By Denna Bowman
Goodyear has been ordered to make a massive $5.6 million settlement to a couple whose recreational vehicle, fitted with its tyres, was involved in a serious road accident.
The G159 tyres, which were not intended for use on RV’s, had overheated causing the vehicle to crash in 2004, the Pasco County jury heard
And the judge claimed that because Goodyear improperly marketed the G159 tyres to RV manufacturers, they are responsible for the foreseeable factors that resulted from their use on recreational vehicles.
The G159 tyres were only intended for use on delivery vehicles, maximum speed rates of 65mph, and continuous year-round use. This is because if the tyres were used on vehicles that had extended travel times, increased speeds and prolonged idle periods – consistent with typical RV use – then the tyres were found to overheat, triggering their treads to separate and cause accidents.
However, despite the company’s awareness of the G159 overheating hazards, Goodyear failed to issue a recall informing the public that the tyres were not viable for use on RV’s.
In 2006, a Goodyear marketing communications manager even acknowledged in Fleet Owner magazine that the G159 tyre had not been designed for RV use. Furthermore, the manufacturer even increased the maximum speed rate acceptable for the tyres to 75 mph.
Over the years, Goodyear has confidentially settled roughly 12 individual cases involving the G159 tyres. The Pasco County public personal injury judgment awarded against the manufacturer was the first.