Goodyear Tire Recall – Goodyear Tire Detread
Sico, White, Hoelscher & Braugh Case
Prompts Nationwide Goodyear Tire Recall
Sico, White, Hoelscher & Braugh attorney David Bright represents Gerry Lynn Wilkinson, the mother of college student Kerrybeth Hall, who, along with fellow student Matthew Smith, was killed when the Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tire on the 2008 Ford F-150 pickup she was riding in detreaded, causing he pickup to skid and rollover. The rollover, Kerrybeth’s death, and the resulting lawsuit filed by SIco, White, Hoelscher & Braugh has caused a nationwide recall of 41,000 Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires. “Goodyear was receiving many disturbing warranty claims on these tires, but said, ‘Let’s see what happens,’” Mr. Bright said, “Goodyear waited another 12 months, and decided: ‘Hang on. Let’s wait a while longer.’ And three months later, these two young people were killed. This case shows the tragic results of delaying a tire recall.”
On August 1, 2011 Kerrybeth Hall and Matthew Smith were on their way to Alpine, Texas to start college at Sul Ross State University. They were less than an hour from their destination, in Pecos County, Texas when the Goodyear tire on Matthew’s Ford F-150 pick-up suffered a tread separation, causing the pickup to roll over. Both Kerrybeth and Matthew were killed. Sico, White, Hoelscher & Braugh filed suit on her behalf in Calhoun County, Texas. According to Goodyear, it was this lawsuit that prompted the nationwide recall of 41,000 Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires.
According to documentation Goodyear filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on February 22, Goodyear had first noticed elevated property damage and warranty claims for the Wrangler Silent Armor tire during its May 2010 review of Early Warning Data. Over the next 12 months, the company would continue to see high levels of warranty and property damage claims, specifically for six sizes of the tires produced at its Fayetteville plant. But Goodyear still resisted a recall, passing off the uptick as isolated cases caused by “stone drilling damage and other external damage to the tires.”
Months later, after the tragic failure of this tire and the deaths of Kerrybeth Hall and Matthew Smith, Goodyear finally announced the recall of the tires. The defective tires, produced in the spring of 2009, were recalled over concerns that the tires can tear apart and cause a serious motor vehicle accident or rollover.
The recall involves 41,000 of Goodyear’s Wrangler Silent Armor tires that were manufactured at Goodyear’s Fayetteville, North Carolina plant. The recalled tires are light truck tires, and are dangerous because they can cause a partial tread separation, resulting in loss of control or even vehicle rollover. The affected tires are placed on a variety of vehicles, including those frequently used at construction sites, for off-road applications, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, vans, and family vehicles.
The Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tire recall includes the following sizes:
- LT235/80R17 LRE
- LT245/75R17 LRE
- LT265/70R17 LRE
- LT275/70R18 LRE
- LT285/70R17 LRD
- LT325/60R18 LRE
27,000 of the defective Goodyear tires are believed to be still in service across the country.
If your car has Goodyear tires, please check to see if your tires are part of the national recall. Goodyear will notify owners and replace the defective tires free of charge. Owners can contact Goodyear at (800) 592-3267 or call NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at (888) 327-4236.
Link to Recall:
Goodyear Tire Recall
A Tale of Drugs, Arrests, and Defective Tires
What went wrong with the manufacture of these tires at Goodyear’s Fayetteville, North Carolina plant during the months of March through May 2009? Perhaps an answer could be found in this March 2010 headline from North Carolina television station WRAL: “Fifteen Goodyear Employees Charged After Undercover Drug Raid.”
On March 30, 2010, just two months before Goodyear’s warranty review that revealed higher than usual claim rates on these tires, narcotics agents from the Cumberland County, North Carolina Sheriff’s office raided Goodyear’s Fayetteville plant, and arrested 15 workers. The 69 charges among them allege that the suspects were operating a full-service drugstore, trafficking cocaine, marijuana, Ecstasy, opium and other prescription drugs.
These drug busts at the very plant where these tires were being manufactured came only 10 months after the tires were made.
The undercover operation was initiated in August 2009, at the invitation of Goodyear executives in Akron, Ohio. But according to several interviews with Cumberland County Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler, Goodyear’s Fayetteville reputation as a den of drug dealers long preceded that date. According to several news accounts, Butler had waited his entire career as the head of the county’s law enforcement to infiltrate the Fayetteville plant.
“Shortly after I came into office 16 years ago, we tried to do something out here,” Butler said. “Course we knew at the time that there were drugs in the plant and we haven’t been able to get anyone inside,” he told WTVD.
The Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor Tire is Not Just Any Tire
Also shocking is the fact that Goodyear specifically advertised the Wrangler Silent Armor tire as a particularly big, beefy tire – tough enough to stand up to the rigors of off-roading.
The following are quotes directly from Goodyear about the Wrangler Silent Armor Tire:
- “Are you looking for on and off-road all terrain tires? Do you want tires that are going to fit all of your versatile needs? Are you only interested in buying tires that are safe, durable, and will provide you with the most comfortable ride possible? If so, you should consider purchasing the Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor tires.”
- “The rubber compound is molded at the base of the tread grooves in an effort to increase resistance to stone and rock drilling, which is a plus. The internal structure of the tire involves an Armor Zone that is made up of twin, high tensile steel belts that are reinforced by a layer of Dupont Kevlar cord to add strength and comfort to the abilities of the tire. The Durawall rubber compound is also used in the sidewalls to resist scuffing and abrasion and to protect the polyester cord body. There are also rim guards to protect the wheels from accidental on and off road hazards.
- “These tires really will take you anywhere and you never have to worry about your safety or the durability of the tires!”
Kerrybeth Hall and Matthew Smith weren’t even off-roading when their Wrangler Silent Armor tire failed them. They were simply riding on a highway, on their way to start their fall semester of college.
The Heavy Price of a Delayed Recall