WASHINGTON (Nov. 4, 2015) — The U.S. House of Representatives began formal debate Nov. 3 on a six-year, $325 million surface transportation reauthorization bill, including a controversial amendment dealing with tire registration.
The bill is H.R. 22 — the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act — is more than a thousand pages of amendments from the Senate version of the transportation package.
Included in the pending amendments is one titled the Tire Efficiency, Safety, and Registration Act of 2015.
Among other things, the amendment would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set minimum standards for tire rolling resistance and wet traction and establish a publicly available, searchable electronic database for looking up tire recalls.
However, the controversial portion of the amendment directs NHTSA to require independent tire dealers and distributors to register tires at the point of sales and maintain registration records. It also requires independent dealers and distributors to transmit those records electronically to tire manufacturers or their designees.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) supports all these provisions, but the Tire Industry Association (TIA) is bitterly opposed to the mandatory registration provision.
That provision, TIA argues, would force independent dealers back to an archaic, pencil-and-paper registration system that ended in 1982. It would shift the time and expense of registration unfairly to independent dealers; force them to turn over their sales lists to tire makers just as those manufacturers begin online tire sales; and leave independent dealers liable to fines of up to $1,000 per tire or $700,000 per location for failure to register tires.
TIA issued a message to its members Nov. 2 from the Global Tire Expo in Las Vegas, urging them to join the association in petitioning Congress to reject a return to mandatory registration.