USA Today is accusing the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of conducting safety probes out of the view of the public. Reporter Jayne O'Donnell highlights a number of recalls that stemmed from months of investigations that went on without informing consumers of potential safety issues first. Specifically, the article points to a new spate of tire failures on certain Ford Explorer models that have claimed the lives of four times as many drivers as the issue that led to infamous Ford/Firestone recall of 2000. Ford says it has reviewed the problem with NHTSA and that the government agency found no defect.

O'Donnell also touches on certain Hyundai and Chevrolet recalls preceded by lengthy probes. Part of the problem, the report says, is that there's no formal designation that separates a probe for a full-blown investigation. Head over to USA Today for a closer look.

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