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  1. AndyShane

    Another Goodyear Tire Failure Saga

    I specifically requested Goodyear tires on a car-hauler trailer custom-built for me last year. It arrived with Goodyear Wrangler II LT tires, late 2014 manufacture dates. I shrugged off the age of the tires, and accepted the unit. My practice is to inflate to sidewall placard pressure, as we've discussed extensively at FMCA and iRV2. Additionally, I scan both tire and bearing temps during safety stops on a progressive schedule underway: first, third, sixth hour. With a year of use, and about 5,000 miles -- there was no visible tread wear -- my trailer tires began failing internally during a recent trip. Thankfully, the first two were caught during slow deflation by the TPMS; the third exploded and did some fender damage. To help users, I'll include a photo of the second tire failure, caught in progress. That way, you can spot what to look for. This particular tire was checked an hour prior to the incident and was running at 116F on a warm summer day in Georgia, inflated to 80PSI at 70F. There was no bearing or brake drag to increase wear/temperature. The combined weight of the car, trailer and misc contents divided by four barely exceeded 50% of the tire's load rating. In the case of this tire, I initally thought it was a false alarm from the TPMS: I entered a nearby rest area and parked on the end with the alarmed tires curbside for safety, soap-tested the still-inflated tire. No leakage was noted, so I tightened the TPMS transmitter, reinflated the tire and noted the pressure, fixed myself lunch. A half-hour later, I noted the pressure. The tire had lost something like 40PSI, so I removed it from the trailer and found these fissures between the treads. Research showed a pattern of failure in earlier Wrangler II LTs, some 200 injuries and 15 deaths have been associated with the model. However, Goodyear has paid claims and not recalled the tires. Three of these tires failed internally in three successive days of driving; so, I was at the Goodyear store in Marion, Mississippi, when it opened the morning after my third loss. The helpful salesman confirmed that Goodyear had not recalled that series, and explained that he'd have to order replacements. Since a Toyo dealer was nearly next door to our RV park, I went to them, next. Imagine my delight, discovering that the owner is a fellow Class A owner! He had indeed gotten the proverbial memo about Goodyear's quality/safety problems, and steered me to Toyo. We rummaged through his inventory, and he had me grab various sidewalls to assess their strength, an important characteristic of trailer tires. I noted that the light truck tires actually seemed to have beefier sidewalls than those designated for trailer use. His crew immediately swapped out all four of my tires. Counting the generic Chinese spare I'd bought in the wake of the first tire failure, I'd spent about $1,000. I reported the failures to the trailer manufacturer, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and to Goodyear. Goodyear contacted me quickly, their representative stated that I'd been assigned a claim number. I submitted a debrief and receipts to them upon request and was just notified yesterday that they intend to give me a $267 rebate on a future Goodyear purchase. Given my experience with their product, I'm not sure if that option will be exercised, frankly. Consumers beware.
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