However, many states are either easing off on their commitment toward scrap tire abatement or diverting scrap tire funds for other purposes, they said.
They called Colorado the "poster child" for poor scrap tire management—with more than 60 million stockpiled tires in the state. Colorado subsidizes end-users of scrap tires, which has effectively stunted the creation of a healthy scrap tire market there, they said.
RMA also plans to promote its model used tire safety bill in several state legislatures, including Florida, where it advanced nicely in 2013 before the legislative year ran out. The legislature in Texas, which also actively considered a version of the RMA's model used tire bill, is not in session in 2014, Messrs. Cannon and Zielinski said.
The association will not actively seek to advance its other model bill — covering proper tire repairs — in 2014, Mr. Cannon said.
Tire fuel efficiency
After nearly four years, both the RMA and TIA are still waiting for the final labeling format, testing procedures and consumer education language for the tire fuel-efficiency grading standard promulgated in March 2010 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
TIA still hopes to be named the third-party administrator of the consumer education program. Meanwhile, the RMA suspects NHTSA may be waiting for something to come down from the United Nations on global tire regulatory standardization before it signs off on tire fuel-efficiency regulations.
March 2014 is the target date for the final language on tire fuel efficiency, though NHTSA already has missed several previous target dates, Messrs. Cannon and Zielinski said, noting June 2014 is the target date on the United Nations standard.
Environmental, chemical regs
The RMA will be watching both Congress and the states — especially California — closely for regulatory actions on chemicals used by tire manufacturers.
Congress may take up the issue of reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA), according to Messrs. Cannon and Zielinski, although the consensus on TSCA reached by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., has long lapsed.
California has a state regulation that requires manufacturers within the state to evaluate and, if possible, adopt "safe" alternatives to chemicals defined as toxic, Messrs. Cannon and Zielinski said. Meanwhile, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., will fight to prevent federal pre-emption of state chemical regulations, whereas RMA and other manufacturing associations will fight to preserve it.
"Federal pre-emption is very important," Mr. Zielinski said. "No manufacturer wants a patchwork of environmental regulations when one law can be used."
Right to Repair
The November 2013 passage of a bill in the Massachusetts legislature — reconciling the two different versions of the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act that became law in the state in 2012 — gives hope to all Right to Repair advocates for similar legislation in the future.
However, it will remain an uphill battle in Congress to obtain passage of a national Right to Repair (R2R) bill, according to Mr. Littlefield.
A fight is also ahead in New Jersey, the next state scheduled to consider the legislation, he said.
The ASA is concerned that the Massachusetts R2R law contains nothing about the telematics that are original equipment in new vehicles, Mr. Redding said. The association hopes to see this issue addressed within R2R, and plans a telematics seminar as part of the agenda this July at the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS) in Detroit.
Vehicle safety inspections, state issues
The ASA was displeased with NHTSA's revised guidelines on vehicle safety inspections late in 2013.
Among other things, the new guidelines call for "periodic" safety inspections, rather than annual inspections as before.
Only 17 states still have some sort of periodic vehicle safety inspection on the books, according to Mr. Redding.
"The programs in D.C. and New Jersey were killed, the one in North Carolina is under fire, and some in the Midwest have been diluted," he said.
For many years, the ASA hosted a conference within CARS to meet with representatives of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, according to Mr. Redding. The ASA plans to reinstate that conference in Detroit this summer, he said.
"We want to become more engaged in Florida," Mr. Redding told Tire Business.
That state has not had a vehicle safety inspection law since it was ended in the administration of Gov. Bob Graham, he said.
Even more, the ASA wants to ensure passage of the bill currently before the Florida legislature to create a shop registration system for both collision and mechanical repair facilities.
A media expose of dishonest repair shops brought the first call in Florida for a licensing program, according to Mr. Redding.
The ASA's Florida members rallied and brought in industry experts to testify in open forums on how a licensing and registration program could best be developed and administered, Mr. Redding said.
"It can be done, where people can have a lot of input," he added.
The Obama administration is delaying by one year online enrollment for small businesses looking to purchase healthcare coverage for their workers through the federally operated insurance exchanges.