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U.S. House Extends Transportation Funding

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The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that extends authorization for federal highway and transit programs through Dec. 4, 2015, meaning two more weeks of uncertainty for tire dealers on a possible return to mandatory tire registration.

Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) introduced the bipartisan bill on Nov. 16 and it was approved by a voice vote. The extension gives members of the U.S. House and Senate more time to negotiate a six-year bill on transportation funding.

“The House and Senate are making good progress in resolving differences between their respective multi-year surface transportation reauthorization proposals,” says Shuster. 

“The conference committee needs the time necessary to meet in public, complete negotiations, and produce a final measure that helps improve America’s infrastructure.  This clean extension provides time for that process to occur and for the House and Senate to vote on the final legislation, without shutting down transportation programs and projects in the meantime.”

The House bill includes a provision to require tire dealers to register tires and turn over customer lists to tire manufacturers. The impact would be to potentially shift blame for recall performance from the product manufacturers to independent gasoline stations, trucks stops, and tire dealers, according to the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

TIA is urging members to contact their representatives and senators – especially those who are negotiating the final bill – to remove the language regarding tire registration and to call for a study to seek realistic solutions to increase tire registration sales and to improve recall procedures. See the legislative section of TIA's website for details.

"We’ve got to come together with the manufacturers. The thing that frustrates me most about this tire registration is that we’re taking an industry issue and we’re turning it over to a bureaucracy because we can’t come to a position ourselves," says Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA. 

In a report released on Oct. 27, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration require tires be registered at the point of sale. The NTSB said independent tire dealers are registering 2% of the tires they sell in its report. Littlefield estimates the figure to be about 85%. 

"The dealers are not getting the credit they deserve for stepping up when they didn’t have to. They are registering these tires in record numbers. So I think it’s disappointing that they are not being recognized for that and we are talking about going back to an archaic pencil and paper system that didn’t work 30 years ago," he says.

For more information, see “U.S. House Approves Mandatory Tire Registration.”

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