TIA opposes mandatory tire registration bill

July 12, 2015

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is going to do everything in its power to defeat legislation aimed at making tire registration mandatory.

And that legislation exists. Late last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced S.1741 into the Senate. Also known as the Tire Efficiency, Safety and Registration Act, the bill would require tire sellers to register tires.

The bill, supported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), does not address whether or not the consumer information collected at the point-of-sale would be available to the tire manufacturers – a hot-button issue with tire dealers.

“We are 100% against mandatory tire registration,” says Roy Littlefield, executive vice president of TIA. “We plan to fight it. We also plan to reach out to the industry and talk about it.”

That includes the RMA, which Littlefield says has not shown any desire to work with TIA on this issue.

“I’ve been around since 1979, and I can’t believe that on a market solution, the RMA and tire manufacturers are supporting legislative action.”

That echos Littlefield's response in December 2014, when the issue resurfaced during the National Transportation Safety Board's Passenger Vehicle Tire Safety Symposium. In December Littlefield said, "TIA has been working with RMA on a number of legislative issues like tire repair and used tires over the past few years, but there have been no discussions related to mandatory tire registration. We had talked about working together to educate and improve voluntary numbers, so it was a total shock to hear that they are proposing legislation over education."

The RMA believes tire registration is too low, and claims it has dropped from “nearly 50% to about 15%” since voluntary registration became law in 1982. However, Littlefield says that number doesn’t take into account tire dealers who register the tires and keep the information to themselves. In case of a recall, they contact the affected consumers directly.

Mandatory tire registration is only part of S.1741. In its current form, the legislation also would 1) create minimum tire performance standards for tire fuel efficiency and wet traction; and 2) create a Web-based tool for consumers and tire dealers to more easily determine whether or not a tire is subject to a safety recall.

Although Littlefield is not sure legislation to create the performance standards and Web-based tool are necessary given the power the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was granted in 2007, he says TIA would not oppose them.

For more information on the issue of voluntary vs. mandatory tire registration, check out these links:

"It's a go: RMA supports new tire registration legislation."

"Tire registration and legislation."