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Since 2006, 22 people have suffered fatal injuries and four people have been injured after crashes caused by Dunlop D402 Goodyear motorcycle tire blowouts, according to Reveal News. Most of these motorcycle accidents resulted in lawsuits against the manufacturer. Safety advocates are calling for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Goodyear to act now.
However, with the NHTSA’s top position currently vacant, the agency is not eager to pursue new recalls. Injured victims and motorcycle enthusiasts want to know how many lives will be lost before steps are taken to remove potentially dangerous motorcycle tires.
Without the protection of a steel frame, airbags, and seatbelts, motorcyclists are especially vulnerable during a crash. One of the earliest D402 fatal accidents reported involved a 50-year-old Montana man who was fatally injured when the back tire of his motorcycle failed on the highway.
His wife, who was sitting behind him at the time of the accident, was thrown from the bike. She suffered a ruptured spleen, broken scapula, and a traumatic brain injury, and spent two months recuperating in the hospital. She later sued Goodyear, alleging that manufacturing defects caused the tire to blowout. Goodyear settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
A Goodyear spokesperson says the company takes these incidents very seriously and inspects and examines every claim. She adds that most motorcycle tire problems are caused by underinflation, overloading, or damage from road hazards. A tire expert serving as a witness on many of the D402 cases disagrees and says the company has a systematic problem with the way these tires are made.
As Reveal News dug deeper into the manufacturing process at Goodyear, they uncovered more alarming safety issues than first suspected. The media outlet accuses Goodyear of maintaining a lax approach to safety that not only impacts motorcyclists on the road, but also endangers their factory workers. Reveal News describes factories where intense production schedules and poor conditions put employees and consumers at risk. Goodyear has been among the top five manufacturers for worker fatalities since 2009.
The Trump administration proposed an increase in the NHTSA’s budget for 2019 and nominated the agency’s current deputy administrator to fill the top vacancy, yet one former NHTSA administrator says the agency is still grossly underfunded. She claims the NHTSA does not have the resources to protect the public, which is why they are hesitant to open new product investigations.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to call the Wilmington motorcycle accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow, LLC. Our team will work diligently on your behalf for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware to serve clients throughout the state.