WASHINGTON (Oct. 13, 2014) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA) has opened a preliminary evaluation of Michelin XZA 295/60/R22.5 tires for possible defects.
“The tire may fail catastrophically when used on the steer axle,” states the notice dated Oct. 6 from NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) initiating the investigation.
The ODI said it has received six vehicle owner complaints and one police accident report involving a total of seven crashes allegedly caused by failure of the Michelin XZA tire in a steer axle position. Five of the reports came from a single fleet, the ODI said. No deaths or injuries were reported.
The ODI estimates the population of allegedly defective tires at 10,000. If the agency finds sufficient evidence of a defect, the investigation will progress to an engineering analysis, under NHTSA defect analysis protocol. If the engineering analysis confirms the presence of a defect, a recall will be ordered.
In a statement, Michelin said it is aware of the investigation and is cooperating fully with NHTSA.