A Goodyear tire that was outfitted on motor homes for more than a decade may be to blame for nearly a hundred deaths and injuries.
According to court and government documents, lawsuits filed by victims against Goodyear were sealed under protective orders, shielding the information from the public.
Goodyear stopped manufacturing the G159 tire in 2003, but it is unknown how many are still in use today.
The tire was sold to class-A motor home drivers and manufacturers, but safety advocates and victims allege the tires weren't designed for motor homes or long distance travel on highways.
A preliminary investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that at high speeds, the tire generates too much heat, causing the tread to separate and the tire to blow.
NHTSA records show that may have been the case in 95 claims they are investigating, in which some drivers lost control, causing accidents, injuries, and even death.
But even as complaints to NHTSA started mounting, it appears Goodyear never issued a formal recall.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed over the years, almost all of them involving protective orders to protect what Goodyear claims are trade secrets that would be in jeopardy if the records were made public.
A judge's recent decision to unseal one of those cases is what prompted the current NHTSA probe, which so far found many more cases than previously reported.
While Goodyear stopped making this tire years ago, NHTSA reports injuries and deaths as recently as 2015.
Goodyear is expected to turn over information about the marketing, testing, and use of the tires to investigators at NHTSA.
In response to our report, Goodyear provided the following statement:
Safety and product quality are and always have been central to what Goodyear does. We have strong quality controls in place, we follow industry standards when developing and manufacturing all our products and we closely monitor their performance in the field. Goodyear produced approximately 160,000 G159 275/70R22.5 tires in the U.S. between 1996-2003, some of which were used on Class A motor homes. We were a defendant or a co-defendant with vehicle manufacturers in approximately 40 lawsuits involving this tire. The last claim we received related to this tire was in 2015, which was a property damage claim.
We continue to believe that there is no safety defect with the G159 275/70R22.5 tire, and we are fully cooperating with NHTSA on its current investigation. We stopped manufacturing this tire in 2003. We believe this tire is essentially gone from the market. If anyone believes they have one of these G159 tires on a motor home or has questions about the tire, please visit or contact an authorized Goodyear retailer or Goodyear Commercial Tire & Service Center for a free inspection.
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