SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ A defense contractor endangered the lives of soldiers by lying about the results of tests on a tank-like vehicle it manufactured, a laid-off employee alleges in a federal suit.

Henry Boisvert, an FMC Corp. worker, claimed in his U.S. District Court suit that the Bradley Fighting Vehicle did not pass several tests of its ability to ford streams.

Boisvert was laid off from his job in FMC's San Jose-based engineering test group, which checks on the reliability of company products.

''FMC has failed to provide the government with reports of the vehicle's deficiencies by labeling certain incriminating reports as internal reports,'' Boisvert alleged in the suit, filed a week ago.

He said that instead of reporting failures, ''FMC has restructured reports to hide the vehicle's inability to meet contract specifications.''

FMC spokeswoman Pat Browzowski said in FMC's Chicago headquarters that the company had been reviewing the allegations. She said it was not true that several people may have died in Bradley water-related incidents.

Company officials said earlier that Boisvert must have confused the Bradley with an earlier personnel carrier, the M-113, in which 14 fatalities were reported over the years.