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Suit Accuses Goodyear CEO of Cover-up After Tire Linked to Deaths

Shareholders say the CEO and board of directors exposed the company to millions in litigation claims, including 41 consumer lawsuits.

Back in August of this year, it was reported that the U.S. Transportation Department’s Office of the Inspector General was pursuing an investigation into Goodyear over the tiremaker’s G159 tires – products which have been linked to multiple deaths and injuries.

At the time, the NHTSA was also reviewing whether the company had concealed evidence that the tires were faulty, estimating these models had failed in as many as 1 in 10 vehicles.

If this weren’t bad enough, it appears that a company shareholder is now suing Goodyear – on behalf of Goodyear itself – for what it is calling “a knowing cover-up of a significant safety defect in its G159 tire.”

According to Jalopnik, the suit, filed by the Steven A. Ettinger Inc. Profit Sharing Plan, said both Goodyear’s CEO and its board of directors “took active steps to conceal and avoid disclosure” of their involvement in masking the problems with the G159.

At issue in the suit is whether the company’s leaders failed to protect the assets of the shareholders – in this case, Goodyear stock – by exposing the company to reputation damage and millions in litigation claims, including 41 consumer lawsuits.

By failing to remedy the tire problems as they developed, the suit alleges Goodyear’s company leaders did not “avert avoidable losses.”

The G159, often used on RVs, has been accused of heat-related failure that occurs when it reaches certain highway speeds. The primary issue seems to stem from when the speed rating was increased in the 1990s – from 65 to 75 miles per hour.

Apparently that’s when the tires began to blow out, and evidence suggests that tires had not actually satisfied Goodyear’s internal tests for qualifying at the higher speed.

Inexplicably, Goodyear has never issued a recall on the tire. Meanwhile, its CEO, Richard Kramer, made $8 million in 2017.

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