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Firestone Reaching One Million Mark in Drive to Replace Recalled Tires

28 August 2000

Firestone Reaching One Million Mark in Drive to Replace Recalled Tires
    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 26 This weekend
Bridgestone/Firestone and other tire retailers will pass the 1 million tire
mark in the drive to replace recalled Firestone Wilderness AT tires in size
P235/75R15 produced at the company's Decatur, Ill plant and Radial ATX and
Radial ATX II tires in the same size.
    "We appreciate the patience and understanding that so many of our
Firestone customers have shown during this major undertaking," said John
Lampe, executive vice president, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.  "We're doing
everything in our power to replace all recalled tires as quickly as possible."
    The conservative estimate of reaching at least 1 million tire replacements
this weekend was made after reaching the 850,000 mark on Wednesday of this
week.
    Currently, Bridgestone/Firestone manufacturing plants in the United States
have increased production by 7,000 tires daily in the size needed to replace
recalled tires to meet consumer needs.  In addition, Bridgestone manufacturing
plants in Japan are air lifting thousands of tires to assist with the recall,
and competitive manufacturers are increasing production.
    "Our employees and dealers are responding to this challenge with energy
and commitment," Lampe said.  "We're also grateful for the cooperation of
independent tire retailers, Ford/Mercury dealers and competing tire makers."
    Lampe said Firestone engineers and others are continuing their
investigation to identify the root cause or causes of the tire failures that
led to the recall.  In addition, Bridgestone/Firestone announced today that
the company plans to retain a leading independent tire expert or experts to
examine and verify the company's internal investigation process.