Michigan Attorney General Issues Consumer Alert
17 October 2000Michigan Attorney General Granholm Issues Consumer Alert Regarding Options for Replacing Firestone Tires
LANSING, Mich., Oct. 16 Attorney General Jennifer M. Granholm, along with the Attorneys General from 48 other states and territories in the Bridgestone/Firestone multi-state working group, today alerted consumers with certain Firestone tires that they have replacement options of which they may not be aware. On September 1, 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer advisory which recommended replacement of a number of Firestone tires which were not included in company's voluntary tire recall. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. will replace all tires listed on the NHTSA consumer advisory free of charge if the tires are taken to an authorized Bridgestone/Firestone dealer. Tires will be replaced regardless of use and condition and can even be replaced if not currently being used on a vehicle. If a consumer prefers to replace consumer advisory tires with a competitor's tires, Bridgestone/Firestone will reimburse the consumer up to $140.00 per tire for any tire purchased to replace a tire listed on NHTSA's September 1, 2000, Consumer Advisory. Granholm said: "I want to urge all consumers to replace any consumer advisory tires as soon as possible. You can either get free replacements at a Bridgestone/Firestone dealer or obtain reimbursement up to $140.00 per tire if you go to a competitor to have your tires replaced. Your safety and your peace of mind are paramount." If customers choose the replacement option at a Bridgestone/Firestone dealer, tire replacement should be absolutely free to the consumer. Consumers will not be charged for mounting, balancing, valve stem, sales tax or disposal fees for replacement tires. If a customer previously had a road hazard warranty or insurance, Bridgestone/Firestone will replace that warranty free of charge when the replacement tire is installed. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. will replace consumer advisory tires for either individuals or companies, but will select the brand and type of tires used as a replacement. Authorized Bridgestone/Firestone dealers can be located by visiting the store locator section of the Bridgestone/Firestone web page at http://www.bridgestone-firestone.com/ . Should consumers choose the $140.00 reimbursement option, the reimbursement includes mounting, balancing, valve stem, sales tax and tire disposal fees. Consumers can elect the reimbursement option regardless of the use or condition of the tires. If a consumer previously had a road hazard warranty, Bridgestone/Firestone will pay to replace the warranty on the new tires. In order to be eligible for the reimbursement program, consumers must return NHTSA's Consumer Advisory tires to an authorized Bridgestone/Firestone retailer where appropriate forms to apply for reimbursement will be provided. A consumer will also need an original receipt for the replacement tires to attach to the reimbursement form. It will likely take 4-6 weeks for a consumer to receive the reimbursement from Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. In addition, consumers do not have to waive any of their legal rights to take advantage of the Bridgestone/Firestone tire replacement program. At the request of the Attorneys General, Bridgestone/Firestone has removed any such language from its reimbursement forms. Further, Bridgestone/Firestone has agreed not to enforce any agreements consumers may have signed releasing them from their legal rights on the recall or advisory forms previously signed by consumers. Tires voluntarily recalled by Bridgestone/Firestone are also subject to free replacement by a Bridgestone/Firestone dealer or reimbursement of up to $100.00 dollars when a competitor's tires are purchased. More information about identifying recalled and advisory tires, and Bridgestone/Firestone's explanation of the process is available at http://www.bridgestone-firestone.com/.