So the last Bridgestone/Firestone tires have been shipped to Ford Motor Co. in North America, ending a 97-year business relationship between the companies.
Wait a minute. Not so fast. There is some unfinished business between the two - or at least a big, unanswered question.
Why hasn't the tire company paid Ford for tires Ford replaced on its own two years ago that subsequently were ruled to be defective by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?
If it is true, as Ford claims, that Ford spent nearly $3 billion replacing almost 13 million Firestone tires that Ford said it could not trust, a reasonable argument can be made that Bridgestone/Firestone owes Ford at least $600 million. That would be for the 2.7 million Ford-replaced tires that NHTSA formally ruled were unsafe.
But as things stand now, no such payment is likely.
Bridgestone/Firestone officials say they don't owe anything. And Ford? Well, Ford has gone into its we-don't-talk-about-that mode - which, perhaps, is the company's right when dealing with the media.