Firestone Tire Sales Slid 40% In Early Fall Following Recall
                    November 10, 2000

                    A WSJ.COM News Roundup

                    TOKYO -- Sales of Firestone replacement tires for cars and light trucks
                    slid about 40% in the U.S. in September and October compared with a
                    year earlier, the president of Bridgestone Corp. said Friday.

                                         The sales decline followed a massive recall of
                                         Firestone tires begun in August by its U.S.
                                         subsidiary, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., because
                                         of crashes in which its tires are under

                                         Bridgestone President Yoichiro Kaizaki said the
                                         company hasn't finished assessing the damage
                                         to earnings but said the tire maker had raised
                                         its estimate of the cost of the recall by nearly
                    29%. Bridgestone has sent its executive in charge of accounting to the
                    U.S. to sum up the related costs, he said.

                    "Roughly speaking, we now expect recall costs to reach about $450
                    million, compared with our earlier estimate of $350 million," Mr. Kaizaki

                    Overall, Bridgestone's sales of tires for passenger cars and light trucks
                    posted a single-digit percentage drop, he said. But Mr. Kaizaki offered
                    no specific sales figures. He said the overall figure dropped less than the
                    decline at Firestone because of increased sales of Bridgestone-brand
                    and other non-Firestone brand tires.

                    Mr. Kaizaki also said that the U.S. tire maker's exports to the Middle
                    East were falling mainly due to Saudi Arabia's prohibition of the tire

                    The U.S. subsidiary, based in Nashville, recalled 6.5 million ATX, ATXII
                    and Wilderness AT tires in August because of problems with tread
                    separation cited in crashes, mostly on Ford Explorers.

                    U.S. regulators say Firestone tires are under investigation in at least
                    119 deaths in the U.S. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety
                    Administration issued a consumer advisory on an additional 1.4 million
                    tires, and Bridgestone/Firestone also agreed to replace those tires at no
                    cost for customers who ask.

                    Bridgestone/Firestone has replaced five million tires in the U.S., about
                    77% of those subject to the recall, Mr. Kaizaki said Friday.

                    Bridgestone said it has found that the tire separations, which led to
                    accidents, occur more when tire pressure is low, tire temperature is high
                    and the vehicle is moving at a high speed. The problem tires appeared
                    to have been manufactured mostly at Firestone's Decatur, Ill., plant in

                    The company's investigation is still under way, said Tadakazu Harada,
                    executive vice president.