WASHINGTON—The Rubber Manufacturers Association wants the maximum tire pressure listing dropped from tire labeling along with several other changes.
Commenting to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on tire labeling regulations, the Washington-based trade association said the maximum inflation pressure listed on tire sidewalls "is a source of misinformation and confusion," and should be eliminated.
"The single most important factor in tire care is inflation pressure," said Donald Shea, RMA president and CEO. "The current listing of the maximum pressure on tires is not the recommended normal inflation pressure."
The group also asked that:
The maximum load rating be changed to a load index number. Currently, the tire load-capacity information located on the tire sidewall gives the weight in pounds or kilograms.
The RMA said the group and its members want consumers to have helpful and easily comprehended safety information to help them avoid overloading their vehicle, which can place stress on tires and pose a safety threat.
The tire identification number—which indicates when and where a tire was made—be moved to the outboard side of the tire, rather than on both the inside and outside.
"Putting the (number) on both sides of a tire could pose a safety risk to workers in tire manufacturing plants. Additionally, the process would likely impose production delays and added costs," the association said.
The proper tire inflation pressure be placed on a placard located at the same position on all vehicles, as well as in the owner's manual. "Currently such information is found in the owners' manual and oftentimes on a placard in the glove box, door post or even the gas tank door," the RMA said.
Notification of inflation pressure should not be dependent on being molded onto the sidewall of a tire, the group said.
"Removal of the maximum inflation number from the sidewall will improve safety if the correct inflation pressure as given on the vehicle's tire placard is clearly and conveniently communicated to consumers, and provided they act on the information provided," the RMA said.
The RMAs comments are a response to federal legislation passed last year—the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act—intended to increase tire and vehicle safety for consumers. Known as the TREAD Act, the legislation, which the RMA supported, came in the wake of the Firestone tire recall.