CAS Calls for NHTSA Investigation of Pontiac GTO Tire Failures

The Center for Auto Safety is the nation’s premier independent, member driven, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy on behalf of all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) today called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open an investigation into tire failures and front suspension problems that occur on the 2004-2006 Pontiac GTO.

The agency has received 65 complaints involving tires on the 2004-2005 GTO, involving 8 blowouts and one crash.  Many of these complaints cite tire wear caused by contact with struts as the source of the failures.  The problem seems to occur early in the lifespan of the vehicle, as a number of complaints cite mileages of less than 10,000 at the time of the failure.

The 2004-2006 GTO was manufactured by GM subsidiary Holden in Australia based on the Holden Monaro platform.  The Australian version came equipped with tires of 235mm in width, however the GTO sold in the United States was equipped with wider tires of 245mm width.  The larger width of the GTO tire results in contact with the struts, wearing the tire and creating a risk of tire failures that can result in loss of vehicle control.  Additionally, many GTO owners are forced to replace worn tires and damaged struts at their own expense.

The 2006 Pontiac GTO was manufactured with redesigned front struts that seem to have eliminated the tire wear problem.  However, NHTSA has received more than 100 complaints of front strut failure in the 2006 model.