Bridgestone Pays Out $240 Million in Settlement with Ford

The hoard of liability lawyers representing two giant companies can finally relax, grab a smoke or maybe take in an afternoon on the back nine. Bridgestone Corp. yesterday announced it was paying FoMoCo $240 million in a settlement related to Ford's wide recall of Firestone tires in 2000 and 2001, back when the words "tread separation" really meant something. Four years ago, Ford replaced millions of Firestones — the failure of which was cited by the Feds in rollover accidents linked to numerous deaths and injuries — at a cost of $3 billion. The tires had been original equipment on its Explorer SUV. Ford and Bridgestone never saw eye-to-eye on the cause of the tire failure, Bridgestone saying Ford set the inflation too low to make up for a center-of-gravity deficiency, and Ford blaming the problem on poor quality at Bridgestone plants.

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