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.

Falling Temperatures Can Affect tire Pressure

Tire Makers Urge Motorists to Be Tire Smart and Check Tire Pressure Regularly

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.October 1, 2008 - Autumn brings falling leaves and temperatures but also can cause a drop in tire pressure. For every 10 degree Fahrenheit drop in temperature tire pressure can drop 1-2 pounds per square inch (psi).

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), a trade organization that represents tire manufacturers, is again reminding motorists to check tire pressure at least once a month. According to RMA, under inflated tires can pose a safety risk, waste fuel and cause tires to wear out prematurely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that about one in every three cars has a significantly under inflated tire and that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur every year as a result of low tire pressure-related crashes. Additionally, properly inflated tires can improve fuel economy by 3.3 percent or about 12 cents per gallon.

According to an RMA-sponsored survey, 85 percent of drivers do not know how to properly check their tire pressure.

“Checking tires is important throughout the year but with temperatures starting to fall, motorists need to be aware of the affect on tire pressure,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Keeping tires properly inflated promotes safety, maximizes fuel economy and helps tires last.”

For more information about proper tire care, visit www.betiresmart.org.

# # # #

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.

“Fall” Back Into a Tire Maintenance Routine

Don’t Let New Vehicle Technology Replace Your Old-Fashioned Tire Gauge

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.October 2, 2007 - If you are buying a new car this fall, newly mandated devices will help monitor your vehicle’s tire pressure. However, a tire industry group cautions that new tire pressure monitoring systems are not a replacement for an old-fashioned tire gauge.

Federal law requires every new 2008 model year vehicle to come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that will warn a driver when tire pressure drops 25 percent. The Rubber Manufacturers Association, which represents tire manufacturers, says that is no reason to throw away your tire gauge.

“Motorists risk tire damage if they wait to check tires until they see a dashboard warning light after a 25 percent loss of tire pressure,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA vice president, communications. “For many vehicles, a pressure loss of less than 25 percent increases risk. That’s why motorists must check tire pressure every month with a tire gauge.”

A 2007 RMA survey indicates that tire pressure monitoring systems may cause drivers to become more complacent about tire care. Two-thirds of drivers reported that they would be “less concerned with routinely maintaining” tire pressure if their vehicle had a monitoring system.

Additionally, when asked how often they would check tire pressure if their vehicle were equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system, an alarming 40 percent of drivers said that they would either “never” manually check tire pressure or check it “only when the warning light comes on.”

“Tire pressure monitoring systems can be effective at detecting an unexpected loss of tire pressure,” Zielinski said. “But it is no substitute for regular tire maintenance with a tire gauge.” Tires can lose 1-2 pounds-per-square inch (PSI) of pressure each month.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that about one in every three cars has a significantly under inflated tire and that 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries occur every year as a result of low tire pressure-related crashes. According to RMA, 85 percent of drivers do not know how to properly check their tire pressure.

“With Fall here, checking tire pressure is important because tire pressure drops 1-2 PSI for every 10 degree drop in temperature,” Zielinski said. “Keeping tires properly inflated promotes safety, maximizes fuel economy and helps tires last.”

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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.

Tire Industry Helping New Drivers Become Safe Drivers

Rubber Manufacturers Association Offers Online Tire Safety Curriculum

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.September 12, 2007 - Driver education teachers across the nation can take advantage of an effective online resource to help teach new drivers about tire care.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which represents tire manufacturers, developed the downloadable tire care curriculum with Young Minds Inspired. More than 16,000 high school driver education teachers, high school auto mechanic instructors, and commercial driving instructors were notified by postcard of the product’s availability on RMA’s web site, www.betiresmart.org.

Teachers responding to the mailer by October 1 can receive a free tire gauge to help them demonstrate how fast and easy it is to check tire pressure. RMA also offers free Be Tire Smart brochures to those who respond to the mailing.

The updated curriculum is based on RMA’s Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART tire care education program. “PART” stands for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread – the four key elements of proper tire care. The educational program is designed to make learning about tire care hands-on and beneficial by including a teacher’s guide, activity sheets, reproducible student worksheets, and a Be Tire Smart Wall Poster.

A 2001 RMA survey found that students who are taught the driver education tire safety curriculum were 25% better informed than students who did not participate in the teaching. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration under inflated tires are attributed to crashes that result in 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year.

“Learning about proper tire care and maintenance right from the start will increase the chances that drivers will practice tire safety for a lifetime,” said Donald B. Shea, RMA President and CEO.

The Be Tire Smart program is funded by RMA’s tire manufacturer members: Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin North America, Pirelli North America, Inc., Toyo Tire North America and Yokohama Tire Corporation.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires. All RMA press releases can be accessed at www.rma.org.

Inflate Your Way to Fuel Savings This Memorial Day

Correct Tire Pressure Optimizes Fuel Economy, Safety and Tire Longevity

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 21, 2007 - Sky-high gasoline prices will boost the cost of a long weekend road trip this Memorial Day but a simple step can help reduce gas pump sticker shock – properly checking your tire pressure.

Under inflated tires can cost drivers an additional nine cents per gallon of gas. Properly inflated tires can save you money on gas and vehicle maintenance and promotes safety, too. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which represents tire manufacturers, recommends checking tire pressure every month and before long trips.

“Checking tire pressure is simple and takes just five minutes,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA vice president, communications. “Motorists will get better fuel economy, their tires will last longer and you’ll help maximize your vehicle’s safety.”

Memorial Day is the start of the so-called “101 Deadliest Days of Summer” when highway fatalities increase as more people hit the road for summer vacations and road trips. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that crashes attributed to under inflated tires causes 660 fatalities and 33,000 injuries every year.

A 2007 RMA survey found that too many motorists fail to pay attention to their tires.

  • Only 55 percent of drivers say they have checked tire pressure within the past month compared to 70 percent last year.
  • Nearly seven in ten drivers wash their vehicle every month but barely more than half check tire pressure monthly.
  • 45 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the correct inflation pressure is printed on the tire sidewall. (Check for a sticker on the driver’s door or look in the vehicle owner’s manual.)
  • 26 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven for at least a few miles. (Check before driving when tires are cold.)
  • 71 percent of drivers do not check the tire pressure in their spare tire.

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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.