In June 2002, facing numerous complaints about a tire that had been installed on thousands of motorhomes, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. put out a service bulletin with one RV manufacturer to replace the tires for certain owners, free of charge.
By then, Goodyear had received at least 20 injury and death claims over failures of the tire, the G159, as well as 310 property damage claims, according to Jalopnik. Armed with knowledge of the high failure claim data, federal regulators are asking the company why it didn’t simply conduct a safety recall instead for the tires, which would’ve let owners of all G159-equipped RVs know about a potential safety issue.
More and more, lawyers, regulators and customers are asking this: if Goodyear was aware of so many reported problems with this tire, why not recall it?
It’s a question that has factored into the 41 lawsuits Goodyear has faced over the last 20 years due to accidents involving failures of the G159 275/70R 22.5, characterized by one attorney pursuing a case against the company as “the worst tire made in history.” The lawsuits allege the G159 was prone to heat-induced failure and, based on Goodyear’s own internal data and experts, that it wasn’t suitable for RVs.
About 40,000 G159s were installed on motorhomes between 1996-2003, according to court records.
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