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NHTSA supports electronic tire registration

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to amend tire registration procedures "to facilitate Internet and other electronic registration of tires," according to NHTSA officials. "We believe this rulemaking is needed to ensure that the regulation permits, to the extent consistent with the agency's authority, the use of new technologies in registering tires."

In addition to potentially reducing costs, "the procedures could also result in improved tire registration rates."

A higher new tire registration rate, according to NHTSA, "would help in the identification of first purchasers of defective or non-conforming tires."

NHTSA officials say the agency has not performed surveys on tire registration rates since 1987. However, in early 2007 the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) sent comments to NHTSA stating that "no more than 10% of tire registration cards are currently returned to manufacturers and a significant number of these cards are inaccurate, incomplete or illegible."

"Even if electronic registration does not result in significantly more purchaser responses for new tire sales through independent tire dealers, NHTSA believes the overall effectiveness rate of tire registration would improve," say NHTSA officials.

"Voluntary electronic registration would eliminate illegibility or other ambiguity caused by hand-written information.

"For purchasers who do not like to fill in information by hand, electronic registration could also reduce the overall burden of registration."

A spokesman for the RMA says the association "supports efforts to improve tire registration by allowing greater use of electronic means."

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