WASHINGTON (Sept. 7)—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will issue a proposed rule on changes to current federal tire safety standards in spring 2001, new NHTSA Administrator Sue Bailey told a congressional panel. NHTSA came under fire at hearings on the current Firestone recall for the outdated tire rule. "The tire safety standard is 32 years old, and it is not effective for testing radial tires," said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen and NHTSA administrator under Jimmy Carter. In her testimony, Bailey mentioned the work done by the tire industry to update the standard. Tire makers have been working on a new standard under the Transatlantic Business Dialogue since 1997, and petitioned NHTSA for an updated rule in January 1999.