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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2000
AG's Office Announces Recalled Tire Bounty


SEATTLE -- Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., will commence a "bounty program" designed to remove used recalled tires from the inventories of all used tire dealers, Attorney General Christine Gregoire announced.

The nationwide bounty program will begin immediately.

Under the program, any person who returns used recalled tires by following the Bridgestone/Firestone return program will receive $10 per tire. Anyone wishing to return used recalled tires and receive the bounty should contact Bridgestone/Firestone at 1-800-847-3272.

Additionally, Bridgestone/Firestone will pick up and replace any new or unused recalled tires in any dealer’s stock at no charge.

All tire-selling businesses nationwide will receive a letter from the company explaining the program. Firestone expects to mail about 40,000 letters on Friday.

"We are very concerned about the resale of these used recalled tires, which was a problem first discovered here in Washington," Gregoire said. "We are pleased the company has taken prompt action to eliminate the public safety hazard created by having these tires remain in the marketplace."

"We hope this program will prompt new and used tire dealers to thoroughly check their inventories and make sure any of the suspect tires are turned in," she added.

Assistant Attorney General Doug Walsh said that continued sale of the recalled Firestone tires could create significant civil – and potentially criminal -- liability for the seller.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office will continue to monitor efforts to get unsafe tires recalled and destroyed, Walsh said.

After being alerted last week that used, recalled tires were being sold, the Washington Attorney General’s Office asked the Tennessee Attorney General to urge Firestone/Bridgestone to take action to remove such tires from the marketplace. Tennessee has taken the lead on behalf of attorneys general nationwide concerning the Nashville-based company’s tire recall.

Meanwhile, Bridgestone/Firestone is continuing its recalled-tire reimbursement program,under which consumers who already own the recalled tires can buy replacements made by competitors at any tire retailer. The replacement sizes and models must be approved by the Ford Motor Co. as suitable for the vehicle.

Customers will be reimbursed by Firestone up to $100 per tire, including taxes, mounting and balancing charges.

To obtain a refund form, consumers must return the recalled tires to an authorized Firestone retailer. Additional information on the tire recall is available at:

Bridgestone/Firestone: 800-465-1904; web site: www.Firestone.com

Ford Motor Co. 800-660-4719; web site www.Ford.com

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration web site: www.NHTSA.DOT.GOV

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