Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

January 9, 2002 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. recently mailed out approximately 30,000 notices to consumers nationwide regarding the restitution program established by the attorneys general $51.5 million settlement with Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. announced in November, 2001.

"We want to make sure all consumers understand the need to take timely action in this matter," Attorney General Curran said. "We believe it is vital for anyone who feels they have been wrongly denied reimbursement to be afforded every opportunity available for reconsideration."

These notices are being sent to consumers who were previously denied refunds. The consumers will need to return the reconsideration form no later than March 11, 2002, in order to have their requests reconsidered. The form should be addressed to State Attorneys General Multistate Working Group - Attn: Bridgestone/Firestone Settlement, Post Office Box 5155, Des Plaines, IL 60019-9971 to be eligible under the attorneys general settlement. Consumers will also receive a list of contact information for any questions they may have about the settlement.

In late January, an additional 100,000 notices will be sent to consumers who requested reimbursement and received a partial denial from Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. Again, consumers will have a 60-day period to return the reconsideration forms to Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. to be eligible for the restitution program.

Consumers who return the reconsideration form will have their denial reviewed by Bridgestone/Firestone. Bridgestone/Firestone will either: (1) pay the request for a refund or (2) contact the consumer and let the consumer know the reason for the denial and that the consumer has the right to send the denial to an independent arbitrator for review. The arbitration process is provided at no cost to consumers. A request for arbitration review must be requested within 45 days by returning the request for arbitration form.