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Federal Government Requests Lisoni & Lisoni to Provide Additional Documentation on Firestone Steeltex Tire Defects

    PASADENA, Calif.--Dec. 26, 2002--In response to a request from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for more information, Lisoni & Lisoni today announced that it will soon provide the U.S. Department of Transportation agency with records of thousands of complaints from American consumers and other documentation on alleged defects and tire failures of the Bridgestone/Firestone Steeltex tire series.
    Pursuant to a national class action lawsuit which the Pasadena, CA-based law firm filed against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation, Inc. on August 13, 2002, Lisoni & Lisoni filed a petition with NHTSA on November 15 requesting that the agency reopen its investigation of the Firestone Steeltex tire series which it suspended on April 9, 2002. At that time, the law firm provided NHTSA with documentation and evidence of failures of Steeltex R4S, R4SII and A/T tires.
    On December 23, Lisoni & Lisoni received a letter from NHTSA acknowledging its petition which specifically requested that the agency reopen its investigation as well as issue an order requiring Bridgestone/Firestone to give notice of any defect to owners, purchasers and dealers of the tires. The letter requested additional information and documentation and stated it would conduct a technical review of the information provided.
    Commenting on the letter, Joseph L. Lisoni remarked: "We are delighted that NHTSA has moved swiftly to respond to our petition and we are pleased to provide them with the additional documentation. It is imperative that we work together to expedite this process in a prompt manner because the health and welfare of Steeltex tire owners is at stake. Each and every day, we are receiving reports of accidents, injuries and even deaths caused by Steeltex tire failures."
    As part of its own investigation, initiated with the filing of the lawsuit, Lisoni reported the firm set up a website -- www.firestonesteeltexclassaction.com -- to provide information to the public on the potential threat from Steeltex tire failures and to provide them with the capability to file a complaint either with the law firm or directly to NHTSA. All those complaints received by the firm, he noted, are being collected and sent to NHTSA every two weeks.
    Referencing the letter from NHTSA, Lisoni said the agency has asked for the firm to provide the following information and documentation:

-- Information on nearly 3,000 consumer complaints which have been filed directly to NHTSA.
-- A synopsis of, and documentation relating to, 12 deaths that have allegedly been associated with Steeltex tire failures.
-- Documentation of more than 7,000 Steeltex tire failures in the United States.
-- Any additional information that the firm has secured in its ongoing investigation since the petition was filed on November 15.

    According to Lisoni, the firm will continue to "vigorously pursue" its nationwide investigation of Steeltex tire failures while also continuing its public and private sector awareness program to urge responsible government officials locally, regionally and nationally to act and to warn Steeltex tire owners of potential danger from tire separations. "This is a `war' being fought on many fronts," he stressed, adding "one way or the other, Bridgestone/Firestone must recall those tires in the interests of public safety."