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Firestone Extends Reimbursement Program to Meet Customer Needs

18 August 2000

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Bridgestone/Firestone announced on Thursday that it 
would extend its voluntary safety tire recall reimbursement program indefinitely, 
making it faster and more convenient for consumers to safely reequip their 

    "We made this decision because we want to do everything we can to satisfy
our customers," said John T. Lampe, executive vice president of Bridgestone/
Firestone.  "Nothing is more important to us than the issue of safety."

    Consumers may continue to have their tires replaced free of charge at any
company-owned Firestone Tire and Service Center or participating authorized
Bridgestone/Firestone retailer.  In an extension of a program previously set
to expire August 16, if customers desire, they may purchase a competitors'
tires from any tire retailer and be eligible for reimbursement up to $100 per
tire, including mounting and balancing charges and taxes.

    Customers then need to return the recalled tires to one of the nearly
13,000 authorized Firestone retail locations and pick up a refund form.
Reimbursement checks will be mailed to customers.  Firestone is required by
law to secure all recalled tires.

    In further efforts to speed the recall, the company announced that one of
the nation's largest retailers has agreed to participate in the replacement of
Firestone tires, bringing to a total some 13,000 outlets that are available to
serve customers throughout the nation.  Costco will replace tires at no charge
to their members.

    In addition, Bridgestone/Firestone is doubling tire production, increasing
imports and working with other tire makers to ensure that all recalled tires
are taken off the road as soon as possible.

    "We appreciate the cooperation of other major U.S. tire manufacturers in
ramping up their production of replacement tires," said Lampe.  "We are very
grateful for the hard work of our dealers and retailers to make sure that all
customers are taken care of quickly and courteously."