Emphasizes Improved Tire Registration; Prohibition on Unsafe Used Tires; More Consumer Education
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WASHINGTON, DC, December 9, 2014 – The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) today offered a four-point plan to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to help improve motorist safety. NTSB began a two-day symposium to discuss tires’ contribution to motor vehicle safety.
“Safety is the tire industry’s number-one priority,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “We welcome the opportunity that the NTSB event provides to the tire manufacturing industry to discuss steps that can be taken to improve motorist safety.
RMA will offer four steps for NTSB to include as recommendations when the agency finalizes a report on its study of tire-related issues later next year.
- Improve Tire Registration: Congress should change the current tire registration law to require tire sellers to electronically register tires at point of sale. Current law only requires dealers to offer a paper card to consumers who must then mail the information to the tire manufacturer. Tire registration is a critical safety issue that allows consumers to be notified by a tire manufacturer in the event of a recall. Overall, fewer than 20 percent of all tires are registered.
- TIN Lookup Tool: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should create a web-based tool that tire dealers and consumers could use to quickly determine whether a tire is subject to a recall. A search tool would be based on the tire brand, model and Tire Identification Number (TIN) that is molded onto the tire sidewall. Currently, all tire manufacturers or importers of record must notify NHTSA of any tire recalls. Manufacturer submissions are entered into a government database but not easily utilized by tire dealers or consumers.
- Stop Sales of Unsafe Used Tires: States should enact legislation to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires. More than 30 million used tires become available for sale each year. Worn-out, damaged, improperly repaired tires are readily available from used tire shops across the nation. RMA is advocating state unsafe used tire legislation in at least four states in 2015. RMA efforts supported successful enactment of unsafe used tire legislation in Colorado in 2014.
- Urge States to Help Motorists Be Tire Smart: States should incorporate tire care and maintenance messages into highway safety programs. RMA and tire manufacturers work with many stakeholders to promote proper tire maintenance and can share information and content to assist state highway safety offices. States should issue reminders during periods of heavy travel periods; use of roadside signs and other credible communication tools available should be used by states when possible.
“We believe that these four common-sense steps can have a positive effect on highway and motor vehicle safety,” Zielinski said.
According to NHTSA, tire related crashes, injuries and fatalities have dropped dramatically and faster than overall highway crashes, injuries and fatalities.
“Tires are critical vehicle safety equipment and they are delivering superior performance to consumers,” Zielinski said. “We want motorists to understand that maintenance is vital to safety performance and the industry will continue to work to educate consumers about proper tire care.”
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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.