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Consumer Reports warns of deadly RV tires

An article in the September 2021 print edition of Consumer Reports warns of deadly RV tires. The article, titled “Danger on Wheels,” discusses the Goodyear G159 tire, which is “linked to hundreds of recreational vehicle crashes over the past 25 years that left at least 95 people dead or injured.”

RV owners are encouraged to check their vehicles to makes sure they aren’t driving on these dangerous tires. (Check the tires sidewall for codes and information about the age of the tires.)

The potentially fatal flaw with the Goodyear G159 tire is that it cannot handle highway speeds and resulting temperatures. According to the report, Goodyear “originally designed the G159 for regional delivery trucks.” But the company later rebranded the tire as suitable for motorhomes and RVs, falsely claiming that the tire was safe for use at highway speeds.

Goodyear has known about the problem for decades, but has failed to report known accidents and injuries as required under federal law. The TREAD Act, enacted in 2000, requires automotive companies like Goodyear to report injuries, deaths, and related incidents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration every quarter. Goodyear has reported only a “handful” of incidents, a “fraction of the crashes it knew of.”

The Consumer Reports article suggests a nationwide recall of the Goodyear G159 RV tire may be coming soon. Even though these tires are old and now limited to the used RV and motorhome market, they are still out there, ticking time bombs, posing potentially life-threatening dangers to unsuspecting RV and motorhome drivers. (The article begins by noting an April 2021 listing for a used RV with the Goodyear G159).

The deadly danger posed by the Goodyear G159 may have been publicized sooner, the article goes on to suggest, if Goodyear hadn’t succeeded in obtaining confidentiality agreements in lawsuits. William Wallace, manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports, argues “it’s unconscionable to keep public health or safety dangers hidden from the public. Secret settlements that leave people in the dark about vehicles, equipments, or other products that could hurt them should be banned nationwide in all but the most unusual circumstances.”

If you or a loved one has been injured in an RV or motorhome accident, contact our RV injury lawyers today.