SRS Petitions NHTSA to Examine Firestone ATX and Wilderness Tire Recalls and Owner Notification

June 21, 2006
Nicole Nason
Administrator
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20597

RE: Recalled Firestone ATX and Wilderness Tires

Dear Ms. Nason:

New Study Confirms Effectiveness of ESC

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V3, Issue 3, May / June 2006

Washington, D.C. - A new University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study confirms the results of earlier studies worldwide: Electronic Stability Control is remarkably effective in preventing single vehicle crashes-especially SUV rollovers.

Paul E. Green and John Woodrooffe presented their findings at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's government-industry meeting last month. Like other researchers from Sweden to Japan, they found that ESC can significantly reduce the risk of a single vehicle crash. Using 1995-2003 data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimates System (GES), Green and Woodrooffe constructed a case-controlled study, comparing accidents of vehicles of similar makes and models, with and without ESC, in loss-of-control crashes-such as single-vehicle crashes, run-off-the-road crashes, rollovers, and crashes in which the roads were not dry.

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NHTSA Rejects Auto-Reverse Petition; New Rule Prohibits Rocker and Toggle Window Switches

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V3, Issue 3, May / June 2006

Washington, D.C. - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has again denied a petition from safety advocates requesting that the agency require automakers to install an auto-reverse function in their power windows, but has implemented a provision in the latest highway safety bill requiring switches that raise a power window only when the switch is pulled up or out.

Judge Orders NHTSA To Revisit Early Warning Records Rulemaking

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V3 Issue 3, May/June 2006

Washington, D.C. - A U.S. District Court judge has kicked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration final rule on the confidentiality of records submitted under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act back to the agency. On March 31, Judge Robert Leon found that NHTSA "pulled a switcheroo" when it published its Business Information Confidentiality rule regarding the confidentiality of defect-related information in the early warning database established under TREAD nearly three years ago, and did not allow adequate opportunity for public comment.

Rubber Makers Claim Survey of Scrap Tires Show Age Doesn't Determine Tire Life

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) presented NHTSA with the results of a scrap tire survey claiming that the results show chronological age doesn't determine tire service life. The association presented the data at the recent government - industry meeting in an attempt to address the continual questions about tire service life and the necessity of expiration dates.

The survey was based on tires removed from service in five geographical regions of the U.S. The RMA collected information on randomly selected trailer loads of scrap tires from scrap tire processors' facilities. A total of 14,271 tires from seven locations were examined for the date code, repairs, tread wear, and road damage.

Cooper Tire Subverts Evidence, Investigative Process, Attorney Alleges

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V. 3 Issue 3, May / June 2006

Did Cooper Tire knowingly hire a felon convicted of insurance fraud charges to spirit away physical evidence of failed tires before police investigators or plaintiffs' attorney could collect or analyze then? And where is a key piece of evidence in a 2001 tread separation case that was taken from the accident scene?

These are the questions plaguing Loza V. Cooper, a Phoenix rollover case, set for trial this September. In September 2001, Elisa Loza was the rear-seat passenger in a 1996 Ford Super Club E350 with Cooper-made Hercules all-track radial LTs. Her husband was driving on a highway near Gila Bend, Arizona, when, her estate alleges, a Cooper tire experienced a tread separation. Mrs. Loza died in the rollover accident that resulted.

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