clear: if you have Firestone Destination LE3 tires or plan to buy them, check that they’re not affected by the recall.

If they are, contact the dealer that you purchased them from and discuss the options you have to resolve the problem.

Can I Drive On A Tire With A Slow Leak?

No, you cannot drive on a tire that’s slowly leaking air. Doing so is just as dangerous as driving with a flat tire, if not worse.

Firstly, a tire slowly losing air will not have the same structural integrity as one filled correctly. As such, the tire can’t support the weight of your vehicle safely and could suffer a catastrophic failure.

When it comes to tires, a catastrophic failure means blowing out while driving without any warning. That could cause you to lose control of your vehicle and suffer a terrible car accident.

Besides that, driving on a slowly leaking Firestone Destination LE3 tire could also cause damage to your wheels.

As mentioned above, the tire can’t support your vehicle’s weight without enough air, so the excess pressure could bend the wheels that hold it in place.

Warranty Compared to Similar Highway All-Season Tires

TireWarranty
Michelin Agilis CrossClimate6 Years / Free replacement first year, 2/32” or 25% of wear, then prorated until 2/32” remaining dept
Michelin Defender LTX M/S50,000 – 70,000 miles
Continental TerrainContact H/T60,000 – 70,000 miles
Firestone Destination LE370,000 miles
Kumho Crugen HT5145,000 – 75,000 miles
Michelin LTX M/S250,000 – 70,000 miles
Cooper Discoverer HT350,000 miles
Sumitomo Encounter HT60,000 miles
General Grabber HTS 6045,000 miles
Yokohama Geolandar G91FV5 Years / Free replacement first year or 2/32” of wear, then prorated to 2/32” remaining depth
Source: Discount Tire and Tire Rack

What Do the Reviews Say?

“Very happy with these tires! They are quiet and very comfortable. Excellent traction. Price makes them hard to beat.”

Tire Rack Customer

“This tire has given me a night/day difference in ride smoothness, noise level, and overall handling compared to a more aggressive type tread, or sidewall tread. These tires allowed me equal winter service on ice and snow compared to my old heavy tread type tire, I have also seen a 2 or 3 mpg increase with these tires.”

Tire Rack Customer

“These seem to be excellent tires so far. I haven’t had them for a long period of time yet, but I do like them to this point in my ownership. My only critique would be the price. Hopefully, the price will come down some in the future.”

Tire Rack Customer

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few more questions and answers to help you understand Firestone Destination LE3 tires:

What Are Firestone Destination LE3 Tires?

The Destination LE3 tires by Firestone are the company’s highway all-season tires. They’ve been designed for use on SUVs, crossovers, and even light trucks. Among other benefits, they provide a long service life and traction in various weather conditions, including light snow.

How Long Do Firestone Destination LE3 Tires Last?

Firestone Destination LE3 tires are guaranteed to last up to 70,000 miles. 

Who Makes Firestone Destination LE3 Tires?

Destination LE3 tires are made by Bridgestone, which owns the Firestone brand. More specifically, the tire was launched by Bridgestone America.

When Did The Firestone LE3 Come Out?

The Firestone LE3 tire was first announced on June 4th, 2020. It was made available in 66 sizes for crossover vehicles, SUVs, and light trucks.

What Is The Difference Between The Firestone Destination LE2 And LE3?

Compared to the LE2, Firestone’s Destination LE3 promises better traction and higher mileage. In addition, the newer tire has a tread warranty of 70,000 miles. It maintains its traction throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions.

Sources

https://www.bridgestoneamericas.com/en/press-release-details.en.2020.voluntary-safety-recall

https://www.tiredefectattorney.com/defective-tire-recalls/

https://amrandtuckertowing.com/2018/06/is-it-safe-to-drive-on-a-tire-with-a-slow-leak/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bridgestone-introduces-next-generation-firestone-destination-le3-tire-301070905.html

https://www.tirerack.com/

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/firestone-destination-le3

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/surveyresults/surveydisplay.jsp?type=HAS\

https://www.discounttire.com/