Increased Tire Production Could Complete Recall by November
                    October 6, 2000

                    Associated Press

                    DETROIT -- The recall of 6.5 million Firestone tires could be completed
                    as early as November, now that the tire industry has ramped up
                    production of replacement sizes, Ford Motor Co. said Friday.

                                         Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said that as of
                                         Thursday, 3.7 million recalled tires had been
                                         replaced -- 57% of all those recalled.
                                         Bridgestone/Firestone Corp. spokeswoman
                                         Anne Conrad offered a similar estimate and said
                    the companies were replacing more than 79,000 tires a day.

                    When the recall of certain 15-inch Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness
                    AT tires was announced in August, the companies estimated it would
                    take until next summer to complete the recall. But after a public outcry,
                    Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone, a unit of Japan's Bridgestone Corp.,
                    allowed the use of tires from other manufacturers.

                    Mr. Vaughn and Ms. Conrad said production of replacement tires had
                    picked up in recent weeks. Ford gave three tire suppliers -- Goodyear
                    Tire & Rubber Co., France's Groupe Michelin and Continental General
                    Tire Inc. -- a total of 130 tire molds for the P235/75R15 size tire in
                    September, Mr. Vaughn said. Those molds should produce an extra
                    300,000 tires a month.

                    Ms. Conrad said Bridgestone/Firestone had doubled production of
                    replacement tires, but declined to provide specific numbers.

                    Goodyear said it had supplied about 1.5 million replacements so far, and
                    was now producing 1 million replacement tires a month -- five times
                    more than it was making before the recall.

                    As a result, the long waiting list for replacement tires has eased in some

                    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the
                    tires over their possible role in at least 101 deaths and more than 400