WASHINGTON (June 9)—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will delay by three months the required submission of "early warning" data from vehicle, tire and auto parts manufacturers, to Dec. 1 from Aug. 31. The early warning rule, part of the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, is aimed toward identifying product defects before they endanger the public. Myriad questions about the massive amounts of information manufacturers must turn over, however, motivated the delay. The postponement also means that manufacturers' first data submissions will be from the third quarter of 2003, rather than the second. About 90 larger auto, tire and parts companies and some 23,000 smaller companies are affected by the early warning rule, according to Automotive News, another Crain Communications Inc. publication. The Rubber Manufacturers Association petitioned NHTSA for a one-quarter postponement, "and we're obviously pleased they accepted our petition," said Ann Wilson, RMA senior vice president-government affairs. Announcement of the delay is expected this week, perhaps as early as June 11.