WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into alleged failures of Goodyear G159 tires on Class A motor homes.
The preliminary evaluation covers an estimated 40,000 G159 tires sold between 1996 and 2003, NHTSA said.
In the investigation resume, NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) said it had obtained claim and complaint data about Goodyear G159 tires on Class A motor homes as the result of a court order authorizing their release.
The data showed the tires failing in service, resulting in deaths and injuries, according to the ODI.
"The number of these claims suggests that the failures may stem from a safety-related defect," it said. Many of them were not required to be reported to NHTSA under federal law, it said, and most were sealed under protective orders and settlement agreements before the court order.
"Among many concerns, claimants contend the Goodyear G159 tires were allegedly not designed for extended use at highway speeds," the ODI said.
In addition, the ODI received 10 consumer complaints regarding alleged failures of G159 tires, two of which involved crashes. Separately, Goodyear reported nine claims involving one death and 13 injuries, the agency said.
Most of the accident reports on the ODI website describe sidewall blowouts of G159 tires while in operation.