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NHTSA asks for comments on tire registration requirements

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is requesting public comment on the continuation of the requirements for the collection of information on safety standards. The collection in question is as follows:

Title: 49 CFR Part 574, "Tire Identification and Recordkeeping."

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number: 2127-0050.

Requested expiration date of approval: Three years from the

approval date.

Comments, which must refer to the Department of Transportation docket number (DOT Docket No. NHTSA-06-26554), must be received on or before Feb. 6, 2007. They should be submitted to Docket Management, Room

PL-401, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, DC 20590. It is requested,

but not required, that two copies of the comment be provided.

The collection of information in question, 49 U.S.C. 30117(b), requires each tire manufacturer to collect and maintain records of the names and addresses of the first purchasers of new tires. To carry out this mandate, 49 CFR Part 574 requires tire dealers and distributors to record the names and addresses of retail purchasers of new tires and the identification number or numbers of the tires sold.

A specific form is provided to tire dealers and distributors by tire manufacturers for recording this information.

The completed forms are returned to the tire manufacturers; they are to remain with the manufacturer for three years after the date they are received. Additionally, motor vehicle manufacturers are required to record the names and addresses of the first purchasers of new motor vehicles, together with the identification numbers of the tires on the new vehicles.

The Motor Vehicle Safety and Cost Savings Authorization Act of 1982

(P.L. 97-311) prohibited NHTSA from enforcing the mandatory tire registration provisions in 49 CFR Part 574 against dealers and

distributors whose business is not owned or controlled by a tire

manufacturer (hereinafter referred to as "independent dealers"). For

independent dealers, Congress specified that a voluntary registration

system would take effect as soon as NHTSA specified the format

and content of the voluntary tire registration forms, and standardized the information for all independent dealers.

(The previously specified mandatory tire registration requirements

remain applicable to all dealers and distributors other than

independent dealers. The requirements for tire and vehicle

manufacturers are unchanged.)

The information is used by a tire manufacturer when it determines that some of its tires either fail to comply with an applicable safety standard or contain a safety related defect. With the

information, the tire manufacturer can notify the first purchaser of

the tire and provide the purchaser with any necessary information or

instructions.

Before this collection of information is approved, OMB has asked NHTSA to:

1. solicit public comment on how NHTSA can cost-effectively reduce

the collection of information burden and enhance the practical utility of this information collection.

2. estimate the percentage of individual purchasers of replacement

tires for which contact information is maintained that is adequate to

contact them, for two recent years of tire purchases.

3. provide each NHTSA evaluation of the success of procedures for

keeping records on first purchasers of tires, under 49 U.S.C.

30117(b)(3), including "the extent to which distributors and dealers

have encouraged first purchasers of tires to register the tires" and a "detailed statement of the decision and an explanation of the reasons for the decision," and estimate the extent to which such mandated recordkeeping is or is not cost-effective.

4. respond to the following questions: Does 49 CFR 574.7 specify a form to be used? Why is a form set in a final rule?

5. determine whether or not, under 49 U.S.C. 3017(b) or otherwise,

the DOT Secretary has the authority by rule or otherwise to allow

electronic (e.g., via the Internet) or telephonic collection -- in lieu of paper-based collection -- of the information pertinent to that provision.

6. clarify whether, under the statute and regulation, this

collection of information is voluntary or mandatory for the tire dealer and similarly, for the tire purchaser.

7. refer to the letter of July 18, 2003, from the NHTSA chief counsel to Ann Wilson of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, "and explain why telephone or electronic registration may be a supplement to

the required mail-in form, but not in lieu of it...?"

8. verify whether or not the statute and rule require the contact/registration information be kept for at least five years, not three years.

Before a federal agency can collect certain information from the

public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and

Budget (OMB). Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction

Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, federal agencies must solicit public comment on proposed collections of information, including extensions and reinstatement of previously approved collections.

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