WASHINGTON—Several regulations on the books at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are "outdated, unnecessary or ineffective" and should be rescinded, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association told the agency.
"Our recommendations are aimed at modernizing regulations that apply to tire performance testing and ratings, some of which are 50 years old," said USTMA President and CEO Anne Forristall Luke in her Dec. 1 comments to NHTSA.
"The tires being manufactured today by USTMA members are far more highly engineered than those of decades ago, and the regulatory framework needs to evolve, too," Luke said.
Luke made her comments in response to an Oct. 3 call for comments on the U.S. Department of Transportation's regulatory reform initiative.
Among the regulations the USTMA would like to see eliminated are:
- The bead unseating test under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 109 and 139, which the USTMA calls "an outdated obsolete test method that does not provide a safety benefit for modern tires."
- The "plunger energy" tire strength test under 109 and 139, which the USTMA said was designed in the 1960s to test bias-ply and glass-belted tires, whereas tires today are radial and have steel belts.
- The 109/139 endurance test, which often results in unintended tread chunking that is neither a structural degradation of the tire nor a safety-related condition.
- Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards, a 40-year-old rule that has several major shortcomings in its testing procedures and has never reached consumers with useful information.
- Sidewall marking requirements such as ply ratings and "Tubeless" and "Radial" designations, which are obsolete or redundant.