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NHTSA seeks comments on tire education

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing several methods of collecting feedback that will help it develop a consumer education program for tire buyers. The agency first wants your opinion.

NHTSA wants to conduct two research phases. In the first phase, the agency "will conduct two types of qualitative research. One research project will consist of two focus groups in three cities," say NHTSA officials. "Each group will have eight participants and will last two hours for a total of 96 participant hours.

"For the second research project in the phase, NHTSA will conduct on-site interviews at various tire retailers. NHTSA anticipates 25 respondents with each interview taking 25 minutes, for a total of approximately 11 participant hours. The results of this research phase, as well as comments received to a separate notice that will be published soon, will be used to finalize the content of an online survey NHTSA will conduct in the second research phase."

NHTSA estimates the cost of its research will total $1,706.

"The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, enacted in December 2007, included a requirement that NHTSA develop a national tire fuel efficiency program to educate consumers about the effect of tires on automobile fuel efficiency, safety and durability." The act also calls for a corresponding consumer education program.

NHTSA is accepting comments through Nov. 2, 2010. To submit comments, go to


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