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NHTSA allows electronic tire registration

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently approved a request by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) to allow consumers to register tires electronically.

Prior to the new ruling, federal regulations allowed tire registration only through the use of a printed index card presented to consumers at the point of purchase.

Tire retailers must still provide consumers with the appropriate tire size, type and tire identification number of the tires that were purchased. However, tire manufacturers will give dealers and distributors a "supplemental form" that notifies consumers they may also register their tires by electronic means.

This new form, which will direct consumers to the manufacturer's Web site, will be in addition to -- not in lieu of -- the form currently required under federal law.

In March, the RMA asked NHTSA to issue an interpretation letter to allow the agency to accept electronic tire registrations as a supplement to the current post card system.

RMA estimates that only about 10% of consumers register newly purchased tires. RMA believes that the inclusion of these new registration systems will greatly improve the return rate of important tire identification information.

"With an improved tire registration rate, NHTSA's mission to promote motor vehicle safety will certainly be enhanced," says Ann Wilson, RMA senior vice president, government affairs.

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