AUSTIN, Texas (Aug. 22, 2012)—Goodyear has reached an undisclosed settlement with a Texas couple who had sued the tire maker, claiming a defective Dunlop D250 Radial tire caused them to crash and sustain serious injuries, according to Edwards Law Firm, which brought the suit on the couple's behalf.
Terms of the settlement are confidential, according to the couple's attorney.
Goodyear said it cannot comment on the settlement because of a confidentiality agreement between the parties. It added, though, that “Dunlop has made millions of motorcycles tires (that) have provided consumers with satisfactory performance for millions and millions of miles.”
As for the accident itself, Martin Stricker of Brownwood, Texas, was driving his 2003 Honda GL 1800A Gold Wing Aug. 8, 2008, with this wife Loretta riding behind him, on U.S. 67 south of Abilene, Texas.
He claims in his lawsuit that the rear tire “suddenly and without warning” deflated, causing the motorcycle to go sideways and flip, ejecting both passengers, who suffered “serious bodily injury” in the wreck.
The plaintiffs claim a defect in the tire's bead seat area caused it to deflate without warning, but the suit is vague as to the nature of the claimed defect. The tire was built in 2002 in Goodyear's plant in Tonawanda, N.Y.
The Strickers filed their suit in October 2009 in District Court in Travis County, Texas, naming Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., American Honda Motor Co. Inc. and Woods Fun Center Inc. as defendants.
The case never went to trial.
Edwards used the occasion to draw attention to what he perceives to be a widespread problem involving tires on large touring motorcycles, and he called on Harley Davidson and Goodyear Dunlop to investigate. His firm has helped set up a website, www.unsafemotorcycles.com, that outlines the perceived problem and lists 23 reports of sudden tire deflation.