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Update: Transportation Bill, with Tire Provisions, Sent to Obama

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White HouseHaving been passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate earlier in the week, the $305 billion five-year transportation infrastructure bill was sent to the White House.

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President Obama signed the bill, which, in addition to providing federal money to highway, transit and rail projects, also includes several provisions related to tire standards and registration.

The 1,300-page bill was nearly a decade in the making, with Congress having tried to agree on how to cobble together the funding for a long-term highway and transit bill since 2005.

Related to tires, the bill contains three provisions advocated by RMA: setting minimum tire performance standards for tire fuel efficiency and wet traction; tire registration at point-of-sale; and the creation of a consumer-friendly tire recall search tool.

The bill establishes a minimum tire fuel efficiency performance standard that will eliminate the least fuel efficient tires from the passenger tire market, while a wet traction performance standard will help ensure tire fuel efficiency improvements are not achieved that the expense of wet traction performance and safety.

It also requires tire sellers to register tires to help boost registration rates and improve the ability of tire manufacturers to directly notify consumers of a tire recall so that tires with potential safety issues can be quickly removed from service and replaced.

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The bill also requires NHTSA to develop a web-based tire recall lookup tool searchable by TIN to enable consumers to quickly determine whether a tire is subject to a recall.

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