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Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. Statement Regarding Bailey Settlement Christine Karbowiak, Vice President, Public Affairs Monday, January 08, 2001

    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 8 The following statement is being
issued by Christine Karbowiak, Vice President, Public Affairs of
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.:

    Our hearts go out to Ms. Bailey.  Her accident was tragic, yet her dignity
and her determination to carry on are inspiring.
    We are pleased we have been able to reach a settlement.  We believe this
settlement will help take care of Ms. Bailey's needs and is a responsible
action by Bridgestone/Firestone.  Although it is clear that a tire failure
alone is rarely the sole cause of a vehicle accident, Bridgestone/Firestone
and Ms. Bailey concluded and agreed that protracted litigation would serve no
useful purpose.
    Moreover, every accident is the result of a unique combination of
circumstances and factors.  That makes every case arising from an accident
different.  Thus, it is a mistake to try to draw broad conclusions about
public safety from an individual case.
    All of the parties to this settlement have agreed to refrain from publicly
discussing its details.  We are honoring that agreement.
    Nonetheless, we can reassure our customers there have been no unusual
problems with Wilderness AT tires outside of those involved in our recall of
Aug. 9, 2000.  All tires, regardless of manufacturer, have some rate of
failure.  It is unfortunate that occasionally someone will manipulate data
about such failures to claim it shows something it doesn't.  The reality is
the data show our Aug. 9 recall more than covered the number of tires that
needed to be recalled.
    The Firestone brand represents a century-long tradition of ingenuity,
innovation and excellence.  We are proudly carrying a renewed sense of that
heritage, and all it stands for, into our second century.  That means a
commitment to doing everything we can to restore confidence in our products.
And it means we take full responsibility for each and every tire we make.