MEXIA, Texas (March 2)—Ford Motor Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. have reached undisclosed settlements with the parents of a Mexia girl who was killed while riding in a friend´s Ford Explorer. Jessica Taylor, 14, died in October 1998 when her friend´s mother´s Explorer suffered a tire tread separation and rolled over. Bridgestone/Firestone reached its settlement with the Taylors a month before Ford did, a spokeswoman for the tire maker said. Also, the spokeswoman described as inaccurate news reports which stated that the Taylor lawsuit caused Bridgestone/Firestone to start putting cap plies on all Firestone ATX and Wilderness tires. "We´re looking at tire enhancements, but cap plies haven´t gone on ATX or Wilderness tires except those with heat ratings," she said. "This settlement had nothing to do with cap plies."