Bridgestone Firestone to Pay Ford $240 million

Wednesday, October 12th 2005, 9:50 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Bridgestone Firestone has agreed to pay $240 million to Ford Motor Co. to settle claims related to the tire maker's 2000 recall on defective tires, the company announced Wednesday.

The companies reached a settlement that will help cover the costs of Ford's 2001 tire replacement program that followed the tire recall, said Saul Solomon, vice president and general counsel of Nashville-based Bridgestone Firestone.

At least 271 people were reported killed and hundreds more injured in accidents involving Firestone ATX and AT tires, and the company recalled 6.5 million of them. The tire maker has spent more than $1 billion on recall-related costs.

The discord between Ford and Bridgestone Firestone emerged in May 2000, when the U.S. government stepped in to investigate the cause of numerous accidents involving Ford vehicles with Firestone tires. Bridgestone blamed defects in some Ford vehicles, while Ford said the tires were entirely at fault.

In May 2001, Ford began exchanging nearly 10 million Firestone tires free of charge for its customers and severed business ties with Firestone that had lasted nearly a century.