A lawyer who has filed a class action suit over potentially defective Firestone Steeltex tyres on Friday urged the US government to reopen its safety investigation of that brand, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, attorney Joseph Lisoni said at a news conference that 11 crash deaths are allegedly linked to Steeltex tread separations and blowouts and he is investigating 12 more fatalities to see if they are related.

Lisoni said he accumulated more than 7,000 complaints about Steeltex models in recent months, which he claims should be enough for safety regulators to follow through on their promise to take another look at the case if new evidence were to emerge, Reuters reported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration closed its 20-month investigation in April of R4S, R4SII and A/T Steeltex models, finding no defects, Reuters said, adding that, at the time, regulators noted 872 complaints.

But, Reuters said, Lisoni - whose suit in September against Firestone's parent, Japan's Bridgestone, demanded it recall more than 27 million Steeltex tyres -- claims the government failed to note more than 2,000 other complaints that were spread throughout its vast auto safety database.

Reuters said that, unlike the millions of recalled Firestone ATX and Wilderness tyres that were installed on a narrow family of vehicles made mainly by Ford, Steeltex tyres are used on 43 different models, mostly made by Ford and General Motors, and are harder to track.

According to Reuters, Lisoni said a large percentage of the Steeltex tyre problems have been found on motor homes.

Tim Hurd, a spokesman for NHTSA, told Reuters that the agency had not received a formal request to reopen the Steeltex probe.

Firestone, in a statement, cited the NHTSA findings that found no evidence of a defect, Reuters said.

"We are constantly evaluating our tyres and are committed to taking action, if it is warranted. In this case, it is not," Firestone said in the statement, according to Reuters.

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