Cooper Tire Enhances Warranty In Settlement Agreement
FINDLAY, Ohio, Oct. 29 -- Cooper Tire & Rubber Company today announced a tentative agreement has been reached to resolve a series of class action lawsuits filed against the company over the past year. Preliminary approval is being sought before the Honorable Marina Corodemus in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Cooper's proposed three-part settlement package which denies any wrongdoing or legal liability by Cooper but offers a unique enhancement of existing warranties as the company's vote of confidence in Cooper tires' durability and safety. There was never a claim of personal injury or property damage involved in the lawsuits
The agreement includes a five-year program offering a free replacement tire against separations for all steel belted radial tires produced by Cooper from 1985 through 2001, some modifications to final inspections and a consumer education program to promote tire safety. There will be no cash awards to plaintiffs as a part of the settlement.
Both parties characterized the agreement as positive for consumers. Cooper's, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Tom Dattilo said, ``We believe this settlement both underscores Cooper's long-standing commitment to customer service and satisfaction as well as demonstrates our confidence in the integrity, safety and durability of all Cooper-manufactured tires. One of the best outcomes is that we can end the distraction of protracted litigation and devote our resources to customer issues.''
``We are delighted to reach this agreement for an unprecedented warranty which, we hope will serve as a benchmark for future settlement agreements in consumer products cases,'' said Allan Kanner, lead class counsel. ``We believe participants in the class will be well served by this agreement which provides additional value for their Cooper-produced tires.''
It is estimated this agreement will be finalized during the first quarter, 2002.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company is headquartered in Findlay, Ohio and specializes in the manufacture and marketing of automotive products. Products for Cooper Tire include automotive, motorcycle and truck tires, inner tubes, tread rubber and equipment. Cooper-Standard Automotive is an original equipment supplier of sealing, trim, NVH control systems and fluid handling systems for the automotive industry in North America, Europe, Australia and South America. Cooper has more than 20,000 employees and 55 manufacturing facilities in 13 countries. For more information, visit the Company's web site at: www.coopertire.com .