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NHTSA harmonization work on tires continues

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WASHINGTON—Work to create a global technical regulation for light vehicle tires continues under the auspices of the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said.

The World Forum, also known as WP-29, is a subsidiary of the Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, NHTSA said in an April 9 Federal Register notice.

Light vehicle tires are among several categories being addressed by international working groups within WP-29, NHTSA said. Work on a global technical regulation for vehicle tires began in September 2006, it said.

The regulation would apply to radial passenger and light truck tires designed to be used on vehicles with a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or less. The five mandatory performance and labeling requirements for the standard include sidewall markings, tire dimensions, high-speed performance, low pressure and endurance performance, and wet grip performance, the agency said.

In addition, there are two optional modules, with one containing a tire strength and bead unseating resistance test and the second containing a tire rolling sound emission test, NHTSA said. The working group decided early on that it had to split the work on tire standard harmonization into two phases. The first concentrates solely on passenger and light truck tires; the second will address harmonization of medium truck tire standards and won't begin until after harmonization of light vehicle tires.

The tire working group operates under the auspices of the Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear, and will continue its work throughout 2013, NHTSA said. Within WP-29, there are also working groups on pedestrian safety, head restraints, quiet electric and hybrid electric vehicles, and electric vehicles, NHTSA said.

Working groups on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, pole-side impact protection and side-impact dummies are nearing the end of their work and preparing for a vote on harmonized standards, the agency said.
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