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NHTSA questions Goodyear; tires blamed for 95 deaths, injuries

Safety advocates and lawsuit plaintiffs claim the company should not have sold certain truck tires for use on recreational vehicles.

Federal safety investigators have sent a letter to Goodyear asking for data on the company's G159 tires, blamed for causing accidents that killed or injured at least 95 people.

Lawsuit plaintiffs and safety advocates claim the G159 tire was designed for delivery trucks and should not have been marketed and sold for use on recreational vehicles that travel at highway speeds.

Among several questions, the agency has asked Goodyear why it only reported nine claims related to one death and 13 injuries, according to details of the letter referenced by the Associated Press.

Many details have apparently been sealed by courts in various lawsuits, however an Arizona judge recently ruled that the company cannot continue to keep such information secret.

"That information — primarily concerning the tire's design, its testing, the decision to market it for use on motor homes, and the adjustment data generated by consumer experience with it — should be made public because it relates to and reveals a substantial potential risk to public health or safety," the court wrote.

Goodyear now has until May 4 to respond to the NHTSA inquiry.