The saga of Goodyear’s defective RV tires continues; AP reports that a grand jury is gathering evidence against the tire manufacturer over its defective RV tires.
The whole ordeal has been going on for years. It started in 2003 when an RV driven by Billy Wayne Woods and filled with five other members of his family flipped on a rural Georiga interstate after a Goodyear G159 tire on the RV burst. While they all initially survived the accident, it had a tragic ending, as our own Ryan Felton pointed out:
Both Woods’ wife and his daughter-in-law suffered broken backs; his son, a broken hip. His two grandchildren were uninjured, but the crash left Woods paralyzed. Several months later, he died as a result of complications from his injuries, according to the family’s lawyer.
Sadly Wood’s death wasn’t the first, and his family’s injuries weren’t the last. Wood’s family filed suit against Goodyear claiming the tire was defective. It turned out to be one of 41 separate lawsuits filed against Goodyear over the past 20+ years.
The NHTSA began a probe into the tires in 2017. The agency looked at data from 40,000 tires over a seven-year period from 1996 to 2003. Investigators found something startling: G159 defects had caused eight deaths and 69 injuries from 1998 to 2009. Allegedly, Goodyear knew of the defects as early as 2002; a recall wasn’t issued until last year. Now things are heating up.
A grand jury is being convened in Los Angeles and has subpoenaed David Kurtz, an Arizona lawyer over documents related to a suit he filed against Goodyear. While no one knows what the jury is investigating, they have tons of help: DOT’s Inspector General, the Consumer Protection branch of the Justice Department, and the U.S. Attorney based in Los Angeles are all helping with the investigation.
Even though there’s evidence to the contrary, Goodyear is maintaining that the tires were safe saying that recalls were issued when appropriate. AP points out that, according to NHTSA documents, the agency sent a letter to Goodyear in the Spring of 2022 insisting a recall be issued. The company initially refused but eventually issued a recall.
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