Will your tire registration requirements change?

Feb. 12, 2012

Tire registration is voluntary, with consumers responsible for filling out the necessary paperwork. Will it be after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) takes a closer look at the standards?

NHTSA recently posted a notice in the "Federal Register" asking for comments on the collection of information involving tire registration. Specifically, comments are invited on four areas:

1. whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department of Transportation, including whether the information will have practical utility.

2. the accuracy of the D.O.T.'s estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection. The estimated burden is:

New tire dealers and distributors, 59,000.

Consumers, 10 million.

Total tire registrations (manual), 54 million.

Total tire registration hours (manual), 225,000.

Recordkeeping hours (manual), 25,000.

Total annual tire registration and recordkeeping hours, 250,000.

3. ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and

4. ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

NHTSA's request for comments is the second step in receiving approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to update its tire registration information. Here is a summary of the collection information mandated under 49 U.S.C. 30117(b), which requires each tire manufacturer to collect and maintain records of the first purchasers of new tires.

"To carry out this mandate, 49 CFR Part 574, 'Tire Identification and Recordkeeping,' requires tire dealers and distributors to record the names and addresses of retail purchasers of new tires and the identification numbers(s) of the tires sold. A specific form is provided to tire dealers and distributors by tire manufacturers for recording this information. The completed forms are returned to the tire manufacturers where they are retained for not less than five years.

"Part 574 requires independent tire dealers and distributors to provide a registration form to consumers with the tire identification number(s) already recorded and information identifying the dealer/distributor. The consumer can then record his/her name and address and return the form to the tire manufacturer via U.S. mail, or alternatively, the consumer can provide this information electronically on the tire manufacturer's Web site if the tire manufacturer provides this capability.

"Additionally, motor vehicle manufacturers are required to record the names and addresses of the first purchasers (for purposes other than resale), together with the identification numbers of the tires on the new vehicle, and retain this information for not less than five years."

NHTSA describes its need for the information -- and the use of it -- as follows.

"The information is used by a tire manufacturer after it or the agency determines that some of its tires either fail to comply with an applicable safety standard or contain a safety related defect.

"With the information, the tire manufacturer can notify the first purchaser of the tire and provide them with any necessary information or instructions to remedy the non-compliance situation or safety defect. Without this information, efforts to identify the first purchaser of tires that have been determined to be defective or nonconforming pursuant to Sections 30118 and 30119 of Title 49 U.S.C. would be impeded.

"Further, the ability of the purchasers to take appropriate action in the interest of motor vehicle safety may be compromised."

To read the full notice, click here.

And for some background on the issue, read "How close is tire registration to becoming mandatory? Closer than you think."

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