NHTSA Investigating Possible Failure of Michelin Auto-Hauler Tires

October 14, 2014

By Evan Lockridge

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The federal government is investigating claims that a model of Michelin steer tires used on auto-haulers can fail, potentially leading to a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation has received six complaints alleging steer tire failure involving the company’s 2014 XZA 295/60/R22.5 tires.

Five of these reports are from a single fleet, with each indicating a loss of vehicle control and subsequent crash. A police accident report related to one of the crashes was also received by NHTSA, in which the investigating officer suspected a tire defect was the cause of the crash.

No deaths or injuries have been associated with the crashes.

All reports NHTSA received involve truck/tractor and trailers configured as auto haulers. Multiple vehicle OEMs and trucking fleets are involved, according to the U.S. Transportation Department agency. It’s estimated some 10,000 tires are part of the investigation.

NHTSA has opened what it calls a “preliminary evaluation” to gather information and assess the frequency and scope of the alleged safety defect. If the investigation turns up enough evidence of problems, it could lead to a recall by the manufacturer.

When contacted by HDT/ staff, Michelin said it "is aware of a preliminary evaluation by NHTSA regarding several complaints about a tire identified as a 2014 Michelin XZA 295/60/R22.5 tire used on auto-haulers. Michelin is cooperating fully with the agency."

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