AKRON-Goodyear has filed a countersuit against three of the four California dealers that last summer filed a lawsuit against the tire maker for allegedly failing to disclose its plans to distribute through discounters and mass merchandisers. The countersuit-filed in a California U.S. District Court Feb. 27 against Taylor Tire Co., Devore Tire Inc. and L&M Tire Inc., all Goodyear franchise or G-110 contract dealerships-alleges the three failed to pay on certain property leases, equipment leases and advertising agreements and also failed to pay for an unspecified amount of goods received.
The countersuit further alleges L&M Tire and Devore Tire continued to use the ``Goodyear Certified Auto Service Center'' trademark after the dealerships terminated their Goodyear Certified Auto Service Dealer Program and Service Mark License contracts.
``The infringement by counter-defendants L&M Tire and/or Devore Tire has been willful and deliberate, designed specifically to unjustly enrich L&M Tire and/or Devore Tire by trading upon the enormous goodwill associated with Goodyear's service mark,'' the suit charges.
The three dealerships, along with D&D Tire & Automotive Inc., filed suit against Goodyear in the same court last July 6, alleging the tire maker had unfairly diminished the ability of its franchise and G-110 contract dealers to operate profitable businesses after beginning to distribute through mass merchandisers and discount stores. They also petitioned the court to grant class-action status to the suit.
The lawsuit also alleges the tire maker has used unfair business practices, violated California franchise laws and breached its contractual agreements with California dealers to their detriment since 1990.
Attorneys for both sides did not return phone calls.
In January, 17 Goodyear dealers in Texas filed a similar suit against the Akron-based tire maker.