TIA makes submission to NHTSA regarding tire education efforts

Jan. 1, 2020
Government efforts to educate consumers about tire safety would be better accomplished at tire stores rather than relying on an online process, according to the Tire Industry Association (TIA).
Government efforts to educate consumers about tire safety would be better accomplished at tire stores rather than relying on an online process, according to the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

The organization has submitted comments to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the continued delay of the implementation of the tire consumer education program, the consumer information collection methodology and the promulgation of the rules for the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.

The goals of the Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program are to increase fuel efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the nation’s energy independence.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 which mandates the program, called for the promulgation of rules as of December 2009, yet the Agency has yet to issue them.

Part of the comments TIA submitted are that the education of consumers on the proper inflation and maintenance of tires can begin almost immediately and be available by the beginning of next year.

TIA also says that the tire efficiency labeling system included in the EISA package requires additional deliberation.

 

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TIA assisted NHTSA in amassing data during Phase I of the research process connecting the Agency with tire dealers. However, there are serious concerns about the upcoming quantitative research phase and its reliance on data gathered via an online survey approach, says TIA President Mike Berra Jr.

He notes that “since NHTSA research has an especially targeted audience of consumers who are purchasing tires, that conducting the questionnaires in stores is the ideal circumstance.”

Berra goes on to contend that “online surveying has numerous issues, including its reliance on closed ended questions, being online is a completely different circumstance than when a consumer is in an auto service shop buying tires and the fact that so many online surveys are veiled sales scams, therefore many Americans avoid online surveys because of a previously bad experience.”

Dr. Roy Littlefield, TIA’s executive vice president, says that “surveying a customer while they are in the process of purchasing new tires will yield more accurate results, giving NHTSA a direct, focused snapshot of the tire purchase experience.”

For more information, visit www.tireindustry.org.

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