Bridgestone/Firestone agrees to pay $41.5 million in settlement

| 11/9/2001

Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. announced Nov. 8 it will pay $41.5 million in a settlement to head off lawsuits by states and territories over defective tires the company recalled last year. The company said the settlement is an important step in its efforts to reach resolutions on recall-related issues, even though it maintains its opposition to many of the claims.

All 50 states and U.S. territories in which suits were filed will get $500,000, according to published reports. In addition, the company will spend $5 million on a consumer education campaign and $10 million to reimburse attorneys. The settlement could include another $10 million be paid later to settle future complaints from customers who failed to receive replacement tires.

Bridgestone/Firestone announced a recall of 6.5 million ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires in August 2000, after receiving reports that some tires suddenly failed. Many of the accidents involved rollovers of the Ford Explorer. Since then, federal investigators reportedly have documented 271 deaths from thousands of accidents involving the tires.