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NHTSA issues final tire registration rule

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) recently issued final rule on tire registration will allow tire dealers to voluntarily submit registrations for customers electronically. The rule will continue to permit paper registration.

In addition, if a paper form is provided to consumers, the form may include information about how customers can register tires electronically.

Both the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Tire Industry Association (TIA) support the rule, which are designed to boost the number of registrations.

"This should enhance the ability of tire manufacturers and NHTSA to notify consumers in the event of a tire recall," says RMA Senior Vice President Tracey Norberg.

The RMA estimates that only 10% of tires purchased each year are registered under the current paper-only registration system, which has been in place for nearly 30 years.

The new rule officially takes effect on Jan. 27, 2009. However, tire dealers can already begin electronic registration, according to TIA officials. "Since most tire manufacturers already have electronic systems set up and since most tire dealers have Internet-capable computers, any additional equipment purchases or set up expenses will be minimal."

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