WASHINGTON (Oct. 5, 2010)—Nov. 29 is the deadline for interested parties to comment on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's proposed changes to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 119, which covers truck tire performance and safety.
Published in the Sept. 29 Federal Register, the document proposes a more stringent endurance test for truck and commercial tires for motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. It also recommends a high speed test for heavy radial truck and bus tires in Load Range F, G, H, J and L that aren't designated for speed-restricted service.
Finally, if it becomes final, the proposed rule would require all tires in this class to bear their maximum speed ratings on their sidewalls.
This long-awaited rulemaking was mandated by the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, which passed Congress in 2000. FMVSS 139, the speed and endurance standard for passenger and light truck tires, became final in June 2003, but NHTSA felt it needed more time to consider the technical issues presented by medium and heavy truck tires.
Officials of the Rubber Manufacturers Association could not be reached for comment. Paul Fiore, director of government and business relations for the Tire Industry Association, said TIA has found nothing objectionable in a preliminary reading of the proposal.
“It's been 37 years since this regulation was first written, so it would be foolish not to acknowledge that the requirements on commercial tires have changed.” Fiore said.