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Bridgestone/Firestone to pay each state $500,000 via settlement

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Each of the nation's 50 states plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will receive $500,000 from Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) Inc. as part of an agreement the tiremaker has reached with the Attorneys General representing those entities.

Also designated by the settlement, BFS will finance "consumer education campaigns" to the tune of $5 million, according to officials from the Nashville, Tenn.-based company.

And BFS will pay $10 million to reimburse attorneys' fees for the states.

"The settlement relates to certain claims made by the Attorneys General in connection with the company's August 2000 recall," BFS officials say.

BFS calls the settlement "another important step in the company's efforts to reach resolutions of recall-related issues," but says it "strongly disagrees" with many states' claims.

The deal also dictates that BFS will review P235/75R15 ATX, ATX II and Decatur, Ill.-produced Wilderness AT tire claims that had been denied before. The company says it will provide a process for future review as well.

"It is expected that about 20% of those who participated in the reimbursement program may be eligible for reconsideration under the review and restitution program," say BFS officials.

Those who are eligible will receive a letter from the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group "in the near future."

Terms of the settlement "included no findings against BFS or any admission of liability by the company," according to BFS.

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