CALABASAS, Calif.-Tire Recall Registry Inc., a new company designed to provide tire dealers and buyers with electronic tire registration, has opened for business.
TRR is the brainchild of tire retailing veteran Lori Neville and attorney Paul Stansen. Neville has spent 22 years in tire retailing and owns Auto Trixx, a tire and auto parts store in Canoga Park, Calif., and Stansen since 2000 has run his own digital document management company, paperlessUSA.
Stansen´s business has proven extremely successful in providing secure, Web-based information management for varied clients, especially law firms, and Neville had the idea that its techniques would be useful in helping tire dealers to comply with the federal requirement to register every tire sold in the U.S., the partners said.
Neville, a longtime member of American Tire Distributors, approached ATD about her new company, and in January ATD agreed to let its member dealers and distributors know about TRR.
ATD agreed to this partly because of Neville´s good standing with them and partly because of concerns that states could develop regulations mandating electronic tire registrations, according to ATD CEO Dick Johnson.
"Thinking about how the way things happen in California, it seems logical that sometime the dealers would be responsible for capturing tire registrations electronically," Johnson said. ATD has no financial or management interest in TRR.
Some 300 to 400 ATD members have signed on with TRR, according to Stansen. Also, the company plans soon to hold talks with every major auto and tire manufacturer to see if they will endorse the service.
According to Stansen, TRR will transmit all electronically collected registration data-consumer, tire and dealer information-to tire manufacturers, both in the standard, federally mandated postcard form and in digital form. All such data will remain confidential, Neville and Stansen said.
The company also will provide dealers with monthly compliance reports and consumers with printed certificates of tire registration, something consumers have never received before, Stansen said.
Registration is a simple process accomplished through the TRR Web site. TRR charges tire dealers 99 cents per tire for the service, in a prepaid account charged to their credit cards. When account balances reach $40 or less, dealers receive an e-mail reminder to replenish them. Dealers then may seek reimbursement of the fees by charging consumers, though some dealers have told Stansen they will pick up part of that expense.
TRR is only the second private tire-registration firm in the U.S. The first, Akron-based CIMS Inc., has provided registration cards and an information clearinghouse for independent tire dealers for some 35 years. In 2004, the company estimated that about 1,200 independent tire dealers representing 15,000 retail outlets used the CIMS All-Brand Tire Registration System.
However, when the Rubber Manufacturers Association petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for electronic tire registration in 2003, CIMS argued against it, saying it would only create one more layer of burden for tire dealers. That August, NHTSA ruled that electronic registration could supplement but not replace the postcards.