Mr. Littlefield disagreed with the RMA about the comparative effectiveness of the old mandatory registration system and the voluntary system established by Congress in 1982.
The voluntary system now boasts a registration rate of more than 80 percent — four times the rate of the mandatory system, Mr. Littlefield said.
Bringing back the old system, he added, would only put some 90,000 small tire dealerships and automotive repair shops in danger of ruinous fines for noncompliance.
“Section 4433 is not the kind of meaningful reform we need,” he said. “It's buried in a 500-page bill that passed the Senate Commerce Committee by a party-line vote.
“Tire manufacturers are trying to make tire dealers responsible for tire registration by reviving an archaic pencil-and-paper system that did not work in the 1970s,” Mr. Littlefield said. “Congress should not pursue legislation that would place burdens on thousands of small businesses.”
If Section 4433 should become law, Messrs. Littlefield and Kane said, they would still have options to get their recommendations on the books by working with both NHTSA and Congress.
“We've approached Congress before, and we're not afraid to do so again,” Mr. Littlefield said.
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