Tire Efficiency http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency Just another weblog Just another weblog Just another weblog Just another weblog Just another weblog Just another weblog Just another weblog Fri, 22 Jan 2010 20:39:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Final Summary http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/final-summary-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=final-summary-2 http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/final-summary-2/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2009 18:38:12 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/12/final-summary-2/ The final summary has been posted at: http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/12/final-summary/

Thank you for your participation in our beta test.  Watch for our first live rule in early 2010.

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Final Summary http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/final-summary/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=final-summary http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/final-summary/#comments Mon, 07 Dec 2009 18:35:36 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/12/final-summary/ FINAL SUMMARY
Moderator, Dec. 7, 1:40 PM

Background: Regulation Room is a new and innovative online environment attempting to increase effective public participation in the rulemaking process. It is operated by the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative as a non-governmental research platform, although CeRI works in close collaboration with agencies whose rules are featured. Regulation Room ran a test public participation period from November 12 – 22, 2009 on a proposed National Highway Transportation Safety Administration rule: Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program. Although the official comment period had closed for this rule, as part of the beta test of Regulation Room, users were encouraged to learn about, react to, and discuss the proposed rule.

On Nov. 25 a draft summary was prepared by the site moderators after the test discussion phase had ended. Users were invited to review the summary, and suggest additions or changes until Friday, Dec. 4. A final summary, that reflected user feedback, was prepared by the site moderators and posted on Monday, Dec. 7. If the agency were still accepting public comment on this rule, the final version of the summary below would have been submitted to the agency through regulations.gov as a formal comment in the rulemaking.

To view the actual comments, please peruse the Have Your Say Posts and the Dig-in Posts available on the Rule Map.

Summary of Discussion

NHTSA’s proposed new rating system for tire fuel efficiency, safety/wet traction, and durability/treadwear prompted considerable discussion. Those who liked the proposed ratings believed that (similar to the existing Energy Star ratings on appliances) they would help consumers understand the impact of tire choices on fuel efficiency and make decisions based on what product characteristics are most important to them.

Those who were critical of the proposal had several concerns: Some users thought that the rating system, as proposed, did not adequately inform consumers about possible trade-offs between fuel efficiency, traction and durability. Of most concern was the trade-off of efficiency and safety. With the proposed label, consumers could not tell how large an increment of safety was being lost if they accepted a lower score on the safety/wet traction scale. On the possible tradeoff between fuel efficiency and durability, one user pointed out that more frequent tire replacement costs could cancel out gas savings, and wanted some metric for evaluating this. Another suggested providing written examples to make the tradeoffs easier to understand; such as how many gallons a consumer would save at the required national average fleet mileage level for each 10,000 miles of driving.

A related concern for several users was that the range of performance within each of the rating scales was unclear, so that it would be difficult for consumers to judge the practical impact of different rating scores. Some wanted NTHSA to provide a way for consumers to translate rating scores into real world tire performance measures. Without this, consumers can’t know what the difference between, for example, a score of 40 and 100 really means. One user cautioned that point differences would probably not have the same significance on all three scales; as this user noted, the meaning of point differentials would depend on the distribution of data for the particular characteristic.

Another related concern was how the ratings would relate to minimum acceptable performance standards for each of the three criteria. Some users suggested an Energy-Star like system that includes an absolute minimum threshold that the product must satisfy for each criterion.

One user thought it would be helpful for dealers to have available, for consumer inspection, actual samples of tire materials corresponding to different rating scores. One user, who favored the proposed ratings, nonetheless expressed concern about whether the ratings would be accurate, noting that there has at times been controversy about accuracy of the Energy Star ratings.

Some users felt that the entire program was misguided – wasting resources to create information that no one would look at or understand. Several users disagreed. Some felt that the information would be broadly used; others thought that this was a relatively low cost way for government to provide information to those who would use it, even if they were a small subset of tire buyers. One user was concerned that choosing fuel efficient tires over safer tires could result in liability. Another proposed that heavily marketing fuel efficient tires would be a better strategy, since this user believed that consumers were already overloaded with information.

On design of the label, users in general agreed with NHTSA’s focus groups that bar graphs were the best format – and found confusing the label that combined all three ratings in a triangular graphic. One user agreed with focus group participants that safety is the more important than fuel efficiency in their purchase decisions, given the relatively slight gain in expected fuel efficiency.

Several users debated whether a percentile ranking system that would indicate the best and worst rated tires would provide consumers with a better reference point from which to make comparative judgments. However, as cautioned above, it was noted that the meaning of percentile differentials would depend on the distribution of data and that a percentile range may be misleading.

In regard to the symbols for wet traction, two users found the first and third pictures in Figure 13 to make more sense and be clearer than the other two. In particularly, the second figure was described as resembling a mushroom cloud or cowboy hat.

Regarding kinds of tires covered by the rule, one users believes that given the high percentage of light truck tires and the generally lower gas mileage of the vehicles that use them, it would be beneficial to have HNTSA require manufactures to periodically report all tire models and sizes it claims are excluded from the information requirements of the new rule.

With respect to limiting the new consumer education program to replacement tires, users understood that NHTSA was doing this because of directives in the Energy Independence and Security Act. However, many tire consumers replace tires with whatever brand and model was original equipment with the car, so some users felt that having the label on new tires might be more important than labeling replacement tires. One user expressed the hope that the omission of new tires would be remedied in the next round of greenhouse emissions legislation.

Users had several ideas on additional ways to disseminate the new rating information. These included: requiring tire retailers to have printouts of rating information available in the store, so that consumers who can’t, or don’t, do research on NHTSA’s website before going shopping could still have the option of doing some brand/model comparison; one user suggested requiring retailers to have a computer kiosk at which users could access the NHTSA site, perhaps with the requirement tied to retail volume. Both of these suggestions would respond to concerns that the comparative information would be unavailable to consumers without reliable Internet access. Since consumers will often be buying replacement tires on very short notice (e.g., immediately replacing a flat tire, or needing tires for the vehicle to pass inspection), the design and content of the required retail poster will be very important, since this may be the only information most consumers get.

General Statistics:

During the test commenting period, the site moderators posted 9 blog posts and the site received 37 comments from 21 users. This included 3 comments from 2 users that were lost due to an unrecognized design anomaly, which was immediately remedied. A total of 917 people visited Regulation Room, which got 18,939 page views during the beta.

105 visitors registered as subscribers (users). All users responded to a survey question at registration asking if they had ever submitted a comment in a federal rulemaking. 96 responded that they had never submitted a comment in a federal rulemaking, 8 responded that they had, and 1 was unsure.

A second survey question, which appeared the first time a subscriber submitted a comment, asked them to describe their interest in the rule. 24 subscribers responded to this question: 18 identifying themselves as consumers; 1 as a tire retailer; 1 as a researcher; and 4 as (unspecified) “other.”

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Have Your Say on the Summary of Discussion http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/have-your-say-on-the-summary-of-discussion/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=have-your-say-on-the-summary-of-discussion http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/have-your-say-on-the-summary-of-discussion/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2009 16:52:12 +0000 mary_newhart http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/have-your-say-on-the-summary-of-discussion/ Have Your Say on the Summary of Discussion
Moderator, Nov. 25, 2009, 11:50 AM

The Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative research team would like to thank everyone who took part in the Regulation Room test public participation period from November 12 – 22, 2009.  917 people visited the site, 105 registered as users, and 21 users reacted to various parts of the proposed National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) rule: Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program.

A Draft Summary of that discussion has been prepared by the site moderators .  You are invited to review it  and suggest additions or changes from now until Friday, December 4.  At that time, we will review the suggestions and post a Final Summary, which will conclude the beta test.  If this were a live rule in which NHTSA was still accepting public comments, we would submit the Final Summary through regulations.gov.

NHTSA’s proposed new rating system for tire fuel efficiency, safety/wet traction, and durability/treadwear prompted considerable discussion.  For example, on the design of the proposed label (below), users in general agreed with NHTSA’s focus groups that bar graphs were the best format – and found unhelpfully confusing a label that would combined all three ratings in a triangular graphic.

NPRM Tire Fuel Efficiency Figure 7

NPRM Tire Fuel Efficiency Figure 7

See the Draft Summary.

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Draft Summary http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/draft-summary/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=draft-summary http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/draft-summary/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2009 15:52:51 +0000 mary_newhart http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/draft-summary/ DRAFT SUMMARY
Moderator, Nov. 25, 11:00 AM

Background: Regulation Room is a new and innovative online environment attempting to increase effective public participation in the rulemaking process. It is operated by the Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative as a non-governmental research platform, although CeRI works in close collaboration with agencies whose rules are featured. Regulation Room ran a test public participation period from November 12 – 22, 2009 on a proposed National Highway Transportation Safety Administration rule: Tire Fuel Efficiency Consumer Information Program. Although the official comment period had closed for this rule, as part of the beta test of Regulation Room, users were encouraged to learn about, react to, and discuss the proposed rule.

This summary was prepared by the site moderators after the test discussion phase had ended.
Users are invited to review the summary, and suggest additions or changes. If the agency were still accepting public comment on this rule, a final version of the summary would be submitted to the agency through regulations.gov as a formal comment in the rulemaking.

You can suggest changes to this Draft Summary until Friday, December 4, when we will review the suggestions and post a Final Summary, which will conclude the beta test.

Summary of Discussion: NHTSA’s proposed new rating system for tire fuel efficiency, safety/wet traction, and durability/treadwear prompted considerable discussion. Those who liked the proposed ratings believed that (similar to the existing Energy Star ratings on appliances) they would help consumers understand the impact of tire choices on fuel efficiency and make decisions based on what product characteristics are most important to them.

Those who were critical of the proposal had several concerns:  Some users thought that the rating system, as proposed, did not adequately inform consumers about possible trade-offs between fuel efficiency, traction and durability. Of most concern was the trade-off of efficiency and safety. With the proposed label, consumers could not tell how large an increment of safety was being lost if they accepted a lower score on the safety/wet traction scale. On the possible tradeoff between fuel efficiency and durability, one user pointed out that more frequent tire replacement costs could cancel out gas savings, and wanted some metric for evaluating this.

A related concern for several users was that the range of performance within each of the rating scales was unclear, so that it would be difficult for consumers to judge the practical impact of different rating scores. Some wanted NTHSA to provide a way for consumers to translate rating scores into real world tire performance measures. Without this, consumers can’t know what the difference between, for example, a score of 40 and 100 really means. One user cautioned that point differences would probably not have the same significance on all three scales; as this user noted, the meaning of point differentials would depend on the distribution of data for the particular characteristic.

A related concern was how the ratings would relate to minimum acceptable performance standards for each of the three criteria. Some users suggested an Energy-Star like system that includes an absolute minimum threshold that the product must satisfy for each criterion. One user thought it would be helpful for dealers to have available, for consumer inspection, actual samples of tire materials corresponding to different rating scores. One user, who favored the proposed ratings, nonetheless expressed concern about whether the ratings would be accurate, noting that there has at times been controversy about accuracy of the Energy Star ratings.

Some users felt that the entire program was misguided – wasting resources to create information that no one would look at or understand. Several users disagreed. Some felt that the information would be broadly used; others thought that this was a relatively low cost way for government to provide information to those who would use it, even if they were a small subset of tire buyers. One user was concerned that choosing fuel efficient tires over safer tires could result in liability. Another proposed that heavily marketing fuel efficient tires would be a better strategy, since this user believed that consumers were already overloaded with information.

On design of the label, users in general agreed with NHTSA’s focus groups that bar graphs were the best format – and found unhelpfully confusing the label that combined all three ratings in a triangular graphic.

With respect to limiting the new consumer education program to replacement tires, users understood that NHTSA was doing this because of directives in the Energy Independence and Security Act. However, many tire consumers replace tires with whatever brand and model was original equipment with the car, so some users felt that having the label on new tires might be more important than labeling replacement tires. One user expressed the hope that the omission of new tires would be remedied in the next round of greenhouse emissions legislation.

Users had several ideas on additional ways to disseminate the new rating information. These included: requiring tire retailers to have printouts of rating information available in the store, so that consumers who can’t, or don’t, do research on NHTSA’s website before going shopping could still have the option of doing some brand/model comparison; one user suggested requiring retailers to have a computer kiosk at which users could access the NHTSA site, perhaps with the requirement tied to retail volume. Both of these suggestions would respond to concerns that the comparative information would be unavailable to consumers without reliable Internet access. Since consumers will often be buying replacement tires on very short notice (e.g., immediately replacing a flat tire, or needing tires for the vehicle to pass inspection), the design and content of the required retail poster will be very important, since this may be the only information most consumers get.

General Statistics: During the test commenting period, the site moderators posted 9 blog posts and the site received 37 comments from 21 users. This included 3 comments from 2 users that were lost due to an unrecognized design anomaly, which was immediately remedied. A total of 917 people visited Regulation Room, which got 18,939 page views during the beta.

105 visitors registered as subscribers (users). All users responded to a survey question at registration asking if they had ever submitted a comment in a federal rulemaking. 100% responded that they had never submitted a comment in a federal rulemaking.

A second survey question, which appeared the first time a subscriber submitted a comment, asked them to describe their interest in the rule. 24 subscribers responded to this question: 18 identifying themselves as consumers; 1 as a tire retailer; 1 as a researcher; and 4 as (unspecified) “other.”

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Its A Small World After All http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/its-a-small-world-after-all/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=its-a-small-world-after-all http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/its-a-small-world-after-all/#comments Sat, 21 Nov 2009 14:43:12 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/its-a-small-world-after-all/ It’s A Small World After All
Moderator, Nov. 21, 9:45 AM

You might be wondering what prompted all this concern about whether consumers understand how tires affect fuel efficiency. As part of a bigger study on reducing US dependence on foreign oil, Congress found out that if consumers chose more fuel efficient models when they replace their tires, the fuel economy of existing passenger vehicles could be improved by 1-2%. This may not sound like much, but it translates to the US saving 1-2 billion gallons of fuel per year.

NHTSA is not the only government agency working on this. The California Energy Commission has been developing guidelines for fuel efficient tires. The European Union is about to adopt a fuel efficiency consumer program that will require labelling tires with fuel efficiency information.  Japan is also studying the area. Worldwide, the potential fuel savings start to add up.

Because large tire manufacturers like Michelin sell in a global market, NHTSA has to walk a fine line when it comes to coordinating its requirements with those of these other governments, particularly the EU.  It’s expensive for manufacturers to have to produce different testing data, labels and other consumer materials depending on whether a tire is going to be sold in Germany, New York, or California.  Those costs may end up as higher tire prices for consumers.  So, NHTSA has tentatively decided to use the same testing procedure (created by the International Standards Organization) that the EU will require.

But at the same time, NHTSA’s responsibility is to come up with the consumer information program that’s best for US tire buyers.  So, it’s proposing to use a different way to measure the “rolling resistance” that determines a tire’s fuel efficiency than the EU is using.  The EU plans to base its rating on the “rolling resistance coefficient” (rolling resistance divided by the “load” the tire was tested at).  NHTSA is proposing to use just the rolling resistance number.  It compared possible tire choices for three different-sized vehicles (a Chevrolet Impala, a Chevrolet Silverado, and a Toyota Corolla) and found that a 10 point improvement in a 0 to 100 rating system based on the rolling resistance measurement corresponded to a similar amount of fuel saved in all three situations. If, however, the rating system were based on the rolling resistance coefficient, a 10 point improvement would translate to a smaller amount of fuel saved for a small car and larger fuel savings for a large car. NHTSA thinks that consumers will have a harder time using a rating system in which point differences on the scale represent different gains in fuel efficiency depending on the size of their vehicle.

So, what do you think? Is NHTSA right in its prediction about which kind of rating system will be easier for consumers to understand and apply — and in its judgment that this outweighs the costs of making tire manufacturers comply with two different sets of regulatory requirements?

HAVE YOUR SAY by replying below, or DIG IN to learn more about the testing procedure and the rolling resistance formula.

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Can Labels Help Prevent Buyer's Remorse? http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/can-labels-help-prevent-buyers-remorse/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=can-labels-help-prevent-buyers-remorse http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/can-labels-help-prevent-buyers-remorse/#comments Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:44:54 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/can-labels-help-prevent-buyers-remorse/ Can Labels Help Prevent Buyer’s Remorse?
Moderator, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, 9:45 AM

Consumer research shows that most replacement tire purchases are unplanned and unresearched, made on the spot with help from sales staff at a garage or other tire retailer. Will consumers who need a quick fix for an unrepairable flat or tires too worn to pass inspection be able to access and understand information on the difference between various fuel efficiency, safety, and durability ratings?

Under NHTSA’s proposed consumer education program, tire retailers will be required to undertake a few simple measures to help disseminate the new ratings information.

First, the new ratings label must remain on the tire until the tire is sold. In addition to the ratings, the label will contain NHTSA’s web address, so consumers can look up more information on the ratings system, and on various tire models’ ratings online.

NPRM Tire Fuel Efficiency Figure 7

NPRM Tire Fuel Efficiency Figure 7

Second, tire retailers must display a poster from NHTSA that illustrates and explains the new ratings system and encourages consumers to compare ratings across tires.

Third, tire retailers that have a website would have to add to the new website being developed by the NHTSA, which would consolidate available information on tire efficiency and performances, as well as further educate consumers on the importance of proper tire maintenance.

Will all this actually affect consumer behavior? Should tire retailers be required to do more to help educate consumers on the ratings? Are there more effective ways to reach consumers than the methods NHTSA is currently planning?

HAVE YOUR SAY by replying below or DIG IN to learn more about what NHTSA proposed to require tire retailers and tire manufacturers to do in the new consumer education program.

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It’s Time to Buy Replacement Tires. Do You Know Where Those Ratings Came From? http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/it%e2%80%99s-time-to-buy-replacement-tires-do-you-know-where-those-ratings-came-from/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=it%25e2%2580%2599s-time-to-buy-replacement-tires-do-you-know-where-those-ratings-came-from http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/it%e2%80%99s-time-to-buy-replacement-tires-do-you-know-where-those-ratings-came-from/#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2009 15:20:09 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/it%e2%80%99s-time-to-buy-replacement-tires-do-you-know-where-those-ratings-came-from/ It’s Time to Buy Replacement Tires. Do You Know Where Those Ratings Came From?
Moderator, Nov. 19, 2009, 10:15 AM

Did you know there are more than 20,000 different brand/model/size combinations (“SKU”s) for replacement tires sold in the United States?  Here’s an example NHTSA gives of one manufacturer’s tire lines.  Within each line, models will usually be available in different sizes:

Tire-Rule-Figure-3

Research done for the California Energy Commission (which is considering a similar consumer education program to NHTSA’s) estimated that it could take nearly 3 years to do the lab tests involved in rating all existing tire SKUs.  By then, of course, there would be many new and redesigned versions.  For this reason, NHTSA has tentatively concluded that its new rule would not require a manufacturer actually to test the rolling resistance, wet traction, and treadwear for every type of tire it produces.

So, where would the ratings on the label come from?  Tire manufacturers would be permitted to extrapolate the rolling resistance, traction and treadwear values for a particular version of tire based on actual test values for other tires.
NHTSA would require that each SKU carry its own unique ratings label, but would leave it up to the manufacturer to determine just how many kinds of tires it actually needs to test to develop ratings for all SKUs.

What do you think? Should NHTSA require actual testing for each SKU?  If ratings can be estimated, should manufacturers have to  indicate on the label whether the ratings are based on extrapolation rather than actual testing?

HAVE YOUR SAY by replying below, or Dig In to learn more about the testing procedures required to produce actual ratings data for rolling resistance, wet traction, and treadwear.

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Will Your Tires Be Covered By NHTSA's New Label? http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/will-your-tires-be-covered-by-nhtsas-new-label/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=will-your-tires-be-covered-by-nhtsas-new-label http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/will-your-tires-be-covered-by-nhtsas-new-label/#comments Wed, 18 Nov 2009 14:36:30 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/will-your-tires-be-covered-by-nhtsas-new-label/ Will Your Tires Be Covered By NHTSA’s New Label?
Moderator, Nov. 18, 9:35 AM

Although Congress told NHTSA to come up with a consumer education program on tire fuel efficiency, it also tied NHTSA’s  hands when it comes to the kinds of tires that will be part of the new program.

Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) says that the new label and consumer information requirements may be applied only to replacement tires for passenger vehicles.   So, you won’t see the new consumer information label on the tires when you shop for a new car (unless a manufacturer adds the label voluntarilty).

for replacement tires, EISA carves out some important groups  from the new consumer education program:
•    Deep tread and winter-type snow tires
•    Space-saver or temporary use spare tires with a nominal rim diameter of 12″ or less; and
•    Tires for SUVs, vans and pickups that begin with the designation “LT” (light truck).

This means that about 21% of the replacement tires purchased each year won’t be covered by the new consumer label and ifnormation program.

Obviously, NHTSA can’t disobey the statute and try to require manufacturers to provide rating information and and consumer labels on tires that EISA excludes.  Are there ways that NHTSA could encourage manufacturers to cover these tires voluntarily?   Other ideas?

HAVE YOUR SAY by replying below, or DIG IN to the kinds of tires covered. (See earlier posts on the proposed rule here.)

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The Costs of More Fuel Efficient Tires http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/the-costs-of-more-fuel-efficient-tires/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-costs-of-more-fuel-efficient-tires http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/the-costs-of-more-fuel-efficient-tires/#comments Tue, 17 Nov 2009 15:11:20 +0000 mary_newhart http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/the-costs-of-more-fuel-efficient-tires/ The Costs of More Fuel Efficient Tires
Moderator, Nov. 17, 10:15 AM

Once tire fuel efficiency ratings are available on tire labels and the Web, won’t the smart consumer always buy the highest rated tire model available for his or her car? Not necessarily.

It turns out there’s a tradeoff between fuel economy on the one hand, and traction and treadwear on the other. This makes sense: contact between the rubber tread and the road is what uses the energy that consumes fuel. It’s called “rolling resistance.” Less rubber tread, less rolling resistance and so better mileage, but also shorter tire life and poorer traction.

NHTSA studied the problem and concluded that, while the tradeoff isn’t inevitable, increasing fuel economy without sacrificing safety and durability requires newer, higher-cost manufacturing technology, e.g., silicon tread. So consumers face some tough choices: should you spend more on new-technology replacement tires or balance fuel economy against tire life and handling on a wet road?

This brings us back to what should be on the proposed new label. Will consumers easily understand how fuel efficiency, safety and durability are related? One design NHTSA thought about would put all three ratings on the same chart:

Label-Ex-Figure11

What do you think? Does this label effectively illustrate the tradeoffs between safety, durability, and fuel efficiency? Would a different label design be better? Are there other or better ways NHTSA could help consumers make the best tire model choice for their particular situation?

HAVE YOUR SAY by replying below or DIG IN to learn more about what’s behind the types of information NHTSA wants to give consumers. (See earlier posts on the proposed rule here.)

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New Tire Labeling: Helping Consumers and the Environment? http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/new-tire-labeling-helping-consumers-and-the-environment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-tire-labeling-helping-consumers-and-the-environment http://archive.regulationroom.org/tire-efficiency/new-tire-labeling-helping-consumers-and-the-environment/#comments Mon, 16 Nov 2009 15:08:19 +0000 Moderator http://www.archive.regulationroom.org/2009/11/new-tire-labeling-helping-consumers-and-the-environment/ New Tire Labeling: Helping Consumers and the Environment?
Moderator – 10:10 am, November 16, 2009

Most car owners don’t realize that the kind of tires they buy affects the mileage they get and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions their car produces. The federal government hopes this will change under a new rule (regulation) proposed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The new rule would require tire manufacturers to provide fuel efficiency ratings for most passenger vehicle tires. For the next ten days, we’ll be talking about what’s in the new program and what’s behind it.

The heart of the new program is this label, which would be attached to tires you could buy when you need to replace those that came with your car.

NTHSA Proposed Label

As you can see, there’s more information here than just fuel efficiency. Ratings for treadwear and traction on a wet surface are already required by the government. They’re part of a long Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS) code molded into the tire sidewall. But, most consumers don’t know about the code, or how to interpret it. NHTSA hopes that reformatting these ratings, and including them on the new label, will make the information more accessible.

What do you think? Will this new label give consumers the information they need to make smart choices – for themselves and the environment – when they buy replacement tires?

HAVE YOUR SAY by responding below or DIG IN to learn more about what’s behind the design of the new consumer tire label.

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