RMA Recommends Pro-Safety Steps to National Transportation Safety Board

Emphasizes Improved Tire Registration; Prohibition on Unsafe Used Tires; More Consumer Education

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

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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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. 

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.