TOKYO (Dec. 6, 2000)—Bridgestone Corp. is placing $450 million in reserve to cover possible legal claims against U.S. subsidiary Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., Bridgestone Chairman Yoichiro Kaizaki said in a prepared statement.
This effectively doubles to $900 million the amount of money Bridgestone has earmarked as costs connected with the recall of 6.5 million Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT tires.
Mr. Kaizaki said he made his statement several days ahead of a scheduled news conference to counter statements in the U.S. and Japanese press that recall-connected litigation could cost the company as much as $50 billion and drive Bridgestone/Firestone into bankruptcy.
"The basis for the alleged sum of $50 billion is totally incomprehensible," Mr. Kaizaki said. "Bridgestone/Firestone is in no danger of bankruptcy, and we remain absolutely committed to supporting that company."
In other news, Bridgestone/Firestone and Ford Motor Co. settled out of court with the survivors of Trina Thurman Adams for an undisclosed sum. Ms. Adams was killed in a July 1999 auto accident near Yazoo City, Miss.