Subaru of America, Inc. announces that contrary to recent press reports of potential problems associated with Firestone brand Wilderness tires on its 2000 and 2001 model year Subaru Outback models, those models are not included in the Bridgestone/Firestone tire recall announced today. As outlined in Bridgestone/Firestone's recall announcement, the affected tires include the Firestone Radial ATX, Radial ATX II and Wilderness AT light truck tires of only one size -- P235/75 R15. Those tires are not used on Subaru vehicles.

The Subaru Outback is equipped with size P225/60 R16 passenger car tires manufactured by Firestone and bearing the Wilderness name. Subaru of America, Inc. has been in close contact with both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Bridgestone/Firestone regarding this issue and has received assurances from Bridgestone/Firestone that the tires on the Subaru
Outback are safe.

The Firestone passenger car tires featured on Subaru Outback models have different specifications and construction than the light truck tires included in the Bridgestone/Firestone recall. Additionally, the Firestone Wilderness tires featured on Subaru Outback models have an H-speed rating (up to 130 mph), while the light truck tires under investigation by NHTSA and subject to the recall have an S-speed rating (up to 112 mph).

Tire manufacturers, not Subaru of America, Inc. provide the warranty on the tires on Subaru vehicles. Since customer safety is our primary goal, Subaru of America, Inc. suggests to its customers who have additional concerns about Firestone Wilderness tires that they visit their local Firestone dealer, or contact Firestone at 800-465-1904. Subaru of America, Inc. recommends that owners always keep their tires properly inflated and follow guidelines for proper tire maintenance detailed in their owner's manuals to ensure maximum tire life and performance.