The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued final rules last week to improve tire registration.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) 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, a critical component in notifying consumers in the event of a tire recall.
“NHTSA’s action offers a path torward 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.”
"TIA is pleased to be a part of this important change in the tire registration requirements, and we believe adding the electronic registration option benefits both tire dealers and consumers by offering them a much more convenient way to have new tires registered," said TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield. "By making the registration of their new tire purchase easier, consumers will have an invaluable aid in making sure they are promptly notified of any potential recalls, advisories or other information, which will help ensure that they are not driving on unsafe tires."
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. 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 2008, 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.
The new rule takes effect on Jan. 27, 2009. Optional immediate compliance is permitted. (Courtesy of Tire Review)