Tire Efficiency Consumer Information BETA

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Kinds of Tires Covered

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Rule Map-->New Consumer Tire Label–>KINDS OF TIRES COVERED

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) says that the new label and consumer information requirements may be applied only to tires already covered under NHTSA’s Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS) program. This means that only the following tires are included:  Tires intended for use on a passenger car, a multipurpose passenger vehicle, or a truck having a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or less, that are not sold as original equipment on a new vehicle.

Even within this group, the statute excludes the following kinds of tires:
- Deep tread, winter-type snow tires, space-saver or temporary use spare tires with a nominal rim diameter of 12″ or less, and limited production tires.
- Tires for SUVs, vans and pickups that begin with the designation “LT” (light truck)

“LT” tires make up about 16.7% of US replacement tire sales.  Nine of the 25 tire models in NHTSA’s first tire fuel efficiency study were LT models, and these had nearly twice the rolling resistance of the passenger tire models. These data were collected before EISA was passed.  Although NHTSA cannot include these tires, they are included in similar regulatory programs being started in California and the European Union, so more data on them will become available to consumers.

Snow tires represent about 4.5% of the replacement tire market, and two models of these tires were also included in NHTSA’s first study. Unlike the LT models, snow tires tested within the rolling resistance range for all-season and summer-only tires of the same size.

NHTSA particularly requests comment on whether it should require manufacturers periodically to report all tire models and sizes that it claims are excluded from the information requirements of the new rule. (See Reporting Requirements).

NHTSA proposes to define “replacement tire” in terms of actual sale of the tire, not intention when manufactured.  This means that tires manufactured for the original equipment market could be covered if, for example, the vehicle manufacturer does not purchase all the tires made, or disposes of excess stock in the consumer market.