Tire registration bill begins its journey

July 20, 2015

Legislation that would make tire registration mandatory has cleared its first hurdle, a vote by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. That committee’s work will be combined with other bills, including one already passed by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and ultimately drafted into the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill, more commonly referred to as “the highway bill.”

When it comes to tires, here’s a rundown of what the Commerce committee’s 497-page bill contains:

Recalls: Tire manufacturers would have more time to remedy “a defective or noncomplying tire.” Current law gives the manufacturer 60 days. The new bill proposes an increase to 180 days. (Page 232.)

Fuel efficiency: The Tire Efficiency Safety and Registration Act of 2015 (TESR Act) is the broader name for several additions to the existing U.S. Code. It’s detailed on pages 244-250 and includes minimum standards for fuel efficiency for passenger tires, as proposed by the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The standards won’t apply to “light truck tires, deep tread tires, winter-type snow tires, space-saver or temporary-use spare tires or tires with nominal rim diameters of 12 inches or less.”  At the same time, the bill calls for regulations to ensure a tire’s wet traction capability isn’t sacrificed to achieve the higher fuel efficient standards. These standards would be a requirement within two years of enactment.

Tire registration: A dealer or distributor “not owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires” would be required to maintain records of those who purchase or lease tires, including the buyer’s name and address, information about the tire(s) purchased and “any additional records the secretary considers appropriate.”

The dealer then would be required to send those records electronically to the tire manufacturer in a secure fashion, and at no cost to the consumer.

Tire recall database: A public database of tire recall information would be created, and it would be searchable by Tire Identification Number and other data to help consumers determine whether a tire is subject to a recall.

Peruse the entire bill here.

To review what the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA,) Tire Industry Association (TIA) and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) have to say about tire registration, check out these links:

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

TIA opposes mandatory tire registration bill

SEMA: Improve technology for tire registration