WASHINGTON (July 26) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation of Pontiac GTOs for the 2004-2006 model years because of alleged tire failures.
NHTSA said it has received 69 complaints of tires rubbing against the front struts, including seven tire failures and one crash.
NHTSA sent a letter to General Motors Corp. in March, requesting information such as consumer complaints, field reports, crash and injury reports, property damage claims and lawsuits connected with the tire-strut complaints on the GTOs.
No answer from GM has yet been posted on the agency's Web site, though a GM spokesman said the auto maker sent its reply in May.
A class action suit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, claiming that GM selected tires too large for the vehicles and seeking unspecified damages on behalf of GTO owners.
The case is still in the information gathering stage, with no court dates scheduled as yet, according to Mark Anderson, the San Francisco attorney leading the class action.
Neither the NHTSA investigation nor the class action complaint names the brand or brands of tires involved, and Anderson said there are no plans to name any company other than GM as a defendant in the class action.