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Lisoni & Lisoni Issues Statement Regarding Firestone Steeltex Class Action Lawsuit

    PASADENA, Calif.--Aug. 16, 2002--On Tuesday, August 13, a news conference was held in Pasadena, California to announce a nationwide class action lawsuit filed against Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. and Bridgestone Corporation, Inc. relating to alleged tread defects in their Steeltex R4S, R4SII, and A/T Light Truck tires. In an article published on August 15, 2002, by, Deutsche Securities Ltd. analyst Kunihiro Matsumoto reiterated his "buy" rating, stating "We trust the U.S. authorities' view about the tires and we don't think this will be easily overturned."
    Following is a statement by Joseph L. Lisoni, Senior Partner of the law firm of Lisoni & Lisoni, which filed the aforementioned class action lawsuit in association with attorney Steven Weinberger:

    It has come to my attention that Bridgestone/Firestone is seeking to discredit the lawsuit which we filed this week on the basis that the NHTSA had closed its investigation of their Steeltex tire series when the agency's report was issued in April. In point of fact, at that time, the NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson said the following in issuing the report: "We will continue to monitor the performance of these tires and have the option of reopening the investigation at a future date." When the NHTSA began its investigation it had 169 consumer complaints, which grew to 872 when they suspended their investigation. Since that day they have received an additional 70 consumer complaints. In addition, we continue to receive between one to five additional complaints on a daily basis from across the country (
    It is important to note that the members of our class action lawsuit are accepting the invitation of the NHTSA to provide it with additional documentation, and we will forward defective tires and other supporting documentary evidence to the Department of Transportation within the next 90 days.
    In a Reuters article published August 13, 2002, Clarence Ditlow, spokesman for the highly respected national nonprofit consumer protection agency the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, D.C., was quoted as saying: "The Steeltex is the utilitarian version of the Wilderness tire. They are just as bad."
    This week we have sent a letter to every member of the United States Congress demanding a congressional investigation into what is a national health and safety tragedy in the making. There are currently 30 million of these tires on the road since more are being manufactured each day. We have also written to each Firestone tire dealership in the United States asking them to voluntarily advise their customers of the dangers of Steeltex tires.