The $US240 million settlement agreed earlier this week between Bridgestone and Ford will have a positive long-term impact on Bridgestone’s performance in the United States due partly to the eradication of concern over its potentially huge payment obligation, Fitch Ratings reportedly said on Friday.

The settlement ”will pave the way for Bridgestone to improve profitability in its US operation and wipe out anxieties over potential huge payment obligation by the tyre company,” the major rating agency said, according to Kyodo News.

The settlement concerns ”all outstanding financial issues associated with Firestone’s August 2000 voluntary safety recall and Ford’s May 2001 tyre replacement programme” for the Firestone tyres fitted to Ford’s Explorer sport utility vehicles, it noted.