FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Todd Hallidy
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Date: November 8, 2001
A.G. BRADY ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE
(Wilmington, DE) -- Delaware Attorney General M. Jane Brady today announced an agreement with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., settling a 14 month investigation into allegedly defective tires and alleged misrepresentations made during the tire replacement process and in the promotion of the allegedly defective tires. The $51.5 million nationwide settlement with Delaware and 52 other jurisdictions was entered today.
Under the settlement, $26.5 million will be equally divided as a monetary payment to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. An additional $10 million is devoted to restitution for consumers. This is in addition to approximately $450 million already spent by Bridgestone/Firestone in the 53 jurisdictions. Approximately $10 million is earmarked to pay for the costs of the investigation in the various states. Another $5 million will be devoted to a national public service announcement campaign conducted by the Attorneys General.
"This settlement assures a fair restitution process for the customers and provides greater protections for consumers in the future," said Attorney General Brady. "Tire safety is literally a life-and-death issue, and it would have been wrong to settle for anything less than complete restitution," she added.
Appearing at a news conference with Attorney General Brady today, a
Delaware consumer, Mildred Sayers, 81, of Newark, said, "I've been afraid
to drive on my Firestone tires ever since one of the tires went bad. I
can't tell you how happy I am to get new tires as a result of this settlement."
Among other provisions, the settlement provides for:
Bridgestone/Firestone also agrees to provide truthful sworn testimony and cooperation for the Multi-state Working Group in related investigations. The company has denied any wrongdoing.
The joint settlement agreement is the result of numerous consumer protection claims involving alleged misrepresentations regarding particular tires that had high rates of separations and alleged misrepresentations made during the company's tire replacement process.
The tires involved included those from three separate tire replacement programs including the first recall on August, 2000 which included all P235/75 R15 Firestone Radial ATX, all P235/75 R15 Firestone Radial ATXII, and the P235/75 R15 Firestone Wilderness AT tires manufactured at the defendant's Decatur, Illinois plant. Other tires included were involved in the Customer Satisfaction Program announced on September 12, 2000. Also included were the following tires announced during a recall on October. 4, 2000: all Firestone Wilderness AT tires in the P235/75R15 and P255/70R16 sizes which were produced before May, 1998 and used as original equipment on Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers for model years 1995 through 1998.