NHTSA Standardizes Tire Identification Number

Change Accomodates Increasing Number of Global Tire Plants

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
202-682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC, April 14, 2015 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a final rule to standardize the Tire Identification Number (TIN) imprinted on tires sold in the U.S.  The new regulation creates a 13 digit TIN for new tires and seven digit TIN for retreaded truck tires.

NHTSA initiated the rulemaking because it had exhausted the number of two-digit plant codes the agency issues to every tire plant making tires for the U.S. market.  The new TIN will have a three-digit plant code.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association commented to NHTSA when its membership voiced concerns over some aspects of the proposed rule.

“RMA appreciates NHTSA’s effort to create an effective regulation to continue its obligation to provide plant codes to manufacturers while making common-sense accommodations to limit unnecessary costs,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs.

RMA commented on the proposed rule urging NHTSA to drop a proposed requirement for a 50 mm blank space after the TIN. RMA argued the additional space would add significant cost to the rulemaking with no safety benefit while causing extensive remodeling to tire molds around the world. The final rule eliminated the proposed 50 mm requirement.  Additionally, RMA successfully argued that tire manufacturers be given 10 years to phase in the new rule’s requirements.  RMA noted to NHTSA that a majority of tire molds last as long as 10 years. NHTSA agreed with RMA.

“RMA agrees that NHTSA needs to change the TIN to a three-digit plant code,” said Zielinski.  “RMA members had several concerns with the proposal that would have needlessly raised costs to tires produced in the U.S. and NHTSA agreed to make key changes.”

In response to other stakeholder requests to change the date stamp portion of the TIN, NHTSA said, “…we do not believe a change to the date code is necessary for consumers to determine when their tires were manufactured.”  NHTSA added that sufficient information to understand the date stamp is available online or by asking a tire dealer.”

Click here to link to NHTSA rule.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

RMA, TIA Urge States to Adopt Vehicle Safety Inspections

Groups File Joint Comments to NHTSA Supporting State Safety Guideline

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 20, 2012 – All states should adopt a periodic motor vehicle safety inspection to help reduce crashes each year, according to comments filed by Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire industry Association, the two leading national trade associations for the tire industry.

RMA and TIA filed joint comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) supporting the agency’s guideline to states that they should adopt vehicle safety inspections. The guidance is not a mandate but one of a number of recommendations provided to states by NHTSA.

In their comments, RMA President and CEO, Charles Cannon and TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield said, “RMA and TIA applaud NHTSA’s initiative and effort to encourage states to adopt effective safety programs. We strongly support NHTSA’s guideline that states should adopt periodic motor vehicle safety inspections. Adoption of this guideline in every state will help save lives, prevent injuries and reduce the economic damage caused by preventable motor vehicle crashes.”

The organizations both advocated that any state inspection program must include tires. “RMA and TIA strongly urge all states to adopt a periodic, preferably annual, motor vehicle safety inspection program. Such a program should have a tire inspection that, at a minimum, includes: Measure tread depth and fail vehicles that have any tire with a tread depth of 2/32nds inch or less on any part of the tire; check every tire for damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes or wear; and check and inflate all tires to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

RMA and TIA noted that few motorists check tires regularly and cited studies showing many motorists delay needed maintenance. “While an annual vehicle inspection that includes tires will not completely reverse such widespread neglect of tire maintenance, it can both reduce the incidents of tire failure and help educate more motorists about the importance of tire care,” Cannon and Littlefield wrote.

With fewer than 20 states having some form of vehicle inspection, RMA and TIA suggested that federal policymakers explore whether to create incentives or consequences to spur state action on this issue. “A mandatory, annual vehicle safety inspection could prevent vehicles with significant safety issues from being involved in a serious crash,” the groups wrote. “To ensure that states enact periodic inspection programs, the federal government should explore whether incentive grants can be made to states with programs or consider withholding federal highway funds from states without inspection programs to spur action.”

“We applaud NHTSA’s effort to encourage states to have vehicle inspection programs,” said Littlefield. “This is an issue in which there is unity among the leading tire industry organizations and we felt compelled to lend our collective voice to NHTSA’s effort.”

“Both RMA and TIA have strong records of supporting pro-safety efforts,” Cannon added. “We hope that states will take a fresh look at this issue and work with NHTSA to implement programs that can help reduce crashes on our nation’s roadways.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is an international association representing all segments of the tire industry, including those that manufacture, repair, recycle, sell, service or use new or retreaded tires, and also those suppliers or individuals who furnish equipment, material or services to the industry.

NHTSA Finalizes New Tire Registration Regulation

Measure Provides Added Flexibility for Dealers, Codifies Electronic Registration

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 3, 2008 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued final rules this week to improve tire registration.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire Industry Association both support the new regulation, which will provide dealers with flexibility and allow greater use of electronic tire registration. The regulation is designed to boost the number of new tire registrations. Tire registration is a critical component in notifying consumers in the event of a tire recall.

“NHTSA’s action offers a path forward to improving tire registration rates,” said Tracey Norberg, RMA senior vice president. “This should enhance the ability of tire manufacturers and NHTSA to notify consumers in the event of a tire recall.”

When first implemented nearly three decades ago, tire registration procedures were strictly required to be done by standardized paper form. Under the current system, RMA members have estimated that only 10 percent of tires purchased each year are registered.

In 2003, RMA urged NHTSA to allow for some electronic tire registration to help increase the number of registrations. NHTSA agreed with RMA and issued a letter of interpretation. Last year, the White House Office of Management and Budget asked NHTSA to consider broadening electronic tire registrations further under federal rules that encourage reducing paperwork burdens. In January of this year, NHTSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the tire registration rules.

The new rules will continue to permit paper registration forms but will now permit tire dealers to voluntarily submit electronic tire registrations for consumers. If a paper form is provided to consumers, the form may now also include information on how a consumer can register tires electronically.

“Choice and flexibility in filing tire registrations should be very helpful,” Norberg added.

Additionally, RMA and TIA had urged NHTSA to avoid imposing additional burdens on the tire industry. The final rule does not impose new obligations but instead accommodates and facilitates internet and other electronic tire registration.

The new rule takes effect on January 27, 2009. Optional immediate compliance is permitted as of November 28, 2008.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

NHTSA Says Improperly Labeled Chinese Truck Tires Have Safety Consequences

NHTSA Rules Against FTS 011007

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.January 10, 2007 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today ruled that mislabeled Chinese truck tires pose a safety issue and cannot be sold for use in the U.S.

In September, the Rubber Manufacturers Association urged NHTSA to deny a petition for inconsequential non-compliance requested by Foreign Tire Sales, Inc., (FTS) an importer of Chinese tires. The tires at issue were nearly 19,000 truck tires imported to the U.S. in 2005 and 2006. The tires failed to comply with labeling regulations requiring the sidewall to display a maximum load rating and inflation values for single tire use.

“While petitioner may not intend its non-compliant tires to be used anywhere other than a container chassis, there is no guarantee that the tires may not eventually be placed in a single load application,” wrote Laurie Baulig, RMA senior vice president and general counsel, in comments to NHTSA last September.

NHTSA agreed with RMA that while the intended use of the tires may not present a safety concern, there was no guarantee that the tires may not be placed in a single load application since they are capable of being mounted and used in that manner.

In August, FTS submitted additional information to NHTSA in an attempt to demonstrate that the tires were safe. But the agency was not moved by the information.

“…these reports do not demonstrate that the tires meet the performance standard of FMVSS 119. Moreover, the issue here is not whether the tires meet those performance requirements. Rather, the question is whether the incorrect marking of the tires may itself have safety consequences,” NHTSA wrote in its denial of the FTS petition.

“Federal safety regulations are designed to protect the motoring public,” said Baulig. “RMA members invest a great deal of resources to ensure that their products comply with all rules and our members expect all tire makers who sell product in the U.S. to do the same.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.