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TIA comes out in support of rolling resistance bill

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After much deliberation, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has decided to support H.R. 5632, otherwise known as the rolling resistance bill. "We were very pleased to receive feedback and questions from our membership regarding H.R. 5632," says TIA President Bob Malerba. "It was extremely helpful to our Government Affairs Committee in making a decision on whether to support the bill."

According to Roy Littlefield, TIA's executive vice president, there have been numerous bills introduced in many states and also at the federal level that would mandate rolling resistance standards equal to or better than original equipment specifications.

"The fact that these bills have any standing at all can be directly attributed to a lack of national standards," say TIA officials.

TIA believes H.R. 5632 is a consumer information only program.

"Manufacturers would not have to design a single new tire and dealers would not have to alter inventory in any significant way.

"It simply requires manufacturers to develop testing and rating standards and make that information available to consumers."

TIA also believes that a clause in the bill that calls for a national tire maintenance consumer education program "could play into (the association's) own plans for outreach to the buying public.

"While there may be some initial confusion as consumers are first exposed to ratings that affect fuel efficiency, the committee believed that the prospect of individual states developing mandates and how that would play out for many of our members running multi-state businesses in wholesale and retail weighs more heavily."

TIA joins the Rubber Manufacturers Association in support of the bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee last month.

However, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) opposes H.R. 5632, calling it "unnecessary."

SEMA officials believe it would impose burdens on small businesses and could be detrimental to consumer safety.

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