DETROIT -- U.S. safety regulators have opened a defect investigation into 384,608 of General Motors' full-sized pickups and SUVs from the 1999-2003 model years, the safety agency said Monday.
The "preliminary evaluation" by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, covers the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup, and the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon SUVs, the NHTSA said. The agency has received two complaints of cracked steel wheels.
The evaluation covers the pickups and SUVs equipped with six bolt 16-inch-by-6.5-inch full-face steel wheels. Most of the pickups and SUVs were sold with aluminum wheels.
GM spokesman Jim Schell said the complaints charged that the cracked wheels caused a slow leak in the tires.
"There's no risk of motor vehicle safety," Schell said, adding that the automaker was cooperating with the investigation.
NHTSA will look into the complaints further before deciding whether to upgrade the investigation into a more serious "engineering analysis" or to drop the inquiry.