TIA opposes tire registration bill (updated)
BOWIE, Md. (April 15, 2015) — The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is opposing tire registration language included in the latest version of the so-called “GROW AMERICA Act."
The bill — dubbed by lawmakers the “Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act” or “GROW AMERICA” Act — would require tire dealers and distributors to obtain information for tire registration from tire purchasers.
TIA said it doesn't agree with the Rubber Manufacturers Association's (RMA) stance on the issue.
“While [the] RMA believes a return to the old days of mandatory tire registration is the answer to low registration rates, TIA remains confident it [the legislation] will not solve the problem,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president.
“This proposed legislation makes matters even worse for a number of different reasons, but the primary ones are there is no timetable for the Secretary [of Transportation] to initiate the rulemaking, no specific language regarding how long the records must be maintained by the distributor/dealer, no indication on how retailers would be required to electronically transmit the information, and most importantly, it could still lead to a mandatory system.”
The RMA floated the idea of a return to mandatory tire registration during a tire safety symposium in December organized by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
For the past few months, TIA said, it has been actively working with key Congressional committees to educate them on the issue of tire registration and why a return to the mandatory approach is not the answer.
With the introduction of Section 4112 in the GROW AMERICA Act, “the association has shifted the focus of its lobbying efforts to kill the amendment altogether so the industry can collectively seek out a solution that does not involve government involvement or new legislation,” TIA said.
Section 4112 is titled, “Tire Registration by Independent Sellers,” and, according to TIA, attempts to amend subsection (b) of section 30117 of title 49, United States Code.
The proposed revision of paragraph (3) states:
(3) The Secretary may initiate a rulemaking to consider requiring a distributor or dealer of tires that is not owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires to maintain records of the name and address of tire purchasers and lessors and information identifying the tire that was purchased or leased, and any additional records the Secretary deems appropriate.
“Such rulemaking may also consider requiring a distributor or dealer of tires that is not owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires to electronically transmit such records to the manufacturer of the tire by secure means at no cost to tire purchasers or lessors.”
Mr. Littlefield said the association is “still hopeful that we can work with RMA and the tire manufacturers to develop a voluntary tire registration system that increases registration rates without creating additional burdens for retailers.
“But there is no question that the tire registration language in the GROW AMERICA Act must be removed from the bill. So the association will continue to actively engage members of Congress and the Senate to ensure it does not pass as part of the recently introduced transportation reauthorization.”
Mr. Littlefield said NHTSA representatives TIA spoke with were unable to tell TIA who inserted Section 4112 into the language of the Grow America Act, which the Transportation Department first proposed in April 2014.
The RMA said it had no contact with the adminstration about the provision, but said it supports a change to the tire registration system.
The Act also contains a provision to extend the time period during which a tire manufacturer or manufacturer's representative is obligated to provide free remedy for tire defects.
The provision, in Section 4113, would extend this period to six months from the date of consumer notification from 60 days, as currently mandated in Section 30120 of title 49, United States Code. The provision cites the low completion rates for tire recalls, although it doesn't specify what the rates are.
The RMA said its members don't necessarily oppose a longer mandated take-back period but are concerned that extending the period would lessen the sense of urgency for getting the targeted tires off the road and could lead to consumers' delaying taking action on a recall.
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