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TANA, ITRA submit tire labeling feedback to NHTSA

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The Tire Association of North America (TANA) and the International Tire & Rubber Association (ITRA) have submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about the agency's proposed tire labeling regulations.

TANA and ITRA, which will officially merge this summer into one organization, oppose NHTSA's mandate that the tire identification number (TIN) be placed on both sides of a tire due to the high cost of the procedure to tire manufacturers and retreaders.

TANA and ITRA also dispute NHTSA's estimation that re-working molds would cost $5.5 million, saying that figure "is significantly below the industry's projections.

"While aluminum molds might be slightly less costly to retool, it would be very expensive to add the TIN to the second side of a steel mold because it must be hand-grooved."

Placing the TIN on both tire sides also poses extra danger to workers who have to get inside molds to change the date code section each week, TANA and ITRA officials allege.

TANA and ITRA oppose NHTSA's wish to reorder the TIN's characters to let consumers know where the tire was made and at which plant.

"It would thoroughly confuse the industry," due to the fact that old tires would still be on the road. "If there were another recall, consumers would only be more confused."

Other NHTSA recommendations opposed by TANA and ITRA include prohibiting the inclusion of putting non-required information on sidewalls.

However, the trade associations applauded NHTSA's vehicle placard recommendations, and urged the agency to note original equipment options on the vehicle placard and owner's manual.

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