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Bridgestone/Firestone Asks Dealers to Repeat Tire Recall Training

18 September 2000

Bridgestone/Firestone Asks Dealers to Repeat Tire Recall Training Reminds Customers of Reimbursement Availability
    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Sept. 15 Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.'s
(BFS) nationwide network of authorized dealers and tire stores has been asked
to repeat tire inspection and replacement training for tire technicians by
week's end.
    John Lampe, BFS Executive Vice President, is coordinating the company's
effort to provide additional outreach and training to tire technicians.  The
company took this action following Wednesday evening's NBC Dateline broadcast,
which reported that several dealers in the Washington, D.C.-area could not
correctly identify tires voluntarily recalled by Firestone on August 9.
    Lampe said, "In the interest of consumer safety, we are taking the
precaution of asking our dealers to repeat technician training relating to
identifying recalled tires.  By noon yesterday, about 2,000 dealers and
company-owned stores had already been contacted, and by the end of the day we
reached the rest."
    "We don't believe the isolated cases reported reflect a widespread
problem, but we want our customers to have full confidence in the service
they're getting."
    With nearly 2.4 million tires replaced to date, the voluntary recall of
P235/75R15 Radial ATX and ATX II tires produced in North America and the same
size Wilderness AT tires produced in the Decatur, Ill., has led to delays in
some areas in obtaining replacements, creating concerns among consumers about
driving on recalled tires while they wait for replacements.
    While BFS is working to supply replacement tires as quickly as possible by
expanding production and airlifting tires from Japan, it recognizes the
frustration and concern of its customers as they wait for replacement tires.
The company reminds customers to consider purchasing replacement tires from
independent dealers.  BFS will reimburse the cost of replacement tires
purchased at an independent tire dealer up to $100 per tire.
    For customers who either want to wait for replacement tires provide by a
Firestone Tire & Service Center or a Firestone-authorized dealer or are
concerned because no tires are currently available in their area, the company
is providing safety information relating to proper maintenance of tires.

    BFS recommends the following safety tips:

    *  Inflate tires to the manufacturer recommended levels;  for Ford
       Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers with recalled tires, Ford has
       approved a range of 26-30 p.s.i. and Firestone recommends 30 p.s.i.

    *  Check tire pressure frequently -- and visually check for defects

    *  Obey the speed limit and other rules of the road

    *  Don't overload your vehicle (check owner's manual for load limits)

    *  Always buckle your seatbelt!