RV tires may have caused 95 deaths or injuries

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A defect in Goodyear motorhome tires may have killed or injured up to 95 people over the past two decades, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The allegations were revealed in a letter Tuesday from NHTSA to Goodyear seeking information. The agency began investigating whether the company’s G159 tires are unsafe last year after a judge ordered the release of Goodyear data that had been sealed under court orders and settlement agreements.

Lawsuits and safety advocates allege the tires were designed for delivery trucks and not for motorhomes that travel faster. They allege that Goodyear kept the tire problems secret for years by settling cases and getting judges to seal records. Despite the allegations, the tires have not been recalled.

In a Dec. 28 document that started the investigation, NHTSA said it obtained claim and complaint data about the tires after the court order unsealed the documents and released them to NHTSA.


The nonprofit Center for Auto Safety and Public Justice sought to have the records released to the public, which Goodyear opposed. An Arizona judge ruled in favor of the center on Wednesday, unsealing most of the information. But Jason Levine, the center’s executive director, said the release of the documents was delayed pending an expected appeal from Goodyear.

IN HIS RULING, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah wrote that Goodyear’s need to keep information confidential “does not come close” to outweighing the public’s need for access.

The tires that the NHTSA looked into were made from 1996 to 2003. Production of the tires in question stopped in 2003. It’s not known how many G159 RV tires are still in use, the statement said. 

RV tire experts would advise that any G159 tire, the last of which was made 14 years ago, should be removed immediately. “RV users often put no more than a few thousand miles on their tires a year. Their tires may need to be replaced because of age long before their treads are ‘worn out,’” reports Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. “At the age of ten years, such tires should be replaced, even if their external appearance is a good one.”

Most RV experts advise replacing any tire older than seven years, even if it does not show excessive wear. Learn more about tire aging here.

SOURCE: RVtravel.com, The Denver Post, USA Today and Fortune Magazine.

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Bill Lampkin
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Bill Lampkin

That anyone has been injured or worse due to a tire defect is terrible, If a tire company hid that fact, worse yet.
Now, should a motorhome be operated at speeds of 75 mph as stated in the article?? Read carefully.

WILL
Guest
WILL

We have had 2 blowouts with the Goodyear G670 tires;last one was with only 3500 miles on tire on first trip with new tires;Goodyear replaced the last one and because GoodSam rep didn’t do his job the first time by installing a cheaper tire (after I found a Goodyear tire & he had them bring a cheaper tire & charged me for G670) After 14 page letter, Good Sam returned all our money (labor&tire costs) & I then replaced cheaper tire with a G670. May think twice next time about Goodyear 670’s. No blowouts for 25 yrs with other tires… Read more »

WILL
Guest
WILL

PS: both tires had good date stamps within 7 months of purchase.

Darrel
Guest
Darrel

Production stopped on that tire series in 2003, 15 years ago? I sure hope no one out there runs RV tires for 15 years!

No matter how good they look I change tires at 7 years. 10 years should be considered max. Most RV tires age out before they wear out.

Paul Goldberg
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Paul Goldberg

I read on forums and Facebook about people buying tires not intended for RV use because they are so much cheaper. They ignore the fact that they are meant for very different uses, wither heavier weights or lower speeds and certainly not for as little as 7,000 miles per year and sitting parked in all kind of conditions not conducive to long life. I only buy tires intended by the manufacturer for RV use and plan to replace them at 5 years. I know I could go 7 but can afford giving up those 2 years to someone desperate for… Read more »

Hank
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Hank

Ken K – Are you suggesting the other popular brands e.g. Toyo (which we just put on as replacements for Michelins) are not safe? I believe many RVer’s use them and had not read anything about Toyo problems (and they were much cheaper to boot).

Hank in Custer SD
hanknjoyce@netzero.net

KEN K
Guest
KEN K

I HAVE A NEIGHBOR WHO HAD AN AMERICAN COACH ABOUT 15 OR MORE YEARS AGO. TWO OR MORE TIMES THE TIRES ON HIS COACH LET GO. ONE TIME THE TIRES DISINTEGRATED AND ALMOST “DISASSED”HIM INCLUDING THE PASSENGER SEAT. THE OTHER TIME HE WAS LAYING IN THE BACK RESTING AND THE REAR TIRE LET GO AND TORE OUT THE REAR TIRE AREA AND ALMOST GOT HIM AGAIN.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS IF I SAW A TIRE OTHER THAN MICHELIN–I WOULD DEFINETLY WALK AWAY.

chris
Guest
chris

You do know Michelin had / has a recall on tires.
https://www.michelinman.com/US/en/help/safety-recalls/latitude-tour.html

Joel Lefkowitz
Guest
Joel Lefkowitz

So how can we trust that current Goodyear tires are safe to use on an RV?

Ron
Guest
Ron

This also brings to question Goodyear’s G670 rv tires where many reports of “riverering” of steering tires.

Lee Ensminger
Guest
Lee Ensminger

What is this “riverering” characteristic you speak of?

Charles Andrews
Guest
Charles Andrews

How do used tire dealers get away with selling used tires that appear to have good tread but could be 10 years old or better…..the average buyer of used tires is not aware of date codes on the sidewalls

Phil Wood
Guest
Phil Wood

Because a vast majority of the used tire sale places have no clue as to the dating system or what it may mean.