There aren't too many cars out there that can shred all four tires at once, but that's exactly what certain Pontiac GTO models are being accused of. Cleveland's Newsnet5 looked into GTO owners' complaints of shredded front tires with all the drama and hidden pinhole cameras (see the video here) you'd expect from a such a story.
What they found was actually somewhat startling. Early GTOs are eating their front tires. It seems the Holden Monaro, on which the GTO is based, is sold in Australia with 233 mm-wide tires. In the U.S., the GTO gets 245 mm-wide tires. According to the Center for Auto Safety, that extra rubber puts the tire snug up against the GTO's strut, causing the front tires to eventually fail. The TV station says 65 GTO owners have filed reports with the NHTSA about the problem, which has mailed letters alerting owners to an investigation.
Owners of 2006 GTOs need not worry about the tire-shredding problem. GM fitted the newer cars with updated struts which give sufficient tire clearance. Instead, that group of GTO fans gets to worry about strut failure, of which there have been numerous NHTSA complaints.
You can read a statement the CAS after the jump.
[Source: Newsnet5 via Wired]
From The Center for Auto Safety:
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.