Each month, lawyers in our firm continue to receive calls from consumers concerning one of the most dangerous tires this country has ever seen, the Goodyear G159 RV tire. Goodyear originally designed the G159 RV tire for metro pickup and delivery trucks, such as those used by UPS. Vehicles like that are used in urban settings and not for extended trips at highway speeds for several hours. The design features that made the G159 RV tire appropriate for delivery trucks made it dangerous and prone to fail when used on large RVs driven at highway speeds. The tire’s thick tread and wide belt package caused the tire to run too hot and fail.
Lawyers in the section that handles Product Liability cases have handled several cases and learned that Goodyear’s own documents showed the company was aware the tire would fail when operated at highway speeds when used on RVs. Goodyear learned through numerous field complaints and failures that this tire was not safe for RVs. In fact, Fleetwood, one of the largest RV makers, instituted a recall in 1999 that mandated replacing the G159 tires on its large RVs. Despite Goodyear’s knowledge concerning the safety issues with the G159, it continued to sell the G159 as RV tires until 2003.
Unfortunately, because RVs are not used as frequently as passenger vehicles, several G159 tires are still on the big RVs and have very little wear or mileage. Most of the G159s in service are at least ten years old, if not older, and that’s a problem. The “aging” of the G159 RV tire make this unsafe tire even more dangerous to unsuspecting RV owners.
For decades the tire industry has known that tires more than six year old, regardless of tread depth, pose significant hazards to users. As a tire ages, its components dry out, the rubber deteriorates and the adhesions between the tire’s parts begin to break down. The tire’s components that were once fused together during the manufacturing process begin to come apart, often leading to a tread separation. This aging process occurs regardless of whether the tires are being stored or are in use. Today, almost all of the tire manufacturers have placed age limits of ten years or less on the tires they make. For example, Michelin states:
While most tires will need replacement before they achieve 10 years, it is recommended that any tires…in service 10 years or more from the date of manufacture, including spare tires, be replaced with new tires even if such tires appear [safe].
Goodyear should have never sold the G159 as a RV tire. Because of the wrecks, injuries and deaths it caused, Goodyear should have recalled this tire. It did not. Age has only made this dangerous RV tire even more unsafe for use on RVs. If you need additional information on the G159 RV tires, contact Rick Morrison, a lawyer in our Personal Injury/Product Liability Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rick.Morrison@beasleyallen.com. Rick has handled several cases involving the G159 RV Tire and has become very knowledgeable about the tire and its problems.
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