Goodyear Accused of Legal Misconduct over Defective Tires
It’s a tactic that’s become all too familiar for auto industry giants who are accused of creating defective products. First, they claim that their product is safe. Second, they settle lawsuits quietly and under seal. Third, they continue to produce the product with tragic consequences. Such was the with the defective Takata airbags that took lives of 22 people and injured many others. Such is also the case with Goodyear’s G159 tire that the NHTSA believes may be responsible for 95 deaths and major injuries.
The G159 was a tire that was originally produced for commercial delivery trucks. It was meant to be driven in stop and go traffic but was also marketed for motorhomes and RVs. Unfortunately, the G159 allegedly has a major flaw: When the tire overheats, it causes the treads to separate from the body of the tire. When the tread separates from the tire, the tire blows out. In multiple instances that has resulted in fatalities to both those operating the RVs and others who had the misfortune of being in the vicinity when the tire blew.
Now facing several dozen lawsuits and inquiries from the NHTSA, many have called the G159 the worst tire ever made.
Why Was a Recall Never Issued?
That’s the real question that so many are searching for an answer to. Recalls can either be voluntary or mandatory. In the case where a government agency instructs a company to issue a recall, an investigation into the product must be conducted. In some cases, it may be cheaper to pay off the lawsuits rather than issue the recall. It also causes the company to lose credibility in the eyes of the consumer.
To this date, Goodyear insists the G159 is safe and the reason why the tires failed was due to mishandling by their owners. Underinflation is often blamed for tread separations, but tire underinflation can happen for any number of reasons. That includes cold weather.
Since the lawsuits that were settled by Goodyear were done so under seal of confidentiality, the public remained very much in the dark about the quality of the tire that was on their motorhome and the potential danger to those inside it.
The problem with the G159 was that it was not well suited to operate over long distances and lengthy periods of time. Had it remained on delivery vehicles, there would likely have never been one lawsuit filed. According to one attorney and an appeals panel, Goodyear’s own tests revealed that the tire was prone to overheating over long distances and continuous motion. When the tire overheated, it would cause the tread to separate causing the tire to blow out causing the driver to lose control over the vehicle. In other words, Goodyear blackholed information that would have shown the tire to be defective for the purpose of outfitting motorhomes.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney
The legal team at the office of Alan Goldfarb has helped injured Floridians recover millions of dollars in damages when a defective product caused their injury. Give us a call or talk to us online to set up a free consultation.