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Tenn. AG Probes Firestone Resale

September 15, 2000

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ The Tennessee attorney general’s office said Friday it is investigating reports that some used-tire dealers are selling recalled Firestone tires.

Once purchased, the recalled tires could be traded by customers for free, brand-new replacements under Bridgestone/Firestone’s recall program.

Sharon Curtis-Flair, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee attorney general, told The Associated Press that several states have been talking to Bridgestone/Firestone about the matter.

She said she could not comment on how widespread the practice might be.

``Normally we don’t comment on anything the state might be doing on any investigation, but in this case the attorney general felt that because there were deaths and injuries, it’s a very serious situation,″ she said.

Seattle television station KIRO reported Thursday that they were able to purchase the recalled tires from several used-tire dealers. At least one dealer said people could buy the used tires cheaply and then go to a Firestone dealer to get the replacements.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said it is investigating 88 deaths and more than 250 injuries over the past decade involving Firestone tires. A recall of 6.5 million ATX, ATX-II and Wilderness AT tires was announced Aug. 9.

According to KIRO, an assistant Tennessee attorney general wrote to Firestone’s general counsel in Nashville on Thursday, requesting information on what the company was doing to remove the recalled tires from sale as used tires.

``It has come to our attention that in the state of Washington used-tire entities were selling the recalled tires as late as today. Needless to say, this concerns us,″ Cynthia Kinser, a Tennessee deputy attorney general, wrote to Glenn R. Haase, Bridgestone/Firestone general counsel.

She requested a written response by Sept. 21.

Haase said Thursday night that he planned ``to reply in the next few days.″

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On the Net:

Bridgestone/Firestone: http://www.firestone.com

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