CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 25)—Continental Tire North America Inc. accused the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of opening a "politically motivated and patently unwarranted" preliminary evaluation of more than 2.7 million General Ameri*550 AS radial tires, size P235/70R16. The NHTSA release about the investigation contained "factual inaccuracies and mischaracterizations," Conti said, including the allegation that the tire was linked to 17 highway injuries. "Out of the 2.7 million tires produced, there have been only three injury-related accidents, as indicated in NHTSA's own report, and one lawsuit settled long ago," the company said. "There have been no fatalities." The agency also failed to consider the tire's usual application in off-road conditions and construction sites, Conti said.