Over the past two decades, nearly 100 people have been injured or killed in crashes involving defective Goodyear tires installed on recreational vehicles (RVs).
Tires are specifically designed and manufactured with specific features for the types of vehicles they are intended to be on. For example, when tires carry a weight that exceeds the capacity they were constructed and designed for, the material properties may degrade, causing tread separation.
What is the problem with Goodyear RV tires?
The G159 tire was originally designed and manufactured by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for metro pickup and delivery trucks traveling at maximum speeds of 65 mph. These commercial tires are meant for travel in urban areas, and not for RVs that are used for extended trips at highway speeds. The specific tire design is appropriate for delivery trucks but highly dangerous and likely to fail when they are installed on RVs that will be traveling at high speeds for prolonged hours.
A design flaw in the G159 results in overheating of the tire when used on RVs because of the long miles traveled at high speeds. The tire’s thick tread and wide belt package cause the tire to run too hot and fail. In fact, overheating is a leading cause of tread detachment.
The G150 tire model has a history of de-treads and is not safe for use on RV’s. This specific tire has been linked to at least nine deaths, dozens of injuries, and hundreds of crashes.
Was Goodyear aware of the tire failures?
According to court documents, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. received notice of G159 tire failures the very first year they were manufactured and installed on RVs in 1996. Tire failure notices continued to arrive, lawsuits were filed, and Goodyear continued to keep this vital information from the public by obtaining confidential settlements and having court records, rather than notify the public. Documents also show that over a decade ago, Goodyear underreported the number of failure claims they received over the tire to federal regulators.
Lawsuit records show Goodyear failed to adequately test the G159 tires and report internal testing results to RV manufacturers. A recent report revealed that although high-speed tests of the G159 resulted in significant failures, Goodyear failed to report the internal testing results to RV manufacturers when approached about reported failures of the tire.
The company issued two limited recalls in 1999, blaming tire failures on “inadequate load margin and customer misuse” instead of warning consumers that the tire’s design was unworkable for an RV.
Despite these allegations, the G159 tires have not yet been recalled and are still on our roads today. No one knows how many RVs on the road still have the R-159 Goodyear tires on them.
Signs of RV tire failure
You may notice the following if you are involved in an accident caused by a defective tire:
- The tread tears away from the tire carcass
- Sudden changes in the direction of the vehicle’s travel
- Tire scuffs on the roadway or side of the vehicle
- Police report mentions a blowout
Steps to take after an RV collision
Seek medical attention:
Even if you don’t appear to be seriously injured right after the collision, seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you lost consciousness for even a short period of time, it is possible you suffered a concussion or brain injury. These type of injuries should not be taken lightly; if left untreated, you may experience cognitive and behavioral changes.
Be certain the RV and the tire are preserved:
Ensure that the RV, tires and all components on the vehicle are maintained and not sold, dismantled or altered in any way. It will be very difficult to pursue a potential claim without the vehicle and tires.
Document the scene:
Take pictures of your RV, close-ups of the tires and along with the scene of the accident. Make sure to obtain a copy of the police report because it will be helpful in proving liability if you pursue a potential lawsuit. Be certain you only provide detailed, accurate information to the investigating officer.
Protect your rights
One of the best choices you can make after being involved in a collision involving defective tires is to consult with a Defective Auto Products Injury Attorney. You will want to make sure your rights are protected against powerful companies and you are compensated for your losses.
RV owners who have suffered severe injuries due to the failure of one or more of their G159 Goodyear tires while driving their RV are filing lawsuits to recover damages caused by these tires.
Recoverable damages include:
- Lost wages
- Pain suffered
- Medical bills (including future)
- Lost earning capacity
How The Carlson Law Firm can help
Here at the Carlson Law Firm, we have extensive experience in the area of product liability law and know what it takes to get our client’s maximum compensation if we find that defective auto products were to blame. If you or a loved one were injured or killed due to defective Goodyear RV tires, don’t let another moment pass without having your rights protected. It is critical to begin an investigation immediately after the crash to determine who may be held responsible for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation. We care, we can help.