No interest in PAX
It's no wonder the PAX (run-flat) System (offered by Group Michelin) is having a hard time gaining customer approval: Who wants to go to the car dealer for tires?
We love technology and asked what was involved in becoming a PAX service center in 2001. Simply, we were told it's not for us, because only select customers were being considered.
That was then, and we would have willingly paid the thousand bucks to upgrade our Hunter TC3500 tire machine. This is now, and with almost all the Honda and Acura dealers being able to service PAX, you couldn't pay me to be a dealer.
This is another example of a tire manufacturer doing its best to get customers to go to the car dealer for their tires and service.
Our wholesale business died with the OE programs, and now they're trying to nip at our service. That's OK because we have the telephone numbers of local dealerships handy, and we now refer OE customers with tire problems to them.
Kenwood Tire Co.
West Bridgewater, Mass.
Tire registration confusion
After reading the article “NHTSA leaning toward electronic tire registration” in the April 9 edition and after 35-plus years serving the tire industry, Computerized Information and Management Services (CIMS) Inc. should not be surprised about the amount of misinformation concerning tire registration.
CIMS is very concerned with the current confusion and would like to clarify the following:
First, tire registration is a consumer safety issue. Tire purchasers cannot be directly notified in the event of a safety-related recall unless their tires have been registered. Successful tire registration depends on the tire dealer. CIMS has been continually working with tire dealers to make their tire registration compliance as easy and cost-effective as possible.
CIMS is strongly supportive of electronic tire registration and has been providing electronic tire registration to its qualified clients for more than 15 years.
Of additional major concern is the continued misuse of a registration level of only 10 percent. This 10 percent figure is out of date and has been used repeatedly by various industry associations and media for over 25 years. Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) used the figure of 30 percent registration level in 2003 and CIMS knows from its experience that tire registration levels continue to improve with increased awareness and tire dealer compliance.
Finally, as we pointed out in our comments to NHTSA, tire dealers must realize that if they choose to register their customers' tires electronically, they will be taking on additional responsibilities.
Electronic tire registration is in two parts. First, the consumer and Department of Transportation information is captured, and secondly this information must be transferred to the appropriate tire registration center. Tire dealers should understand they must complete the tire registration process by insuring the data end up at the appropriate registration center along with protecting the consumer's privacy rights.
With hundreds of tire brands being marketed in the U.S., a major problem for tire dealers is to transfer the registration information of all the different tire brands they sell. Many of these brand owners are unaware of the tire registration regulations and do not have a tire registration system in place.
From our experience, we know that if the tire registration process becomes burdensome, costly or confusing, tire dealers will do nothing. The tire registration process has to be efficient, convenient and cost-effective in order for tire dealers to comply with the regulation.
Paul J. Kruder