Supreme Court shoots down Firestone, Ford class action suit

Jan. 14, 2003

Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. (BAH) and Ford Motor Co. will not have to face a nationwide class action product defect lawsuit thanks to a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.

Last May, a federal appeals court in Chicago, Ill., originally overturned a ruling that granted class action status to Ford Explorer owners whose vehicles allegedly suffered damage due to crashes caused by recalled Firestone brand tires.

The broad-based suit was open to all U.S. residents who bought or leased model year 1991 through 2001 Explorers on or before Aug. 9, 2000, when the first Firestone recall started, plus "all current residents of the U.S. who owned or leased at any time from 1990 to the present vehicles that are or were equipped with Firestone ATX, ATX II, Firehawk ATX, ATX 23, Widetrack Baja Radial and Wilderness tires," according to documents from the suit, which was filed in 2001.

A BAH spokesman called the class action suit, which made no injury claims, "completely frivolous. Most of the people got a free set of tires" via the recall. "They were compensated."

The Supreme Court's decision "has closed the case out."