What’s New In Tires



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What’s New In Tires?


TREAD ACT Summary  

The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act was passed in the fall of 2000 following the Ford/Firestone crisis. Congress wanted to make tires safer for the motoring public. The TREAD Act has nine components that affect the tire industry. 

There are several key areas these include: 

Tire Labeling Requirements – Tires in the future will have their identification on both sides of the tire. During the Firestone recall consumers had difficulty identifying their tires because old requirements placed the identification on the back of the tires.

 Tire Testing Standards – Tire testing standards have not been updated since 1967 back then bias ply tires were prevalent as tires have evolved and radial tires are now the standard the testing of these tires will be updated as well. 

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems – The TREAD Act mandated that all new vehicles have some type of tire monitoring system from the factory. This means that in the future your vehicle will have some type of warning system in the vehicle to warn the driver of a low tire pressure condition. 

Early Warning Reporting System – This system will allow the government to track data supplied from the tire manufacturer. Information in this system may include tire related fatalities, injuries, property damage claims and warranty adjustments. 

Safety Recalls In Foreign Countries – If there is a recall or “safety campaign” in another country this information must now get reported to the U.S. government. 

Sale Or Lease Of Recalled Tires – Knowingly selling or leasing a recalled tire is illegal. There are “safe harbor” provisions to protect individuals that sell these tires by accident. 

Reimbursement Prior To Recall – If a consumer has a problem with or hears rumors about his/her tires and replaces them at his/her expense AND THEN a recall is issued this regulation lays out a timeframe on when the tire manufacturer must repay the consumer. 

Acceleration Of Recall – In the event of a recall this legislation allows *NHTSA to mandate a competitive product as a substitute if the recalled tire replacement is not available. This should help speed up the recall process. 

Disposal of Recalled Tires – *NHTSA is asking that in the event of a recall tire manufacturers create a plan for the disposal of the recalled tires rendering them out of service or returning them to the manufacturer for inspection or testing. 

What does all this mean to the consumer? 

  • Some increased costs to tires when they are purchased new. The manufactures will need to re-tool to have the identification number on both sides of the tire. They will also have to maintain databases on tire failures, these costs will ultimately be passed on to the consumer.
  • Slight increases in cost to new vehicles that are mandated to have tire pressure monitoring systems. These costs will be passed on to consumers as well via the purchase price of the vehicle.
  • Increases to the consumer on the tire pressure monitoring system diagnosis and repairs. The system designs will vary by the manufacturer. A check on the price for the tire pressure sensor from one domestic manufacturer is around $50.00, these costs will vary by manufacture of the vehicle and possibly by the model.
  • Some manufacturers will have special tools for the repairs of these systems.

If the shop you choose does not have the special tool, a trip to the dealership may be in order. 

As you can see there will be some costs to the consumer at some level for the added safety features.  

*NHTSA – National HighwaySafety Administration

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