NASHVILLE, Tenn. (June 20)—"It didn't have to come to this," John T. Lampe, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. CEO, said about the bitterness that has developed between his company and Ford Motor Co. "We've been trying to work with Ford since last fall on tire and vehicle issues. But we contacted them and contacted them with evidence about the Ford Explorer, and they never answered us, so we had to go it alone." Calling various reporters in the business press the day after his congressional testimony, Lampe said he felt he had demonstrated that "our tires are safe and perform well in all conditions." Ford's testing of Firestone tires, he added, "was done at such an extreme level that of course the tires would fail. But not everybody's going to understand that."