WASHINGTONThe federal government's mandate for tire fuel-efficiency labeling has not fallen off the table, but it will be a while before the missing pieces are in place, according to the nation's top highway safety official.
David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), addressed a meeting of the Washington Automotive Press Association Aug. 14 about current and pending regulations.
NHTSA promulgated a final rule in March 2010 mandating grades for tire rolling resistance, treadwear and traction.
However, the agency left for later the standard's provisions on labeling formats and consumer education programs. Proposals for those provisions have not yet been issued.
The agency is still working hard on those issues, Mr. Strickland said. We are fixated on getting the standards work done, and the people who work on the label are also the people who work on the standard.
The bulk of his speech concentrated on NHTSA's work on advanced vehicle safety technologies, such as automated driving, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, driver alcohol detectors and crash avoidance technology.
He also discussed NHTSA's final rulewhich takes effect next yearrequiring auto and motorcycle makers to provide consumers with a free online tool enabling them to search for recalls by vehicle identification number. The standard will allow consumers to determine instantly whether action is required to address uncompleted safety recalls affecting their vehicles, the agency said.
Auto and motorcycle manufacturers must update the recall information weekly, and also must inform NHTSA of the types of propulsion systems and crash avoidance technologies their vehicles have.