Firestone Transforce AT Problems (Explained)

Firestone’s Transforce AT tires are the brand’s all-terrain tires built for light trucks.

They work well on pickups, vans, commercial vehicles, and more, both on- and off-road. 

Unfortunately, Firestone Transforce AT tires have problems with high-speed vibrations, premature tire wear, and tread separation. Bridgestone, which manufactures these Firestone tires, also issued a voluntary safety recall for material defects that undermine the inner liner on some batches of these tires.

This guide will explain to you the problems faced by Firestone Transforce AT tires and the voluntary safety recall that Bridgestone issued.

Problems with Firestone Transforce AT Tires

Here are some known issues that exist with Firestone Transforce AT tires:

#1 Vibrations At High Speeds

Firstly, there have been reports that these tires cause steering wheel vibrations on vehicles traveling at high speeds. This problem tends to happen at highway speeds exceeding 45 mph.

Granted, a vibrating steering wheel can result from driver faults like uneven tire pressure or damage to parts like the car’s rims. 

However, unwanted vibrations can also happen due to tire sidewalls that are overly stiff or treads that are much more rigid than they should be.

As you might imagine, Firestone Transforce AT tires should not vibrate regardless of whether the vehicle is moving at high or low speeds. 

Those vibrations coming through the steering wheel make it much more challenging for the driver to control the vehicle and could lead to excessive fatigue and potential accidents on the road.

#2 Premature Tire Wear

Secondly, Firestone Transforce AT tires also tends to experience premature wear.

In other words, they reach unsafe tread depths a lot sooner than they should, even when used in normal conditions.

For starters, Firestone does not provide a treadwear warranty for Transforce AT tires. Still, these tires tend to wear out far sooner than most drivers would expect, with some needing replacements as soon as 12,000 miles or less.

Tires that wear out prematurely, like the Transforce AT model by Firestone, aren’t just a financial problem, as drivers will have to invest in brand new tires. 

But they’re also a potential danger as drivers may not suspect that their tire treads have reached unsafe levels.

#3 Tread Separation

Tread separation is another problem you’ll have to be wary of with Firestone Transfroce At tires.

Treads form the outer layer of a tire and are bonded directly to the inner layer (or body/casing).

So, the problem of tread separation is when those two parts, the tread, and the body, come apart from one another.

That tread separation happens due to a defect with the bonding process that’s meant to keep both parts attached safely.

Tread separation is not a minor problem that can be taken lightly. As you might imagine, losing your treads while driving on the road could lead to losing control of your vehicle, putting yourself and others in harm’s way.

#4 Material Defects

Lastly, some batches of Firestone Transforce AT tires have been identified as having significant material defects. More specifically, the affected batches were made using an incorrect rubber compound for their inner liners.

These defects are potentially dangerous, as cracks could form and allow air and water to get in the tire where they don’t belong. That could then lead to separations of the belt edges.

Tire belts are the rubber-coated layers of materials between the tire’s tread and plies. So when the belt is affected, what technically happens is that the air and water break down the bond keeping the belt edges in place.

In worst-case scenarios, the affected Firestone Transforce AT tire could experience a total failure while driving.

Is There A Recall For Firestone Transfroce AT Tires?

Yes, there is a recall for specific batches of Firestone’s Transforce AT tires and several other models. Bridgestone, which manufactures Firestone tires, issued a press release detailing the voluntary recall.

Details of the affected Transfroce AT tires are:

  • Those made between May 2 (2021) and May 8 (2021)
  • Those in size LT275/70R18
  • Those with DOT Tire Identification Number VN 15 TR9 1821

The voluntary recall is said to affect 10,380 Firestone tires, including both Transforce AT and Transforce HT.

These tires were distributed to the market in two ways, which are:

  • As original equipment for 2021-2022 RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 vehicles trucks
  • Sold as retail replacement tires in the US and Canada

What Is A Voluntary Safety Recall?

A voluntary safety recall, like the one issued by Bridgestone for affected Transfroce AT tires, is when the manufacturer tries to get defective products off the market before they can cause any harm.

In the case of the Transforce AT tires, Bridgestone estimates that only 5% of the affected tires have the material defect that triggered the recall.

Still, the company has decided to issue the recall to err on the side of caution and prevent problems before they happen.

During a voluntary recall like that one, you can expect the manufacturer to replace the defective tires at no cost to you. They will provide you with either another Transforce AT tire from a non-defective batch or any equivalent model.

What Happens If You Don’t Take Your Car In To Recall?

A voluntary safety recall is not a decision that manufacturers like Bridgestone take lightly. So if they issue a recall like the one for Transforce AT tires, you should take it seriously.

Delaying or ignoring the tire recall could cause:

  • Minor tire defects become major problems
  • Expensive repairs that could have been prevented
  • You and your passengers face unnecessary risks
  • You pose a danger to other motorists and pedestrians on the road
  • Significant property damage if you get into a car accident

So, let’s suppose you have Firestone Transforce AT tires. In that case, you must contact your tire dealer immediately and check to see if you’re affected by the recall.

If you are, set an appointment for them to inspect your tires and provide you with safe tires, if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers to help you understand Firestone Transforce AT tires better:

How Long Do Firestone Transforce Tires Last?

You can expect Firestone Transforce AT tires to last between 40,000 and 70,000 miles. With proper maintenance and care, the tires could last the average driver between 3-5 years before needing replacements.

How Many Ply Is Firestone Transforce?

Firestone Transforce AT tires are 10-ply. That means the tire consists of 10 internal layers made from various materials, each responsible for the tire’s overall characteristics.

Are Firestone Transforce Tires Good In Snow?

Yes, Firestone Transforce AT tires is good in snow. After all, the term ‘AT’ means ‘all-terrain’. So, the tire is designed to perform well in snow, as well as wet and dry conditions as well.

Who Makes Firestone Tires?

The Firestone tire brand is owned by the Bridgestone Corporation. That has been true since 1988, when Bridgestone merged with The Firestone Tire ; Rubber Company and formed the world’s largest tire manufacturer.

Are Firestone And Bridgestone The Same Tire?

No, Firestone and Bridgestone tires are not the same, despite both essentially being the same manufacturer.

Bridgestone produces higher-end tires that offer better quality but come at a higher price.

Firestone, however, makes more affordable tires for buyers at lower price points.