SRS Again Presses NHTSA for Consumer-Friendly Tire Date of Manufacture

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V3, Issue 3, Nov. / Dec. 2006

REHOBOTH, MA - Safety Research & Strategies has renewed its call for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to require tire makers to mold an easy-to-read date of manufacture on a tire's sidewall.

SRS submitted comments on December 20 urging the agency to separate this proposal from the more complicated tire performance rulemaking. SRS President Sean Kane argued that now is the perfect time for NHTSA to consider implementing a new date of manufacture labeling regulation, while tire manufacturers gear up to meet their obligations in 2009 to mold the entire Tire Identification Number (TIN) on the intended outward sidewall of each tire. In November 2004, SRS petitioned the agency for a rulemaking to require that tire makers mold a non-coded date of manufacture on their products as a step toward reducing the number of aged tire failures. SRS argued that since the agency and the tire and vehicle manufacturers agree that tire age matters, consumers need an easy-to-read the date of manufacturer on the side of their tires. The agency denied the petition and instead chose to address the issue in its tire performance standards.

Firestone and NHTSA Launch Consumer Alert for Recalled Wilderness Tires; SRS Had Urged NHTSA to Investigate

Nashville, Tenn. - Bridgestone-Firestone has announced that it will be notifying SUV owners, Firestone company stores and authorized dealers to look for and replace any Radial ATX and Wilderness ATs that were captured in the 2000 and 2001 recalls. The tire maker gave no reason for the consumer notification program, launched on July 21. But, it comes one month after Safety Research & Strategies publicly requested that NHTSA investigate why many recalled spares were left behind during the recalls. SRS pointed the agency to a spate of catastrophic rollover crashes attributed to tread separations in recalled spare tires and evidence that potentially hundreds of thousands of these tires were missed or overlooked during the recalls. NHTSA also issued a "Consumer Advisory" on the notification program that urged consumers to have their tires checked, particularly spares.

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

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

RE: Recalled Firestone ATX and Wilderness Tires

Dear Ms. Nason:

Two Tire Makers Add Tire Aging Replacement Guidelines for U.S. Market

Continental and Michelin recently issued Technical Bulletins on tire aging, joining a growing chorus of tire manufacturers and automakers issuing tire age replacement guidelines for the U.S. market. These bulletins are nearly identical to the Bridgestone-Firestone October 2005 recommendation that specified all tires should be removed after 10 years regardless of the remaining tread depth. They also follow guidelines published in overseas markets that have been in circulation for several years (Safety Record V3, Issue 1).

States Rights Advocates Attack NHTSA Roof Crush Preemption Proposal

A provision in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's proposed roof crush standard that would preempt state tort law would transfer the societal costs of caring for rollover crash victims to the states, discourage manufacturers from improving vehicles' crashworthiness and usurp Congressional authority, a diverse group of influential commenters has argued.

For the first time in 32 years, the NHTSA is proposing to strengthen vehicle roofs and extend the standard to cover vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 10,000 pounds, as part of an alleged "comprehensive plan for reducing the risk of death and serious injury from rollover crashes." The proposed regulation would increase the force that vehicles are required to withstand from 1.5 to 2.5 times their unloaded vehicle weight and replace the 22,240 Newton maximum force limit for passenger cars. It would also change the certifying test from the current plate movement limit of 5 inches with a new direct limit on headroom reduction. (See The Safety Record, V2, I4).

SRS Petitions NHTSA on Tire Aging

Click here to see a PDF of the petition.

Click here for more information on tire aging.