AKRON (Oct. 14, 2014) — What is the most important service tire dealers offer their customers?
The answer, of course, is safety.
The No. 1 objective of every independent tire dealer is, first and foremost, to provide tires and services that keep their customers and their families' safe when traveling in their vehicles on the nation's roadways.
This is true not only of independent tire dealerships, but for every auto service shop, mass merchandiser and auto dealership franchise location, as well. They all want to keep their customers safe.
So why is it that so many tire dealers and other outlets that sell and service tires still don't follow the letter of the law when it comes to registering their customers' tires?
This makes no sense and is a contradiction to the focus on safety all of these outlets say they provide.
First off, companies that sell tires are required by federal law to offer registration to their new tire customers. This can be done several ways, including handing customers tire registration forms for them to complete and send in, filling out and returning the paper forms for their customers or electronically registering the tires at the point of sale.
In the event of a tire recall, having all tires registered makes it much easier to locate their owners and get the recalled products off of their vehicles and safely replaced. This is the epitome of what safety is all about.
The issue of tire registration was discussed at the recent International Tire Exhibition & Conference (ITEC) for tire dealers and auto service professionals in Orlando, Fla., and at the ITEC – Tire Manufacturers conference and trade show in Akron two weeks later.
Speaking at a seminar, Jack Chern, safety compliance engineer for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that one of the agency's most constant concerns is trying to increase the rate of tire registration, which has been low for more than 40 years.
In fact, the agency is in the process of requesting information from tire manufacturers and dealers as to how they meet their registration obligations.
What the agency plans to do with this information was not discussed, but it likely will be looking at new ways of increasing the registration percentage.
To be fair, many tire dealers and tire retailers do a great job in ensuring that their customers' tires are registered.
But for those who aren't abiding by the registration law, the question is: “Why aren't you complying?”
If the safety of your customers is a top priority, then registering their tires—or providing them with registration forms—should be a routine practice, just like making sure their tires are aired up properly before sending them on their way.
This editorial appears in the Oct. 13 print edition of Tire Business. Have an opinion on this subject? Email your comments to [email protected].