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NADA wants more NHTSA clarity on tire information ruling

November 16, 2010

After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s clarified its tire-information rule last December, the NADA and several other associations asked the agency to further clarify a number of issues.

The rule requires light-duty vehicle tire labels that identify tire size, tire cold-inflation pressure and vehicle capacity weight rating information; and for the labels to be placed on or near the driver’s door.

Dealerships installing tires on new vehicles before first sale must re-label them if those tires are of a different size or have a different cold-inflation pressure. Moreover, re-labeling is required if the weight of any parts or accessories added to a vehicle prior to first sale exceed the lesser or 100 pounds or 1.5 percent of the gross vehicle weight rating.

Any reasonable means can be used to determine the accurate weight of any add-ons, including scales or their shipping weight. Re-labeling is not required if pre-sale changes result in a new vehicle’s weight being reduced or for changes involving used vehicles.

When re-labeling, dealerships may place new labels on top of existing labels; update existing labels with new tire or weight information; or, for weight changes only, place a supplementary label next to the existing label.

The NADA is awaiting NHTSA decisions on whether or not:

1. Re-labeling only is necessary for altered light-duty vehicles (those to which major changes are made).

2. To set the re-labeling trigger threshold at the greater of 3 percent of GVWR or 220 pounds.

3. To eliminate re-labeling for tire changes. The NADA urged the NHTSA to recognize that tire changes made before first sale typically involve size options recommended by the vehicle’s OEM, are at the request of purchasers, and involve no significant safety concerns.