Retail

TIA to NHTSA: TPMS regs burden retailers

Posted on January 23, 2013

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the economic impact of its regulations on small entities as required by Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Specifically, TIA commented on Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 49 CFR 571.138 that regulates tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) on passenger cars and light trucks.

TIA's comments focused on the section that related to the written instructions that must be included in the owner's manual. TIA feels that the requirements are inadequate and do not properly explain the different TPMS telltales or educate the consumer on the need for regular maintenance.

As a result, these tasks are left to the tire retailers who must bear the burden of providing this information. Additionally, the lack of information regarding the need for relearn procedures creates confusion in the minds of consumers which often leads to small businesses giving away services in the interest of customer satisfaction.

"As an industry, we embraced the role of TPMS and readily accepted the challenges that it created for tire service providers," says Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president.

"Our members have invested thousands of dollars in tools and training to service all makes and models, so we feel the vehicle manufacturers must do their part by playing a greater role in educating the motoring public. By requiring the addition of TPMS telltale identification and maintenance costs in the owner's manual, NHTSA can ease the burden on small businesses."

TIA also commented on language that relates to vehicles with a TPMS telltale that temporarily remains illuminated following service. TIA has learned of several occasions where customers assumed the tire retailer damaged the system so the vehicle was immediately taken to the new car dealer.

Some car dealers have taken advantage of the situation by needlessly replacing all of the sensors at the expense of the retailer. If the manufacturers were required to identify vehicles in the owner's manual that must be driven to extinguish the TPMS telltale after tire service, these instances could be avoided.

"The lack of information and consumer awareness regarding TPMS often leads to motorists getting different explanations from retailers and new car dealers," says Kevin Rohlwing, TIA senior vice president of training. "The owner's manual should be the sole authority on the operation and maintenance of the TPMS for each specific make and model. This would provide retailers with an undeniable reference that they could use to explain why certain procedures are necessary and justify the additional cost."

TIA also prompted NHTSA to release a final rule on the consumer information and education program that was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. TIA stated that in order for TPMS to meet the long-term goals of improving safety and fuel efficiency, consumers will need a lot more than a few nondescript paragraphs in the owner's manual and low rolling resistance ratings that do not influence tire buyers.

TIA says it believes the only way to achieve that goal is to develop a comprehensive education campaign that targets consumers and retailers with a consistent message, and as the leader for training and education in the tire industry, they urged NHTSA to issue a final rule that names TIA as the coordinator of this effort.

For more information visit www.tireindustry.org.

Related Topics: Kevin Rohlwing, NHTSA, Regulatory Flexibility Act, Roy Littlefield, TIA, TPMS

Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
Typical e-commerce websites selling tires often limit users to a drop-down menu of pre-selected tire terms without considering the driving and lifestyle preferences of shoppers. To find the best tire, consumers need to consider not only their vehicle's make, model and tire size, but also how it supports their everyday routines and hobbies.
News

Sears Sells Tires Online Using Artificial Inteligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come to the tire industry by way of Sears Auto Centers. With the pilot launch of the retail chain's "Digital Tire Journey" Web app, consumers can identify the appropriate tires to fit their driving preferences.

News

And the Most Popular Tire Sizes in the U.S. in 2016 Were...

High-value-added passenger tires is the buzz phrase in the tire industry right now. Also known as HVA tires, they are defined by some companies as tires 17 inches and above in size, by others 18 inches and above. Either way, they are trending upward.

News

NCTDA to Honor Dealers at 2017 Expo

The North Carolina Tire Dealers Association (NCTDA) will honor its 2017 Dealer of the Year and induct two new members into its Hall of Fame.

News

Discount Tire Expands in Houston Metropolitan Area

Discount Tire has added a store in Sugar Land, Texas. It is the third Discount Tire outlet in Sugar Land, which is part of the Houston metropolitan area, and the 12th location in Fort Bend County.

News

Denso Expands TPMS Sensor Coverage

Denso Products and Services Americas Inc. has added 14 part numbers to its selection of First Time Fit tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors. The new part numbers add coverage for more than 10 million European and Korean vehicles.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!