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Wilson Firestone Workers Fight Back Against Faulty Tire Claim

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WILSON — Someone inFirestoneis firing back at accusations that faulty tires were made at its plant in Wilson. The target is a former employee who manages an auto body shop in town.

Former Firestone employee Alan Hogan told CBS News that problems with the company's tires were not just isolated to a plant in Illinois. Hogan alleges tires out of the Wilson plant also had defects.

An unsigned letter circulating at the plant says:"Employees at Firestone take pride in our work and feel personally attacked by Mr. Hogan."

The letter urges the 2,200 Firestone employees in Wilson to boycott the auto body business where Hogan works and the car dealership that leases space to the repair shop.

Firestone management denies any involvement with the letter and believes it was the work of some employees.

Hogan has stepped down from his position to deflect criticism from the auto body shop and the car dealership. The dealership says it has the utmost respect for Firestone and its employees, adding that it believes Firestone produces a quality product.

Rory Jenkins, a current Wilson Firestone employee, agrees with Hogan that problems with Firestone tires are not just in Illinois. However, he admits he is in the middle of a worker's compensation dispute with the plant.

"Doctors and lawyers are in their pockets," Jenkins says. "They're not only isolated to this one plant."

WRAL talked to the Firestone manager in Wilson. He says there are no defects in the tires coming out of the plant. He adds that if faulty tires had been produced, they would have been recalled.

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Len Besthoff, Reporter
Edward Wilson, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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