Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Recalls 170,000 Tires
It is gut wrenching to read about the Goodyear executives and Board of Directors and their decisions to hide a tire safety issue from the public and federal regulators.
When a car, truck, recreational vehicle (RV), or any equipment has experienced a relatively high failure rate in the past, and it is highly likely that failure rates will continue under normal use, then it is a safety issue and should be treated as such according to a leading car accident lawyer and personal injury attorney with LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC in Plano and the Dallas metro area. With the help of confidential settlement agreements and non-disclosure agreements in personal injury lawsuits, it appears Goodyear was able to keep both the public and the federal regulators in the dark about its problematic G159 tires for more than twenty years.
What Is A G159 Tire?
This tire was introduced in 1996 when the speed limit was 65 miles per hour in the United States. It was designed for delivery vehicles that make frequent stops and for vehicles that use roads with a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour. These tires were made in England and the USA but they had different diameters. The diameter difference was 0.59 inches and RVs and motor homes had tires installed from both manufacturing locations. Car accident attorneys recognized this oddity and in a number of personal injury lawsuits claimed that the mixing of tires of different sizes could create “over-deflection” and “overheating” of the tire or tires. They claimed that this could result in blowouts, tire tread separations and breakdown of the tire body. Such tire failures would create catastrophic RV crashes, many with other vehicles.
Did Goodyear’s G159 Tire Fail Its Own Internal Tests?
Yes appears to be the answer. In some of the recently released information about past personal injury settlements, Goodyear executives acknowledged that the G159 tire failed to pass the company’s testing standards at 75 miles per hour.
After the G159 tires began production the highway speed limit in the United States was raised to 75 miles per hour. Car accident attorneys will focus on the actions of Goodyear after this increase in highway speed limits because the tire was only rated at a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour.
Did Goodyear Fail To Report A Safety Defect When Required?
Goodyear should be held accountable if the company and its executives broke the law. Federal law requires that serious safety defects be reported.
Goodyear’s CEO, Richard Kramer, and the company’s Board of Directors are accused in personal injury lawsuits of a cover-up of the G159 failures. In addition they are accused of “taking active steps to conceal and avoid disclosure” of their participation in Goodyear’s 20 year effort to silence victims and hide facts from federal regulators.
Criminal Investigation Of Goodyear Executives
The Department of Transportation has launched an investigation of Goodyear and its primary executives. Central to the investigation is the decision making by company executives in failing to recall the G159 tire for 20 years while knowing the tire failed internal tests at highway speeds.
How Do You Recall 170,000 Tires ?
Since the last of the tires were manufactured in 2003 there is little registration data to help in finding the owners of the tires. Goodyear will probably have to use multiple tools to find these tires including those that are used as spares. Social media, dealers of used RVs, manufacturers, hobby groups, RV clubs, and more will have to be contacted multiple times to alert owners of the G159 tires. There are also online marketplaces that sell tires and they will have to be contacted. Goodyear will replace the tires at no cost.
The Goodyear case is a sad example of what happens too often in America – corporate greed discounts human life. It is a virtual certainty that the corporate executives, who appeared to have ignored mandatory safety reporting for 20 years, will have to face a jury and explain their decisions in a criminal court of law. It is likely some or all may be sent to prison.
Nejat Ahmed is a founding member of LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC based in the Dallas metro area and Houston metro area. Her practice is focused on personal injury cases, personal injury wrongful death, and car accident lawsuits.