Tyres Industry Set to Talk on Fuel Efficiency

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By Oliver Hall

The US tyres industry is gearing up to give its take on the complex rule on tyre fuel efficiency.

Manufacturers, dealers and tyres organisations, are preparing their response to the consumer information initiative ready for the August 21st deadine.

The 148-page document proposes a national program to inform consumers about the effect their choices of replacement tyres will have on fuel efficiency, safety and durability.

The program will include a rating system for replacement tyres—available both online and at point of sale—covering rolling resistance (fuel efficiency), traction (safety) and treadwear (durability).

While organisations such as the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tyre Industry Association are not revealing much before they submit their formal comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, officials of both groups indicated the document is more or less what they expected.

Paul Fiore, director of government and business affairs for TIA, said: “We don’t see any big surprises in there.”

The RMA proposed the fuel efficiency program in Congress as an alternative to the more draconian fuel efficiency rule pending in California.

The measure passed as part of the omnibus energy package Congress approved at the end of 2007, and charged NHTSA with establishing a tyre fuel efficiency program by the end of 2009.

Because of this, the association and its tyre manufacturing members have a strong interest in the success of the programme.

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