TIA awaits decision on fuel efficiency testing

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TIA awaits decision on fuel efficiency testing

Federal rulemaking regarding tire fuel efficiency testing and labeling has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), according to Paul Fiore, director of government and business relations for the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

The OMB has fewer than 90 days to approve the rulemaking, which was finalized on Dec. 17. (The rulemaking also covers a federally mandated consumer education program on tire fuel efficiency.)

"We are anxious to hear what OMB has to say," Fiore told earlier today, Jan. 22. "We're anxious to see if they have left (the rulemaking) alone or if they'll speed up the process a little bit."

The sooner the office renders its final decision, the better, he says, because tire manufacturers will need time to get up to speed on new tire testing and labeling requirements. "I would imagine (the government) would have to give them a reasonable timeframe to develop the ratings and labeling."

TIA has lobbied the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to become the administrator of the consumer tire education component of the rule.

In comments submitted to NHTSA in August 2009, TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield wrote, "Under NHTSA's direct supervision and advisement, TIA would create and implement a program to engage the consumer in person-to-person education from a trained sales force, based on its current training models which are used to educate tire technicians on a variety of maintenance and diagnostic techniques.

"We have the history of working together with many different aftermarket organizations, not to mention the tire manufacturers, to formulate a successful consumer education effort. TIA and its members know consumers and how to reach them."

For details about the proposed tire rating system, see More on NHTSA's tire fuel efficiency ratings proposal on


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