SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 8, 2012) — Consumer education and ease of use are vital if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) standard on tire fuel efficiency is to be a useful, widely used tool for tire-buying consumers, one of the Tire Industry Association's (TIA) top executives said at a Feb. 3 NHTSA workshop in San Francisco.
The tire fuel-efficiency grades must be simple and easy to explain, said Kevin Rohlwing, TIA senior vice president of training. Otherwise, they risk ending up like Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG), a long-standing but confusing set of grades that few tire buyers even know about, he said.
Above all, tire retailers must be educated about the tire fuel-efficiency grades, because they will be consumers' primary source of information about the standard, Mr. Rohlwing told the agency.
In his remarks, Mr. Rohlwing supported the position of the Rubber Manufacturers Association that new tire labels must not be the primary mechanism for any national consumer education campaign on the new fuel efficiency grades.