WASHINGTON (July 20)—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will issue "an initial defect decision" against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., and is prepared to force a recall, according to a prepared statement. "It is premature to discuss the initial decision in detail," the statement said. "NHTSA's responsibility is the safety of the American people, and we will adhere to a process that will ensure the recall of unsafe tires." NHTSA's statement came immediately after a teleconference in which John T. Lampe, Bridgestone/Firestone chairman, president and CEO, reiterated his belief that all non-recalled Firestone tires are safe and vowed to fight a forced recall in court if necessary. "We do not agree any further action is necessary, and we said so," said Lampe, who also complained that the safety agency wouldn't let Bridgestone/Firestone review its data "in any meaningful way." Lampe said he believed NHTSA would request a recall of "a subset" of Firestone Wilderness AT tires already recalled by Ford Motor Co., but added he wasn't certain of this.