The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is claiming victory following the decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to exempt retreaders from the scope of its tire labeling rule.
NHTSA announced modifications and clarifications to its original bill yesterday. Although it issued a "final" rule in November 2002, companies were allowed to file "petitions to reconsider" on issues of interest.
"TIA is thrilled our petition to reconsider was granted and that retreads are exempt from the final tire labeling regulation," says Becky MacDicken, TIA’s director of government affairs.
"The passenger/light truck retread market is very small and has never been subject to a recall. We commend NHTSA for realizing there is no need to force retreaders through the expense of these labeling requirements."
Here is the language NHTSA used in addressing TIA's petition.
"TIA argued that the main purpose of the TREAD (Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act) was to facilitate recalls, and since retreaded tires have never been subject to a recall, the application of new TIN labeling provisions to retreads is unnecessary. Additionally, they argue that consumers of retreads are more sophisticated about tire labeling and are more likely to mount tires so that this information is readily visible.
"Further, TIA stated that the molding costs for placing the TIN on both sidewalls or on the intended outboard sidewall is higher than NHTSA estimated for retreaders and that these costs bring the costs of retreads closer to the costs of new tires which, consequently, will drive many retreaders out of an already shrinking market.
"While the agency does not necessarily agree with TIA's assertions concerning greater sophistication of retread tire users or TIA's costs estimates, the agency does agree that the tire safety information recall provisions of the TREAD Act would have very little effect on consumer information because retreads, besides being a very small part of the light vehicle tire market, have never been involved in any NHTSA recall action.
"Accordingly, the agency is granting TIA's request to exclude retread tires from the requirement to have the TIN information on both sides and the full TIN on the 'intended outboard sidewall' of the tire."