WASHINGTON—The issuing of tire labeling regulations is following a familiar path in rulemaking: They're late.
On March 25, 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a 195-page final rule mandating that U.S. tire makers implement a tire fuel-efficiency labeling program to help consumers select those tires with the least rolling resistance and highest fuel savings.
However, the standard lacked:
* Provisions involving the format and content of the fuel-efficiency labels;
* Final language as to tire testing requirements under the rule; and
* Provisions regarding the format and operation of the consumer education portion of the rule.
Last September, NHTSA set a schedule on its website with a March 15, 2013, deadline to issue the pending provisions. But the Rubber Manufacturers Association said the Office of the Secretary of Transportation apparently missed a January deadline to approve the supplemental final rule and send it to the Office of Management and Budget for further scrutiny, as is required under federal law.
"I don't think it's been cleared yet," an RMA spokesman said. "And even if the OMB were to receive it now, it would need at least 30 days."
A spokesman for the Tire Industry Association said he has no idea when the supplemental final rule will appear. He said TIA and NHTSA officials are having ongoing meetings on the issue.