Latest in the long-running US Firestone tyre saga: a Texas judge has approved a $US149 million settlement of class-action lawsuits stemming from the massive tyre recall in August 2000.


According to Reuters, Firestone maker Bridgestone Americas Holding on Monday said the settlement covers only the owners of Firestone tyres who did not suffer injuries or damages from crashes attributed to the tyres. Bridgestone reportedly said the agreement includes a three-year, $15.5 million consumer awareness campaign about tyre safety, $19 million in legal fees and $3.5 million to notify class members.


The settlement also includes $70 million to replace any of the Wilderness ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tyres that may still on the road, $41 million to manufacture certain tyres with better high-speed capacity and $2,500 apiece to each of the 45 named consumers, Reuters added.


The news agency noted that Bridgestone North Americas has already replaced many of the 6.2 million tyres it estimated were on the road at the time of the recall – about 60 million of the tyres were made.


“We’re pleased because we think a settlement is in the best interests of all parties,” Bridgestone North Americas spokesman Dan MacDonald told Reuters.


Reuters noted that Bridgestone recalled the tyres after federal regulators linked them to rollover accidents, many involving Ford Explorers – hundreds of people were injured and 271 deaths were reported.


The report said lawyers for the small number of plaintiffs that had objected to the settlement in a fairness hearing held in January, said they were unhappy with the order.