WASHINGTON (July 28)—Tire registration by electronic means is an acceptable supplement to federal law requiring that consumers be provided with postcards for registration purposes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told the Rubber Manufacturers Association. But electronic registration does not relieve tire dealers of the responsibility to give tire purchasers the cards, said NHTSA Chief Counsel Jacqueline Glassman in her letter to Ann Wilson, RMA senior vice president-government affairs. The association was pleased with the NHTSA interpretation, Wilson said, because "the bottom line for the industry is that we want to see as many tires registered as possible." Using only the postcards has kept registration rates at no more than 10 percent, the RMA said. But independent tire registration firm CIMS Inc. insists that adding Web-based registration to the mix will only confuse tire dealers. "When the law was changed from mandatory to voluntary registration, tire dealers interpreted it as meaning they no longer had to supply the cards," said CIMS Marketing Director Jerry Munger. "Now they could just tell their customers they can register their tires on the Web."