New Federal Investigation of Goodyear's RV Tires Could Lead to Criminal Probe
The Center for Auto Safety is asking federal regulators to open up secret files regarding a Goodyear tire that has been linked to numerous highway accidents involving motor homes. According to a report in The Arizona Republic, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a review of the G159 model tire based complaints indicating a safety defect may have led to accidents that left a number of people injured or dead. However, the agency is keeping this crucial information secret or closed from the public at the request of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.
Attempts to Deliberately Hide Information
An in-depth investigation by the Arizona Republic in 2015 found Goodyear and its attorneys managed to seal or hide records from up to 600 accident claims and 40 court cases. In many of these lawsuits, judges ruled that lawyers representing the company made repeated and intentional false statements. And yet, the courts continued to grant Goodyear’s requests to seal information, which the company says are “trade secrets.”
The Center for Auto Safety is pushing the Federal Highway Safety Administration to end this secrecy. Last week, the center submitted a public records request asking the agency to make the death and injury claims as well as tire testing results public. Goodyear has said the company will cooperate with NHTSA’s investigation into the alleged defective motor home tires. About 160,000 of these G159 tires have been sold.
Critics say the model, which was originally designed for urban delivery trucks, should not have been put on motor homes and that it has led to overheating and tire tread separations. One of the cases in Arizona involves a 2003 blowout and rollover crash near Tucson that left several members of a family severely injured.
Time to Unseal Records
Goodyear, according to court records, withheld evidence, misled a judge and got information sealed to keep a lethal product defect hidden. A judge eventually hit company lawyers with $2.7 million in sanctions for what she referred to as a “dizzying array of misstatements and falsehoods. In a Nevada case with a $30 million judgment, the court ruled the company withheld evidence, stonewalled and used other “BS tactics.”
As product defect lawyers, we are absolutely behind the Center for Auto Safety’s request to unseal these crucial records that will give the public vital information about these potentially defective tires. Goodyear should also be required to divulge information to the public about how many accidents, deaths and injuries have been caused by these dangerous and defective tires. If you have been injured by Goodyear G159 tires, please contact an experienced auto defect lawyer to explore your legal rights and options.