February 21, 2002

Bridgestone/Firestone unveils first H-rated mass market tire

Mississauga, Ontario – Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire is introducing what it calls, “the industry’s first mass-market premium tire”. The Firestone Affinity LH30, which will be available in 20 sizes, will provide the ride and mileage of a mass-market tire – with excellent handling in wet and dry conditions. The Affinity LH30 is an H-speed rated tire with a maximum speed capability of over 200 km per hour under laboratory-controlled conditions. The tire comes with a 100,000 km limited treadwear warranty which provides for prorated replacement if the warranted mileage is not attained. The tire also comes with the Firestone Gold Pledge Limited Warranty, which provides replacement at no charge (excluding taxes and disposal fees) if tire becomes unusable due to defects in materials or workmanship for up to three years from date of purchase or four years from date of manufacture. The Affinity LH30 also features the 30 Day Test Drive, which permits customers to return the tires within 30 days from the date of purchase (does not apply to tires supplied as original equipment on new vehicles).

“We have watched the demand for speed rated tires continue to increase,” said Shu Ishibashi, president, North American Consumer Tire Sales Group, and executive vice president, BFNT. “H-rated tires are being requested 12 percent more frequently as original equipment on vehicles by the automotive manufacturers. Bridgestone/Firestone wanted to establish a new class of tire to provide the H-rated performance while maintaining the benefits of a premium mass market tire – the ride and mileage – with the level of confidence normally associated with an H-rated tire. We believe the Firestone Affinity LH30 will prove to be one of the best values in the tire marketplace today.”

Bridgestone/Firestone also announced new Bridgestone Turanza LS touring tires with UNI-T AQII technology – a technology with a dual-layer tread that helps keep performance at its best in wet and dry conditions as a tire wears. Turanza LS tires are also quieter and offer a more comfortable ride.

“We know many drivers prefer the characteristics of a touring tire,” said Shu Ishibashi, president of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Consumer Tire Sales Group. “With UNI-T AQII technology, we’re able to produce tires that keep performance up as the tire wears down, and also provide the speed ratings now more in demand among consumers.”

The Turanza LS tires will be available this spring in T, H, V and Z speed-rating variants.

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