BOWIE, Md. (July 18) — The Tire Industry Association is supporting a bill before Congress that would require a national tire fuel efficiency consumer information program.
After much deliberation, TIA said its government affairs committee came to a consensus on H.R. 5632 after weighing the pros and cons of the legislation, which was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee recently.
"We were very pleased to receive feedback and questions from our membership regarding H.R. 5632," said TIA President Bob Malerba. "It was extremely helpful to our government affairs committee in making a decision on whether to support the bill."
Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president, said numerous bills have been introduced in many states and at the federal level that would mandate rolling resistance standards equal to or better than original equipment. The fact that these bills have any standing at all can be directly attributed to a lack of national standards, he added.
TIA said it believes H.R. 5632 is a consumer information only program. Manufacturers would not have to design new tires, and dealers would not have to alter inventory in any significant way. The bill requires manufacturers to develop testing and rating standards and make that information available to consumers. One section requires a "national tire maintenance consumer education program," which TIA noted could help its own plans for outreach to consumers.
Last week, the Specialty Equipment Market Association announced it is opposing H.R. 5632 on the grounds that the legislation is unnecessary and may distract motorists away from maintaining proper inflation, alignment and balance.