Plaintiffs have filed more than forty lawsuits against a tire manufacturer accusing the company of selling defective tires. The tire manufacturer has facilities worldwide and annual sales of more than $15B. The lawsuits are a result of the manufacturer’s tires that burst on the highway. The tires were marketed to recreational motorhome manufacturers even though the company knew the tires couldn’t handle highway speeds. Accidents involving the manufacturer’s tires caused ten deaths and eighty-eight injuries. This article will speak on behalf of one of the Plaintiff’s.
The Plaintiff drove a motor home from Alabama to a family vacation in Florida. On the return trip, the treads came off the left front manufacturer tire of their RV. The Plaintiff tried to keep the RV under control but the vehicle crossed over the median and slammed into an embankment, slid and hit a second embankment. The Plaintiff’s wife and daughter-in-law suffered broken backs. His son suffered a broken hip. His two grandchildren escaped injury but the Plaintiff was paralyzed. Several months later, he died as a result of complications.
The tire that burst on the Plaintiff’s motorhome was a tire designed for lower-speed delivery vehicles. Plaintiffs argue that these tires should not have been equipped on RVs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation on December 28, 2017.
As the result of a court order authorizing the release of the manufacturers records to NHTSA, the agency obtained claim and complaint data alleging that the manufacturer’s tires installed on Class A motorhomes failed in service, causing deaths or personal injuries. The number of these claims suggests that the failures may stem from a safety-related defect. Many of these claims were not required to be reported under 49 CFR Part 579 and the data produced in litigation was sealed under protective orders and confidential settlement agreements, precluding claimants from submitting it to NHTSA.
The Office of Defects investigation has also received 10 consumer complaints alleging failures of the manufacturer’s tires on motorhomes. Two of these complaints allege a crash occurred as a result of the tire failures. The manufacture separately reported 9 claims under 49 CFR Part 579 alleging 1 death and 13 injuries.
Among many concerns, claimants contend the manufacturer’s tires were allegedly not designed for extended use at highway speeds as would be experienced during motor home operation.
Tire design and manufacture, as well as improper maintenance and care, may all contribute to tire failure. When tires malfunction, there can be grounds for a lawsuit. Tire failure expert witnesses have a background in the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, materials science, vehicle design and engineering, accident reconstruction, failure analysis, and other related disciplines. A tire failure analysis by an expert witness can be the deciding factor in a lawsuit. Selecting the right expert is crucial to the outcome in your case. Contact ForensisGroup to be connected with a highly qualified expert to match your case.