TIA: 'Keep Tire Guides, but update them'

Oct. 24, 2003

Consumers need Tire Advertising and Labeling Guides, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has told the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

This past August, the FTC requested comments from the public about the costs and benefits of the Guides and whether or not they are still needed.

"These Guides provide important information to consumers and tire dealers alike," wrote TIA Director of Government Affairs Becky MacDicken to FTC officials earlier today.

The Guides protect consumers "from unscrupulous business owners" and offer helpful information when making a tire purchase, according to MacDicken.

However, TIA also believes the Guides should be updated as they have "been in place so long that most of the guidelines have become standard business practices."

TIA recommends updating the Guides so they address Uniform Tire Quality Grading; the increase of Internet and phone sales; the popularity of SUVs (SUV tires weren't around when the Guides were first published); and -- perhaps most significantly -- the proliferation of radials over bias ply tires.

"The Guides need to have language that reflects that radials are now dominant tires in the market," says MacDicken.

"These changes will not make a huge difference to consumers," she adds. "They will simply update the Guides to reflect today's market.

"Making more information available that is up-to-date will help tire dealers do their job at the point-of-sale more efficiently."

TIA does not believe that the cost of producing the Guides is burdensome.