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July 14, 2014

Expect no tire aging law, says the government

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) announced that it is pleased with a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the service life of tires.

TIA says that "Tire Aging: A Summary of NHTSA's Work" reinforces the position of the industry that federal tire aging regulations are not necessary. The report summarizes numerous studies and tests that have been conducted over the past 12 years to determine if there are any links between long-term durability and the age of the tire.

"In the process of opposing tire aging regulations in the state of Maryland and other states, we've been consistent in our message that NHTSA should be the only government agency to determine if legislation was necessary to establish a safety standard regarding the age of a tire," said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president.

"Hopefully this will put an end to individual states attempting to pass their own regulations that arbitrarily place a limit on the safe service life of a tire."

The NHTSA report concluded that there was no need to add an aging requirement to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 139 because the current standard has made passenger tires more robust, crash data shows that tires are performing better, and tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) are alerting drivers of underinflation.

"We've said all along that any type of legislation regarding the safe service life of a tire must be supported by data," remarked Kevin Rohlwing, TIA senior vice president of training.

"It's ironic that the crash data and studies cited by NHTSA in the report are the same that we've been using to show there is no correlation between the age of a tire and safety. FMVSS No. 139 has been successful in addressing Congress' tire aging concerns so this matter should be put to rest."

TIA says it will continue to monitor the progress of the ongoing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation of two February 2014 accidents that allegedly involved tire failures.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association also was pleased with the results.

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