WASHINGTON (Dec. 19, 2002)— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has closed an investigation of 192,000 Phantom A/P tires manufactured by Michelin North America Inc., finding no defect trend.
Michelin ran a consumer satisfaction campaign on Phantom tires made between 1997 and 1999, stating that the tires were “coming out of service prematurely.” The tire maker also notified NHTSA of a crash in Barstow, Calif.—involving a tread separation of a Phantom
tire on a 15-passenger Chevrolet Suburban van—which killed the driver and two occupants of other vehicles. Discount Tire Co. distributed the tires.
At Michelin's request, the agency kept confidential the number of damage claims the company received, but it did say most of the claims “involved relatively minor damage to vehicle wheel wells and adjacent trim.”