WASHINGTON-All major U.S. tire associations have signed on to the Rubber Manufacturers Association's campaign to create a minimum load capacity requirement for tires.
Such a rule, the RMA has told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is needed to counter language in NHTSA's pending tire pressure monitoring standard that would require activation of monitoring devices only when inflation pressures were 20 to 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.
Otherwise, the standard ``would allow, in many cases, pressures insufficient to carry the load of the tire,'' RMA President Donald B. Shea said in comments to the safety agency. A minimum reserve load capacity requirement could be added to existing federal tire safety standards with no trouble, Mr. Shea added.
The Tread Rubber Manufacturers Group has endorsed the RMA position, as have the soon-to-merge Tire Association of North America and International Tire & Rubber Association. They did so through the Retread/Repair Industry Government Advisory Council, to which all four associations send representatives.
In a Nov. 5 letter to NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey Runge, RIGAC Chairman Armond A. Boyes affirmed ``unanimous support for the RMA position'' among RIGAC member organizations.
Under the Transportation Recall Efficiency, Accountability and Documentation Act, NHTSA must issue its final rule on tire pressure monitoring this month, to go into effect two years from the date of issuance. The final rule still awaits White House review, according to Automotive News, a sister publication to Tire Business.