Bridgestone/Firestone settlement notices in the mail

From Staff Reports

   The first round of notices were mailed Monday to approximately 30,000 consumers who requested reimbursement under Bridgestone/Firestone's voluntary Safety Tire Recall Reimbursement Program or Customer Satisfaction Program, according to state officials.
   Tennessee Attorney General Paul G. Summers and Division of Consumer Affairs Director David McCollum said the information concerns restitution announced Nov. 1 by the Attorneys General in a $51.5 million settlement with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.
   "We want to make sure all consumers understand the need to take timely action in this matter," Summers said. "We believe it is vital for anyone who feels they have been wrongly denied reimbursement to be afforded every opportunity available for consideration."
   Persons who received a full denial of their refund request from Bridgestone/Firestone will receive a letter from the Attorneys General along with a reconsideration form. Consumers who wish to have a refund reconsidered must return the form postmarked no later than March 11. To be eligible, the form should be addressed to State Attorneys General Multistate Working Group -- Attn: Bridgestone/Firestone Settlement, P.O. Box 5155, Des Plaines, IL 60019-9971. Consumers also will receive a list of persons to contact regarding any questions they may have about the settlement.
   In late January, an estimated 100,000 additional notices will be sent to consumers who requested reimbursement and received a partial denial from Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. Consumers will have 60 days to return the forms.
   Those returning reconsideration forms will have their denials reviewed by Bridgestone/Firestone under a credible evidence standard. The company either will pay the request for a refund or contact the consumer regarding reason for the denial, after which the consumer may send the denial to an independent arbitrator for review. Arbitration review, which is provided at no cost to the consumer, must be requested within 45 days of returning the request for arbitration form.
   Bridgestone/Firestone has estimated the restitution program will cost $10 million. The settlement, however, requires the company to complete the restitution program regardless of cost.