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Attorney General Mark Barnett Announces SD receives $525,000 in Settlement With Bridgestone/Firestone

Attorney General Mark Barnett Announces SD receives $525,000 in Settlement With Bridgestone/Firestone

(Pierre) –Attorney General Mark Barnett announced today that South Dakota will receive $525,000 in a settlement with Bridgestone/Firestone.  There were 52 other jurisdictions that filed lawsuits against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.  A nationwide settlement has been reached with the company regarding some allegedly defective tires, misrepresentations it made during the tire replacement process, and in the promotion of the allegedly defective tires.  Bridgestone/Firestone has denied wrongdoing under the settlement terms, but has agreed to pay $51.5 million.

The settlement provides that of the total, $26.5 million will be equally divided as a monetary payment to all 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; $10 million is devoted to restitution for consumers; approximately $10 million is earmarked to pay investigative costs in some of the states; and another $5 million we be used for a national public service campaign conducted by Attorneys General.  This is in addition to the $450 million already spent by Bridgestone/Firestone in the 53 jurisdictions.

Barnett said “Bridgestone/Firestone has already replaced 22,266 tires in South Dakota at a cost of about $1.8 million.”

The settlement agreement is the result of numerous consumer protection claims involving alleged misrepresentations regarding particular tires that had high rates of separation, and alleged misrepresentations made during the company’s replacement process.  The tires involved included those from three separate recall programs.

Bridgestone/Firestone will be required to change their practices and adhere to a wide variety of consumer protection related issues.  Barnett said “This settlement will give more protection to consumers who purchase their tires.”  This action does not prohibit people from pursuing individual lawsuits against the company for damages related to tire failure incidents.