Goodyear recalls tires that the feds said had a high failure rate

Goodyear recalls tires that the feds said had a high failure rate

Goodyear has voluntarily recalled more than 170,000 out-of-production tires that have resulted in lawsuits claiming they caused crashes that killed or injured people, federal transportation officials said Tuesday.

The tires, which were last produced in 2003 and sold for use on trucks and RVs, “have experienced a high failure rate on RVs compared to similar tires,” said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a statement on Tuesday, following the tire recall last week.

When installed on certain motorhomes, they were prone to “tread separations and other failures,” according to the recall report. “Tread separations can lead to loss of vehicle control, leading to an increased risk of a crash.”

Because the tires were discontinued nearly two decades ago, the safety agency said it didn’t know how many remained in circulation, but warned some RV owners may still have the tires on their vehicle or set them aside as spares.

In Tuesday’s statement, the safety agency urged “anyone who owns, rents or uses an RV or truck with 22.5-inch rims to ensure these tires are not used on their vehicle”. The recall, he added, applies specifically to 275/70R22.5 size G159 tires, which are commonly found on RVs.

In a statement on its website, Goodyear maintained that there were “no safety defects” in the tire.

The company initiated the voluntary recall, it said, to “address the risks that occur when the tire is used in an under-inflated or overloaded condition” on specific RVs. The responsibility for communicating appropriate charging standards to drivers, the company added, fell to RV manufacturers.

“We have not received an injury claim related to the use of the tire on a Class A motorhome in over 14 years,” said Goodyear, adding that the tire has always met its “extensive safety standards “.

Of the tires, he added, “few, if any, stay on the road.”

The recall follows years of legal battles against the tire company, with many documents from those cases being sealed.

But in 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the tire failures based on information obtained from that litigation, which claimed the tires, when installed on some motorhomes, had failed. , causing death or injury.

From 1998 to 2015, a total of 95 people were killed or injured in crashes resulting from faulty tires, according to claims reviewed by the safety agency.

The specific tire size G159 was intended for use on inner city delivery trucks, but was instead sold and installed on large motorhomes, which travel for longer periods of time, and on highways at speeds much higher.

“In this application,” the safety agency wrote in its findings, “the tire experienced catastrophic tread separations and blowouts.”

Goodyear knew the tires couldn’t handle that kind of use, according to the safety agency.

On February 22, he sent a letter to Goodyear asking the company to recall the tire. On March 8, Goodyear denied that request, the agency added. But the company has since issued a recall, the agency said.

The safety agency urged all drivers with the tires to get a free replacement, available at select Goodyear dealerships. The company is also offering $500 in exchange for impacted tires that weren’t mounted on an RV, the agency said.

Michael Brooks, acting executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, said the recall was an important first step toward holding Goodyear accountable.

“It was essentially a successful cover-up so far,” Brooks said, adding that the government and the justice system had long failed to protect the American public from the safety risks posed by tires, and that he hoped the recall might spur other civil and criminal penalties.

“They have continually denied responsibility,” he said of Goodyear. “It took so long that we can no longer locate the faulty parts.”

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