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Firestone Speeds up Pace of Recall; Tires Being Airlifted From Japan

22 August 2000

Firestone Speeds up Pace of Recall; Tires Being Airlifted From Japan

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tires being air-lifted from Bridgestone Corporation 
manufacturing plants in Japan will help Firestone accelerate its delivery of 
replacement tires for consumers in the United States.

    The first shipment of new replacement tires will leave on a Thai Airways
flight from Japan Wednesday and at least 10 more flights are planned between
Wednesday and Sunday.  These shipments will continue nearly every day as long
as needed to assist consumers involved with the recall.  The company also
announced Monday that more than 560,000 recalled tires had been replaced by
this past weekend.

    "Added to the major production increase already being implemented in the
United States, this airlift reinforces our efforts to get replacement tires to
our customers through company-owned Firestone Tire and Service Centers or
authorized participating Bridgestone/Firestone retailers," said Masatoshi Ono,
chief executive officer, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.  More than 13,000
authorized participating retailers are involved in the replacement process,
along with thousands of other tire manufacturers' retail outlets.

    "We previously said we would complete this recall by spring.  But we are
not satisfied with that.  With this assistance from our parent company, our
own stepped-up production in the U.S. and the support of other tire
manufacturers as well as Ford, we are confident that we can beat that
schedule," Ono said.

    Firestone announced August 9 a voluntary safety recall of all Firestone
Radial ATX and Radial ATX II tires in size P235/75R15 produced in North
America, and Wilderness AT tires in size P235/75R15 produced at the Decatur,
Illinois plant.