WASHINGTON (Nov. 2, 2007) — Universal Radio Frequency Identification chips installed in all U.S. tires is necessary to protect consumers from unsafe tires, according to Safety Research & Strategies Inc., an auto safety group with close ties to trial lawyers.
Whereas tire identification numbers are a cumbersome and inefficient way of identifying tires in case of a recall, RFID can close the gaps that prevented complete recalls of tires such as those recalled earlier this year by Foreign Tire Sales Inc., SRS said in a Nov. 1 report.
"Government regulators and policymakers must encourage and support a rapid transition to RFID in tires," the report stated. An RFID chip would cost 89 cents per tire, according to SRS President Sean Kane.
But although the tire industry is very supportive of RFID technology, the issue of making sure all customers have a way of reading the information hasn't yet been worked out, according to a spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association.
"Our industry recognizes the potential for RFID and is taking steps to maximize it," the spokesman said. "The technology is just not ready for prime time yet."