TIA Opposes Tire Registration Language in GROW AMERICA Legislation

Bowie, Md. – The Tire Industry Association (TIA) announced that the Association opposes tire registration language in the “Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act” or “GROW AMERICA Act” that was released on March 30, 2015. Section 4112 is titled “Tire Registration by Independent Sellers” and attempts to amend subsection (b) of section 30117 of title 49, United States Code. The proposed revision of paragraph (3) is as follows:

(3) The Secretary may initiate a rulemaking to consider requiring a distributor or dealer of tires that is not owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires to maintain records of the name and address of tire purchasers and lessors and information identifying the tire that was purchased or leased, and any additional records the Secretary deems appropriate. Such rulemaking may also consider requiring a distributor or dealer of tires that is not owned or controlled by a manufacturer of tires to electronically transmit such records to the manufacturer of the tire by secure means at no cost to tire purchasers or lessors.

“TIA has been transparent with our views on tire registration since the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) announced their position on the subject during the Tire Safety Symposium conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last December,” remarked Dr. Roy Littlefield, TIA Executive Vice President. “While RMA believes a return to the old days of mandatory tire registration is the answer to low registration rates, TIA remains confident it will not solve the problem. This proposed legislation makes matters even worse for a number of different reasons, but the primary ones are there is no timetable for the Secretary to initiate the rulemaking, no specific language regarding how long the records must be maintained by the distributor/dealer, no indication on how retailers would be required to electronically transmit the information, and most importantly, it could still lead to a mandatory system.”

For the past few months, TIA has been actively working with key Congressional committees to educate them on the issue of tire registration and why a return to the mandatory approach is not the answer. With the introduction of Section 4112 in the GROW AMERICA Act, the Association has shifted the focus of its lobbying efforts to kill the amendment altogether so the industry can collectively seek out a solution that does not involve government involvement or new legislation.

“We are still hopeful that we can work with RMA and the tire manufacturers to develop a voluntary tire registration system that increases registration rates without creating additional burdens for retailers,” concluded Littlefield. “But there is no question that the tire registration language in the GROW AMERICA Act must be removed from the bill, so the Association will continue to actively engage members of Congress and the Senate to ensure it does not pass as part of the recently introduced transportation reauthorization.”