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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lose/Lose. Release the data too soon and car makers take you to court. Too late and consumers sue. But if i were investigating- I'd make damn sure there was a problem before releasing any data.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't have a problem of an investigation staying hidden if there was never a defect. On top of that, it probably saves the NHTSA money to have automakers do a lot of the legwork for possible defects, since they designed the systems and parts in the first place and would only look worse if they tried to falsify information. A rumor over the internet these days can be damaging, but news about a coverup that kills people can be a death blow to a company.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey! How\'d this laptop get under here!?
      • 2 Years Ago
      The problem is there will be too many false allegations, that correlation = causation. If 5 explorers flip slid out of control, well it's because they have crappy tires. NHTSA goes in to investigate that it was actually crappy drivers going to fast. If they publicly declared everything they investigate, ford would have lost lots of sales and stock prices for false internet rumor allegations.
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sure the government gets thousands of complaints every year and there is background work that goes on before their investigations become "official". Not sure why this is viewed as being "secret" especially given the fact there were over 17 million vehicles recalls last year.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Kris O.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Back in July when California House Democrats Anna Eshoo and Henry Waxman called Chrysler out to fix death wobble in Jeep, I was having to explain to people that all fixed front axle vehicles are susceptible to this. I had seen videos from NHTSA investigating vehicles in the past including Ford Super Dutys among others. When I searched, I found the videos and reports nowhere to be found but Jeep DW videos everywhere. Even finding the specific investigation numbers the Ford videos had been pulled. Not that govt run web sites are ever easy to navigate but it seemed to me the Ford and others maybe paid lobbyists a little more that Chrysler to have issues hidden. Wouldn't be much coin to a big company to prevent some bad PR compared to existing advertising budgets. Go to and search "shimmy" or "wobble" and nothing about Jeep, Ford, or others comes up. Yes there appears to be something underhanded going on here.