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Full text of "Federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations, with amendments and interpretations"






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Effcctlva: May 22, 1971 



PREAMBLE TO PART 574— TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDKEEPING 



(Docket No. 70-12; Notice No. 5) 



On November 10, 1970, the National Highway 
Safety Bureau (now the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA) pub- 
lished the Tire Identification and Recordkeeping 
Regulations (35 F.R. 18116). Thereafter, pur- 
suant to § 553.35 of the rulemaking procedures 
(49 CFR Part 553, 35 F.R. 5119), petitions for 
reconsideration or petitions for rulemaking were 
filed by the American Retreaders' Association, 
Inc., the Armstrong Rubber Co., Bandag Inc., 
the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Associa- 
tion, Inc., the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the 
Lee Tire and Rubber Co., Chrysler Corp., the 
Rubber Manufacturers Association, Ford Motor 
Co., the Kelly-Springfield Tire Co., Pirelli Tire 
Corp., the B. F. Goodrich Co., Uniroyal Tire Co., 
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Michelin Tire Corp., 
the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., White Motor 
Corp., Bert Schwarz-S&H Inc., and the Truck 
Trailer Manufacturers Association. Several pe- 
titioners requested the opportunity to demonstrate 
difficulties they were having meeting the regula- 
tion as issued, and as a r^ult a public meeting 
was held December 21, 1970. Notice of the meet- 
ing was published in the Federal Register (35 
F.R. 19036) and the transcript of the meeting 
is in the public docket. The substance of the 
petitions and comments made at the meeting have 
been considered. Certain parts of the Tire Iden- 
tification and Recordkeeping Regulation are 
hereby amended. 

The definition of "Tire brand name owner" in 
§ 574.3(c) is changed to make it clear that a 
person manufacturing a brand name tire that he 
markets himself is not a brand name owner for 
the purposes of this regulation. 

The regulation is amended to except from its 
requirements tires manufactured for pre-1948 ve- 
hicles. This exception is consistent with the 



Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for pas- 
senger car tires (Standard No. 109). 

After consideration of the comments in the 
petitions concerning the tire identification num- 
ber requirements, several changes have been made. 

1. Section 574.5 is amended to specify the num- 
bers and letters to be used in the identification 
number. 

2. Figures 1 and 2 are modified to allow three- 
quarters of an inch, instead of one-half inch, 
between the DOT s)anbol and the identification 
number and between the second and third group- 
ing. Tires with cross section width of 6 inches 
or l3ss may use %2-inch letters. The DOT sym- 
bol may be located to the right of the identifica- 
tion number as well as above, below, or to the 
left oi the identification number. Retreaders, 
as well as new tire manufacturers, may locate the 
DOT symbol above, below, to the left, or to the 
right of the identification number. The mini- 
mum depth of the identification number has been 
changed from 0.025 inch to 0.020 inch, measured 
from the surface immediately surrounding the 
characters. 

3. The second grouping, identifying the tire 
size, has been changed with respect to retreaded 
tires to provide that if a matrix is used for 
processing the retreaded tire the code must iden- 
tify the matrix used. The change requiring re- 
treaded tire identification numbers to contain a 
matrix code rather than a size code was made 
because, in the event of a defect notification, the 
matrix would be a more meaningful method of 
identifying the suspect tires and it was consid- 
ered impracticable to require retreaders to in- 
clude the tire size in the tire-identification 
number. 

4. The third grouping, for identifying the 
significant characteristics of the tire, has been 
changed to provide that if a tire is manufactured 



PART 574— PRE 1 



Iffactrvd Moy 32, 1971 

for a brand name owner the code shall include 
symbols identifying the brand name owner, 
which shall be assigned by the manufacturer 
rather than by the NHTSA. Manufacturers are 
required to provide the NHTSA with the sym- 
bols assigned to brand name owners upon the 
NHTSA's request. This change should result in 
a shorter identification number and allow manu- 
facturers greater flexibility in the use of the 
third grouping. 

Standard No. 109 presently requires that pas- 
senger car tires contain a DOT symbol, or a 
statement that the tire complies with the stand- 
ard, on both sidewalls of the tire between the 
section width and the bead. The requirement 
in Standard No. 109 is being changed by notice 
published in this issue (36 F.R. 1195 to provide 
that the DOT symbol may be on either sidewall, 
in the location specified by this regulation. The 
requested change that the DOT symbol be allowed 
on tires for which there is no applicable standard 
in effect is denied, since such use would tend to 
give consumers the impression those tires were 
covered by a Federal standard. 

Several petitioners requested that other DOT 
symbols (located as required by the present 
Standard No. 109) be permitted to remain on 
the tire along with the three-digit manufactur- 
er's code number assigned pursuant to that 
standard. The Tire Identification and Record- 
keeping regulation does not prohibit the con- 
tinued use of the symbol and code number pro- 
vided the numbers are not close enough to the 
identification number to be confused with it. 
In no event should the three-digit number, for- 
merly required by Standard No. 109, immediately 
follow the tire identification number. 



As a result of petitions by vehicle manufac- 
turers the requirement in § 574.10 that vehicle 
manufacturers maintain the record of tires on 
each vehicle shipped has been changed to elim- 
inate the requirement that this information be 
maintained by identification number. It would 
evidently be extremely difficult and expensive for 
the vehicle manufacturer to record each tire iden- 
tification number. Vehicle manufacturers have 
stated that their present system provides records 
that enable them to notify the purchaser of a 
vehicle that may contain suspect tires. 

Several petitioners requested that the effective 
date of the regulation be extended beyond May 1, 
1971. The 1970 amendment to the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires 
that the provisions relating to maintaining rec- 
ords of tire purchasers shall be effective not later 
than 1 year after the date of enactment of these 
amendments (May 22, 1971). It has been deter- 
mined that in view of the complexities involved 
in establishing the recordkeeping system re- 
quired and the effect of the same on existing 
processes, good cause exists for making the regu- 
lations effective on the latest date manufacturers 
are required by statute to maintain records. It 
is further determined that a May 22, 1971, effec- 
tive date is in the public interest. 

Effective date : May 22, 1971. 

Issued on January 19, 1971. 

Douglas W. Toms, 
Acting Administrator, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Ad- 
ministration. 

36 F.R. 1196 
January 26, 1971 



PART 574^PRE 2 



EffKtivc May 23, 1971 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574— TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND 

RECORDKEEPING 

(Docket No. 70-12; Notice No. 9) 

Amendment to Figure 2 Concerning the Location of the Tire Identification Number 

for Retreaded Tires 



The purpose of this amendment is to provide 
retreaders with an alternative location for the 
placement of the tire identification number. 

On January 26, 1971, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration published Docket 
No. 70-12, Notice No. 5, a revised version of the 
Tire Identification and Record Keeping Regula- 
tion, 49 CFR Part 574 (36 F.R. 1196). Section 
574.5 requires retreaders to permanently mold or 
brand into or onto one sidewall a tire identifica- 
tion number in the manner specified in Figure 
2 of the regulation. Figure 2 requires that the 
tire identification number be locat«d in the area 
of the shoulder between the tread edge and the 
maximum section width of the tire. The regula- 
tion specified this location because, generally, it 
is the area upon which retreaders apply new re- 
tread material. 

Bandag, Inc., has petitioned for rulemaking to 
allow the tire identification to be below the sec- 
tion width of the tire. The petition requests this 
relief because the Bandag process only affects 
the tread surface, a comparatively smooth surface 
is needed for application of the identification 
number, and many casings have no smooth area 



between the tread edge and the maximum section 
width. 

Therefore, in view of the above. Figure 2 of 
Part 574 (36 F.R. 1200) is hereby amended as 
set forth below to require that the tire identifica- 
tion number be on one sidewall of the tire, either 
on the upper segment between the maximum sec- 
tion width and the tread edge, or on the lower 
segment between the maximum section width 
and bead in a location such that the number will 
not be covered by the rim flange when the tire is 
inflated. In no event should the number be on 
the surface of the scuff rib or ribs. 

Eifective date: May 22, 1971. 

Because this amendment relieves a restriction 
and does not impose any additional burden on 
any person it is found that notice and public 
procedure thereon are unnecessary and imprac- 
ticable, and that, for good cause shown, an effec- 
tive date less than 30 days after the date of 
issuance is in the public interest. 

Issued on May 21, 1971. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Acting Administrator 



PART 574^PRE 3-t 



Efhctiv*: Nevsmbar 8, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574— TIRE IDENTIFECATION AND RECORD KEEPING 

(Docket No. 70-14; Notice 15) 



The purpose of this araondment to Part 574 
of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, is to 
provide that the second group of symbols within 
the tire identification number shall, in the case 
of new tires, be assigned at the option of the 
manufacturer rather than conforming to the tire 
size code presently foimd in Table I of the regu- 
lation. 

Under the present system, even if the presently 
imassigned symbols "O" and "R" are used, a 
maximum of 900 tire size codes can be assigned. 
Due to the many new tire sizes being introduced, 
it is necessary to change the system to allow 
more flexibility. Therefore, Table I is herewith 
deleted, new tire manufacturers are allowed to 
assign their own two-digit code for the tire size, 
and retreaders are allowed to use either a self- 
assigned matrix code or a self-assigned tire size 
code. Each new tire manufacturer will still be 
required to use a two-symbol size code and to 
maintain a record of the coding system used, 
which shall be provided to the National High- 
way Traffic Safety Administration upon written 
request. It is recommended but not required 
that manufacturers use the code sizes previously 
assigned by this agency for active sizes, and re- 
use the codes for obsolete sizes when additional 
size codes are ne«ded. 

A notice of proposed rulemaking on this sub- 
ject was published on June 16, 1972 (37 F.R. 
11979). The comments received in response to 
the notice have been considered in the issuance 
of this final rule. The rule is issued as it ap- 
peared in the proposal including the letter "T" 
inadvertently omitted from the proposal. 

Three of the tire manufacturers who com- 
mented favored the proposed change, and the 
National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Associa- 
tion, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Asso- 
ciation and The European Tyre and Rim 



Technical Organisation commented without ob- 
jection to the proposed change. 

Bandag, Inc., a retreader of tires, objected to 
the proposed change on the grounds that allow- 
ing tire manufacturers to assign their own tire 
size code would remove one of the methods a 
retreader has to determine the tire size of a 
casing to be retreaded. 

Mtrcedes-Benz of North America and Volks- 
wagen of America did not favor the change 
because of the possibility of confusion for the 
vehicle manufacturer that equips its vehicle with 
several manufacturers' tires. 

The principal objection raised by Bandag 
should be considerably alleviated by an amend- 
ment to Standard No. 109 (36 F.R. 24824) under 
consideration, which would require tire manu- 
facturers to place the actual tire size, as well as 
other pertinent information, between the section 
width and the bead of the tire so that the infor- 
mation will be less susceptible to obliteration 
during use or removal during the retreading 
process. 

With respect to the comment by Mercedes- 
Benz of North America and Volkswagen of 
America, it was concluded that because the exist- 
ing system does not provide enough symbols to 
meet the anticipated introduction of new tire 
sizes, the proposed change is necessary. Mer- 
cedes' recommendation that "G", "Q", "S", and 
"Z" be added or that a three-digit size code be 
used was rejected, because the additional symbols 
suggested are difficult to apply to the tire, and 
the addition of a third symbol would, according 
to the tire manufacturers, be impractical and 
inefficient. 

A list of the tire size codes assigned up to this 
time is published in the general notice section of 
this issue of the Federal Register (37 F.R. 23742). 
The NHTSA urges tire manufacturers to use 



PART 574r-PRE 5 



Effertiv*: Novtmbar 8, 1972 



these existing codes for tire sizes presently being 
produced and to work within their tire and rim 
associations to make code assignments for new 
tire sizes on an industry-wide basis and reuse 
obsolete size codes wherever possible. In this 
way the usefulness of the tire size code to the 
vehicle manufacturer will be maintained. 

In consideration of the foregoing, in Part 574 
of Title 49, Code of Federal Kegulations, Table 
I is deleted and § 574.5 is amended .... 

Effective date : November 8, 1972. 

Because this amendment relieves a restriction, 
and because of the immediate need for the intro- 
duction of new tire size codes, it is found for 



good cause shown that an effective date less than 
30 days from the date of issuance is in the public 
interest. 

Issued under the authority of sections 103, 
112, 113, 119 and 201 of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 
1402, 1407 and 1421, and the delegation of au- 
thority at 49 CFR 1.51. 

Issued on October 31, 1972. 

Charles H. Hartman 
Acting Administrator 

37 F.R. 23727 
November 8, 1972 



PART 574— PRE 6 



Effactlv*: April 3, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574— TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDKEEPING 

(Docket No. 71-18; Notice 7) 



This notice amends Standard No. 119, New 
pneumatic tires for vehicles other than passenger 
cars, 49 CFR 571.119, to specify lettering sizes 
and modified treadwear indicator requirements 
for tires. In addition, it amends Part 574, Tire 
Identification, 49 CFR 574, to permit the labeling 
of certain tires with the symbol DOT prior to 
the effective date of the standard. This notice 
also responds to petitions for reconsideration of 
Standard 119's effective date by maintaining the 
present date of March 1, 1975. 

To avoid a costly production shutdown on the 
effective date to engrave tire molds with the 
DOT compliance symbol required by the stand- 
ard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Ad- 
ministration (NHTSA) proposed a modification 
of the Part 574 prohibition on the symbol's use 
prior to the effective date (39 F.R. 3967, Jan- 
uary 31, 1974). The Rubber Manufacturers 
Association and five tire manufacturers agreed 
that the DOT should be engraved on tire molds 
prior to the effective date, but objected to the 
expense of covering the DOT with a label stating 
that "no Federal motor vehicle safety standard 
applies to this tire," when the DOT appears on 
tires which (presumably) satisfy Standard 119 
requirements. Firestone pointed out that the 
large label size could obscure other label infor- 
mation. Goodrich noted that, as proposed, the 
DOT could be molded on tires which met no 
standard and could mislead a user if the label 
fell off. 

The NHTSA will not permit the appearance 
of the DOT compliance symbol on any item of 
motor vehicle equipment to which no standard 
is applicable. The terms "applicability" and 
"applies" have only one meaning for Federal 
motor vehicle safety standards: that the vehicle 
or equipment concerned is subject to a safety 
standard. To permit use of the DOT symbol on 



vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment to 
which no standard applies would confuse the 
meaning of the symbol and the concept of com- 
pliance. 

In response to Firestone and Goodrich, the 
NHTSA has modified the lettering size on the 
label and limited use of the DOT symbol to tires 
for which a standard has been issued. With the 
small lettering size, the rubber labels used on 
retread tires can be applied over the DOT symbol 
in fulfillment of the requirement. Another 
method which manufacturers did not mention 
but which would be permissible is the removal 
of the DOT at the same time imperfections are 
buffed off the tire. 

All comments on the proposal objected to the 
specific location requirements for treadwear in- 
dicators based on the concept of even tread wear 
across the tread width. Goodyear demonstrated 
in a meeting with the NHTSA Tire Division on 
February 13, 1974, and detailed in its submission 
to the Docket, the difficulty in equating ideal tire 
wear with actual road experience. They recom- 
mended the simpler concept that a tire has worn 
out when any major tread groove has only %2 in 
tread remaining. The NHTSA has concluded 
that treadwear indicators must be placed at the 
discretion of the manufacturer to give a person 
inspecting the tire visual indication of whether 
the tire has worn to a certain tread depth. Ac- 
cordingly, the lateral location requirements for 
treadwear indicators have been deleted from the 
standard. 

There was no discussion of the lettering size 
and depth proposal, and these proposals are 
adopted as proposed. 

The comments requested reconsideration of the 
standard's March 1, 1975, effective date (pub- 
lished February 1, 1974, 39 F.R. 4087), asserting 
the need for 18 months of lead time following 



PART 574^PRE 7 



Madlv*: April 3, 1974 

publication of this notice to engrave tire molds 
as required by the standard. The NHTSA has 
found that 11 months is sufficient leadtime to 
accomplish these changes, and accordingly these 
petitions are denied. 

To correct an inadvertent omission in the 
amendment of Standard No. 119 in response to 
petitions for reconsideration (39 F.R. 5190, 
February 11, 1974), superscripts are added to 
Table III entries for "All other. A, B, C, D 
range tires". 

In consideration of the foregoing, Parts 571 
and 574 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, 
are amended. . . . 

Effective date: Standard No. 119 amendments: 
March 1, 1975. Part 574 amendment: April 3, 



1974. Because the Part 574 amendment creates 
no additional burden, and because modification 
of tire molds must begin immediately, it is found 
for good cause shovpn that an effective date less 
than 180 days after issuance is in the public 
interest. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 
Stat. 718; 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421; dele- 
gation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on March 28, 1974. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 12104 
April 3, 1974 



PART 574r-PRE 8 



Effective: September 3, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574 — 

TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDKEEPING 

(Docket No. 70-12; Notice 19) 



This notice araends the Tire Identification and 
Recordkeeping regulation, 49 CFR Part 574, to 
establish an optional universal registration for- 
mat for tire registration forms. It also requires 
manufacturers of new tires to redirect registra- 
tion forms of other manufacturers of new tires 
which have been forwarded to them in error. 

On ilarch 9, 1973, the NHTSA issued a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (.38 F.R. 6398) propos- 
ing a universal registration form for tire identi- 
fication and record keeping. The notice was 
issued in resi)onse to requests from multi-brand 
tire dealers who were faced with a multiplicity 
of different forms and procedures for tire regis- 
tration. Currently, the regulation merely re- 
quires manufacturers and retreaders to supply a 
"means'" of registration. The proposed rule also 
envisioned that a copy of the form would be 
provided to the first purchaser and that manu- 
facturers and retreaders would be required to 
redirect registration forms which had been for- 
warded to them in error. 

All comments received in response to the notice 
were sympathetic to the problems faced by the 
multi-brand dealers, and the majority were will- 
ing to provide a ''universal form" if requested 
by a dealer. 

Most manufacturers, however, pointed out that 
their e.xclusive dealerships had received training 
in the use of the current form, as had their own 
personnel, and that a total change-over would 
work a hardship without a concomitant benefit 
for single-!)rand dealers. In view of these com- 
ments, XHTSA has decided to promulgate the 
universal registration format, which appears as 
Fig. 3, as an optional format to be followed if 
requested by a dealer and as a guide if a dealer 
prefers to supply his own forms. 



The proposal to require tire manufacturers 
and retreaders to forward all misdirected regis- 
tration forms within 30 days was universally 
opposed by new-tire manufacturers, who stated 
that they are currently participating in a volun- 
tary but limited i)rogram for forwarding these 
misdirected forms. Furthermore, new-tire manu- 
facturers believe they should not be responsible 
for misdirected retreaded tire registration forms, 
as there are over 5,000 tire retreaders in the 
country and such a task would be formidable. 
One new-tire manufacturer indicated that he had 
received over 15,000 misdirected retreaded tire 
registration forms during January 1973. The 
docket contained onlj' one submission from the 
retreading industry, and it did not deal with the 
problem of misdirected forms. 

It also appears from the comments received 
and other inform.ation available to NHTSA that 
new-tire manufacturers maintain a computer- 
based registration process, while only approxi- 
mately 25% of the retreading industry utilizes 
computers for this purpose. Thus, the require- 
ment for forwarding all misdirected forms would 
fall heavily on both segments of the industry, 
new-tire manufacturers in that most misdirected 
forms appear to be sent to them and retreaders 
in that a majority are ill-equipped to carry out 
the forwarding functions. 

Therefore, rather than issue an all inclusive 
forwarding requirement at this time, NHTSA 
has decided to require only that new-tire manu- 
facturers redirect new tire registraiton forms 
erroneously forwarded to them. Further, the 
NHTSA has determined that a 90-day forward- 
ing period will be sufficient, rather tlian the 30 
days originally proposed. It is expected that 
the use of the manufacturer's logo on the uni- 
versal registration format and increased vigilance 



PART 574— PRE 9 



Effective: September 3, 1974 

on the part of the industry will substantially 
curtail the number of misdirected forms. If it 
later appears that tire registrations are not being 
properly received, the NHTSA intends to take 
further action in this area. 

The notice proposed that tire manufacturers 
furnish their dealers with duplicate copies of the 
registration form so that a copy could be given 
to consumers at the time of purchase. This pro- 
vision was objected to by all new-tire manufac- 
turers and the retreaders' association. In their 
view, the increased expense served no viable 
function as Part 574 currently requires all pur- 
chasers to be notified by certified mail of safety 
defects. They argued that the possession of a 
duplicate registration form would not aid the 
purchaser in the case of recall. The manufac- 
turers also said that the completion of registra- 
tion forms is often reserved until the end of the 
day or other slack time, and further that the 



consumer automatically receives a copy of his 
tire identification number on the guarantee if 
one is given. 

The NHTSA finds these arguments to have 
merit, and the requirement to give the purchaser 
a copy of the registration form is deleted from 
the final rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
574.7 is amended. ... 

Effective date : September 3, 1974. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 113, 119, 201, Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718. 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 1407, 
1421; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on May 28. 1974. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 19482 
June 3, 1974 



PART 574— PRE 10 



Effective: November 1, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574-TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDKEEPING 

(Docket No. 70-12; Notice 21) 



This notice amends 49 CFR Part 574 to pro- 
vide that the Universal Registration Forms 
supplied by dealers must conform in size and be 
similar in format to Figure 3 of the regulation. 

On June 2, 1974, 49 CFR Part 574 was 
amended to require a Universal Registration 
Format when tire registration forms are supplied 
by manufacturers to dealers (39 F.R. 19482). 
Three petitions for reconsideration were received 
in response to this notice. All three, Michelin 
Tire Corporation, Rubber Manufacturers Asso- 
ciation, and the Firestone Tire and Rubber Com- 
pany, requested that the regulation be amended 
to require that dealer-supplied registration forms 
also conform in size and be similar in format to 
Figure 3 of the regulation. The petitioners 
pointed out that registration handling method- 
ology has been standardized throughout the in- 
dustry, and that the use of diflFerent sizes and 
formats would be costly and inefficient. The 
NHTSA concurs in this assessment, and there- 
fore amends 49 CFR 574.7(a) to require that the 
dealer-supplied forms must conform in size and 
be similar in format to Figure 3. 



In addition, Firestone petitioned to revise 
Figure 3 slightly and to extend the effective date 
of the amendment to 120 days after the response 
to the petitions for reconsideration. Since 49 
CFR 574.7 currently requires only that the forms 
be "similar" to Figure 3, Firestone's proposed 
modification is authorized by the regulation and 
no amendment to the standard is needed. Fire- 
stone's request to extend the effective date of the 
standard is denied, as NHTSA has determined 
sufficient lead time was available from the date 
the amendment was issued to prepare forms. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the last sen- 
tence of 49 CFR 574.7(a) is amended. . . . 

Effective date: November 1, 1974. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 113, 119, 201, Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 1407, 
1421; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on October 29, 1974. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 38658 
November 1, 1974 



PART 574— PRE 11-12 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574 — TIRE IDENTIFICATION 

AND RECORDKEEPING 

(Docket No. 70-12; Notice 22) 



This notice corrects the authority citations 
to Part 574, Tire Identification and Recordkeep- 
ing, and makes other small corrections of cita- 
tions in the text of the regulation to reflect statu- 
tory amendments. This correction is being made 
to conform the statutory authority citations to 
the existing statute. 

Effective dates: Since these technical corrections 
do not affect the responsibilities under the regu- 
lation, they are made effective December 26, 1978. 

For further information contact: 

Eoger Tilton, Office of Chief Counsel, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- 
tration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2992). 

Supplementary information : Since issuance of 
the Tire Identification and Recordkeeping regu- 
lation, several changes have been made to the 
agency's authorizing statute that require 
NHTSA to correct the authority citations of the 
regulation. Wliile authority citatoins found in 
NHTSA's regulations and standards are not 
parts of the rules, they are useful to those who 
wish to review the legislative background of the 
rulemaking action. Therefore, NHTSA cor- 
rects the authority citations for clarity and to 
provide information to those who are interested. 
The agency also corrects Part 574.2 and 574.8 
by altering the existing reference to section 113. 
Section 113 was the safety defect and noncom- 
pliance notification section of the National Traffic 



and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (Pub. L. 
89-563). Section 102 of the 1974 Motor Vehicle 
and Schoolbus Safety Amendments (Pub. L. 
93^92) transferred the notification provisions 
from section 113 to section 151 and 152 of the 
Safety Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1411 and 
1412). Since the regulation currently refers to 
the old Act rather than the Act as amended, the 
agency is correcting the affected provisions of 
the regulation to bring them up to date. 

Since this notice simply corrects references in 
the regulation and its authority citations with- 
out altering any of its substantive provisions, the 
Administrator finds that notice is unnecessary 
and that an immediate effective date is in the 
public interest. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Volume 49 
of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 574, 
Tire Identif cation and Recordkeeping, is 
amended. . . . 

(Sees., 103, 108, 112, 119, 201, Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1397, 1401, 1407, 
1421); Sees. 102, 103, 104, Pub. L. 93-492, 88 
Stat. 1470 (15 U.S.C. 1397, 1401, 1411-1420); 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50). 

Issued on December 18, 1978. 

Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

43 F.R. 60171 
December 26, 1978 



PART 574— PRE 13-14 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 574— TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDKEEPING 

(Docket No. 70-12; Notice 23) 



Action: Amendment of rule. 

Summary; Congress has recently amended the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966 (the Safety Act) to exempt manufacturers 
of retreaded tires from the registration require- 
ments of the Act. This notice makes conforming 
amendments to the regulations implementing the 
tire registration requirements of the Act. The 
amendment is being published as a final rule 
without notice and opportunity for comment and 
is effective immediately, rather than 180 days 
after issuance, since the agency lacks discretion 
on the manner implementing this Congi-essional 
mandate. 

Effective date: February 8, 1979. 

For further information contact : 

Arturo Casanova, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202) 426-1715. 

Supplementary information: Congress has re- 
cently enacted the Surface Transportation Assist- 
ance Act of 1978, P.L. 95-599. Section 317 of 
that Act amends the Safety Act by exempting 
manufacturers of retreaded tires from the regis- 
tration requirements of section 158(b) of the 
Safety Act. 

This amendment modifies the requirements of 
Part 574 to specify that manufacturers of re- 
treaded tires are not subject to the mandatory 
registration requirements set forth in that Part. 
Manufacturers of reti-eaded tires are free to con- 
tinue voluntarily registering the tires, and the 
agency encourages these manufacturers to pro- 
vide some means for notifying purchasers in the 
event of a recall of tires that do not comply with 



federal safety standards or contain a safety- 
related defect. However, this choice will be left 
to the individual retreaders. 

The remaining obligations of retreaders under 
Part 574 are set forth in §§ 574.5 and 574.6, which 
provisions are not affected by this amendment. 
Those sections require that the retreader label 
contain certain information on its tires. These 
provisions allow a retreader who determines that 
some of its tires do not comply with a Federal 
safety standard or contain a safety-related defect 
to warn the public of that fact, and indicate the 
label numbers of the affected tii'es. 

Since Congress has amended the Safety Act to 
exempt the manufacturers of retreaded tires from 
the registration requirements, this amendment of 
Part 574 is published without notice and oppor- 
tunity for comment. The Administrator finds 
good cause for foregoing these procedures in this 
instance, because Congress has specifically man- 
dated this action, and the agency has no author- 
ity to disregard a legislative mandate. For the 
same reason, this amendment is effective imme- 
diately, rather than 180 days after issuance. 

The agency has reviewed the impacts of this 
anaendment and determined that they will reduce 
costs to the manufacturers. Further, the agency 
has determined that the amendment is not a sig- 
nificant regulation within the meaning of Execu- 
tive Order 12044. 

The program official and attorney principally 
responsible for the development of this amend- 
ment are Arturo Casanova and Stephen Kratzke, 
respectively. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
Part 574, Tire Identification and Recordkeeping, 
is amended .... 



PART 574— PRE 15 



AUTHORITY : Sections 103, 108, 112, 119, 201, Issued on January 31, 1979. 
Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, Joan Claybrook 

1397, 1401, 1407, 1421); sees. 102, 103, 104, Pub. Administrator 

L. 93-492, 88 Stat. 1470 (15 U.S.C. 1411-1420); 

Stat. 2689 (15 U.S.C. 1418) ; delegation of au- 44 F.R. 7963 

thority at 49 CFR 1.51. Februory 8, 1979 



PART 574— PRE 16 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 574 



Tire Identification and Recordlteeping; 
Interim Final Rule and Request for Comments 

(Docitet No. 70-12; Notice 24) 



ACTION: Interim final rule and request for 
comments. 

SUMMARY: In October 1982, Congress adopted 
an amendment to the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (the Safety Act) regard- 
ing tire registration requirements of 49 CFR Part 
574, Tire identification and recordkeeping. Those 
requirements are intended to provide tire manu- 
facturers and brand name owners with the names 
of tire purchasers so that the purchasers can be 
notified in the event that their tires are determined 
to contain a safety defect or to fail to comply with a 
safety standard. 

The amendment prohibits this agency from re- 
quiring independent tire dealers and distributors 
(i.e., those whose business is not owned or con- 
trolled by a tire manufacturer or brand name 
owner) to comply with the existing tire registra- 
tion requirements in Part 574. All other tire 
dealers and distributors must continue to comply 
with those requirements. 

The prohibition regarding independent dealers 
and distributors is self-executing and became ef- 
fective on the date of enactment, October 15, 1982. 
In place of the existing requirements, the amend- 
ment directed the Secretary of Transportation to 
require each of those dealers and distributors to 
furnish a registration form to each tire purchaser 
after the dealer or distributor has first filled in the 
tire identification number(s) of the tire(s) sold on 
the form. Purchasers wishing to register their tires 
may then do so by filling in their name on the form 
and mailing the completed form to the tire manu- 
facturer or brand name owner. Because the new 



statutory requirements regarding registration of 
tires sold by independent dealers and distributors 
are not self-executing, they do not affect those 
dealers and distributors until this agency has 
issued and put into effect a rule adopting those re- 
quirements. This rule accomplishes that result. 

The Safety Act amendment also requires that 
the agency specify the format and content of the 
forms to be used in complying with the new 
requirements. This rule sets forth those specifica- 
tions. 



DATES: This rule is effective beginning June 20, 
1983. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Prior to the 
enactment of the Motor Vehicle Safety and Cost 
Savings Authorization Act of 1982 (hereinafter 
referred to as the Authorization Act) (Pub. L. 
97-311), all tire dealers and distributors were re- 
quired by 49 CFR Part 574, Tire identification and 
recordkeeping, to register all sales of new tires. 
Under that regulation, NHTSA required dealers 
and distributors to write specified information 
(i.e., the purchaser's name and address, the 
dealer's name and address, and the identification 
numbers of the tires) on a registration form and 
send the completed form to the tire manufacturer, 
brand name ovraer (hereinafter referred to as "tire 
manufacturer") or its designee. 

Tire registration provisions of the Authorization 
Act. Compliance with the requirement for man- 
datory registration was uneven. While virtually all 
tires on new vehicles were registered, slightly less 
than half of all replacement tires were registered. 
In its report on the Authorization Act, the House 
Committee on Energy and Commerce found that 



PART 574-PRE 17 



dealers and distributors whose business was owned 
or controlled 'by a tire manufacturer registered 
between 80 and 90 percent of the replacement tires 
they sold. However, dealers and distributors whose 
businesses were not owned or controlled by a tire 
manufacturer (hereinafter collectively referred to 
as "independent dealers") registered only 20 per- 
cent of the replacement tires that they sold {Id. at 
8). 

In an effort to improve the registration rate for 
the tires sold by independent dealers, Congress in- 
cluded a tire registration provision in the Authori- 
zation Act. That provision amended section 158(b) 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act of 1966 (hereinafter referred to as "Safety 
Act") (15 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) to prohibit the 
Secretary of Transportation from requiring inde- 
pendent dealers to comply with the Part 574 re- 
quirements for mandatory registration. (The 
Secretary's authority under the Safety Act has 
been delegated to the NHTSA Administrator, 49 
CFR 1.50.) Dealers and distributors other than 
independent dealers (hereinafter collectively re- 
ferred to as "non-independent dealers") remain 
subject to these requirements. 

The prohibition concerning independent dealers 
was self-executing (i.e., its effectiveness was not 
conditioned on prior action by this agency) and 
became effective on the date of enactment of the 
Authorization Act, October 15, 1982. Thus, even 
without any amendment by the agency to Part 574, 
its requirements for mandatory registration 
ceased on October 15 to have any effect insofar as 
they apply on their face to independent dealers. 

In place of the mandatory registration process. 
Congress directed that a voluntary process be 
established for independent dealers. Section 
158(b) (2) (B) provides 

The Secretary shall require each dealer and distributor 
whose business is not owned or controlled by a manufac- 
turer of tires to furnish the first purchaser of a tire with 



' As explained in the House Report on the Authorization Act, 
" 'company owned and controlled' means a significant compo- 
nent of direct equity ownership of the dealer or distributor 
which gives that party, as a factual matter, effective control of 
the business. Thus, it would not encompass buy-sell agreements, 
mortgages, notes, franchise agreements or similar financial ar- 
rangements which a tire company may have with a dealer or 
distributor." H.R. Rep No. 576, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 8-9 (1982). 



a registration form (containing the tire identification 
number of the tire) which the purchaser may complete 
and return directly to the manufacturer of the tire. The 
contents and format of such forms shall be established by 
the Secretary and shall be standardized for all tires. Suf- 
ficient copies of such forms shall be furnished to such 
dealers and distributors by manufacturers of tires. 

Under the voluntary process, the primary 
responsibility for registering tires sold by inde- 
pendent dealers is shifted from the dealer to the 
purchaser. NHTSA is mandated by section 
158(b) (2) (B) to require the independent dealer to 

(1) fill in the identification number(s) of the tire(s) 
sold to a purchaser on a registration form and then 

(2) hand the form to the purchaser. If the pur- 
chaser wishes to register the tires, he or she may 
do so by filling in his or her name and address, add- 
ing postage and sending the completed form to the 
tire manufacturer or its designee. 

In addition, NHTSA is required by section 
158(b) (3) to evaluate the effect of the switch to 
voluntary tire registration on the registration rate 
for tires sold by independent dealers. That evalua- 
tion must be conducted at the end of the two year 
period following the effective date of the Authori- 
zation Act, i.e., October 15, 1984. In the evalua- 
tion, the agency is required to assess the efforts of 
the independent dealers to encoiu-age consumers 
to register their tires and the extent of the dealers' 
compliance with the voluntary registration pro- 
cedures established by this notice. NHTSA is 
required also to determine whether to impose any 
additional requirements on dealers for the purpose 
of promoting higher registration levels. 

The agency has received several telephone in- 
quiries from independent dealers as to whether, 
notwithstanding the amendments to section 
158(b), they could elect to continue following the 
requirements for mandatory registration. It does 
not appear that the independent dealers have this 
option. Section 158(b) (2) (B) specifies that the 
agency "shall require eac/i ... (independent 
dealer) to furnish the first purchaser of a tire with 
a registration form (containing the tire identifica- , 
tion number of the tire) which the purchaser may ' 
complete and return directly to the manufacturer 
of the tire." However, nothmg in the section ap- 
pears to preclude the purchaser from voluntarily 
giving the form back to the dealer for transmission 
to the manufacturer or his designee. Comments 
are requested on the issues raised by these inde- 



PART 574-PRE 18 



pendent dealers as well as on the reasons why 
some independent dealers desire the opportunity 
to continue mandatory registration. 

Congress made no provision for immediate 
replacement of mandatory registration by volun- 
tary registration. Unlike the amendment pro- 
hibiting the agency from requiring independent 
dealers to follow the mandatory registration proc- 
ess, the amendment concerning voluntary regis- 
tration is not self-executing. Before voluntary 
registration can be initiated, the agency must first 
issue a rule requiring participation by the indepen- 
dent dealers in the voluntary registration process 
and put that rule into effect. 

New standardized registration forms. In addition 
to setting forth such a requirement, this rule also 
specifies the content, format and size of the 
registration forms to be used by the independent 
dealers. This aspect of the rule responds to the 
directive in section 158(b) (2) (B) for the stand- 
ardization of such forms. NHTSA wishes to em- 
phasize that this rule does not require standardiza- 
tion of the forms used by nonindependent dealers. 
Tire manufacturers need not make any change in 
the forms which they have been providing those 
dealers. 

In selecting interim requirements standardizing 
the content, format and size of registration forms 
to be provided to or used by independent dealers, 
NHTSA has made the minimum changes to Part 
574 necessary to comply with section 158(b) (2). 
This approach will minimize both the burdens of 
this rulemaking and the period during which in- 
dependent dealers are not subject to any registra- 
tion requirements. 

The new standardized forms would be very 
similar to the forms which the manufactiirers have 
been providing dealers over the last eight years. 
Since 1974, Part 574 has specified the type of infor- 
mation for which blanks and titles are to appear on 
registration forms. (§ 574.7(a) (l)-(3)). This infor- 
mation includes the name and address of the tire 
purchaser, the tire identification number, and the 
name and address of the dealer or other means by 
which the manufacturer could identify the dealer. 
This rule would require the new registration forms 
for independent dealers to have blanks and titles 
for the same information. 

This rule also adopts as mandatory the format 
specifications which have appeared as a suggested 



guide in Part 574. Those specifications have been 
generally followed since 1974 without any com- 
plaints from either manufacturers or dealers. 

In recognition of the shift of primary respon- 
sibility for registering tires from the independent 
dealer to the purchaser, this rule substitutes a new 
reminder on the form. The old reminder warned 
the dealer that registration of tires was required 
by Federal law. The new reminder informs the pur- 
chaser that completing and mailing the form will 
enable the tire manufacturer to contact him or her 
directly in the event that the tire is recalled for 
safety reasons, i.e., if the tire is determined to con- 
tain a safety defect or to fail to comply with an ap- 
plicable safety standard. 

Both a mailing address and a statement about 
appropriate postage must be printed on each form. 
The House report states that the form is to be 
presented to the purchaser in a manner suitable for 
mailing. (H.R. Rep. No. 576, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 8 
(1982)). Thus, the form itself must be mailable 
without the necessity of the purchasers providing 
an envelope. Forms provided by the manufacturers 
must be preaddressed to either the manufacturer 
or its designee. As to postage, the form must bear 
the statement that first class postage is required. 
This notation will ensure that the purchaser 
realizes that post card postage is not sufficient. If 
insufficient postage were placed on the form, it 
would not be delivered and the tire would not be 
registered. The need for first class postage is ex- 
plained below. 

This rule standardizes the size of the form so that 
all forms- will be mailable using a single stamp of 
the same class of postage. The suggested guide in 
Part 574 specifies dimensions of 3V4 inches in 
width and 1\ inches in length. This rule does not 
adopt those dimensions because, under existing 
postal regulations, a form 3V4 inches by 73/8 inches 
is too small to be mailed unless enclosed in an 
envelope. Since NHTSA does not wish to require 
manufacturers to provide self-addressed 
envelopes, the agency has adopted the dimensions 
in the postal regulations for cards mailable without 
envelopes under first class postage as the dimen- 
sions for the registration forms. Thus, the forms 
must be rectangular; not less than .007 inches 
thick; more than 3V2 inches, but not more than Q\ 
inches wide; more than 5 inches, but not more than 
IIV2 inches long. If any of those maxima were ex- 
ceeded, a single, first class stamp would not be suf- 



PART 574-PRE 19 



ficient postage. The agency has not adopted a post 
card-sized form due to uncertainty whether such a 
form would be large enough to permit the easy, 
legible recording of all of the necessary informa- 
tion. 

Finally, the mandatory format requirements in- 
clude a requirement that the form must show the 
manufacturer's name to prevent confusion of 
dealers and purchasers. This will enable the in- 
dependent dealer to determine the brand of tire for 
which a particular form is to be used for registra- 
tion purposes. This requirement is necessary since 
independent dealers often sell several different 
brands of tires. Since the dealer will have as many 
different types of registration forms as it has dif- 
ferent brands of tires for sale, the dealer must have 
some way of identifying the appropriate form. The 
name may appear either in the mailing address or 
anywhere else on the form. 

Continued use of old registration forms. During 
the limited period that this interim rule is in effect, 
the agency will provide the option of using existing 
forms instead of the new standardized ones. Elec- 
tion of that option is conditioned upon the tire pur- 
chaser's being provided not only with a form bear- 
ing the tire identification numbers and the dealer's 
name and address, but also with an envelope that is 
suitable for mailing the form, bears the same 
reminder to consumers required on the new forms, 
and is addressed to the tire manufacturer or its 
designee. 

Source of registration forms. Under the require- 
ments for mandatory registration requirements 
which previously applied to independent dealers, 
those dealers were permitted to use either the 
registration forms provided by the tire manufac- 
turers or use forms obtained from other sources. 
The latter type of form was typically one pur- 
chased from a clearinghouse. The clearinghouse 
forms were not manufacturer specific (i.e., did not 
bear any mark or information identifying a par- 
ticular tire manufacturer or brand name) and thus 
could be used to register any manufacturer's tires. 
When the forms of a clearinghouse were com- 
pleted, they were returned to the clearinghouse. 
The clearinghouse would then forward them to ap- 
propriate manufacturers. 

Except under the circumstances described above 
in the discussion of the temporary continued use of 
existing forms, the amendments to section 158(b) 



and their legislative history compel an end to the 
practice of using forms which are not addressed to 
the manufacturer or its designee. Forms may con- 
tinue to be addressed to an intermediary such as a 
clearinghouse if that intermediary has been desig- 
nated by a tire manufacturer to serve as an initial 
recipient or as an ultimate repository for registra- 
tion forms. Further, the amendments require 
standardization of the forms to be used by indepen- 
dent dealers. Hence, while independent dealers are 
still permitted to obtain registration forms from a 
source other than the tire manufacturers, those 
forms must comply with all of the requirements ap- 
plicable to forms provided by manufacturers. 

Responsibility for filling out and mailing 
registration form. The responsibility for com- 
pleting the registration forms would be divided 
between independent tire dealers and purchasers. 
The tire dealer would be required to fill in the iden- 
tification number of each tire sold and his name 
and address or some other unique identifier like a 
code number. The necessity for having the dealer's 
name and address arises from the statutorily- 
required evaluation of the volimtary registration 
requirements. In order to conduct that evaluation, 
the agency will need information on the registra- 
tion rates for tires sold by individual independent 
dealers. This information will aid NHTSA in identi- 
fying different levels of registration among dealers 
and evaluate the reasons underlying those dif- 
ferences. The simplest and most effective way of 
ensuring the recording of the dealer's names and 
addresses is to require the recording of the infor- 
mation by the party who can most accurately pro- 
vide it. A dealer's proper name and address are ob- 
viously better known to that dealer than to his 
customers. Further, through the use of an inexpen- 
sive rubber stamp, the dealer can record that infor- 
mation on a form much more easily and quickly 
than a tire purchaser can. 

After the dealer has filled in this information and 
handed the card (and envelope under the option for 
using existing forms) to the tire purchaser, it is the 
purchaser's responsibility to complete the registra- 
tion process. If a purchaser wishes to register his 
new tire, he must fill in his name and address, 
place the appropriate postage on the form (or 
envelope) and mail it. 

Other issues. Any questions concerning the 
classification of a particular dealer as independent i 



PART 574-PRE 20 



or otherwise should be addressed in writing to the 
Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the street address given 
above. The legislative history cited early in this 
notice provides some guidance on this point. 
NHTSA notes that it is possible for motor vehicle 
dealers to be considered tire dealers in certain 
situations, as specified in 49 CFR 574.9. Whether a 
new motor vehicle dealer is required to follow the 
procedures for mandatory or voluntary registra- 
tion depends on whether the dealer is owned or 
controlled by a tire manufacturer. The agency 
believes that most motor vehicle dealers would be 
considered independent dealers for the purposes of 
Part 574. These motor vehicle dealers are re- 
minded that they should provide the motor vehicle 
purchaser with a voluntary tire registration form 
at the time they deliver the new vehicle to the pur- 
chaser, and with the identification number(s) of all 
of the vehicle's tires and the dealer's name and ad- 
dress entered on the form. 

Enforcement of the new provisions of Part 574 
would be carried out under sections 108-110 of the 
Safety Act. Failure to comply with the new provi- 
sions would be a violation of section 108(a) (2) (D) 
which prohibits failure to comply with any order or 
other requirement applicable to any manufacturer, 
distributor or dealer pursuant to Part B of the 
Safety Act. Section 109(a) provides that a civil 
penalty of $1,000 may be assessed for each viola- 
tion of section 108. Under section 110(a), the 
agency could seek an injunction against a violator 
of section 108 to prevent further violations. 

The information collection requirements con- 
tained in this rule have been submitted to the 
Office of Management and Budget (0MB) for its 
approval, pursuant to the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.). A notice will be published in the Federal 
Register when 0MB approves this information col- 
lection. 

As noted above, this rule is being issued as an in- 
terim final rule, without prior notice and oppor- 
tunity for comment. NHTSA believes that there is 
good cause for finding that notice and comment 
rulemaking is impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest in this instance. The absence of any 
tire registration requirements for independent 
dealers has created an emergency necessitating 
immediate action. 



The agency is concerned that, until a rule re- 
garding voluntary registration can be imple- 
mented, registration of tires sold by independent 
dealers may fall well below the 20 percent rate 
which existed prior to the enactment of the 
Authorization Act on October 15. As long as this 
situation lasts, substantial numbers of tire pur- 
chasers may be unable to register their tires. 
Although some efforts are being made by indepen- 
dent dealers to continue to follow the mandatory 
registration process, the agency does not have any 
indication how widespread or successful those ef- 
forts are. Purchasers whose tires are unregistered 
will not receive direct notification from the 
manufacturer of those tires in the event that the 
tires are foimd to contain a safety defect or to faU 
to comply with an applicable standard. Ignorant of 
the safety problem, the purchasers will continue to 
drive on tires presenting a threat to their safety 
and that of other motorists. 

Providing opportunity for comment is also un- 
necessary to a substantial extent. Many of the new 
provisions of Part 574 were expressly mandated by 
Congress. 

Nevertheless, this agency is providing an oppor- 
tunity to comment on this notice during the 45 
days following its publication in the Federal 
Register. Those comments will be carefully con- 
sidered since the agency does not intend to main- 
tain this rule as the permanent final rule on volun- 
tary registration. A permanent final rule will be 
issued not later than October 14, 1983. 

NHTSA seeks comments from all interested 
parties oh what requirements should be included in 
the permanent final rule. Pursuant to a contract 
with the agency, American Institutes for Research 
in the Behavioral Sciences has explored ways of 
more effectively structuring and wording the 
voluntary registration forms to induce as many 
purchasers as possible to complete their forms and 
send them to the manufacturers. Copies of the 
results of the Institute's work have been placed in 
the docket. Comments are requested on that work. 
Comments are also requested on the feasibility of 
using post card sized forms. The agency is uncer- 
tain whether those forms would provide sufficient 
space to permit the easy, legible recording of the 
requisite information. If so, then this alternative 
appears attractive since the lower postal rate for 
such cards could induce a higher rate of registra- 
tion by purchasers. 



PART 574-PRE 21 



The results of the contract study on registration 
forms and all comments submitted in response to 
this notice will be considered by the agency in 
selecting the provisions to include in the perma- 
nent final rule. If, after examining the study, the 
agency determines that the registration forms for 
independent dealers should be significantly 
altered, a notice of proposed nilemaking will be 
issued to ensure full comment on those changes. 

The requirements of this rule become effective 
30 days after the date on which it is published in 
the Federal Register. The 30-day period provides 
adequate time for tire manufacturers to print and 
distribute the new voluntary registration forms (or 
envelopes, under the option for using existing 
forms) to the independent dealers. Since this rule 
requires no change to the forms provided to or 
used by nonindependent dealers, manufacturers 
and nonindependent dealers may continue to use 
their current forms. 

NHTSA has analyzed the impacts of this action 
and determined that it is neither "major" within 
the meaning of Executive Order 12291 nor 
"significant" within the meaning of the Depart- 
ment of Transportation regulatory policies and 
procedures. The requirements concerning the 
registration forms for independent dealers wUl im- 
pose minimally higher costs on tire manufacturers. 
Compared to the costs and administrative burdens 
to independent dealers of complying with the Part 
574 requirements for mandatory registration, in- 
dependent dealers should achieve slight savings 
under this rule. Requirements for nonindependent 
dealers are not changed by this rule. Consumers 
purchasing tires from independent dealers will 
now have to pay 20 cents for postage if they wish 
to register those tires. The bearing of this cost by 
consumers has been mandated by Congress. For 
these reasons, a full regulatory evaluation has not 
been prepared. 

The agency has also considered the impacts of 
this action on small entities, and determined that 
this rule will not have a significant economic im- 
pact on a substantial number of those small en- 
tities. The agency believes that few if any of the 
tire manufacturers are small entities. Although 
many dealers are considered to be small entities, 
this rule will not have a significant impact on them. 
The requirements for tire manufacturers are un- 
changed except that the size, content and cost of 



the registration forms they supply to independent 
dealers would be slightly different. No change at 
all is made in the requirements for nonindependent 
dealers. Independent dealers will realize minimal 
savings from this rule. Small organizations and 
governmental units which purchase tires from in- 
dependent dealers will have to pay postage to 
register those tires. However, those costs will not 
be significant. 

All interested persons are invited to comment on 
this interim final rule. It is requested but not re- 
quired that 10 copies be submitted. 

All comments must be limited not to exceed 15 
pages in length. Necessary attachments may be ap- 
pended to these submissions without regard to the 
15 page limit. This limitation is intended to en- 
courage commenters to detail their primary 
arguments in a concise fashion. 

If a commenter wishes to submit certain infor- 
mation under a claim of confidentiality, three 
copies of the complete submission, including pur- 
portedly confidential information, should be sub- 
mitted to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the street 
address given above, and seven copies from which 
the purportedly confidential information has been 
deleted should be submitted to the Docket Section. 
A request for confidentiality should be accom- 
panied by a cover letter setting forth the informa- 
tion specified in the agency's confidential business 
information regulation (49 CFR Part 512). 

All comments received before the close of 
business on the comment closing date indicated 
above will be considered, and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the above address 
both before and after that date. To the extent 
possible, comments filed after the closing date will 
also be considered. However, the rulemaking ac- 
tion may proceed at any time after that date, and 
comments received after the closing date and too 
late for consideration in regard to the action will be 
treated as suggestions for future rulemaking. The 
NHTSA will continue to file relevant material as it 
becomes available in the docket after the closing 
date, and it is recommended that interested per- 
sons continue to examine the docket for new 
material. 

Those persons desiring to be notified upon 
receipt of their comments in the rules docket 
should enclose, in the envelope with their com- 
ments, a self-addressed stamped post card. Upon 



PART 574-PRE 22 



receiving the comments, the docket supervisor will 
return the post card by maO. 

List of Subjects in 49 CFR 574 

Consumers protection, Motor vehicle safety. 
Motor vehicles. Rubber and rubber products. Tires. 

PART 574— (Amended) 

In consideration of the foregoing, the following 
amendments are made to Part 574, Tire Identifica- 
tion and Recordkeeping, of Title 49 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations: 

1. Section 574.1 is revised to read as follows: 

§574.1 Scope. 

This part sets forth the method by which new tire 
manufacturers and new tire brand name owners 
shall identify tires for use on motor vehicles and 
maintain records of tire purchasers, and the 
method by which retreaders and retreaded tire 
brand name owners shall identify tires for use on 
motor vehicles. This part also sets forth the 
methods by which independent tire dealers and 
distributors shall record, on registration forms, 
their names and addresses and the identification 
number of the tires sold to tire purchasers and pro- 
vide the forms to the purchasers, so that the pur- 
chasers may report their names to the new tire 
manufacturers and new tire brand name owners, 
and by which other tire dealers and distributors 
shall record and report the names of tire pur- 
chasers to the new tire manufacturers and new tire 
brand name owners. 

2. Section 574.3 is amended by adding a new 
paragraph (c) (1) immediately after "Definitions 
uised in this part." and redesignating existing 
paragraphs (c) (1) through (c) (4) as paragraphs 
(c) (2) through (c) (5): 

§ 574.3 Definitions. 

* • • * * 

(c) • • * 

(1) "Independent" means, with respect to a 
tire distributor or dealer, one whose business is 
not owned or controlled by a tire manufacturer 
or brand name owner. 
***** 

3. Section 574.7 is revised to read as follows: 



§574.7 Information requirements— new tire 
manufacturers, new tire brand name 
owners. 

(a) (1) Each new tire manufacturer and each 
new tire brand name owner (hereinafter referred 
to in this section and § 574.8 as "tire manufac- 
turer") or its designee, shall provide tire registra- 
tion forms to every distributor and dealer of its 
tires which offers new tires for sale or lease to tire 
purchasers. 

(2) Each tire registration form provided to in- 
dependent distributors and dealers pursuant to 
paragraph (a) (1) of this section shall comply with 
either paragraph (a) (2) (A) or (B) of this section. 

(A) Each form shall contain space for re- 
cording the information specified in para- 
graphs (a) (5) (A) through (a) (5) (C) of this sec- 
tion and shall conform in content and format to 
Figures 3a and 3b. Each form shall be: 

(i) Rectangular; 

(ii) Not less than .007 inches thick; 

(iii) Greater than 3V2 inches, but not 
greater than eVg inches wide; and 

(iv) Greater than 5 inches, but not greater 
than IIV2 inches long. 

(B) Each form shall comply with the same 
requirements specified in paragraph (a) (4) of 
this section for forms provided to distributors 
and dealers other than independent distrib- 
utors and dealers. 

(3) Each tire manufacturer or designee which 
does . not give an independent distributor or 
dealer forms complying with paragraph 
(a) (2) (A) of this section shall give that 
distributor or dealer envelopes for mailing forms 
complying with paragraph (a) (2) (B) of this sec- 
tion. Each envelope shall bear the name and ad- 
dress of the tire manufacturer or its designee 
and the reminder set forth in Figure 3a. 

(4) Each tire registration form provided to 
distributors and dealers, other than independent 
distributors and dealers, pursuant to paragraph 
(a) (1) of this section shall be similar in format 
and size to Figure 4 and shall contain space for 
recording the information specified in paragraph 
(a) (5) (A) through (a) (5) (C) of this section. 

(5) (A) Name and address of the tire pur- 
chaser. 

(B) Tire identification ntunber. 



PART 574-PRE 23 



(C) Name and address of the tire seller or 
other means by which the tire manufacturer 
can identify the tire seller. 

(b) Each tire manufacturer shall record and 
maintain, or have recorded and maintained for it 
by a designee, the information from registration 
forms which are submitted to it or its designee. No 
tire manufacturer shall use the information on the 
registration forms for any commercial purpose 
detrimental to tire distributors and dealers. Any 
tire manufacturer to which registration forms are 
mistakenly sent shall forward those registration 
forms to the proper tire manufacturer within 90 
days of the receipt of the forms. 

(c) Each tire manufacturer shall maintain, or 
have maintained for it by a designee, a record of 
each tire distributor and dealer that purchases 
tires directly from the manufacturer and sells them 
to tire purchasers, the number of tires purchased 
by each such distributor or dealer, the number of 
tires for which reports have been received from 
each such distributor or dealer other than an in- 
dependent distributor or dealer, the number of 
tires for which reports have been received from 
each such independent distributor or dealer, the 
total number of tires for which registration forms 
have been submitted to the manufacturer or its 
designee, and the total number of tires sold by the 
manufacturer. 

(d) The information that is specified in para- 
graph (a) (5) of this section and recorded on 
registration forms submitted to a tire manufac- 
turer or its designee shall be maintained for a 
period of not less than three years from the date on 
which the information is recorded by the manufac- 
turer or its designee. 

4. Section 574.8 is revised to read as follows: 

§ 574.8 Infomiation requirements— tire distributors 
and deaiers. 

(a) Independent distributors and dealers. (1) 
Each independent distributor and each indepen- 
dent dealer selling or leasing new tires to tire pur- 
chasers or lessors (hereinafter referred to in this 
section as "tire purchasers") shall provide each 
tire purchaser at the time of sale or lease of the 
tire(s) with a tire registration form. 

(2) The distributor or dealer may use either 
the registration forms provided by the tire 
manufacturers pursuant to § 574.7(a) or 
registration forms obtained from another 
source. Forms obtained from other sources shall 



comply with the requirements specified in 
§ 574.7(a) for forms provided by tire manufac- 
turers to independent distributors and dealers. 

(3) Before giving the registration form to the 
tire purchaser, the distributor or dealer shall 
record in the appropriate spaces provided on 
that form: 

(A) The entire tire identification number of 
the tire(s) sold or leased to the tire purchaser; 
and 

(B) The distributor's or dealer's name and 
address or other means of identification known 
to the tire manufacturer. 

(4) Multiple tire purchases or leases by the 
same tire purchaser may be recorded on a single 
registration form. 

(b) Other distributors and dealers. (1) Each 
distributor and each dealer, other than an indepen- 
dent distributor or dealer, selling new tires to tire 
purchasers shall submit the information specified 
in § 574.7(a) (5) to the manufacturer of the tires 
sold, or to its designee. 

(2) Each tire distributor and each dealer, other 
than an independent distributor or dealer, shall 
submit registration forms containing the infor- 
mation specified in § 574.7(a) (5) to the tire 
manufacturer, or person maintaining the infor- 
mation, not less often than every 30 days. 
However, a distributor or dealer which sells less 
than 40 tires, of all makes, types and sizes during 
a 30-day period may wait until he or she sells a 
total of 40 new tires, but in no event longer than 
six months, before forwarding the tire informa- 
tion to the respective tire manufacturers or their 
designees. 

(c) Each distributor and each dealer selling new 
tires to other tire distributors or dealers shall sup- 
ply to the distributor or dealer a means to record 
the information specified in § 574.7(a) (5), unless 
such a means has been provided to that distributor 
or dealer by another person or by a manufacturer. 

(d) Each distributor and each dealer shall im- 
mediately stop selling any group of tires when so 
directed by a notification issued pursuant to sec- 
tions 151 and 152 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 1411 and 
1412). 

Issued on April 21, 1983. 

Raymond A. Peck, Jr., 
Administrator 
48 F.R. 22572 
May 19, 1983 



PART 574-PRE 24 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 574 
Tire Code Marks Assigned to New Tire ly/lanufacturers 



ACTION: Publication of tire code marks assigned 
to new tire manufacturers. 

SUMMARY: The NHTSA last published a com- 
plete listing of the tire code marks assigned to new 
tire manufacturers in 1972. Since that time, there 
have been several additions and changes in names 
and addresses for the assigned code marks. This 
publication will inform the public of those additions 
and changes. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 574.5 
of the Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, re- 
quires tire manufacturers to mold a tire identifica- 
tion number onto or into the sidewall of each tire 
they manufacture. In the case of new tires, the 
first two digits of the tire identification number are 
the code mark assigned to the manufacturer. This 
code mark identifies the manufacturer and the 
plant where the tire was manufactured. 

The NHTSA published a complete listing of the 
tire codes at 37 FR 342, January 11, 1972. This list 



enables interested members of the public to iden- 
tify the manufacturer and place of manufacture of 
any new tire. 

Since 1972, there have been several changes in 
the names of the manufacturers and the plant ad- 
dresses for the assigned code marks. Further, 
there have been some 150 additional code marks 
assigned for new tires since the 1972 publication. 
Accordingly, this updated listing of the assigned 
code marks for new tires is being published to 
bring the public up-to-date with the revisions and 
new code numbers which have been assigned since 
the publication of the 1972 list. 

Issued on June 8, 1983. 



Kennerly H. Digges, 

Acting Associate Administrator 

for Rulemaking 

48 F.R. 27635 

June 16, 1983 



PART 574-PRE 25-26 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 574 

Tire Identification and Recordkeeping 

[Docket No. 70-12; Notice 25] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This final rule sets forth the re- 
quirements relating to the registration of new 
tires sold by independent dealers and 
distributors. Recording the names and addresses 
of the first purchasers and transmitting this in- 
formation to the manufacturers will make it possi- 
ble for those purchasers to be contacted in the 
event that the tires are recalled by the manufac- 
turers for safety reasons. These requirements 
supersede those contained in the interim final 
rule on this subject published in the May 19, 1983, 
edition of the Federal Register. 

This rule primarily clarifies some aspects of the 
provisions of the interim final rule concerning the 
tire registration form to be provided by the tire 
manufacturers to the independent dealers. These 
changes, which were made to maximize the regis- 
tration of tires sold through independent dealers, 
are as follows: 

(1) The size of the registration form to be given 
to the consumer by independent dealers has been 
reduced, so that only a 13-cent postcard stamp 
need be affixed to the registration form. The in- 
terim final rule had specified that a first-class- 
mail-sized card be used for the registration form. 
This change was made to minimize the costs for 
consumers to register their tires. 

(2) The statement in the upper left corner of 
that registration form, informing the tire pur- 
chaser of the importance of completing and 
returning the form, has been modified so as to be 
more comprehensible and more effective at mo- 
tivating the purchaser to register his or her tires. 

(3) Instructions to the tire purchaser have been 
added, so that the purchaser will print instead of 
write his or her name on the registration form. 

(4) That portion of the registration form which 



is to be filled in by the independent dealer (i.e., 
the portion for filling in suitable identification of 
the dealer and the tire identification number(s) of 
the tire(s) sold) must be shaded with a 10-percent 
screen tint. This change was made to emphasize 
to the tire purchaser the limited amount of infor- 
mation which the purchaser must fill in to 
register his or her tires. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The changes made by this 
notice become effective March 25, 1984. As of that 
date, the tire manufacturers will be required to 
provide registration forms in compliance with 
this rule, and they must cease their distribution 
of the forms specified by the interim final rule. In- 
dependent dealers may continue to use the forms 
specified by that rule until their existing supplies 
of that form are exhausted or until April 1, 1984, 
whichever comes first. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 

Background 

Motor Vehicle Safety and Cost Savings 
Authorization Act of 1982 

The Motor Vehicle Safety and Cost Savings 
Authorization Act of 1982 (hereinafter referred to 
as "the Authorization Act") amended the Na- 
tional Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966 (hereinafter referred to as "the Safety Act") 
by requiring this agency to change its tire regis- 
tration requirements insofar as they applied to in- 
dependent tire dealers and distributors. (This 
class of dealers and distributors is defined below.) 
These requirements are set forth in 49 CFR Part 
574, Tire Identification and Recordkeeping. 
Before the Authorization Act became effective. 
Part 574 required all tire dealers and distributors 



PART 574; PRE 27 



to comply with the mandatory registration sys- 
tem. Under the system, dealers and distributors 
were required to record certain information (i.e., 
the tire purchaser's name and address, seller's 
name and address, and the identification 
number(s) of the tire(s) sold) on a registration 
form and send the completed form to the tire 
manufacturer or the brand-name owner (herein- 
after collectively referred to as "tire manufac- 
turers") or a designee of the tire manufacturer. 

The tire registration requirements were 
adopted pursuant to requirements in the Safety 
Act intended to insure that tire purchasers could 
be notified if their tires are recalled for safety 
reasons, either because they contain a safety- 
related defect or because they do not comply with 
an applicable safety standard. The purchasers of 
unregistered tires would not be directly notified 
in those instances and would instead unknowing- 
ly continue to drive on unsafe tires. 

On examining the rate of tire registration. Con- 
gress found a substantial difference between the 
rates for tires sold by independent dealers 
(dealers and distributors whose business is not 
owned or controlled by a tire manufacturer) and 
those sold by nonindependent dealers (dealers 
and distributors whose business is owned or con- 
trolled by a tire manufacturer). Independent 
dealers, who handle slightly less than half of the 
replacement tires sold annually, registered about 
20 percent of the tires they sold. Nonindependent 
dealers, whose sales account for the balance of an- 
nual replacement tire sales, registered between 
80 and 90 percent of their tires. 

Given the importance of tire registration to 
safety. Congress determined that an alternative 
method of registration should be instituted for 
tires sold by independent dealers. Accordingly, it 
included provisions in the Authorization Act pro- 
hibiting the Secretary of Transportation from re- 
quiring independent dealers to comply with the 
mandatory registration requirements. (In view of 
the high rate of registration of tires sold by non- 
independent dealers. Congress did not mandate 
any change in the application of the mandatory 
registration requirements to those dealers.) The 
prohibition regarding independent dealers was 
self-executing (i.e., its effectiveness was not con- 
ditioned on any prior rulemaking or other im- 
plementing action by this agency) and became ef- 
fective on the date that the Authorization Act 
became law, October 15, 1982. 



In lieu of requiring independent dealers to com- 
ply with the mandatory registration process, Con- 
gress directed that they comply with a voluntary 
registration process to be established by the 
Secretary. Under the voluntary process, the 
primary responsibility for registering tires sold 
by independent dealers is borne by the purchaser 
instead of the dealer. NHSTA is mandated by the 
Safety Act, as amended by the Authorization Act, 
to require that independent dealers (1) fill in the 
tire identification number(s) of the tire(s) sold to a 
purchaser on a registration form and then (2) give 
the form to the purchaser. If the purchaser 
wishes to register the tires, he or she may do so 
by filling in his or her name and address, adding 
postage, and sending the form to the tire manu- 
facturer or its designee. 

To ascertain whether the changes mandated by 
the Authorization Act have the desired effect of 
increasing the registration rate of tires sold by in- 
dependent dealers, Congress directed NHTSA to 
conduct an evaluation covering the 2-year period 
ending October 14, 1984. Upon completion of the 
evaluation, NHTSA must determine the extent to 
which independent dealers have encouraged pur- 
chasers to register their tires and the extent to 
which those dealers have complied with the 
voluntary tire registration procedures. Further, 
the agency is required to determine whether to 
impose any additional requirements on the in- 
dependent dealers or the manufacturers for the 
purpose of promoting higher levels of tire 
registration. 

The provision in the Authorization Act man- 
dating a voluntary registration system for in- 
dependent dealers was not self-executing. Thus, 
the voluntary system could not become effective 
until NHTSA issued a rule establishing that 
system. An interim final rule doing so was 
published at 48 Fed. Reg. 22572, May 19, 1983, 
and became effective June 20, 1983. 

Interim Final Rule 

The interim final rule imposed the following re- 
quirements on the various parties: 

Tire manufacturers. Except as noted, new 
registration forms had to be provided for in- 
dependent dealers. All of those forms were re- 
quired to be identical in format and content and 
within the size range specified in the interim final 
rule. Alternatively, the manufacturer could pro- 
vide independent dealers with preaddressed 



PART 574; PRE 28 



envelopes in which tire purchasers could mail the 
mandatory registration forms. In either case, the 
manufacturer would have to maintain a record of 
all returned registration forms for at least 3 
years after receipt. 

No change was made in the requirements 
regarding forms provided to nonindependent 
dealers. 

Tire dealers and distributors which sell tires to 
other dealers and distributors. These parties are 
required to give the purchasing dealer or dis- 
tributor the registration forms provided by the 
tire manufacturers so that that dealer or distribu- 
tor can comply with the applicable tire registra- 
tion requirements. The new forms must be pro- 
vided to independent dealers. 

Nonindependent dealers. No changes were 
made to the tire registration requirements ap- 
plicable to these parties. They are still required 
to follow the mandatory tire registration system 
formerly applicable to all tire dealers. Thus, the 
nonindependent dealers must record the pur- 
chaser's name and address, the tire identification 
number(s) of the tireis) sold, and a suitable iden- 
tification of themselves as the selling dealer on a 
tire registration form, and return the completed 
forms to the tire manufacturers or their 
designees. 

Independent dealers. These dealers were re- 
quired by the interim final rule to record the tire 
identification number(s) of the tire(s) sold, along 
with their name and address, on a registration 
form and give the form to the tire purchaser. 

The interim final rule sought comments on the 
issues raised by the requirements specified 
therein, and specifically asked commenters to ad- 
dress the issue of adopting the registration form 
devised by the American Institute for Research 
in the Behavioral Sciences pursuant to a contract 
with the agency. 

Final Rule 

After considering the comments on the interim 
final rule, NHTSA has decided to retain most of 
the requirements in that rule. Several changes 
have been made to the requirements regarding 
the forms to be provided to independent dealers. 
These changes are relatively minimal and do not 
disturb the essential continuity of the voluntary 
registration requirements. Accordingly, both the 
tire manufacturers and the independent dealers 
should be able to implement the voluntary 



registration system as amended by this rule with 
minimal disruption to the practices they have 
been following since the interim final rule became 
effective. 

Voluntary Tire Registration Procedures 

Several commenters stated that independent 
dealers that wish to continue following the man- 
datory tire registration requirements should be 
permitted to do so. The premise underlying these 
comments is that mandatory registration, when 
properly implemented, is the most effective 
means of insuring that virtually all replacement 
tires are registered. 

While NHTSA does not disagree with the 
premise of these commenters, the agency is not 
free to adopt their suggestion. Section 158(b)(2MB) 
of the Safety Act specifies that this agency 
. . . shall require each . . . (independent dealer) 
to furnish the first purchaser with a registra- 
tion form (containing the tire indentification 
number of the tire) which the purchaser may 
complete and return directly to the manufac- 
turer of the tire. (Emphasis added.) 
This mandate to the agency is completely in- 
clusive, directing the agency to make the volun- 
tary registration procedures applicable not simp- 
ly to independent dealers in general, but to 
"each" independent dealer. Further, this mandate 
is not offset by any express authority to make ex- 
ceptions. 

As a practical as well as a legal matter, in- 
dependent dealers may nevertheless register the 
tires they sell if they first comply with the volun- 
tary registration procedures. Independent 
dealers are not prohibited from filling in the infor- 
mation required by the voluntary procedures on 
the forms specified by those procedures, furnished 
the forms to tire purchasers, and then offering to 
fill in the balance of the information and mail the 
form to the manufacturer. 

Based on the comments, it appears that some 
commenters are confused about the status of 
motor vehicle dealers under the mandatory and 
voluntary registration procedures. The preamble 
to the interim final rule mentioned motor vehicle 
dealers only very briefly because they are 
minimally affected by the voluntary registration 
procedures. The preamble stated that there are 
two situations in which motor vehicle dealers are 
considered to be tire dealers and are required to 
register the tires on the vehicles as specified in 



PART 574; PRE 29 



section 574.9. In these situations, the preamble 
noted that whether the motor vehicle dealer 
would be required to follow the mandatory or 
voluntary registration procedures would depend 
on whether the motor vehicle dealer's business 
was owned or controlled by a tire manufacturer. 
Since such ownership or control seems highly im- 
probable, the preamble stated that the motor 
vehicle dealer would in all likelihood have to 
follow the voluntary registration procedures. 

The discussion in that notice left some com- 
menters uncertain whether the original equip- 
ment tires on new vehicles were subject to man- 
datory or voluntary registration procedures. This 
uncertainty apparently arose because the interim 
final rule made no mention of the mandatory tire 
registration requirements that have been ap- 
plicable to original-equipment tires since 1971. No 
mention of these requirements was made, since 
the notice did not propose to amend section 
574.10, which specifies the actions to be taken by 
motor vehicle manufacturers to register their 
original-equipment tires. 

The two situations to which the interim final 
rule's preamble referred are those situations in 
which the motor vehicle dealer, as opposed to the 
motor vehicle manufacturer, is responsible for 
registering tires. These situations, which are 
relatively infrequent, are set forth in section 
574.9. First, if a motor vehicle dealer sells a used 
vehicle or leases a vehicle for more than 60 days, 
and the vehicle is equipped with new tires, the 
dealer must register the tires on the vehicle. Sec- 
ond, if a motor vehicle dealer sells a new vehicle 
and the vehicle is equipped with tires other than 
those shipped with the vehicle by the motor vehi- 
cle manufacturer, the motor vehicle dealer must 
register the tires on the vehicle. The interim final 
rule was intended to make clear that motor vehi- 
cle dealers whose business is not owned or con- 
trolled by a tire manufacturer should follow the 
voluntary registration procedures in those two 
rare types of situations, when the vehicle dealer 
is responsible for registering the tires on the 
vehicle. 

One commenter urged that NHTSA delete the 
requirement that independent dealers record 
their name and address on the registration form 
before giving that form to the tire purchaser. 
This commenter noted that Congress stated the 
Authorization Act's voluntary registration provi- 
sions had been adopted partially for the purpose 



of reducing the burdens which mandatory regis- 
tration procedures paced on independent dealers. 
Further, the commenter asserted that the Autho- 
rization Act requires only that the independent 
dealers record the tire identification number on 
the registration form, and that the absence of any 
mention of further specific information to be 
filled in by independent dealers is evidence that 
Congress did not intend those dealers to have to 
fill in any information other than the identifica- 
tion number. Finally, this commenter noted that 
NHTSA had indicated in the preamble to the in- 
terim final rule that the dealer's name and ad- 
dress was needed on the registration form to aid 
the agency in evaluating the voluntary registra- 
tion process. This commenter stated that it would 
be sufficient for evaluation purposes for the 
registration forms used by independent dealers 
to show simply that they came from that class of 
dealers, instead of identifying a specific indepen- 
dent dealer. It was further suggested that this in- 
formation would be all that was needed for the 
agency to determine the extent to which volun- 
tary registration had been successful at increas- 
ing the rate of tire registration for tires sold by 
independent dealers. 

Similarly, two tire manufacturers commented 
that a manufacturer should not be required, any 
longer to maintain records which show, for each 
of its tires sold by an independent dealer, the 
identity of that particular dealer. They argued 
that manufacturers should only be required to 
maintain registration for independent dealers as 
a group. These commenters also asserted that 
this information was all that the agency needed to 
determine whether or not voluntary registration 
had successfully increased the registration rate 
for tires sold by independent dealers. 

The preamble to the interim final rule may not 
have adequately explained the full breadth of the 
evaluative task which Congress instructed the 
agency to perform. In order to conduct a proper 
evaluation which not only reports the aggregate 
results of the voluntary registration program but 
also attempts to explain those results, the agency 
will need to be able to determine registration 
rates for individual dealers. With that ability, the 
agency can differentiate dealers with high rates 
from dealers with low ones and then proceed to 
attempt to assess the reasons for those differ- 
ences. Having performed that analysis, the agen- 
cy would be in a position to provide Congress 



PART 574; PRE 30 



with insight about the impact of the voluntary 
registration program. It would also enable the 
agency to determine what additional require- 
ments, if any, should be adopted to improve the 
registration program. NHTSA may find that 
those improvements can be more effectively ob- 
tained by enforcing the requirements established 
by this notice than by imposing additional re- 
quirements on all independent dealers. 

NHTSA believes that it has authority under 
the Authorization Act to require independent 
dealers to record not only the tire identification 
numbers but also their names and addresses on 
registration forms. There is no express prohibi- 
tion against the agency's requiring dealers to fill 
in more than the tire identification numbers. 
While the Authorization Act makes no mention of 
requiring dealers to fill in their names and ad- 
dresses, the agency does not regard that fact as 
dispositive. The Authorization Act does not, in 
fact, specify that the dealer's name and address is 
to be filled in by either the dealer or the pur- 
chaser. Since there isn't any clear indication that 
it was Congress' intent that this information no 
longer be required, the agency will not infer such 
intent from Congress' decision not to assign that 
task expressly to any particular party. It appears 
that Congress has left the question of that assign- 
ment to NHTSA's discretion. Since the names 
and addresses of dealers have long been recorded 
on registration forms and since that information 
is needed to enable the agency to conduct an ef- 
fective evaluation, this agency believes that it 
should continue to be recorded. In view of the fact 
that dealers are more likely than purchasers to 
provide this information accurately, and since 
dealers can easily resort to the expandiency of a 
stamp bearing their name and address, NHTSA 
reaffirms its decision to assign the task of filling 
in that information to the dealers. 

As to the tire manufacturers, the burden on 
them regarding the identity of specific indepen- 
dent dealers is simply to continue doing what 
they have been doing since 1971, i.e., maintaining 
registration records for each dealer. The agency 
believes that continued maintenance of these 
records is warranted by the value of dealer- 
specific information to the evaluation and to tire 
recall campaigns. In fact, the agency recently 
issued a special order to nine tire manufacturers 
to obtain information on the registration rates for 
individual independent dealers. The agency will 



continue to monitor those rates. 

Several commenters suggested that the agen- 
cy, when conducting its evaluation of the effect of 
the voluntary registration program on the regis- 
tration rate, determine its own baseline for regis- 
tration of tires sold by independent dealers 
before that program began. The commenters 
urged that the agency not adopt the 20-percent 
rate mentioned in the legislative history of the 
Authorization Act. In lieu of that figure, the com- 
menters offered several lower ones, including a 
figure of 7 percent. The agency intends to deter- 
mine its own baseline. The special order men- 
tioned above will provide the information neces- 
sary for that determination. 

Registration Forms 

In selecting the registration form to be used by 
independent dealers under the interim final rule, 
the agency consciously sought to find a form that 
would satisfy all of the statutory requirements 
for the voluntary registration system, while mak- 
ing as few changes as possible to existing forms 
being used under the mandatory registration sys- 
tem. This conservative approach was necessary 
because the amendments to the Vehicle Safety 
Act did not provide adequate time to follow nor- 
mal rulemaking procedures and seek comments 
on more far-reaching changes. 

To determine outside the strictures of a rigid 
time schedule what type of form would be most 
effective in inducing tire purchasers to register 
their tires, NHTSA contracted with American In- 
stitute for Research in the Behavioral Sciences 
(AIRES) to conduct a study. AIRES designed a 
postcard-size registration form separated into 
two parts by a line of perforation. The top part, 
which would be detached and retained by the pur- 
chaser, would contain a message explaining the 
importance of tire registration to the purchaser 
and motivating the purchaser to register the tires 
by sending the form to the manufacturer. On the 
reverse of the top side, there would be a space 
'where the purchaser could record the registra- 
tion information and save it for his or her per- 
sonal records. 

The bottom part of the AIRES registration 
form would be the part that would be sent to the 
tire manufacturer. On one side would be the 
manufacturer's preprinted address. On the other 
would be space for filling in the tire registration 
information. 



PART 574; PRE 31 



/ 



The agency placed the AIRES study and form 
in the public docket and requested in the interim 
final rule that interested persons comment on the 
contractor's recommendations. Several commen- 
ters addressed the desirability of adopting the 
AIRES form as the registration form to be used 
by independent dealers. Many commenters stated 
that a postcard-sized form was too small to allow 
the necessary information to be legibly recorded. 
One commenter argued that the AIRES form 
would not be any more effective at encouraging 
consumers to register their tires than the simple 
one-part card mandated in the interim final rule, 
and that the AIRES form might actually be more 
confusing. Another commenter objected to the 
AIRES form because the perforated edge of the 
portion of the form to be returned to the manufac- 
turer could not be automatically fed through a 
microfilming machine. The same commenter also 
argued that the printing costs for the AIRES 
form would be about 12 percent higher than those 
for the form mandated in the interim final rule. 

After considering these comments, NHTSA 
has decided not to adopt the AIRES form. That 
form poses a number of potential problems which 
neither AIRES nor the agency foresaw. Further, 
NHTSA does not believe that use of a two-part 
form is necessary. AIRES stated in its study that 
the reason for its recommending a two-part form 
was its belief that the space available on a single- 
part form was insufficient to allow the printing of 
the motivational message to the consumer, the in- 
structions, and the necessary registration infor- 
mation with type and spacing large enough to 
permit easy reading. In the agency's own judg- 
ment, the single-part form mandated by this final 
rule will not be overly crowded, will avoid the 
potential problems which commenters attributed 
to the two-part form, and will be almost as suc- 
cessful in motivating consumers to register their 
tires as would the two-part form. 

However, the agency has adopted the AIRES 
recommendation that the registration forms pro- 
vided to consumers be postcard size. It will be 
less expensive for tire purchasers to use 13-cent 
postcard stamps to mail registration forms of that 
size, and this low cost might motivate some pur- 
chasers who would not otherwise do so to register 
their tires. The maximum dimensions permitted 
by the U.S. Postal Service for a postcard are 4 'A 
by 6 inches. This area is, in NHTSA's judgment, 
sufficient to permit the motivational message and 



the space for recording the required information 
to appear on the same size of the card, without be- 
ing overly crowded or difficult to read. Given the 
importance of encouraging consumers to return 
the completed tire registration forms, and the 
likely effectiveness of lower postage costs at en- 
couraging consumers to return the forms, this 
rule specifies that the registration forms be of the 
dimensions permitted for using postcard stamps. 

Some other minor changes are made in this 
notice to the registration form required by the in- 
terim final rule. First, the motivational message 
has been changed so that it is now identical to 
that recommended by AIRES. The AIRES mes- 
sage provided stronger encouragement to send 
the form to the manufacturer and will be readily 
understood by consumers. 

Second, the agency has decided to require the 
form to include instructions to the tire purchaser 
to print his or her name and address on the form. 
Those instructions were inadvertently omitted 
from the interim final rule. They have now been 
added at the urging of several of the commenters. 

One commenter requested that tire manufac- 
turers be allowed to divide the spaces for record- 
ing the purchaser's name and address into little 
boxes so that each letter or number would be 
printed in a separate box. According to this com- 
menter, this approach would help insure accurate 
transcription by the manufacturer of the informa- 
tion on the registration forms. Eased on its 
assessment of the AIRES study, the agency has 
decided not to adopt this change. AIRES in- 
dicated to this agency that the use of boxes 
discourages people from filling in information on 
forms and that the return rate for the registra- 
tion forms would therefore be higher if boxes 
were not used. 

Third, NHTSA is adopting a requirement that 
contrasting shading be used for the area of the 
form containing the blanks to be completed by the 
independent dealer and that a white background 
be used for the areas to be completed by the tire 
purchasers. AIRES recommended this require- 
ment in its study as a means of emphasizing to the 
tire purchaser the minimal quantity of informa- 
tion which he or she must record in order to 
register his or her tires. AIRES indicated that 
the shading could be achieved by using a 
10-percent screen tint. The tinted forms would be 
inexpensive to produce and still easily readable 
by data processors. 



PART 574: PRE 32 



One manufacturer commented that independ- 
ent dealers should be required to enter both their 
name and address and their dealer identification 
number assigned by the manufacturer on the 
registration form. The dealer identification 
number is a unique identifier assigned by a tire 
manufacturer to each dealer selling that manufac- 
turer's tires. This commenter asserted that re- 
quiring the dealer identification number to be 
placed on the registration forms would greatly 
simplify the data-processing task for the manufac- 
turer as it recorded the information from the 
registration forms sent in by tire purchasers. 

NHTSA agrees that such a requirement would 
simplify the manufacturers' task, but only at the 
cost of significantly complicating the registration 
responsibilities of the independent dealers. The 
dealer identification numbers assigned to a par- 
ticular dealer are not coordinated among the 
various tire manufacturers. Thus, an independent 
dealer which sells tires produced by seven dif- 
ferent manufacturers would have seven different 
dealer identification numbers assigned to it. The 
interim final rule required independent dealers to 
record their name and address on the registration 
form. This could be done simply by purchasing 
and using a rubber stamp with the dealer's name 
and address on it. If the final rule were amended 
to require the dealer to also record its dealer 
identification number, and the independent 
dealer sold seven different manufacturers' tires 
(as in the example above), the dealer would either 
have to fill in its name, address, and identification 
number by hand on each registration form or buy 
seven different rubber stamps. If it chose to pur- 
chase seven different rubber stamps, the dealer 
would also have to be certain that it used the ap- 
propriate stamp for each manufacturer's registra- 
tion form. If the dealer used the wrong dealer 
identification number on a manufacturer's 
registration form, it would complicate the manu- 
facturer's data-processing task. After considering 
these facts, NHTSA has decided not to adopt this 
comment, and the independent dealers remain 
subject to the requirement that they record their 
name and address on the registration form before 
giving the form to the tire purchaser. 

Other Issues 

Several commenters objected to the language 
in the interim final rule stating that enforcement 
of this regulation would be under the authority of 



sections 108-110 of the Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 
1397-99) and that each violation could subject the 
violator to a penalty of $1,000. These commenters 
noted that the Committee report on the Authori- 
zation Act stated an expectation that indepen- 
dent dealers which failed to comply with the 
voluntary registration requirements would not 
have to pay the maximum penalty unless there 
was a clear, continuous pattern of violations. 

The statutory provisions recited in the interim 
final rule are consistent with the committee 
report. Section 109 of the Safety Act provides 
that the amount of any penalty imposed by the 
agency should reflect consideration of the size of 
the business which committed the violation and of 
the gravity of the violation. As a matter of prac- 
tice, the agency makes a distinction in its enforce- 
ment activities between isolated violations and 
continuous patterns of violations. The agency will 
continue to make this distinction and thus will be 
following the guidance in the committee report. 

Some commenters urged that the agency per- 
mit continued use of registration forms addressed 
to clearinghouses. These forms, which were per- 
mitted under mandatory registration, were 
generic instead of manufacturer-specific (i.e., they 
did not bear any mark or information identifying 
them for use in registering a particular manufac- 
turer's tires) and thus could be used to register 
any manufacturer's tires. The tire dealer would 
fill in the manufacturer or brand-name owner 
identified on the tire to be registered, and send 
the forms to a clearinghouse. The clearinghouse 
would then forward the information to the ap- 
propriate manufacturer or brand-name owner. 

As explained in the preamble to the interim 
final rule, the amendments to section 158(b) of the 
Safety Act and their legislative history compel an 
end to the practice of using forms which are not 
addressed to a specific manufacturer or its 
designee. Section 158(b) requires that the pur- 
chaser be able to send the form directly to the 
manufacturer of the tire, and that the forms used 
by independent dealers be standardized for all 
tires. Hence, the agency cannot permit continued 
use of forms which are not manufacturer-specific 
and which are not addressed to a particular manu- 
facturer or its designee. 

One commenter asked that dealers be allowed 
to continue to use the forms mandated by the in- 
terim final rule until the supply was exhausted. 
The interim final rule permitted the continued 



PART 574; PRE 33 



use of the forms used under mandatory registra- 
tion as long as the manufacturers provided pre- 
addressed envelopes in which to enclose those 
forms. To minimize the expenses and disruption 
associated with the transition from the interim 
final rule to this final rule, independent dealers 
will be permitted to continue using the forms 
specified by the interim final rule until their 
existing supplies are exhausted, or until April 1, 
1984, whichever comes first. As of the effective 
date of this rule, the manufacturers will be re- 
quired to provide registration forms in com- 
pliance with this rule, and distribution of the 
forms specified under the interim final rule must 
be ended. 

A related issue was raised in a petition which 
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company ("Cooper") sub- 
mitted for reconsideration of the interim final 
rule. Cooper currently has a no-charge warranty 
program for two tire lines. As part of that pro- 
gram. Cooper has printed a booklet and registra- 
tion form. The form, which was developed and 
printed before the interim final rule was issued, 
contains a different motivational statement than 
was mandated by the interim final rule. Further, 
it does not contain a notation to affix first-class 
postage on the reverse side. Cooper reported that 
it had achieved a 66-percent registration rate for 
the two tire lines, using its own registration 
forms. 

After considering these minor variations, the 
agency has decided that this Cooper registration 
form can be considered as complying with the re- 
quirements of the interim final rule. It is signifi- 
cant that Cooper prepared and began distributing 
these forms in December 1982, before the interim 
final rule had been published. From the interval 
of January 1, 1983, to June 20, 1983, Cooper 
achieved a 66-percent registration rate for tires 
sold by independent dealers, when there were no 
registration requirements applicable to inde 
pendent dealers. This suggests that the Cooper 
form has been effective at motivating consumers 
to return that form, and achieving higher tire 
registration rates is the goal of the change in tire 
registration procedures. 

NHTSA wishes to emphasize that Cooper was 
in a unique postion, and that permitting the varia 
tions in the Cooper form from that mandated by 
the interim final rule does not mean that the 
agency will countenance variations from the form 
prescribed by this final rule. This form has been 



developed after considering the AIRES study, 
and it is important that it be used in connection 
with tire registration, to insure that the NHTSA 
evaluation of the voluntary tire registration sys- 
tem is conducted with an effective standardized 
registration form. 

One commenter suggested that there would be a 
stronger incentive for consumers to register 
their tires if the agency were to require the 
manufacturers to prepay the postage for the 
registration forms. Adopting such a requirement 
was one of the actions which the House commit- 
tee report indicated could be adopted after the 
2-year evaluation period if the agency determined 
that further steps were necessary to achieve ade- 
quate registration rates. The implication of this 
discussion in the report is that the requirement 
may not be adopted at an earlier time. Accord- 
ingly, the agency is not adopting a requirement 
for prepaid postage. 

Several commenters stated that the 30-day 
period between the publication of the interim 
final rule and its effective date was inadequate to 
allow the necessary registration forms to be 
printed and distributed to all of the manufac- 
turer's independent dealers. Accordingly, they 
asked that a longer leadtime period be estab- 
lished for this final rule. The agency understands 
that it is asking the manufacturers to move very 
expeditiously to print and distribute the volun- 
tary registration forms. NHTSA believes that 
short leadtime periods are necessary due to the 
importance of registration and to the require- 
ment to conduct an evaluation of voluntary regis- 
tration 2 years after passage of the Authorization 
Act. At the same time, the agency wishes to make 
some accommodation of the request for additional 
leadtime. Accordingly, the agency is specifying 
an effective date of 45 days after publication of 
this notice. This date will still require expeditious 
action by the manufacturers, but does provide 2 
more weeks than were allowed for the interim 
final rule. 

The information-collection requirements con- 
tained in this rule have been submitted to and ap- 
proved by the Office of Management and Budget 
(0MB), pursuant to the requirements of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.). Those requirements have been approved 
through May 31, 1985 (0MB #2127-0050). All 
printed registration forms must display this 0MB 
clearance number and expiration date in the up- 



PART 574: PRE 34 



per right-hand corner of the form. 

NHTSA has analyzed the impacts of this rule 
and determined that it is neither "major" within 
the meaning of Executive Order 12291 nor "sig- 
nificant" within the meaning of the Department 
of Transportation regulatory policies and pro- 
cedures. The changes in the requirements for the 
registration forms to be provided by tire manu- 
facturers to independent dealers will impose 
minimally higher costs on those manufacturers. 
Compared to the costs and administrative burdens 
imposed on independent dealers under man- 
datory registration, those dealers should achieve 
a slight savings under this rule. Consumers pur- 
chasing tires from independent dealers will now 
have to pay for postage if they wish to register 
their new tires. The assumption of that cost by 
consumers was mandated by Congress. For this 
reason, a full regulatory evaluation has not been 
prepared. 

The agency has also considered the impacts of 
this rule on small entities, as required by the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. NHTSA believes that 
few, if any, of the tire manufacturers are small 
businesses. Although many of the dealers could 
be considered small businesses, this rule will not 
have a significant impact on them. As noted 
above, they may experience a slight savings as 
compared to the mandatory registration re- 
quirements. The requirements for tire manufac- 
turers are unchanged, except for some minor 
changes which they must make to the registra- 
tion forms to be provided to independent dealers. 
Small organizations and governmental units will 
have to bear the minor expense of paying postage 
for any new tires they register. Based on the 
foregoing, I certify that this rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the following 
amendments are made to Part 574, Tire Identifi- 
cation and Recordkeeping, of Title 49 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations. 

1. Section 574.3 is amended by adding a new 
paragraph (cKl) immediately after "Definitions 
used in this part. " and redesignating existing 
paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(4) as paragraphs (c)(2) 
through (c)(5): 

§ 574.3 Definitions. 

***** 

(p) * * * 



(1) "Independent" means, with respect to a tire 

distributor or dealer, one whose business is not 

owned or controlled by a tire manufacturer or 

brand name owner. 
***** 

3. Section 574.7 is revised to read as follows: 

§ 574.7 Information requirements— new tire 
manufacturers, new tire brand name owners. 

(a)(1) Each new tire manufacturer and each new 
tire brand name owner (hereinafter referred to in 
this section and § 574.8 as "tire manufacturer") or 
its designee, shall provide tire registration forms 
to every distributor and dealer of its tires which 
offers new tires for sale or lease to tire pur- 
chasers. 

(2) Each tire registration form provided to in- 
dependent distributors and dealers pursuant to 
paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall contain space 
for recording the information specified in para- 
graphs (a)(4)(A) through (a)(4)(C) of this section and 
shall conform in content and format to Figures 3a 
and 3b. Each form shall be: 

(A) Rectangular; 

(B) Not less than .007 inches thick; 

(C) Greater than 3V2 inches, but not greater 
than 6'/8 inches wide; and 

(D) Greater than 5 inches, but not greater than 
6 inches long. 

(3) Each tire registration form provided to 
distributors and dealers, other than independent 
distributors and dealers, pursuant to paragraph 
(a)(1) of this section shall be similar in format and 
size to Figure 4 and shall contain space for record- 
ing the information specified in paragraphs 
(a)(4)(A) through (a)(4)(C) of this section. 

(4)(A) Name and address of the tire purchaser. 

(d) The information that is specified in 
paragraph (a)(4) of this section and recorded on 
registration forms submitted to a tire manufac- 
turer or its designee shall be maintained for a 
period of not less than three years from the date 
on which the information is recorded by the 
manufacturer or its designee. 

4. Section 574.8 is revised to read as follows: 

§ 574.8 Information requirements— tire dis- 
tributors and dealers. 

(b) Other distributors and dealers. (1) Each dis- 
tributor and each dealer, other than an indepen- 
dent distributor or dealer, selling new tires to 
tire purchasers shall submit the information 



PART 574; PRE 35 



specified in § 574.7(aM4) to the manufacturer of 
the tires sold, or to its designee. 

(2) Each tire distributor and each dealer, other 
than an independent distributor or dealer, shall 
submit registration forms containing the informa- 
tion specified in § 574.7(a)(4) to the tire manufac- 
turer, or person maintaining the information, not 
less often than every 30 days. However, a distrib- 
utor or dealer which sells less than 40 tires, of all 
makes, types and sizes during a 30-day period 
may wait until he or she sells a total of 40 new 
tires, but in no event longer than six months, 
before forwarding the tire information to the 
respective tire manufacturers or their designees. 

(c) Each distributor and each dealer selling 



new tires to other tire distributors or dealers 
shall supply to the distributor or dealer a means to 
record the information specified in § 574.7(a)(4), 
unless such a means has been provided to that 
distributor or dealer by another person or by a 
manufacturer. 



Issued on February 3, 1984. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

49 FR 4755 
February 8, 1984 



PART 574; PRE 36 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 574 

Tire Identification and Recordlceeping 

[Docket No. 84-07; Notice 2] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends Part 574 to give 
retreaders of tires for motor vehicles other than 
passenger cars an option during the retreading 
process of either removing the original manufac- 
turer's DOT symbol from the sidewall of the 
finished retread or leaving that symbol on the tire. 
This action is taken because NHTSA has deter- 
mined that no significant safety interest is served 
by requiring that retreaders remove the original 
manufacturer's DOT symbol as part of the re- 
treading process. That requirement, which did not 
expressly appear in Part 574, resulted from un- 
foreseen events and from unexpected effects of 
the language in Part 574. This rule avoids im- 
posing unnecessary costs on these retreaders 
without degrading the safety of the tires or the 
safety value of the information available to 
consumers. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: February 15, 1985. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require that a 
DOT symbol appear on the sidewall of most new 
and retreaded tires as a means of certifying com- 
pliance with the performance requirements of the 
applicable safety standard. Thus, the DOT symbol 
must appear on new tires for use on passenger 
cars which are subject to Standard No. 109, new 
tires for use on vehicles other than passenger cars 
which are subject to Standard No. 119, and 
retreaded passenger-car tires which are subject to 
Standard No. 117. (For the sake of easy reference, 
tires for use on motor vehicles other than passen- 
ger cars will be referred to as "non-car tires" 



throughout the rest of this preamble.) 

Regulations issued under the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act expressly prohibit 
the presence of the DOT symbol on tires not sub- 
ject to a Federal safety standard. 49 CFR Part 574, 
Tire Identification and Recordkeeping, provides, 
in pertinent part: "The DOT symbol shall not ap- 
pear on tires to which no Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard is applicable ..." (574.5). Since 
retreaded non-car tires are the only new or 
retreaded tires not subject to a Federal safety 
standard, they are the only tires subject to that 
prohibition. 

NHTSA adopted the language in § 574.5 because 
of its concern that the appearance of the DOT sym- 
bol on tires to which no safety standard was ap- 
plicable would confuse consumers. That is, 
NHTSA believed that consumers could mistakenly 
conclude that the tires in question met some ap- 
plicable Federal requirements, when, in fact, there 
were no such requirements. 

However, although the agency's concern in 
adopting the prohibition in § 574.5 was with the 
addition of a DOT symbol to a tire that was not 
subject to any Federal safety standard, the 
language of the prohibition was broader. It did not 
simply state that manufacturers cannot add the 
DOT symbol to tires to which no Federal safety 
standard is applicable. It stated that the DOT sym- 
bol "shall not appear" on such tires. The breadth of 
that language gave rise to a duty not only to re- 
frain from adding a DOT symbol to tires to which 
no safety standard was applicable, but also to 
remove an original manufacturer's symbol when, 
as in the case of retreaded non-car tires, the tires 
were subject to a safety standard when new but 
are not subject to any standard when retreaded. 



PART 574 -PRE 37 



In no other circumstances under the Safety Act, 
such as in the remanufacturing of a vehicle, is a 
person required to remove a previous manufac- 
turer's certification. Additionally, the agency 
learned that most non-car tire retreaders had not 
been removing the original manufacturer's DOT 
symbol. 

NHTSA tentatively concluded that there was no 
safety or informational value associated with the 
requirement that non-car tire retreaders remove 
the original manufacturer's DOT symbol. Accord- 
ingly, the agency published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking on this subject at 49 FR 20880, May 17. 
1984. That notice explained in detail the origins of 
the prohibition in § 574.5, and the bases for the 
agency's tentative conclusions that no safety or in- 
formational purposes were served by the require- 
ment that retreaders of non-car tires remove the 
original manufacturer's DOT symbol from the side- 
wall of the tire. Further, the notice noted that 
although NHTSA had received over 10,000 con- 
sumer complaints regarding non-car tires since 
1976, not one of those complaints related to the 
presence or absence of the DOT symbol on a re- 
treaded non-car tire. The hypothetical consumer 
confusion which NHTSA thought might occur has 
in fact not occurred with respect to retreaded non- 
car tires. Accordingly, NHTSA proposed that the 
prohibition in § 574.5 be replaced by language 
which would give non-car tire retreaders the op- 
tion of removing the original manufacturer's DOT 
symbol or leaving it on the finished retread, while 
emphasizing the those retreaders were still pro- 
hibited from adding a new DOT symbol to the side- 
wall of retreaded non-car tires. 

Three commenters responded to the notice of 
proposed rulemaking. All three supported the 
agency's proposal to eliminate the requirement 
that non-car tire retreaders remove the original 
manufacturer's DOT symbol. One of the com- 
menters suggested that the agency move beyond 
its proposed option for these retreaders to remove 
or not remove the original manufacturer's DOT 
symbol, and instead require that any non-car tires 
with a DOT symbol on the sidewall retain that 
DOT symbol after the retreading is completed. 

The agency has not been persuaded by this com- 
ment, for the reasons expressed in the proposal. 
To repeat, the value of the DOT symbol on a worn 
tire carcass in assessing the probable performance 
capabilities of a retreaded tire is not very signifi- 
cant. Intervening factors, such as latent problems 



with the carcass, inadvertent damage to the car- 
cass during the retreading process, the amount of 
old tread not buffed off during the retreading, and 
the application and design of the new tread are of 
far greater significance in determining the per- 
formance of the retread than is the condition of the 
carcass when the tire was new. Those retreaders 
which choose to retain the original manufacturer's 
DOT symbol on the sidewall are free to do so, and 
those retreaders which choose to remove the 
original manufacturer's DOT symbol are also free 
to do so, since NHTSA has concluded that the sym- 
bol has so little significance for purchasers of 
retreaded non-car tires. Hence, the proposed 
change to the language in § 574.5 is hereby 
adopted, for the reasons set forth in the proposal. 

NHTSA has analyzed this rule and determined 
that it is neither "major" within the meaning of 
Executive Order 12291 nor "significant" within the 
meaning of the Department of Transportation 
regulatory policies and procedures. The impact of 
this rule is simply to authorize a practice which 
has been followed by most non-car tire retreaders 
for the last 7 years (i.e., not removing the original 
manufacturer's DOT symbol). No additional paper- 
work or costs will be imposed as a result of this 
rule. No cost savings are expected, either, since 
this rule merely authorizes existing practices. 
Since the impacts associated with the rule are so 
minimal, a full regulatory evaluation has not been 
prepared. 

NHTSA has also analyzed this rule in accord- 
ance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Based on 
that analysis, I certify that this amendment will 
not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. This rule 
does not impose any additional burden on tire 
retreaders, because it merely authorizes a practice 
most of them have followed, i.e., leaving the 
original manufacturer's DOT symbol on the side- 
wall of the finished retread. Those retreaders 
which have not followed that practice will be able 
to reduce their costs slightly by leaving that sym- 
bol on the sidewall, if they choose. Small organiza- 
tions and small governmental jurisdictions which 
purchase retreaded non-car tires will not be af- 
fected by this rule. To the extent that this rule 
might produce some cost savings for the re- 
treaders by allowing them not to buff off the ori- 
ginal manufacturer's DOT symbol, those savings 
are already reflected in the prices charged for 
most retreaded non-car tires. Hence, no significant 



PART 574 -PRE 38 



savings are expected for small entities as a result 
of this rule. A full Regulatory Flexibility Analysis 
has not been prepared for this rule. 

Finally, the agency has considered the en- 
vironmental implications of this rule in accordance 
with the National Environmental Policy Act and 
determined that this rule will have no effect on the 
human environment. 

LIST OF SUBJECTS IN 49 CFR PART 574: 
Labeling, motor-vehicle safety, motor vehicles, 
reporting and recordkeeping requirements, rub- 
ber and rubber products, tires. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR § 574.5 
is amended by revising the introductory text to 
read as follows: 

574.5 Tire identification requirements. 

Each tire manufacturer shall conspicuously 
label on one sidewall of each tire it manufactures, 
except tires manufactured exclusively for mileage- 
contract purchasers, by permanently molding into 
or onto the sidewall, in the manner and location 
specified in Figure 1, a tire identification number 
containing the information set forth in paragraphs 
(a) through (d) of this section. Each tire retreader, 
except tire retreaders who retread tires solely for 
their own use, shall conspicuously label one side- 
wall of each tire it retreads by permanently 
molding or branding into or onto the sidewall, in 
the manner and location specified in Figure 2, a 
tire identification number containing the informa- 



tion set forth in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this 
section. In addition, the DOT symbol required by 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards shall be 
located as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The DOT sym- 
bol shall not appear on tires to which no Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard is applicable, ex- 
cept that the DOT symbol on tires for use on motor 
vehicles other than passenger cars may, prior to 
retreading, be removed from the sidewall or al- 
lowed to remain on the sidewall, at the retreader's 
option. The symbols to be used in the tire iden- 
tification number for tire manufacturers and 
retreaders are; "A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J, K, L, M, N, 
P, R, T. U. V, W, X, Y, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0." Tires 
manufactured or retreaded exclusively for 
mileage-contract purchasers are not required to 
contain a tire identification number if the tire con- 
tains the phrase "for mileage contract use only" 
permanently molded into or onto the tire sidewall 
in lettering at least 'A inch high. 

***** 
Issued on January 10, 1985. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

50 FR 2287 
January 16, 1985 



PART 574-PRE 39-40 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 574 

Tire Code Marks Assigned to New Tire IVIanufacturers 



ACTION: Publication of tire code marks assigned 
to new tire manufacturers. 

SUMMARY: The agency first published a complete 
listing of the tire code marks assigned to new tire 
manufacturers in 1972. The second publication of 
this listing in June 1983 added an additional 150 
code marks. Since that last publication, there have 
been several additions and changes in names and 
addresses for the assigned code marks. This 
publication will inform the public of those addi- 
tions and changes as reported to the agency. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 
574.5 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, re- 
quires tire manufacturers to mold a tire identifica- 
tion number into or onto the sidewall of each tire 
they manufacture. In the case of new tires, the 
first two digits of the tire identification number 
are the code mark assigned to the manufacturer. 
This code mark identifies the tire manufacturer 
and the plant where the tire was manufactured. 



The NHTSA first published a complete listing of 
the tire codes at 37 FR 342, January 11, 1972. This 
list enables interested members of the public to 
identify the manufacturer and place of manufac- 
ture of any new tire. The NHTSA published an up- 
dating of the tire codes at 48 FR 27635, June 16, 
1983, adding some 150 additional code marks 
assigned to new tire manufacturers since the 1972 
publication. 

This update listing of the assigned code marks 
for new tire manufacturers is being published to 
bring the public up to date with the revisions and 
new code numbers which have been assigned since 
the publication of the 1983 list. 

Issued on March 11, 1985. 

Barry Felrice 
Associate Administrator 
for Rulemaking 

50 FR 10880 
March 18, 1985 



PART 574-PRE 41-42 



ADDITIONAL TIRE CODES ASSIGNED 
New Tire Manufacturers 

M8 Premier Tyres Limited, Kalamassery, Kerala State, India 

Y8 Bombay Tyres International Limited, Hay Bunder Road, Bombay, Maharashtra, India 400 033 

C9 Seven Star Rubber Company, Ltd.. 2-1 Chang-Swei Road, Pin-Tou Hsiang, Chang-Hua, 
Taiwan, R.O.C. 

F9 Dunlop New Zealand, Limited, P.O. Box 40343, Upper Hutt, New Zealand 

H9 Reifen-Berg, 5000 Koln 80 (Mulheim), Clevischer Ring 134, West Germany 

J9 P.T. Intirub, 454 Cililitan. P.O. Box 2626, Besar, Jakarta, Indonesia 

K9 Natier Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., 557. Shan Chiao Road, Sec. 1, Shetou, Changhua, Taiwan, 
R.O.C. 511 

M9 Uniroyal Tire Corporation, Uniroyal Research Center, Middlebury, CT 06749 

N9 Cia Pneus Tropical, Km105/BR, 324, Centro Industrial Desubae 44100, Feira de Santana, 
Bahia, Brazil 

P9 MRF. Ltd., P.B. No. 1 Ponda, Goa 403 401, India 

T9 MRF, Ltd., Thiruthani Road, Ichiputhur 631 060, Arkonam, India 

U9 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 1689 South Green Street, Tupelo, MS 38801 

V9 M & R Tire Co., 309 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02172 



Reported Name Change 
New Tire Manufacturers 



Code Old Name 

AA General Tire & Rubber Co. 
One General Street 
Akron, Ohio 44329 

BB B.F. Goodrich Tire Company 
5400 E. Olympic Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90022 



LK Uniroyal Croyden, S.A. 
Carrera 7A, No. 22-1 
Call, Colombia 

WT Madras Rubber Factory, Ltd. 
175/1 Mount Road 
Madras, India 

H2 Sam Yang Tire Mfg. Co.. Ltd. 
Song Jung Eup 
Junnam, Korea 



New Name 



GenCorp Inc. 
One General Street 
Akron, OH 44329 

B.F. Goodrich Tire Company 
Department 6517 
P.O. Box 31 
Miami, OK 74354 

Productora Nacional de Llantas, S.A. 
Carrera 7A, No. 22-1 
Call, Colombia 

Madras Rubber Factory, Ltd. 
Tiruvottiyur High Road 
Madras 600 019 India 

Kumho & Co., Inc. 
555 Sochon-Ri 
Songjung-Eup 
Kwangsan-Kun 
Chonnam. Korea 



PART 574-PRE 43 



MISCELLANEOUS NEW TIRE MANUFACTURERS TRANSACTIONS 
As Reported to NHTSA 



Manufacturer 


Cocye 


Armstrong Rubber Company 


CE 


Bridgestone Tire Company 


LH 


Ceat. S.p.A. 


HU 


Cooper Tire & Rubber Company 


U9 


Dayton Tire & Rubber Company 


DC 


Dunlop Olympic Tyres 


DT,DU.WM.W4 


Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. 


DF, DH, DJ, DP, \A 


ditto 


DT, DU, WM W^ 


ditto 


DC 


Firestone Tire & Rubber 


DC 


ditto 


VV 



General Tire & Rubber Company 



Remark 

Plant closed 4/3/81 

Purchased from UNIROYAL as of 6/13/82 

Sold to Pirelli Tire Corp. in May 1984 

Purchased from Pennsylvania Tire & 
Rubber on 1/25/84 

Purchased from Dunlop on 11/1/75 

Merger of Dunlop and Olympic on 
4/29/81 



LV 



B.F. Goodric 


h Company 




BJ 


ditto 








BK 


ditto 








BM 


ditto 








BN 


ditto 








BR 


Nitto Tire Company, 


Ltd. 




N3 


Olympic Tire 


& Rubber Co., 


Pty., 


WM, W4 


Ltd. 











ditto 



WN 



4/29/81 

Plant sold to Firestone T&R on 11/1/75 

Purchased from Dunlop T&R on 11/1/75 

Plant sold to Viskafors Gummifabrik 
in April 1980 

Purchased from Mansfield-Denman 
on 11/30/78 

Plant sold 12/79 

Plant sold 1/80 

Plant sold to Olympic in 7/75 

Plant sold 8/81 

Plant sold 5/78 

Plant sold to Ryoto Tire Co., Ltd., on 
1/23/80 

Sold to Dunlop Olympic on 4/29/81 
Plant closed in 1978 



PART 574-PRE 44 



MISCELLANEOUS NEW TIRE MANUFACTURERS TRANSACTIONS 

As Reported to NHTSA 

(Continued) 



Manufacturer 

Pennsylvania Tire & Rubber of 
Mississippi 

Pirelli Tire Corporation 

Ryoto Tire Company 

SAMYAND Tire, Inc. 
UNIROYAL, Inc. 

Viskafors Gunnmifabrik AB 



Code 

WK 

HU 

N3 

XU 
LH 

VV 



Remark 
Plant sold to Cooper T&R on 1/24/84 



Plant purchased from Ceat, S.p.A. in 
May 1984 

Plant purcfiased from Nitto Tire 
Company on 1/23/80 

Plant closed in 1976 

Plant sold to Bridgestone Tire Company 
on 6/13/82 

Plant purchased from Firestone T&R in 
April 1980 



PART 574-PRE 45-46 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 574 
Tire Identification and Record Keeping 

(Docket No. 87-12; Notice 3) 
RIN 2127-AC18 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Standard No. 110, 
Tire Selection and Rims, and Standard No. 120, Tire 
Selection and Rims for Vehicles Other Than Passen- 
ger Cars, to permit new passenger cars, multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles, and light trucks equipped 
with passenger car tires to be equipped with a 
non-pneumatic spare tire. These standards had re- 
quired all new vehicles to be equipped with pneu- 
matic tires. The notice also establishes requirements 
requiring non-pneumatic tires to bear a label stating 
that the tires are to be used only as a temporary 
spare tire and only at limited speeds. It requires the 
manufactiu"er to place a placard in the vehicle and 
information in the owner's manual explaining the 
proper use of these tires. In addition, the notice 
establishes Standard No. 129, New Non-Pneumatic 
Tires for Passenger Cars, which includes definitions 
relevant to non-pneumatic tires and specifies perform- 
ance, testing, and additional labeling requirements 
for these tires. In particular, the new standard 
contains performance requirements related to phys- 
ical dimensions, lateral strength, strength (in verti- 
cal loading), tire endurance, and high speed perform- 
ance. The agency has determined that these 
requirements provide the basic tests to ensure the 
structural integrity of non-pneumatic tires. To en- 
sure an even higher degree of safety, a non- 
pneumatic tire must be labeled for use only as a 
temporary spare tire at limited speeds. NHTSA 
believes that these performance requirements to- 
gether with these labels ensure the safety of non- 
pneumatic tires. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The rule is effective on August 
20, 1990. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. General Information 

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 110, 

Tire Selection and Rims (49 CFR §571.110), specifies 

requirements for the selection of tires to be used on 

passenger cars. Standard No. 120, Tire Selection and 



Rims for Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars (49 
CFR §571.120), specifies similar requirements for 
the selection of tires to be used on vehicles other 
than passenger cars. The pvirpose of these standards 
is to prevent tire overloading and to facilitate the 
proper matching of a tire and rim to a vehicle. They 
also require a vehicle manufacturer to place in each 
new vehicle a placard bearing information to ensure 
use at the proper inflation. 

Section S4.1 of Standard No. 110 requires passen- 
ger cars to be equipped with tires that meet the 
requirements of §571.109, "New Pneumatic Tires- 
Passenger Cars" (49 CFR §571.109). Section S5.1.1 
of Standard No. 120 similarly requires vehicles other 
than passenger cars to be equipped with pneumatic 
tires that meet the requirements of Standard No. 
109 or Standard No. 119 "New Pneumatic Tires for 
Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars" (49 CFR 
§571.119). 

Standard No. 109 expressly applies only to new 
pneumatic tires which it defines as "mechanical 
device(s) . . . (that) contain the gas or fluid that 
sustains the load" (emphasis added). The standard 
specifies tire dimensions and laboratory test require- 
ments for bead unseating resistance, tire strength 
(in vertical loading), tire endurance, and high speed 
performance; defines tire load ratings; and specifies 
labeling requirements for new pneumatic tires used 
on passenger cars. 

The practical effect of Standard No. 109's applica- 
bility to only pneumatic tires, together with Stan- 
dard No. llO's requirement that passenger cars must 
be equipped with tires that meet Standard No. 109's 
requirements, is to prohibit any new passenger car 
from being equipped with non-pneumatic tires. Sim- 
ilarly, Standard Nos. 109, 119 and 120 together 
prohibit any vehicle subject to Standard No. 120 
from being equipped with non-pneumatic tires. 

A non-pneumatic tire is a mechanical device 
which serves the same function as a pneumatic tire. 
That is, it transmits the vertical load and tractive 
forces from the roadway to the vehicle and generates 
the tractive forces that provide the directional con- 



PART 574 - PRE 47 



trol of the vehicle. However, the non-pneumatic tire 
differs from the pneumatic tire in that the former 
does not rely on air pressure or the containment of 
any gas or fluid for providing those functions. A 
non-pneumatic tire may be designed in many differ- 
ent ways. For instance, it may be solid rubber to 
which tread is attached; it may be part of an assem- 
bly in which the wheel is attached to the tire and 
tread; or it may contain the tread, tire, rim, and 
wheel. Further, many different materials may be 
used in constructing the tire assembly. Because 
non-pneumatic tires present an emerging technol- 
ogy, it is likely that tire manufacturers may develop 
new designs and use materials that Eire currently 
not known or contemplated. 

In view of Standard No. 109's and Standard No. 
llO's prohibition of tires other than pneumatic tires 
on motor vehicles, General Motors (GM) petitioned 
the agency to amend Standard No. 109 to allow 
non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies for temporary 
use on passenger cars. The petitioner suggested 
performance requirements and test conditions for 
non-pneumatic tires that would address characteris- 
tics such as the endurance, high speed performance, 
strength (in vertical loading), and lateral strength of 
the non-pneumatic tire. In large part, GM used the 
existing requirements in Standard No. 109 as a 
guide for selecting the performance requirements 
and test conditions for the requested amendment. It 
changed the requirement and test related to the 
bead unseating resistance, which specifically relates 
to pneumatic tires, and also changed the test proce- 
dure and strength requirements for the tire's ability 
to withstand concentrated vertical loads. In addi- 
tion, GM suggested certain labeling requirements 
including a warning that the tires would be for 
temporary use. 

GM submitted its petition in connection with its 
work with Uniroyal Goodrich Co. (Uniroyal) to de- 
velop a spare non-pneumatic tire which it intends for 
only temporary use. The petitioner believes that the 
agency's adoption of its requested amendment would 
reduce the weight and size of the spare tires used in 
passenger cars, resulting in reduced costs, improved 
reliability and servicability, and minor improve- 
ments in fuel economy. Because a non-pneumatic 
tire is not dependent on air pressure, it would not be 
subject to problems associated with low inflation 
pressure such as a blow out or bead unseating 
during hard cornering. 

On September 23, 1987, NHTSA issued a notice 
announcing the grant of GM's petition and request- 
ing comments about non-pneumatic tires (52 FR 
35740). The notice invited comment about what 
requirements would be necessary to ensure the safe 
use of a non-pneumatic tire. In response to that 
notice, NHTSA received comments from various mo- 



tor vehicle and tire manufacturers as well as the 
Rubber Manufacturers Association. NHTSA consid- 
ered each of these comments in developing a notice 
of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) which it published 
on April 7, 1989 (54 FR 14109). 

II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 

In the NPRM, NHTSA proposed to amend Stan- 
dard No. 110 to permit the use of non-pneumatic 
tires on passenger cars, but only as a temporary 
spare and to establish a new standard for non- 
pneumatic tires. The notice requested comments 
concerning whether Standard No. 129 should permit 
the use of a non-pneumatic spare tire on light trucks 
currently equipped with compact temporary spare 
tires subject to Standard No. 109. As a general 
proposition, the NPRM explained that in developing 
the new safety standard, the agency desired to 
formulate a generic one that would be applicable to 
as many potential designs of non-pneumatic tires as 
possible rather than one that was based on a specific 
design, which might inadvertently restrict future 
developments and skew innovations toward the ini- 
tial design. 

More specifically, the notice proposed three 
amendments to Standard No. 110. First, it proposed 
that section S4.1 be amended to allow passenger 
cars to be equipped with a non-pneumatic spare tire. 
Second, the notice proposed that Standard No. 110 
contain additional labeling requirements and vehi- 
cle placarding requirements explaining that such 
tires should be used only as a spare tire on a 
temporary basis at speeds not to exceed 50 m.p.h. 
Third, the notice proposed that safety information 
about the use of a non-pneumatic tire be included in 
the owner's manual of the passenger car. 

The proposed new safety standard was Standard 
No. 129, New Non- Pneumatic Tires for Passenger 
Cars. According to the proposal, the new standard, 
which was patterned after Standard No. 109, would 
include definitions relevant to non-pneumatic tires 
and specify performance requirements, testing pro- 
cedures, and labeling requirements for these tires. 
Tb regulate performance, the new standard would 
contain performance requirements and tests related 
to physical dimensions, lateral strength, strength (in 
vertical loading), tire endurance, and high speed 
performance. While the agency considered proposing 
requirements related to additional factors such as 
handling and braking, it tentatively determined 
that the proposed requirements would adequately 
ensure motor vehicle safety by providing the basic 
tests necessary to ensure the structural integrity 
and durability of non-pneumatic tires. 

The NPRM also proposed to supplement the label- 
ing requirements in Standard No. 110 by including 
in Standard No. 129 labeling requirements similar 



PART 574 - PRE 48 



to those set forth in section S4.3 of Standard No. 109 
for size designation, load rating, rim size and type 
designation, manufacturer or brand name, certifica- 
tion, and the tire identification number The notice 
proposed to allow methods of marking other than 
"molding," provided the marking was permanent 
because the agency tentatively concluded that it 
might be difficult to mold the required information 
on some types of anticipated non-pneumatic tire 
designs. The agency also tentatively concluded that 
the temporary use and maximum speed labeling 
requirements would provide an extra margin of 
safety related to handling and braking. In addition, 
the agency noted that compact pneumatic T-type 
tires that are currently used as temporary spare 
tires have been shown to be safe, even though they 
are not subject to performance requirements beyond 
those applicable to full size tires in Standard No. 
109. The agency believed that in some respects this 
comparison was relevant since, like the compact 
T-type pneumatic tires, the non-pneumatic tires al- 
lowed by these amendments would be limited to use 
as temporary spare tires. 

The agency tentatively concluded that the pro- 
posed performance requirements, together with the 
proposed labeling requirements, would remove a 
restriction in the existing standards on technologi- 
cal innovation while still ensuring that the new 
non-pneumatic tires met the need for safety. 

m. The Comments and the Agency Response 
NHTSA received 13 comments in response to the 
NPRM. In general, all commenters supported the 
proposal to permit a vehicle to be equipped with a 
non-pneumatic spare tire. The agency has consid- 
ered the points in the comments in developing this 
final rule. The commenters' significant points are 
addressed below, along with the agency's response to 
the comments. For the convenience of the reader, 
this notice follows the regulatory text's order. 

A. Proposal to Amend Standard Na 110 

Definitions 

The NPRM proposed to add definitions to para- 
graph S3 for "non-pneumatic spare tire assembly," 
"non-pneumatic tire," "non-pneumatic tire assem- 
bly," "rim," and "wheel center member." The agency 
intended these definitions to be general in order to 
better ensure a generic standard appropriate to any 
type of non-pneumatic tire. These definitions were 
patterned after analogous definitions in NHTSA's 
safety standard for pneumatic tires and SAE Recom- 
mended Practice J328a, "Wheels— Passenger Cars- 
Performance Requirements and Tfest Procedures." 

The agency received two comments about the 
proposed definitions. Michelin requested that the 



definition of a "non-pneumatic spare tire assembly", 
which was defined as a device "intended for tempo- 
rary use in place of one of the pneumatic tires and 
rims that are fitted to a passenger car . . .", be 
revised to state that the NPSTA be "in support of as 
well as "in place of." According to the commenter, 
this modification would allow future NPSTAs to be 
fitted on tire and wheel assemblies without remov- 
ing the deflated pneumatic tire. The agency has 
decided not to adopt Michelin's suggestion which is 
beyond the scope of the current proposal and its test 
procedvires. Further, the agency needs more informa- 
tion about devices used "in support of" a deflated 
pneumatic tire, especially about the procedures for 
testing them while they are mounted on a deflated 
pneumatic tire. Therefore, NHTSA has decided not 
to expand the definition as requested by Michelin. 

Uniroyal suggested that the agency move the 
definition of "rim" from the definition section (S3) to 
the requirements section (S4.4). The agency has 
decided not to adopt this suggestion which is unnec- 
essary and contrary to standard regulatory drafting. 
The agency notes that it is modifying the definition 
of "rim" to "non-pneumatic rim" and "test rim" to 
"non-pneumatic test rim." This change will help to 
distinguish between conventional rims for pneu- 
matic tires and rims for non-pneumatic tires. The 
notice adopts this distinction throughout Standards 
110, 120, and 129. 

Labeling Requirements 

The NPRM proposed labeling requirements for 
non-pneumatic spare tires and tire assemblies in 
section S6 of Standard No. 110. The proposal speci- 
fied that the information had to be "permanently 
molded, stamped, or otherwise permanently marked 
into or onto both sides" and not be smaller than a 
given size. The proposal explained that it was pro- 
posing to allow different methods of permanent 
marking in addition to molding, the labeling method 
required in Standard No. 109, because it might be 
difficult to mold the required information into or 
onto some non-pneumatic tire and assembly designs. 
It also proposed that the labeling on each non- 
pneumatic spare tire would state "FOR TEMPO- 
RARY USE ONLY," "MAXIMUM 50 M.RH.," and 
the size designation(s) of the pneumatic tire(s) that 
the non-pneumatic tire was intended to replace. 
This notice will respond separately to each of the 
commenters concerns. 

Uniroyal requested the agency to modify the re- 
quirement that non-pneumatic spare tires be "per- 
manently molded, stamped, or otherwise perma- 
nently marked into or onto both sides" to allow a 
permanently affixed label to contain the required 
information. It specifically stated that paper or 
plastic labels should be allowed as an alternative 



PART 574 - PRE 49 



technique to comply with S6. NHTSA notes that the 
key criteria related to informational marking re- 
quirements is that the message be useful and under- 
standable for the lifetime of the tire. Thus, a mes- 
sage must be permanent, legible, and conspicuous. 
After reviewing Uniroyal's request, the agency be- 
lieves that affixing a permanent label on a non- 
pneumatic tire would not meet these ends. The 
agency is concerned that a paper label would not be 
permanent given that it would be exposed to envi- 
ronmental factors such as rain, snow, road salt, car 
wash brushes and detergents. The agency is espe- 
cially concerned that there is nothing to prevent a 
paper label from disintegrating when exposed to the 
elements or being rubbed off by a curb. Similarly, 
there is nothing to prevent the printing on the label 
from becoming illegible. The agency therefore has 
decided not to permit a label as an alternative 
technique to comply with S6. 

Section S6(a) contained a proposal that each non- 
pneumatic spare tire be labeled "FOR TEMPO- 
RARY USE ONLY." The NPRM explained that this 
mandatory warning would be in the interest of 
motor vehicle safety by encoiu-aging the limited use 
of non-pneumatic tires as a replacement for T-type 
temporary spare tires. The agency further believed 
such labeling would provide consumers with valu- 
able guidance about this new type of tire. All com- 
menters mentioning the proposal to require tempo- 
rary use labeling agreed that it had merit given the 
current level of technology and agreed that the 
extended use of a non-pneumatic tire would be 
inappropriate. 

Section S6(b) contained a proposal that each non- 
pneumatic spare tire be labeled "MAXIMUM 50 
M.P.H." The NPRM stated that this maximum speed 
warning, like the temporary use warning, would be 
in the interest of safety. The notice further explained 
that the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 
Regulation 64 contains a maximum speed warning 
of 80 kilometers per hour (49.7 m.p.h.) in response to 
concerns over the potential for some degradations in 
the braking and handling performance of a vehicle 
fitted with a temporary spare tire. The notice con- 
tinued that even though these concerns did not 
directly relate to a tire's structural failure, the 
agency believed that a maximum speed warning 
would improve the total safety of the vehicle because 
any potential problems associated with handling, 
control, stability, and braking are typically exacer- 
bated at faster speeds. It also stated that a maxi- 
mum speed warning would serve to deter some 
motorists from driving with a non-pneumatic tire on 
an extended basis. 

NHTSA received four comments on the proposal to 
require a maximum speed warning of 50 m.p.h. 
While Goodyear and Firestone supported the pro- 



posal, Uniroyal and General Motors opposed it, stat- 
ing that it should be at the discretion of the vehicle 
manufacturer, the entity responsible for the vehicle's 
braking, handling, and other performance charac- 
teristics. Uniroyal stated that such a requirement is 
unnecessary since T-type pneumatic spares are not 
required to have such labeling. It also commented 
that the maximum speed labeling in ECE Regula- 
tion 64 is inapplicable to the non-pneumatic spare, 
since the non-pneumatic tire would be subject to 
more stringent performance requirements. GM com- 
mented that a maximum speed labeling requirement 
was not warranted, stating that "there is no generic 
technical or safety reason for it," a non-pneumatic 
spare tire is not different from current temporary 
compact spare tires, the maximum recommended 
speed of 50 m.p.h. might unduly alarm some drivers, 
and consiuners might misinterpret the "50 nupih. 
speed" label as a "50 mile use" restriction. 

After reviewing the maximum speed labeling re- 
quirement in light of these comments, NHTSA con- 
tinues to believe that such a requirement would be 
in the interest of safety. The agency notes that 
according to information provided by Uniroyal, there 
are some differences in performance characteristics 
between non-pneumatic spare tires and pneumatic 
spares. For instance, the non-pneumatic tire tends to 
"nibble," i.e., generate lateral forces when crossing a 
longitudinal road irregularity. While differences 
with conventional pneumatic spare tires are not 
significant enough to justify a prohibition of non- 
pneumatic tires, these relative shortcomings, which 
might alarm a driver unfamiliar with them, appear 
to be exacerbated at greater speeds. Until more 
experience is gained with non-pneumatic tires, the 
agency believes that GM's claim that there is no 
safety reason to justify maximum speed labeling is 
premature. The agency notes that GM included a 50 
m.p.h. maximum speed marking on its pneumatic 
temporary spare tire for the first five years after its 
introduction, suggesting that a newly introduced 
temporary tire design should contain such a maxi- 
mum speed warning. Based on the above consider- 
ations, the agency concludes that to satisfy the Vehicle 
Safety Act's mandate, the 50 m.p.h. maximum speed 
marking must be a mandatory requirement and not be 
left to the manufacturers' discretion. 

Section S6(c) of Standard No. 110 contained a 
proposal that the non-pneumatic tire be labeled with 
the "size designation(s) of the pneumatic tires that 
this non-pneumatic tire spare assembly is intended 
to replace or, at the manufacturer's option, is capable 
of replacing." All those who commented on this 
provision opposed it, stating that the requirement 
could result in lengthy information that might con- 
fuse consumers. For instance, a consumer might 
mistakenly conclude that a 15 inch non-pneumatic 



PART 574 - PRE 50 



tire could replace any 15 inch pneumatic tire. They 
claimed that this incorrect assumption could be 
dangerous given the potential for many vehicle 
specific non-pneumatic tire and tire assembly de- 
signs. In place of this proposal, Uniroyal, Firestone, 
and GM suggested that the tires be labeled with a 
vehicle manufacturer's part number, with GM rec- 
ommending a "non-pneumatic spare tire identifying 
code" (e.g., "ABC") as an alternative. The State of 
Connecticut recommended that the non-pneumatic 
spare tire be labeled to indicate specifically the 
vehicle(s) on which it is intended to be used. In 
contrast, Goodyear and Uniroyal criticized requiring 
vehicle specific marking, stating that the labeling 
on a tire with multiple vehicle applications could be 
lengthy, confusing, and thus possibly dangerous. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA has de- 
termined that instead of designations of the pneu- 
matic tires replaced, a "non-pneumatic tire identify- 
ing code (NPTIC)" should be required to identify a 
non-pneumatic tire. Like the tire size designation of 
a pneumatic tire, the NPTIC's purpose is to provide 
consumers information about the proper application 
of a non-pneumatic tire. The agency believes that 
this method of identification is superior to requiring 
a non-pneumatic tire to be labeled with the pneu- 
matic tire size or the non-pneumatic spare tire's 
specific vehicle application(s) given the potential for 
many different non-pneumatic tire designs. A man- 
ufacturer may still mark specific vehicle applica- 
tion(s) on the tire provided that the additional infor- 
mation did not obscure or confuse the required 
information. Manufacturers are urged, therefore, to 
avoid unnecessarily long vehicle application infor- 
mation or unnecessarily long identifying codes. 
Based on the above considerations, the manufac- 
turer will be required to label a non-pneumatic spare 
tire or spare tire assembly with a "non-pneumatic 
tire identification code," (NPTIC), which is defined 
in section S3 of Standard 129. A manufacturer also 
is required to place the NPTIC on the vehicle placard 
and in the owner's manual. In addition, the NPTIC 
will replace any reference in the regulatory text to 
the "non-pneumatic tire size designation." 

Vehicle Placarding 
Section S7 of the Standard No. 110 contained pro- 
posed requirements for vehicle placards. Under the 
proposal, the placard would state, in letters not less 
than 1.0 inch high, "CAUTION-USE AS SPARE 
TIRE," and in letters not less than 0.5 inches high, 
"FOR TEMPORARY USE ONLY," "MAXIMUM 50 
M.P.H.," and the size designation of the pneumatic tire 
to be replaced. The agency believed that this informa- 
tion would help explain that a non-pneumatic tire 



should be used only as a spare tire at limited speeds for 
a limited period of time. 

Volkswagen commented that the size of the letter- 
ing proposed in S7.1 would result in a placard that 
was too large to easily fit in the trunk. Thus, it 
requested that the standard require the words to be 
"legible and conspicuous," or in the alternative, to 
change the 1.0 inch requirement to % inch and the 
1/^ inch requirement to Vi inch. NHTSA rejects the 
first suggestion because the Vehicle Safety Act re- 
quires its requirements to be stated in objective 
terms. However, it has decided to adopt the re- 
quested size reductions which the agency believes 
will be less intrusive but still conspicuous. 

GM and Uniroyal opposed the vehicle placarding 
requirements as being unnecessary and costly. GM 
based its opposition to these requirements on its 
earlier arguments against the labeling require- 
ments. NHTSA believes that the placarding require- 
ments are necessary for the reasons provided in 
support of the labeling requirements in S6. The 
agency also disagrees that placarding would be un- 
reasonably costly, especially since most vehicle 
trunks currently contain a placard explaining the 
use of jacks and spare tires. The information re- 
quired by this provision could be easily added to that 
placard. Even for a vehicle without such a placard, 
the cost of adding a placard would be minimal. 

Uniroyal claimed that the words "Danger" and 
"Caution" might unduly alarm consumers. NHTSA 
notes that the placard's purpose is to ensure that a 
person installing a non-pneumatic spare tire on a 
vehicle is made aware of its proper use and that it 
should be used only as a spare tire, even if he or she 
fails to notice the labeling on the tire itself. Because 
the word "caution" is not essential to this pvirpose 
and some consumers might be unduly alarmed by 
this word, the agency is modifying the placard to 
state "IMPORTANT-USE OF SPARE TIRE" 
rather than "CAUTION-USE OF SPARE TIRE." 

Supplementary Information 
Section S7.2 of Standard No. 110 proposed that the 
owner's manual of a passenger car equipped with a 
non-pneumatic spare tire contain information ex- 
plaining its proper use. This information, which was 
patterned after ECE Regulation 64, included in- 
structions that a non-pneumatic tire should be used 
only as a spare tire at limited speeds for a limited 
period of time, that the driver should drive with 
caution when using a non-pneumatic tire, that he or 
she should replace it with a pneumatic tire and rim 
as soon as possible, and that a vehicle should not be 
operated with more than one non-pneumatic tire at 
one time. 

Uniroyal and GM objected to the proposal to 
require an owner's manual to contain information 



PART 574 - PRE 51 



about a non-pneumatic tire's use. Uniroyal restated 
its view that non-pneumatic tires should not be 
singled out for informational requirements with 
which pneumatic spare tires are not required to 
comply. GM stated that requiring warnings on the 
tire, on a placard, and in the owner's manual was a 
"costly redundancy" that would discourage the use 
of such tires. 

NHTSA continues to believe that the require- 
ments in S7.2 provide valuable safety information 
about non-pneumatic tires, a new type of tire design 
with which consumers will be less familiar than 
temporary pneumatic tires. As for GM's criticism 
that this requirement would result in a "costly 
redundancy," the agency believes that requiring the 
safety information to appear in each of the proposed 
locations provides a safety benefit. It is reasonable to 
label the tire since a motorist must handle the tire 
itself before installing it on the vehicle. It is also 
reasonable to require the information on a placard in 
the trunk near where the spare tire is stored, be- 
cause a motorist may not notice the information on 
the tire, especially at night or during inclement 
weather. Similarly, it is reasonable to supplement 
these brief messages with more detailed information 
in the owner's manual, since a motorist typically 
consults his or her owner's manual when seeking 
detailed information about vehicle usage. 

In response to GM's concern that these warnings 
might discourage motorists from using non- 
pneumatic tires, the agency has modified some of the 
wording. As with the placard's wording, the agency 
has substituted the word "IMPORTANT" for 
"CAUTION" to make the label less threatening. It 
has also changed S7.2(b) to state "An instruction to 
drive carefully when the non-pneumatic tire is in 
use, and to install the proper pneumatic tire and rim 
at the first reasonable opportunity." The agency 
believes that this wording will continue to convey 
guidance concerning the proper use of non- 
pneumatic tires while helping to avoid arousing 
"undue concern." 

B. Standard Na 129 

Application 
The agency proposed in section S2 of Standard No. 
129 that the new standard apply to "new temporary 
spare non-pneumatic tires for use on passenger 
cars." In other words, the proposal, in conjunction 
with the proposed amendment to Standard No. 110, 
would permit a non-pneumatic tire to be used as a 
spare tire on passenger cars. The NPRM explained 
that the petitioner only sought to allow non- 
pneumatic tires as a replacement for T-type pneu- 
matic temporary tires on passenger cars. It further 
noted that 95 percent of T-type tires were used on 



passenger cars with the remaining 5 percent on light 
trucks. The agency requested comments concerning 
whether Standard No. 129 should permit the use of a 
non-pneumatic spare tire on light trucks currently 
equipped with compact temporary spare tires subject 
to Standard No. 109. 

No commenter supported limiting the use of non- 
pneumatic tires to passenger cars. Instead, Chrysler, 
Goodyear, Uniroyal, RMA, Firestone, and GM com- 
mented that the agency should extend the applica- 
bility of Standard No. 129 to permit use of non- 
pneumatic spare tires on light trucks and similar 
vehicles that use passenger car temporary tires. For 
instance, Uniroyal stated that the agency should not 
restrict the non-pneumatic spare tire to passenger 
cars given that many new light trucks and vans are 
equipped with passenger car tires. 

NHTSA agrees with the comments and has de- 
cided to permit the use of a non-pneumatic spare tire 
on any vehicle that is equipped with passenger car 
tires. Accordingly, the agency is revising section 
S5.1.1 to permit the use of a non-pneumatic tempo- 
rary spare tire assembly on vehicles subject to Stan- 
dard No. 120 such as light trucks provided that the 
vehicle is equipped with passenger car tires. In 
addition, amendments, liks those to Standard No. 
110, are made to Standard No. 120 to include new 
informational requirements for tire labeling, vehicle 
placarding, and the owner's manual. 

Definitions 

Commenters made suggestions to modify certain 
proposed definitions. Firestone recommended that 
the portion of the definition for "non-pneumatic 
tire" stating that the tire "does not rely on the 
containment of any gas or fluid" be changed to state 
that the tire "does not primarily" rely on such 
containment (emphasis added). NHTSA has decided 
to reject Firestone's suggestion and adopt the defini- 
tion as proposed because the suggested change 
would inject uncertainty about whether a tire should 
be classified as pneumatic or non-pneumatic. For 
instance, it might be ambiguous whether a pneumatic 
tire with "run-flat" capability is a non-pneumatic tire 
under Firestone's suggested definition. 

Goodyear, Uniroyal, and RMA suggested that the 
definition for "tread" be changed by deleting refer- 
ence to the tread's being "intended to wear away 
during normal use of the tire." NHTSA agrees with 
this suggestion which will make the definition for 
"tread" in Standard No. 129 consistent with the one 
in Standard No. 109. 

Uniroyal suggested that the definition for 
"maximum tire width," should be changed so that it 
uses the phrase "exterior edges" in place of "outer 
and inner surfaces" which appears in reference to 



PART 574 - PRE 52 



"carcass" and "tread." The agency has decided to 
adopt the suggested wording which it believes pro- 
vides a more generic and thus more appropriate 
definition. 

The agency is introducing a definition for "Non- 
pneumatic tire identification code" (i.e., "NPTIC") 
in response to comments that a non-pneumatic tire 
should not be labeled with the size of the pneumatic 
tire it is intended to replace, but should be labeled 
with other identifying information. In the section 
above about labeling requirements, the notice ex- 
plains that the agency agrees with the commenters 
that the NPTIC would be in the interests of safety. 
The reader should refer to that section for a more 
extensive discussion of this issue. 

As discussed earlier, the terms "rim" and "test 
rim" have been changed to "non-pneumatic rim" 
and "non-pneumatic test rim." This will help distin- 
guish between rims used with pneumatic tires and 
those used with non-pneumatic tires. Corresponding 
changes have been made throughout the regulatory 
text. 

Performance Requirements and Testing Procedures 
in Standard Na 129 

General Considerations 
The NPRM proposed certain performance require- 
ments and testing procedures for non-pneumatic 
tires. In developing a proposed standard for non- 
pneumatic tires, the agency reviewed the petition, 
the docket comments responding to the agency's 
request for comments, and the purpose for and 
mechanics of the requirements and tests for pneu- 
matic tires in Standard No. 109. As a result of this 
analysis, the agency proposed the following require- 
ments which it believed would ensure the safety of 
non-pneumatic tires. These included a lateral 
strength requirement instead of Standard No. 109's 
bead unseating requirement; and requirements for 
strength (in vertical loading), tire endurance, and 
high speed performance with modifications to take 
into account a non-pneumatic tire's lack of air pres- 
sure. The agency also proposed requirements related 
to the non-pneumatic tire assembly's size and con- 
struction, load rating, and a tread wear indicator. 
NHTSA tentatively concluded that the lateral 
strength, strength (in vertical loading), endurance, 
and high speed requirements would assure the struc- 
tural integrity and durability of a non-pneumatic 
tire. The agency further believed that these perform- 
ance requirements together with the proposed label- 
ing requirements explaining that a non-pneumatic 
tire should be used only as a temporary spare tire 
and at limited speeds would assure their safety. 
Therefore, it decided not to propose additional tests 
beyond those equivalent to the ones in Stan- 



dard No. 109. The agency's consideration of com- 
ments addressing these factors will be discussed 
separately. 

Lateral Strength Performance Requirements 

Section S4.2.2.3 of Standard No. 129 proposed 
requirements related to the lateral strength of a 
non-pneumatic tire. Such a tire would be required to 
show no visual evidence of tread or carcass separa- 
tion, cracking, or chunking at forces comparable to 
those specified in Standard No. 109's bead unseating 
test for compact temporary pneumatic tires. The 
agency explained that the bead unseating test is 
intended, in part, to evaluate the loss of air of a 
tubeless pneumatic tire. In that regard, it would not 
be helpful in evaluating the lateral strength of a 
non-pneumatic tire. Nevertheless, because the bead 
unseating test also evaluates a pneumatic tire's 
resistance to lateral forces, the agency believed that 
a comparable test for non-pneumatic tires would be 
beneficial in determining their structural integrity. 

The NPRM explained that GM, in its petition, 
recommended adopting the same test device used in 
the bead unseating test of pneumatic tires in Stan- 
dard No. 109. The agency rejected this recommended 
test fixture because the unseating "blocks" might be 
inappropriate for other non-pneumatic tire designs 
and thus would be too specific to be included in a 
generic standard. Instead, the agency proposed a 
lateral strength test device that it believed was 
generic and appropriate for any anticipated non- 
pneumatic tire design. The proposed test block was 
patterned after a standard barrier type curb defined 
by the American Association of State Highway and 
Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in its publica- 
tion, "A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways 
and Streets— 1984." The proposed test was intended 
to evaluate the strength of a non-pneumatic tire in 
response to loads that would result from contact with 
a curb or similar road feature. The agency sought 
comments concerning the design of the proposed test 
device, test procedure, and performance require- 
ments intended to evaluate the lateral strength of 
non-pneumatic tires. 

Groodyear requested that the non-pneumatic tires 
not be subject to a lateral strength test, claiming 
that such a test was unnecessary and inappropriate. 
It also claimed that the intent of Standard No. 109's 
bead unseating test is solely "air retention," as 
evidenced by its application to tubeless but not 
tubed pneumatic tires. 

NHTSA disagrees with Goodyear's comments and 
believes that the lateral strength requirement will 
effectively measure a non-pneumatic tire's resis- 
tance to lateral loads. The agency believes that this 
test will also help evaluate the possibility of the 
tire's separation from the rim or wheel center mem- 



PART 574 - PRE 53 



ber or the tire's "cracking," "chunking," or similar 
damage. The agency notes that the reason that 
Standard No. 109's bead unseating test is applied to 
tubeless tires only is because that failure mode is 
unique to tubeless pneumatic tires. Thus, its appli- 
cation to tubed pneumatic tires would be unneces- 
sary and inappropriate. 

Uniroyal, RMA, and Firestone each recommended 
that the lateral test force block be made lighter and 
smaller to make testing easier and safer The lateral 
force test block shown in Figure 2 and referenced in 
S5.2, would have weighed 120 pounds and have been 
6.5 inches in height, 14 inches in depth and 18 
inches in width. Uniroyal commented that the 
block's depth could be reduced by 7 inches which 
would reduce the block's weight by over 50 percent. 
Firestone stated that the width should be retained to 
ensure that the test block would envelop the side 
wall of each tire. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA believes 
that the test block size can be reduced to facilitate 
testing without adversely affecting the test proce- 
dure's effectiveness. In particular, the agency is 
adopting Uniroyal's recommendation to reduce the 
depth by 7 inches by removing 3Vfe inches from each 
end of the block and to reduce the height by remov- 
ing one inch from the bottom of the block. After 
reviewing Firestone's concerns about the block's 
"envelopment" of a non-pneumatic spare tire, the 
agency concludes that it is necessary to widen the 
test block to 23 inches. The agency calculates that 
these changes will reduce the test block's weight to 
approximately 55 pounds, a 53 percent reduction. 

Section S5.2 of the NPRM also proposed test 
requirements related to a non-pneumatic tire's lat- 
eral strength. Section S5.2.2.1 specified distances 
between the test block and the tire being tested. 
Uniroyal recommended that the agency add another 
distance expressed as "B = A - 1," explaining that 
without this modification certain tires would not 
pass the proposed requirement due to immediate 
contact with the wheel rim or other member. Thus, 
in anticipation of future non-pneumatic tire designs 
with a section height of less than 2 inches above the 
wheel rim or center member, the agency is including 
the additional distance requested by Uniroyal. 

Vertical Strength Requirements 
NHTSA proposed a strength test in S5.3 of Stan- 
dard No. 129 that was intended to measure the tire's 
ability to resist concentrated vertical loads. The 
proposed test would have required a cylindrical steel 
plunger to be forced into the non-pneumatic tire at a 
rate of two inches per minute. The tester would then 
have evaluated the breaking energy for each test 
point in terms of inch pounds. 

In the NPRM, the agency considered also propos- 



ing a "cleat" test, like the one suggested in GM's 
petition, which would have required a non- 
pneumatic tire to withstand a load exerted by a 
"cleat." This "cleat" would be V^ inch thick with the 
edge, that is forced against the tread of the non- 
pneumatic tire, rounded with i/4 inch radius, and the 
"cleat" would be one inch wider than the non- 
pneumatic tire's tread width. The agency tentatively 
rejected the cleat device because it believed that the 
plunger test would better simulate real world haz- 
ards and because the petitioner did not provide 
sufficient documentation in support of its test de- 
vice. The agency expressly requested comments on 
both the plunger test and the cleat test. 

Goodyear provided extensive comments in opposi- 
tion to any vertical strength test requirement. It 
argued that the main concern addressed by the "tire 
strength" requirement in Standard No. 109 is punc- 
ture resistance (i.e., the integrity of the air chamber 
in resistance to vertical forces exerted by nails and 
similar penetrating objects). It believed that such a 
concern was not applicable to a non-pneumatic tire. 
Alternatively, Goodyear stated that if a strength test 
were deemed necessary, then GM's cleat test would 
be more appropriate because it evaluates a non- 
pneumatic tire's capability to withstand loading 
from curbs, potholes, or railroad tracks. While 
Uniroyal, RMA, Firestone, and GM also stated that 
the cleat test would be superior to a plunger test, no 
commenter supported the plunger test. 

NHTSA continues to believe that a vertical strength 
test is necessary to evaluate a non-pneumatic tire's 
structural integrity. However, after reevaluating the 
proposal in light of the comments, the agency agrees 
that a cleat test, similar to the one requested in GM's 
petition, would better evaluate the real world prob- 
lems that will most likely cause a non-pneumatic tire 
to experience a structural failure. 

The agency notes that the plunger test used in 
Standard No. 109 is well suited for evaluating the 
energy absorbing capability and structural integrity 
of a pneumatic tire under conditions of maximum 
deformation. The plunger pushing against the cen- 
ter of the pneumatic tire's tread will deflect the tire 
to the maximum extent possible before forcing the 
tire against the rim. However, the cleat test would be 
inapplicable for a pneumatic tire which would expe- 
rience a "pneumatic" failure when the tire's side- 
wall would be pinched against the rim flanges, long 
before the energy absorbing capability or structural 
integrity of the tire could be tested adequately. 

In contrast, the situation is reversed for non- 
pneumatic tires. The "concentrated" type of load 
used in the plunger test could lead to a "puncture" 
(i.e., penetration by the plunger) of a non-pneumatic 
tire, but would not lead to a "pneumatic" failure. For 



PART 574 - PRE 54 



instance, Uniroyal, stated that its non-pneumatic 
tire continued to perform without any problems after 
it was "punctured" by several nails. The agency 
further notes that there is nothing inherent in a 
non-pneumatic tire's design that would be expected 
to lead to failure as the result of a particular type of 
impact. Based on these considerations, the agency 
believes that a cleat test that places stress on the 
entire cross section of a non-pneumatic tire appears 
to better address real world hazards to which such 
tires would be vulnerable than would a plunger type 
test. 

As for the measurement of a non-pneumatic tire's 
strength, NHTSA believes that such a tire should be 
capable of absorbing energy at a level comparable to 
the pneumatic temporary tires that it is intended to 
replace. The NPRM proposed in S4.2.2.4 that the 
appropriate minimum breaking energy would be 
1,950 inch pounds for tires with load ratings below 
880 pounds and 2,600 inch pounds for tires with load 
ratings 880 pounds or above. 

Uniroyal recommended that S4.2.2.4 be amended 
so that the minimum breaking energy would be 525 
inch pounds for tires with load ratings below 880 
pounds and 700 inch pounds for load ratings of 880 
pounds or above. After reviewing Uniroyal's exten- 
sive comments in support of the reduced energy 
levels, NHTSA still believes that the proposed levels 
are appropriate to ensure a non-pneumatic tire's 
ability to withstand road hazards. The agency notes 
that the proposed energy levels are more comparable 
to the energy levels that a pneumatic temporary 
spare tire is required to withstand. Given the agen- 
cy's belief that it is appropriate to require the 
non-pneumatic tires to be capable of absorbing en- 
ergy at a level comparable to the pneumatic tempo- 
rary spare tires that they are intended to replace, 
the agency has decided to adopt the energy levels as 
proposed rather than to adopt Uniroyal's suggested 
energy levels. The agency's review of Uniroyal's data 
further indicates that the higher energy levels will 
better protect against real world hazards. 

After reviewing S4.2.2.4, NHTSA has decided to 
modify its language related to a non-pneumatic tire's 
failure. As proposed, this section stated "Each tire 
shall meet the requirements for minimum breaking 
energy when tested in accordance with S5.3 to the 
strength requirements . . . ." Because a non- 
pneumatic tire is unlikely to "break," the agency 
has decided to adopt the statement in the petition 
and express the requirement in terms of "no visual 
evidence of tread or carcass separation, cracking or 
chunking." The agency notes that this will be con- 
sistent with the requirements for lateral strength, 
tire endurance, and high speed performance, which 
are all expressed in this manner. As a result, the 



title of the table "Breaking Energy" will be changed 
to "Minimum Energy Level." 

Other Performance Requirements 
The NPRM proposed requirements for tire endur- 
ance in section S4.2.2.5 and high speed performance 
in Section S4.2.2.6. The proposals, which were pat- 
terned after the requirements in Standard No. 109, 
were intended to determine the structural integrity 
and durability of the tire under accelerated labora- 
tory conditions. The agency received no comments 
about these tests and has decided to adopt them as 
proposed. 

In the NPRM, the agency decided not to propose 
additional performance requirements explaining its 
tentative conclusion that the proposed requirements 
together with the labeling requirements would be 
adequate to ensure motor vehicle safety. In response 
to the 1987 request for comments, commenters who 
expressed an opinion on the matter all stated that no 
additional performance requirements were neces- 
sary. Similarly, in response to the NPRM, no com- 
menter recommended requiring additional perform- 
ance requirements. After reviewing the matter, the 
agency is reaffirming its tentative conclusion that 
the performance requirements, as proposed, to- 
gether with the labeling requirements, will ensure 
safety and thus is not requiring any additional 
performance requirements. 

Labeling Requirements in Standard 129 
As explained earlier in this notice, the agency is 
adopting new labeling requirements in S6 of Stan- 
dard No. 110 and S8 of Standard No. 120. The reader 
should refer to the discussions in earlier sections of 
this notice about such issues as a label's perma- 
nency, information to be provided about the tire's 
temporary use and maximum speed, and the tire size 
labeling/non-pneumatic tire identification code. 

In ' addition to those requirements, the NPRM 
proposed certain other labeling requirements for 
non-pneumatic tires. Most of these proposed require- 
ments were patterned after the labeling require- 
ments set forth in section S4.3 of Standard No. 109 
for size designation, load rating, rim size and type 
designation, manufacturer or brand name, certifica- 
tion, and tire identification number. 

GM requested that a load rating not be required 
on a non-pneumatic tire, claiming this information 
might cause a motorist to use a non-pneumatic spare 
tire that would be inappropriate for a vehicle. The 
agency disagrees with the comment, noting that a 
tire's load rating is a straightforward item of infor- 
mation that has been required on pneumatic tires 
without confusing consumers. The agency believes 
this information is necessary for safety because 
some vehicle owners have been known to increase a 



PART 574 - PRE 55 



vehicle's load capacity by the addition of "helper 
springs" or "air shocks" to permit the towing of a 
trailer. Thus, by not requiring load rating informa- 
tion, the agency would increase the potential for a 
motorist to unknowingly use a vehicle equipped 
with the non-pneumatic tire in an unsafe manner. 

Uniroyal commented that S4.3(f), which proposed 
requiring labeling with Part 574's tire identification 
number, should be amended given that that number 
refers, in part, to tire size. As the agency noted above 
in its discussion of tire size designations and the 
NPTIC, it believes that use of the NPTIC is prefer- 
able to use of tire size. While the agency agrees that 
a change is therefore necessary to reflect the NPTIC, 
it has decided to accomplish this by amending Part 
574 to apply to non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies 
and by amending 574.5(b) to expressly refer to the 
NPTIC. Section 574.4, "applicability," and 574.6, 
"identification mark," are also revised to expressly 
refer to non-pneumatic tires and tire assemblies. 

Tire and Rim/Wheel Center Member Matching 
Information 

Section S4.4 proposed that each manufacturer list 
information about the rim or wheel center member 
expected to be used with a non-pneumatic tire. The 
information would be provided to either NHTSA or a 
tire and rim standardization organization such as 
The Tire and Rim Association. The proposal, which 
was patterned after section 84. 4 of Standard No. 109 
for pneumatic tires, is intended to ensure the dis- 
semination of information about the proper use of 
non-pneumatic tires with rims. 

Uniroyal recommended changing the first sen- 
tence of S4.4 to exempt from the section's require- 
ments, a non-pneumatic spare tire that is an inte- 
gral part of a non-pneumatic spare tire assembly. 
The agency agrees that such an exemption is appro- 
priate given that the section's purpose is to provide 
information about the matching of non-integral tires 
and rims. 

GM suggested adding a provision which would 
allow the required information to be disseminated 
by inclusion in the "vehicle manufacturer's service 
parts publications for the vehicle on which it is to be 
used." The commenter believed this change would 
help prevent the agency and manufacturers from 
being "deluged" with descriptions of non-pneumatic 
rims and wheel center members. Based on its expe- 
rience with pneumatic tires, NHTSA has decided to 
reject GM's suggestion because the proposed require- 
ment, i.e., the submission of this information to the 
agency or through the industry's standardization 
organizations, will be a more effective way to dissem- 
inate this information. 

After reviewing this provision, NHTSA has de- 
cided to modify S4.4. to require the submission to 



include the NPTIC. This modification to require the 
inclusion of the NPTIC rather than the tire size is a 
conforming change made to reflect another change 
addressed earlier in the notice. In addition, the 
agency notes that it proposed in the definition of 
"test rim" in S3 to require each tire and rim match- 
ing information listing to include the load rating. 
After further review, the agency has determined i 
that it more appropriate to include this requirement 
in section S4.4. 

IV. Effective Date 

The NPRM stated that the proposal would become 
effective 180 days after publication of a final rule in 
the Federal Register. Uniroyal commented that such 
advance notification is associated with revisions of 
regulations that affect products already in the mar- 
ketplace to afford manufacturers time to comply with 
the changes. Uniroyal then requested that the 180 day 
period be eliminated or substantially reduced. 

NHTSA notes that section 103(c) of the Vehicle 
Safety Act requires that each order shall take effect 
no sooner than 180 days from the date the order is 
issued unless "good cause" is shown that an earlier 
effective date is in the public interest. After review- 
ing the request, NHTSA agrees that there is "good 
cause" not to require the full 180 day leadin period 
given that this amendment will facilitate the intro- 
duction of certain tires without imposing any man- 
datory requirement on manufacturers and that the 
public interest will be served by not delaying the 
introduction of these alternative tire designs. There- 
fore, the agency has determined that there is good 
cause to set an effective date 30 days after publica- 
tion of the final rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the agency is 
amending Standard No. 110, Tire Selection and 
Rims, and Standard No. 120, Tire Selection and 
Rims for Motor Vehicles Other Than Passenger Cars, 
and is establishing Standard No. 129, New Non- 
Pneumatic Tires for Passenger Cars, in Title 49 of 
the Code of Federal Regulations at Part 571 as 
follows: 

§571.110 [Amended] 

•1. Paragraph S2 of Standard 110 is revised to read 
as follows: 

S2 Application. This standard applies to passen- 
ger cars and to non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies 
for use on passenger cars. 

2. Paragraph S3 of Standard No. 110 is amended 
by adding the following definitions in the proper 
alphabetical location: 

"Non-pneumatic rim" is used as defined in 
§571.129. 

"Non-pneumatic spare tire assembly" means a 



PART 574 - PRE 56 



non-pneumatic tire assembly intended for tempo- 
rary use in place of one of the pneumatic tires and 
rims that are fitted to a passenger car in compliance 
with the requirements of this standard. 

"Non-pneumatic tire" and "non-pneumatic tire 
assembly" are used as defined in §571.129. 

"Rim" is used as defined in §571.109. 

"Wheel center member" is used as defined in 
§571.129. 

:}: 4: :t: 4: ^ 

3. Paragraph S4.1 of Standard No. 110 is revised to 
read as follows: 

S4.1 General Passenger cars shall be equipped 
with tires that meet the requirements of §571.109, 
New Pneumatic Tires— Passenger Cars, except that 
passenger cars may be equipped with a non- 
pneumatic spare tire assembly that meets the re- 
quirements of §571.129, New Non-Pneumatic Tires 
for Passenger Cars and S6 and S8 of this standard. 
Passenger cars equipped with such an assembly 
shall meet the requirements of S4.3(e), S5, and S7 of 
this standard. 

Hi iii: iif i^f: Hi 

4. Paragraph S4.3(c), (d), and (e) is revised to read 
as follows: 

(c) Vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold tire 
inflation pressure for maximum loaded vehicle 
weight and, subject to the limitations of S4.3.1, for 
any other manufacturer-specified vehicle loading 
condition; 

(d) Vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire size 
designation; and 

(e) For a vehicle equipped with a non-pneumatic 
spare tire assembly, the non-pneumatic tire identifi- 
cation code with which that assembly is labeled 
pursuant to the requirements of S4.3(a) of §571.129, 
New Non-Pneumatic Tires for Passenger Cars. 

***** 

5. Standard No. 110 is amended by adding para- 
graphs S5, S6, S7 and S8 to read as follows: 

55 Load Limits for Non-Pneumatic Spare Tires. 
The highest vehicle maximum load on the tire for 
the vehicle shall not be greater than the load rating 
for the non-pneumatic spare tire. 

56 Labeling Requirements for Non-Pneumatic 
Spare Tires or Tire Assemblies. 

Each non-pneumatic tire or, in the case of a 
non-pneumatic tire assembly in which the non- 
pneumatic tire is an integral part of the assembly, 
each non-pneumatic tire assembly shall be perma- 
nently molded, stamped, or otherwise permanently 
marked into or onto both sides in letters or numerals 
not less than 0.156 inches high, the information 
specified in paragraphs S6.(a) through (b). Except, in 



the case of a non-pneumatic tire assembly which has 
a particular side that must always face outward 
when mounted on a vehicle, the information shown 
in paragraphs S6(a) through (b) shall only be re- 
quired on the outward facing side. The information 
shall be positioned on the tire or tire assembly such 
that it is not placed on the tread or the outermost 
edge of the tire and is not obstructed by any portion 
of any non-pneumatic rim or wheel center member 
designated for use with that tire in this standard or 
in Standard No. 129. 

(a) FOR TEMPORARY USE ONLY; and 

(b) MAXIMUM 50 M.PH. 

57 Requirements for Passenger Cars Equipped 
with Non-Pneumatic Spare Tire Assemblies. 

57.1 Vehicle Placarding Requirements. A placard, 
permanently affixed to the inside of the vehicle 
trunk lid or an equally accessible location adjacent 
to the non-pneumatic spare tire assembly, shall 
display the information set forth in S6 in block 
capitals and numerals not less than 0.25 inches high 
preceded by the words "IMPORTANT-USE OF 
SPARE TIRE" in letters not less than 0.375 inches 
high. 

57.2 Supplementary Information. The owner's 
manual of the passenger car shall contain, in writ- 
ing in the English language and in not less than 10 
point type, the following information under the 
heading "IMPORTANT-USE OF SPARE TIRE": 

(a) A statement indicating the labeling related to 
appropriate use for the non-pneumatic spare tire 
including at a minimum the information set forth in 
S6(a) and (b) and in S4.3(e); 

(b) An instruction to drive carefully when the 
non-pneumatic spare tire is in use, and to install the 
proper pneumatic tire and rim at the first reason- 
able opportunity; and 

(c) A statement that operation of the passenger car 
is not recommended with more than one non- 
pneumatic spare tire in use at the same time. 

58 Non-Pneumatic Rims and Wheel Center Members 

58.1 Non-Pneumatic Rim Requirements. Each 
non-pneumatic rim that is part of a separable non- 
pneumatic spare tire assembly shall be constructed 
to the dimensions of a non-pneumatic rim that is 
listed pursuant to S4.4 of §571.129 for use with the 
non-pneumatic tire, designated by its non- 
pneumatic tire identification code, with which the 
vehicle is equipped. 

58.2 Wheel Center Member Requirements. Each 
wheel center member that is part of a separable 
non-pneumatic spare tire assembly shall be con- 
structed to the dimensions of a wheel center member 
that is listed pursuant S4.4 of §571.129 for use with 
the non-pneumatic tire, designated by its non- 



PART 574 - PRE 57 



pneumatic tire identification code, with which the 
vehicle is equipped. 



§571.120 [Amended] 

6. Paragraph S3 of Standard 120 is revised to read 
as follows: 

S3 Application. This standard applies to multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, trailers, and 
motorcycles, to rims for use on those vehicles, and to 
non-pneumatic spare tire assemblies for use on those 
vehicles. 

***** 

7. Paragraph S5.1.1 of Standard No. 120 is revised 
to read as follows: 

55.1.1 Except as specified in S5.1.3, each vehicle 
equipped with pneumatic tires for highway service 
shall be equipped with tires that meet the require- 
ments of §571.109, New Pneumatic Tires— Passenger 
Cars, or §571.119, New Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles 
Other than Passenger Cars, and rims that are listed 
by the manufacturer of the tires as suitable for use 
with those tires, in accordance with S4.4 with 
§571.109, or S5.1 of §571.119, as applicable, except 
that vehicles may be equipped with a non-pneumatic 
spare tire assembly that meets the requirements of 
§571.129, New Non-Pneumatic Tires for Passenger 
Cars, and S8 and SlO of this standard. Vehicles 
equipped with such an assembly shall meet the 
requirements of S5.3.6, S7, and S9 of this standard. 

8. The introductory text of paragraph S5.3.2 of 
Standard No. 120 is revised to read as follows: 

55.3.2 Vehicles Manufactured on or after December 
1, 1984. Each vehicle manufactured on or after 
December 1, 1984, shall show the information spec- 
ified in S5.3.3 through S5.3.5, and in the case of a 
vehicle equipped with a non-pneumatic spare tire, 
also that specified in S5.3.6, in the English lan- 
guage, lettered in block capitals and numerals not 
less than three thirty-seconds of an inch high and in 
the format set forth following this section. This 
information shall appear either— 

9. Paragraph S5.3.6 is added to Standard No. 120 
to read as follows: 

S5.3.6 The non-pneumatic tire identification code, 
with which that assembly is labeled pursuant to 
S4.3(a) of §571.129. 

10. Standard 120 is amended by adding para- 
graphs S7, S8, S9, and SlO. 

S7 Load Limits for Non-Pneumatic Spare Tires. 
The highest vehicle maximum load on the tire for 
the vehicle shall not be greater than the load rating 
for the non-pneumatic spare tire. 

88 Labeling Requirements for Non-Pneumatic 



Spare Tires or Tire Assemblies. Each non-pneumatic 
tire or, in the case of a non-pneumatic tire assembly 
in which the non-pneumatic tire is an integral part 
of the assembly, each non-pneumatic tire assembly 
shall be permanently molded, stamped, or otherwise 
permanently marked into or onto both sides in 
letters or numerals not less than 0.156 inches high, 
the information specified in paragraphs S6.(a) 
through (b). Except, in the case of a non-pneumatic 
tire assembly which has a particular side that must 
always face outward when mounted on a vehicle, the 
information shown in paragraphs S6(a) through (b) 
shall only be required on the outward facing side. 
The information shall be positioned on the tire or 
tire assembly such that it is not placed on the tread 
or the outermost edge of the tire and is not ob- 
structed by any portion of any non-pneumatic rim or 
wheel center member designated for use with that 
tire in this standard or in Standard No. 129. 

(a) FOR TEMPORARY USE ONLY; and 

(b) MAXIMUM 50 M.RH. 

S9 Requirements for Vehicles Equipped with Non- 
Pneumatic Spare Tire Assemblies 

59.1 Vehicle Placarding Requirements. A placard, 
permanently affixed to the inside of the spare tire 
stowage area or equally accessible location adjacent 
to the non-pneumatic spare tire assembly, shall 
display the information set forth in 88 in block 
capitals and numerals not less than 0.25 inches high 
preceded by the words "IMPORTANT-USE OF 
SPARE TIRE" in letters not less than 0.375 inches 
high. 

89.2 Supplementary Infbrmatioru The owner's 
manual of the vehicle shall contain, in writing in the 
English language and in not less than 10 point type, 
the following information under the heading 
"IMPORTANT-USE OF SPARE TIRE": 

(a) A statement indicating the labeling related to 
appropriate use for the non-pneumatic spare tire 
including at a minimum the information set forth in 
S8(a) and (b) and in S5.3.6; 

(b) An instruction to drive carefully when the 
non-pneumatic spare tire is in use, and to install the 
proper pneumatic tire and rim at the first reason- 
able opportunity; and 

(c) A statement that operation of the vehicle is not 
recommended with more than one non-pneumatic 
spare tire in use at the same time. 

810 Non-Pneumatic Rims and Wheel Center Members 
SlO.l Non-Pneumatic Rim Requirements. Each 
non-pneumatic rim that is part of a separable non- 
pneumatic spare tire assembly shall be constructed 
to the dimensions of a non-pneumatic rim that is 
listed pursuant to 84.4 of §571.129 for use with the 
non-pneumatic tire, designated by its non- 



PART 574 - PRE 58 



pneumatic tire identification code, with which the 
vehicle is equipped. 

S10.2 Wheel Center Member Requirements. Each 
wheel center member that is part of a separable 
non-pneumatic spare tire assembly shall be con- 
structed to the dimensions of a wheel center member 
that is listed pursuant to S4.4 of §571.129 for use 
with the non-pneumatic tire, designated by its non- 
pneumatic tire identification code, with which the 
vehicle is equipped. 

H: 4^ ^ ^ ^ 

11. Part 571 is amended by the addition of 49 CFR 
§571.129 which would read as follows: 

§571.129 Standard No. 129; New Non-Pneumatic 
Tires for Passenger Cars. 

Si Scope. This standard specifies tire dimensions 
and laboratory test requirements for lateral 
strength, strength, endurance, and high speed per- 
formance; defines the tire load rating; and specifies 
labeling requirements for non-pneumatic spare 
tires. 

52 Application, This standard applies to new tem- 
porary spare non-pneumatic tires for use on passen- 
ger cars. 

53 Definitions. 

"Carcass" means the tire structure except for the 
tread which provides the major portion of the tire's 
capability to deflect in response to the vertical loads 
and tractive forces that the tire transmits from the 
roadway to the non-pneumatic rim, the wheel center 
member, or the vehicle and which attaches to the 
vehicle or attaches, either integrally or separably, to 
the wheel center member or non-pneumatic rim. 

"Carcass separation" means the pulling away of 
the carcass from the non-pneumatic rim or wheel 
center member. 

"Chunking" means the breaking away of pieces of 
the carcass or tread. 

"Cracking" means any parting within the carcass, 
tread, or any components that connect the tire to the 
non-pneumatic rim or wheel center member and, if 
the non-pneumatic tire is integral with the non- 
pneumatic rim or wheel center member, any parting 
within the non-pneumatic rim, or wheel center 
member 

"Load rating" means the maximum load a tire is 
rated to carry. 

"Maximum tire width" means the greater of ei- 
ther the linear distance between the exterior edges 
of the carcass or the linear distance between the 
exterior edges of the tread, both being measured 
parallel to the rolling axis of the tire. 

"Non-pneumatic rim" means a mechanical device 
which, when a non-pneumatic tire assembly incor- 
porates a wheel, supports the tire, and attaches. 



either integrally or separably, to the wheel center 
member and upon which the tire is attached. 

"Non-pneumatic test rim" means, with reference 
to a tire to be tested, any non-pneumatic rim that is 
listed as appropriate for use with that tire in accor- 
dance with S4.4. 

"Non-pneumatic tire" means a mechanical device 
which transmits, either directly or through a wheel 
or wheel center member, the vertical load and trac- 
tive forces from the roadway to the vehicle, gener- 
ates the tractive forces that provide the directional 
control of the vehicle, and does not rely on the 
containment of any gas or fluid for providing those 
functions. 

"Non-pneumatic tire assembly" means a non- 
pneumatic tire, alone or in combination with a 
wheel or wheel center member, which can be 
mounted on a vehicle. 

"Non-pneumatic tire identification code" means 
an alphanumeric code that is assigned by the man- 
ufacturer to identify the tire with regard to its size, 
application to a specific non-pneumatic rim or wheel 
center member, or application to a specific vehicle. 

"Tfest wheel center member" means, with refer- 
ence to a tire to be tested, any wheel center member 
that is listed as appropriate for use with that tire in 
accordance with S4.4. 

"Tread" means that portion of the tire that comes 
in contact with the road. 

"Tread separation" means the pulling away of the 
tread from the carcass. 

"Wheel" means a mechanical device which con- 
sists of a non-pneumatic rim and wheel center mem- 
ber and which, in the case of a non-pneumatic tire 
assembly incorporating a wheel, provides the con- 
nection between the tire and the vehicle. 

"Wheel center member" means, in the case of a 
non-pneumatic tire assembly incorporating a wheel, 
a mechanical device which attaches, either inte- 
grally or separably, to the non-pneumatic rim and 
provides the connection between the non-pneumatic 
rim and the vehicle. 

S4 Requirements. 

54.1 Size and Construction. Each tire shall be 
designed to fit each non-pneumatic rim or wheel 
center member specified for its non-pneumatic tire 
identification code designation in a listing in accor- 
dance with section S4.4. 

54.2 Performance Requirements 

S4.2.1 General. Each tire shall conform to the 
following: 

(a) Its load rating shall be that specified in a 
submission made by a manufacturer, pursuant to 
S4.4(a), or in one of the publications described in 
S4.4(b) for its non-pneumatic tire identification code 
designation. 

(b) It shall incorporate a tread wear indicator that 



PART 574 - PRE 59 



will provide a visual indication that the tire has 
worn to a tread depth of '/^e inch. 

(c) It shall, before being subjected to either the 
endurance test procedure specified in S5.4 or the 
high speed performance procedure specified in S5.5, 
exhibit no visual evidence of tread or carcass sepa- 
ration, chunking or cracking. 

(d) It shall meet the requirements of S4.2.2.5 and 
S4.2.2.6 when tested on a test wheel described in 
S5.4.2.1 either alone or simultaneously with up to 5 
tires. 

S4.2.2 Test Requirements. 

54.2.2.1 Test Sample. For each test sample use: 

(a) One tire for physical dimensions, lateral 
strength, and strength in sequence; 

(b) A second tire for tire endurance; and 

(c) A third tire for high speed performance. 

54.2.2.2 Physical Dimensions. For a non- 
pneumatic tire assembly in which the tire is separa- 
ble from the non-pneumatic rim or wheel center 
member, the dimensions, measured in accordance 
with S5.1, for that portion of the tire that attaches to 
that non-pneumatic rim or wheel center member 
shall satisfy the dimensional specifications con- 
tained in the submission made by an individual 
manufacturer, pursuant to S4.4(a), or in one of the 
publications described in S4.4(b) for that tire's non- 
pneumatic tire identification code designation. 

S4.2.2.3. Lateral Strength. There shall be no visual 
evidence of tread or carcass separation, cracking or 
chunking, when a tire is tested in accordance with 

55.2 to a load of: 

(a) 1,500 pounds for tires with a load rating less 
than 880 pounds; 

(b) 2,000 pounds for tires with a load rating of 880 
pounds or more but less than 1,400 pounds. 

(c) 2,500 pounds for tires with a load rating of 
1,400 pounds or more, using the load rating marked 
on the tire or tire assembly. 

54.2.2.4 Tire Strength. There shall be no visual 
evidence of tread carcass separation, cracking or 
chunking, when a tire is tested in accordance with 

55.3 to a minimum energy level of: 

Load Rating Minimum Energy Level 

Below 880 pounds 1,950 inch pounds 

880 pounds and above 2,600 inch pounds 

54.2.2.5 Tire Endurance. When the tire has been 
subjected to the laboratory endurance test specified 
in S5.4, using, if applicable, a non-pneumatic test 
rim or test wheel center member that undergoes no 
permanent deformation, there shall be no visual 
evidence of tread or carcass separation, cracking or 
chunking. In the case of a non-pneumatic tire assem- 
bly in which the non-pneumatic tire is an integral 
part of the assembly, the assembly shall undergo no 



permanent deformation with the exception of wear 
of the tread. 

S4.2.2.6 High Speed Performance. When the tire 
has been subjected to the laboratory high speed 
performance test specified in S5.5, using if applica- 
ble, a non-pneumatic test rim or test wheel center 
member that undergoes no permanent deformation, 
there shall be no visual evidence of tread or carcass 
separation, cracking or chunking. In the case of a 
non-pneumatic tire assembly in which the non- 
pneumatic tire is an integral part of the assembly, 
the assembly shall undergo no permanent deforma- 
tion with the exception of wear of the tread. 

S4.3 Labeling Requirements. Each non-pneumatic 
tire or, in the case of a non-pneumatic tire assembly 
in which the non-pneumatic tire is an integral part 
of the assembly, each non-pneumatic tire assembly 
shall be permanently molded, stamped, or otherwise 
permanently marked into or onto both sides of the 
tire or tire assembly in letters or numerals not less 
than 0.078 inches high, the information shown in 
paragraphs S4.3(a) through (f). Except, in the case of 
a non-pneumatic tire assembly of which one side 
always must face outward when mounted on a vehi- 
cle, the information shown in paragraphs S4.3(a) 
through (f) shall only be required on the outward 
facing side. The information shall be positioned on 
the tire or tire assembly such that it is not placed on 
the tread or the outermost edge of the tire and is not 
obstructed by any portion of any non-pneumatic rim 
or wheel center member designated for use with that 
tire in S4.4 of this standard or in 49 CFR §571.110 or 
49 CFR §571.120. 

(a) The non-pneumatic tire identification code. 

(b) Load rating, which, if expressed in kilograms, 
shall be followed in parentheses by the equivalent 
load rating in pounds, rounded to the nearest whole 
pound; 

(c) For a non-pneumatic tire that is not an integral 
part of a non-pneumatic tire assembly, the size and 
type designation of the non-pneumatic rim or wheel 
tire assembly that is contained in the submission 
made by a manufacturer, pursuant to S4.4(a), or in one 
of the publications described in S4.4(b) for that tire's 
non-pneumatic tire identification code designation; 

(d) The name of the manufacturer or brand name; 

(e) The symbol DOT in the manner specified in 
Part 574 of this chapter, which shall constitute a 
certification that the tire conforms to applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards; 

(f) The tire identification number required by 
§574.5 of this chapter; 

(g) The labeling requirements set forth in S6 of 
Standard No. 110 (§571.110), or S8 of Standard No. 
120 (§571.120). 



PART 574 - PRE 60 



S4.4 Non- Pneumatic Tire Identification Code and 
Non-Pneumatic Rim/Wheel Center Member Match- 
ing Information. For purposes of this standard, S8 of 
49 CFR 571.110 and SIO of 49 CFR 571.120, each 
maniifacturer of a non-pneumatic tire that is not an 
integral part of a non-pneumatic tire assembly shall 
ensure that it provides a listing to the public for each 
non-pneumatic tire that it produces. The listing 
shall include the non-pneumatic tire identification 
code, tire load rating, dimensional specifications and 
a diagram of the portion of the tire that attaches to 
the non-pneumatic rim or wheel center member, and 
a list of the non-pneumatic rims or wheel center 
members that may be used with that tire. For each 
non-pneumatic rim or wheel center member in- 
cluded in such a listing, the information provided 
shall include a size and type designation for the 
non-pneumatic rim or wheel center member, and 
dimensional specifications and a diagram of the 
non-pneumatic rim or portion of the wheel center 
member that attaches to the tire. A listing compiled 
in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section need 
not include dimensional specifications or a diagram 
of the non-pneumatic rim or portion of the wheel 
center member that attaches to the tire if the 
non-pneumatic rim's or portion of the wheel center 
member's dimensional specifications and diagram 
are contained in each listing published in accor- 
dance with paragraph (b) of this section. The listing 
shall be in one of the following forms: 

(a) Listed by manufacturer name or brand name in 
a document furnished to dealers of the manufactur- 
er's tires or, in the case of non-pneumatic tires 
supplied only as a temporary spare tire on a vehicle, 
in a document furnished to dealers of vehicles 
equipped with the tires, to any person upon request, 
and in duplicate to the Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards, Crash Avoidance Division, National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation, Washington, D.C. 20590; or 

(b) Contained in publications, current at the date 
of manufacture of the tire or any later date, or at 
least one of the following organizations: 

The Tire and Rim Association 

The European Tire and Rim Tfechnical Organization 

Japan Automobile Tire Manufactiu^ers' Associa- 
tion, Inc. 

Deutsche Industrie Norm 

British Standards Institute 

Scandinavian Tire and Rim Organization 

Tyre and Rim Association of Australia 

S5 Test Procedures. 

S5.1 Physical Dimensions. After conditioning the 
tire at room temperature for at least 24 hoiirs, using 
equipment with minimum measurement capabili- 



ties of one-half the smallest tolerance specified in 
the listing contained in the submission made by a 
manufacturer pursuant to S4.4(a), or in one of the 
publications described in S4.4(b) for that tire's non- 
pneumatic tire identification code designation, meas- 
ure the portion of the tire that attaches to the 
non-pneumatic rim or the wheel center member. For 
any inner diameter dimensional specifications, or 
other dimensional specifications that are uniform or 
uniformly spaced around some circumference of the 
tire, these measurements shall be taken at least six 
points around the tire, or if specified, at the points 
specified in the listing contained in the submission 
made by an individual manufacturer, pursuant to 
S4.4(a), or in one of the publications described in 
S4.4(b) for that tire's non-pneumatic tire identifica- 
tion code designation. 

55.2 Lateral Strength. 

55.2.1 Preparation of the tire. 

55.2.1.1 If applicable, moimt a new tire on a non- 
pneumatic test rim or test wheel center member 

55.2.1.2 Mount the tire assembly in a fixture as 
shown in Figure 1 with the surface of the tire 
assembly that would face outward when mounted on 
a vehicle facing toward the lateral strength test 
block shown in Figure 2 and force the lateral 
strength test block against the tire. 

55.2.2 Test Procedure. 

S5. 2.2.1 Apply a load through the block to the tire 
at a rate of 2 inches per minute, with the load arm 
parallel to the tire assembly at the time of engage- 
ment and the first point of contact with the test 
block being the test block centerline shown in Fig- 
ure 2, at the following distances, B, in sequence, as 
shown in Figure 1: 

B = A - 1 inch 

B = A - 2 inches 

B = A - 3 inches 

B = A - 4 inches 

B = A - 5 inches, and 

B = A - 6 inches 
However, if at any time during the conduct of the 
test, the test block comes in contact with the non- 
pneumatic test rim or test wheel center member, the 
test shall be suspended and no further testing at 
smaller values of the distance B shall be conducted. 
When tested to the above procedure, satisfying the 
requirements of S4.2.2.3 for all values of B greater 
than that for which contact between the non- 
pneumatic test rim or test wheel center member and 
the test block is made, shall constitute compliance to 
the requirements set forth in S4.2.2.3. 

55.3 Tire Strength. 

S5.3.1 Preparation of the Tire. 
S5.3.1.1 If applicable, mount the tire on a non- 
pneumatic test rim or test wheel center member. 



PART 574 - PRE 61 



S5.3.1.2 Condition the tire assembly at room tem- 
perature for at least three hours. 
S5.3.2 Test Procedures. 

55.3.2.1 Force the test cleat, as defined in S5.3.2.2, 
with its length axis (see S5. 3. 2. 2(a)) parallel to the 
rolling axis of the non-pneumatic tire assembly, and 
its height axis (see S5. 3. 2. 2(c)), coinciding with a 
radius of the non-pneumatic tire assembly, into the 
tread of the tire at five test points equally spaced 
around the circumference of the tire. At each test 
point, the test cleat is forced into the tire at a rate of 
two inches per minute until the applicable minimum 
energy level, as shown in S4.2.2.4, calculated using 
the formula contained in S5. 3.2.3, is reached. 

55.3.2.2 The test cleat is made of steel and has the 
following dimensions: 

(a) Length of one inch greater than the maximum 
tire width of the tire. 

(b) Width of one-half inch with the surface which 
contacts the tire's tread having one-quarter inch 
radius. 

(c) Height of one inch greater than the difference 
between the unloaded radius of the non-pneumatic 
tire assembly and the minimum radius of the non- 
pneumatic rim or wheel center member, if used with 
the non-pneumatic tire assembly being tested. 

55.3.2.3 The energy level is calculated by the 
following formula: 



E = 



F X P 



where 

E = Energy level, inch-pounds; 

F = Force, pounds; and 

P = Penetration, inches 

S5.4 Tire Endurance. 

55.4.1 Preparation of the tire. 

55.4.1.1 If applicable, mount a new tire on a non- 
pneumatic test rim or test wheel center member 

55.4.1.2 Condition the tire assembly to 100 + 5° 
F. for at least three hours. 

55.4.2 Test Procedure. 

55.4.2.1 Mount the tire assembly on a test axle 
and press it against a flat-faced steel test wheel 
67.23 inches in diameter and at least as wide as the 
maximum tire width of the tire to be tested or an 
approved equivalent test wheel, with the applicable 
test load specified in the table in S5.4.2.3 for the tire's 
non-pneumatic tire identification code designation. 

55.4.2.2 During the test, the air surrounding the 
test area shall be 100 ± 5° F. 

55.4.2.3 Conduct the test at 50 miles per hour 
(m.p.h.) in accordance with the following schedule 
without interruption (the loads for the following 
periods are the specified percentage of the load 
rating marked on the tire or tire assembly): 



Percent 

4 hours 85 

6 hours 90 

24 hours 100 

S5.4.2.4 Immediately after running the tire the 
required time, allow the tire to cool for one hour, 
then, if applicable, detach it from the non-pneumatic 
test rim or test wheel center member, and inspect it 
for the conditions specified in S4.2.2.5. 

S5.5 High Speed Endurance. 

55.5.1 After preparing the tire in accordance with 
S5.4.1, if applicable, mount the tire assembly in 
accordance with S5.4.2.1, and press it against the 
test wheel with a load of 88 percent of the tire's load 
rating as marked on the tire or tire assembly. 

55.5.2 Break in the tire by running it for 2 hours 
at 50 m.p.h. 

55.5.3 Allow to cool to 100 ± 5° F 

55.5.4 Tfest at 75 m.p.h. for 30 minutes, 80 m.p.h. 
for 30 minutes, and 85 m.p.h. for 30 minutes. 

55.5.5 Immediately after running the tire for the 
required time, allow the tire to cool for one hour, 
then, if applicable, detach it from the non-pneumatic 
test rim or test wheel center member, and inspect it 
for the conditions specified in S4.2.2.6. 

S6 Nonconforming tires. Any non-pneumatic tire 
that is designed for use on passenger cars that does 
not conform to all the requirements of this standard, 
shall not be sold, offered for sale, introduced or 
delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, 
or imported into the United States, for any purpose. 

12. Figures 1 and 2 are added following the text of 
Standard No. 129, appearing as follows: 

Part 574 [Amended] 

13. The first sentence of 574.4 Applicability is 
revised to read as follows: 

This part applies to manufacturers, brand name 
owners, retreaders, distributors, and dealers of new 
and retreaded tires, and new non-pneumatic tires 
and non-pneumatic tire assemblies for use on motor 
vehicles manufactured after 1948 and to manufac- 
turers and dealers of motor vehicles manufactured 
after 1948. 

14. The first sentence of 574.5 Tire identification 
requirements is revised to read as follows: 

Each tire manufacturer shall conspicuously label 
on one sidewall of each tire it manufactures, except 
tires manufactured exclusively for mileage-contract 
purchasers, or non-pneumatic tires or non-pneu- 
matic tire assemblies, by permanently molding into 
or onto the sidewall, in the manner and location 
specified in Figure 1, a tire identification number 



PART 574 - PRE 62 



containing the information set forth in paragraphs 
(a) through (d) of this section. 

***** 

15. Section 574.5 is amended by adding the follow- 
ing to the end of the opening paragraph: 



symbols, shall be used to identify the non-pneumatic 
tire identification code. 

17. Section 574.6, Identification Mark, is revised to 
read as follows: 



Each manufacturer of a non-pneumatic tire or a 
non-pneumatic tire assembly shall permanently 
mold, stamp, or otherwise permanently mark into or 
onto one side of the non-pneumatic tire or non- 
pneumatic tire assembly a tire identification num- 
ber containing the information set forth in para- 
graphs (a) through (d) of this section. In addition, the 
DOT symbol required by the Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards shall be positioned relative to the 
tire identification number as shown in Figure 1, and 
the symbols to be used for the other information are 
those listed above. The labeling for a non-pneumatic 
tire or a non-pneumatic tire assembly shall be in the 
manner specified in Figure 1 and positioned on the 
non-pneumatic tire or non-pneumatic tire assembly 
such that it is not placed on the tread or the 
outermost edge of the tire and is not obstructed by 
any portion of the non-pneumatic rim or wheel 
center member designated for use with that non- 
pneumatic tire in S4.4 of Standard No. 129 (49 CFR 
571.129). 

16. Section 574.5(b) is amended by adding the 
following after the opening sentence: 

***** 

For a new non-pneumatic tire of a non-pneumatic 
tire assembly, the second group, of not more than two 



lb obtain the identification mark required by 
574.5(a), each manufactxirer of new or retreaded 
pneumatic tires, non-pneumatic tires, or non- 
pneumatic tire assemblies shall apply in writing to 
"Tire Identification and Recordkeeping," National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Department 
of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590, identify 
itself as a tire manufacturer or retreader and furnish 
the following information: 

(a) The name, or other designation identifying the 
applicant, and its main office address. 

(b) The name, or other identifying designation, of 
each individual plant operated by the manufacturer 
and the address of each plant, if applicable. 

(c) The type of tires manufactured at each plant, 
e.g., pneumatic tires for passenger cars, buses, trucks, 
or motorcycles; pneimiatic retreaded tires; or non- 
pneumatic tires or non-pneumatic tire assemblies. 

Issued on July 12, 1990. 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Deputy Administrator 

55 FR 29581 
July 20, 1990 



PART 574 - PRE 63-64 



PREAMBLE TO TIRE CODE MARKS ASSIGNED TO NEW TIRE MANUFACTURERS 



The purpose of this notice is to publish the 
code numbers assigned to new-tire manufacturers 
imder the Tire Identification and Recordkeeping 
Regulation, 49 CFR Part 574 (36 F.R. 1196). 

The Tire Identification and Recordkeeping 
Regulation (hereafter Part 574) requires that 
new .tires manufactured after May 22, 1971, be 
marked with a two-symbol manufacturer's code, 
and that retreaded tires be marked with a three- 
symbol manufacturer's code. The manufactur- 
er's code is the first grouping within the tire 
identification number (after the symbol "DOT" 
or "R" where required). 

Under Part 574 a separate code number is 
assigned to each manufacturer's plant. Table 1 
of the notice lists the code numbers assigned and 
the manufacturer that received each code num- 
ber. Table 2 lists the same information by 



manufacturer. Codes assigned to retreaders will 
be available for inspection in the Docket Section, 
Room 5217, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, 
D.C. 20590. 

The codes assigned to new-tire manufacturers 
replace the three-digit code numbers required on 
new brand-name passenger car tires manufac- 
tured prior to May 22, 1971, under Standard No. 
109. (The list of numbers assigned under 
Standard No. 109 was published in the Federal 
Register of July 2, 1968, 34 F.R. 11158.) 

Issued on April 14, 1971. 

Rodolfo A. Diaz, 

Acting Associate Administrator, 

Motor Vehicle Programs. 

36 F.R. 7539 
April 21, 1971 



PART 574; (TIRE CODE)— PRE 1-2 



PREAMBLE TO TIRE SIZE CODES 



The purpose of this notice is to publish an 
updated list of tire size codes assigned by the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
in accordance with the Tire Identification and 
Record Keeping regulation, 49 CFR Part 574 
(36F.R. 1196). 

The Tire Identification and Record Keeping 
regulation requires that a tire identification num- 
ber be placed on new and retreaded tires, and 
that the second grouping of the number be a 
code that identifies the tire size or, in the case 
of a retreaded tire, the tire matrix. New tire 
manufacturers have up to now been required to 
use a specific tire size code assigned to tlie tire 
size by the NHTSA. Because of the number of 
new tire sizes being introduced into the market, 
the possible combinations of letters and numbers 
have been virtually exhausted. 

In order to accommodate new tire sizes the 
regulation is being amended by notice published 
elsewhere in this issue (37 F.R. 23727), to allow 
each tire manufacturer to assign a two-symbol 



size code of his own choice, rather than having 
the number assigned by the agency. However, 
it is urged that manufacturers maintain the as- 
signed tire size code for existing tire sizes, and 
that they reuse obsolete tire size codes for new 
sizes wherever possible. 

For convenience of reference, an updated list 
of the tire size codes assigned by the NHTSA is 
published below for the information and guid- 
ance of tire manufacturers. 

This notice is issued under the authority of 
sections 103, 113, 119, 201 and 1402, 1407, 1421 
and 1426; and the delegations of authority at 
49 CFR 1.51 and 49 CFR 501.8. 

Issued on October 26, 1972. 

Robert L. Carter 
Associate Administrator 
Motor Vehicle Programs 

38 F.R. 23742 
Novembers, 1972 



PART 574; (TIRE CODE)— PRE 3-4 



PART 574— TIRE IDENTIFICATION AND RECORDKEEPING 
(Docket No. 70-12; Notice No. 5) 



5574.1 Scope. 

This part sets forth the method by which new tire 
manufacturers and new tire brand name owners shall 
identify tires for use on motor vehicles and maintain 
records of tire purchasers, and the method by which 
retreaders and retreaded tire brand name owners shall 
identify tires for use on motor vehicles. This part also 
sets forth the methods by which independent tire deal- 
ers and distributors shall record, on registration forms, 
their names and addresses and the identification num- 
ber of the tires sold to tire purchasers and provid the 
forms to the purchasers, so that the purchasers may 
report their names to the new tire manufacturers and 
new tire brand name owners, and by which other tire 
dealers and distributors shall record and report the 
names of tire purchasers of the new tire manufacturers 
and new tire brand name owners. 

5574.2 Purpose. 

The purpose of this part is to facilitate notification 
to purchasers of defective or nonconforming tires, pur- 
suant to sections 151 and 152 of the Nation Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, as amended (15 
U.S.C. 1411 and 1412) (hereafter the Act), so that they 
may take appropriate action in the interest of motor 
vehicle safety. 

5574.3 Definitions. 

(a) Statutory definitions. All terms in this part that 
are defined in section 102 of the Act are used as de- 
fined therein. 

(b) Motor vehicle safety standard definitions. Unless 
otherwise indicated, all terms used in this part that are 
defined in the Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Part 
571 of this subchapter (hereinafter the Standards), are 
used as defined therein. 

(c) Definitions Mse in this part. (1) "Mileage con- 
tract purchaser" means a person who purchases or 
leases tire use on a mileage basis. 

(2) "Independent" means, with respect to a tire 
distributor or dealer, one whose business is not 
owned or controlled by a tire manufacturer or brand 
name owner. 



(3) "New tire brand name owner" means a person, 
other than a new tire manufacturer, who owns or has 
the right to control the brand name of a new tire or 
a person who licenses another to purchase new tires 
from a new manufacturer bearing the licensor's 
brand name. 

(4) "Retreaded tire brand name owner" means a 
person, other than a retreader, who owns or has the 
right to control the brand name of a retreaded tire 
or a person who licenses another to purchase re- 
treaded tires from a retreader bearing the licensor's 
brand name. 

(5) "Tire purchaser" means a person who buys or 
leases a new tire, or who buys or leases for 60 days 
or more a motor vehicle containing a new tire for pur- 
poses other than resale. 

S574.4. Applicability. 

[This part applies to manufacturers, brand name 
owners, retreaders, distributors, and dealers of new 
and retreaded tires, and new non-pneumatic tires and 
non-pneumatic tire assemblies for use on motor vehi- 
cles manufactured after 1948 and to manufacturers and 
dealers of motor vehicles manufactured after 1948. (55 
F.R. 29581— July 20, 1990. Effective: August 20, 1990)1 

However, it does not apply to persons who retread 
tires solely for their own use. 

S574.5 Tire identification requirements. 

Each tire manufacturer shall conspicuously label on 
one sidewall of each tire it manufacturers, except tires 
manufactured exclusively for mileage-contract pur- 
chasers, [or non-pneumatic tires on non-pneumatic tire 
assemblies] by permanently molding into or onto the 
sidewall, in the manner and location specified in Figure 
1, a tire identification number containing the informa- 
tion set forth in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this sec- 
tion. Each tire retreader, except tire retreaders who 
retread tires solely for their own use, shall conspicu- 
ously label one sidewall of each tire it retreads by per- 
manently molding or branding into or onto the sidewall, 
in the manner and location specified in Figure 2, a tire 
identification number containing the information set 
forth in paragraph (a) through (d) of this section. 



(Rev. 7/20/90) 



PART 574-1 



In addition, the DOT symbol required by Federal Mo- 
tor Vehicle Safety Standards shall be located as shown 
in Figures 1 and 2. The DOT symbol shall not appear 
on tires to which no Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard is applicable, except that the DOT sjnnbol on 
tires for use on motor vehicles other than passenger 
cars may, prior to retreading, be removed from the 
sidewall or allowed to remain on the sidewall, at the 
retreader's option. The symbols to be used in the tire 
identification number for tire manufactiirers and 
retreaders, are: "A, B, C, D, E, F, H, J, K, L, M, N, 
P, R, T, U, V, W, X, Y, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0." Tires 
manufactured or retreaded exclusively for mileage- 
contract purchasers are not required to contain a tire 
identification number if the tire contains the phrase 
"for mileage contract use only" permanently molded 
into or onto the tire sidewall in lettering at least one- 
quarter inch high. 

[Each manufacturer of a non-pneumatic tire or a non- 
pneumatic tire assembly shall permanently mold, stamp 
or otherwise permanently mark into or onto one side 
of the non-pneumatic tire or non-pneumatic tire assem- 
bly a tire identification number containing the infor- 
mation set forth in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this 
section. In addition, the DOT symbol required by the 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards shall be posi- 
tioned relative to the tire identification number as 
shown in Figure 1, and the sjrmbols to be used for the 
other information are those listed above. The labeling 
for a non-pneumatic tire or a non-pneumatic tire as- 
sembly shall be in the manner specified in Figure 1 and 
positioned on the non-pneumatic tire or non-pneumatic 
tire assembly such that it is not placed on the tread or 
the outermost edge of the tire and is not obstructed 
by any portion of the non-pneumatic rim or wheel 
center member designated for use with that non- 
pneumatic tire in S4.4 of Standard No. 129 (49 CFR 
571.129). (55 F.R. 29581— July 20, 1990. Effective: August 
20, 1990)] 

(a) First grouping. The first group, of two or three 
symbols, depending on whether the tire is new or 
retreaded, shall represent the manufacturer's assigned 
identification mark (see §574.6). 

(b) Second grouping. For new tires, the second 
group, of no more than two symbols, shall be used to 
identify the tire size. [For a new non-pneiunatic tire 
of a non-pneumatic tire assembly, the second group, 
of not more than two symbols, shall be used to ident- 
ify the non-pneumatic tire identification code.] For 
retreaded tires, the second group, of no more than two 
symbols, shall identify the retread matrix in which the 
tire was processed or a tire size code if a matrix was 
not used to process the retreaded tire. Each new tire 
manufacturer and retreaded shall maintain a record of 



each symbol used, with the corresponding matrix or 
tire size and shall provide such record to NHTSA upon | 
written request. (55 F.R. 29581— July 20, 1990. Effective: ' 
August 20, 1990)] 

(c) Third grouping. The third group, consisting of 
no more than four symbols, may be used at the option 
of the manufacturer or retreader as a descriptive code 
for the purpose of identifying significant characteris- 
tics of the tire. However, if the tire is manufactured 
for a brand name owner, one of the functions of the 
third grouping shall be to identify the brand name 
owner. Each manufacturer or retreader who uses the 
third grouping shall maintain a detailed record of any 
descriptive or brand name owner code used, which 
shall be provided to the Bureau upon written 
request. 

(d) Fourth grouping. The fourth group, of three 
symbols, shall identify the week and year of manufac- 
ture. The first two symbols shall identify the week of 
the year using "01" for the first full calendar week in 
each year. The final week of each year may include not 
more than 6 days of the following year. The third sym- 
bol shall identify the year. (Example: 311 means the 
31st week of 1971, or Aug. 1 through 7, 1971; 012 
means the first week of 1972, or Jan. 2 through 8, 
1972.) The symbols signifying the date of manufacture 
shall immediately follow the optional descriptive code \ 
(paragraph (c) of this section). If no optional descrip- 
tive code is used the symbols signifying the date of 
manufacture shall be placed in the area shown in 
Figures 1 and 2 for the optional description code. 



S574.6 Identification mark. 

[To obtain the identification mark required by 
574.5(a), each manufacturer of new or retreaded pneu- 
matic tires, non-pneumatic tires or non-pneumatic tire 
assemblies shall apply in writing to "Tire Identifica- 
tion and Recordkeeping," National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, 
Washington, DC 20590, identify itself as a tire 
manufacturer or retreader and furnish the following 
information: 

(a) The name, or other designation identifying the 
applicant, and its main office address. 

(b) The name, or other identifying designation, of 
each individual plant operated by the manufacturer and 
the address of each plant, if applicable. 

(c) The type of tires manufactured at each plant, e.g., 
pneumatic tire for passenger cars, buses, trucks or 
motorcycles; pneumatic retreaded tires; or non- m 
pneumatic tires or non-pneumatic tire assemblies. (55 ' 
F.R. 29581— July 20, 1990. Effective: August 20, 1990)] 



(Rsv. 7/20/90) 



PART 574-2 



S574.7 Information requirements— new tire manu- 
facturers, new tire brand name owners. 

(aXl) Each new tire manufacturer and each new tire 
brand name owner (hereinafter referred to in this sec- 
tion and §574.8 as "tire manufacturer") or its desig- 
nee, shall provide tire registration forms to every 
distributor and dealer of its tire which offers new tires 
for sale or lease to tire purchasers. 

(2) Each tire registration form provided to in- 
dependent distributors and dealers pursuant to para- 
graph (aXl) of this section shall contain space for 
recording the information specified in paragraphs 
(aX4Xi) through (aX4Xiii) of this section and shall con- 
form in content and format to Figures 3a and 3b. 
Each form shall be: 

(i) Rectangular; 

(ii) Not less than .007 inches thick; 



(iii) Greater than 3V2 inches, but not greater than 
4V4 inches wide; and 

(iv) Greater than 5 inches, but not greater than 
6 inches long. 

(3) Each tire registration form provided to distri- 
butors and dealers, that are not independent distri- 
butors or dealers, pursuant to paragraph (aXl) of this 
section shall be similar in format and size to Figure 
4 and shall contain space for recording the informa- 
tion specified in paragraphs (aX4Xi) through (aX4Xiii) 
of this section. 

(4Xi) Name and address of the tire purchaser. 

(ii) Tire identification number. 

(iii) Name and address of the tire seller or other 
means by which the tire manufacturer can identify 
the tire seller. 



TIRE IDENTIFICATION 
NUMBER 



OPTION 1 

REF SYMBOL 



(-4 SPACING-, 

I 1/4" MIN I 

L»3/4" MAXl^ 

I DATE OF MANUFACTURE 

TIRE TYPE CODE 
MANUFACTURER'S (OPTIONAL) 

IDENTIFICATION MARK 

TIRE IDENTIFICATION 
NUMBER i 



TIRE SIZE 



OPTION 2 



SPACING-i 
1/4" MIN 
3/4" MAxJi 



SPACING 
1/4" Ml 
3/4" MAX 



N — I ♦ 



ABOVE, BELOW OR TO THE LEFT P\/^T 

OR RIGHT OF TIRE IDENTIFICATION UW I 
NUMBER 

•5/32" LETTERING FOR TIRES OF LESS THAN 
6.00 INCH CROSS SECTION WIDTH AS WELL AS 
THOSE LESS THAN 13" BEAD DIAMETER MAY BE 
USED 




Notes: 

1 , Tire identification number shall 
be in Futura Bold, Modified 
Condensed or Gothic characters 
permanently molded (0 020 to 
040 ' deep, measured from the 
surface immediately surrounding 
characters! into or onto tire at 
indicated location on one side. 
(See Note 4) 

2. Groups of symbols in the identification 
number shall be in the order indicated 
Deviation from the straight line arrange 
ment shown will be permitted if required 
to conform to the curvature of the tire 

3. When Tire Type Code is omitted, or par 
tially used, place Date of Manufacture in 
the unused area 

4. Other print type will be permit 

ted if approved by the administration. 



LOCATE ALL REQUIRED LABELING 
IN LOWER SEGMENT OF ONE SIDEWALL 
BETWEEN MAXIMUM SECTION WIDTH 
AND BEAD SO THAT DATA WILL NOT BE 
OBSTRUCTED BY RIM FLANGE 



(Rev. 7/20/90) 



FIGURE 1-IDENTIFICATION NUMBER FOR NEW TIRES 

PART 574-3 



SPACING 

1/4" MIN 
3/4'' MAX 



OPTION 1 




TIRE IDENTIFICATION 
NUMBER 



REF MVSS 
No. 117, S6.1 



DOT-R XXX XX XXX XXX 



y 





TIRE 
TYPE CODE 
(OPTIONAL 

DATE OF 
MANUFACTURE 



MANUFACTURER'S 

IDENTIFICATION 

MARK 

TIRE SIZE 



•USE 5/32" LETTERING FOR TIRES OF LESS 
THAN 6.00 INCH CROSS SECTION WIDTH AS 
WELL AS THOSE LESS THAN 13" BEAD DIAMETER 



LOCATE 

TIRE IDENTIFICATION 
NUMBER IN THIS AREA 
BUT NOT ON THE 
SCUFF RIB(S). 




NOTES: 



OPTION 2 



SPACING 

1/4" MIN 
3/4" MAX 




TIRE IDENTIFICATION 
NUMBER 



SPACING 
1/4" MIN ■ 

3/4" MAX 



j_XXXXX XXX XXX 
T- DOT-R 



ABOVE, BELOW OR TO THE LEFT 
OR RIGHT OF TIRE IDENTIFICATION 
NUMBER. 



Tire identification number shall be in "Futura 
Bold, Modified, Condensed or Gothic" char 
acters permanently molded (0.020 to 0.040" 
deep, measured from the surface immediately 
surrounding characters) into or onto tire at ' 
indicated location on one side. 
(See Note 4) 

Groups of symbols m the identification num- 
ber shall be in the order indicated. Deviation 
from the straight line arrangement shown will 
be permitted if required to conform to the 
curvature of the tire. 

When Tire Type Code is omitted, or partially 
used, place Date of Manufacture in the unused 
area. 

Other print type will be permitted if approved 
by the Administration. 



FIGURE 2— IDENTIFICATION NUMBER FOR RETREADED TIRES 



PART 574-4 



IMPORTANT A 



In case of a recall, we can reach you only If we tiave 

your name and address. You MUST send In this SHADED AREAS MUST 

BE FILLED IN BY SELLER 



card to be on our recall list. 



Do it today. 


TIRE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS 




QTY 


l|2 3|4|5 6|7|8|9|lo|ll 








CUSTOMERS NAME (Please Prml) 






CUSTOMERS ADDRESS 






CITY STATE ZIP CODE 






NAME OF DEALER WHICH SOLD TIRE 






DEALER'S ADDRESS 







A Preprinted tire manufactturer's name— unless the manufacturer's name appears on 

reverse side of the form. 

FIGURE 3a-REGISTRATI0N FORM FOR INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTORS AND DEALERS- 
TIRE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER SIDE 



Affix a 

postcard 

stamp 



Name and address of 
tire manufacturer or 
its designee 

(Preprinted) 



FIGURE 3b-REGISTRATI0N FORM FOR INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTORS AND DEALERS-ADDRESS SIDE 

(Re». 2/8/84) PART 574-5 



7 3/8" ± 1/8" 



/ IMPORTANT FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES 

/ TIRE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS MUST 

BE REGISTERED 

(PLEASE PRINT) 


RETU 


HN TO 












(D 


CUSTOMERS NAME 












1 


ADDRESS 


QTY 


TIRE IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS 1 




1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 


7 


8 


9 


10 


11 


1 1 1 M 1 


CITY STATE 


ZIP 
(OPTIONALI 


























'^'^'^^ 1 1 1 1 FLEET VEHICLE No 




























SELLERS NAME AND/OR MANUFACTURER SELLER 


NUMBER 


















































ADDRESS 


MINI 
























J 


V^CITY STATE 


ZIP 



® 



PREPRINTED TIRE MANUFACTURERS- 
LOGO OR OTHER IDENTIFICATION 
AND MAILING ADDRESS 



@ MICROFILM NUMBER 

LOCATION IF NECESSARY 



A-B AREAS TO SUIT TIRE 

MANUFACTURERS 

REQUIREMENTS 



FIGURE 4a— UNIVERSAL FORMAT 



(b) Each tire manufacturer shall record and main- 
tain, or have recorded and maintained for it by a desig- 
nee, the information from registration forms which are 
submitted to its or its designee. No tire manufacturer 
shall use the information on the registration forms for 
any commercial purpose detrimental to tire distribu- 
tors and dealers. Any tire manufacturer to which regis- 
tration forms are mistakenly sent shall forward those 
registration forms to the proper tire manufacturer 
within 90 days of the receipt of the forms. 

(c) Each tire manufacturer shall maintain, or have 
maintained for it by a designee, a record of each tire 
distributor and dealer that purchases tires directly 
from the manufacturer and sells them to tire pur- 
chasers, the number of tires purchased by each such 
distributor or dealer, the number of tires for which 
reports have been received from each such distributor 
or dealer other than an independent distributor or 
dealer, the number of tires for which reports have been 
received from each such independent distributor or 
dealer, the total number of tires for which registration 
forms have been submitted to the manufacturer of its 
designee, and the total number of tires sold by the 
manufacturer. 

(d) The information that is specified in paragraph 
(aX4) of this section and recorded on registration forms 
submitted to a tire manufacturer or its designee shall 
be maintained for a period of not less than three years 
from the date on which the information is recorded by 
the manufacturer or its designee. 



S574.8 Information requirements— tire distributors 
and dealers. 

(a) Independent distributors and dealers. (1) Each 
independent distributor and each independent dealer 
selling or leasing new tire to tire purchasers or lessors 
(hereinafter referred to in this section as "tire pur- 
chasers") shall provide each tire purchaser at the time 
of sale or lease of the tire(s) with a tire registration 
form. 

(2) The distributor or dealer may use either the 
registration forms provided by the tire manufac- 
turers pursuant to §574. 7(a) for forms provided by 
tire manufacturers to independent distributors and 
dealers. 

(3) Before giving the registration form to the tire 
purchaser, the distributor or dealer shall record in 
the appropriate spaces provided on that form: 

(i) The entire tire identification number of the 
tire(s) sold or leased to the tire purchaser; and 

(ii) The distributor's or dealer's name and ad- 
dress or other means of identification known to the 
tire manufacturer. 

(4) Multiple tire purchases or leases by the same 
tire purchaser may be recorded on a single registra- 
tion form. 

(b) Other distributors and dealers. (1) Each distri- 
butor and each dealer, other than an independent dis- 
tributor or dealer, selling new tires to tire purchasers 



(Rev. 3/25/84) 



PART 574-6 



shall submit the information specified in §574. 7(a) (4) 
to the manufacturer of the tires sold, or to its designee. 

(2) Each tire distributor and each dealer, shall sub- 
mit registration forms containing the information 
specified in §574.7(aX4) to the tire manufacturer, or 
person maintaining the information, not less often 
than every 30 days. However, a distributor or dealer 
which sells less than 40 tires, of all makes, types and 
sizes during a 30-day period may wait until he or she 
sells a total of 40 new tires, but in not event longer 
than six months, before forwarding the tire informa- 
tion to the respective tire manufacturers or their 
designees. 

(c) Each distributor and each dealer selling new tires 
to other tire distributors or dealers shall supply to the 
distributor or dealer a means to record the informa- 
tion specified in §574.7(aX4), less such a means has been 
provided to that distributor or dealer by another per- 
son or by a manufacturer. 

(d) Each distributor and each dealer shall imediately 
stop selling any group of tires when so directed by a 
notification issued pursuant to sections 151 and 152 of 
the Act (15 U.S.C. 1411 and 1412). 

S574.9 Requirements for motor vehicle dealers. 

(a) Each motor vehicle dealer who sells a used motor 
vehicle for purposes other than resale, or who leases 
a motor vehicle for more than 60 days, that is equipped 
with new tires or newly retreaded tires is considered, 
for purposes of this part, to be a tire dealer and shall 
meet the requirements specified in §574.8. 

(b) Each person selling a new motor vehicle to first 
purchasers for purposes other than resale, that is 
equipped with tires that were not on the motor vehi- 
cle when shipped by the vehicle manufacturer is con- 
sidered a tire dealer for piuposes of this and shall meet 
the requirements specified in §574.8. 



S574.10 Requirements for motor vehicle 
manufacturers. 

Each motor vehicle manufacturer, or his designee, 
shall maintain a record of tires on or in each vehicle 
shipped by him to a motor vehicle distributor or dealer, 
and shall maintain a record of the name and address 
of the first purchaser for purposes other than resale 
of each vehicle equipped with such tires. These records 
shall be maintained for a period of not less than three 
years from the date of sale of the vehicle to the first 
purchaser for purposes other than resale. 

Interpretation 

Under section 113(f) of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1402(f) and Part 
574, it is the tire manufacturer who has the ultimate 
responsibility for maintaining the records of first pur- 
chasers. Therefore, it is the tire manufacturer or his 
designee who must maintain these records. The term 
"designee," as used in the regulation, was not intended 
to preclude multiple designees; if the tire manufacturer 
desires, he may designate more than one person to 
maintain the required information. Furthermore, 
neither the Act nor the regulation prohibits the distri- 
butor or dealer from being the manufacturer's desig- 
nee, nor do they prohibit a distributor or dealer from 
selecting someone to be the manufacturer's designee 
provided the manufacturer approves of the selection. 

Whe respect to the possibility of manufacturers using 
the maintained information to the detriment of a dis- 
tributor or dealer, NHTSA will of course investigate 
claims by distributors or dealers of alleged misconduct 
and, if the maintained information is being misused, 
take appropriate action. 

36 F.R. 4783 
March 12, 1971 

36 F.R. 13757 
July 24, 1971 

36 F.R. 16510 
August 21, 1971 



PART 574-7 



Table 1. List of Alpha-Numeric Code Assignments to New Tire Manufacturers 
(Based on the following Alpha-numeric code with letters: ABCDEFHJKLMNPTUVWXY 

and Nos. 123456789) 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

AA The General Tire Co. 

AB ... The General Tire Co. 
AC The General Tire Co. 

AD The General Tire Co. 

AE The General Tire Co. (Spain). 

AF _. The General Tire Co. (Portugal). 

AH The General Tire Co. (Mexico). 

AJ Uniroyal, Inc. 

AK Uniroyal, Inc. 

AL Uniroyal, Inc. 

AM Uniroyal, Inc. 

AN Uniroyal, Inc. 

AP Uniroyal, Inc. 

AT Avon Rubber Co. (England). 

AU Uniroyal, Ltd. (Canada). 

AV The Sieberling Tire & Rubber Co. 

AW Samson Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. (Israel). 

AX Phoenix Gummiwerke A.G. (Germany). 

AY Phoenix Gummiwerke A.G. (Germany). 

Al Manufacture Francaise Pneumatiques Michelin, 

Poitiers, France. 
A2 Lee Tire & Rubber Co., Anhanguera Highway, 

Kilometer 128, Sao Paulo, Brasil. 
A3 General Tire & Rubber Co., Mount Vernon, 

Illinois 62864. 
A4 Hung-A Industrial Co., Ltd., 42 JyonPo-Dong 

Pusanjin-Ku, Pusan, Korea. 
A5 Debickie Zaklady Opon Samochodowych "Stomil," 

Al.l Maja 1, 39-200 Debica, Poland. 
A6 Apollo Tires Ltd., Jos. Anne M.C.Road, Cochin 

682016, Kerala, India. 
A7 Thai Bridgestone Tire Co. Ltd., Tambol Klong-1, 

Amphur Klong Luang. Changwad Patoom, 

Thani, Thailand. 
A8 P.T. Bridgestone Tire Co. Ltd., Desa Harapan 

Jaya-Bekasi, Km27-Jawa Barat, Indonesia. 
A9 (^neral Tire & Rubber Co., 927 S. Union, St.. 

Bryan, Ohio 44350. 

BA The B. F. Goodrich Co. 

BB The B. F. Goodrich Co. 

BC The B. F. Goodrich Co. 

BD The B. F. Goodrich Co. 

BE The B. F. Goodrich Co. 

BF The B. F. Goodrich Co. 

BH The B. F. Goodrich Co. (Canada). 

BJ The B. F. Goodrich Co. (Germany). 

BK The B. F. Goodrich Co. (BrazU). " 

BL The B. F. Goodrich Co. (Colombia). 

BM The B. F. Goodrich Co. (Australia). 

BN The B. F. Goodrich Co. (PhUipines). 

BP The B. F. Goodrich Co. Gran). 

BT Semperit Gummiwerke A.G. (Austria). 

BU Semperit Gummiwerke A.G. (Ireland). 

BV IRI International Rubber Co. 

BW The Gates Rubber Co. 

BX The Gates Rubber Co. 

BY The Gates Rubber Co. 

Bl Manufacture Francaise Pneumatiques Michelin, 

LaRoche Sur Yon, France. 
B2 Dunlop Malaysian Industries Berhad, Selangor, 

Malaysia. 
B3 Michelin Tire Mfg. Co. of Canada Ltd., Bridge- 
water, Nova Scotia. 
B4 Taurus Hungarian Rubber Works. 1965 Budapest, 

Kerepesi UT17, Hungary. 
B5 Olsztynskie Zaklady Opon Samochodowych 

"STOMIL," Al.Zwyciestwa 71, Olsztyn, Poland. 
B6 MicheUn Tire Corp., P.O. Box 5049, Spartanburg, 

S. Carolina 29304. 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

B7 Michelin Tire Corp., 2306 Industrial Road, 

Dothan, Alabama 36301. 
B8 Cia Brasiliera de Pneumaticos Michelin Ind., 

Estrada Da Cachamorra 5000, 23000 Campo 

Grande, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 
B9 Michelin Tire Corp., 2520 Two Notch Road, P.O. 

Box 579, Lexington, S. Carolina 29072. 
CA.... The Mohawk Rubber Co. 

CB The Mohawk Rubber Co. 

CC The Mohawk Rubber Co. 

CD Alliance Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. (Israel). 

CE The Armstrong Rubber Co. 

CF The Armstrong Rubber Co. 

CH The Armstrong Rubber Co. 

CJ Inoue Rubber Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

CK Not assigned. 

CL Not assigned. 

CM Continental Gummiwerke A.G. (Germany). 

CN Continental Gummiwerke A.G. (France). 

CP Continental Gummiwerke A.G. (Germany). 

CT Continental Gummiwerke A.G. (Germany). 

CU Continental Gummiwerke A.G. (Germany). 

CV The Armstrong Rubber Co. 

CW The Toyo Rubber Industry Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

CX The Toyo Rubber Industry Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

CY McCreary Tire & Rubber Co. 

CI Michelin (Nigeria) Ltd., Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 

C2 Kelly Sprinpield Companhia Goodyear Do Brasil, 

Km-128 Americana, Sao Paulo, Brazil. 
C3 McCreary Tire & Rubber Co., 3901 Clipper Road, 

Baltimore, Maryland 21211. 
C4 Armstrong Rubber Co., Eagle Bend Industrial 

Park, Cfinton, Tennessee. 
C5 Poznanskie Zaklady Opon Samochodowych 

"STOMIL," ul. Starolecka 18, Poznan, Poland. 
C6 Mitas NP Praha 10-Zahradni Mesto, Komarovova 

1900, Praque, Czechoslovakia. 
C7 Ironsides Tire & Rubber Co., 2500 Grassland 

Drive, Louisville, Ky 40299. 
C8 Bridgestone Hsin Chu Plant, Chung Yi Rubber In- 
dustrial Co. Ltd., No. 1 Chuang Ching Road, 

Taiwan. 
IC9 Seven Star Rubber Company, Ltd, 2-1 Chang- 

Swei Road, Pin-Tou Hsiang, Chang-Hua, 

Taiwan, R.O.C.J 

DA The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. 

DB The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. 

DC The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (Canada). 

DD The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (England). 

DE The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (England). 

DF The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (England). 

DH The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (Scotland). 

DJ The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. Greland). 

DK The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (France). 

DL The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (France). 

DM The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (Germany). 

DN The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (Germany). 

DP The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (England). 

DT The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (Austraha). 

DU The Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. (Australia). 

DV Vredestein (The Netherlands). 

DW Vredestein (The Netherlands). 

DX Vredestein Radium (The Netherlands). 

DY Denman Rubber Manufacturing Co. 

Dl Viking-Askim-1800 Askim, Norway. 

D2 Dayton Tire & Rubber CO., P.O. Box 1000, 

La Vergne, Tennessee 37086. 
D3 United Tire & Rubber Co., Northam Ind. Park 

Cobourg, Ontario, Canada K9A 4K2. 



(Rev. 1/16/85) 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-1 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

D4 Dunlop India Ltd., P.O. Box Sahaganj, Dist. 

Hooghly, West Bengal, India. 

D5 Dunlop India Ltd., "Ambattur, Madrafr600053, India. 

D6 Borovo, Ygoslavenski Kombinat Gume i Obose, 

Borovo, Yugoslavia. 
D7 Dunlop South Africa Ltd., Ladvsmith plant 151, 

Helpmekaar Road, Danskraal Ind. sites, Rep. of 

D8 Dunlop South Africa Ltd., Durban Plant 265, 

Sydney Road, 4001 Durban, Rep. of S. Africa. 

09 United Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., 275 Belfield 

Road, Rexdale, Ontario, Canada, M9 W 5C6. 

EA Metzeler A.G. (Germany). 

EB Metzeler A.G. (Germany). 

EC Metzeler A.G. (Germany). 

ED Okamoto Riken Gomu Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EE Nitto Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EF Hung Ah Tire Co., Ltd. (Korea). 

EH Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EJ Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EK Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EL Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EM Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EN Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

EP Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

ET Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (Japan). 

EU Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. (Japan). 

EV KJeber-Colombes Co. (France). 

EW Kleber-Colombes Co. (France). 

EX Kleber-Colombes Co. (France). 

EY Kleber-Colombes (]o. (France). 

El Chung Hsin Industrial Co. Ltd., Taichong Hsin, 

Taiwan. 
E2 Industria de Pneumatico Firestone SA, Sao Paulo, 

Brazil. 
E3 Seiberling Tire & Rubber Co., P.O. Box 1000, 

La Vergne, Tennessee 37086. 
E4 Firestone of New Zealand, Papanuvi, Christ 

Church 5, New Zealand. 
E5 Firestone South Africa (Pty) Ltd., P.O. Box 992, 

Port Elizabeth 6000, S. Africa. 
E6 Firestone Tunisie SA. Boite Postale 55, Menzel- 

Bourguiba, Tunisia. 
E7 Firestone East Africa Ltd., P.O. Box 30429, 

Nairobi, Kenya. 
E8 Firestone Ghana Ltd., P.O. Box 5758, Accra, 

Ghana. 
E9 Firestone South Africa (Pty), P.O. Box 496, Brits 

0250, South Africa. 

FA The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

FB The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

FC The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

FD The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

FE The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

FF Michelin Tire Corp. (F" ranee). 

FH Michelin Tire Corp. (France). 

FJ Michelin Tire Corp. (France). 

FK Michelin Tire Corp. (France). 

FL Michelin Tire Corp. (France). 

FM Michelin Tire Corp. (France). 

FN Michelin Tire Corp. (France). 

FF Michelin Tire Corp. (Algeria). 

FT Michelin Tire Corp. ((Jermany). 

FU Michelin Tire Corp. (Germany). 

FV Michelin Tire Corp. (Germany). 

FW Michelin Tire Corp. (Germany). 

FX Michelin Tire Corp. (Belgium). 

FY Michelin Tire Corp. (The Netherlands). 

Fl Michelin Tyre Co. Ltd., Baldovie Dundee, Scotland. 

F2 CA Firestone Venezolana, Valencia, Venezuela. 

F3 Manufacture Francaise Des Pneumatic Michelin, 

Roanne, France. 

F4 Fabrica De Pneus Fapobol, Sari Rua Azevedo 

Coutinho 39-1.0, Oporto, Portugal. 



Code No. Neu' Tire Manufacturers 

F5 Fate S.A.I.C.I., Avda Alte Blanco Encalada 3003, 

Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

F6 General Fabrica Espanola (Firestone Owned) 

Torrelavega Plant, Spain. 

F7 General Fabrica Espanola (Firestone Owned) 

Puente San Miguel Plant, Spain. 

F8 Vikrant Tyres Ltd., K.R.S. Road, Mysore 

(Karnataka State) India. 

IF9 Dunlop New Zealand. Limited, P.O. Box 40343, 

Upper Hutt, New Zealand! 

HA Michelin Tire Corp. (Spain). 

HB _ _ Michelin Tire Corp. (Spain). 
HC Michelin Tire Corp. (Spain). 

HD . Michelin Tire Corp. (Italy). 

HE Michelin Tire Corp. (Italy). 

HF„ _ Michelin Tire Corp. (Italy). 

HH Michelin Tire Corp. (Italy). 

HJ Michelin Tire Corp. (United Kingdom). 

HK Michelin Tire Corp. (United Kingdom). 

HL Michelin Tire Corp. (United Kingdom). 

HM Michelin Tire Corp. (United Kingdom). 

HN Michelin Tire Corp. (Canada). 

HP Michelin Tire Corp. (South Vietnam). 

HT CEAT (Italy). 

HU CEAT (Italy). 

HV CEAT (Italy). 

HW_. _ Withdrawn. 

HX The Dayton Tire & Rubber Co. 

HY The Dayton Tire & Rubber Co. 

HI De La SAFE Neumaticos Michelin, Valladolid, 

Spain. 

H2 SamYang Tire Mfg. Co. Ltd., Song Jung Pit., 

Junnam, Korea. 
H3 Sava Industrija Gumijevih, 64,000 Kranj, Yugo- 
slavia. 

H4 Bridgestone-Houfu, Yamaguchi-ken, Japan. 

H5 Hutchinson-Mapa, 45120 Chalette Sur Loing, 

France. 

H6 Shin Hung Rubber Co. Ltd., 156 Sang Pyong-Dong 

Junju, Kyung Nam, Korea. 

H7 Li Hsin Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., 42 Yuan Lu 

Road, Sec. 1, Taiwan, China. 

H8 Firestone, 2600 South Council Road, Oklahoma 

City, OK. 73124. 

|H9 Reifen-Berg, 5000 Koln 80 (Mulheim), Clevischer 

Ring 134, West Germany! 

JA The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JB The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JC The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JD The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JE The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JF The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JH The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JJ The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JK The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JL The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JM The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JN The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JP The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JT The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. 

JU The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

JV The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

JW The Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

JX Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

JY Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Argentina). 

Jl Phillips Petroleum Co., Bartlesville, OK 74004. 

J2 Bridgestone Singapore Co. Ltd., 2 Jurong Port 

Road, Jurong Town, Singapore 22, Singapore. 

J3 Gumarne Maja. Puchov, Czechoslovakia. 

J4 Rubena N.P., Nachod, CzechosU)vakia. 

J5 Lee Tire & Rubber Co., State Rt. 33, Box 799, 

Logan, Ohio 43138. 

J6 Jaroslavl Tire Co., Jaroslavl, USSR. 

J7 R&J Mfg. Corp., 1420 Stanley Dr., Plymouth, 

Indiana 465b3. 



(Rev. 1/16/B5) 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-2 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

J8 DaChung Hua Rubber Ind. Co., Shanghai Tire 

Plant, 839 Hanyshan Rd., Shanghai, China. 
IJ9 P.T. Intirub, 454 Cililitan, P.O. Box 2626, Besar, 

Jakarta, Indonesia] 
KA _ Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Australia). 

KB Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Australia). 

KG Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Brazil). 

KD Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Colombia). 

KE Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Republic of Congo). 

KF Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (France). 

KH Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Germany). 

KJ Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Germany). 

KK Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Greece). 

KL Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Guatemala). 

KM Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Luxembourg). 

KN Lee Tire & Rubber Co. Gndia). 

KP Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Indonesia). 

KT Lee Tire & Rubber Co. ataly). 

KU Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Jamaica). 

KV Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Mexico). 

KW Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Peru). 

KX Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Philippines). 

KY Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Scotland). 

Kl Phillips Petroleum Co., 1501 Commerce Drive, 

Stow, Ohio 44224. 

K2 Lee Tire & Rubber Co., Madisonville, KY 42431. 

K3 Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd., Yuanlin, Taiwan. 

K4 Uniroyal S.A., Queretaro, Qte. Mexico. 

K5 VEB Reifenkombinat Furstenwalde, GDR-124 

Furstenwalde-Sud, Trankeweg Germany. 
K6 Lee Tire & Rubber Co., One Goodyear Blvd., 

Lawton, Oklahoma. 
K7 Lee Tire & Rubber Co., Camino Melipilla KM16, 

Maipu Box 3607, Santiago, Chile. 
KB Kelly Springfield Tire Co., Peti Sural 49, Shah, 

Alam, Sehngor, Malaysia. 
|K9 Natier Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd., 557 Shan Chiao 

Road, See. 1, Shetou, Changhua, Taiwan, R.O.C. 

5111 

LA Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (South Africa). 

LB Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Sweden). 

LC Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Thailand). 

LD Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Turkey.) 

LE Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Venezuela.) 

LF Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (England). 

LH Uniroyal, Inc. (Australia). 

LJ Uniroyal, Inc. (Belgium). 

LK Uniroyal, Inc. (Columbia). 

LL Uniroyal, Inc. (France). 

LM Uniroyal, Inc. (Germany). 

LN Uniroyal, Inc. (Mexico). 

LP Uniroyal, Inc. (Scotland). 

LT Uniroyal, Inc. (Turkey). 

LU Uniroyal, Inc. (Venezuela). 

LV Mansfield-Denman-General Co., Ltd. 

(Canada). 

LW Trelleborg Rubber Co., Inc. (Sweden). 

LX Mitsuboshi Belting, Ltd. (Japan). 

LY Mitsuboshi Belting, Ltd. (Japan). 

LI Goodyear Taiwan Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan, Rep. of 

China. 
L2 Wuon Poong Industrial Co., Ltd., 112-5 Sokong- 

Dong, Chung-Ku, Seoul, Korea. 
L3 Tong Shin Chemical Products Co., Ltd., Seoul, 

Korea. 
L4 Cipcmp Intreprinderea De Anvelope, Danubiana, 

Romania. 
L5 Lassa Lsistik Sanayi VeTicaret, A.S. Fabnkas, 

Kosekoy, P.K. 250 Izmit, Turkey. 
L6 Modi Rubber Limited, Modipumam Plant, Meerut 

UP250110, India. 
L7 Cipcmp Intreprinderea De Anvelope, Zaiau, 

Romania. 
L8 Dunlop Zimbabwe Ltd., Donnington, Bulawayo, 

Zimbabwe. 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

MA The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MB The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MC The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MD The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

ME The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MF The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MH The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MJ The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MK The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

ML The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MM The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MN The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MP The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MX The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

MU The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Argentina) 

MV The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., (Australia) 

MW The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Australia). 

MX The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Brazil). 

MY The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Colombia). 

Ml Goodyear Maroc S.A. Casablanca, Morocco. 

M2 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Madisonville, KY 42431. 

M3 Michelin Tire Corp., 730 S. Pleasantburg Drive, 

Greenville, S. Carolina 29602. 

M4 Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co., Logan, Ohio 43138. 

M5 Michelin Tire Mfg. Co. of Canada Ltd., P.O. Box 

5000, Kentville, Nova Scotia B4NV36. 
M6 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., One Goodyear Blvd., 

Lawton, OK 73504. 
M7 Goodyear DeChile S.A.I.C, Camino Melipilla 

K.M.16 Maipu, P.O. Box 3607, Santii^o, Chile. 
IM8 Premier Tyres Limited, Kalamassery, I^rala 

State, India] 
IM9 Uniroyal Tire Corporation, Uniroyal Research 

Center, Middlebury, CT 06749] 
NA The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Republic 

of Congo). 

NB The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (England). 

NC The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (France). 

NO The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Germany). 

NE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Germany). 

NF The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Greece). 

NH.... The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 
NJ The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Luxem- 
bourg). 

NK The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (India.) 

NL The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Indonesia). 

NM ,. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. ataly). 

NN The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Jamaica). 

NP The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Mexico). 

NT The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Peru). 

NU The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (Philippines). 

NV The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Scotland). 

NW The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (South 

Africa). 

NX The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Sweden). 

NY The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Thailand). 

Nl Maloja AG Pneu Und Gummiwerke, Ormalinger- 

strasse Gelterkinden, Switzerland, CH 4460. 
N2 Hurtubise Nutread, 525 Vickers Street, Tona- 

wanda, N.Y. 14150. 
N3 Ryoto Tire Co., Ltd., Kuwana Plant, 2400 Arano 

Nakagami, Tohin-Cho Inabe-Gun, Mie-ken, Japan. 
N4 Cipcmp Intreprinderea De Anvelope, Victoria, 

Romania. 
N5 Pneumant, VEB Reifenwerk Riesa, Paul-Greifzu- 

Strasse 20, 84 Riesa, Germany. 
N6 Pneumant VEB Reifenwerk Heidenau Haudtstrass. 

44 GDR, 8312 Heidenau, Germany, 
N7 Cipcmp Intrepinderea De Anvelope, Caracal, 

Romania. 
N8 Lee Tire & Rubber Co. (Goodyear, Malaysia Ber- 

had), Peti Surat 49, Shah Alam, Selengor, 

Malaysia. 



(Rev. 1M6/85) 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-3 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

IN9 Cia Pneus Tropical, Kml05/BR, 324, Centre In- 
dustrial Desubae 44100, Feira de Santana, 
Bahia, Brazill 
PA _ The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Turkey). 

PB . The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Venezuela). 

PC _ _ The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

PD The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

PE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

PF _ The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

PH The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PJ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PK . . The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PL _ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PM . The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PN The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PP The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PT _ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PU _ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PV . The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PW The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PX The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PY The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

PI Gislaved Gummi Fabriken, 33200 Gislaved, Sweden. 

P2 Kelly Springfield, Madisonville, Ky. 42431. 

P3 Skepplanda Gummi AB, 440-40 Alvangen, Sweden. 

P4 Kelly Springfield, Route 33, Logan, Ohio 43138. 

P5 General Popo S.A., Central Camionera, Zona In- 
dustrial, San Luis Potosi S.L.P., Mexico. 
P6 Kelly Springfield Tire Co., One Goodyear Blvd., 

Lawton, OK 73504. 
P7 _ Kelly Springfield, Camino Melipilla K.M.16, Maipu, 

P.O. Box 3607, Santiago, Chile. 
P8 China National Chemicals Import & Export Corp., 

Shandong Branch, Quingdao 97 Cangtai Rd., 

China. 
IP9 MRF, Ltd., P.B. No. 1 Ponda, Goa 403401, India] 

TA The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. 

TB The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Argentina). 

TC The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Australia). 

TD._ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Australia). 

TE The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (BrazU). 

TF _ . The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Colombia). 

TH The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Republic of 

Congo). 

TJ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (England). 

TK ___ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (France). 
TL _ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Germany). 
TM The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Germany). 

TN __ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Greece). 
TP The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Guatemala). 

TT _ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Luxembourg). 

TU ... The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (India). 
TV The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Indonesia). 

TW The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Italy). 

TX .. The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Jamaica). 
TY The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Mexico). 

Tl Hankook Tire Mfg. Co., Ltd., Seoul, Korea. 

T2 Ozos (Uniroyal) A.G., Olsztyn, Poland. 

T3 Debickie Zattldy Opon Samochodowych, Stomil, 

Debica, Poland (Uniroyal). 
T4 . . _ S.A. Carideng (Rubber Factory), Jan Rosierlaan 

114, B 3760 Lanaken, Belgium. 
T5 _ Tigar Pirot, 18300 Pirot, Yugoslavia. 
T6 Hulera Tomel S.A., Sta. Lucia 198 Fracc. Ind. 

San Antonio, Mexico, 16, D.F. 
T7 Hankook Tire Mfg. Co. Inc., Daejun Plant, 658-1 

Sukbong-RI, Daeduk-kun, Choongchung Namdo, 

Korea. 
T8 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Malaysia 

Berhad, Peti Surat 49, Shah Alam, Selangor, 

Malaysia. 
IT9 MRF, Ltd., Thiruthani Road, Ichiputhur 631 060, 

Arkonam, India| 

UA The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Peru). 

UB The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Philippines). 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

UC __. The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Scotland). 

UD The Kelly-Spnngfield Tire Co. (South Africa). 

UE _ The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Sweden). 

UF The Kelly-Sprin^ield Tire Co. (Thailand). 

UH . .. The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Turkey). 

UJ . .. The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Venezuela). 

UK _. . The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Canada). 

UL The Kellv-Springfield Tire Co. (Canada). 

UM The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Canada). 

UN The Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. (Canada). 

UP Copper Tire & Rubber Co. 

UT Copper Tire & Rubber Co. 

UU Carlisle Tire & Rubber Division of Carlisle 

Corp. 

UV Kyowa Rubber Industry Co., Ltd. (Japan). 

UW Not assigned. 

UX Not assigned. 

UY Not assigned. 

Ul Lien Shin Tire Co. Ltd., 20 Chung Shan Road, 

Taipei, Taiwan. 
U2 Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Shirakawa City, 

Fukoshima Pref. Japan (Dunlop). 

U3 Miloje Zakic, 3700 Krusevac, Yugoslavia. 

U4 _ Geo. Byers Sons, Inc., 46 East Town Street, Co- 
lumbus, Ohio 43215. 
U5 Farbentabriken Bayer GMBH, D 5090 Leverkusen, 

West Germany. 
U6 Pneumant-VEB Reifenwerk Dresden, GDR-8040 

Dresden, Mannheimer Strasse Germany. 
U7 Pneumant-VEB Reifenwerk Neubrandenburg 

GDR-20 Neubrandenberg, Germany. 
U8 Hsin Fung Factory of Nankang Rubber Corp. 

Ltd., 399 Hsin Shing Road, Yuan San, Taiwan. 
|U9 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 1689 South 

Green Street, Tupelo, MS 388011 

VA The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VB The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VC The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VD The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VE The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VF The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VH The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VJ _ The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VK The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

VL . The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

VM The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

VN The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Canada). 

VP .. . The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Italy). 
VT ._ _ The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Spain). 
VU Withdrawn. 

VV The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Sweden). 

VW __ The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Japan). 
VX The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (England). 

VY The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Wales). 

VI . _ Livingston Tire Shop, North Main Street, Hubbard. 

Ohio 44425. 
V2 Volzhskv Tire Plant, Volzhsk 404103, USSR. 

V3 Tahsin Rubber Tire Co. Ltd., Tuchen Village 

Taipei, Hsieng, Taiwan. 
V4 Ohtsu Tire & Rubber Co., Miyakonojo City, Miya- 

zaki Pref., Japan (Firestone). 

V5 Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., Mexico City, Mexico. 

V6 Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., Cuernavaca, Mexico. 

V7 Voronezhsky Tire Plant, Voronezh 494034 USSR. 

V8 Boras Gummi Fabrik A.B. Dockvagenl, S502 38 

Boras, Sweden (Mac Ripper Tire and Rubber 

Company). 
IV9 M & R Tire Co., 309 Main Street, Watertown, MA 

021721 
WA The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (France). 

WB The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Costa Rica). 

WC The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Australia). 

WD The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. 

(Switzerland). 



(Rev. 1/16/8S) 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-4 



Cod£ No. New Tire Manufacturers 

WE _ Withdrawn. 

WF The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Spain). 

WH The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Sweden). 

WJ The Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. (Australia). 

WK Pennsylvania Tire & Rubber Company 

of Aifississippi. 

WL . The Mansfield Tire & Rubber Co. 

WM Olympic Tire & Rubber Co. Pty., Ltd. 

WN Olympic Tire & Rubber Co Pty., Ltd. 

(Australia). 
WP _ Schenuit Industries, Inc. 

WT Madras Rubber Factory, Ltd. (India). 

WU Not Assigned. 

WV Not Assigned. 

WW Not Assigned. 

WX Not Assigned. 

WY Not Assigned. 

Wl _ Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., P.O. Box 1000, La 

Vergne, Tennessee 37086. 
W2 _ Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., Wilson, N. Carolina 

27893. 
W3 Vredestein Doetinchem B.V., Doetinchem, The 

Netherlands (B.F. Goodrich). 

W4 Dunlop Tyres, Somerton, Victoria, Australia. 

W5 Firestone Argentina SAIC, Antartida, Argentina, 

2715 Llayollol, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
W6 Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., P.O. Box 1355, 

Commerce Center, Makati, Risal, Philippines. 
W7 Firestone Portuguesa S.A.R.L., Apartado 3, Aico- 

chete, Portugd. 
W8 Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., P.O. Box Pra- 

kanong 11/118, Bangkok, Thailand. 
W9 Industrie De Pneumaticos Firestone S.A., Caixa 

Postal 2505, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. 

XA Pirelli Tire Corp. (Italy). 

XB Pirelli Tire Corp. (Italy). 

XC Pirelli Tire Corp. (Italy). 

XD Pirelli Tire Corp. (Italy). 

XE Pirelli Tire Corp. (Italy). 



Code No. New Tire Manufacturers 

XF Pirelli Tire Corp. (Spain). 

XH Pirelli Tire Corp. (Greece). 

XJ Pirelli Tire Corp. (Turkey). 

XK _ Pirelli Tire Corp. (Brazil). 

XL Pirelli Tire Corp. (Brazil). 

XM Pirelli Tire Corp. (Argentina). 

XN Pirelli Tire Corp. (England). 

XP _ Pirelli Tire Corp. (England). 

XT Veith-Pirelli A.G. (Germany). 

XI Tong Shin Chemical Products, Co. Inc., Seoul, 

Korea. 
X2 Hwa Fong Rubber Ind. Co. Ltd., 45 Futsen Road, 

Yuanlin, Taiwan. 
X3 Belotserkoysky Tire Plant, Belaya Tserkoy, 

256414, U.S.S.R. 

X4 Pars Tyre Co., (Pirelli), Saveh, Iran. 

X5 JK Industries Ltd., Kankroli, Udaipur District, 

Rajasthan, India. 

X6 Bobruysky Tire Plant, Bobruysk 213824 U.S.S.R. 

X7 Chimkentsky Tire Plant, Chimkent 486025 U.S.SJl. 

X8 Dnepropetroysky Tire Plant, Dnepropetroysk 

320033 U.S.S.R. 

X9 Moscovsky Tire Plant, Moscow 109088 U.S.S.R. 

XO Nizhnekamsky Tire Plant, Nishnekamsk 423510 

U.S.S.R. 
Yl Companhia Goodyear DoBrasil, KM-128 Ameri- 
cana, Sao Paulo, Brasil. 

Y2 Dayton Tire Co., WUson, N. Carolina 27893. 

Y3 Seiberiing Tire & Rubber Co., Wilson, N. Carolina 

27893. 
Y4 Dayton Tire & Rubber Co., 345-15th St. S.W., 

Barberton, Ohio (Firestone). 
Y5 Tsentai Rubber Factory, 27 Chung Shan Rd., E.I. 

Shanghai, China. 
Y6 I.T. International Sdn. Bhd., P.O. Box 100 Alor 

Setar Kedah, Malaysia. 
Y7 Bridgestone Tire Co., (U.S.A.) Ltd., 1-24 Waldron 

Dr., La Vergne, Tenn. 
IY8 Bombay Tyres International Limited, Hay Bunder 

Road, Bombay, Maharashtra, India 400 0331 



(Rev. 1/16/85) 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-5 



Miscellaneous New Tire Manufacturers Transactions 
As Reported to NHTSA 



Manufacturer 
Armstrong Rubber Company 
Bridgestone Tire Company 
Ceat, S.p.a. 
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company 

Dayton Tire & Rubber Company 

Dunlop Olympic Tyres 

Dunlop Tire & Rubber Corp. 
ditto 
ditto 

Firestone Tire & Rubber 
ditto 

General Tire & Rubber Company 

B.F. Goodrich Company 

ditto 
ditto 
ditto 
ditto 

Nitto Tire Company, Ltd. 

Olympic Tire & Rubber Co., Pty., Ltd. 
ditto 

Pennsylvania Tire & Rubber of Mississippi 

Pirelli Tire Corporation 

Ryoto Tire Company 

SAMYAND Tire, Inc. 
UNIROYAL, Inc. 

Viskafors Gummifabrik AB 



Code 
CE 
LH 
HU 
U9 

DC 

DT, DU, WM, W4 

DF, DH, DJ, DP, WN 

DT, DU, WM, W4 

DC 

DC 

W 

LV 

BJ 
BK 
BM 
BN 
BP 

N3 

WM, W4 

WN 

WK 
HU 
N3 

xu 

LH 

W 



Remark 
Plant closed 4/3/81 

Purchased from UNIROYAL as of 6/13/82 
Sold to Pirelli Tire Corp. in May 1984 

Purchased from Pennsylvania Tire & Rubber on 

1/24/84 

Purchased from Dunlop on 11/1/75 

Merger of Dunlop and Olympic on 4/29/81 

Plants closed 

Plants sold to Dunlop Olympic on 4/29/81 

Plant sold to Firestone T&R on 11/1/75 

Purchased from Dunlop T&R on 11/1/75 

Plant sold to Viskafors Gummifabrik in April 1980 

Purchased from Mansfield-Denman on 1 1/30/78 

Plant sold 12/79 

Plant sold 1/80 

Plant sold to Olympic in 7/75 

Plant sold 8/81 

Plant sold 5/78 

Plant sold to Ryoto Tire Co., Ltd. on 1/23/80 

Sold to Dunlop Olympic on 4/29/81 
Plant closed in 1978 

Plant sold to Cooper T&R on 1/24/84 

Plant purchased from Ceat, S.p.a. in May 1984 

Plant purchased from Nitto Tire Company on 
1/23/80 

Plant closed in 1976 

Plant sold to Bridgestone Tire Company on 
6/13/82 

Plant purchased from Firestone T&R in April 
1980 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-6 



TABLE 3. TIRE SIZE CODES 



Tire Size Tire Size 

Code Designation ' 

AA 4.00-4 

AB 3.50-4 

AC 3.00-5 

AD 4.00-5 

AE 3.50-5 

AF 6.90-6 

AH 3.00-8 

AJ 3.50-6 

AK 4.10-6 

AL 4.50-6 

AM 5.30-6 

AN 6.00-6 

AP 3.25-8 

AT 3.50-8 

AU 3.00-7 

AV 4.00-7 

AW 4.80-7 

AX 5.30-7 

AY 5.00-8 

Al H60-14 

A2 4.00-8 

A3 4.80-8 

A4 5.70-8 

A5 16.5X6.5-8 

A6 18.5X8.5-8 

A7 CR70-14 

A8 2.75-9 

A9 4.80-9 

BA 6.00-9 

BB 6.90-9 

BC 3.50-9 

BD 4.00-10 

BE 3.00-10 

BF „ 3.50-10- 

BH 5.20-10 

BJ 5.20 RIO 

BK 5.9-10 

BL 5.90-10 

BM 6.50-10 

BN 7.00-10 

BP 7.50-10 

BT 9.00-10 

BU 20.5X8.0-10 

BV 145-10 

BW 145 RIO 

BX 145-10/5.95-10 

BY 4.50-10 LT 2 

Bl 5.00-10 LT 

B2 3.00-12 

B3 4.00-12 

B4 4.50-12 

B5 4.80-12 

B6 5.00-12 



Tire Size Tire Size 

Code Designation ' 

B7 5.00 R 12 

B8 5.20-12 

B9 5.20-12 LT 

CA 5.20 R 12 

CB 5.30-12 

CC 5.50-12 

CD 5.50-12 LT 

CE 5.50 R 12 

CF 5.60-12 

CH 5.60-12 LT 

CJ 5.60 R 12 

CK 5.9-12 

CL 5.90-12 

CM 6.00-12 

CN 6.00-12 LT 

CP 6.2-12 

CT 6.20-12 

CU 6.90-12 

CV 23.5 X 8.5-12 

CW 125-12 

CX 125 R 12 

CY 125-12/5.35-12 

CI 135-12 

C2 135 R 12 

C3 135-12/5.65-12 

C4 145-12 

C5 145 R 12 

C6 145-12/5.95-12 

C7 155-12 

C8 155 R 12 

C9 155-12/6.15-12 

DA 4.80-10 

DB 3.25-12 

DC 3.50-12 

DD 4.50-12 LT 

DE 5.00-12 LT 

DF 7.00-12 

DH 5.00-13 

DJ 5.00-13 LT 

DK 5.00 R 13 

DL 5.20-13 

DM 5.20 R 13 

DN 5.50-13 

DP 5.50-13 LT 

DT 5.50 R 13 

DU 5.60-13 

DV 5.60-13 LT 

DW 5.60 R 13 

DX 5.90-13 

DY 5.90-13 LT 

Dl 5.90 R 13 

D2 6.00-13 

D3 6.00-13 LT 



Tire Size Tire Size 

Code Designation ' 

D4 6.00 R 13 

D5 6.2-13 

D6 6.20-13 

D7 6.40-13 

D8 6.40-13 LT 

D9 6.40 R 13 

EA 6.50-13 

EB 6.50-13 LT 

EC 6.50-13 ST 

ED 6.50 R 13 

EE 6.70-13 

EF 6.70-13 LT 

EH 6.70 R 13 

EJ 6.9-13 

EK 6.90-13 

EL 7.00-13 

EM 7.00-13 LT 

EN 7.00 R 13 

EP 7.25-13 

ET 7.25 R 13 

EU 7.50-13 

EV 135-13 

EW 135 R 13 

EX 135-13/5.65-13 

EY 145-13 

El 145 R 13 

E2 145-13/5.95-13 

E3 150 R 13 

E4 155-13 

E5 155 R 13 

E6 155-13/6.15-13 

E7 160 R 13 

E8 165-13 

E9 165 R 13 

FA 165-13/6.45-13 

FB 165/70 R 13 

FC 170 R 13 

FD 175-13 

FE 175 R 13 

FF 175-13/6.95-13 

FH 175/70 R 13 

FJ 185-13 

FK 185 R 13 

FL 185-13/7.35-13 

FM 185/70 R 13 

FN 195-13 

FP 195 R 13 

FT 195/70 R 13 

FU D70-13 

FV B78-13 

FW BR78-13 

FX C78-13 

FY 7.50-12 



' The letters "H", "S", and "V" may be included in the tire size designation adjacent to or in place of a dash 
without affecting the size code for the designation. 

2 As used in this table the letters at the end of the tire size indicate the following: LT-Light Truck, ML- 
Mining & Logging, MR— Mobile Home, ST— Special Trailer. 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-7 



TABLE 3. TIRE SIZE CODES— Continued 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


Fl. 


140 R 12 


F2. 


6.5-13 


F3. 


185/60 R 13 


F4. 


A70-13 


F5. 


A78-13 


F6 ... 


CR78-13 


F7. 


2.25-14 


F8 


2.75-14 


F9. 


3.00-14 


HA. 


6.70-14 LT 


HB. 


165-14 LT 


HC. _ 


2.50-14 


HD 


5.00-14 LT 


HE 


5.20-14 


HF.. 


5.20 R 14 


HH 


5.50-14 LT 


HJ 


5.60-14 


HK. . 


5.90-14 


HL.. 


5.90-14 LT 


HM. 


5.90 R 14 


HN_ 


6.00-14 


HP_ 


6.00-14 LT 


HT... 


6.40-14 


HU. _ 


6.40-14 LT 


HV 


6.45-14 


HW. . 


6.50-14 


HX.. . 


6.50-14 LT 


HY 


6.70-14 


HI. . 


6.95-14 


H2 


7.00-14 


H3. 


7.00-14 LT 


H4 


7.00 R 14 


H5_ 


7.35-14 


H6. 


7.50-14 


H7. 


7.50-14 LT 


H8. 


7.50 R 14 


H9. 


7.75-14 


JA 


7.75-14 ST 


JB. 


8.00-14 


JC 


8.25-14 


JD 


8.50-14 


JE. 


8.55-14 


JF. 


8.85-14 


JH. . 


9.00-14 


JJ. 


9.50-14 


JK 


135-14 


JL 


135 R 14 


JM. 


135-14/5.65-14 


JN. . 


145-14 


JP - 


145 R 14 


JT 


145-14/5.95-14 


JU. 


155-14 


JV. 


155 R 14 


JW. 


155-14/6.15-14 


JX 


155/70 R 14 


JY. . 


165-14 


Jl- 


165 R 14 


J2_ . 


175-14 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


J3. 


175 R 14 


.T4.. .. 


. 185-14 


.15... .. 


185 R 14 


J6. 


185/70 R 14 


J7_ 


195-14 


J8. 


195 R 14 


.19 


195/70 R 14 


KA. 


205-14 


KB 


205 R 14 


KC. 


215-14 


KD 


215 R 14 


KE .. 


225-14 


KF. 


225 R 14 


KH 


620 R 14 


KJ. 


690 R 14 


KK. 


AR78-13 


KL 


195-14 LT 


KM.. 


185-14 LT 


KN 


A80-22.5 


KP. 


B80-22.5 


KT 


C80-22.5 


KU .. 


D80-22.5 


KV. . 


E80-22.5 


KW 


F60-14 


KX. 


C60-14 


KY 


J60-14 


Kl 


L60-14 


K2. . 


F80-22.5 


K3 


G80-22.5 


K4 


H80-22.5 


K5 


J80-22.5 


K6 


A80-24.5 


K7 


B80-24.5 


K8 


BR78-14 


K9. . 


D70-14 


LA. . 


DR70-14 


LB 


E70-14 


LC 


ER70-14 


LD. 


F70-14 


LE. 


FR70-14 


LF. 


G70-14 


LH 


GR70-14 


LJ 


H70-14 


LK. . 


HR70-14 


LL 


. J70-14 


LM 


JR70-14 


LN. . 


L70-14 


LP 


LR70-14 


LT. 


C80-24.5 


LU 


D80-24.5 


LV. . 


E80-24.5 


LW._ 


F80-24.5 


LX_ .. 


G77-14 


LY 


B78-14 


LI ... 


C78-14 


L2. 


CR78-14 


L3 - 


. D78-14 


L4 


DR78-14 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


L5. 


E78-14 


L6. . 


ER78-14 


L7 .... 


F78-14 


L8 .. ,. 


FR78-14 


T.9 .... 


G78-14 


MA. .. 


GR78-14 


MB_ 


H78-14 


MC. . 


HR78-14 


MD 


J78-14 


ME 


JR78-14 


MF. 


205-14 LT 


MH_ 


G80-24.5 


MJ_ 


H80-24.5 


MK. 


7-14.5 


ML 


8-14.5 


MM. 


9-14.5 


MN 


6.60 R 15 


MP 


2.00-15 


MT 


2.25-15 


MU 


2.50-15 


MV 


3.00-15 


MW 


3.25-15 


MX 


5.0-15 


MY 


5.20-15 


Ml 


5.5-15 


M2 


5.50-15 L 


M3 


5.50-15 LT 


M4 


5.60-15 


M5_ _ 


5.60 R 15 


M6. .. 


5.90-15 


M7 


5.90-15 LT 


M8. - 


6.00-15 


M9. 


6.00-15 L 


NA 


6.00-15 LT 


NB. 


6.2-15 


NC. 


6.40-15 


ND. . 


6.40-15 LT 


NE 


6.40 R 15 


NF. 


6.50-15 


NH. 


6.50-15 L 


NJ 


6.50-15 LT 


NK 


6.70-15 


NL. 


6.70-15 LT 


NM 


6.70 R 15 


NN 


6.85-15 


NP. 


6.9-15 


NT. 


7.00-15 


NU._ 


7.00-15 L 


NV 


7.00-15 LT 


NW._ 


7.10-15 


NX.„.. 


7.10-15 LT 


NY. 


7.35-15 


Nl 


7.50-15 


N2. 


7.60-15 


N3 


7.60 R 15 


N4. . 


7.75-15 


N5 


7.75-15 ST 


N6. 


8.00-15 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-8 



TABLE 3. TIRE SIZE CODES-Contlnued 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


Code 


Designation ' 


Code 


Designation ' 


N7 


. 8.15-15 


T9 _ _ .. 


. 205/70 R 14 


WB 


. 11.00-15 


N8 


. 8.20-15 


UA_ 


. 215/70 R 14 


wc. . . 


. 2.25-16 


N9. 


. 8.25-15 


UB 


. H60-15 


WD 


_ 2.50-16 


PA_ 


. 8.25-15 LT 


UC 


. E60-15 


WE 


. 3.00-16 


PB 


. 8.45-15 


UD 


. F60-15 


WF 


_ 3.25-16 


PC_ 


. 8.55-15 


UE 


. FR60-15 


WH 


_ 3.50-16 


PD. . .. 


. 8.85-15 


UF 


. G60-15 


WJ 


. 5.00-16 


PE 


. 8.90-15 


UH... 


. GR60-15 


WK 


. 5.10-16 


PF 


. 9.00-15 


UJ. . . 


. J60-15 


WL 


. 5.50-16 LT 


PH_ 


. 9.00-15 LT 


UK 


. L60-15 


WM 


. 6.00-16 


PJ 


. 9.15-15 


UL 


. 4.60-15 


WN. 


. 6.00-16 LT 


PK.. .„. 


. 10-15 


UM. 


. 2.75-15 


WP 


. 6.50-16 


PL_ 


. 10.00-15 


UN 


. 2.50-9 


WT 


. 6.50-16 LT 


PM 


. 7.50-15 LT 


UP_ __ . 


. 2.50-10 


WU 


. 6.70-16 


PN 


. 7.00-15 TR 
. 8.25-15 TR 


UT 

UU. .. 


. 5.00-9 
. 6.7-10 


wv 


7.00-16 


PP 


WW 


. 7.00-16 LT 


PT 


. 9.00-15 TR 


UV 


C70-15 


wx 


. 7.50-16 


PU 


. 7.50-15 TR 


UW. 


. D70-15 


WY 


. 7.50-16 LT 


PV. .. 


. 125-15 


UX 


DR70-15 


Wl 


. 8.25-16 


PW 


125 R 15 


UY 


E70-15 


W2 


. 9.00-16 


PX. . .. 


125-15/5.35-15 


Ul 


ER70-15 


W3 


. 10-16 


PY 


135-15 


U2 


F70-15 


W4 


. 8.25-16 LT 


PI 


135 R 15 


U3. 


FR70-15 


W5 


. 9.00-16 LT 


P2 


135-15/5.65-15 


U4 


G70-15 


W6 


. 11.00-16 


P3_ _ _ 


145-15 


U5 


GR70-15 


W7 


. 19-400 C 


P4 


145 R 15 


U6 


H70-15 


W8 


165-400 


P5 


145-15/5.95-15 


U7 


HR70-15 


W9 


235-16 


P6 . ... 


155-15 


U8 


J70-15 


XA 


185-16 


P7. 


155 R 15 


U9. . .. 


JR70-15 


XB 


19-400 LT 


P8. 


155-15/6.35-15 


VA 


K70-15 


XC 


G45C-16 


P9 


165-15 


VB. 


KR70-15 


XD 


E50C-16 


TA 


165-15 LT 


VC 


L70-15 


XE 


F50C-16 


TB 


165 R 15 


VD 


LR70-15 


XF. ._ . 


7.00-16 TR 


TC. . 


175-15 


VE. . 


17-400 TR 


XH 


7.50-16 TR 


TD 


175 R 15 


VF 


185-300 TR 


XJ. 


8.00-16.5 


TE 


175-15/7.15-15 


VH. 


185-300 LT 


XK 


8.75-16.5 


TF 


175/70 R 15 


VJ 


AR78-15 


XL. . .. 


9.50-16.5 


TH 


180-15 


VK. 


BR78-15. 


XM 


10-16.5 


TJ 


185-15 


VL. .. . 


C78-15 


XN 


12-16.5 


TK_ _. 


185 R 15 


VM 


D78-15 


XP 


185 R 16 


TL 


185/70 R 15 


VN 


E78-15 


XT 


4.50-17 


TM 


195-15 


VP 


ER78-15 


XU 


2.00-17 


TN 


195 R 15 


VT. 


F78-15 


XV. .. 


2.25-17 


TP 


205-15 


VU... 


FR78-15 


xw 


2.50-17 


TT 


205 R 15 


VV. 


G78-15 


XX 


2.75-17 


TU 


215-15 


VW 


GR78-15 


XY 


3.00-17 


TV. . .. 


215 R 15 


VX. 


H78-15 


XI. 


3.25-17 


TW. 


225-15 


VY 


HR78-15 


X2. . .. 


3.50-17 


TX 


225 R 15 


VI 


J78-15 


X3. 


6.50-17 


TY 


235-15 


V2. 


JR78-15 


X4 


6.50-17 LT 


Tl. . 


235 R 15 


V3. . 


L78-15 


X5. . 


7.00-17 


T2 


J80-24.5 


V4 


LR78-15 


X6 


7.50-17 


T3 


ER60-15 


V5. 


N78-15 


X7. 


8.25-17 


T4 


D78-13 


V6 


17-15 (17-380 LT) 


X8 


7.50-17 LT 


T5 


A78-15 


V7 


17-400 LT 


X9 


225/70 R 14 


T6 


DR70-13 


V8. . 


11-15 


YA 


G50C-17 


T7 


HR60-15 


V9. 


11-16 


YB 


H50C-17 


T8 


E60-14 


WA 


L84-15 


YC. 


195/70 R 15 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-9 



TABLE 3. TIRE SIZE CODES— Continued 



Tire Size Tire Size 

Code Designation ' 

YD 4.20-18 

YE 8-17.5 LT 

YF 11-17.5 

YH 7-17.5 

YJ 8-17.5 

YK 8.5-17.5 

YL 9.5-17.5 

YM 10-17.5 

YN 14-17.5 

YP 9-17.5 

YT 205/70 R 15 

YU 2.25-18 

YV 2.50-18 

YW 2.75-18 

YX 3.00-18 

YY 3.25-18 

Yl 3.50-18 

Y2 4.00-18 

Y3 4.50-18 

Y4 6.00-18 

Y5 7.00-18 

Y6 7.50-18 

Y7 8.25-18 

Y8 9.00-18 

Y9 10.00-18 

lA 11.00-18 

IB 6.00-18 LT 

IC 6.00-20 LT 

ID L50C-18 

IE 7.00-18 LT 

IF 12-19.5 

IH 2.00-19 

IJ 2.25-19 

IK 2.50-19 

IL 2.75-19 

IM 3.00-19 

IN 3.25-19 

IP 3.50-19 

IT 4.00-19 

lU 11.00-19 

IV 9.5-19.5 

IW 10-19.5 

IX 11-19.5 

lY 7-19.5 

11 7.5-19.5 

12 8-19.5 

13 9-19.5 

14 14-19.5 

15 15-19.5 

16 16.5-19.5 

17 18-19.5 

18 19.5-19.5 

19 6.00-20 

2A 6.50-20 

2B 7.00-20 

2C 7.50-20 

2D 8.25-20 

2E 8.5-20 



Tire Size Tire Size 

Code Designation ' 

2F 9.00-20 

2H 9.4-20 

2J 10.00-20 

2K 10.3-20 

2L 11.00-20 

2M 11.1-20 

2N 11.50-20 

2P 11.9-20 

2T 12.00-20 

2U 12.5-20 

2V 13.00-20 

2W 14.00-20 

2X 6.50-20 LT 

2Y 7.00-20 LT 

21 13/80-20 

22 14/80-20 

23 2.75-21 

24 3.00-21 

25 2.50-21 

26 2.75-20 

27 10.00-22 

28 11.00-22 

29 11.1-22 

3A 11.9-22 

3B 12.00-22 

3C 14.00-22 

3D 11.50-22 

3E 4.10-18 

3F 4.10-19 

3H 7-22.5 

3J 8-22.5 

3K 8.5-22.5 

3L 9-22.5 

3M 9.4-22.5 

3N 10-22.5 

3P 10.3-22.5 

3T 11-22.5 

3U 11.1-22.5 

3V 11.5-22.5 

3W 11.9-22.5 

3X 12-22.5 

3Y 12.5-22.5 

31 15-22.5 

32 16.5-22.5 

33 18-22.5 

34 215/70 R 15 

35 225/70 R 15 

36 185/60 R 13 

38 9.00-24 

38 10.00-24 

39 11.00-24 

4A 12.00-24 

4B 14.00-24 

4C 3.50-7 

4D 3.00-4 

4E 12.5-24.5 

4F 11-24.5 

4H 12-24.5 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


4.1 


13.5-24.5 


4K... 


7.00-20 ML 


4L_ . 


7.50-20 ML 


4M 


8.25-20 ML 


4N. 


9.00-20 ML 


4P. 


10.00-20 ML 


4T. 


10.00-22 ML 


4U. 


10.00-24 ML 


4V. 


11.00-20 ML 


4W.. 


11.00-22 ML 


4X. 


11.00-24 ML 


4Y 


11.00-25 ML 


41. 


12.00-20 ML 


42. _ 


12.00-21 ML 


43. 


12.00-24 ML 


44 


12.00-25 ML 


45 


13.00-20 ML 


46... 


13.00-24 ML 


47 


13.00-25 ML 


48. 


14.00-20 ML 


49 


14.00-21 ML 


5 A 


14.00-24 ML 


5B_ 


14.00-25 ML 


5C. 


10.3-20 ML 


5D 


11.1-20 ML 


5E 


12.5-20 ML 


5F 


9-22.5 ML 


5H 


9.4-22.5 ML 


5J. 


10-22.5 ML 


5K. 


10.3-22.5 ML 


5L 


11-22.5 ML 


5M 


11-24.5 ML 


5N. 


14-17.5 ML 


5P .. 


15-19.5 ML 


5T 


15-22.5 ML 


5U 


16.5-19.5 ML 


5V. 


16.5-22.5 ML 


5W 


18-19.5 ML 


5X ._ 


18-22.5 ML 


5Y. 


19.5-19.5 ML 


51. 


23-23.5 ML 


52 


18-21 ML 


53 


19.5-21 ML 


54 


23-21 ML 


55. .. 


6.00-13 ST 


56 


7.35-14 ST 


57. ... 


8.25-14 ST 


58 


7.35-15 ST 


59. 


8.25-15 ST 


6A_ _. 


12.00-22 ML 


6B. .. 


4.30-18 


6C_ . 


3.60-19 


6D. .. 


3.00-20 


6E_ 


4.25-18 


6F. _. 


MP90-18 


6H 


3.75-19 


6J 


MM90-19 


6K. 


3.25-7 



PART 574; (TIRE CODE)- 10 



TABLE 3. TIRE SIZE CODES— Continued 



Tire Size Tire Size 
Code Designation ' 

6L 2.75-16 

6M 4.00-16 

6N 7.9 

6P 25X7.50-15 

6T 27X8.50-15 

6U 27X9.50-15 

6V 29X12.00-15 

6W 31X 13.50-15 

6X 31X15.50-15 

6Y C70-14 

61 Not Assigned 

62 Not Assigned 

63 Not Assigned 

64 Not Assigned 

65 Not Assigned 

66 3.40-5 

67 4.10-4 

68 4.10-5 

69 175-14 LT 

7A 11-14 

7B E78-14LT 

7C G78-15LT 

7D H78-15LT 

7E 180 R 15 

7F 185-16 LT 

7H 205-16 LT 

7J 215-16 LT 

7K F78-16LT 

7L H78-16LT 

7M L78-16LT 

7N 135 RIO 

7P 6.95-14 LT 

7T 7-14.5 MH 

7U 8-14.5 MH 

7V 9-14.5 MH 

7W 4.25/85-18 

7X A78-14 

7Y 7.50-18 MPT 

71 10.5-18 MPT 

72 12.5-18 MPT 

73 12.5-20 MPT 

74 14.5-20 MPT 

75 10.5-20 MPT 

76 10.5-20 

77 8.25-10 

78 150 R 12 

79 150 R 14 

8A iy4-19 

8B 1%-I9y4 

8C 2-12 

8D 2-16 

8E 2-17 

8F 2-17 R 

8H 2-18 

8J 2-19 

8K 2-19 R 

8L 2-19y4 

8M 2-22 



Tire Size Tire Size 
Code Designation ' 

8N 2-22 J^ 

8P 2y4-15 

8T 274-16 

8U 274-17 

8V 2/4-18 

8W 274-19 

8X 274-19 R 

8Y 274-20 

81 2^-8 

82 2^-9 

83 2^^-16 

84 2^^-17 

85 2^-18 

86 2i^-19 

87 2^-19 R 

88 2y4-9 

89 2y4-16 

9A 2^4-17 

9B 2y4-17R 

9C 3-10 

9D 3-12 

9E 21x4 

9F 22x4% 

9H 15.50-20 

9J 18.50-20 

9K 19.50-20 

9L 274-14 

9M 2^^-20 

9N 2yi-16R 

9P 2y4-18 

9T 10-20 

9U 11-24 

9V 11.25-24 

9W 15x4)^-8 

9X 14.75/80-20 

9Y 23x5 

91 25x6 

92 15x4^-8 

93 18 X 7-8 

94 21 X 8-9 

95 23x9-10 

96 27 X 10-12 

97 2.00-15 TR 

98 2.50-15 TR 

99 3.00-15 TR 

OA GR60-14 

OB 560 X 165-11 

OC 680 X 180-15 

OD 8.55-15 ST 

OE 3.50-14 

OF 3.25-14 

OH 3.50-15 

OJ AR70-13 

OK B60-13 

OL 245/60 R 14 

OM 255/60 R 15 

ON 2y4-15 

OP 2.50-20 



Tire Size Tire Size 
Code Designation ' 

OT Not Assigned 

OU BR60-13 

OV 15.00-20 

OW 16.00-20 

OX 12/80-20 

OY 14/80-24 

01 15.5/80-20 

02 13-22.5 

03 21-22.5 

04 9/70-22.5 

05 10/70-22.5 

06 11/70-22.5 

07 12/70-22.5 

08 13/70-22.5 

09 7.25/75-17.5 

10 8.00/75-17.5 

20 8.75/75-17.5 

30 9.50/75-17.5 

40 7.25/75-16.5 

50 8.00/75-16.5 

60 8.75/75-16.5 

70 9.50/75-16.5 

80 6.70-14 C 

90 7-17.5 C 

RA 125-12 C 

RB 125-13 C 

RC 125-14 C 

RD 125-15 C 

RE 135-12 C 

RF 135-13 C 

RH 135-14 C 

RJ 135-15 C 

RK 145-10 C 

RL 145-12 C 

RM 145-13 C 

RN 145-14 C 

RP 145-15 C 

RT 155-12 C 

RU 155-13 C 

RV 155-14 C 

RW 155-15 C 

RX A60-13 

RY C60-15 

Rl 155-16 C 

R2 165-13 C 

R3 165-16 C 

R4 175-13 C 

R5 175-15 C 

R6 175-16 C 

R7 185-13 C 

R8 185-15 C 

R9 195-15 C 

AO 195-16 C 

BO 205-15 C 

CO 215-14 C 

DO 215-15 C 

EO 225-14 C 

FO 225-15 C 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-11 



TABLE 3. TIRE SIZE COOES— Continued 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


Code 


Designation ' 


HO. 


225-16 C 


BR 


LR60-15 


JO 


235-14 C 


CR 


ER60-15 


KO 


235-15 C 


DR 


D60-13 


LO. . . 


235-16 C 


ER 


C60-13 


MO 


21-400 C 


FR_ 


D60-14 


NO 


3.50-20 


HR. . 


175/70 R 14 


PO 


3.75-15 


JR 


MN90-18 


TO 


3.60-18 


KR 


MR90-18 


UO. 


3.00-10 C 


LR 

MR 


4.25-19 


VO 


4.00-10 C 


230-15 


WO 


4.00-8 C 


NR 


5.4-10 


XO 


4.50-8 C 


PR 


ER60-13 


YO. . 


265/60 R 14 


TR 


FR60-14 


AR 


215/60 R 15 


UR 


. C60C-15 



Tire Size 


Tire Size 


Code 


Designation ' 


VR. 


13/80-24 


WR._ 


175-16 C 


XR. 


195-16 C 


YR. 


BR70-13 


IR 


185-15 LT 


2R 


13-22.5 ML 


3R 


MR70-15 


4R. _ 


E60-26.5 


5R. 


. 6.7-12 


6R. 


5.4-14 


7R. 


7.4-14 


8R 


5.4-16 


9R 


4.60-18 




36 F.R. 7539 




April 21, 1971 



PART 574; (TIRE C0DE)-12 



Efftctiva: January 1, 1970 



PREAMBLE TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 
Action on Petitions for Reconsideration— Amendment 



Regulations requiring manufacturers of pas- 
senger cars and motorcycles to provide informa- 
tion on vehicle stopping distance (§ 375.101), tire 
reserve load (§375.102), and acceleration and 
passing ability (§375.106) were issued by the 
Federal Highway Administrator and published 
in the Federal Register on January 25, 1969 (34 
F.R. 1246). Several petitions for reconsideration 
of these regulations were received. In response 
to these petitions, and in order to clarify and 
simplify the requirements and the information 
to be provided to purchasers, these regulations 
are hereby amended and reissued in the form set 
forth below. 

1375.101 Vehicle stopping distance. This sec- 
tion required that manufacturers state the tire 
size, type and size of brakes, method of brake 
actuation and auxiliary brake equipment, and 
maximum loaded and lightly loaded vehicle 
weights. The effect of stating these requirements 
was to greatly restrict the grouping of vehicles 
and options that was permitted for the pur- 
poses of furnishing information. It has been de- 
termined that in order to reduce the required 
number of different information documents, man- 
ufacturers should be permitted to group vehicles 
at their discretion, as long as each vehicle in the 
group can meet or exceed the performance levels 
indicated, and the vehicles in each group are 
identified in the terms by which they are nor- 
mally described to the public. The requirement 
for specific descriptive information is therefore 
deleted. 

Since the information must be valid for all 
vehicles in the group to which it applies, the re- 
quirement that it refer to the smallest tire size 
offered has been found unnecessary, and deleted. 
It has also been determined that variations in 
stopping distances between different vehicles at 
30 mph are not as meaningful for comparison 



purposes as those at 60 mph, and therefore in- 
formation is required only for the latter speed. 

It should be noted that the regulations estab- 
lish the conditions under which the performance 
level represented by the information provided 
can be met or exceeded by every vehicle to which 
the information applies. They do not establish 
the procedures by which manufacturers should 
generate the information, although those pro- 
cedures are to be inferred from the regulations. 
For example, both sections contain the condi- 
tion that wind velocity is zero. This does not 
mean that manufacturers' tests must be con- 
ducted under still air conditions; it means that 
the performance level established must be attain- 
able by all vehicles in the group under those 
conditions. One obvious method of satisfying the 
condition from the manufacturer's standpoint is 
to conduct verification tests under adverse wind 
conditions (tailwind for braking, headwind for 
acceleration). As another example, the condition 
that ambient temperature be between 32°F and 
100°F means that the information presented must 
be attainable by all vehicles in the group at all 
temperatures within that range (when other con- 
ditions are as stated). 

The amended section requires that stopping 
distances be those attainable without lock-up on 
any wheel. This condition is the most mean- 
ingful from a safety standpoint, since steering 
control tends to be lost when wheels are locked. 
Several petitioners submitted data showing min- 
imal differences in maximum and lightly loaded 
vehicle weight stopping distances to support 
their request for substitution of a single test 
weight. Their results, however, were apparently 
derived from tests conducted with locked wheels, 
under which conditions stopping distance be- 
comes a function largely of vehicle velocity and 
the friction coefficient between the tire and the 



PART 575— PRE 1 



Effective: January 1, 1970 



road, <ind has no relationship to vehicle weight. 
It is believed that the condition of no wheel 
lock-up will result in data showing meaningful 
differences in stopping distances test weights. 
Accordingly, the requirement of information cov- 
ering these two vehicle weight conditions is re- 
tained, and petitions on this point are denied. 

The section as issued required performance in- 
formation for a partially failed service brake 
subsystem ("emergency brake system") only at 
ma.\imum loaded vehicle weight. It has been de- 
termined that in some cases the most adverse 
condition may occur at lighter loads. The 
amended rule therefore requires information for 
"the most adverse combination of maximum or 
lightly loaded vehicle weight and complete loss 
of braking in one or the other of the vehicle 
brake subsystems." 

Several petitioners suggested that information 
be limited to one test weight, instead of requiring 
it for both lightly loaded and maximum loaded 
vehicle weight. It has been determined, how- 
ever, that information on both conditions may 
reveal vehicles having superior brake balance, and 
the advantage of anti-skid or load proportioning 
devices, and also aid purchasers who travel mainly 
in one or the other of the loading conditions. The 
petitions to that effect are therefore denied. 

§ 375.102 Tire reverse load. The section re- 
quired that manufacturei-s state the luimber of 
passengers and the cargo and iuggage weight 
for two different loading conditions, and tlie ac- 
tual vehicle weight within a range of no more 
than 100 pounds under those conditions. These 
requirements restricted the grouping of vehicles 
and options that was permitted for the purposes 
of furnishing information. It has been deter- 
mined that in order to reduce the required num- 
ber of different information documents, manu- 
facturers should be permitted to group vehicles 
by recommended tire size designations regard- 
less of weight, as long as the reserve load figure 
is met or exceeded by every vehicle in the group. 
The requirements for providing weight and load- 
ing information are therefore deleted. 

Section 375.102 as issued required that reverse 
load figures be provided for the vehicle at nor- 
mal vehicle weight (2 or 3 persons and no lug- 
gage )as well as maximum loaded vehicle weight. 
It also required the furnishing of a "tire over- 



load percentage", the percentage difference be- 
tween the load rating of a tire at recommended 
inflation pressures for normal vehicle weight 
and the load on the tire at maximum loaded 
vehicle weight. Several petitions suggested that 
the providing of these various percentage figures 
would tend to confuse persons to whom the in- 
formation is furnished, and therefore decrease 
its usefulness to the consumer. Representatives 
of consumer groups have also suggested, in earlier 
proceedings concerning the consumer information 
regulations, that for maximum usability the in- 
formation should be as simple and clear as pos- 
sible. In light of these considerations, it has 
been determined that the tire reserve load figure 
provided should be limited to a single percentage 
for each recommended tire size designation, at 
maximum loaded vehicle weight and the manu- 
facturer's recommended inflation pressure. The 
requirements for tire reserve load at normal ve- 
hicle weight and for tire overload percentage ac- 
cordingly are deleted. 

Two further changes in the calculation methods 
have been made for simplicity and clarity. In- 
stead of using the actual load on each wheel as 
the basis for calculation, the wheel load figure is 
changed to one-half of each axle's share of the 
maximum loaded vehicle weight. This reflects 
the method used in Standard No. 110 for de- 
termining the vehicle maximum load on the tire. 
Also, the denominator of the fraction repre- 
senting the tire reserve load percentage is changed 
from the load on the wheel to the load rating of 
the tire. A tire with a load rating of 1500 
pounds, for example, used with a wheel load of 
900 pounds, would have a reserve load percentage 
of 40% (600/1500 X 100) rather than 66%% 
(600/900 X 100). The former figure has been 
determined to be somewhat more meaningful in 
cases of large reserve loads. 

§ 375.106 Acceleration and passing ability. 
The section as issued required that times be pro- 
vided for acceleration from 20 to 35 mph and 
from 50 to 80 mph, and times and distances for 
prescribed passing maneuvers involving two lane 
changes. On the basis of petitions submitted, 
and further consideration of the need for sim- 
plicity and clarity in the information presented, 
it has been determined that the most useful in- 
formation would be in the form of passing dis- 



PART 575— PRE 2 



IffKllv*: January 1, 1970 



tances and times for a simple straight-line pass- 
ing maneuver at lo\y and high speeds. In order 
to eliminate the difficulties of conducting a uni- 
form passing maneuver involving a long pace 
vehicle and a limiting of the passing speed pre- 
cisely to a specified level, the information re- 
quired is to be derived on the basis of a time- 
distance plot of vehicle performance at maximum 
acceleration from 20 to 35 and 50 to 80 miles per 
hour. 

For reasons discussed above in regard to section 
375.101, the requirement of providing the weight 
of the vehicle is deleted from this section. 

Because the amended section does not require 
information relating to an actual passing maneu- 
ver, but only that based on two straight-line 
acceleration maneuvers with a simple graphic 
computation, the exception of manufacturers of 
500 or fewer vehicles annually from certain of the 
requirements is removed from this section. 

Several petitioners contended that the re- 
quirement that information be provided under 
the condition of full-power operation of a vehicle 
air conditioner would lead to variable, non- 
repeatable results. This may be true of the re- 
sults achieved in manufacturers' tests. The in- 
formation presented is not, however, to be simply 
the results of manufacturers' tests, but rather a 
minimum level of performance that can be met 
or exceeded by every vehicle to which the in- 
formation applies. Manufacturers are free, there- 
fore, to adjust the data to account for any varia- 
tion in results that might be encountered. The 
degradation of acceleration ability by the use of 
an air conditioner may be significant in some 
cases, and therefore it is important from the 
standpoint of safety that it be reflected in the in- 
formation provided. The petitions to the con- 
trary are accordingly denied. 

Some petitioners objected to the required use of 
a correction factor to ambient conditions in ac- 
cordance with SAE Standard J816a, pointing out 
that the factor was designed to be applicable ex- 
clusively to engine dynamometer testing and not 
to road testing of vehicles. The contention has 



been found to have merit. In the section as 
amended, ranges of ambient conditions of tem- 
perature, dry barometric pressure, and relative 
humidity are provided, and the information is 
required to be valid at all points within those 
ranges. 

In addition to the above, a new paragraph (c), 
containing specific definitions, is added to section 
375.2, Definitions. 

In order to allow adequate time for manufac- 
turers to prepare the information, the three sec- 
tions are effective for vehicles manufactured on 
or after January 1, 1970. 

In consideration of the above, 49 CFR 
§§ 375.101, 375.102, and 375.106 are amended, and 
a new paragraph (c) is added to § 375.2, to read 
as set forth below. This notice of action on 
petitions for reconsideration is issued under the 
authority of sections 112 and 119 of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 
1401, 1407) and the delegation of authority by 
the Secretary of Transportation to the Federal 
Highway Administrator. 49 CFR 1.4(c). 

Issued : May 19, 1969. 

F. C. Turner 

Federal Highway Administrator • 



Sec. 

375.1 

375.2 

375.3 

375.4 

375.5 

375.6 



SUBPART A— GENERAL 

Scop*. 

Deflnitiont. 

Matter Incorporated by reference. 

Applicability. 

Separability. 

Requirements. 



SUBPART B— CONSUMER INFORMATION ITEMS 

375.101 Vehicle Stopping Distance. 

375.102 Tire reserve load. 

375.103 Reserved. 

375.104 Reserved. 

375.105 Reserved. 

365.106 Acceleration and passing ability. 

May 23, 1969 
34 F.R. 8112 



PART 676— PRE 3-4 



Effactlv*: January 1, 1970 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 



Amended regulations concerning the furnishing 
of consumer information for motor vehicles, 49 
CFR §§ 375.101, 102, 106, were published in the 
Federal Register of May 23, 1969 (34 F.R. 8112). 
Sections 375.101, Vehicle Stopping Distance, and 
375.106, Acceleration and Passing Ability, in sub- 
sections (d)(7) and (d)(l)(vii) respectively, 
specified that the information provided shall be 
valid for road surfaces with a skid number of 
70, as measured in accordance with American 
Society for Testing and Materials Method E-274 
at 40 miles per hour, omitting water delivery as 
specified in paragraph 7.1 of that Method. 

Several petitions for reconsideration have been 
received, requesting that the skid number condi- 
tion be set at higher level because there are only 
a limited number of test tracks presently with 
surfaces of that low a skid number. It is recog- 
nized that the level of 70 may be somewhat lower 
than many existing test track and road surfaces. 
It has been determined, in light of the petitions 
received, that the skid number condition can be 
set at a somewhat higher level without detracting 
from the value of the information provided or 
the enforceability of the regulations. Accord- 
ingly, the figure "70" in sections 375.101(d)(7) 
and 375.106(d) (l)(vii) is hereby changed to 
"75". 



One petitioner requested a delay in the effec- 
tive date of the regulation because of difficulties 
in obtaining equipment for the measurement of 
skid number. In light of the relaxation of the 
skid number requirement embodied in this notice, 
and the possibility of temporarily leasing either 
measuring equipment or test facilities, evidenced 
by fact that only one such request was received, 
the request for a delay in effective date is denied. 

Since this amendment relaxes a requirement 
and imposes no additional burden on any person, 
notice and opportunity for comment thereon are 
unnecessary and the amendment is incorporated 
into the above-referenced regulations without 
change in the effective date. This notice of 
amendment in response to petitioners for recon- 
sideration is issued under the authority of sec- 
tions 112 and 119 of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1402, 1407) 
and the delegation of authority by the Secretary 
of Transportation to the Federal Highway Ad- 
ministrator, 49 CFR § 1.4(c). 

Issued on July 14, 1969. 

F. C. Turner 

Federal Highway Administrator 

34 F.R. 11974 
July 16, 1969 



PART 676— PRE 6-« 



Effcctiv*: D*c*mb«r 1, 1969 
January 1, 1970 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 



Regulations requiring manufacturers of motor 
vehicles to provide information to consumers con- 
cerning performance characteristics of their ve- 
hicles were published on January 25, 1969 (34 
F.R. 1246), and amended on May 23, 1969 (34 
F.R. 8112). By notice of July 11, 1969 (34 F.R. 
11501) it was proposed that the regulations be 
amended to require manufacturers to provide the 
information to prospective purchasers, as well as 
those who have already bought a vehicle, and also 
to provide the information to the Administrator 
30 days before the information is required to be 
provided to purchasers. 

No general objections to the proposed amend- 
ment were received. One manufacturer objected 
to the requirement of providing copies to the 
Administrator 30 days in advance, on the basis 
that this did not allow sufficient lead time from 
the date of the proposal. In light of the fact 
that the information required to be provided 
consists only of performance figures that the 
manufacturer is certain can be exceeded by its 
vehicles, that the information must be provided 
in large quantities to dealers by January 1, 1970, 
and that no other manufacturers evidenced dif- 
ficulty in meeting the December 1 date, the objec- 
tion is found not to be meritorious. 

The Automobile Manufacturers Association 
made two suggestions for changes to the regula- 
tion, both of which have been accepted and in- 
corporated into the regulation. One change adds 
language to make it clear that the locations at 
which the information is to be provided are out- 
lets with which the manufacturer has some legal 
connection. The other is that the date on which 
information relating to newly introduced vehicles 



is required is the "announcement date", on which 
dealers are authorized to display and sell the 
vehicles. 

The proposal stated that three copies should be 
submitted to the Administrator by December 1, 

1969. It has been determined that in light of 
the need for immediate processing and the large 
amount of information that will be received at 
that time, a somewhat larger number of copies 
will be needed. The number of copies has been 
changed, accordingly, from three to ten. Since 
the additional burden on automotive manufac- 
turers of providing these copies appears to be 
insubstantial, a further notice of proposed rule- 
making is found to be unnecessary. Other minor 
changes in wording are made for clarity. 

Effective Dates: Subsections (a) and (b) of 
§ 375.6, Requirements, are effective January 1, 

1970. Subsection (c) of that section is effective 
December 1, 1969. 

In light of the foregoing. Subpart A — General, 
of 49 CFR Part 375 is amended to read as set 
forth below. This amendment is issued under 
the authority of sections 112 and 119 of the Na- 
tional Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 
U.S.C. 1401, 1407), and the delegation of au- 
thority from the Secretary of Transportation 
to the Federal Highway Administration, 49 CFR 
§ 1.4(c). 

Issued on October 16, 1969. 

E. H. Holmes, Acting 

Federal Highway Administrator 

34 F.R. 17108 
October 22, 1969 



PART 575— PRE 7-8 



EffccHv*: Novambar 26, 1969 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 



Motorcycle Brake Burnishing Requirement 



On May 23, 1969, the Federal Highway Ad- 
ministration published 49 CFR § 375.101, Vehicle 
Stopping Distance, of the Consumer Information 
Regulations (34 F.R. 8112). Paragraph (e)- 
(1) (ii) of that section, describing the burnishing 
procedures for motorcycles, is as follows: "Same 
as for passenger cars, except substitute 30 m.p.h. 
for 40 m.p.h. and 150° F. for 250° F., and main- 
tain hand lever force to foot lever force ratio 
of approximately 1 to 2." 

A manufacturer has stated that sucli a burnish- 
ing procedure, which was drawn from a draft 
SAE Recommended Practice, would be inappro- 
riate for its vehicles, and suggests that the re- 
quired burnishing procedures should be that rec- 
ommended by the manufacturer. Since it appears 
that a uniform burnishing procedure suitable for 
all motorcycles has not yet been developed, the 
suggestion is found to have merit, to the extent 
that manufacturers have recommended such pro- 
cedures. A general burnishing procedure must 
still be specified, however, for the purpose of 
determining compliance of those vehicles for 
which the manufacturers have not made a proce- 
dure publicly available. Accordingly, subpara- 
graph (e)(1) (ii) of section 375.101 is hereby 
amended to read as follows : 

'■'■Motorcycles. Adjust and burnish brakes in 
accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. 
Where no burnishing procedures have been rec- 
ommended by the manufacturer, follow the pro- 
cedure specified above for passenger cars, except 
substitute 30 m.p.h. for 40 m.p.h. and 150° F. 
and 250° F., and maintain hand lever force to 
foot lever force ratio of approximately 1 to 2." 

The Consumer Information regulations require 
manufacturers to submit information to the 



FHWA by December 2, 1969, and it is important, 
therefore, that this amendment to the regulations 
be made effective without delay. The regulations 
require only that the manufacturers submit in- 
formation to purchasers (and to the FHWA) 
as to performance levels that can be met or ex- 
ceeded by their vehicles, and it is not necessary 
that vehicles be retested as long as they perform 
as well under the manufacturers' own burnishing 
procedures as under the previously specified ones. 
Manufacturers are, of course, free to provide new 
performance figures at any time, under the pro- 
cedures specified in Part 375. If in a particular 
case a manufacturer determines that its vehicles 
may not be able to meet the performance figures 
provided when its own recommended burnishing 
procedures are utilized, and is not able to provide 
new and appropriate figures within the time 
specified, it should include a notation to that effect 
at the time that the figures are first provided to 
the FHWA. The vehicles in question will not 
be considered to be in violation of the regulations 
if they meet the performance figures provided 
under the previously specified burnishing pro- 
cedures, and if new and corrected figures are pro- 
vided under section 375.101, as amended, not later 
than September 1, 1970. 

Because of the importance of providing to con- 
sumers by January 1, 1970, the probability that 
few if any manufacturers will be adversely 
affected by the amendment, and the provisions 
for relief included herein, notice and public pro- 
cedure thereon are found to be impracticable, 
unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest, 
and the amendment described above is made effec- 
tive on publication in the Federal Registp.r. 



(I*v. 11/36/69) 



PART 575 —PRE 9 



IffKHv*! N«v«inb«r 3«, 1969 

This amendment is issued under the authority Issued on November 24, 1969. 

of sections 112 and 119 of the National Traffic „ ^ Turner 

and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U S.C. ^^^^ highway Administrator 
1401, 1407), and the delegation of authority from 

the Secretary of Transportation to the Federal 34 F.R. 18865 

Highway Administrator, 49 CFR § 1.4(c). Nov«mb«r 26, 1969 



(Uv. n/j«/»9) PART 576— PRE 10 



Effccllv*: January 1, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Availability Requirements) 



The purpose of this notice is to amend section 
575.6 of the Consumer Information Regulations 
(49 CFR Part 575) to require that the informa- 
tion supplied pursuant to Subpart B of the Reg- 
ulations be provided in sufficient quantity to 
permit retention by prospective customers or 
mailing to them upon request. A notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking was published on January 14, 
1971 (36 F.R. 557), proposing to carry out the 
legislative mandate of P.L. 91-625 (84 Stat. 262). 
That legislation was designed to remedy diffi- 
culties resulting from the current practice of 
making consumer information available only in 
the showroom, by permitting the Secretary to 
require that the information be provided in a 
printed format which could be retained by cus- 
tomers who visit the showroom or mailed to 
others upon their request. 

A limited number of comments were received 
in response to the Notice, some of which merely 
expressed support for the additional require- 
ment. The Chrysler Cororation requested that 
the amendment be clarified to provide that tem- 
porary unavailability would not constitute a 
failure to comply with the regulations. As is 
noted in the Notice of proposed rulemaking, the 
uncertainty of demand makes it difficult to estab- 
lish precise standards as to what is "sufficient." 
It has been determined, therefore, that any fur- 
ther specification of this provision would be in- 
appropriate at this time. It is intended that 



manufacturers and dealers will cooperate to take 
all reasonable steps to ensure that a continuous 
supply of the information is available. 

The Chrysler Corporation further requested 
that the regulation clearly indicate that a rea- 
sonable charge can be made for the materials. 
The legislative history of P.L. 91-625 indicates 
that a major purpose of the amendment was 
to make consumer information more easily avail- 
able to consumers in making their purchase. A 
charge for consumer information on several 
makes and models of vehicles could present the 
car shopper with as great an obstacle to avail- 
ability of information as is the case with the 
present system. In view of this purpose and the 
general aim of the consumer information regu- 
lations to provide for as wide a dissemination 
of information as possible, it has been deter- 
mined that the retention copies should be pro- 
vided without charge. 

In consideration of the above, 49 CFR 
576.6(b) is amended. . . . 

Ejfective date: January 1, 1972. 

Issued on September 28, 1971. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

36 F.R. 19310 
October 2, 1971 



PART 575— PRE 11-12 



EffKHv*: MarcH 1, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Truck-Camper Loading) 
(Docket No. 71-7; Notice 5) 



This notice reissues the portion of 49 CFR 
§571.126, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 
126, Trucker-Cam'per Loading^ that was pre- 
viously applicable to tnick manufacturers as 
a consumer information regulation, 49 CFR 
§ 575.103, Truck-Camper Loading. It also re- 
sponds to petitions for reconsideration of Stand- 
ard No. 126 on issues that are not addressed in 
Notice 4, which is published in this issue (37 F.R. 
26605). 

Petitions for reconsideration of Standard No. 
126 (37 F.R. 16497) were filed by Chrysler Cor- 
poration (Chrysler), Ford Motor Company 
(Ford), General Motors Corporation (GM), Jeep 
Corporation (Jeep), Motor Vehicle Manufac- 
turers Association (MVMA) Recreational Vehicle 
Institute, Inc. (RVI) and Toyota Motor Sales 
USA, Inc. (Toyota). 

In response to information contained in some 
of the petitions, the portions of the standard 
previously applicable to truck manufacturers are 
being reissued under this notice as a consumer 
information regulation for the reasons stated in 
Notice 4. Minor amendments are also made to 
the regulation on the basis of some of the peti- 
tions while the Administrator has declined to 
grant rexjuested relief from other requirements 
of the regulation. 

1. Effective date. GM has petitioned for a de- 
layed effective date. As a truck manufacturer, 
GM feels that additional lead time is required 
"to develop, process, and print the necessary in- 
formation on an orderly basis.'* The Admin- 
istration has found for good cause shown that 
an effective date earlier than 180 days after 
issuance of Standard No. 126 was in the public 
interest; however, to allow truck manufacturers 
sufficient time for testing to determine cargo 



center of gravity locations the effective date of 
the requirements applicable to truck manufac- 
turers is being extended 2 months, until March 
1, 1973. 

2. Definitions and information. As discussed 
in Notice 4 Ford objected to the definition of 
"cargo weight rating" and the term "total load". 
Standard No. 126 has been amended to meet 
Ford's objections, and similar changes are made 
in the terminology of the new truck consumer 
iriformation regulation. 

Ford also suggests that the phrase "any addi- 
tional weight carried in or on the camper" should 
be substituted for "the weight of camper cargo, 
and the weight of passengers in the camper" in 
paragraph S5.2.1(d) of Standard No. 126, now 
§ 575.103(e) (3). It believes the suggested lan- 
guage would be more meaningful to the average 
user and that the present language could be con- 
stnied as endorsing the carrying of passengers in 
campers. Ford's request is denied. The NHTSA 
considers that the specificity of references to 
cargo and passengers is more meaningful to con- 
sumers than the general reference to "any addi- 
tional weight". Further, given the prevalence of 
carrying passengers in campers, the NHTSA 
does not believe that the present language can 
realistically be considered to have a significant 
effect on this practice. 

Both Ford and GM objected to the paragraph 
requiring the manufacturer to furnish trailer 
towing recommendations, on the grounds of 
vagueness and lack of prior notice and oppor- 
tunity to comment. The NHTSA concurs, and 
is deleting this requirement. 

Ford suggests that paragraph S5.2.1(a) of 
Standard No. 126 (now § 575.103(e) (1) should 
be revised to make clear that the slide-in camper 



PART 575— PRE 13 



Effective: Mgrch 1, 1973 



also has a center of gravity designation deter- 
mined in accordance with the regulation, which 
falls within the boundaries specified by the ve- 
hicle manufacturer. Since campers manufactured 
before the effective date of the regulation may 
be mounted on trucks manufactured after March 
1, 1973, Ford's suggestion has not been adopted. 

GM has petitioned that a warning be required 
to accompany the regulation's information, stat- 
ing that the longitudinal center of gravity is only 
one of the many factors affecting the overall per- 
formance of a vehicle and that other factors con- 
cerning vehicle handling should be considered 
by the operator. The NHTSA denies GM's pe- 
tition on this point. Proper loading and load 
distribution in truck-camper combinations is a 
highly significant handling factor, and such a 
warning might cause a truck operator to feel 
the loading information presented is of little 
significance. The regulation does not, however, 
prohibit GM or other manufacturers from fur- 
nishing such additional warnings if they see fit. 

GM has also asked for a confirmation of its 
assumption that "the pictorial representation of 



the recommended longitudinal center of gravity 
zone for the cargo weight rating need not be to 
scale but can be generalized so long as the lon- 
gitudinal boundaries of the zone are clearly set 
forth." The NHSTA agrees with this inter- 
pretation. 

Effective Date: March 1, 1973. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
Part 575 is amended by adding a new § 575.103, 
Truck-cartifer Loading. . . . 

This notice is issued pursuant to the authority 
of sections 112 and 119 of the National TraflSe 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 USC 
14:01, 1407) and the delegation of authority at 
49 CFR 1.51. 



Issued on December 6, 1972. 



Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

37 F.R. 26607 
December 14, 1972 



PART 575— PRE 14 



Effactlva: April 1, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

Truck-Camper Loading 
(Docket No. 71-7; Notice 6) 



This notice responds to petitions for reconsid- 
eration of 49 CFR § 575.103, Truck-camfer load- 
ing^ -with amendments extending the effective 
date to April 1, 1973, and allowing optional 
wording of certain statements until October 1, 
1973. 

On December 14, 1972, Part 575 of Title 49, 
Code of Federal Regulations, was amended by 
adding § 575.103 Truck-camfer loading (37 F.R. 
26607). The amendment was in essence that 
portion of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ard No. 126, Truck-camper loading that applied 
to manufacturers of trucks accommodating slide- 
in campers, as originally published on August 15, 

1972 (37 F.R. 16497). Pursuant to 49 CFR 
§ 553.35, petitions for reconsideration of § 575.103 
have been filed by General Motors Corporation 
and International Harvester Company. Ford 
Motor Company has asked for a clarification. 

In response to information contained in these 
petitions the regulation is being amended in cer- 
tain respects, and a new effective date of April 1, 

1973 adopted. Requested changes in other re- 
quirements of the regulation are denied. 

1. Effective date: Both petitioners request de- 
lay of the effective date of the regulation for at 
least 60 days, until May 1, 1973 at the earliest. 
One reason for the request is that petitioners had 
printed their manuals on the basis of the notice 
of August 15, 1972, and that the additional time 
is needed to print new materials conforming to 
modified texts published on December 14, 1972. 
General Motors also states that the additional 
time is needed to prepare and disseminate data 
in a manner meeting the requirement that it be 
available to prospective purchasers. While data 
has been prepared for each truck, it has not yet 
been consolidated into a single sheet or pamphlet 



suitable for showroom display and availability. 
The requests of both petitioners reflect the prob- 
ability that the material will not be submitted 
to the Administrator at least 30 days before it is 
available to prospective purchasers, as required 
by § 575.6(c), and the possibility that the data 
will not be ready by March 1, 1973. 

The NHTSA has determined that good cause 
has been shown for postponement of the effective 
date until April 1, 1973. This agency recognizes, 
however, that the minor textual changes made in 
the December notice create problems of conform- 
ity for those manufacturers who in good faith 
relied on the August notice in ordering materials. 
Accordingly, the regulation is being amended to 
allow the earlier wording on an optional basis 
until October 1, 1973. These amendments permit 
use of the phrase "total load" instead of "total 
cargo load" in paragraph (e) (3) where it twice 
appears, and the legend "Aft End of Cargo Area" 
for "Rear End of Truck Bed" in Figure 1, Truck 
Loading Information. The word "rating" ap- 
pearing on the last line of paragraph (e)(5) is 
properly "ratings" as printed in the August 
notice, and a correction is made. Further, the 
NHTSA considers it important that a manufac- 
turer fulfill the requirements of § 575.6(b) by 
making information available to prospective pur- 
chasers when trucks manufactured on or after 
April 1, 1973 are placed on sale. Considering the 
short lead time between December 14, 1972 and 
February 1, 1973 and the intervening holidays, 
the NHTSA will not take enforcement action 
with respect to the furnishing of information 
under §§575.103 and 575.6(c) prior to April 1, 
1973, if manufacturers provide information to 
this agency as required by those sections not later 
than the date by which the information must be 
provided to prospective purchasers. 



PART 575— PRE 15 



Eff*ctfv«: April 1, 1973 



2. Administrative Procedure Act. Harvester 
believes that the Administrative Procedure Act 
was violated in that interested persons were not 
provided an opportunity to comment upon pro- 
viding information under Part 575 prior to 
enactment of §575.103. The NHTSA views 
Harvester's comment as a narrow construction of 
the requirements of the Act, and disagrees with 
petitioner's conclusion. The content of § 575.103 
was proposed on April 9, 1971 (36 F.K. 6837) 
and adopted as a safety standard on August 15, 
1972 (37 F.R. 16497). Pursuant to petitions for 
reconsideration from Chrysler Corporation, Ford 
Motor Company, Greneral Motors, Jeep Corpora- 
tion, and Motor Vehicle Manufacturers' Associa- 
tion that Standard No. 126 would be more 
appropriate as a consumer information regula- 
tion, the NHTSA adopted § 575.103 on December 
14, 1972 with content virtually identical to that 
issued in the previous August. Thus the agency 
considers it has met 5 USC § 553 by providing 
notice of the terms and substance of the rule, and 
an opportunity to comment. It is true that notice 
was not provided on the specific issue that dis- 
tinguishes the consumer information regulation 
from a motor vehicle safety standard {i.e., avail- 
ability of information to a prospective purchaser 
and the agency at specified time periods), but the 
NHTSA considers this issue a minor one in rela- 
tion to the regulation as a whole for which ade- 
quate notice was given. In view of the weight 
of comment that the standard should properly 
be a consumer information regulation, no further 
notice was deemed necessary. The NHTSA has 



already in this notice indicated its willingness to 
liberally interpret § 575.6(c) because of the time 
factor involved. 

3. Clarip;ation. Ford Motor Company has 
asked for a clarification of the term "weight of 
occupants" used to compute "cargo weight rat- 
ing", as defined by the regulation. Specifically, 
Ford inquires whether the weight is that of a 
95th percentile male — that of an "occupant" as 
defined by § 571.3(b) — or that of a person weigh- 
ing 150 pounds, the figure applicable to other 
consumer information regulations and used in the 
safety standards. 

The NHTSA intended "weight of occupants" 
to be the "normal occupant weight" figure of 
150 pounds specified in ilotor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 110 rather than that of a 95th 
percentile male, which is greater. To clarify this, 
the phrase, "computed as 150 pounds times the 
number of designated seating positions," is added 
to the regulation. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§ 575.103, Truck-camper loading, is amended .... 

Effective date : April 1, 1973. 

(Sec. 112 and 119, Pub. L. 89-563; 80 Stat. 718, 
15 USC 1401, and 1407; delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on February 12, 1973. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

38 F.R. 4400 
February 14, 1973 



PART 575— PRE 16 



EfkcHv*: Hbniary 26, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

Subpart A — General 
(Docket No. 73-5; Notice 1) 



This notice amends the definition section of the 
regulation on Federal motor vehicle consumer 
information reflecting previous amendments to 
definitions in the Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards. 

The definitions of "brake power unit" and 
"lightly loaded vehicle weight" in 49 CFR 
§ 575.2(c) have been obsoleted by recent amend- 
ments to these terms in Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 105a, Hydraulic Brake Systems 
(37 F.R. 17970). "Brake power unit" has been 
redefined to more accurately describe the char- 
acteristics of the component concerned. The 
term "curb weight" used in defining "lightly 
loaded vehicle weight" has been replaced by "un- 
loaded vehicle weight" (as defined in § 571.3) as 
a more precise description of vehicle condition. 
Finally, "Maximiun sustained vehicle speed" 



should be grammatically a speed "attainable" 
rather than "obtainable". 

Effective date : February 28, 1973. Since these 
amendments are primarily a matter of form and 
have no significant eflFec.t on substantive require- 
ments, it is found for good cause that notice and 
public procedure thereon is imnecessary, and an 
immediate effective date is in the public interest. 

(Sec. 112, 119 Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 15 
U.S.C. 1401, 1407 ; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on February 21, 1973. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

38 F.R. 5338 
February 28, 1973 



PART 575— PRE 17-18 



EffceHv*: Jwnt 11, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

Subpart A — General 
(Docket 72-24; Notice 2) 



This notice amends 49 CFR 575, Consumer 
Information, to require manufacturers to iden- 
tify specially-configured vehicles not available 
for purchase by the general public as "special 
vehicles" in the information submitted to the 
NHTSA under § 575.6(c). 

A notice of proposed rulemaking to this effect 
was published on November 8, 1972 (37 F.R. 
23732). As noted in that proposal, inclusion of 
these vehicles in compilations or rankings pub- 
lished by this agency as consumer information 
serves no beneficial purpose, and could confuse 
the consumer. 

No comments opposed the proposal. General 
Motors Corporation commented that the amend- 
ment should more clearly indicate that the spe- 
cial vehicle identification requirements only 
apply to the information supplied to NHTSA 
under § 575.6(c). The new section reflects this 
suggestion. 

Ford Motor Company agreed with GM that 
the special vehicle identification is useful in in- 
formation supplied to NHTSA. Ford also sug- 
gested, however, that consumer information on 
special vehicles need not be included at all in the 



information supplied "on location" to prospec- 
tive purchasers in accordance with § 575.6(b). 
The NHTSA does not have information at pres- 
ent to support or repudiate this suggestion, which 
is beyond the scope of the proposal. If Ford or 
any other person wishes to petition for rule- 
making on this subject, the agency will consider 
it for possible future rulemaking. 

In response to an implied question by Truck 
Body and Equipment Association, Inc., the 
amendment does not change the applicability of 
the Consumer Information regulations, as set 
forth in Subpart B of Part 575. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
Part 575, Consumer Information, is amended. . . . 

Effective date: June 11, 1973. 

(Sees. 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 
15 U.S.C. 1401, 1407; delegation of authority at 
49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on May 1, 1973. 

James E. Wilson 
Acting Administrator 

38 F.R. 11347 
May 7, 1973 



PART 575— PRE 19-20 



EffacHvc: September I, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 25, Notice 8) 



This notice establishes a Consumer Informa- 
tion regulation on Uniform Tire Quality Grad- 
ing. The notice is based on proposals published 
March 7, 1973 (38 F.R. 6194), and August 14, 
1973 (38 F.R. 21939). An earlier proposal, 
published September 21, 1971 (36 F.R. 18751) 
was later withdrawn (April 21, 1972; 37 F.R. 
7903). Comments submitted in response to these 
proposals have been considered in the prepara- 
tion of this notice. 

The regulation will require tire manufacturers 
and brand name owners to provide relative grad- 
ing information for 13-, 14- and 15-inch tire size 
designations for tire traction, treadwear, and 
high speed performance. The respective grades 
will be molded into or onto the tire sidewall, 
contained in a label affixed to each tire, and 
provided for examination by prospective pur- 
chasers in a form retainable by them at each 
location where tires are sold. The requirements 
are effective with respect to passenger cars when 
they are equipped with new tires bearing quality 
grades. 

Treadwear: The regulation requires each tire 
to be graded for treadwear performance using 
numbers which indicate the percentage of tread- 
wear the tire will produce when compared to the 
treadwear obtained from a "control tire" speci- 
fied in the regulation. Each tire will be graded 
with either the number "60", representing tread- 
wear performance less than 80 percent of the 
control tire's, or the number "80", "120", "160" 
or "200", representing at least that percentage 
of control tire wear. The grades are fewer in 
number and represent broader performance 
ranges than those proposed, as a result of com- 
ments that the proposed grades were too numer- 
ous and would not take into account inherent 
differences in tire performance. 



The method for obtaining treadwear grades is 
essentially that proposed in the notice of March 7, 
1973. Treadwear grades will be determined by 
using a convoy of up to four identical passenger 
cars with one vehicle equipped with four identi- 
cal control tires, and each of the remaining ve- 
hicles equipped with four identical manufactur- 
er's tires (candidate tires) having the same 
nominal rim diameter as the control tire. The 
NHTSA intends that the convoy vehicles be 
driven as similarly as possible with respect to 
such factors as steering and braking. The ve- 
hicles are run for 16,000 miles over a surface 
that will produce control tire wear equal to be- 
tween 65 and 85 percent of original tread depth. 
The proposal had suggested that the tires be 
worn to 90 percent of tread depth. This per- 
centage has been reduced to prevent the tires 
from being worn below their treadwear indi- 
cators. The proposal had further suggested that 
candidate tires be loaded to 100 percent of the 
load specified for their inflation pressure in the 
1972 Tire and Rim Association Yearbook. In 
response to comments that vehicles are rarely 
loaded to that extent in practice, the load has 
been changed to 90 percent of the load specified 
for the inflation pressure in the 1972 Tire and 
Rim Association Yearbook. The NHTSA be- 
lieves the road test method for measuring tread- 
wear to be the most satisfactory that is presently 
available. Moreover, the method has been used 
for many years by tire manufacturers to eval- 
uate the treadwear potential of newly developed 
tire designs and compounds. 

Many comments agreed that a 16,000-mile 
road test was appropriate for grading the tread- 
wear of radial tires. Some comments urged, 
however, that only a 12,000-mile test be specified 
for bias and bias/belted tires. The NHTSA has 



PART 575— PRE 21 



Efftcttvc StpUmbar 1, 1974 



not accepted this recommendation as it believes 
the comparative data for candidate tires of dif- 
ferent construction types will necessarily be 
more accurate if the comparisons are based on 
the same degree of control tire wear. 

Certain comments referred to the existing na- 
tional energy shortage, requesting that the 
agency take into account the problems presented 
by the shortage in the final requirements. The 
NHTSA recognizes the degree of energy that 
will be necessary to perform the appropriate 
grading tests, particularly with respect to the 
test for treadwear grading. Research has been 
undertaken and will continue with a view to 
reducing the energj' needs to establish treadwear 
performance without adversely affecting the va- 
lidity of test results. The NHTSA invites sug- 
gestions or proposals in this regard, including 
supportive data, directed to the establishment of 
alternative methods or tests for grading tire 
treadwear. 

Traction: Each tire will bear a traction grade 
of "90", "105", or "120", representing at least 
that percentage of control tire performance. The 
test for obtaining traction grades is similar to 
that proposed on March 7, 1973. It utilizes a 
two-wheeled test trailer built essentially to speci- 
fications in American Society of Testing and 
Materials E-274-70, Skid Resistance of Paved 
Surfaces Using a Fidl-Scale Tire. The test con- 
sists of towing the trailer over specified wet test 
surfaces, equipped first with identical control 
tires, and then with identical candidate tires of 
the same rim diameter as the control tire. The 
average coefficient of friction is computed when 
one trailer wheel is locked on each of the two 
surfaces at 20, 40, and 60 miles per hour. The 
grade, similarly to the treadwear grade, is the 
comparative difference between candidate and 
control tire performance. The final rule differs 
from the notice in that the proposed traction 
grade representing less than 90 percent of control 
tire performance has not been included. This 
results from the notice proposing to amend 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109 (49 
CFR 571.109) (38 F.R. 31841; November 19, 
1973) to require all passenger car tires to achieve 
at least this level of control tire performance. 
The NHTSA expects that this requirement will 
become effective on the effective date of this 



regulation, thereby necessitating the deletion of 
the grade. The other grades specified differ from 
those proposed to the extent that the range be- 
tween grades has been increased to better allow 
for inherent gradations in actual tire perform- 
ance. 

Many comments urged that grading for tire 
traction not be established at this time. The 
comments argued that the current state of the 
art has not advanced to the point where reliable 
and reproducible results can be obtained using 
the proposed two- wheel trailer method. 

The NHTSA believes the traction test issued 
by this notice, utilizing the two-wheeled trailer, 
is an objective procedure, capable of producing 
repeatable results, and is therefore satisfactory 
for the purpose of measuring and grading 
straight-line, wet-surface braking traction. In 
this regard, on the basis of information received 
from General Motors, that company is presently 
using the identical methodology in the specifica- 
tions for tire traction for its "TPC" specification 
tire. This tire is presently manufactured by 
numerous domestic tire companies. Moreover, 
grading tire traction is a necessary adjunct, in 
the view of NHTSA, to grading tire treadwear, 
for it is commonly known that treadwear and 
traction performance result from diverse tire 
properties. The two tests, therefore, serve as a 
check that manufacturers will not design tires 
that perform well in one area at the expense of 
performance in the other. The minimum trac- 
tion performance requirement recommended by 
the comments as a substitute for traction grading 
is insufficient, in the view of NHTSA, to serve 
this function alone. 

Many comments stated that traction test sur- 
faces should be defined by test surface composi- 
tion and skid number, rather than by skid 
number alona as proposed. It was argued that 
without a surface specification, reversals in tire 
performance may occur. The NHTSA agrees 
that the inclusion of precise surface specifications 
may improve the reliability of traction test re- 
sults. It has not adopted such specifications in 
this notice as they have not been previously pro- 
posed. However, recent developments have been 
made in the establishment of test surfaces by the 
Federal Highway Administration of the Depart- 
ment of Transportation. Test surfaces developed 



PART 575— PRE 22 



Effacllve: Saplamber 1, 1974 



by that agency are proposed in a notice issued 
concurrently with this notice (1061) for later 
inclusion in the regulation. 

Some comments argued that the description of 
this grading parameter as "traction" was mis- 
leading, as the proposed test dealt only with wet 
braking traction and not dry pavement or cor- 
nering traction. They suggested therefore that 
the grading parameter be referred to as braking 
or stopping traction, or as "wet-surface traction." 
The NHTSA does not dispute that these other 
traction properties are important aspects of tire 
traction, and expects to add these performance 
aspects to the traction grading scheme when ap- 
propriate test procedures are developed. The 
NHTSA does not believe, however, that the de- 
scription of the existing test as "traction" is 
misleading. The terminology suggested by the 
comments, in the view of NHTSA, would be 
over technical and unnecessary. 

High speed performance: High speed per- 
formance grades of "A", "B", or "C" are required 
to be affixed to each tire based on its performance 
on the high speed laboratory test wheel which is 
presently used in testing for conformity to Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109. The test 
utilized is as proposed- — an extension of the 
Standard No. 109 high speed performance test. 
A tire will be graded "C" if it only passes the 
Standard No. 109 test. In order to achieve a 
grade of "B", the tire must run without failure 
an additional i/^ hour at 425 rpm and two addi- 
tional hours, one at 450 rpm and the other at 
475 rpm. To achieve a grade of "A" the tire 
must be run without failure an additional hour 
at 500 rpm and another hour at 525 rpm. The 
NHTSA has recently revised the criteria for tire 
failure in Standard No. 109 (38 F.R. 27050; 
September 28, 1973) and the revised criteria are 
the criteria included in this rule. 

The principal comment regarding the proposed 
high speed grading format was that it should 
consist of only two grades — one recommended 
for general use and the other for use by emer- 
gency vehicles. The comments argued that fur- 
ther grading of high speed performance was 
unnecessary and would promote high speed driv- 
ing. The NHTSA views the suggested 2-grade 
scheme as rendering any high speed grade mean- 
ingless for most consumers. Essentially, it pro- 



vides no information other than conformity to 
Standard No. 109. The NHTSA believes driv- 
ing habits with respect to speed do differ among 
the driving population and that the grading 
scheme should be based on that consideration. 

Control Tires: Both treadwear and traction 
grades are based on comparative results using a 
control tire specified in the rule. The control 
tires are 2-ply, rayon tires of bias construction, 
in sizes 6.50x13, 7.75x14, and 8.55x15. The 
control tire in each specified rim diameter will 
be used in testing all candidate tires having that 
rim diameter. The precise specifications for the 
tires are identical to those proposed. 

Control tires will be manufactured pursuant 
to NHTSA contract and will be used in NHTSA 
compliance testing. They will be made available 
to the industry for testing purposes, and the 
NHTSA will accept, for purposes of compliance 
tests, results based upon their performance. The 
agency may consider manufacturers who use dif- 
ferent test devices to have failed to exercise the 
due care contemplated by the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act should their tires 
fail to perform to the specified grades when 
subject to agency tests. 

The final rule modifies certain aspects of the 
proposed rule apart from the grading tests. In 
response to several comments, labels are not re- 
quired to be affixed to the tread surface of tires 
which are furnished as original equipment on 
new vehicles. These vehicles are generally driven 
before, sale, and labels on the tire tread surface 
are therefore of questionable value. Information 
on these tires will still be required to be otherwise 
furnished with the vehicle, and available for re- 
tention by prospective purchasers. The NHTSA 
did not, however, agree with comments recom- 
mending that the affixed label requirement be 
deleted entirely. Tires are frequently on display 
in sales outlets, and the affixed label will provide 
consumers with the clearest understanding of the 
grades applicable to a particular tire. 

The grades molded onto the tire sidewall are 
required to be placed between the shoulder and 
the maximum section width, rather than between 
the maximum section width and the bead as pro- 
posed. The NHTSA believes the grades should 
apply, only to the original tire, and the placement 
of grades above the maximum section width 



PART 575— PRE 23 



Effactiv*: S«pt«mb«r 1, 1974 

increases the likelihood that grades will be re- 
moved if the tire is retreaded. 

Certain comments expressed the view that 
providing information for tires placed on new 
vehicles and furnishing that information to the 
NHTSA 30 days before the vehicles are available 
to the public is diflScult to accomplish because of 
the variety of tire and vehicle combinations in- 
volved. The NHTSA does not believe sufficient 
justification has been shown for deleting these 
requirements. While some modification may be 
necessary to existing manufacturer practices, the 
NHTSA cannot agree that the regulation pre- 
sents urmianageable problems for manufacturers. 

E-jfective date: September 1, 1974. The 
NHTSA has issued this notice pursuant to an 
order of the United States District Court for the 



District of Columbia. That order specifies that 
the regulation take effect on September 1, 1974. 

In light of the above, sections 575.4 and 575.6 
are revised, and a new section 575.104 "Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading", is added in Chapter V, 
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations. . . . 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203; Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
1423; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on December 28, 1973. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 1037 
January 4, 1974 



PART 575— PRE 24 



Effective: May 9, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 11) 



This notice revokes the Uniform Tire Quality 
Grading regulation published January 4, 1974 
(39 F.R. 1037), and responds to petitions for 
reconsideration received with respect to the 
regulation. 

The Uniform Tire Quality Grading regulation 
specified the use of "control tires" in the estab- 
lishment of grades for treadwear and traction. 
The NHTSA expected that control tires would 
be manufactured by an industry source pursuant 
to NHTSA contract, and would be available for 
both industry and government use. A solicita- 
tion for a proposal to manufacture control tires 
was advertised to the domestic tire industry. 
Two proposals were received. Each, however, 
has been determined to be nonresponsive to the 
solicitation, which has accordingly been can- 
celled. 

Due to the failure of NHTSA to procure a 
control tire, the agency must revoke the Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading regulation in its present 
form. The revocation of the regulation renders 
moot the petitions for reconsideration received. 



On May 2, 1974, an order was entered by the 
United States District Court for the District of 
Columbia in the case of Nash v. Brinegar (Civil 
Action No. 177-73) requiring the NHTSA to 
issue, by June 15, 1974, a notice of proposed 
rulemaking for a revised Uniform Tire Quality 
Grading regulation having a proposed effective 
date of May 1, 1975. 

In light of the above, § 575.104 "Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading" of Chapter V, Title 49, Code 
of Federal Regulations, is revoked, effective 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203; Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
1423; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 



Issued on May 6, 1974. 



Gene G. Mannella 
Acting Administrator 

39 F.R. 16469 
May 9, 1974 



PART 575— PRE 25-26 



i 



Effective: March 13, 1975 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 74-18; Notice 2) 



This notice amends Part 575, Consumer In- 
formation, so that the requirement that manu- 
facturers have consumer information available 
in showrooms does not apply to special vehicles 
not available to the general public. 

On April 26, 1974, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration proposed to amend 
Part 575 to provide consumers with information 
for only those vehicles which they were eligible 
to purchase (39 F.R. 14728). The proposal, 
which was in response to a petition from Ford 
Motor Company, stated that information con- 
cerning special vehicles would continue to be 
made available to eligible purchasers. Com- 
ments concerning the proposal were received 
from American Motors Corporation, Greneral 



Motors Corporation and Chrysler Corporation. 
All comments favored the proposal. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
575.7 is amended. . . . 

Effective date: March 13, 1975. Because the 
amendment relieves a restriction, it is found for 
good cause shown that an effective date imme- 
diately upon publication is in the public interest. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 114, 203, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 
Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1423; dele- 
gation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on March 7, 1975. 

Noel C. Bufe 
Acting Administrator 

40 F.R. 11727 
March 13, 1975 



PART 575— PRE 27-28 



Effective: January I, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 17) 



This notice establishes Uniform Tire Quality 
Grading Standards. The notice is based on pro- 
posals published June 14, 1974 (39 F.R. 20808, 
Notice 12), August 9, 1974 (39 F.R. 28644, 
Notice 14), and January 7, 1975 (40 F.R. 1273, 
Notice 15). Comments submitted in response to 
these proposals have been considered in the prep- 
aration of this notice. 

A rule on this subject was issued on January 
4, 1974 (39 F.R. 1037). It was revoked on May 
9, 1974 (39 F.R. 16469), due to the inability of 
the NHTSA to obtain from the tire industry 
"control tires" which were to have been used as 
the basis for determining the comparative per- 
formance grades for treadwear and traction. 

The rule issued today requires manufacturers 
to provide grading information for new passen- 
ger car tires in each of the following perform- 
ance areas: treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance. The respective grades are to be 
molded into or onto the tire sidewall, contained 
in a label affixed to each tire (except for OEM 
tires), and provided for examination by prospec- 
tive purchasers in a form retainable by them at 
each location where tires are sold. 

TREADWEAR 

Treadwear grades are based on a tire's pro- 
jected mileage (the distance which it is expected 
to travel before wearing down to its treadwear 
indicators) as tested on a single, predetermined 
test run of approximately 6400 miles. A tire's 
treadwear grade is expressed as the percentage 
which its projected mileage represents of a 
nominal 30,000 miles, rounded oflF to the nearest 
lower 10% increment. For example, a tire with 
a projected mileage of 24,000 would be graded 
"80", while one with a projected mileage of 40,000 
would be graded "130". 



The test course has been established by the 
NHTSA in the vicinity of San Angelo, Texas, 
as described in Appendix A. It is the same as 
that discussed at the public briefings on this sub- 
ject which took place July 23 and July 29, 1974, 
except that the direction of travel has been re- 
versed on the northwest loop to increase safety 
by reducing the number left turns. The course 
is approximately 400 miles long, and each 
treadwear test will require 16 circuits. It is 
anticipated that both the industry, at each manu- 
facturer's option, and the agency will perform 
treadwear tests on this course; the former for 
establishing grades, and the latter for purposes 
of compliance testing, i.e., testing the validity 
of the grades assigned. To arrange for alloca- 
tions of test time at the site, industry members 
should contact the NHTSA facility manager, 
P.O. Box 6591, Goodfellow Air Force Base, San 
Angelo, Texas 76901; telephone (915) 655-0546. 
While manufacturers are not required to test on 
the site, it would be to their advantage to do so, 
since the legal standard against which com- 
pliance with the rule will be measured is a tire's 
performance in government tests on that course. 

The method of determining projected mileages 
is essentially that proposed in Notice 12 as modi- 
fied by Notices 14 and 15 in this docket. The 
treadwear performance of a candidate tire is 
measured along with that of course monitoring 
tires (CMTs) if the same general construction 
type (bias, bias-belted, or radial) used to monitor 
changes in course severity. The CMTs are tires 
procured by the NHTSA — one group each of 
the three general types — which are made avail- 
able by the agency for purchase and use by regu- 
lated persons at the test site. To obtain course 
monitoring tires, regulated persons should con- 
tact the NHTSA facility manager at the aboVe 
address. 



PART 575— PRE 29 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 



Each test convoy consists of one car equipped 
with four CMTs and tliree or fewer other cars 
equipped with candidate tires of the same con- 
struction type. (Candidate tires on the same 
axle are identical, but front tires on a test vehicle 
may ditfer from rear tires as long as all four 
are of the same size designation.) After a two- 
circuit break-in period, the initial tread depth of 
each tire is determined by averaging the depth 
measured at six equally spaced locations in each 
groove. At the end of every two circuits (800 
miles), each tire's tread depth is measured again 
in the same way, the tires are rotated, vehicle 
positions in the convoy are rotated, and wheel 
alignments are readjusted if necessary. At the 
end of the 16-circuit test, each tire's overall wear 
rate is calculated from the nine measured tread 
depths and their corresponding mileages-after- 
break-in as follows: The regression line which 
"best fits" these data points is determined by 
applying the method of least squares as described 
in Appendix C; the wear rate is defined as the 
absolute value of the slope of the regression line, 
in mils of tread depth per 1000 miles. This 
wear rate is adjusted for changes in course se- 
verity by a multiplier consisting of the base wear 
rate for that type of course monitoring tire 
divided by the measured average of the wear 
rates for the four CMTs in that convoy. A 
candidate tire's tread depth after break-in 
(minus 62 mils to account for wearout when the 
treadwear indicators are reached) divided by its 
adjusted wear rate and multiplied by 1000, plus 
800 miles, yields its projected mileage. The pro- 
jected mileage is divided by 30,000 and multiplied 
by 100 to determine the percentage which, when 
rounded off, represents the candidate tire's tread- 
wear grade. 

A discussion of the NHTSA response to the 
comments on treadwear grading follows. 

Duration of break-in period and test. The 400 
mile break-in period originally proposed in Notice 
12 was extended in Notice 15 to 800 miles, to 
permit the rotation of each tire between axles 
after 400 miles. The Rubber Manufacturers 
Association (RMA) suggested that a 1600-mile 
break-in, by permitting each tire to be rotated 



once through each position on the test car, would 
provide more reliable results. An analysis of var- 
iance in a study conducted by the NHTSA showed 
no significant variations in wear from one side of 
a car to the other. Further, a review of data 
from extensive testing on the San Angelo course 
showed no anomalies or consistent variations in 
wear rate occurring after the first 800 miles. 
The NHTSA is convinced that the 800-mile 
break-in period is sufficient to allow a tire to 
establish its equilibrium inflated shape and stabi- 
lize its wear rate. Therefore, the RMA sugges- 
tion has not been adopted. 

Many of the comments to Notice 12 suggested 
that testing distances greater than 6400 miles 
are necessarj' for accurate tread life projections. 
Testing to 40%, 50%, and even 90% of wearout 
was urged. Unfortunately, only the submission 
of North American Dunlop was accompanied by 
substantive data. These data, showing non-linear 
wear rates, were of questionable validity because 
the tires were not broken in prior to testing and 
because the data were collected by different test 
fleets in different parts of the countrj*. None- 
theless, as a result of tiie large number of adverse 
comments, the NHTSA requested further in- 
formation from all knowledgeable and concerned 
parties to document and substantiate the position 
that a longer treadwear test is necessary. The 
additional data were requested in a written in- 
quiry to the RMA and in Notice 15. Because 
of the need to limit test time, test cost, and fuel 
consumption, the objective was to determine the 
mininuim test distance wliich can reliably pre- 
dict ultimate tire treadwear life. 

The responses to these requests have been re- 
viewed and analyzed. Again, the NHTSA finds 
the industry data and conclusions that greater 
testing distances are necessary lacking in rigor 
and completeness. In most cases, the conditions 
of the industry tests were not disclosed or did 
not coincide with the prescribed control proce- 
dures. Serious doubt is cast upon the conclusions 
because of inadequate information on one or more 
of the following test conditions: changes in 
weather and season, course severity, conformity 
with prescribed break-in period, mileage between 



PART 575— PRE 30 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 



readinfis, method of projected mileage, size of 
convoy, number of tires tested, and uniformity 
and frequency of tread depth measurement. 

A controlled test profrram recently completed 
by the NHTSA was designed to test the hypoth- 
esis that the rate of wear of tires is constant after 
an 800-mile break-in. The design and conclu- 
sions of the test are discussed in detail in a paper 
by Brenner, Scheiner, and Kondo ("Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading; Effect of Status of Wear 
on Tire Wear Rate," NIITSA Techncial Note 
T-lOllf, March, 1975— General Reference entry 
no. 42 in this docket.) The general conclusions 
of the test are: (1) that the inherent rate of 
wear of tires, after an 800 mile break-in period, 
is constant and (2) that the projected tread life 
for a tire estimated from a 6,400-mile test after 
800-mile break-in is accurate for all three tire 
types. Accordingly, the 6,400 mile test period 
has been retained. 

Grading based on minimum performance. The 
RMA expressed strong disagreement with any 
system in which treadwoar grades are based on a 
tire line's miniinum projected mileage on the San 
Angelo test course, urging instead that the aver- 
age performance of a line is a more appropriate 
grade. The RMA .suggested further that the 
proposed grading system "ignores the bell-shaped 
distribution curve which describes any perform- 
ance characteristics and would require the down- 
grading of an entire line of tires until no portion 
of the distribution curve fell below any selected 
treadwear grade, notwithstanding that the large 
bulk of a given group of tires was well above 
the grade." 

The XHTSA rejects the arguments and the 
position taken by the industry on this issue. It 
is precisely the fact that, in industrial processes 
involving production of large numbers of items, 
the products group themselves into the so-called 
bell-shaped or normal distribution which allows 
for measurement of central tendency and varia- 
tion and forms the basis of scientific quality 
control. 

Tests performed by the NHTSA and described 
in the paper cited above have shown conclusively 
that different production tires exhibit considerable 



differences in their variability about their respec- 
tive average values. Thus, two different tire 
brands might have identical average values for 
treadwear, but differ markedly in their variance 
or standard deviation. These diffeernces would 
probably be attributable to differences in process 
and quality control. 

Recognition of differences in inherent variabil- 
ity among tire manufacturers and tire lines is 
of the utmost importance to the consumer. The 
average or mean measure of a group of tires does 
not provide sufficient information to enable the 
consumer to make an informed choice. If one 
tire on a user's car wears out in 10,000 miles, 
the fact that the "average" tire of that type 
wears to 25,000 miles in the same driving environ- 
ment does not alter his need to purchase a new 
tire. Ideally, the consumer might be provided 
with more information if he were given a meas- 
ure of the mean (central tendency) and standard 
deviation (variability) for each tire type, but the 
complexity and possible confusion generated by 
such a system would negate its advantages. In 
the NHTSA's judgment, the most valuable single 
grade for the consumer is one corresponding to 
a level of performance wihch he can be reason- 
ably certain is exceeded by the universe popula- 
tion for that tire brand and line. 

As with the other consumer information regu- 
lations issued by this agency, a grade represents 
a minimum performance figure to which every 
tire is expected to conform if tested by the gov- 
ernment under the procedures set forth in the 
rule. Thus, any manufacturer in doubt about 
the performance capabilities of a line of his tires 
is free to assign a lower grade than what might 
actually be achieved, and he is expected to ensure 
that substantially all the tires marked with a 
particular grade are capable of achieving it. 

Homogeneity of course monitoring tires. 
Another aspect of the Notice 12 proposal which 
generated much controversy is the adoption by 
the NHTSA of production tires for use as course 
monitoring tires. The commenters suggested that 
changes in course severity be monitored instead 
by tires manufactured under rigidly specified 
conditions to ensure homogeneity. Because varia- 



PART 575— PRE 31 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 

tions in the performance of course monitoring; 
tires are reflected in treadwear projections for 
all candidate tires, it follows that the more liomo- 
geneous the universe of the monitoring tires, the 
more precisely the performance of the candidate 
tires can be graded. The NHTSA is in complete 
accord with the industry's desire to minimize the 
variability of tires chosen for course monitoring. 
Tlie development of specifications for special 
"control tires", in which materials, processing, 
and other conditions are rigidly controlled to a 
degree beyond that possible for mass production, 
will continue. The NHTSA hopes to work with 
the tire industry to reduce the variability of 
course monitoring tires to the maxinuim extent 
possible. However, it should be noted that an 
earlier version of this regulation liad to be re- 
voked due to the difficulty in obtaining such 
"control tires." Recent tests (summarized in tlie 
paper cited above) demonstrate that implementa- 
tion of a viable treadwear grading system need 
not be delayed further, pending development of 
special tires. In these tests, the current radial 
CMTs — Goodyear Custom Steelgards chosen from 
a single, short production run — show a coefficient 
of variation (standard deviation of wear rate 
divided by mean) of 4.9%. This degree of uni- 
formity is commensurate with universally ac- 
cepted criteria for test control purposes. Hence, 
grading of radikl tires may be started imme- 
diately. The tentatively adopted bias and bias- 
belted CMTs showed coefficients of variation of 
7.3% and 12.4%, respectively. Existing test data 
indicate that the NHTSA will be able to identify 
and procure other tires of these two construction 
types, exhibiting homogeneity comparable to the 
current radial CMTs, in time for testing in 
accordance with the implementation schc<liilo set 
out below. In any event, the variability of course 
monitoring tires will be taken into account by the 
NHTSA in connection with its compliance test- 
ing. At worst, the degree of grading imprecision 
associated with CMT variability will be no 
greater than one-half the levels measured for 
the current bias and bias-belted tire lots, because 
the standard deviation for the average of a set of 
four tires is equal to one-half that of the universe 



standard deviation. It is the NHTSA's judg- 
ment that treadwear grades of this level of preci- 
sion will provide substantially more meaningful 
information to the prospective tire buyer than is 
currently available. 

To make efficient use of the available CMTs, 
the NHTSA expects to conduct treadwear tests 
with used CMTs, as well as with new ones. This 
will not affect any mileage projections, because 
the inherent wear rate of tires is constant aft«r 
break-in. Test results will be discarded if the 
treadwear indicators are showing on any of the 
CMTs at the end of a test. 

The need jov three separate course monitoring 
tires. Many commenters suggested that a single 
CMT of the bias-ply type be used, arguing that 
the use of a different CMT for each general con- 
struction type would create three separate tread- 
wear rating systems. Tliese suggestions appear 
to result from a misunderstanding of the role of 
tiic course monitoring tires. They are not used 
as yardsticks against which candidate tires are 
graded. Instead, they are used to monitor 
changes in tlie severity of the test course. Ex- 
periments performed by the NHTSA (Brenner, 
F.C. and Kondo, A., "Elements in the Road 
Evaluation of Tire Wear". Tire Science and 
Technology, Vol. I, No. 1, Feb. 1973, p. 17— Gen- 
cial Reference enti-y no. 17 in this docket) show 
tliat changes in test course severity will affect 
tires of differing construction types to differing 
degrees. For example, the impi'ovement in pro- 
jected tread life from tlie severest to the mildest 
test courses in the experiments was 12% for bias 
tires, yet it was 91% for bias-belted tires and 
140% for radial tires. In fact, a variety of 
factors iiifhienco course severity, each having 
(iiricicnt relative effects on the various tire types. 
Therefore, the use of a single couise monitoring 
tire on courses of varying severity, or even on a 
given course whose severity is subject to varia- 
tion due to wcatJicr and road wear, would not 
pciinit the correct adjustment of measured wear 
lates for environmental influences. Only with 
a CMT for each construction type can a single, 
uniform treadwear grading system be established. 



PART 575— PRE 32 



Expression of treadwear grades. The system 
of treadwear grading proposed in Notice 12 spec- 
ified six grades, as follows: 

Grade X (projected mileage less than 15,000) 

Grade 15 (projected mileage at least 15,000) 

Grade 25 ( " " " " 25,000) 

Grade 35 ( " 

Grade 45 ( 

Grade 60 ( " " 



" " 35,000) 
" " 45,000) 
" " 60,000) 



Among the objections to this proposal was that 
small differences in actual treadwear in the vi-. 
cinity of grade boundaries would be misrepre- 
sented as large differences because of the breadth 
of the predetermined categories. The NHTSA 
was also concerned that the broad categories 
could in some cases reduce the desirable competi- 
tive impact of the treadwear grading system if 
tires of substantially differing treadwear per- 
formance were grouped in the same grade. For 
these reasons, a relatively continuous grading 
system was proposed in Notice 15, in which tires 
would be graded with two digit numbers repre- 
senting their minimum projected mileages in 
thousands of miles as determined on the San 
Angelo test course. The major objection to both 
of these proposals was that grades expressing 
projected mileages would lead consumers to ex- 
pect every tire to yield its indicated mileage. 
The manufacturers were especially concerned 
that this would subject them to implied warranty 
obligations, despite the disclaimer on the label. 
The NHTSA remains convinced that treadwear 
grades which are directly related to projected 
mileages are the most appropriate way of ex- 
pressing treadwear performance. To overcome 
any possible misinterpretation by consumers, the 
grading system established today is changed 
from that of Notice 15 to indicate relative per- 
formance on a percentage basis, as described 
above. This decision is based in part upon the 
fact that testing performed to date on the Sati 
Angelo course has given projected mileages that 
are generally higher than those the average user 
will obtain; i.e., it appears to be a relatively mild 
course. 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 

Wheel alignment procedure. Test vehicle 
wheel alignment procedures received considerable 
comment. Notice 12 proposed alignment to ve- 
hicle manufacturer's specifications after vehicle 
loading. Notice 15 proposed that this be done 
before loading, and that the measurements taken 
after loading be used as a basis for setting align- 
ment for the duration of the test. The majority 
of the commenters strongly favored a return to 
the original procedure. The NHTSA takes par- 
ticular cognizance of the fact that those com- 
menters who have actually tried both procedures 
in testing at San Angelo find the procedure of 
Notice 12 to be satisfactory and practicable, and 
that of Notice 15 to be unusable. NHTSA repre- 
sentatives at San Angelo have reported satis- 
factory operation on a variety of vehicles using 
the originally proposed procedure, and have not 
observed any uneven tire wear that would indi- 
cate alignment problems. For these reasons, the 
final rule prescribes alignment procedures which 
are identical with those proposed in Notice 12. 

Tire rotation procedure. Several commenters 
objected to using the proposed "X" rotation 
procedure for testing radial tires. The NHTSA 
is aware that this procedure differs from that 
recommended by many groups for consumers' 
use. While some vehicle and tire manufacturers 
recommend that radial tires be rotated only fore- 
aft, others recommend no rotation at all and 
yet others are silent on the subject. The primary 
reason for these other methods appears to be to 
improv'e passenger comfort by reducing vibra- 
tion. No data have been submitted, however, to 
suggest that the proposed method lias any adverse 
or uneven effect on radial tire wear. Further, 
this method has the advantage, for treadwear 
testing, of balancing out any side-to-side or axle 
wear differences attributable to the vehicle or to 
the course. Accordingly, the proposed tire rota- 
tion method has been adopted without change. 

Choice of grooves to he measured. Some com- 
menters suggested that treadwear projections be 
calculated from measurements of the most worn 
grooves on candidate tires, rather than from the 
averages of measurements made in all grooves. 



PART 575— PRE 33 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July I, 1976 
January T, 1977 
July 1, 1977 

It was argued that, because many States require 
replacement of passenger car tires wlien tread- 
wear indicators appear in any two adjacent 
grooves, the proposed method of calculation 
would yield misleadingly high projections. Anal- 
ysis of projections based on both methods 
(Brenner, F.C. and Kondo, A., "Patterns of 
Tread Wear and Estimated Tread Life," Tire 
Science and Technology, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1973 — 
General Reference entry no. 27 in this docket) 
shows a high correlation between the resulting 
tire rankings. Because the treadwear grading 
system established today is based on relative 
performance, there is no disadvantage in adopting 
the proposed method. On a related issue, the 
E.T.R.T.O. pointed out that some grooves near 
the tire shoulder which are designed only for 
esthetic reasons exhibit practically no wear, and 
suggested that measurements be made only in 
those grooves which contain treadwear indicators. 
This suggestion has been adopted. 

Calculation of projected mileage. Several 
methods for calculating the tire wear rates to be 
used in determining projected mileages were con- 
sidered. Notice 12 proposed calculating the 
geometric mean of the wear rates measured for 
each 800-mile increment. This approach was 
rejected because the geometric mean is extremely 
sensitive to inaccurate readings in any single 
measurement. Use of the arithmetic mean of 
the incremental wear rates appears to be the 
general industry practice. Unfortunately, how- 
ever, the intermediate readings have no effect on 
such a calculation, because the result is a func- 
tion only of the initial tread depth (after 
break-in) and that measured 6,400 miles later. 
Therefore, a wear rate calculated by the industry 
method is extremely sensitive to errors in these 
two measurements. In Notice 15, the NHTSA 
proposed that wear rate be calculated by the 
least-squares regression method, as described 
above. This approach has the advantage of 
weighting all measurements and minimizing the 
effect of inaccurate readings, so it has been 
adopted. 



Differing tires on a single test vehicle. Uni- 
royal and the E.T.R.T.O. argued that each test 
convoy vehicle should be equipped with four iden- 
tical tires; the reason given was that otherwise, 
tlie performance of a candidate tire would be a 
function of the tires chosen by the NHTSA for 
use on the other axle of the test vehicle during 
compliance testing. Tlie NHTSA is unaware of 
any data that support this position. The rule 
adopted today requires that all vehicles in a single 
convoy be equipped with tires of the same general 
construction type, and that all tires on a single 
vehicle be of the same size designation. In exten- 
sive testing at San Angclo with this procedure, 
none of the suggested undesirable variations has 
been observed. 

Differing test vehicles in a single convoy. Sev- 
eral commenters suggested that the rule specify 
that all vehicles in a given convoy be identical, 
to reduce variations in projected treadlife. The 
NHTSA is in complete agreement with the 
premise that those variables which can be iden- 
tified and which can affect treadwear results 
should be controlled as closely as is feasible. 
Variations in vehicle type, however, do not ap- 
pear to produce significant variations in tread- 
wear projections. Nevertheless, to minimize 
such variations, tires will be tested for compliance 
only on vehicles for which they are available as 
original equipment or recommended replacement 
options. Where practical, all vehicles in a given 
convoy will be of the same make. However, to 
test tires designed for the range of wheel sizes 
available, the suggested method would require a 
proliferation of course monitoring tires, one for 
each combination of wheel size and construction 
type. Therefore, the suggestion has not been 
adopted. 

Accuracy of tread depth measurements. The 
RMA suggested that the interval between meas- 
urements be increased to 1,600 miles to reduce the 
effects of measurement error. However, if this 
interval were used instead of 800 miles, only five 
readings would be obtained in the 6,400 mile 
treadwear test, so errors in any one reading 
would result in a greater overall error. A re- 
cently completed study (Kondo, A. and Brenner, 



PART 575— PRE 34 



F.C., "Report on Round-Robin Groove Deptli 
Measuring Experiment," NHTSA Technical Note 
T-1012, March 1975— General Reference entry 
no. 44 in this docket) shows that variations 
among measurements of the same tread deptli by 
different operators do not present a serious prob- 
lem. The study found that the only significant 
variations in measurement results occur as a re- 
sult of differences in measuring techniques 
between different laboratories. Since these tech- 
niques are consistent within a given laboratory, 
the different laboratories arrive at the same re- 
sults in terms of the slope of the tread depth 
regression line that is the basis of the treadwear 
grade. 

TRACTION 

Traction grades are based on a tire's traction 
coefficient as measured on two wet skid pads, one 
of asphalt and one of concrete. Because a method 
for producing identical skid test surfaces at dif- 
ferent sites has not yet been developed, the 
NHTSA has established two skid pads, described 
in Appendix B, near the treadwear test course in 
San Angelo. These pads represent typical high- 
way surfaces. The asphalt surface has a traction 
coefficient, when tested wet using the American 
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) 
E 501 tire, of 0.50 ±0.10. The concrete surface 
was described in Notice 12 as having a traction 
coefficient, when similarly tested, of 0.47 ± 0.05. 
Due to surface polishing, this coefficient has de- 
clined and stabilized at 0.35 ± 0.10. As with 
the treadwear course, these pads are available 
for use by manufacturers as well as the agency. 
For allocations of test time, industry members 
should contact the NHTSA facility manager at 
the above address. 

Before each candidate tire test, the traction 
coefficient of each surface is measured with two 
ASTM tires to monitor variations in the surface, 
using a two-wheeled test trailer built in ac- 
cordance with ASTM Method E-274-70. The 
candidate tire's traction coefficient is similarly 
measured on each surface, and then adjusted by 
adding a fixed coefficient (0.50 for asphalt, 0.35 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 

for concrete) and subtracting the average co- 
efficient obtained from measurements with the 
two ASTM tires. 

The tire industry's major objection to the pro- 
posed rule was that, with four possible grades 
for traction, two tires might be graded differently 
without a meaningful difference in their per- 
formance. The RMA suggested a scheme with 
two grade categories above a minimum require- 
ment. The rule issued today, by setting two 
threshold levels of performance, establishes three 
grades: "0", for performance below the first 
threshold; "*", for performance above the first 
threshold; and "**", for performance above the 
second threshold. The NHTSA is convinced that 
the grades thus defined reflect significant differ- 
ences in traction performance. 

Firestone suggested that further testing may 
demonstrate that only one pad is necessary to 
give the best and most consistently repeatable 
results. However, the ranking of a group of 
tires based on their performance on one surface 
can differ from their ranking on another surface. 
In fact, one tire manufacturer suggested that an 
additional surface of low coefficient be included 
in the testing scheme for this reason. The 
NHTSA agrees that an additional surface may 
increase the utility of the traction grading sys- 
tem, and anticipates a proposal to implement this 
suggestion in the future. 

The suggestion of Pirelli, that measurements 
be made during the period between 0.5 and 1.5 
seconds after wheel lockup instead of the period 
between 0.2 and 1.2 seconds, has been adopted. 
To permit more efficient use of the skid pads, the 
rule specifies a test sequence which differs sliglitly 
from tliat originally proposed : instead of being- 
tested repeatedly on the asphalt pad and then 
repeatedly on the concrete pad, eacli tire is run 
alternately over the two pads. A change in 
paragraph (f) (2) (i) (A) permits tires to be con- 
ditioned on the test trailer as an alternative to 
conditioning on a passenger car. Another change 
facilitates the use of trailers with instrumenta- 
tion on only one side, which liad been inad- 
vertently precluded by the wording of the 
proposed rule. 



PART 575— PRE 35 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 

TEMPERATURE RESISTANCE 

The major objection to the proposed high 
speed performance grading scheme was that it 
was neither necessary nor beneficial to the con- 
sumer. Several commenters pointed out that 
Standard No. 109 specifies testing a tire against 
a laboratory wheel at a speed corresponding to 
85 mph, and argued that certification of a tire 
to this minimum requirement provides the con- 
sumer with adequate information about its per- 
formance at all expected driving speeds. They 
suggested that only one higher grade be estab- 
lished, for tires designed to be used on emergency 
vehicles. Some commenters indicated that, as 
proposed, the rule seemed to condone or even 
encourage the imsafe operation of motor vehicles 
above legal speed limits. To preclude this mis- 
interpretation, the third tire characteristic to be 
graded has been renamed "temperature resist- 
ance". The grade is indicative of the running 
temperature of the tire. Sustained high tem- 
perature can cause the material of the tire to 
degenerate and reduce tire life, and excessive 
temperature can lead to sudden tire failure. 
Therefore, the distinctions provided by three 
grades of temperature resistance are meaningful 
to the consumer. Except for the name change, 
this aspect of quality grading has been adopted 
as proposed. A grade of "C" corresponds to the 
minimum requirements of Standard No. 109. 
"B" indicates completion of the 500 rpm test 
stage specified in paragraph (g)(9), while "A" 
indicates completion of the 575 rpm test range. 

PROVISION OF GRADING INFORMATION 

Several commenters objected to the proposed 
tread label requirement, suggesting that point- 
of-sale material such as posters and leaflets could 
provide the consumer with adequate information 
about tire grades. For the reasons discussed in 
Notice 12, the NHTSA is convinced that labels 
affixed to the tread of the tire are the only satis- 
factory method of providing complete informa- 
tion to replacement tire purchasers. Therefore, 
the scheme for transmitting quality grading in- 
formation to consumers, combining sidewall mold- 



ing, tread labels, and point-of-sale materials, has 
been adopted substantially as proposed. A 
change in paragraph (d) (1) (ii) clarifies the 
respective duties of vehicle manufacturers and 
tire manufacturers to provide information for 
prospective purchasers. 

Several vehicle manufacturers requested that 
new vehicles not be required to be equipped with 
graded tires until six months after the date that 
tires must be graded. These commenters appear 
to have misunderstood the scope of the quality 
grading standard. The NHTSA expects that 
tires which comply with the standard will appear 
on new vehicles as inventories of ungraded tires 
are depleted. Part 575.6 requires of the vehicle 
manufacturer only that he provide the specified 
information to purchasers and prospective pur- 
chasers when he equips a vehicle with one or 
more tires manufactured after the applicable 
effective date of this rule. 

The NHTSA has determined that an Infla- 
tionary Impact Statement is not required pur- 
suant to Executive Order 11821. Industry cost 
estimates and an inflation impact review are filed 
in public Docket No. 25. This review includes 
an evaluation of the expected cost of the rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, a new 
§ 575.104, "Uniform Tire Quality Grading Stand- 
ards" is added to 49 CFR Part 575. . . . 

Ejfective dates. For all requirements other 
than the molding requirement of paragraph 
(d)(l)(i)(A) : January 1, 1976, for radial ply 
tires; July 1, 1976, for bias-belted tires; January 
1, 1977, for bias ply tires. For paragraph 
(d) (1) (i) (A) : July 1*1976, for radial ply tires; 
January 1, 1977, for bias-belted tires; July 1, 
1977, for bias-ply tires. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203; Pub. L. 89-563. 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
1423) ; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on May 20, 1975. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

40 F.R. 23073 
May 28, 1975 



PART 575— PRE 36 



Effective: January 1, 1976 
July 1, 1976 
January 1, 1977 
July 1, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 18) 



This notice republishes, with minor changes, 
paragraphs (e) (1) (v) and (ij) (2) (i) (B), Figure 
2, and the appendices of § 575.104, Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading Standards, which was published 
May 28, 1975 (40 F.R. 23073; Notice 17). 

In describing the rims on which candidate tires 
are to be mounted. Notice 17 inadvertently re- 
ferred to the Appendix to Standard No. 110. 
On February 6, 1975, the definition of "test rim" 
in Standard No. 109 was amended and the Ap- 
pendix to Standard No. 110 was deleted (Docket 
No. 74-25; Notice 2; effective August 5, 1975). 
Under the new definition, a "test rim" may be 
any of several widths, only one of which is equal 
to that listed under the words "test rim width" 
in Table I of the Appendix to Standard No. 109. 
Paragraphs (e) (1) (v) and (f ) (2) (i) (B) are 
corrected to specify the rim mounting scheme in 
terms of the new definition. 

As Figure 2 was published in the Federal Reg- 
ister, the words "DOT Quality Grades" appeared 
as the Figure's title. In fact, the words are a 
part of the text which must appear on each tread 
label required by paragraph (d)(1)(B), and 
accordingly the figure is republished with the 
correct title. 

The treadwear test course described in Ap- 
pendix A is changed so that the loops are traveled 
in the following order: south, east, and north- 
west. This change is designed to increase safety 
by reducing the number of left turns. The table 
of key points and mileages is revised to reflect 



the change. Corresponding changes are made in 
the numbers used to designate these points in the 
text and in Figure 3. 

To prevent the bunching of test vehicles at 
STOP signs and thereby increase safety, the 
speed to which vehicles must decelerate when 
abreast of the direction sign is changed in Ap- 
pendix A to read "20 mph". 

The reference to Figure 2 in the second para- 
graph of Appendix B is corrected to indicate 
that the asphalt skid nad is depicted in Figure 
4. The shading of the skid pads is corrected to 
correspond to the description in the text. 

The first two paragraphs of Appendix C, 
Method of Least Squares, were omitted. Those 
paragraphs are now inserted and the graph is 
designated as Figure 5. 

In consideration of the foregoing, paragraphs 
(e) (1) (v) and (f) (2) (i) (B), Figure 2, and the 
appendices to § 575.104 of Title 49, Code of Fed- 
eral Regulations, are republished. . . . 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203; Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
1423) ; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 



Issued on June 25, 1975. 



James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

40 F.R. 28071 
July 3, 1975 



PART 575— PRE 37-38 



Effective: January 6, 1976 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 75-27; Notice 2) 



This notice amends Standard No. 105-75, Hy- 
draulic Brake Systems, 49 CFR 571.105-75, to 
revise the parking brake test procedure (S7.7). 
In addition, this notice amends Subpart B of 
Part 575, Consumer Information, 49 CFR 
§ 575.101, by replacing the present test procedures 
in that section for passenger car testing with 
equivalent procedures from Standard No. 105-75. 

The NHTSA proposed a modification of the 
parking brake test procedures in Standard No. 
105-75 to permit a reapplication of the parking 
brake if the first application of the brake failed 
to hold the vehicle stationary on the test in- 
cline. Toyo Kogyo requested the modification as 
representative of normal driver action (in cases 
where the application appears to be insufficient 
to hold the vehicle), justifying the change as 
necessary to permit new vehicle components to 
stretch or "set" during the initial application as 
occurs in any vehicle delivered to a purchaser. 
The NHTSA agreed that reapplication would be 
a reasonable test procedure and proposed a re- 
vision of S7.7. 

Comments were received from Toyo Kogyo, 
General Motors, American Motors Corporation, 
and Chrysler Corporation in support of the 
change. No comments were received that ob- 
jected to the proposal. The standard is amended 
accordingly. 

The NHTSA also proposed that the consumer 
information item requiring publication of the 
stopping ability of passenger cars and motor- 
cycles (49 CFR §575.101) be modified for pas- 
senger cars so that test data developed under 
Standard No. 105-75 could be the basis for the 
required consumer information. The existing 
test procedures of the consumer information item 
would be replaced by Standard No. 105-75 test 
procedures, and a transition period until Jan- 



uary 1, 1977, would be provided to allow manu- 
facturers latitude in adopting the new procedures. 

The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association 
(MVMA), Chrysler Corporation, American Mo- 
tors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and 
General Motors Corporation supported the mod- 
ifications. The MVMA and Ford pointed out an 
inadvertent omission in the proposal of a required 
change in the present loading specification (max- 
imum loaded vehicle weight) to the Standard 
No. 105-75 loading specification (gross vehicle 
weight rating (GVAVR)). No comments op- 
posed the modification, and the consumer in- 
formation item is therefore amended as proposed, 
with the additional modification noted by the 
MVMA and Ford. The transition period for 
use of either loading specification conforms to 
the transition period for use of either test pro- 
cedure (until January 1, 1977). The MVMA 
asked for a June 1, 1977, date for transition to 
the new loading specification but did not explain 
the need for more time. The NHTSA will con- 
sider, any data on this subject submitted by the 
MVMA. 

With regard to test loading, Chrysler Cor- 
poration repeated a request for revision of the 
loading conditions of Standard No. 105-75. The 
request was earlier submitted improperly as a 
petition for reconsideration of an NHTSA ac- 
tion which did not deal with test loading (40 
F.R. 24525, June 9, 1975). Section 553.35 of 
NHTSA regulations (49 CFR 553.35) allows 
petitions for reconsideration of rules issued by 
the NHTSA, but in this case no rule was issued 
on test loading that could form the basis for re- 
consideration. The NHTSA discussed Chrysler's 
request at a meeting with Chrysler officials on 
August 21, 1975. Based on the limited informa- 
tion presented by Chrysler at that meeting, the 



PART 575— PRE 39 



Effective: January 6, 1976 

NHTSA has concluded that a reduction in test 
weight would not be justified. At the meeting it 
was agreed that Chrysler would submit any addi- 
tional data it had in support of the request. To 
date no data have been received, and the NHTSA 
cannot meaningfully reconsider Chrysler's re- 
quest without further data. 

The NHTSA also proposed modification of the 
means for establishing the skid number of the 
surface on which stopping distance tests are con- 
ducted in Standard No. 105-75, Standard No. 
121, Air Brake Systems, Standard No. 122, Mo- 
toTcycle Brake Systems, and the Consumer 
Information Item on brake performance. Com- 
ments received were not in agreement on how to 
accomplish the transition from the former ASTM 
method to the new one. The skid number pro- 
posal will therefore be treated separately at a 
later date so that its resolution will not delay 
this amendment of the parking brake and con- 
sumer information item test procedures. 



In consideration of the foregoing, amendments 
are made in Chapter V of Title 49, Code of Fed- 
eral Regulations. . . . 

Elective date : January 6, 1976. Because these 
amendments, to the extent that they impose new 
substantive requirements, are made optional for 
an interim period, and because manufacturers 
must plan future testing based on the test pro- 
cedures as they exist in the present standard, it 
is found for good cause shown that an immediate 
effective date is in the public interest. 

(Sec. 103, 119 Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 (15 
U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority at 
49 CFR 1.51). 

Issued on December 31, 1975. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

41 F.R. 1066 
January 6, 1976 



PART 575— PRE 40 



EfFecHve: April 1, 1976 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 76-1; Notice 2) 



This notice amends 49 CFR 567 and 575 to 
allow manufacturers an alternative method of 
referring purchasers to appropriate consumer 
information tables. 

On January 22, 1976, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration issued in the 
Federal Register (40 FR 3315) a notice which 
proposed amending 49 CFR 575, Consumer In- 
formation, and 49 CFR 567, Certification, to allow 
the consumer information document provided to 
the purchaser of a vehicle to refer the reader to 
the vehicle's certification label to determine which 
information applied to that vehicle. This infor- 
mation, which relates to the performance char- 
acteristics of the vehicle, is required to be made 
available to purchasers by 49 CFR 575.6(a). 
Currently, if the document containing this infor- 
mation also contains information relating to other 
vehicles, the document itself must clearly indi- 
cate which information is applicable to the ve- 
hicle purchased. The NHTSA proposal was 
made in response to a petition from the General 
Motors Corporation which suggested that the 
proposed alternative procedure would for some 
companies be a more efficient and less costly 
method of accomplishing the purposes of the 
regulation. 

Comments in support of the proposal were re- 
ceived from General Motors Corporation, Amer- 



ican Motors Corporation, Chrysler Corporation 
and Ford Motor Company. No comments in 
opposition were received. 

Based on the petition of General Motors and 
the comments concerning the notice of proposed 
rulemaking, the NHTSA concludes that allowing 
an alternative method of designating the appro- 
priate consumer information tables would reduce 
the possibility of error and lessen the cost to the 
manufacturer. 

In consideration of the foregoing, Parts 567 
and 575 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, 
are amended. . . . 

Effective date : April 1, 1976. Because the pro- 
cedures established herein ai'e optional and im^ 
pose no increased burden on any party, it is 
found for good cause shown that an immediate 
effective date is in the public interest. 

(Sec. 103, 112, 114, 119, Pub. L. 80-563, 80 
Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407); 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on : March 26, 1976. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

41 F.R. 13923 
April 1, 1976 



PART 575— PRE 41-42 



Effective: June 14, 1976 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

(Docket No. 75-27; Notice 4) 



This notice amends Standard No. 105-75, 
Hydraulic Brake Systems, and Standard No. 122, 
Motorcycle Brake Systems, to modify the means 
for establishing the frictional resistance of the 
surface on which stopping distance tests are con- 
ducted. A similar amendment is made to Part 
575, Oonswmer Information, of Title 49 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- 
istration (NHTSA) proposed the change in 
Standard No. 105-75 (49 CFR 571.105-75), 
Standard No. 121, Air Brake Systems (49 CFR 
571.121), Standard No. 122 (49 CFR 571.122), 
and the Consumer Information Regulations (49 
CFR 575.101) in response to a petition from 
British-Leyland Motors Limited (40 FR 45200, 
October 1, 1975). The existing test procedure 
in these regulations has specified use of the 
American Society for Testing and Materials 
(ASTM) E-274-65T procedure, using an ASTM 
E249 tire that is no longer manufactured. 

Responses were received on the proposed 
ASTM change from White Motor Corporation 
(White), Mack Trucks, Inc. (Mack), Freight- 
liner Corporation (Freightliner), Ford Motor 
Company (Ford), General Motors Corporation 
(GM), Chrysler Corporation (Chrysler), Amer- 
ican Motors Corporation (AMC), and Interna- 
tional Harvester (IH). The National Motor 
Vehicle Safety Advisory Council made no com- 
ment on the proposal. 

Most commenters supported use of the new 
test procedure and tire, although they differed in 
recommendations for correlating the reading 
produced under the new procedure with that 
produced under the old procedure. Manufactur- 
ers are presently certifying compliance to brake 
standards on test surfaces with a satisfactory 
reading under the old procedure, and they should 
be able to continue testing and certifying com- 



pliance on the same surface without any increase 
in the severity of the tests. To accomplish this 
transition, the correlation in readings between 
the procedures has been determined, and the dif- 
ference is reflected in a change of the dry surface 
value from "skid number" 75 to "skid number" 
81. 

Freightliner urged postponement of any action 
until it could be supported by "adequate and 
statistically reliable test data." AMC also rec- 
ommended that the NHTSA do nothing "until 
the industry has had sufficient time to evaluate 
and verify the performance of the ASTM E501 
test tire on all types of surfaces." 

The change in procedure is prompted by the 
ASTM decision to utilize a new tire in ascertain- 
ing the frictional coefficient of test surfaces. As 
a result the old tire is no longer manufactured 
and only the new tire is available for skid num- 
ber measurement. Manufacturers have conducted 
comparative tests with the new tire to determine 
the correlation between the readings given by the 
two tires. Neither Freightliner nor AMC sub- 
mitted data showing that the agency's proposal 
to adjust the dry surface skid number upwards 
is unjustified. Only Mack submitted data and it 
supported the NHTSA and Federal Highway 
Administration test data that have been placed 
in the docket. General Motors considered the 
agency's proposed upward adjustment to be the 
maximum desirable based on its data. Interna- 
tional Harvester, Chrysler, and Ford supported 
the change in dry surface skid number without 
qualification, and White suggested that a skid 
number of 85 be utilized. The agency finds that 
the AMC and Freightliner requests for further 
delay are unjustified. 

Ford and Freightliner asked that the skid 
number for the lower coefficient (wet) surface 
also be adjusted. The agency's purpose in pro- 



PART 575— PRE 43 



Effective: June 14, 1976 

posing the adjustment is limited to changes nec- 
essary to avoid a modification of the test surfaces 
or an increase in the severity of performance 
levels specified under the safety standards. The 
NHTSA earlier concluded that change of the wet 
surface specification was unnecessary, and no evi- 
dence has been supplied that would modify the 
earlier determination. 

General Motors noted that an editorial change 
to the newer ASTM procedure does not appear 
in early publications of that procedure. To put 
all interested persons on notice of the editorial 
change, the NHTSA has included the change in 
its references to the ASTM E274-70 procedure. 

Freightliner asserted that the newer procedure 
included modification of a formula that justified 
a larger upwards adjustment than that proposed 
by the agency. Actually, the modifications only 
corrected an error in the earlier formula which 
had no effect on the determination of frictional 
coefficient. Manufacturers either utilized a test 
trailer that obviated the need for calculations 
using the formula, or were aware of the error 
and corrected for it in their calculations. Thus 
the adjustment I'equested by Freightliner is not 
warranted. 

In accordance with recently-enunciated De- 
partment of Transportation policy encouraging 
adequate analysis of the consequences of regula- 
tory action (41 FK 16201, April 16, 1976), the 
agency herewith summarizes its evaluation of the 
economic and other consequences of this amend- 
ment on the public and private sectors, including 
possible loss of safety benefit. Because the new 
references to procedures and a test tire are ex- 
pected to accord with existing practices, the 
amendment is judged not to have any significant 
impact on costs or benefits of the standards and 
consumer information item that are modified by 
the change. 



Standard No. 121, Air Brake Systems, is pres- 
ently subject to judicial review under Section 
105(a) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act (15 U.S.C. Section 1394(a)). The 
U.S. Court of Appeals hearing the petition for 
review has indicated that it prefers to review the 
standard as it presently exists, without unneces- 
sary amendment. To the degree possible, the 
agency is complying with that request and there- 
fore, in the case of Standard No. 121, will delay 
the update of ASTM procedure until review is 
completed. 

It is noted that this change in procedure for 
ascertaining the frictional resistance of the test 
surface does not invalidate data collected using 
the older procedure, and manufacturers can pre- 
sumably certify on the basis of stopping distance 
tests conducted on surfaces measured by the old 
tire. 

In consideration of the foregoing, amendments 
are made in Chapter V of Title 49, Code of 
Federal Regulations. . . . 

Effective date: June 14, 1976. Because the 
older test tire is no longer manufactured, and 
because the amendment of procedure and test tire 
is intended only to duplicate the existing proce- 
dure and tire, this amendment creates no addi- 
tional requirements for any person, and an 
immediate effective date is found to be in the 
public interest. 

(Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on June 8, 1976. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

41 F.R. 24592 
June 17, 1976 



PART 575— PRE 44 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION REGULATIONS 



Uniform Tire Quality Grading 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 24) 



Action: Final rule. 

Swmmaiy : This notice announces the effective 
dates for implementation of a uniform tire qual- 
ity grading regulation with respect to bias and 
bias-belted tires, as authorized by Section 203 of 
the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act of 1966. This notice also responds to com- 
ments on, and makes final, proposals concerning 
course monitoring tires and labeling as well as to 
petitions for reconsideration of the iiile. 

Elective date: For all requirements, other than 
the molding requirement of paragraph (d) (1) 
(i) (A), the effective dates are: March 1, 1979 for 
bias ply tires, and September 1, 1979 for bias- 
belted tires. 

For paragraph (d) (1) (i) (A), the molding re- 
quirement, the effective dates are: September 1, 
1979 for bias ply tires, and March 1, 1980 for 
bias-belted tires. No effective date is established 
at this time for radial tires. 

Addresses: Petitions for reconsideration of the 
tire labeling amendments should refer to the 
docket number and be submitted to: Room 5108, 
Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street S.W., Wash- 
ington, D.C. 20590. 

For further information contact : 

Dr. F. Cecil Brenner, Office of Automotive 
Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202) 426-1742. 

Supplementary information: On May 28, 1975 
(40 FR 23073), the NHTSA published as a final 
rule a regulation pertaining to Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading (UTQG) as authorized by the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966 (the Act) (15 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.). The 



purpose of this regulation is to alleviate confusion 
in the purchase of passenger car tires and to 
provide simple comparative data upon which an 
informed tire selection can be made by consum- 
ers. Under the regulation, tires will be graded 
in three areas of performance: treadwear, trac- 
tion, and temperature resistance. 

Implementation of the regulation was delayed 
pending litigation of the validity of its gi'ading 
procedures. In B.F. Goodrich et al v. Depart- 
ment of Transportation, 541 F.2d 1178 (6th Cir., 
1976), the court upheld for the most part the 
agency's approach to tire quality gi-ading. The 
court remanded for further agency consideration, 
however, two aspects of the regulation. First, the 
court suggested that the NHTSA reexamine the 
labeling requirements of the regulation to ensure 
that sufficient warnings would be provided to 
consumers to avoid the misapplication of the 
label information. Second, the court remanded 
to the agency the matter of the selection of course 
monitoring tires, for the agency to complete its 
testing and selection of the three course monitor- 
ing tires or, if this had already been accom- 
plished, for reopening of the record to permit a 
brief period of industry comment on the selec- 
tions. The court upheld the rule in all other 
respects. 

Pursuant to the remand in the B. F. Goodi'ich 
decision, the agency issued two proposals; one to 
modify labeling requirements and the other an- 
nouncing the selection of the course monitoring 
tires. Comments were received from several 
manufacturers and manufacturer representatives. 
This notice responds to those comments. 

In response to the publication of the UTQG 
regulation (May 28, 1975) (40 FR 23073), the 
agency received several petitions for reconsidera- 



PART 575— PRE 45 



tion. The agency announced that these petitions 
would not be immediately answered owing to the 
ongoing litigation involving the regulation (40 
FR 57806). Since the challenge to the regulation 
has now be«n disposed of by the court, this notice 
responds fully to those petitions for reconsidera- 
tion. 

/. Labeling (Notice 21). 

On December 13, 1976, the NHTSA published 
a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the 
traction and temperature resistance lalieling re- 
quirements of UTQG (49 CFR 575.104). That 
notice was in response to the decision in the B. F. 
Goodri/j.h case. 

The petitioners in the B. F. Goodrich case 
argued that the then existing labeling require- 
ments would be misleading in several respects 
pertaining to traction testing and temperature 
resistance. The court remanded those issues to 
the agency for further consideration, suggesting 
the addition to the labels of clarifying warnings. 
The agency's December 13, 1976 notice proposed 
warnings in accordance with the court's decision 
that would ensure that UTQG label information 
would not be misconstrued. 

The NHTSA received seven comments in re- 
sponse to the notice of proposed rulemaking. 
Most of these comments favored the warnings 
proposed by the agency with several comments 
proposing minor editorial changes for clarity. 
The agency has altered somewhat the final version 
of these warnings in consideration of the com- 
ments. The Vehicle Equipment Safety Commis- 
sion did not submit comments. 

Treadwear Labeling 

The Rubber Manufacturers Association 
(RMA) recommended in its comments that the 
agency modify the treadwear example in Figure 2 
which explains that tires rated at 200 will achieve 
twice the mileage as tires rated at 100. RMA 
indicated that few if any commercially availal)le 
tires could achieve such a rating. Accordingly, 
they suggested that the example show that a tire 
rated 150 would wear Xy^ times as well as a tire 
graded 100. 

The agency considers RMA's suggestion to 
have merit. Initially, the 200 figure was selected 
for the example because it facilitates understand- 



ing of the treadwear grading concept since it 
speaks in terms of round numbers (e.g., a tire 
grade 200 wears twice as well as a tire grade 
100). However, since few tires can achieve such 
a rating, the example would have little practical 
application. Therefore, the agency mollifies the 
example to reflect that 150 represents a treadlife 
11/2 times as good as that represented by the 
grade of 100. 

Traction Labeling 

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Firestone 
Tire and Rubber Company, and tlie RMA sug- 
gested in their comments that the XHTSA amend 
the traction information in Figure 2 of the label 
to indicate that the tires were tested under con- 
trolled conditions on specified government test 
surfaces. The agency believes that this informa- 
tion is useful to prevent misleading the consumer 
and amends Figure 2 accordingly. 

General Motors Corporation (GM) recom- 
mended that the agency add further warnings to 
the traction infonnation that would indicate that 
actual traction results would differ depending 
upon tread depth, road surface, and speed. GM 
contended that the proposed warning did not 
sufficiently detail the extent of the limitations 
upon the use of these traction data. 

The NHTSA is concerned that the warnings 
printed in the tire information be kept to the 
absolute minimiun in length while ensuring ade- 
quate consumer information. If warnings and 
tire information become so lengthy as to become 
burdensome upon the consumer to read, it is pos- 
sible that the information would go unused. The 
agency has determined that the statement in the 
warning that a tire was "measured under con- 
trolled conditions on specified government test 
surfaces" indicates that the te,st results were 
achieved under higlily specified conditions. 
Clearly, changes in any of the test conditions 
could affect the traction results. This meaning 
is obvious from tlie present wording of the warn- 
ing and further elaboration would needlessly 
lengthen the tire information. Therefore, the 
agency declines to adopt GM's suggested modifi- 
cation. 

The agency has reached the position that the 
clarity of the traction grading infonnation might 



PART 575— PRE 46 



be enhanced by the use of the letters A, B, and C 
in place of the symbols **, *, and O presently 
employed to denote traction grades. A proposal 
to modify the traction gi-ading system by substi- 
tution of the letters A, B, and C for the present 
traction symbols is published concurrently with 
this notice in the proposed rule section of the 
Federal Register. 

Temperature Resistance Labeling 

Several commenters suggested that the tire tem- 
perature warning be clarified to indicate that ex- 
cessive speed, underinflation, or excessive loading, 
either alone or in combination, can result in tem- 
perature increases and possible tire failure. The 
commenters suggested this cliange because heat 
build-up can occur at nonnal speeds when there 
is tire underinflation or overloading. Tlie current 
proposal, however, implies that heat build-up 
would only occur at excessive speeds. The 
NHTSA agrees with this suggestion and modifies 
the temperature warning accordingly. 

The RMA suggested that the label elaborate 
on the meaning of the temperature grades C, B, 
and A. Tlie grades C, B, and A represent com- 
parative differences in a tire's ability to with- 
stand the generation of heat without suffering 
structural degeneration and potential tire failure. 
Although the grades C, B, and A in themselves 
do not inform a consumer of the specific amount 
of difference between tires in the three gi'ades, 
the grades do convey to the consumer the fact 
that one tire performs better than the other in 
this specific test. To specify more exactly the 
amount of difference in heat dissipation repre- 
sented by each grade or the technical nature of 
the test involved would merely confuse many 
people not versed in the technical nature of the 
test. Therefore, the agency has determined that 
the temperature grading method should be re- 
tained as it is. The NHTSA notes further that 
the court in the B. F. Goodrich case examined 
this aspect of temperature grading and found it 
to be adequate. 

Miscellaneous Labeling 

Several commenters requested that the agency 
implement a labeling system similar to that em- 
ployed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (Pub. 



L. 93-637) . The FTC in its regulations (16 CFR 
Part 702) permits the display of warranty infor- 
mation in any of four locations. The commenters 
to Notice 21 suggested that the agency should 
adopt the FTC's approach since Congress could 
not have intended that our regulations be more 
burdensome than those imposed under the 
Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (Warranty Act). 

The purpose of the Warranty Act is to ensure 
the open display of warranty data in order to 
provide consumers an opportunity to make buy- 
ing choices based upon available warranties. The 
purpose of UTQG is similar but not identical to 
the Warranty Act. UTQG, like the Warranty 
Act, is intended to provide information to the 
consumer pennitting him or her to make a ra- 
tional choice in the selection of a product — 
specifically tires. Beyond the warranty data, 
however, the UTQG will dispel some of the in- 
accuracies and otherwise misleading information 
currently extant in the tire marketing business. 

Congress considered tire retailing procedures 
to be a substantial problem. Accordingly, the 
Congress enacted a special provision in the Na- 
tional Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966 to provide information to consumers on 
these products. The agency considers this spe- 
cific mandate to justify the requirement that 
grading information be provided in several loca- 
tions. At present, grading information must be 
contained on the tire sidewall (49 CFR 575.104 
(d) (1) (i) (A) ), on a label affixed to the tread 
surface (49 CFR 575.104(d) (1) (i) (B)), and in 
the information furnished under CFR 575.6(a) 
and (c) to motor vehicle purchasers and to pro- 
spective purchasers of vehicles or tires (49 CFR 
575.104(d) (l)(ii) and (iii)). The provision of 
UTQG information in several locations will en- 
sure the broadest possible dissemination of this 
information to consumers. 

Further, unlike many other consumer goods 
that can be adequately handled by the Warranty 
Act, tires deserve additional consumer safeguards 
owing to their varied methods of marketing and 
their importance to traffic safety. Many con- 
sumer goods are purchased only as a single final 
unit from a retail outlet (e.g., small appliances). 
Tires, on the other hand, can be purchased indi- 
vidually or can come, as in the case of original 
equipment, as a component of another retail 



PART 575— PRE 47 



product (a motor vehicle). Accordingly, the 
need for maximum dissemination of information 
through several labeling locations is increased by 
the varied methods of tire retailing. The crucial 
role of tires in motor vehicle safety makes it 
imperative that information on tire quality be 
brought to the attention of consiuuers regardless 
of the marketing method employed. 

The agency has previously carefully assessed 
its requirements for labeling in compliance with 
UTQG. In that assessment the agency deter- 
mined that the Congressional mandate coupled 
with the unique nature of tire marketing war- 
ranted the labeling requirements established by 
the XHTSA. Further, the court in the B. F. 
Goodrich case upheld this labeling approacli. 
Therefore, the agency declines to adopt the modi- 
fication suggested by the commenters concerning 
the establishment of alternative labeling rather 
than mandatory labeling in several locations. 

With regard to the wisdom of the UTQG 
labeling system in comparison with Warranty 
Act provisions, it is instructive that the FTC 
Cliairman concluded in a September 16, 1977 
letter to Goodyear that "it is apparent that the 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading System will pro- 
duce useful, reliable information for the buying 
public." The letter contained no suggestions for 
improvement of the UTQG regulation, or that 
the UTQG regulation is in conflict with the 
Warranty Act. 

On a matter of general application to the infor- 
mation label issue, Goodyear recommended that 
the agency ensure that the tire grading informa- 
tion will be presented to the tire purchaser. To 
achieve this goal. Goodyear suggested that the 
tire retailer be required to display the informa- 
tion. Without such a requirement they argued, 
tire grading information would not be useful. 

The agency agrees that the provision of infor- 
mation in an easily identifiable and readily ac- 
cessible location is necessary to the success of the 
tire grading concept. This is one of the reasons 
that tile agency has been insistent about requiring 
the display of this information in a uniform 
fashion. The XHTSA encourages the open dis- 
play of this information but remains convinced 
that the requirement that tires contain a label on 
the tire tread explaining the grading system is 



necessary for purposes of informing the public of 
tire grading. This label cannot be removed from 
the tire prior to sale. It is noted that a proposal 
to modifj' the requirements for this label is pub- 
lished concurrently with this notice in the pro- 
posed rule section of the Federal Register. 

II. Course Monitoring Tires 

On February 14, 1977, the agency issued a 
notice of proposed rulemaking that tentatively 
selected the course monitoring tires (CMT's) to 
be used for treadwear testing (42 FR 10320; 
February 22, 1977). The CMT's are run on the 
treadwear test course simultaneously with candi- 
date tires in order to provide an index of course 
variability that allows the adjustment of tread- 
wear results for such variability. The agency 
had previoush' selected the CMT's for radial 
tires. The court in B. F. Goodrich suggested that 
the XHTSA select all three of the CMT's con- 
currently including bias ply and bias-belted 
CMT's which the agency had previously not se- 
lected. The court further suggested that the 
agency permit a short comment period to receive 
responses on the agency CMT selections. 

Most of the comments to this proposal did not 
question the selection of tires chosen by the 
XHTSA. Ratlier, the comments focused upon 
alleged inadequacies in the XHTSA rulemaking 
procedures and the statistical analysis employed 
by the agency to determine the coefficients of 
variation (COV) for the tires selected. Several 
commenters criticized aspects of the UTQG pro- 
cedures previously determined to be valid by the 
court in the B. F. Goodrich case. 

Adequacy of NHTSA Data 

B. F. Goodrich and several other commenters 
argued that the agency tlid not provide ample 
time for meaningful comment to the notice an- 
nouncing the selection of CMT's. These com- 
menters alleged that the agency did not submit 
data to the docket in a timely fashion nor in 
complete form. For example, they argued that 
over 2,000 pages of data were docketed on Feb- 
ruary 14, 1977, which could have been placed in 
the docket as it was generated through the 
months of testing. 

The agency placed in the public docket on 
February 14, 1977, n^ore than 2000 pages of data 



PART 575— PRE 48 



accumulated through tests of the course monitor- 
ing tires. The notice announcing the CMT selec- 
tions was issued simultaneously, and both the 
data and the notice were promptly brought to the 
industry's attention, even though the notice was 
not published by the Federal Register until 
February 22. Thus, the industry was given 
somewhat more than the 30-day comment period 
to analyze and evaluate the data. Commenters 
should note that the court in the B. F. Goodrich 
case considered that a 30-day comment period 
would be sufficient to permit adequate comment 
on the agency annoimcement of the CMT selec- 
tions. 

The agency did not submit the data pertaining 
to the CMT selections to the docket in a piece- 
meal fashion as the commenters suggested should 
be done for several reasons. First, until all the 
data were generated and reviewed by the agency 
no decision could be made concerning the ade- 
quacy, in light of the court's mandate, of the 
CMT's initially selected by the agency. Only 
after accumulating a mass of data from many 
tests could the agency be sure of its selections and 
accordingly go forward with a notice making 
public its selections. To have released this infor- 
mation prior to the actual determination of the 
adequacy of the chosen tires would have been 
premature. 

A second reason for waiting to release the in- 
formation was the ongoing litigation on the sub- 
ject of UTQG. The court's remand did not 
formally reach the agency until the mandate is- 
sued on December 3, 1976. Since further agency 
rulemaking action depended upon the outcome of 
the B. F. Goodrich case, the NHTSA considered 
it necessary to receive the final mandate of the 
court, prior to continuing with its rulemaking 
effort with respect to UTQG. Upon receipt of 
the mandate of the court, the agency began rule- 
making in compliance with the remand. Rule- 
making proceeded expeditiously even though 
petitioners in the B. F. Goodrich case had filed 
a petition for certiorari. 

A further criticism by the commenters con- 
cerned an alleged continued withholding by the 
agency of data necessary for informed comments 
on the CMT selections. Several commenters 
stated that the data in the docket contain omis- 



sions. For example, the numbered data do not 
progress in a serial manner. 

The agency has not withheld relevant informa- 
tion from the docket as the commenters suggest. 
The extent that the numbered data (test num- 
bers) do not proceed in a serial manner re- 
sults from the inclusion of the docket only of 
those tests involved with the computation of the 
coefficients of variation (GOV) . The COV's were 
computed from the first 6,400-mile cycle (after 
an 800-mile break-in) of the CMT, as prescribed 
in the UTQG regulation. Subsequent cycles run 
on the same CMT were not run for purposes of 
computing the GOV. Therefore, subsequent test 
cycles of the same tires were deleted from the 
docketed data so as not to be confused with the 
computation of the COV's. All of the data upon 
which the agency based its detenninations per- 
taining to the COV's were placed in the docket. 

A further argument of the commenters was 
that the agency failed to include an analysis of 
the data indicating how our conclusions concern- 
ing COV's were achieved. The agency has used 
an established method for the detennination of 
the coefficients of variation. The method chosen 
is an accepted statistical technique. The NHTSA 
does not consider it necessary to reproduce under- 
lying, routine computations when each set of data 
is put into the docket. 

In connection with the alleged lack of informa- 
tion in the docket, several commentei-s suggested 
that . the NHTSA make further submissions to 
the docket concerning the test procedures used 
by the agency in testing the CMT's. The existing 
rule on UTQG contains the test procedures for 
conducting treadwear tests, and the B. F. Good- 
rich case upheld these test procedures. "\Alien the 
agency tests CMT's, the procedures outlined in 
the rule are, of course, rigidly followed. No 
other information relevant to the conduct of these 
tests exists to be placed in the docket. 

Some commenters argued that the NHTSA 
should make public some of the test variables in 
existence on the days tests were conducted. For 
example, they suggested that weather could liave 
an impact upon test results and, therefore, rec- 
ords of such weather conditions should be made 
available to them. The agency did not maintain 
such records, for the simple reason that the CMT 
procedure is specifically intended to account for 



PART 575— PRE 49 



all such variables. Of course, data such as 
weather conditions, can be determined from the 
infonnation contained in the docket. The test 
data list tlie date each test was run. If parties 
care to gather extraneous data for their own 
purposes, weather information for the days in 
question can be obtained by contactino; a weather 
service. It should be noted that many major tire 
manufacturers test in Southwest Texas. Indeed, 
Goodyear has stated in a brochure which de- 
scribes its San Angelo proving gi'ound, that "the 
San Angelo area presents the most ideal condi- 
tions for tire testing in the United States." 
(Docket 25, GR 86.) 

The RMA requested as part of their comments 
that, since further information should in their 
opinion be placed in the docket, the agency ex- 
tend the comment period. The agency, as stated 
above, placed all pertinent information in the 
docket, obviating the need for an extended com- 
ment period. Further, NHTSA procedures for 
requesting extensions, 49 CFR 553.19, require that 
such a request be submitted not less than 10 days 
before expiration of the comment period in ac- 
cordance with those procedures. Instead, the 
RMA included a request for extension in the 
body of their docket comment. It should be 
noted that, while the procedurally defective re- 
quest was not gi'anted, the agency has continued 
to accept and consider the comments of the RMA 
and others that have been received well after the 
comment closing date. 

Several commenters suggested that the NHTSA 
publish the base course wear rates for the CMT's 
chosen by the agency. Publication of these wear 
rates, the commenters argued, was necessary for 
their testing of the CMT's and thus for meaning- 
ful comments on Notice 22. The agency dis- 
agrees that it is necessary to have the base course 
wear rates for purposes of commenting upon the 
tires selected by the agency as CMT's. It is the 
coefficient of variation experienced in the testing 
that is relevant to their selection as monitors of 
the course, and the base course wear rate is ir- 
relevant to this consideration. 

Since the commenters desired the publication 
of these figures, albeit irrelevant to the selection 
of the CMT's, the agency hereby makes them 
public. The wear rates for the bias ply tire 



(Armstrong Surveyor 78) and for the bias-belted 
tire (General Jumbo 780) are 9.00 mils and 6.00 
mils per 1,000 miles, respectively. Since these 
figures have no impact upon the selection of 
CMTs announced in Notice 22, no comment 
period is required as a result of the publication 
of the base course wear rates. 

Firestone submitted two NHTSA technical 
papers for inclusion in the Docket. These papers 
have been modified by Firestone's imderlining 
without other comment. These papers are in- 
cluded in the docket even though they are not 
relevant to the present UTQG regulation. 

Possible Radial Wear Rate Problem 

In Notice 22, the agency stated that the data 
appeared to indicate that the wear rate for some 
radial tires may not be constant. The NHTSA 
concluded, therefore, that radials would not be 
included for the time being under the UTQG 
rule, since computations made under that rale 
contemplate a constant adjusted wear rate for 
projection purposes. Industry commenters ob- 
jected to this treatment of radials and argued 
that the agency should not proceed with any of 
the grading requirements unless it proceeds -with 
them all simultaneously. 

These commenters cited the B. F. Goodrich case 
which remanded the course monitoring tire issue 
to the agency, because a selection of all of the 
CMT's had not been made prior to the establish- 
ment of an effective date for the implementation 
of tlie rule to all tire types. The commenters 
interpreted this court mandate to mean that the 
agency was required to proceed with the promul- 
gation of grading requirements for all three tire 
types concurrently. The agency does not inter- 
pret the court decision in that manner. 

The 6th Circuit Court remanded to the agency 
the issue of the selection of the CMT's. It should 
be noted that at the time of the court decision 
the agency had not selected the bias and bias- 
belted CMT's even though it had established the 
eflfective dates for all tire types. Moreo\'er, the 
court noted that the selection of the radial CMT 
had been based upon a series of tests (reported 
in NHTSA Technical Note T-1014) which were 
flawed by a problem not clearly identified or ex- 
plained. The court's conclusion, therefore, was 



PART 575— PRE 50 



that it was inappropriate to schedule the effective 
date for compliance of tires with UTQG when 
the NHTSA had not given notice and invited 
comment on its selection of the CMT's. This 
mandate of the court does not prohibit the pro- 
mulgation of the rule in phases, however. 

The court's opinion stated that it would be 
inappropriate to require grading of a tire when 
all of the procedures (in this case the CMT selec- 
tion) had not been chosen, and commented upon, 
for that tire. The court did not, in the opinion 
of the NHTSA, state that the agency could not 
proceed with rulemaking on some tire types pend- 
ing further study of the application of the rule 
to another tire type. Therefore, the agency does 
not find merit in the position of the commenters 
who allege that the agency must proceed with a 
rule for all tire types at the same time. 

The agency has responded to the remand in 
Notice 22 by announcing the selection of all 
CMT's. That notice gave the industry adequate 
time to comment upon the agency's selections. 
However, until possible problems concerning the 
testing of radials are resolved, the agency will 
not set an effective date for the application of 
the rule to radial tires. As long as an effective 
date applicable to the grading of radials is not 
established prior to the establishment of grading 
procedures for that tire, the NHTSA can imple- 
ment the rule with respect to the other tire types 
and is not in violation of the court's remand. 

Several commenters argued that regardless of 
the court mandate, the NHTSA should not go 
forward with tire grading for two tire types 
while excluding radials. The commenters as- 
serted that altered test procedures for radials 
could result in different tests or a different test 
course for radial tires which would make com- 
parisons between them and the other tire types 
meaningless. 

By this comment, it is apparent that some 
people may have misunderstood the agency's 
earlier notice announcing the possible problem 
with radials. The problem that may attend the 
grading of radial tires is one of computing the 
wear rate after the 6400-mile test has been com- 
pleted, since there is some evidence suggesting 
that these tires may not wear at a constant rate 
after only an 800-mile break-in. No comparable 



problem has been found for bias and bias-belt«d 
tires. Ample data have been generated demon- 
strating that the wear rates for bias ply and 
bias-belted tires are constant after an 800-mile 
break-in. At present there are no plans to alter 
the test course or the actual test procedures. If 
changes were considered necessary in either the 
test coui-se or procedures, careful attention would 
then be given to their impact upon the compara- 
tive nature of the grades given other tire types. 
The agency would not implement test procedures 
for radial tires that differ from the procedures 
used for bias and bias-belted tires without afford- 
ing adequate time for comment upon such test 
procedures and without carefully evaluating com- 
ments received on such test procedures. 

The agency would like to note that with re- 
spect to the issue of radials, it was stated in the 
earlier notice that an apparent problem had been 
discovered with radials. The agency is not yet 
convinced that this problem does exist. How- 
ever, until such time as further analysis can be 
accomplished, the NHTSA considers it prudent 
to proceed cautiously with the implementation of 
the UTQG requirements for radial tires. 

Several commenters questioned the validity of 
the test procedures for testing treadwear. Good- 
year stated that the driving instructions are un- 
clear and, in particular, the braking procedure is 
not good. They stated further that the spacing 
in convoys was dangerously close on comers. 
Cooper Tire Company stated that the tests could 
not be repeated within statistically acceptable 
margins of error and, therefore, would be imen- 
forceable. 

The NHTSA does not agree with these com- 
ments questioning the validity of the test meth- 
odology. The agency has determined that the^e 
procedures provide a viable testing technique 
which can be duplicated for enforcement pur- 
poses. Further, the court in B. F. Goodrich up- 
held the test methodology. Accordingly, the 
agency sees no need to modify the test procedures. 

Goodyear also argued that the test course has 
been changed since the last update of the rule by 
the agency. For example, they argued that some 
stop signs are now yield signs. On a test course 
of this size and nature, minor modifications of 
road signs are to be expected with certain regu- 



PAKT 575— PRE 51 



larity. The regulation only lists "key points" to 
assist regulated parties, and has updated the 
regulation to reflect changes in these key points 
and will continue to do so. The minor changes 
in the test track which have occurred since the 
last publication of the regulation are included in 
this notice. 

The agency notes that with respect to sign 
changes in the treadwear course, such minor 
changes have no significant impact on tire grad- 
ing. The use of CMT's is designed to reduce the 
effects, if any, of the course variables, including 
course markings. Therefore, tlie agency consid- 
ers that minor changes in the road markings 
which will occur from time to time should have 
no impact upon the comparative ratings of tires. 
Nevertheless, the NHTSA will make every elfort 
to update the regulation periodically to reflect 
changed course markings. 

///. Effective dates 

Several commenters asserted that the agency 
must propose effective dates to give the industry' 
time to comment on the appropriateness of such 
dates. Notice 22 did not propose effective dates 
for the implementation of the regulation to bias 
and bias-belted tires. The agency has established 
the effective dates for all provisions other than 
the molding requirement as seven months from 
the publication of the final rule in the case of 
bias ply tires and 13 months from publication in 
the case of bias-belted tires. An additional six 
months has been provided in each case for the 
revision of tire molds. The issue of effective 
dates was litigated in the B. F. Goodrich case. 
The court there held that the implementation 
lead time as chosen by the agency was sufficient. 
The determination was based upon an evaluation 
of the capacity of the treadwear course and trac- 
tion skid pads in relation to the number of tires 
to be tested. Therefore, since the agency has not 
modified the test procedure in any manner, there 
is no need to raise again the issue of effective 
dates as long as the agency allows the same lead 
time as was held valid by the court. Moreover, 
as noted in the court's opinion, the agency will 
closely monitor the actual use of the treadwear 
course and traction skid pads and will exercise 
its discretion to extend the lead time periods if it 
should become necessary to do so in the future. 



Cooper Tire Company stated that changing the 
order of implementation of the requirements re- 
quires a reassessment of the effective date require- 
ments. For example, radial tires no longer will 
be the first tire type to be tested. According to 
Cooper, a manufacturer may be banned by the 
change in the order of implementation and fur- 
ther study of the effective dates is thus warranted. 

The agency does not agree that a change in the 
order of implementation of the grading regula- 
tion for different tire types requires total recon- 
sideration of the effective dates. As set forth in 
this notice and in Notice 22, bias ply will be the 
first tire construction type required to be graded. 
A count by NHTSA staff of the number of pas- 
senger tire lines set forth in a standai'd reference, 
"1977 Tread Design Guide" (published by the 
Tire Information Center, Commack, New York), 
excluding winter treads (snow tires) and dupli- 
cates of the same tread design, indicates that of 
some 1139 tire lines on the market, approximately 
■431 are radials, 408 are bias-ply, and the remain- 
ing 300 are bias-l>elted. Therefore, if ample time 
was provided in the previous rule for the testing 
of radials, and the court held that the lead time 
was sufficient, there certainly should be sufficient 
lead time to test bias ply tires which are fewer 
in number. Although this change naay create 
greater test burdens for individual manufactur- 
ers, it will not impair the ability of the test fa- 
cilities to accommodate tire grading. 

IV. Statistical Comments 

The RMA criticized the NHTSA's statistical 
analysis of the data upon which the coefficients 
of variation were derived. The RMA submitted 
a paper written by Dr. Shelemyahu Zacks pur- 
porting to discredit the NHTSA's analysis. 
Through this paper the RMA suggested that the 
coefficients of variation (COV) were larger than 
the agency had indicated. 

The analysis done by the NHTSA was con- 
ducted according to statistically acceptable pro- 
cedures, but the NHTSA concluded that it would 
be prudent to obtain an impartial review of both 
the Zacks' and the NHTSA's analyses of the 
COV's. The agency contracted with a noted 
statistician. Dr. Herbert Solomon, who re\'iewed 
the agency's procedures in view of Dr. Zacks' 
criticisms of those procedures and concluded that 



PART 575— PRE 52 



the agency was correct in its method of computa- 
tion of the COV's. The full text of both the 
Zacks and Solomon papers as well as the agency's 
analyses of the former are in the public docket. 

Subsequent to the Solomon report, the RMA 
submitted several comments intended to refute 
the accuracy of the report. In particular, the 
RMA contended that the use by NHTSA of "n" 
("n" = sample size), rather than "n-1", as the 
divisor in computing the sample standard devia- 
tion was incorrect and produced an inaccurately 
low GOV. After careful review of this question, 
the agency has concluded that the use of "n" in 
the formula for the sample standard deviation 
is a proper statistical approach as a step in the 
process of determining the sample GOV. More- 
over even if the alternative "n-1" fonnula were 
adopted, the resulting GOV's of 4.74, 3.08, and 
2.70 for bias, belted bias, and radial tires respec- 
tively would still fall within the 5% coefficient 
of variation which was approved by the court in 
the B. F. Goodrich case. The RMA's other con- 
tentions were also carefully reviewed and were 
found to be invalid and to reiterate much of the 
information contained in earlier RMA comments. 
Therefore, the agency declines to adopt the sta- 
tistical approach proffered by the RMA as well 
as the other recommendations of the RMA that 
attend their method of statistical analysis. 

B. F. Goodrich submitted a statistical study by 
its engineering staff of models of the wear be- 
havior of tires. (G. Thomas Wright, "The Ade- 
quacy of Linear Models in Tread Life Testing") . 
The agency's analysis of the study revealed that 
significant errors in the study accounted for 
Wright's differences with the linear model em- 
ployed in the regulation. The agency analysis 
was placed in the docket, and B. F. Goodrich 
subsequently filed a rebuttal to the analysis. Re- 
view by the agency of that rebuttal confirms that 
Wright's differences with the regulation's linear 
model involve liis failure to observe conventional 
statistical precepts. 

Uniroyal submitted comments suggesting that 
the NHTSA testing procedure did not adequately 
consider the effects of actual driving conditions 
upon tire grades. Uniroyal conducted a random 
sampling of tires on automobiles in parking lots. 
The conclusion of that study was that tires wear 



at varied rates depending upon the type of car, 
size of tire, load on the tire, and many other 
variables. Uniroyal suggested that its results 
indicated that it would have to test unlimited 
combinations of its tires to ensure correct grading. 

The NHTSA has always stated that UTQG 
does not give an exact measurement of a tire's 
life under all conditions. The agency realizes 
that tire life will vary depending upon a number 
of conditions. The court in B. F. Goodrich also 
recognized this fact when it stated that no test 
designed to grade millions of tires will be perfect. 
Few measuring techniques are. However, for 
this reason the agency cautions individuals con- 
cerning misapplication of the grading informa- 
tion. 

The Uniroyal survey yields results that are to 
be expected but that have no impact upon the 
validity of the UTQG test procedures. The test 
procedures for UTQG control most of the vari- 
ables. The course, speed, drivers, stopping con- 
ditions, and many other variables are controlled 
for tire testing purposes. For those environ- 
mental variables beyond the control of the agency, 
the NHTSA uses the GMT to measure their 
effect. The Uniroyal study did not control these 
variables. Accordingly, it does not present an 
accurate picture of comparative data between tire 
lines. The agency has detennined that compar- 
ing different tires under similar conditions on the 
treadwear course and traction skid pads does 
yield excellent comparative data. Therefore, the 
agency discounts the value of the Uniroyal study 
for purposes of questioning the validity of UTQG 
testing. The Uniroyal study merely indicates 
that the public must be cautioned against the 
misuse of grades provided on the tires. The 
NHTSA concludes that the warnings provided 
on the grading label information provide suffi- 
cient cautionai-y advice to the consumer. 

Gooper Tire Gompany ran computer tests in- 
tended to show that the same tire might receive 
different grades with any two tire treadwear tests. 
According to Gooper this indicated that the 
UTQG requirements are unenforceable. 

It has been argued in the past that enforcement 
testing for many of the agency's regulations and 
standards depends upon a test of a single piece 
of equipment or motor vehicle and accordingly 



PART 575— PRE 53 



the results cannot be projected to all vehicles or 
equipment. In other words, the coinmenters sug- 
gest that a noncompliance in one vehicle or item 
of motor vehicle equipment does not mean that 
all vehicles are defective. 

The agency's enforcement actions pertaining to 
all standards have been conducted, in the past, 
using a variety of data. A failure of equipment 
or a vehicle to reach a performance standard 
during an agency enforcement test indicates a 
potential noncompliance. The agency then goes 
to the manufacturer of the affected vehicle or 
equipment and requests the results of the manu- 
facturer's tests or other data upon which he based 
his certification of compliance with the standard. 
A similar method of enforcement is contemplated 
for UTQG. 

V. Petitions for Reconsideration. 

On May 28, 1975, the NHTSA published the 
final UTQG rule. In response to that rule, sev- 
eral petitions for reconsideration were received 
by the agency. A response to these petitions foi- 
reconsideration was delayed pending the outcome 
of the litigation in the B. F. Goodrich case. 
Several of the issues raised in the petitions have 
been answered by that litigation or in subsequent 
notices issued by the agency. The XHTSA will 
now respond to those issues raised in the peti- 
tions and not previously addressed. 

Several tire manufacturers commented that the 
lead time allowed prior to the effective date of 
the regulation was not adequate. The Japan 
Automobile Tire Manufacturers' Association, Inc. 
argued that there were significant time problems 
in the shipment of tires to the United States for 
treadwear testing on our test course and trans- 
mission of the resultant data back to Japan. 

The issue of lead time was litigated in the 
B. F. Goodrich case. The court upheld the 
agency's proposed lead time. Since the agency 
does not propose to reduce the amount of lead 
time from that proposed in 1975, there should be 
no problem with meeting the effective date of the 
regulation. 

Automobile manufacturer argued that they 
need more lead time than tire manufacturers 
since the specificity of the data required in the 
owner's manual forces them to wait until they 



receive the newly graded tires before printing 
the manuals. On a related point, many of the 
manufacturers suggested that the agency require 
in the owner's manual only general tire grading 
information. They argued that this is necessary 
Ijecause frequently manufacturers are unable to 
obtain the tire with which they normally equip 
their cars. In such an event, they would have to 
print a new owner's manual containing the new 
tire information and would be required by Part 
575 of our regulations to submit a copy of this 
new information to the NHTSA 30 days prior to 
its issuance. 

The agency has determined that the automobile 
manufacturers should operate under the same 
lead time constrictions as the tire manufacturers. 
Therefore, the effective date of the requirements 
applicable to the tire manufacturers shall also be 
applicable to the automobile manufacturers. This 
will ensure complete dissemination of grading 
information at the earliest possible time. 

The agency has concluded that the manufac- 
turer's suggestion to provide only general tire 
information in the owner's manual has merit. 
It would be cumbersome for a manufacturer to 
submit to the agency for 30-day re\'i6w its own- 
er's manual information ever^' time a change in 
tires was contemplated or required. The agency 
considers it sufficient for purposes of informing 
consumers, for manufacturers to provide general 
grading information in the owner's manual. This 
information would explain the grading system, 
giving the cautionarj- warnings to the consumer 
concerning the possible misuse of the UTQG in- 
formation. The consumer could then be directed 
to look at the tire sidewall for the particular 
grading of the tire. The rule has been amended 
to reflect this modification. 

The Motor Vehicle Manufacturer As,sociation 
(MVMA) and GM argued tiiat the temperature 
resistance grading system would be misleading to 
consumers. Both suggested a two grade approach 
to temperature testing using the "high speed" 
designation for tires designed to operate under 
those conditions. The agency does not agree that 
the temperature information will be misleading. 
The implementation of the proposed warnings on 
the misuse of the temperature infonnation should 
prevent any potential for consumer misunder- 



PART 575— PRE 54 



standing. The agency notes further that the 
court upheld the existing temperature resistance 
test. 

Several manufacturers suggested that the 
XHTSA exempt the space saver tire from the 
UTQG requirements. They argued that this tire 
is designed for a limited life and for a special 
use only and, therefore, should not be required 
to comply with the regulation. 

The NHTSA agrees that the space saver tire 
and other temporary use spare tires should be 
exempt from the requirements of the regulation. 
These tires are of reduced size or are inflatable. 
They are designed so that as installed in the 
vehicle, they reduce vehicle weight and create 
more vehicle interior space. Since the useful life 
of these tires is frequently limited to 2,000 miles, 
it would be inappropriate to require them to 
comply with the treadwear requirements. The 
agency amends the regulation to indicate that the 
space saver and temporary use spare tires are 
exempted from the regulation's requirements. 

Volkswagen and the European Tyre and Rim 
Technical Organisation (ETRTO) argued that 
the treadwear information would confuse the 
public and be misused. ETRTO argued further 
that treadwear grading has nothing to do with 
safety and should be deleted from the require- 
ments. 

The treadwear labeling requirements are proper 
and were upheld by the court. Accordingly, the 
agency declines to change or delete those require- 
ments as suggested by the manufacturers. Fur- 
ther, the agency notes that the UTQG regulation 
is promulgated under a special authorization of 
the Act (15 U.S.C. 1423). It is a consumer infor- 
mation regulation issued at the behest of the 
Congress. 

On a related matter of labeling, ETRTO also 
requested that the words "treadwear", "tempera- 
ture", and "traction" not be required to be molded 
into the sidewall owing to the expense of that 
operation. Once again, the 6th Circuit upheld 
the agency on its proposed labeling requirements 
while suggesting additional warnings to prevent 
the misuse of that information. The NHTSA 
requires the use of the words "traction", "tread- 
wear", and "temperature", because these words 



will help avoid confusion as to the meaning of 
the symbols molded onto the tire sidewall. 

ETRTO also suggested that XHTSA extend 
the effective dates for the traction requirements 
since the standard test trailer can not accommo- 
date small tires. The agency declines to extend 
the effective date for the implementation of the 
requirements. However, small tires are being ex- 
cluded from the requirements until such time as 
a test trailer is equipped to test them. 

Dunlop recommended that the lowest of the 
three possible tire traction grades be eliminated, 
on grounds that an open-ended grade would 
allow production of tires with extremely poor 
traction in order to obtain higher treadwear or 
temperature resistance grades. In effect, Dunlop 
was requesting a minimum traction standard. 
The agency has an outstanding proposal that 
would establish such a minimum standard (38 
FR 31841) ; Xovember 19, 1973) and will respond 
to Dunlop's request by means of the separate 
rulemaking. 

Dunlop suggested that the agency permit the 
tire information to be molded onto the tire in. 
two tiers using smaller size lettering. Currently 
the regulation requires that the information be 
molded into the sidewall in either one or three 
tiers using 14 inch lettering. Dunlop argued that 
some of their tires are too small to permit the 
display of information printed in one tier without 
conflicting with other information molded on the 
sidewaJl. Further, they stated that the depth of 
their tires was such that three tiers of informa- 
tion would not easily fit on them. 

The exclusion of the smallest tires from the 
UTQG requirements for the time being may 
alleviate this problem since these are the tires 
that present the greatest problems concerning 
available space for sidewall molding. Nonethe- 
less the agency amends the regulation to reduce 
the print size of the required molding from 1^4 
inch to %2 inch. Finally, the NHTSA can see 
no reason not to permit the molding of informa- 
tion into the sidewall in two tiers. Ac<^ordingly, 
the agency amends the regulation establishing a 
format for two tier information. 

In a comment by ETRTO, it was suggested 
that the agency clarify its position with respect 
to the use of front wheel drive and rear wheel 



PART 575— PRE 55 



drive vehicles in a convoy for treadwear testing. 
The regulation states that the vehicles used will 
be rear wheel drive vehicles, but the preamble 
(Notice 17) stated that testing would be accom- 
plished by the use of vehicles for which the tires 
were designed, which might include front wheel 
drive vehicles. In accordance with the regulation 
which was issued in 1975 and upheld by the court, 
the agency has determined that only rear wheel 
drive vehicles will be used for treadwear testing. 
This removes the possibility that any vehicle 
variations between front and rear wheel drive 
vehicles will affect the tire test results. 

In accordance with Department policy encour- 
aging adequate analysis of the consequences of 
regulatory action, the agency has evaluated the 
anticipated economic and other consequences of 
this amendment on the public and priv^ate sectors. 
The agency has detennined that the regulation 
will benefit tire consumers by affording them 
more detailed information upon which to make 
informed tire purchases. The regulation will 
thus reduce some of the existing confusing claims 
associated with tire marketing. 

As the purpose of UTQGs is to help the con- 
sumer make an informed choice in the purchase 
of passenger car tires, the agency will soon ini- 
tiate action to evaluate whether the rule is meet- 
ing this goal. It is planned that surveys will be 
undertaken to determine how easily understand- 
able and meaningful the grades are to purchasers, 
how the grades are utilized in purchase decisions 
and any measurable economic effect that may 
occur both within the passenger tire industry and 
to consumers as a result of the rule. The empha- 
sis will be on the utility of the grading system to 
consumers. Major points of interest of the con- 



sumer survey will be the extent to which consum- 
ers use the grading system in their purchase 
decisions, the extent to which it has increased 
their knowledge and awareness of the characteris- 
tice of various tire constructions and tire lines 
and whether they feel the grading system is valid 
and woi'thwhile. 

Effective date finding : Under section 203 of the 
Act, the Congress stated that the regulation 
should become effective not sooner than 180 days 
nor later than one year from the date that the 
rule is issued. Based upon this direction and 
other agency findings concerning required lead 
time for grading tires, the agency has determined, 
and the Court has upheld, that phased implemen- 
tation of the rule in essentially 6-nionth intervals 
is appropriate. 

The program official and lawyer principally 
responsible for the development of this rulemak- 
ing document are Dr. F. Cecil Brenner and 
Richard Hipolit, respectively. 

In consideration of the foregoing Part 575.104 
of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 
is amended. . . . 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203; Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
1423) ; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 



Issued on July 12, 1978. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 



43 F.R. 30542 
July 17, 1978 



PART 575— PRE 56 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION REGULATIONS 



Temperature for Tire Testing 
(Docket No. 25; Notice 25) 



Action: Final rule. 



Summary: This notice establishes a uniform tire 
testing temperature for tlie test requirements of 
the Uniform Tire Quality Grading regulation 
and the Federal motor vehicle safety standard 
for non-passenger-car tires. Tliis amendment 
simplifies existing requirements by permitting 
various tire tests to be conducted at the same 
temperature. 

Effective date : July 17, 1978. 

For further information contact : 

Arturo Casanova III, Crash Avoidance Di- 
vision, Office of Vehicle Safety Standards, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- 
tration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washing- 
ton, D.C. 20690 (202) 426-1715. 

Supplementary information : The National High- 
way Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
proposed on March 3, 1977 (42 FR 12207), to 
amend the ambient temperature conditions for 
tire testing contained in Standard No. 119, New 
Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles Other Than Pas- 
senger Cars (49 CFR 571.119), and in Part 575, 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading (49 CFR 575.104) 
(UTQG). The purpose of this proposed amend- 
ment was to harmonize existing tire testing tem- 
peratures as requested by the Goodyear Tire and 
Rubber Company. The ambient temperatures 
were previously specified as follows : 
Standard No. 109: "100±5° F." 

Standard No. 119: "any temperature ... up to 
100° F." 

UTQG: "at 105° F." 

In the notice of proposed rulemaking, the 
agency proposed to amend Standard No. 119 and 
UTQG to reflect the tire temperature utilized in 



Standard No. 109 (100±5° F.). As an alterna- 
tive method of expressing the test temperature, 
the NHTSA proposed to amend the standards to 
specify "any temperature up to 95° F. 

Five comments were received in response to 
that proposal. All comments favored the pro- 
posed amendment that would have instituted a 
100zb5° F. temperature. The Vehicle Equipment 
Safety Commission did not take a position on 
this proposal. 

After consideration of the issues involved in the 
proposal and review of the comments, the agency 
has determined that the test temperature should 
be expressed as "any temperature up to 95° F." 
Accordingly, Standard No. 119 and UTQG are 
amended to specify temperature testing at "any 
temperature up to 95° F." It is the NHTSA's 
opinion that the 95° F. test temperature is in 
effect the same test temperature as would be 
achieved by using the 5-degree tolerance (100±5). 

The NHTSA has often stated in interpretations 
on similar issues that the use of tolerances in 
safety standards reflects a misimderstanding of 
the legal nature of the safety standards. Stand- 
ards are not instructions, but performance levels 
that vehicles or equipment are required by law to 
be capable of meeting. Any tolerance in tliis 
context would be meaningless and misleading, 
since it would merely have the effect of stating a 
performance level that the equipment must meet 
when tested by the government, but in a confus- 
ing manner. 

Recognizing that no measurement is perfectly 
precise, a manufacturer's tests should be designed 
to show, using tire testing temperature as an 
example, that his tires will comply with the re- 
quirements at exactly 95° F. This may be done 
in at least two ways : ( 1 ) by using a test method 



PART 575-PRE 57 



that corresponds so closely to the required tem- 
perature that no significant differences could 
occur as a result of differences between the actual 
temperature and the specified one, or (2) by de- 
tennining which side of the specified temperature 
is adverse to the product tested, and being sure 
that the actual temperature of the test differs 
from the specified one on the adverse side. 

The amendment of Standard No. 119 and 
UTQG to reflect the 95° F. temperature creates 
a different temperature phraseology for those 
standards than exists in Standard No. 109 which 
still has the 100±5° F. temperature. As stated 
earlier, the NHTSA considers the St-andard No. 
109 temperature tolerance to mean in actuality 
"any temperature up to 95° F." However, since 
modification of that standard was not proposed 
in the earlier notice, the agency does not amend 
it in this final rule. However, the agency intends 
to issue an interpretive amendment that will 
amend Standard No. 109 to adopt the alternative 
expression for tire temperature testing (any tem- 
perature up to 95° F.) unless objections are re- 
ceived. 

In accordance with Departmental policy en- 
couraging analysis of the impact of regulatory 
actions upon the public and private sectors, the 
agency has determined that this modification will 



result in no appreciable safety gains or losses. 
These amendments may result in slightly lower 
costs for tire temperature testing since all tem- 
peratures will be uniform. 

Since these amendments relieve restrictions and 
impose no additional burdens, it is found for 
good cause shown that an immediate effective 
date is in the public interest. 

In consideration of the foregoing, . . . amend- 
ments are made in Parts 571 and 575 of Title 49, 
Code of Federal Regulations. 

The program official and lawyer principally 
resiJonsible for the development of this rulemak- 
ing document are Arturo Casanova and Roger 
Tilton, respectively. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203, Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1421, 1423); 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 



Issued on July 12, 1978. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 



43 F.R. 30541 
July 17, 1978 



PART 575-PRE 58 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION REGULATIONS 

Uniform Tire Quality Grading 
(Docket No. 25; Notice 27) 



This notice amends the Uniform Tire Quality 
Grading (UTQG) Standards to revise the grad- 
ing symbols used to indicate traction grades and 
responds to a petition for reconsideration of the 
effective dates for the information requirement 
regarding first purchasers of motor vehicles. The 
notice, further, responds to petitions for recon- 
sideration submitted by the Rubber Manufactur- 
ers Association and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber 
Company, regarding an amendment of the tire 
testing temperature employed in the UTQG 
regulation and the non-passenger-car tire safety 
standards, which established a single test tem- 
perature for the performance requirements of the 
two standards. The notice also withdraws a 
NHTSA proposal to modify the tread label re- 
quirements of the Uniform Tire Quality Grading 
Standard. These actions are intended to aid 
consumer understanding of the UTQG grading 
system and facilitate industry tire testing. 

Eifective date : October 23, 1978. 

For further information contact : 

Dr. F. Cecil Brenner, Office of Automotive 
Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W.. 
"Washington, D.C. 20,590, (202) 426-1740. 

Supplementary information: On July 17, 1978, 
(43 FR 30542), NHTSA republished the UTQG 
Standards (49 CFR 575.104) to assist the con- 
sumer in the informed purchase of passenger car 
tires. (Docket No. 25, Notice 24). The standard 
requires that manufacturers and brand name 
owners provide simple comparative data on tire 
performance, which can be considered by purchas- 
ers in selecting between competing tire lines. 
Concurrently, with issuance of the final rule, the 
agency proposed modifications of the standard's 
provisions relating to traction grading symbols 
and tread labels (43 FR 30586; July 17, 1978). 



Traction Grading Symbols 

The notice of proposed rulemaking (43 FR 
30586), issued concurrently with the republished 
final rule, proposed revision of the symbols used 
to denote tire traction grades. The agency in- 
vited comment on the use of an A, B, C hierarchy 
of traction grades in place of the **, *, system 
now required by paragraph (d) (2) (ii). 

The Automobile Club of New York commented 
that the proposed traction grading symbols would 
be "far more meaningful to consiuners" than the 
asterisks and zeros used in the existing regulation. 
The National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Associa- 
tion viewed the letter grading proposal as an 
improvement, and, in response to Notice 24, the 
Metropolitan Dade County, Florida, Office of the 
Consumer Advocate approved of an A, B, C 
grading system as falling within the experience 
of all consumers. 

The only negative comment came from Atlas 
Supply Company which expressed concern that, 
if consumers are warned, as the rule requires, 
that tires with a C traction grade may have poor 
traction performance, they may assume that a C 
temperature resistance grade likewise denotes 
poor temperature resistance qualities. Atlas rec- 
ommended that the lowest traction grade be abol- 
ished completely and that only the symbols A 
and B be used to represent traction grades. 

In fact, the agency is currently considering 
promulgation of a tire traction safety standard 
which would set a minimum performance level 
such that tires falling within the lowest UTQG 
traction performance grade would not comply 
with the safety standard (43 FR 11100; March 
16, 1978, and 38 FR 31841; November 19, 1973). 
Pending issuance of such a standard, however, 
consumers should not be misled as to the nature 
of the C temperature grade, since the explanation 
of the grading system, to be furnished under the 



PART 575— PRE 59 



standai'd, specifically states that the C grade in- 
dicates a level of perfonnance which meets the 
applicable Federal safety standard. 

The agency has concluded that the A, B, C 
grading symbols for traction perfonnance will be 
an aid to consumer understanding of the UTQG 
system due to the general familiarity with letter 
grading systems and the hierarchy inherently 
associated with these symbols. Consumer com- 
prehension of the grading system will also be 
improved by eliminating the need to use three 
different sets of symbols. The symbols A, B, and 
C are, therefore, adopted to represent traction 
grades under the UTQG Standard. 

Tread Label Requirements 

The existing UTQG regulation pro\ides that 
each passenger car tire, other than one sold as 
original equipment on a new vehicle, shall have 
affixed to its tread surface a label indicating the 
specific treadwear, traction, and temperature 
grades for that tire, as well as a general explana- 
tion of the grading system. In its July 17, 1978 
notice of proposed rulemaking (43 FR 30586), 
the agency proposed to amend section 575.104 
(d)(1) (i)(B) of the standard, to require only 
general grading information on the tread label, 
while retaining a separate requirement that spe- 
cific grades be molded on the tire sidewall. The 
tread label would have been modified to include a 
statement referring the consumer to the tire side- 
wall for the actual grades of the particular tire. 
The notice also proposed that specific tire grades 
be supplied, at the manufacturer's option, on 
either tread labels or on the sidewall during the 
six-month period prior to the effective dates of 
the molding requirement. 

In commenting on the notice, Goodyear argued 
that provision of specific grading infonnation on 
the tread label would not be feasible and would 
add to the cost of implementation of the stand- 
ard. American Motors Corporation commented 
that provision of specific grades in two places 
would be redundant and an unnecessary expense. 

However, Michael Peskoe, an individual in- 
volved in early development of the standard, 
argued that the tread labeling requirement is not 
redundant, since tire sidewall molding was in- 
tended primarily to supply a permanent record 



of tlie tire grades, to be considered when replac- 
ing the tires, rather than to convey information 
to the prospective purchaser. He also stated that, 
with regard to cost and feasibility considerations, 
tire specific identification labels, bearing informa- 
tion such as tire line and size, are already in 
widespread use within the industry to aid in the 
distribution of tires. Therefore, the burden of 
adding the specific UTQG grades for the par- 
ticular tire classification should be minimal. 

The Automobile Club of Xew York and Mr. 
Peskoe commented that pro\ision of specific tire 
grades only on the sidewall would hinder use of 
the information in the situation, common in tire 
dealerships and service stations, where tires are 
displayed on racks, sidewall to sidewall. Tires 
would have to be removed from the display rack 
before the grades molded on the sidewall could 
be observed. The problem would be compounded 
where the purchaser wishes to compare the gi'ades 
on several tires. 

"Wliile NHTSA is concerned with keeping the 
cost of the UTQG regulation at a minimum, 
existing tire labeling and marketing practices 
lead the agency to the conclusion that tread labels 
containing specific tire grading infonnation 
should continue to be required for replacement 
tires. The agency had earlier determined that 
identification of specific tire gi-ades on tread 
labels is feasible and involves a very limited cost 
to manufacturers and consumers. Tire-specific 
tread labels have been demonstrated to be an 
integral and necessary part of the regulation's 
plan for getting useful infomaation to tire pur- 
chasers. The proposal to require only general 
grading information on tire tread labels is, there- 
fore, withdrawn. 

Effective Dates for Point of Sale Information 
Notice 24 set March 1, 1979, in the case of bias- 
ply tires and September 1, 1979, in the case of 
bias-belted tires, as effective date-s for all UTQG 
requirements except the molding requirements of 
paragraph (D) (1) (i) (A). The molding require- 
ments applicable to bias and bias-belted tires 
were made effective September 1, 1979, and March 
1, 1980, respectively. 

The purpose of this delayed phase-in schedule 
for tire sidewall molding is to provide manufac- 
turers with extra time to prepare new tire molds 



PART 575— PRE 60 



containing grading information. However, the 
delay in eflFective dates for tire molding had the 
unintended effect of creating a six-month interval 
between the time vehicle manufacturers must 
provide point of sale information on tire quality 
grading to prospective purchasers, and first pur- 
chasers of motor vehicles (49 CFR 575.104(d) 
(1) (ii) and (iii) ) and the date on which grading 
information actually must appear on the tires 
sold. In the case of information to be. furnished 
to first purchasers under paragraph (d) (1) (iii). 
potential for confusion exists since consumers 
will be referred to the tire sidewall for specific 
tire grades, when in many cases, molds will not 
yet have been modified for the tire lines being 
supplied. 

To correct this situation, American Motors 
Corporation has petitioned NHTSA to recon- 
sider the effective dates for paragraph (d) (1) 
(iii). American Motors has recommended that 
the effective dates for paragraph (d) (1) (iii) be 
amended to correspond to those of paragraph 
(d) (1) (i) (A), the molding requirement. The 
agency has already recognized the difficulties in- 
volved in providing specific grades for original 
equipment tires through the use of tread labels 
(39 FR 1037; January 4, 1974) or point of sale 
information (43 FR 30547; July 17, 1978). To 
better coordinate the availability of specific tire 
grading information on tire molds and the pro- 
vision of explanatory information through ve- 
hicle owner's manuals, American Motors' petition 
for reconsideration is granted. The effective 
dates for paragraph (d) (1) (iii) are changed to 
September 1, 1979, for bias-ply tires and March 1. 
1980, for bias-belted tires. 

Paragraph (d) (1) (ii) of the regulation re- 
quires that vehicle and tire manufacturers furnish 
to prospective purchasers an explanation of the 
UTQG grading system. Although this provision 
also takes effect six months prior to the tire mold- 
ing requirements, the agency has concluded that 
no corresponding change in effective dates is nec- 
essar>\ Paragraph (d) (1) (ii) pro^ddes for the 
availability of valuable information to prospec- 
tive tire purchasers, since specific grading infor- 
mation will be available on replacement tires sold 
during the six-month phase-in period. Further, 
the paragraph contains no potentially confusing 



reference to the tire sidewall as does paragraph 
(d) (1) (iii). Prospective vehicle purchasers who 
obtain the information prior to the sidewall mold- 
ing effective dates will be given the opportunity 
to familiarize themselves in advance with the 
new grading system. 

Temperature for Tire Testing 

On March 3, 1977 (42 FR 12207), NHTSA 
proposed to amend Standard Xo. 119, New Pneu- 
matic Tires for Vehicles Other Than Passenger 
Cars (49 CFR 571.119). and the UTQG Stand- 
ards to establish the same ambient temperatui'e 
for tire testing in both standards, to allow more 
efficient use of tire test facilities. The notice 
proposed "any temperature up to 95° F" and 
"100±5° F" as alternative means of phrasing 
the new, identical test temperature. 

After consideration of comments, the agency 
determined that the ambient test temperature 
should be expressed as "any temperature up to 
95° F" (43 FR 30541; July 17, 1978). NHTSA 
received petitions for reconsideration from the 
Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and 
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, recom- 
mending that the test temperatures for Standard 
Xo. 119 and the UTQG regulation include toler- 
ances and be specified as "100° F±5° F." As 
XHTSA has frequently stated in past, notices 
on these and other standards (e.g., 40 FR 
47141; October 8, 1975), such a recommenda- 
tion reflects a misunderstanding of the legal 
nature of motor vehicle standards, XHTSA 
standards are not instructions to test engineere. 
but performance levels that vehicles and equip- 
ment must be capable of meeting. The use of a 
tolerance range in this context is confusing since 
it creates ambiguity as to the performance level 
required. 

Establishment of a precise performance re- 
quirement, expressed without a tolerance, still 
recognizes that measurement techniques cannot 
be controlled perfectly. Given a specified per- 
formance level, manufacturei-s can design their 
tests to assure compliance in at least two ways: 
(1) by using a test procedure that conforms so 
closely to the specified measurement that no sig- 
nificant variations could occur, or (2) by deter- 
mining which side of the specified level is adverse 



PART 575— PRE 61 



to the product being tested, and targeting test 
conditions so that any deviation will occur on the 
adverse side. In this case, a tire manufacturer 
may use an ambient temperature slightly above 
95° F to demonstrate, tlirough adverse conditions, 
that its tire would comply at the specified tem- 
perature. 

In its petition for reconsideration, Goodyear 
commented that all test laboratories should em- 
ploy the same ambient temperature conditions. 
However, such uniformity is not advantageous 
in a regulatory context, since government com- 
pliance testing and manufacturers' laboratory 
evaluations are undertaken for different purposes. 

Goodyear also argued that a fixed 95° F test 
temperature and a "100ih5° F" tolerance range 
do not establish "in effect the same test tempera- 
ture", as stated in the agency's July 17, 1978 
notice (43 FK 30541). A fixed 95° F requirement 
is, in fact, from the manufacturers' perspective 
identical to a "100±5° F" provision, since, given 
a controlled variation in test conditions of 5° F 
in either direction from the target temperature, 
manufacturers seeking to assure compliance with 
a 95° F requirement will set their test target 
temperature at 100° F. For these reasons, the 
petitioners' recommendation of a "100±5° F" test 
temperature is rejected. 

The RMA and Goodyear petitions noted that 
the open-ended nature of the requirement "any 
temperature up to 95° F" appeared to require 
that tires be capable of attaining specified per- 
formance levels when tested at temperatures 
ranging from 95° F to sub-zero conditions. The 
RMA petition stated as its primary concern the 
possibility, under the UTQG system, that a tire 
could be conditioned at a higher temperature than 
that at which it is tested for temperature resist- 
ance. Such inconsistency could, the RMA sug- 
gested, result in the tire being underinflated 
during testing. 

The agency has concluded that the ambient 
temperature specification "at 95° F" more ac- 
curately describes the fixed temperature which 
the agency intended to establish than does the 
open-ended provision "any temperature up to 
95° F." Standard No. 119 and the UTQG 



Standards are, therefore, amended by substitu- 
tion of a fixed temperature requirement of 95° 
F in place of "any temperature up to 95° F." 

To the extent that the RMA and Goodyear 
petitions for reconsideration are not granted by 
this amendment, the petitions are denied. 

In accordance with Departmental policy en- 
couraging analysis of the impact of regulatory 
actions upon the public and private sectors, the 
agency has determined that these actions will 
have no appreciable negative impact on safety. 
Since the modification of effective dates relieves 
a restriction, and the change in grading symbols 
will result in no new burdens, no additional costs 
will be imposed on manufacturers or the con- 
sumer. Withdrawal of the tread labeling pro- 
posal imposes no new costs not contemplated in 
issuance of the UTQG Standards. The new tem- 
perature phraseology has absolutely no effect on 
the tire performance requirements, but will elim- 
inate any possible ambiguity in the standards' 
meaning. For these reasons, the agency hereby 
finds that this notice does not have significant 
impact for purposes of the internal review. 

Effective date: In view of the need for a fixed 
temperature requirement to allow tire perform- 
ance testing to proceed, and the ongoing prepara- 
tion by the industry for implementation of the 
UTQG system, the agency finds that an inome- 
diate effective date for the amendments to Stand- 
ard No. 119 and the UTQG regulation is in the 
public interest. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the follow- 
ing amendments are made in Part 575 and 571. . . . 

(Sec. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 
Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1421, 1423); 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) ) 

Issued on October 23, 1978. 

Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 



43 F.R. 50430-50440 
October 30, 1978 



PART 575— PRE 62 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

Uniform Tire Quality Grading 



(Docket No. 25, Notice 31) 



Action: Final rule and establishment of effective 
dates. 

Summary: This notice announces the effective 
dates for application of the Uniform Tire Qual- 
ity Grading (UTQG) regulation to radial tires 
and discusses comments on previously announced 
testing and analysis of radial tire treadwear 
under the road test conditions of the UTQG 
regulation. This notice also interprets the effect 
of the thirty-day stay of the UTQG effective 
dates, granted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for 
the Sixth Circuit, and corrects an inadvertant 
error in the text of the regulation. 

Effective date: For all requirements other than 
the molding requirement of paragraph (d)(1) 
(i) (A) and the first purchaser requirement of 
paragraph (d)(1) (iii), the effective date for 
radial tires is April 1, 1980. 

For paragraph (d) (1) (i) (A), the molding 
requirement, and paragraph (d) (1) (iii), the first 
purchaser requirement, the effective date for 
radial tires is October 1, 1980. 

For further information contact : 

Dr. F. Cecil Brenner, Office of Automotive 
Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 205 (202) 426-1740. 

Supplementary infoTTnation: Acting under the 
authority of the National Traffic and Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Act of 1966 (the Act) (15 U.S.C. 
1381, et seq.), the NHTSA republished as a final 
rule the UTQG Standards, establishing a system 
for grading passenger car tires in the perform- 
ance areas of treadwear, traction and temperature 
resistance (43 FR .30542); July 17, 1978). The 
regulation will provide consumers with useful, 
comparative data upon which to base infonned 



decisions in the purchase of tires. Extensive 
rulemaking preceded the July I7th notice, and a 
comprehensive discussion of the regulation's pur- 
pose and technical justification may be found in 
a series of earlier Federal Register notices (40 
FR 23073 ; May 28, 1975 ; 39 FR 20808 ; June 14, 
1974); 39 FR 1037; January 4, 1974; 36 FR 
18751; September 21, 1971). 

The July 17 notice also established effective 
dates for application of the regulation to bias 
and bias-belted tires. Establishment of an effec- 
tive date for radial tires was deferred pending 
further analysis of test results relating to the 
treadwear properties of radials. Questions con- 
cerning the two other performance areas of the 
standard, traction and temperature resistance had 
previously been resolved, and therefore are not 
discussed in this notice. 

On November 2, 1978, NHTSA issued a notice 
(43 FR 51735; November 6, 1978) announcing 
the availability for inspection of the results of 
the agency's test program for radial tires and 
NHTSA's analysis of the test results (Docket 25; 
Notice 28). A thirty-day period, later extended 
to 45 days (43 FR 57308; December 7, 1978), was 
provided for public comment on the data and 
analysis. After examination of all comments re- 
ceived, NHTSA has concluded that an effective 
date for grading of radial tires under the UTQG 
system can and should be established at this time. 

Need for Grading of Radial Tires 
In response to Notice 28, several commenters 
pointed out the importance of extending the 
UTQG Standards to radial tires at the earliest 
possible date. The Federal Trade Commission 
(FTC), while recognizing the establishment of a 
credible system for grading bias and bias-belted 
tires as a substantial accomplishment, commented 



PART 575— PRE 63 



that extension of the system to radial tires will 
be of special significance to the public. The FTC, 
the Center for Auto Safety (CFAS), and Con- 
sumer's Union noted the increasing share of the 
tire market represented by radial tires, which 
now account for approximately half of the re- 
placement tire market and an even higher per- 
centage of original equipment sales. CFAS noted 
that NHTSA's test data revealed significant dif- 
ferences in treadwear properties among radial 
tires of different manufacturers. In fact, it is 
likely, based on the data, that some radial tires 
may yield twice the mileage of those of other 
manufacturers. 

CFAS and the City of Cleveland's Office of 
Consumer Affairs commented on the need, ex- 
emplified by the recent recall of 14.5 million 
radials by one domestic tire manufacturer, to 
make safety a factor in the purchase of radial 
tires. The City of Cleveland reported encounter- 
ing consumer frustration with present tire mar- 
keting practices and expressed concern that 
inability on the part of consumers to ascerta,in 
the quality of tires they are buying may lead to 
careless and ill-advised purchasing decisions and 
unsafe operating practices. NHTSA agrees and 
has seen no new arguments that suggest Congress' 
directive for establishing a uniform system for 
grading motor vehicle tires should not be ful- 
filled by the contemplated method. 

Extent of NHTSA Radial Tire Testing 
General Motors Corporation and the Rubber 
Manufacturers Association (RMA) contended 
that NHTSA's tests of radial tire treadwear were 
inadequate as a basis for extension of the UTQG 
regulation to radial tires. General Motors argued 
that radial tire treadwear does not become con- 
stant after tires are broken in, but continues to 
vary upward and downward, as evidenced by 
comparing adjusted wear rates in the final 6,400 
miles of NHTSA's 38,400-mile radial tire tread- 
wear test with the averages of adjusted wear 
rates from several 6,400-mile test series. The 
RMA stated its position that radial tire wear 
rates continue to decline in the later stages of 
tire life, pointing to NHTSA and RMA test data 
on the subject. Both General Motors and the 
RMA contended that, given the nature of radial 
tire treadwear, NHTSA must test some radial 



tires to actual wearout to confirm that treadwear 
projections based on 6,400-mile tests correlate 
closely with actual tire treadlife. 

NHTSA has not suggested that radial tire 
treadwear is precisely constant after break-in. 
Rather the agency's position, as stated in Notice 
28, is that radial tire treadwear after break-in 
can be adequately described by a straight line 
fitted to a series of data points representing tread 
depth against miles traveled, thereby providing 
an adequate basis for treadwear projections. 
Variations in wear rate of the type noted by 
General Motors and the RMA cause a sinuous 
fluctuation in wear pattern which can be closely 
approximated by a straight line projection of 
treadwear based on the first 6,400 miles of testing. 

NHTSA chose not to run tested tires to actual 
wearout because such tests are expensive and time 
consuming, and accurate projections of treadlife 
are possible with tires which have substantial 
wear, but are not worn out. For these reasons, 
projecting radial tire treadlife from tests run 
short of wearout is common in the industry (e.g., 
"A Statistical Procedure for the Prediction of 
Tire Tread Wear Rate and Tread Wear Rate 
Differences" by Dudley, Bower, and Reilly of the 
Dunlop Research Centre) and is, the agency has 
concluded, a reliable means of determining tire 
treadwear properties of radial, bias, and bias- 
belted tires. 

Accuracy of the Treadwear Grading Procedure 
for Radial Tires 
General Motors, Michelin Tire Corporation, 
and the RMA commented that the existing 
UTQG procedures does not project the treadlife 
of radial tires with a sufficient degree of accuracy, 
based on the data subnaitted to the ralemaking 
docket in connection with Notice 28. General 
Motors and the RMA noted that treadwear 
projections calculated only from wear rates ob- 
served in the initial 6,400-mile test sequence dif- 
fered in some cases by one or two UTQG grade 
levels from projections based on wear rates from 
later 6,400-mile test cycles or from averages of 
several test cycles. These commenters noted that 
the range of such differences was slightly liigher 
when individual tires were compared rather than 
the averages of four-tire sets. Michelin expressed 
concern that the rejnilation would create an im- 



PART 575— PRE 64 



pression of equality among tires which in reality 
vary in quality. General Motors suggested that 
projections based on later test cycles or averages 
established over a longer test period would pro- 
vide a more accurate projection of actual tread- 
life. 

NHTSA established the 6,400-mile test se- 
quence, with an 800-mile break-in, after consid- 
ering the adequacy of the data which could be 
obtained over that test distance and the expendi- 
ture of money and resources required for addi- 
tional testing. The grades arrived at by projecting 
from later test series or combinations of series 
were generally consistent with the results ob- 
tained in the first 6,400 miles of testing, and 
those variations which did occur were relatively 
minor. 

As noted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
Sixth Circuit in B. F. Goodrich Co. v. Depart- 
ment of Transportation, 541 F.2d 1178 (1976), 
no system designed to grade millions of tires can 
be expected to approach perfection. Considering 
the present absence of tire quality information 
in the market place, the agency has concluded 
that the UTQG treadwear grading procedure 
provides reasonable accuracy when applied to 
radial tires and will be of significant value to tire 
consumers in making purchasing decisions. 

General Motors commented that tire grades 
should be assigned based on the lowest mileage 
projected for any tire among a set of four candi- 
date tires and not on the average projected mile- 
age of a four tire set. The UTQG regulation 
states that each tire will be capable of providing 
at least the level of performance represented by 
the UTQG grades assigned to it. UTQG grades 
based solely on either average grade levels or on 
the projected mileage of a particular tested tire 
would not provide an adequate basis for con- 
sumer reliance on the grading information. In 
determining accurate treadwear grades for tire 
lines, manufacturers must consider the popula- 
tion variability evidenced in their tire testing. 

Validity of the CMT Adjustment Procedure 
The UTQG regulation accounts for environ- 
mental influences on candidate tire wear rates 
during testing by means of an adjustment factor 
derived by comparing the wear rates of concur- 
rently run course monitoring tires (CMT's) with 



an established CMT base course wear rate 
(BCWR) (49 CFR 575.104(d)(2)). In Notice 
28, NHTSA explained how the same adjustment 
procedure could be used to correct for a measure- 
ment anomaly that generates the appearance of 
a higher wear rate for radial tires in the first 
4,000 miles of testing following the 800-mile 
break-in. In response to Notice 28, CFAS re- 
viewed the UTQG adjustment procedure, as it 
applies to radial tires, and commented that this 
procedure is the proper method for grading 
radials. However, Michelin and the RMA, in 
their comments on that notice, suggested that the 
CMT adjustment procedure may be invalid for 
radial tires, both in the context of wear rate 
changes and as a control on environmental fac- 
tors. 

The RMA argued that NHTSA has not pro- 
vided supporting data for its theory that the 
shift in radial tire wear rate during the initial 
phases of treadlife is caused by changes in tire 
geometry as the tire attains its equilibrium shape. 
However, detailing the underlying mechanism of 
the apparent change in wear rate is incidental to 
the fact that radial tire wear rates do stabilize 
in a consistent fashion, permitting use of the 
CMT adjustment to project treadlife with reason- 
able accuracy. 

The RMA contended that wear patterns of 
certain radial tires differ markedly from the ap- 
parent accelerated pattern observed by NHTSA 
during the first 4,000 miles of treadlife after the 
800-mile break-in, and that NHTSA's test of 
several tire brands provided an inadequate basis 
to draw conclusions about radial tires in general. 
Michelin, although citing no data on the subject, 
commented that an accelerated wear pattern in 
the early stages of treadlife may not exist in all 
radial tires to the same degree. 

NHTSA's test of radial tire treadwear, re- 
ported in Notice 28, included ten different tire 
brands, selected to include a wide range of prices 
and materials, as well as both domestic and for- 
eign manufacture. This sample constitutes a 
reasonable and adequate basis upon which to draw 
conclusions concerning tires available on the 
American market. In spite of the wide variety 
of radial designs included in NHTSA's test, the 
agency found the wear rate patterns of the tires 
studied to be remarkably consistent in the initial 



PART 575— PRE 65 



6,400-miles of testing, after the 800-mile break-in. 
This consistency is exemplified by treadwear 
projections in the paper "Test of Tread Wear 
Grading Procedure — the Course Monitoring Tire 
Adjustment on Radial Tire Wear Rates", by 
Brenner and W^illiams (Docket 25, General Ref- 
erence No. 105), which compared estimates of 
tread life for nine sets of candidate tires based 
on data from the first 6,400 miles of testing after 
break-in, with estimates based on data from 6,400 
to 38,400 miles of testing. The projections com- 
puted from these data sets did not differ signifi- 
cantly, indicating that the UTQG adjustment 
procedure accurately accounted for the initial 
wear rate characteristics of all tires tested. 

Based on this test experience, the agency be- 
lieves that the data from its tests and analysis of 
that data has demonstrated that the wear pat- 
terns exhibited by radial tires early in their 
treadlives are sufficiently consistent to permit ac- 
curate projection of treadwear based on the exist- 
ing UTQG test procedure. NHTSA plans to 
closely monitor testing at the San Angelo course 
to insure that the UTQG test procedure accom- 
modates future developments in tire technology 
and continues to provide an accurate basis for 
treadwear grading. 

On the question of consistency beyond the ini- 
tial 4,000 niile-s of testing, both Michelin and the 
RMA argued that not all tires tested by NHTSA 
responded to environmental factors in an identi- 
cal manner, as demonstrated by comparing 
graphs of unadjusted candidate tire wear rates 
by test cycle with graphs of data from concur- 
rently run CMT's. The RMA also noted that 
graphic representations of radial tire adjusted 
wear rates per test cycle were not always hori- 
zontal, but in some cases sloped somewhat upward 
or downward. 

Close examination of the graphs of unadjusted 
candidate tire wear rates and CMT wear rates 
indicates that the wear rates fluctuated in a rea- 
sonably parallel fashion in all but an insignificant 
number of cases. NHTSA has never contended 
that every tire of every brand must behave in a 
perfectly consistent manner before a valid grad- 
ing system can be established. NHTSA finds 
that the level of consistency exhibited by the 
tested tires is sufficient to confirm the validity of 



the CMT approach as a reasonably fair and 
reasonably reliable means of radial tire grading. 

With regard to the slope of the adjusted wear 
rate curves, NHTSA has applied a test of inde- 
pendence to this data to detennine if the adjusted 
wear rates of the tested tires were dependent on 
the test cycle. In no case was the slope signifi- 
cantly different from zero at the 95 percent con- 
fidence level. In fact, of the curves which slanted 
to any measurable degree, sixteen had a slightly 
positive slope and seventeen had a slightlj' nega- 
tive slope, as would be expected if the true slope 
were zero. This analysis suggests that CMT and 
candidate tires continue to wear in a consistent 
fashion beyond the initial phase of testing. 

The RMA's comments suggest that some con- 
fusion may exist as to whether CMT's are to be 
reused for testing after an initial 6,400-mile test 
cycle after break-in. Since radial tires, including 
CMT's, exhibit an apparent change in wear pat- 
tern during this initial phase of treadlife, when 
measured by a tread depth gauge, the CMT ad- 
justment procedure will be accurate only if new 
candidate tires are run with new CMT's so that 
the wear rate change occurs in all tires simul- 
taneously. 

Radial CMT's were run beyond the initial 
6,400-mile cycle in NHTSA 's testing announced 
in Notice 28, in order to provide an extended 
comparison of CMT's and candidate tires run 
concurrently. In its UTQG compliance testing, 
however, NHTSA will use new radial CMT's, 
broken-in in accordance with 49 CFR 575.104 
(d) (2) (v), for each 6,400-mile test. 

Also on the issue of the CMT adjustment pro- 
cedure, the RMA commented that NHTSA's test 
data indicate a coefficient of variation (COV) 
for radial CMT's of over 5 percent, the standard 
upheld in the B. F. Goodrich case as the agency's 
target for the maximum permissible level of 
variability for these tires. Much of the data 
cited by the RMA on this point involved test 
cycles beyond the initial 6,400-niile cycle, after 
break-in. Data on the variability of CMT's at 
test distances beyond 6,400 miles, after break-in, 
are irrelevant to the UTQG system, since, as 
noted above, radial CMT's will not be reused 
after an initial 6,400-mile test cycle. 



PART 575— PRE 66 



In examining data from the initial test cycle, 
the RMA combined wear rates from several test 
vehicles and then developed COV's from that 
data, thereby interjecting vehicle variability into 
the computation. Vehicle variability, while un- 
related to the properties of the tire, has the effect 
of inflating coefficients of variation. "WTien this 
extraneous factor is removed from the computa- 
tion, the test data indicate a GOV well within 
the acceptable 5 percent level. 

Michelin expressed concern that running 
CMT's of a standard size with candidate tires of 
differing sizes may lead to inaccuracy in the ad- 
justment of data. National Bureau of Standards 
Technical Note 486, "Some Problems in Measur- 
ing Tread Wear of Tires," by Spinner and 
Barton (Docket 25, General Reference No. 4), 
compared projected mileages for three sizes of 
radial and bias-ply tires of several manufacturers 
run under different road conditions. Data in the 
report suggest that tires of different sizes react 
similarly to differing external conditions. There- 
fore, the practical burden of providing a different 
CMT for each size of candidate tire may be 
avoided. 

Finally, General Motors and the RMA asserted 
that, in order to facilitate comparisons among 
radial, bias, and bias-belted tires, BCWR's must 
be established by running the three types of 
CMT's concurrently to limit the influence of en- 
vironmental variables on the test results. The 
RMA also contended that a BCWR cannot be 
established without running CMT's to actual 
wearout. 

NHTSA established BCWR's through experi- 
ence with tires of all three construction types in 
over 5 million tire miles of testing over a two 
year period. In the course of this extensive test- 
ing, each tire type can be expected to have en- 
countered a random mix of environmental 
conditions resulting in a similar net impact on 
treadwear. 

Other Comments 
Michelin commented that the regulation's pro- 
cedure of rotating tires among different positions 
on a test vehicle, but not between vehicles, pre- 
cludes the detection of vehicle mechanical prob- 
lems which could affect grading. Adequate 
preventive maintenance of test vehicles is the 



primary safeguard against distortion of data by 
vehicle malfunctions. Additionally, an analysis 
of variance of the data obtained in a convoy or 
on a vehicle provides another effective method of 
detecting a malfunction. (See, "Elements in the 
Road Evaluation of Tire Wear", by Brenner and 
Kondo, Docket 25; General Reference No. 17). 
NHTSA does not believe that rotation of tires 
among vehicles would significantly improve on 
these existing techniques. 

General Motors noted that several tires studied 
by NHTSA had to be removed from the test due 
to failure or uneven wear prior to actual wearout 
and suggested that the agency must account for 
these anomalies before proceeding with rule- 
making. 

Early in the course of rulemaking on UTQG, 
NHTSA concluded that considerations of cost 
and consumer understanding required some 
limitation on the number of grading categories 
in which UTQG information would be. presented. 
Based on examination of numerous comments in 
the rulemaking docket, the agency concluded that 
treadwear, traction, and temperature resistance 
are the tire characteristics of greatest importance 
to consumers. For this reason, information on 
subjects such as evenness of tread wear and sus- 
ceptibility to road hazard damage, while of value 
to consumers, is not provided under the regula- 
tion. NHTSA will consider General Motors 
comment, however, as a suggestion for possible 
future rulemaking. 

The RMA noted several minor comi^utational 
and other errors in the previously referred to 
paper by Brenner and Williams (Docket 25, 
General Reference No. 105), submitted to the 
docket in connection with Notice 28. Some of 
these errors were corrected by a subsequent sub- 
mission to the docket (Docket 25, General Refer- 
ence No. 105A). In any case, the errors were of 
a non-substantive nature and had no impact on 
the agency's rulemaking process and decisions. 

Impact of the Thirty Day Stay 
of Effective Dates 
On January 19, 1979, the U.S. Court of Ap- 
peals for the Sixth Circuit, in the case B. F. 
Goodrich Co. v. Department of Transportation 
(No. 78-3392), gi-anted a thirty-day stay of the 
effective dates for application of the UTQG regu- 



PART 575— PRE 67 



lation to bias and bias-belted tires. The regula- 
tion was scheduled to become effective March 1, 
1979 for bias-ply tires and September 1, 1979 for 
bias-belted tires, with the exception of the side- 
wall molding requirements of paragraph (d) (1) 
(i) (A) and the first purchaser requirements of 
paragraph (d)(1) (iii) which were to become 
effective September 1, 1979 and March 1, 1980 
for bias and bias-belted tires, respectively. 

NHTSA interprets the Sixth Circuit's action 
as postponing the effective dates of the UTQG 
regulation one month to April 1, 1979 for bias-ply 
tires and October 1, 1979 for bias-belted tires. 
However, the effective dates for the molding re- 
quirements of paragraph (d) (1) (i) (A) and the 
first purchaser requirements of paragraph (d) 
(l)(iii) are postponed to October 1, 1979 for 
bias-ply tires and April 1, 1980 for bias-belted 
tires to a^ow manufacturers time to convert tire 
molds. This postponement of effective dates has 
been taken into account in establishing effective 
dates for application of the regulation to radial 
tires, to assure adequate lead time for completion 
of tire testing. 

In accordance with Departmental policy en- 
couraging adequate analysis of the consequences 
of regulatory actions, the agency has evaluatetl 
the anticipated economic, environmental and 
other consequences of extending the UTQG regu- 
lation to include radial tires and has determined 
that the impact of this action is fully consistent 
with impacts evaluated in July 1978 in establish- 
ing effective dates for bias and bias-belted tires. 
Based on the authority of Section 203 of the Act, 



previous agency findings concerning required lead 
time for grading tires, and the decision of the 
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 
B. F. Goodrich, the NHTSA hereby establishes 
radial tire effective dates consistent with the basic 
six-month phase-in schedule announced on July 
17, 1978 (43 FR 30542) for bias and bias-belted 
tires. 

In an unrelated matter, NHTSA's FEDERAL 
REGISTER notice announcing effective dates for 
application of the UTQG Standards to bias and 
bias-belted tires (43 FR 30542) ; July 17, 1978) 
contained an inadvertent error in use of the word 
"of" rather than the intended word "are" in the 
first sentence of the third section of Figure 2 of 
the regulation. This error is corrected by sub- 
stitution of the word "are" in place of "of" in 
Figure 2. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading Standards (49 CFR 
575.104), are amended .... 

The program official and lawyer principally 
responsible for the development of this rulemak- 
ing document are Dr. F. Cecil Brenner and 
Richard J. Hipolit, respectively. 

(Sec. 103, 112, 119, 201, 203; Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
1423) ; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on March 9, 1979. 

Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

44 F.R. 15721-15724 
March 15, 1979 



PART 575— PRE 68 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 



Uniform Tire Quality Rating 
(Docket No. 25; Notice 35) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards through minor 
modifications in the format of tire tread labels used 
to convey UTQG information. The modifications 
are intended to assure that tires are labeled with 
the correct UTQG grades, to permit flexibility in 
the design of labels, and to facilitate consumer 
access to the grading information. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 1, 1979. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Dr. F. Cecil Brenner, Office of Automotive 
Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-1740). 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 8, 
1979, NHTSA published a request for public 
comment (44 F.R. 1814) on a petition for 
rulemaking submitted by Armstrong Rubber 
Company asking that the UTQG regulation be 
amended to permit tire grading information and 
explanatory material concerning the UTQG 
system to be furnished to consumers by means of 
two separate tire tread labels rather than the 
single label called for in the regulation (49 CFR 
575.104(d) (l)(i)(B)). Armstrong, joined by Atlas 
Supply Company, contended that the chance of 
mislabeling tires would be reduced, if UTQG 
grades could be placed on the same label with tire 
identification information. However, practical 
limitations exist on the size of tread labels which 
can be effectively applied and retained on the tire 
tread surface. Some manufacturers reportedly 
encountered difficulty in fitting tire identification 
information, UTQG grades, and required UTQG 
explanatory information on a single label. For this 
reason, Armstrong and Atlas suggested that 
UTQG explanatory information be furnished on a 



separate label adjacent to a label containing UTQG 
grades and tire identification information. 

In view of the favorable comments received in 
response to NHTSA' s request for comment on the 
Armstrong petition, the agency proposed to 
modify the tread label format requirements to 
employ a two-part label format (44 F.R. 30139; 
May 24, 1979). NHTSA proposed that Part I of the 
label contain a display of the UTQG grades 
applicable to the particular tire while Part H would 
contain the general explanation of the grading 
system. At the manufacturer's option Parts I and 
II could appear on separate labels. To assure that 
the labels would be legible to consumers, the notice 
also proposed requirements for orientation of the 
label text and minimum type size. 

Commenters on the proposal were in general 
agreement that flexibility in the design of tire 
tread labels is a desirable goal. While some 
manufacturers expressed the opinion without 
explanation that two-part labels would be 
impractical for their operations, others welcomed 
the proposal as a means of dealing with label size 
limitations. 

Some commenters favored retention of the 
original label format pointing out that the 
proposed label would be slightly longer than its 
predecessor and arguing that the proposed label 
would isolate the tire grades from the explanatory 
material. Some industry sources expressed the 
opinion that the proposed changes would be of no 
benefit to consumers. 

NHTSA disagrees with these criticisms of the 
proposal. The new format should increase the 
length of the label by only a fraction of an inch, 
if at all, and should not pose a problem to 
manufactiu-ers wishing to employ a single label. 
The separation of the grades from the explanatory 
material should not create confusion since the two 



PART 575-PRE 69 



parts could be separated by no more than one inch 
in any case. The agency has reached the conclusion 
that displaying grades for all three performance 
categories together on Part I of the label will in 
fact benefit consumers by facilitating access to the 
information. 

Maximum retainability will be assured with the 
new format since manufacturers may choose to 
employ two labels if they are unable to fit all of the 
necessary information on a single label of a 
manageable size. Similarly, the possibility of 
mislabeling will be reduced, because the two-part 
option makes it possible in all cases to include ap- 
plicable UTQG grades on tire identification labels. 
For these reasons, NHTSA has determined to 
adopt the proposed two-part label format with 
minor modifications. 

Several commenters suggested that orientation 
of the tread label text should not be specified in the 
regulation since flexibility in label design would be 
reduced by such a requirement. However, NHTSA 
has concluded that since most manufacturer's tire 
identification labels are arranged with lines of type 
running perpendicular to the tread circumference, 
tires are most likely to be displayed so that labels 
with this orientation will be easily readable by con- 
sumers. Therefore, the agency has chosen to retain 
the proposed requirement regarding label text 
orientation. 

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company suggested the 
possibility of printing Part I of the proposed label 
below Part H, when both parts are contained on a 
single tread label. NHTSA finds this suggestion 
unacceptable because the UTQG grades would be 
difficult to locate if preceded by a body of textual 
material. 

Goodyear also commented on several occasions 
that specifying a minimum type size for the printing 
of labels would be of no benefit since many factors 
other than type size, such as letter style, spacing, 
and format, contribute to legibility. NHTSA agrees 
that a minimum type size requirement alone is insuf- 
ficient to assure the readability of labels. For this 
reason, NHTSA has chosen to withdraw its pro- 
posed minimum type size requirement at this time. 
The agency will, however, continue to monitor in- 
dustry compliance with the labeling requirements to 
ascertain whether a comprehensive set of re- 
quirements is necessary to assure that tread labels 
will be legible to consumers. 



The agency has found considerable merit in 
another Goodyear suggestion, to delete the range 
of possible grades adjacent to the categories 
"TRACTION" and "TEMPERATURE" on Part 
H of the label. These letters were originally in- 
cluded on the label to provide a display on which 
the grade attributable to a particular tire could be 
marked. Since grades will now be marked on Part I 
of the label, the range of possible grades in Part H 
is superfluous and has been deleted from the re- 
quired format. If, however, manufacturers wish to 
display the array of grades on both Part I and Part 
II of their labels, NHTSA has no objection to this 
practice. 

Goodyear was joined by General Tire & Rubber 
Company in requesting that NHTSA clarify whether 
the three category headings, "TREADWEAR," 
"TRACTION," and "TEMPERATURE," in Part I 
of the proposed label must be laid out side by side, 
across the label, or one below the other, down the 
label. In the interest of flexibility, the regulation 
makes either of these layouts acceptable, although 
the relative order of the categories must be main- 
tained to permit easy reference to the explanatory 
material. 

Similarly, several manufacturers recommended 
that the regulations permit grades to be displayed 
either to the right of or directly below the grading 
category to which they apply. Again, to facilitate 
efficient label design, the regulation permits the 
use of either of these locations for the display of 
grades. 

Industry commenters asked that NHTSA clarify 
whether the use of lower case letters in the label 
text, as set out in Figure 2 of the regulation, 
precludes manufacturers from printing labels us- 
ing all capital letters in the label text. The regula- 
tion has been modified to permit the optional use of 
all capital letters in printing the text of Figure 2. 

NHTSA wishes to confirm Firestone Tire & Rub- 
ber Company's understanding that the words 
"Part I" and "Part 11" appearing in Figure 2 as 
proposed are for reference purposes only and need 
not be printed on the tread label. General and the 
Rubber Manufacturers Association called 
NHTSA's attention to certain typographical errors 
in the proposed Figure 2 text, which have been cor- 
rected in the amendment as adopted. 

Several manufacturers suggested that the 
original label format be permitted as an option, or 



PART 575- PRE 70 



that, as a minimum, waste be avoided by allowing 
labels printed with the original format to be used 
up regardless of the adoption of a new label for- 
mat. NHTSA considers the new two-part label for- 
mat to be superior to the original format in terms 
of clarity and readability. Therefore, the agency 
has concluded that universal conversion to the new 
format is desirable. However, since manufacturers 
have expended significant resources in efforts to 
comply with the original labeling requirement, 
NHTSA will permit the use of labels employing the 
original format, at the manufacturers option, until 
October 1, 1980. This period of flexibility should 
permit any labels already printed to be used up and 
allow a smooth transition to the new format. 

Since this amendment will increase manufac- 
turers' flexibility in complying with the UTQG 



labehng requirements, and since the transition to 
the new labeling format will be phased in so as to 
avoid economic waste, the agency has found that 
this notice does not have significant impact for 
purposes of internal review. In view of the fact 
that some manufacturers may still be in the proc- 
ess of obtaining labels for their bias-belted tire 
lines, this amendment will become effective 
December 1, 1979. 
Issued on November 20, 1979. 



Joan Claybrook, 
Administrator 
44 F.R. 68475 
November 29, 1979 



PART 575-PRE 71-72 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

Uniform Tire Quality Rating 
(Docket No. 25; Notice 37) 



ACTION: Final rule; correction. 

SUMMARY: This notice corrects an inadvertent 
error in the text of the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration's (NHTSA) final rule 
modifying the tread label format used under the 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards 
(49 CFR 575.104). 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 
29, 1979, NHTSA published a notice (44 F.R. 
68475) making minor modifications in the final 
format of tire tread labels used to convey UTQG 
information to consumers. That notice contained 
an inadvertent error in the text of Figure 2 of the 
regulation in that the words "one and one-half' 
were substituted for the words "one and a half 
under the heading "Treadwear" in Part II of the 
tread label text. The notice is therefore revised to 
reflect the intended wording. 



F.R. Doc. 79-36522 appearing at 44 F.R. 68475 
is corrected at page 68477 in the third column as 
follows: 

Figure 2, Part II of the Uniform Tire Quality 
Grading Standards, 49 CFR 575.104, is corrected 
by substitution of the words "one and a half in 
place of the words "one and one-half under the 
heading "Treadwear". 

Issued on January 22, 1980. 



Michael M. Finkelstein, 
Associate Administrator 
for Rulemaking 

45 F.R. 6947 
January 31, 1980 



PART 575-PRE 73-74 



PREAMBLE TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION REGULATIONS 
UNIFORM TIRE QUALITY GRADING 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 38) 



ACTION: Interpretation. 

SUMMARY: This notice clarifies the procedure to 
be used under the Uniform Tire Quahty Grading 
(UTQG) Standards in measuring tread depth of 
tires without circumferential grooves or with a 
limited number of grooves. The regulation's 
provision for measurement of tread depth in tire 
grooves has given rise to questions concerning the 
proper means of measurement for such tires. This 
notice is intended to facilitate testing of tires of 
this type. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This interpretation is effective 
immediately. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Mr. Richard Hipolit, Office of the Chief 
Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-1834). 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The UTQG Standards (49 CFR 575.104) require 
the grading of passenger car tires on three 
performance characteristics: treadwear, traction 
and temperature resistance. In setting forth the 
procedure to be followed in evaluating treadwear 
performance, the regulation states that, after an 
800-mile break-in, tires are to be run for 6,400 
miles over a designated course, with tread depth 
measurements to be taken every 800 miles. The 
regulation specifies that tread depth is measured 
at six equally spaced points in each tire groove 
other than shoulder grooves, avoiding treadwear 
indicators. Tire grooves are typically arranged 
symmetrically around the center of the tread. 

On May 24, 1979, the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) published in the 
Federal Register (44 FR 30139) an interpretation 
that tires designed for year round use do not 
qualify as "deep tread, winter-type snow tires," 



which are excluded from the coverage of the UTQG 
regulation by 49 CFR 575.104(c). In response to 
this interpretation, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber 
Company commented to NHTSA (Docket 25; 
Notice 32-011) that a technical problem may exist 
in the measurement of tread depth of tires for year 
round use since circumferential grooves are absent 
in the designs of many such tires. 

NHTSA is aware that certain other standard tire 
designs, as well as year round designs, may 
incorporate lugs, discontinuous projections molded 
in the tread rubber, separated by voids, in place of 
ribs defined by circumferential grooves. In other 
cases, the limited number of grooves on the tire 
could lead to inaccurate results if measurements 
were made in only those grooves. 

To assure accurate tread depth measurements on 
tires lacking circumferential grooves, and tires with 
fewer than four grooves, measurements are to be 
made along a minimum of four circumferential lines 
equally spaced across the tire tread surface. These 
lines are to be symmetrically arranged around a 
circumferential line at the center of the tread. The 
outermost line on each side of the circimiferential 
tread centerline is to be placed within one inch of the 
shoulder. 

Measurements are to be made at six equally spaced 
points along each line. If the design of the tire is such 
that, on a particular circumferential line, six equally 
spaced points do not exist at which groove or void 
depth exceeds by Keth of an inch the distance from 
the tread surface to the tire's treadwear indicator, 
measurements are not to be taken along that line. If 
measurements cannot be taken on four equaOy- 
spaced, symmetrically-arranged lines, the require- 
ment for equal spacing does not apply. 
Measurements in that case are to be taken along a 
minimum of four lines, with an equal nimiber of 
symmetrically arranged measured lines on either 
side of the tread centerline. 



PART 575-PRE 75 



NHTSA recognizes that, due to the The principal author of this notice is Richard J. 

implementation schedule of the regulation, certain Hipolit of the Office of Chief Counsel, 

manufacturers may have already conducted Issued on March 24 1980. 
treadwear tests on tires falling within the scope of 
this interpretation. The Agency does not object to 

the use in grading of treadwear data generated , ri k t 

prior to the publication date of this notice, if such . , • • 

J. '^ . , . t- i. 4.1. ^ ■ I Admmistrator 

data was acquired usmg a test method varying only 

in minor, non-substantive respects from the 45 F.R. 23441 

method described in this interpretation. April 7, 1980 



PART 575-PRE 76 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENTS TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 
REGULATIONS; UNIFORM TIRE QUALITY GRADING 



(Docket No. 25; Notice 39) 



ACTION: Final Rule. 



SUMMARY: This notice amends the Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards to exclude 
from the requirements of the regulation tires 
produced in small numbers, which are not 
recommended for use on recent vehicle models. 
The amendment is intended to reduce costs to 
consumers and reduce regulatory burdens on 
industry in an area where the purchase of tires 
based on comparison of performance 
characteristics is limited. 



EFFECTIVE DATE: 

immediately. 



This amendment is effective 



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Dr. F. Cecil Brenner, Office of Automotive 
Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-1740). 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The UTQG Standards 49 CFR § 575.104 are 
intended to enable consumers to make an informed 
choice in the purchase of passenger car tires 
through the use of comparative performance 
information relating to tire treadwear, traction 
and temperature resistance. The standards apply 
to new pneumatic tires for use on passenger cars 
manufactured after 1948. Deep tread, winter-type 
snow tires, space-saver or temporary use spare 
tires, and tires with nominal rim diameters of 10 to 
12 inches have been excluded from the application 
of the regulation (49 CFR § 575.104(c)). 

Several tire manufacturers and dealers have 
informed the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) that a small class of tires 
exists for which marketplace competition based on 
performance characteristics is extremely limited. 
These tires, which are purchased for use on 
vehicles manufactured after 1948 but nonetheless 



considered by their owners to be classic or antique, 
are produced in small numbers in a wide variety of 
designs and sizes. Purchasers of these tires are 
reportedly concerned primarily with appearance, 
authenticity, and availability rather than tire 
performance. 

Information supplied by Intermark Tire 
Company indicates that a similar limited market 
exists for tires used on older vehicles requiring tire 
sizes no longer employed as original equipment on 
new vehicles. Intermark petitioned NHTSA to 
remove these tires from the coverage of the 
regulation on the basis that little market 
competition exists in their sale and that availability 
is the primary factor in the purchase of this class of 
tire. 

In order to reduce costs to consumers and 
eliminate the need for industry to grade the 
multiplicity of small lines of tires in which 
comparative performance information would have 
limited value, NHTSA published a notice 
proposing to remove certain limited production 
tires from the application of the UTQG regulation 
(45 FR 807; January 3, 1980). Four criteria, were 
specified to define limited production tires. First 
the annual production by the tire's manufacturer 
of tires of the same design and size could not 
exceed 15,000 tires. Second, if the tire were 
marketed by a brand name owner, the annual 
purchase by the brand name owner could not 
exceed 15,000 tires. Third, the tire's size could not 
have been listed as a manufacturer's recommended 
size designation for a new motor vehicle produced 
or imported into this country in quantities greater 
than 10,000 during the preceding calendar year. 
Fourth, the annual production by the tire's 
manufacturer, or the total annual-purchase by the 
tire's brand name owner, if applicable, of different 
tires otherwise meeting the criteria for limited 



PART 575-PRE 77 



production tires could not exceed 35,000 tires. The 
proposal also clarified that differences in design 
would be determined on the basis of structural 
characteristics, materials and tread pattern, 
rather than cosmetic differences. 

Commenters on the proposal, including the Rubber 
Manufacturers Association, the National Tire 
Dealers and Retreaders Association, Dunlop 
Limited, Intermark, Kelsey Tire Company and 
McCreary Tire and Rubber Company agreed that 
tire quality grading should not be required for limited 
production tires. Among the reasons stated for 
support of the proposal were expected cost savings to 
industry and the consumer and the special 
consideration affecting the purchase of these tires. 
After consideration of these comments, the agency 
has adopted the proposed amendment with minor 
modification. 

Intermark pointed out a possible anomalous 
situation which could result from the wording of 
subparagraph (c) (2) (iv) of the proposal. That 
provision placed a 35,000 tire limit on a 
manufacturer's total annual production of tires 
meeting the limited production criteria, or, in the 
case of tires marketed under a brand name, on the 
total annual purchase of limited production tires by a 
brand name owner. Thus, under this commenter's 
reading of (c) (2) (iv), 40,000 tires meeting the criteria 
of subparagraphs (c) (2) (i), (ii), and (iii) could be 
produced by a manufacturer, sold in groups of 10,000 
to four different brand name owners, and still qualify 
as limited production tires. At the same time, 
another manufacturer could produce 40,000 tires 
meeting the first three criteria for sale in its own 
company outlets and be required to grade the tires. 
To make it clear that the 35,000 tire limitation on 
riTanufacturer's production applies whether or not 
the tires are marketed by a brand name owner, 
subparagraph (c) (2) (iv) has been modified by 
substituting the word "and" for "or." 

Kelsey Tire Company asked how the criteria would 
apply to tires which are produced abroad in large 
numbers but are imported in quantities which would 
fall within the unit limitations of subparagraphs 
(c) (2) (i), (ii), and (iv) of the proposal. To make clear 
that the criteria are to be applied to foreign tires only 
insofar as they are imported in this country, 
subparagraphs (c) (2) (i) and (iv) have been modified 
to refer to "annual domestic production or 
importation into the United States by the tire's 



manufacturer." The reference to "importation ... by 
the tire's manufacturer" includes in the total all tires 
entering the United States for sale under the name of 
the manufacturer, regardless of the shipping or title 
arrangements made by the manufacturer with 
distributors. SimOarly, subpargraphs (c) (2) (ii) and 
(iv) have been modified to clarify the status of tires 
purchased by brand name owners. 

McCreary and Intermark argued that the unit 
restrictions on production of tires meeting the 
criteria are too restrictive and should be eliminated 
or eased significantly. McCeary predicted that the 
total number of classic car tires produced by 
individual manufacturers will grow, although 
production runs of individual designs and sizes will 
remain small. Intermark contended that 
production limitations unfairly penalize efficient 
manufacturers and that a new vehicle 
recommended size designation provision such as 
proposed subparagraph (c) (2) (iii) would be 
sufficient to define the intended class of limited 
production tires. 

NHTSA considers the stated limitations broad 
enough to encompass the "classic" car tire market 
as it is presently constituted. With regard to the 
larger production runs of tires in outdated sizes, 
NHTSA believes that the production of tires in 
numbers greater than the proposed limitations is 
suggestive of wider availability and resulting 
increased competition which would make UTQG 
information of greater value. Further, relaxing or 
eliminating unit restrictions could result in the 
exclusion from the application of the standard of 
high performance or racing tires which are not 
recommended as original equipment. The agency 
believes that comparative tire grading information 
should be available to purchasers of tires of this 
type. NHTSA will monitor the limited production 
tire market to determine whether future market 
changes require revision of the 35,000 tire 
limitation. 

Pursuant to E.O. 12044, "Improving 
Government Regulation," and implementing 
departmental guidelines, the agency has 
considered the effects of this amendment. It 
reaffirms its earlier determination that the 
amendment is not significant and that the effects 
are so minimal as not to warrant preparation of a 
regulatory evaluation. NHTSA has determined 
that these amendments will result in modest cost 
savings to industry and consumers, while having 
no appreciable effect on safety or the environment. 



PART 575-PRE 78 



Because this amendment relieves a restriction 
and because the agency desires to minimize any 
possible interruption in tire production pending the 
effective date of this amendment, the amendment 
is effective immediately. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§ 575.104(c) is amended to read: 

§ 575.104 Uniform tire quality grading 

standards. 

* * • * « 

(c) Application. 

(1) This section applies to new pneumatic 
tires for use on passenger cars. However, this 
section does not apply to deep tread, winter- 
type snow tires, space-saver or temporary use 
spare tires, tires with nominal rim diameters of 
10 to 12 inches, or to limited production tires 
as defined in paragraph (c) (2) of this section. 

(2) "Limited production tire" means a tire 
meeting all of the following criteria, as 
applicable: 

(i) The annual domestic production or 
importation into the United States by the 
tire's manufacturer of tires of the same 
design and size as the tire does not exceed 
15,000 tires; 

(ii) In the case of a tire marketed under a 
brand name, the annual domestic purchase 
or importation into the United States by a 
brand name owner of tires of the same 
design and size as the tire does not exceed 
15,000 tires; 



(iii) The tire's size was not listed as a 
vehicle manufacturer's recommended tire 
size designation for a new motor vehicle 
produced in or imported into the United 
States in quantities greater than 10,000 
during the calendar year preceding the year 
of the tire's manufacture; and 

(iv) The total annual domestic production 
or importation into the United States by the 
tire's manufacturer, and in the case of a tire 
marketed under a brand name, the total 
annual domestic purchase or purchase for 
importation into the United States by the 
tire's brand name owner, of tires meeting 
the criteria of subparagraphs (c) (2) (i), (ii), 
and (iii) of this section, does not exceed 
35,000 tires. 

Tire design is the combination of general 
structiu-al characteristics, materials, and tread 
pattern, but does not include cosmetic, identifying 
or other minor variations among tires. 

The principal authors of this notice are Dr. F. 
Cecil Brenner of the Office of Automotive Ratings 
and Richard J. Hipolit of the Office of Chief 
Counsel. 

Issued on March 24, 1980. 

Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

45 F.R. 23442 
April 7, 1980 



PART 575-PRE 79-80 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Consumer 
Information Regulations by deletion of the re- 
quirement that manufacturers supply information 
on acceleration and passing ability to vehicle first 
purchasers and prospective purchasers. The notice 
also revises the timing of manufacturers' submis- 
sions of performance data to the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These 
modifications, which were proposed in response to 
a General Motors Corporation petition for rule- 
making, are intended to lessen regulatory burdens 
on industry, while providing performance data in a 
manner more useful to consumers. 

EFFECTIVE DATES: The amendment of section 
575.6(d) is effective June 1, 1981. The deletion of 
section 575.106 is effective immediately, July 7, 
1980. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Ivy Baer, Office of Automotive Ratings, 
National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-1740) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Consumer 
Information Regulations (49 CFR Part 575) provide 
first purchasers and prospective purchasers with 
performance information relating to the safety of 
motor vehicles and tires. This information is in- 
tended to aid consumers in making comparative 
purchasing decisions and in the safe operation of 
vehicles. General Motors Corporation petitioned 
NHTSA to delete requirements for consumer in- 
formation on passenger car and motorcycle stop- 
ping distance (49 CFR 575.101), passenger car tire 
reserve load (49 CFR 575.102), and passenger car 
and motorcyle acceleration and passing ability 



(49 CFR 575.106), on the basis that this information 
is of limited value to consumers. In response to 
this petition, NHTSA proposed (44 FR 15748; 
March 15, 1979) to delete the requirement for ac- 
celeration and passing ability information and to 
limit the application of the tire reserve load provi- 
sions to vehicles with significant cargo capacity, 
thus dropping the requirement for most passenger 
cars. NHTSA also proposed that vehicle manufac- 
turers submit performance data to the agency at 
least 90 days before model introduction, compared 
to the 30-day advance submission which had been 
required (49 CFR 575.6). 

Timing of Data Submission 

The primary purpose of the advance submission 
to NHTSA is to permit the agency to compile and 
disseminate performance data in a comparative 
format for use by prospective vehicle purchasers. 
A major criticism of the consumer information pro- 
gram in the past has been that comparative infor- 
mation reached the consumer too late in the model 
year to be of real value in choosing between 
competing vehicles. A 90-day advance submis- 
sion would permit the agency to assemble and 
distribute comparative information early in the 
model year, when it would be of greatest value to 
consumers. 

Some industry commenters questioned the need 
for earlier submission of data on the basis that 
agency delays in publishing the data will result in 
comparative information being available late in 
the model year, in spite of the earlier submission. 
Other manufacturers argued that consumer in- 
terest in the information is limited in any case. 
General Motors suggested that vehicle design 
changes during the model year rapidly outdate the 
information, further limiting its value. 

However, the Center for Auto Safety (CFAS) 
commented that it receives numerous requests 



PART 575-PRE 81 



from consumers for comparative information on 
motor vehicles. CFAS also pointed out the popu- 
larity of comparative motor vehicle information on 
the rare occasions when such information is made 
available by independent publishers. NHTSA has 
concluded that consumer interest in comparative 
performance information would be substantial if 
the information were made available in a timely 
manner. Further, NHTSA has determined that 
few running design changes during the model year 
are so major as to significantly affect the perform- 
ance characteristics covered by the consumer in- 
formation regulations. 

The success of the Environmental Protection 
Agency in publishing its popular fuel economy 
guides in a timely manner indicates that publica- 
tion of vehicle information by NHTSA early in the 
model year is practical. However, based on past 
experience, it appears that a 90-day advance sub- 
mission is the minimum leadtime necessary for 
NHTSA to publish and distribute the information. 

Some manufacturers indicated they may have 
difficulty providing accurate performance informa- 
tion 90 days in advance of model introduction due 
to the possibility of last minute design changes. 
However, American Motors Corporation com- 
mented that a 90-day advance submission require- 
ment would pose no problem at new model intro- 
duction, although it would inhibit running changes 
during the model year. In view of the importance 
of supplying comparative information early in the 
model year, NHTSA has adopted the proposed 90- 
day advance submission requirement for model 
introduction. However, to avoid delaying the in- 
troduction of product improvements, the 30-day 
notice period has been retained for changes occur- 
ring during the model year. 

Tire Reserve Load 

In response to General Motors' petition, 
NHTSA proposed modifying the tire reserve load 
information requirement to limit its application to 
trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a 
gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or 
less, and to passenger cars with a maximum cargo 
capacity of 25 cubic feet or more. The regulation 
had applied to all passenger cars, but not to trucks 
or multipurpose passenger vehicles. 

Comments from many industry and consumer 
sources recommended deleting the tire reserve 
load information requirement completely. CFAS 



commented that consumer interest in tire reserve 
load information has been limited. Many comments 
from car, truck and recreational vehicle manufac- 
turers expressed concern that presenting informa- 
tion on tire reserve load may encourage vehicle 
overloading by misleading consumers into think- 
ing that vehicles have additional load carrying 
capacity. Several commenters suggested that 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 110 and 
120 provide the appropriate means of ensuring 
that vehicles are equipped with tires of adequate 
size and load rating. 

A recent study conducted for NHTSA (Docket 
79-02, Notice 1-016) indicates that tire reserve load 
is an important factor in preventing passenger car 
tire failure. Additional information is being gath- 
ered on this subject and the agency is planning to 
propose amendment of Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard 110 to require a minimum tire 
reserve load on passenger cars. Preliminary analy- 
sis suggests that a tire reserve load percentage of 
10% or greater is necessary to provide an ade- 
quate safety margin. 

NHTSA has found that presently available in- 
formation is not sufficient to justify extension of 
the tire reserve load requirements to light trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles at this time. 
However, in view of the safety implications of tire 
reserve load for passenger cars and in the absence 
of a requirement for minimum tire reserve load, 
NHTSA believes that information on this subject 
should be available to passenger car purchasers 
and owners. The agency has concluded that provi- 
sion of tire reserve load information in its present 
form does not encourage vehicle overloading, since 
a warning against loading vehicles beyond their 
stated capacity must accompany the information. 

For these reasons, NHTSA has determined that 
the existing requirement for tire reserve load in- 
formation must remain in effect at least until the 
completion of rulemaking on the possible amend- 
ment of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
110. If the provision of tire reserve load informa- 
tion no longer appears necessary then, the agency 
will reconsider the status of tire reserve load as a 
consumer information item. At this time, however, 
NHTSA withdraws the proposal to modify the tire 
reserve load consumer information requirements. 

Acceleration and Passing Ability 

The final aspect of NHTSA's proposal was dele- 



PART 575-PRE 82 



tion of acceleration and passing ability (49 CFR 
575.106) from the consumer information re- 
quirements. The acceleration and passing ability 
provision required information on the distance and 
time needed to pass a truck traveling at 20 mph 
and at 50 mph. The passing vehicle was permitted 
to attain speeds of up to 35 mph and 80 mph in the 
respective maneuvers. 

In proposing deletion of this requirement, 
NHTSA felt that the national interest in energy 
conservation had substantially diminished con- 
sumer demand for rapid acceleration capability. 
Further, the high speed driving permitted by the 
test procedures appeared to contradict the safety 
and energy saving policies behind the national 
55-mph speed limit. Commenters on the proposal, 
including American Motors, CFAS, General 
Motors and Volkswagen of America, unanimously 
agreed that the acceleration and passing ability 
provision was no longer of interest to consumers 
and had become inconsistent with national goals. 
Section 575.106 has, therefore, been deleted from 
the consumer information regulations. 

NHTSA's regulatory evaluation, conducted pur- 
suant to E.G. 12044, "Improving Government 
Regulations" and departmental guidelines, in- 
dicates that the amendments are not significant. 
They decrease the regulatory burden on industry, 
while having no appreciable negative impact on 
safety. A copy of the regulatory evaluation can be 
obtained from the Docket Section, Room 5108, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 
400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. 
Also, the amendments will have no measurable 
effect on the environment. 

Because the amendments as they pertain to ac- 
celeration and passing ability relieve a restriction, 
and to avoid any unnecessary costs in complying 
with this requirement, the deletion of section 
575.106 is effective immediately. So that useful 
performance information can be provided to con- 
sumers for model year 1982 vehicles, the amend- 
ment to section 575.6 is effective June 1, 1981. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 



575, Consumer Information Regulations, is 
amended as follows: 

1. Section 575.6(d) is amended to read: 
§575.6 Requirements 

m * * * * 

(d) In the case of all sections of Subpart B, other 
than §575.104, as they apply to information sub- 
mitted prior to new model introduction, each 
manufacturer of motor vehicles shall submit to the 
Administrator 10 copies of the information 
specified in Subpart B of this part that is ap- 
plicable to the vehicles offered for sale, at least 90 
days before it is first provided for examination by 
prospective purchasers pursuant to paragraph (c) 
of this section. In the case of §575.104, and all 
other sections of Subpart B as they apply to post- 
introduction changes in information submitted for 
the current model year, each manufacturer of 
motor vehicles, each brand name owner of tires, 
and each manufacturer of tires for which there is 
no brand name owner shall submit to the Ad- 
ministrator 10 copies of the information specified 
in Subpart B of this part that is applicable to the 
vehicles or tires offered for sale, at least 30 days 
before it is first provided for examination by pro- 
spective purchasers pursuant to paragraph (c) of 
this section. 

2. Section 575.106 is deleted. 

The principal authors of this proposal are Ivy 
Baer of the Office of Automotive Ratings and 
Richard J. Hipolit of the Office of the Chief 
Counsel. 

Issued on July 7, 1980. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

45 FR 47152 
July 14, 1980 



PART 575-PRE 83-84 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 

Uniform Tire Quality Grading 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 4) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards to provide for 
the testing of metric tires, tires with inflation 
pressures measured in kilopascals. Since the 
original UTQG test requirements were written 
prior to the introduction of metric tires and 
specified inflation pressures measured in pounds 
per square inch, modification of the regulation is 
now necessary to identify inflation pressures ap- 
plicable to metric tires. The notice also makes 
technical changes in the UTQG traction test pro- 
cedure to facilitate efficient use of test facilities. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The amendments are effective 
immediately. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Dr. F. Cecil Brenner, Office of Automotive 
Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590, 202-426-1740 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The UTQG 
standards prescribe test procedures for evaluation 
of the treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance properties of passenger car tires. 
Grades based on these are used by consumers to 
evaluate the relative performance of competing 
tire lines. Test procedures for all three perform- 
ance categories were established specifying infla- 
tion pressures in pounds per square inch. 

Following the introduction of metric tires with 
inflation pressures measured in kilopascals, the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
(NHTSA) recognized the need to add metric infla- 
tion pressures to the UTQG test procedures. The 
agency proposed (44 F.R. 56389; October 1, 1979; 
Notice 34) that for purposes of traction testing. 



metric tires would be inflated and tire loads deter- 
mined using a prescribed inflation pressure of 180 
kPa. Under the proposal, other tires would con- 
tinue to be tested at an inflation pressure of 24 psi. 
NHTSA's notice also proposed modification of the 
temperature resistance test procedure to provide, 
in the case of metric tires, for use of inflation 
pressures 60 kPa less than the tires' maximum 
permissible inflation pressure. 

In response to comments, NHTSA modified the 
original proposal (45 F.R. 35408; May 27, 1980; 
Notice 40) to include treadwear testing in the pro- 
posed modifications and to incorporate a table in- 
dicating treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance test inflation pressures for tires with 
various maximum permissible inflation pressures 
in kilopascals and pounds per square inch. In the 
proposed table, different test inflation pressures 
were specified for tires with differing maximum 
permissible inflation pressures. 

The agency also proposed, in Notice 34, modifi- 
cation of the traction test procedure to permit the 
adjustment of candidate tire test results with 
standard tire results obtained either before or 
after the candidate tire test sequence, so long as 
all data to be compared were collected within the 
same two-hour period. This change was intended 
to promote efficient use of the traction test 
facilities by permitting data from more than one 
candidate tire test sequence to be adjusted by 
comparison with the same standard tire sequence. 

Upon examination of additional data, NHTSA 
concluded that a three-hour period could be em- 
ployed without affecting the accuracy of the test 
results. Use of a three-hour period would permit 
more than one candidate tire test sequence to be 
run both before and after the corresponding stand- 
ard tire test sequence. A three-hour period for 
comparative testing was proposed in Notice 40. 
Having received no negative comments on the 



PART 575-PRE 85 



traction test sequence proposal as stated in that 
notice, NHTSA has determined that the amend- 
ment will be adopted as proposed. 

On the proposed changes to provide for testing 
of metric tires, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company 
noted that the table of test inflation pressures pro- 
posed in Notice 40 calls for variations in the 
prescribed test inflation pressure depending on 
the maximum permissible inflation pressure of the 
tested tire. The original traction procedure 
specified a single test inflation pressure for all 
tires. Goodyear expressed concern that such a 
change could affect test results and, consequently, 
tire grades, and require wasteful additional 
testing to confirm grades already assigned. 
Goodyear recommended that NHTSA adopt the 
amendment proposed in Notice 34 that all metric 
tires be tested using the inflation pressure 180 kPa 
and all other tires be tested using the original 24 
psi inflation pressure. 

NHTSA agrees that unnecessary costs asso- 
ciated with the UTQG Standard should be avoided. 
For this reason, the agency has determined that 
reference to traction testing will be deleted from 
the table of test inflation pressures, and the addi- 
tion of the metric traction test inflation pressure 
of 180 kPa proposed in Notice 34 will be adopted 
instead. Those aspects of Notice 40 pertaining to 
treadwear and temperature resistance testing of 
metric tires will be adopted as proposed in that 
notice. 

Pursuant to Executive Order 12044, "Improving 
Government Regulations," and implementing 
Departmental guidelines, the agency has con- 
sidered the effects of these amendments. NHTSA 
reaffirms its earlier determination that the amend- 
ments are not significant and that the effects are 
so minimal as not to warrant preparation of a 
regulatory evaluation. NHTSA has determined 
these amendments will result in modest cost sav- 
ings to industry and consumers, while having no 
appreciable effect on safety or the environment. 

Because these amendments will facilitate the 
efficient and accurate completion of testing pres- 
ently underway, the amendments are effective 
immediately. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§575.104 is amended as follows: 

1. In section 575.104(e)(2)(ii) by substitution of 



the words "the applicable pressure specified in 
Table 1 of this section," in place of the words "an 
inflation pressure 8 pounds per square inch less 
than its maximum permissible inflation pressure." 

2. In section 575.104 (f) (2) (i) (B) and (D) by addi- 
tion of the words, "or, in the case of a tire with in- 
flation pressure measured in kilopascals, to 180 
kPa" following the words "to 24 psi." 

3. In section 575.104(f)(2)(vii) by addition of the 
following sentence, at the end thereof: "The stand- 
ard tire traction coefficient so determined may be 
used in the computation of adjusted traction coeffi- 
cients for more than one candidate tire." 

4. In section 575.104 (f)(2)(viii) by addition of 
the words, "or, on the case of a tire with inflation 
pressure measured in kilopascals, the load speci- 
fied at 180 kPa," following the words "at 24 psi," 
and by addition of the sentences, "Candidate tire 
measurements may be taken either before or after 
the standard tire measurements used to compute 
the standard tire traction coefficient. Take all 
standard tire and candidate tire measurements 
used in computation of a candidate tire's adjusted 
traction coefficient within a single three hour 
period" following the first sentence thereof. 

5. In section 575.104 (g) (1) by substitution of the 
words "the applicable pressure specified in Table 1 
of this section," in place of the words "2 pounds per 
square inch less than its maximum permissible in- 
flation pressure." 

6. In section 575.104(g)(3) by substitution of the 
words "the applicable pressure specified in Table 1 
of this section," in place of the words "2 pounds per 
square inch less than the maximum permissible in- 
flation pressure." 

7. In section 575.104(g)(6) by substitution of the 
words "applicable inflation pressure specified in 
Table 1 of this section," in place of the words "infla- 
tion pressure that is 8 pounds per square inch less 
than the tire's maximum permissible inflation 
pressure." 

8. In section 575.104(g)(8) by substitution of the 
words "the applicable pressure specified in Table 1 
of this section," in place of the words "2 pounds per 
square inch less than that the tire's maximum per- 
missible inflation pressure." 

9. By addition of the following table at the con- 
clusion of the text of that section: 



PART 575-PRE 86 



Table 1. — Test Inflation Pressures 



Maximum permissible 32 36 40 240 280 300 

inflation pressure Ib/in^ Ib/in^ Ib/in^ kPa kPa kPa 

Pressure to be used in tests for 

treadwear and in determination of tire 

load for temperature resistance testing. 24 28 32 180 220 180 

Pressure to used for all aspects of 

temperature resistance testing other 

than determination of tire load. 30 34 38 220 260 220 



The principal authors of this notice are Dr. F. 

Cecil Brenner of Office of Automotive Ratings and 

Richard J. Hipolit of the Office of Chief Counsel. ~ 'Z. T T" 

^ Joan Claybrook 

Issued on October 15, 1980. 

45 FR 70273 
October 23, 1980 



PART 575-PRE 87-88 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 



Consumer Information Regulations; Uniform Tire Quality Grading 



(Docket No. 25; Notice 45) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading Standards to permit 
tire grades to be molded on the tire sidewall 
beginning at any time up to six months after 
introduction of a new tire line. This 
amendment, which was proposed in response 
to a petition from Atlas Supply Company, is 
intended to avoid disruption of production 
while tire grades are determined. The notice 
also extends the deadline for conversion to 
new format tire tread labels in order to 
permit unused supplies of old-format labels to 
be used up. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: August 15, 1981. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 

On January 26, 1981, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking (46 
F.R. 8063; Docket 25, Notice 44) proposing 
amendment of the sidewall molding and tread 
labeling requirements of the Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading (UTQG) Standards (49 CFR 
575.104). In response to a petition for 
rulemaking filed by Atlas Supply Company, 
NHTSA proposed a four month phase-in 
period for molding of UTQG grades on the 
sidewalls of tires of newly introduced tire 
lines. Under the regulation as originally 
issued, all covered tires were required to 
have UTQG grades molded on the sidewall 
(49 CFR 575.104(d)(l)(i)(A)). Atlas, with 



support from the Goodyear Tire & Rubber 
Company and the General Tire & Rubber 
Company, requested that initial production 
runs of new tire lines be exempted from the 
molding requirement pending determination 
of UTQG grades. 

The notice of proposed rulemaking also 
responded to a petition for rulemaking 
submitted by Armstrong Rubber Company. 
Armstrong had requested that the deadline 
for conversion to the new UTQG tread label 
format established in Docket 25, Notice 35 (44 
F.R. 68475; November 29, 1979) be extended 
at least nine months to permit supplies of old- 
format labels to be used up. In response to 
Armstrong's petition, NHTSA proposed that 
the deadline for conversion to the new format 
be extended from October 1, 1980, until April 
1, 1982. 

As indicated in the Notice of Intent 
published by NHTSA on April 9, 1981, (46 
F.R. 21203), NHTSA is currently reviewing 
the requirements of the Uniform Tire Quality 
Grading System regulatory program, to 
determine the degree to which it accurately 
and clearly provides meaningful information 
to consumers in accordance with the 
requirements of 15 U.S.C. 1423. Proposed 
rulemaking or further action on this question 
will be published within thirty days of this 
notice. 



Proposed Rulemaking— Decision 

NHTSA received several comments from 
tire and motor vehicle manufacturers on the 
proposed amendments. After review of these 
comments, the agency has concluded that. 



PART 575 -PRE 89 



while amendment of the regulation is 
warranted, several changes in the specifics of 
the proposal are desirable. 

Proposed Rulemaking— Comments 

Support for the concept of a temporary 
exemption from the UTQG molding 
requirements for new tire lines was indicated 
by both tire and motor vehicle industry 
sources. The Rubber Manufacturers 
Association (RMA) commented that such an 
exemption would resolve difficulties 
associated with grading new tire lines, and 
save costs to manufacturers, while not 
significantly affecting the distribution of 
grading information to the public. 

Ford Motor Company expressed its opinion 
that a temporary exemption would make 
good economic sense by permitting full 
utilization of production facilities while 
UTQG grades are determined. Full utilization 
of equipment was a primary goal of the Atlas 
petition, which expressed concern that a 
substantial investment in tire molds would be 
unproductive while UTQG testing was 
conducted using a small initial sample of 
tires. 

Goodyear also expressed general support 
for the proposal, since it would permit UTQG 
grades to be based on testing of production 
tires. Goodyear noted that while UTQG 
testing of prototype tires is possible, testing 
of production tires is desirable because of the 
greater variety of sizes available for testing. 

While supporting the proposal for a molding 
exemption period, tire industry commenters 
uniformly agreed that the four-month period 
proposed by NHTSA would be inadequate. 
Goodyear, Atlas, and the RMA agreed that a 
six-month period would be preferable. These 
commenters viewed four months as the 
period in which grades could be determined 
and molds stamped under optimal conditions. 
However, these sources pointed out that 
unexpected delays in tire selection, testing, 
data analysis, retesting, or stamping could 
easily extend beyond the four-month period. 
Atlas' comments suggested that the potential 
for delay is even greater where multiple 
sources of supply are involved. In order to 



allow for potential uncontrollable delays of 
this nature, NHTSA has determined that the 
period for introduction of molded grades on 
new tire lines will be extended to six months 
from the date production commences. 

NHTSA's notice of proposed rulemaking 
on this subject contained a proposed 
requirement that motor vehicle 
manufacturers affix to the window of each of 
their vehicles equipped with tires exempted 
from the molding requirement a sticker 
containing tire-specific UTQG information. 
This proposal was intended to assure that 
prospective vehicle purchasers have access 
to UTQG information. Tire-specific grades 
for original equipment tires are not available 
on tread labels or in vehicle manufacturers' 
point of sale information. However, the 
window sticker proposal was uniformly 
opposed by motor vehicle and tire industry 
commenters. 

General Motors Corporation, Chrysler 
Corporation, Volkswagen of America, Inc., 
and Goodyear all argued that significant 
assembly line problems would result from 
adoption of a window sticker requirement. 
Comments received from these manufacturers 
indicated that several lines of tires are 
frequently used as original equipment on a 
single vehicle model and, under the proposal, 
more than one tire line without molded 
grades could be available for use in an 
assembly plant at one time. 

Given this diversity of tire use, 
commenters pointed out, assembly line 
personnel would have to inspect each vehicle 
and determine whether ungraded tires were 
being used. These employees would then 
have to determine the correct UTQG window 
sticker 'to be affixed to the vehicle. Under 
such a system, labeling errors would be likely 
in the absence of costly and time-consuming 
reinspection. Alternatively, expensive 
special parts identification and storage 
programs could be undertaken to track 
ungraded tires through the plant and affix 
the appropriate labels when the tires are 
used. 

Several commenters argued that such a 
labeling program would be unreasonably 
burdensome and expensive in comparison to 



PART 575- PRE 90 



the benefits which would be expected from 
such a program. Ford Motor Company 
estimated that UTQG window stickers would 
result in an annual cost to that company of 
$50,000. General Motors (GM) estimated that 
window stickers could be affixed at a cost of 
$.50 per car if used on all cars it produced. 
According to GM, this cost would be much 
higher in the limited application 
contemplated by the proposal, due to 
increased scheduling and inspection costs. 

At the same time, General Motors, 
Chrysler, and Goodyear argued that the 
major importance of UTQG is in the 
replacement market and that tire grades 
seldom influence new car purchases. GM 
pointed out that it establishes its own 
performance criteria for original equipment 
tires beyond the UTQG performance 
categories, and that in this way vehicle 
purchasers are assured of getting suitable 
tires regardless of molded UTQG grades. 

While Ford suggested several alternatives 
to the window sticker proposal, the other 
commenters addressing the issue 
recommended that no accommodation at all is 
necessary for ungraded original equipment 
tires. In this regard, Goodyear noted that the 
estimate used in the notice of proposed 
rulemaking that no more than five percent of 
original equipment tires would be ungraded 
was probably high and the actual figure will 
likely be considerably below that estimate. 
NHTSA is also aware that in the event a 
vehicle purchaser is interested in UTQG 
information on original equipment tires 
temporarily exempted from the molding 
requirement, UTQG information would be 
readily available from local tire dealers and 
other sources. In view of the above 
considerations, NHTSA has determined that 
the proposed UTQG window sticker is 
unnecessary and unduly burdensome and the 
proposal for such a sticker is withdrawn. 

NHTSA's notice of proposed rulemaking 
also proposed a sunset provision for the 
molding requirement change. This provision 
would have automatically terminated the 
molding exemption at the end of three years, 
unless the agency determined that an 
extension were necessary. Goodyear and the 



RMA pointed out in their comments that a 
sunset provision is unnecessary, since the 
agency already has the authority to review 
and amend the regulation at any time, if it 
appears that the exemption is not working as 
planned. In fact. Atlas recommended that the 
agency review the effect of the amendment 
no later than 18 months after its effective 
date. 

Goodyear noted that, if the sunset provision 
is adopted, unforeseen delays in completion 
of NHTSA's review could lead to disruptions 
in the event the three-year sunset period 
expires before the review process can be 
completed and the exemption extended. 
While NHTSA plans to monitor the effect of 
the molding exemption and will propose any 
necessary modifications, the agency has 
concluded that the proposed sunset provision 
is unnecessary and potentially disruptive. 
Therefore, the sunset provision is 
withdrawn. 

Finally, only one commenter expressed an 
opinion on the proposal to extend the 
deadline for conversion to the new tread label 
format. As discussed in Armstrong's petition 
on this subject, the original October 1, 1980, 
effective date appeared appropriate at the 
time it was established. However, a sudden 
market shift toward radial tires resulted in 
unused supplies of old-format labels for bias- 
belted tires. In order to permit existing 
stocks of labels to be used, NHTSA proposed 
extension of the deadline for conversion to 
the new label format until April 1, 1982. 

Goodyear complained that it had scrapped 
unused supplies of old-format labels when the 
format change took effect and argued that 
extension of the deadline at this time would 
not be fair and equitable. Goodyear went on, 
however, to state its preference that the 
deadline for conversion be eliminated 
altogether in the interest of efficient use of 
available materials. 

NHTSA regrets that Goodyear found it 
necessary to dispose of a quantity of old- 
format labels which could not be used up 
prior to the October 1 deadline. However, the 
agency believes that such economic waste 
would only be compounded by requiring 
disposal of labels which may have been 



PART 575 -PRE 91 



retained by other manufacturers. At the 
same time, complete elimination of the 
conversion deadline could indefinitely delay 
conversion to the new label format, which the 
agency considers superior. For these reasons, 
the deadline for conversion to the new tread 
label format is extended until April 1, 1982. 
Of course, manufacturers and brand name 
owners wishing to use new-format labels 
prior to that date are free to do so. 

Several commenters stressed the need to 
act quickly on the proposed amendments in 
order to avoid production disruptions and 
economic penalties which may be encountered 
in the planned introduction of new tire lines. 
Since the changes outlined above relieve 
restrictions and have these beneficial effects, 
they are made effective immediately upon 
publication. 

NHTSA has evaluated these amendments 
and found that their effect would be to 
provide minor cost savings for tire 
manufacturers and brand name owners. 



Accordingly, the agency has determined that 
the amendments are not a major rule within 
the meaning of Executive Order 12291 and 
are not significant for purposes of 
Department of Transportation policies and 
procedures for internal review of proposals. 
The agency has further determined that the 
cost savings are not large enough to warrant 
preparation of a regulatory evaluation under 
the procedures. The agency has also 
determined that the amendments, which relieve 
restrictions and provide minor cost savings, 
will not significantly affect a substantial 
number of small entities. Finally, the agency 
has concluded that the environmental 
consequences of the amendments will be 
minimal. 

Issued on July 30, 1981. 

Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 
Administrator 
46 F.R. 41514 
August 17, 1981 



PART 575 -PRE 92 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 
(Docket No. 79-02; Notice 5) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Consumer 
Information Regulations to permit amendment of 
previously submitted motor vehicle performance 
information at any time up to 30 days prior to new 
model introduction. This amendment is intended 
to reduce regulatory burdens on industry by 
allowing greater flexibility in the implementation 
of pre-introduction product changes. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 1. 1982. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Consumer 
Information Regulations (49 CFR Part 575) 
require that manufacturers of motor vehicles and 
tires provide prospective purchasers and first 
purchasers with information on the performance 
of their products in the areas of vehicle stopping 
ability (49 CFR §575.101), vehicle tire reserve 
load (49 CFR §575.102), truck camper loading (49 
CFR §575.103), and uniform tire quality grading 
(49 CFR §575.104). In addition to the requirements 
that information be furnished directly to 
consumers, manufacturers are required to submit 
information to the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) prior to the 
introduction of new vehicle models and tire lines 
or modification of existing lines. This advance 
submission requirement is intended to permit the 
agency to compile the information supplied by 
various manufacturers in a comparative format 
for distribution to consumers. 

As originally issued, and presently in force, the 
regulation requires that all information be 
submitted to NHTSA at least 30 days prior to the 
date on which the information is made available 
to prospective purchasers (49 CFR §575.6(d)). The 
regulation requires that information must be 
made available to prospective purchasers not 



later than the day on which the manufacturer 
first authorizes the subject product to be put on 
public display and sold to consumers (49 CFR 
§575.6(c)). 

To enable NHTSA to compile the information 
in a comparative booklet for distribution early 
enough in the model year to be useful to most 
consumers, the agency amended the regulations 
to require that motor vehicle manufacturers 
submit information at least 90 days in advance of 
new model introduction (45 F.R. 47152; July 14, 
1980). The 30-day period was retained for post- 
introduction vehicle changes and for tire quality 
grading information. The amendment was 
originally scheduled to take effect June 1, 1981, 
but the effective date was postponed until June 1, 
1982 (46 F.R. 29269; June 1. 1981), to allow 
consideration of a petition from Ford Motor 
Company requesting greater flexibility in the 
requirement. 

Ford contended that the 90-day advance 
submission requirement could create hardships 
for hianufacturers when last minute pre- 
introduction product changes, resulting from 
component supply difficulties or other factors, 
affect the performance characteristics covered by 
Part 575. In such a situation, a manufacturer 
could be forced to delay introduction of a vehicle 
model until a new 90-day advance notice period 
had been completed. To avoid this result. Ford 
recommended that manufacturers be permitted 
to amend initial pre-introduction submissions at 
any time prior to 30 days before model 
introduction. NHTSA responded with a notice of 
proposed rulemaking to permit such revisions in 
the event of unforeseeable pre-introduction 
modifications in vehicle design or equipment (46 
F.R. 4054; August 10, 1981; Docket 79-02; Notice 
4). This proposal was among the deregulatory 
measures discussed in the Administration's 



PART 575; PRE 93 



notice of intent on measures to aid the auto 
industry. 

NHTSA received comments from seven motor 
vehicle manufacturers and importers in response 
to the notice of proposed rulemaking. All 
commenters agreed that the proposed amendment 
would be an improvement over the established 
90-day requirement, in that greater flexibility 
would be provided in the introduction of necessary 
product changes. As noted by Ford, the 
amendment would facilitate implementation of 
product development and marketing schedules, 
while still providing information adequate for 
NHTSA's purposes. NHTSA agrees and has 
determined that the proposed amendment should 
be adopted with one modification. 

General Motors and Volkswagen of America, 
Inc. commented that limiting changes in 
performance information to those resulting from 
"unforeseeable" product changes is inappropriate. 
Volkswagen argued that only the manufacturer 
can adequately judge whether product changes 
are unforeseeable, and that agency attempts to 
enforce such a requirement could lead to 
undesirable consequences. Moreover, a 
manufacturer acting in good faith could be faced 
with a dilemma if the manufacturer is unable to 
conclude that a needed product change was 
unforeseeable, although in fact it had not been 
anticipated in a particular instance. (Docket 79-02, 
Notice 4, No. 004). General Motors argued that 
cost factors alone are a sufficient incentive to 
manufacturers to avoid last minute product 
changes and therefore no foreseeability standard 
is necessary to insure that changes are made in 
good faith. General Motors suggested that if any 
qualifier is thought necessary, "unforeseen" or 
"unanticipated" would be preferable. (Docket 
79-02, Notice 4, No. 007). 

NHTSA continues to believe that some provision 
is necessary to assure that only good faith product 
changes form the basis for modifications of pre- 
introduction submissions. However, NHTSA does 
not wish to inhibit product changes which the 
agency may believe could have been foreseen, but 
honestly were not. To avoid this result, the 
agency has concluded that "unforeseen" rather 
than "unforeseeable" is a more appropriate 
description of the types of product changes which 
would justify amendments of pre-introduction 
consumer information submissions. 



Volkswagen and General Motors also 
commented that the 90-day advance submission 
requirement is unnecessary and that the original 
30-day period should be retained. Volkswagen 
contended that the agency could not use the 
manufacturers' submissions until 30 days prior to 
model introduction in any case because the data 
would be subject to change. Volkswagen also 
suggested that manufacturers could circumvent 
the 90-day requirement by making minimal 
performance claims in their initial submissions 
and amending the information at a later date. 
General Motors commented that the further in 
advance information is submitted, the less 
accurate it will be, and that the successful 
publication of the Environmental Protection 
Agency's fuel economy guide establishes the 
feasibility of publishing comparative information 
with a brief advance submission period. 

NHTSA's past experience indicates that 30 
days is inadequate for this agency to compile, 
publish and distribute a useful comparative 
booklet. Moreover, any design or equipment 
related inaccuracies inherent in a 90-day advance 
submission can be corrected under the amendment 
adopted in this notice. While it is true that the 
agency could not publish and distribute the 
information until the period for amendment of 
initial submissions expired, the agency could 
compile the information and begin the publishing 
process, incorporating any necessary changes 
prior to printing. Comments submitted by 
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (Docket 79-02, 
Notice 4, No. 001), suggest that the number of 
required changes will be small. Finally, the type 
of abuse noted by Volkswagen would be 
precluded under the amended regulation because 
the type of revision described would not have 
been necessitated by unforeseen product 
changes. 

Commenters also suggested rescinding the 
advance submission requirement completely or 
rescinding the stopping distance and tire reserve 
load provisions. Still other commenters 
recommended that the agency reassess the costs 
and benefits of the Consumer Information 
Regulations as a whole. The rationale for these 
recommendations centered on the alleged lack of 
consumer interest in the information and the 
limited amount of information provided under the 
program. 



PART 575; PRE 94 



As noted by commenters, NHTSA has proposed 
rescission of the requirement that auto 
manufacturers provide tire reserve load 
information to the public and the agency (46 F.R. 
47100; September 24, 1981). However, in 
conjunction with the Administration's efforts to 
ease regulatory burdens on the auto industry, the 
agency wishes to maintain a functioning consumer 
information program as a possible substitute for 
mandatory safety regulations. As part of the 
agency's ongoing program to identify and eliminate 
unnecessary regulatory burdens, NHTSA plans 
to review the benefits of and need for the 
Consumer Information Regulations as a component 
of the agency's total regulatory program. If this 
review indicates that the consumer information 
program is not useful and cost-beneficial, the 
future of the regulation will be addressed in a 
later rulemaking proceeding. 

NHTSA has evaluated this relieving of a 
restriction and found that its effect will be to 
provide minor cost savings for motor vehicle 
manufacturers. Accordingly, the agency has 
determined that the action is not a major rule 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12291 and 
is not significant for purposes of Department of 
Transportation policies and procedures for 
internal review of regulatory actions. The agency 



has further determined that the cost savings are 
so minimal as to not warrant preparation of a 
regulatory evaluation under the procedures. The 
agency certifies pursuant to the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act that the action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities because the cost savings 
will be modest and few, if any, motor vehicle 
manufacturers can be considered small entities 
within the meaning of the statute. Finally, the 
agency has concluded that the environmental 
consequences of the proposed change will be of 
such limited scope that they clearly will not have 
a significant effect on the quality of the human 
environment. 

Issued on February 11, 1982. 



Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 
Administrator 

47 F.R. 7257 
February 18, 1982 



PART 575; PRE 95-96 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 
(Docket No. 81-09; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final rule, 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Consumer 
Information Regulations by revocation of the 
requirement that motor vehicle manufacturers 
provide information on passenger car tire reserve 
load. The National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration has concluded that this 
information is without value to consumers, and 
that deletion of the requirement will avoid 
unnecessary regulatory burdens on industry. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This amendment is effective 
immediately. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Consumer 
Information Regulations (49 CFR Part 575) 
require that manufacturers of motor vehicles and 
tires provide consumers with information on the 
performance of their products under various 
performance criteria. In the case of motor vehicle 
manufacturers, information is required in the 
areas of passenger car and motorcycle stopping 
distance (49 CFR §575.101), passenger car tire 
reserve load (49 CFR §575.102), and truck camper 
loading (CFR §575.103). National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations 
require that motor vehicle manufacturers supply 
the required performance information in writing 
to first purchasers of their motor vehicles at the 
time of delivery (49 CFR §575.6(a)) and that the 
information be made available for examination by 
prospective purchasers at each location where 
the vehicles to which it applies are sold (49 CFR 
§575.6(c)). The information must also be 
submitted in advance to NHTSA (49 CFR 
§575.6(d)). 

On September 24, 1981, NHTSA published in 
the Federal Register a proposal to delete from 
the Consumer Information Regulations the 



requirement for provision of information on 
passenger car tire reserve load (46 F.R. 47100; 
Docket No. 81-09, Notice 1). Tire reserve load is 
the difference between a tire's stated load rating 
and the load imposed on the tire at maximum 
loaded vehicle weight. This difference is 
expressed as a percentage of tire load rating 
under the regulation. 

NHTSA's proposal noted that a NHTSA 
analysis, "The Relationship Between Tire Reserve 
Load Percentage and Tire Failure" (Docket No. 
81-09, Notice 1, No. 002), had concluded that no 
relationship exists between tire reserve load 
percentage and tire failure rate. This analysis 
was based on the results of a study prepared for 
NHTSA by Chi Associates, "Statistical Analysis 
of Tire FaUure vs. Tire Reserve Load Percentage" 
(Docket No. 81-09, Notice 1, No. 001), using tire 
reserve load data obtained from eight automobile 
manufacturers under special order from this 
agency. The proposal also noted the lack of major 
differences among manufacturers' reported tire 
reserve load percentages, and the safeguards 
against overloading contained in Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 110 (FMVSS No. 
110), Tire Selection and Rims. 

In response to its proposal to delete the 
requirement for tire reserve load information, 
NHTSA received comments from seven motor 
vehicle manufacturers and importers. The 
commenters were unanimous in their support of 
the agency's proposal. Comments received 
generally focused on the lack of benefit to 
consumers resulting from provision of tire 
reserve load information. 

Several commenters noted the lack of any 
proven safety benefit from the tire reserve load 
regulation. Two commenters. Ford Motor 
Company and Volkswagen of America, Inc., cited 
the above mentioned NHTSA analysis in support 



PART 575; PRE 97 



of the proposition that tire reserve load is an 
invalid predictor of tire failure (Docket No. 81-09, 
Notice 1. Nos. 004 and 006). General Motors 
Corporation (Docket No. 81-09, Notice 1, No. 007) 
and American Motors Corporation (Docket No. 
81-09, Notice 1, No. 008, referencing its prior 
comment. Docket No. 79-02, Notice 1, No. 012) 
argued that FMVSS No. 110 is sufficient to 
protect against the installation of tires with 
inadequate load carrying capacity. 

American Motors also pointed out that much of 
the information required under the tire reserve 
load regulation is redundant of information which 
must be included on glove compartment placards 
pursuant to FMVSS No. 110. In this regard, 
information on recommended tire size designation 
and recommended inflation pressure for maximum 
loaded vehicle weight, required under paragraphs 
(c)(2) and (3) of the tire reserve load regulation (49 
CFR §575.102(c)(2) and (3)) is essentially the same 
as that required under paragraphs s4.3(c) and (d) 
of FMVSS No. 110 (49 CFR §575.110, s4.3(c) and 
(d)). 

Several commenters argued that not only is 
tire reserve load information lacking in safety 
value, but it may actually pose a danger to 
highway safety. Renault USA, Inc., Volkswagen, 
General Motors and American Motors all 
expressed concern that provision of tire reserve 
load information would mislead consumers into 
loading their vehicles beyond gross vehicle 
weight ratings (Docket No. 81-09, Notice 1, Nos. 
003, 006, 007, 008). Renault and American Motors 
also noted that the tire reserve load regulation 
fails to take into account the effect of inflation 
pressure, thus further limiting the usefulness of 
the regulation and creating additional potential 
hazards resulting from improper tire inflation. 

Chrysler Corporation and General Motors 
emphasized the minimal consumer interest in tire 
reserve load information (Docket No. 81-09, 
Notice 1, Nos. 005 and 007). As evidence of this 
minimal interest, both manufacturers noted the 
lack of consumer requests for point of sale 
information currently available. 

Some cost savings are likely to result to 
automobile manufacturers as a result of deletion 
of this requirement. General Motors pointed out 
that, even if tire reserve load is dropped from the 
consumer information regulations, manufacturers 
will still be required to print and distribute 



booklets containing information on vehicle 
stopping distance and thus cost savings will be 
limited (Docket No. 81-09, Notice 1, No. 007). 
However, Ford commented that elimination of 
the tire reserve load provision would result in 
some savings in manpower and computer time 
(Docket No. 81-09, Notice 1, No. 004). Similarly, 
Volkswagen noted that manufacturers' booklet 
publication costs would be reduced and reporting 
requirements simplified if the proposed 
amendment were adopted (Docket No. 81-09, 
Notice 1, No. 006). 

In view of the lack of benefits of the tire 
reserve load information requirements, the 
potential for reduction of unnecessary regulatory 
burdens by deletion of these requirements, and 
the other considerations discussed above, 
NHTSA has concluded that the tire reserve load 
requirements of the Consumer Information 
Regulations should be revoked. In order to avoid 
continued imposition of unncessary regulatory 
burdens, this amendment relieving a restriction 
is made effective immediately. 

Several commenters also suggested rescinding 
the vehicle stopping distance information 
requirement of the regulation, thereby eliminating 
all requirements for vehicle specific consumer 
information applicable to passenger cars. While 
beyond the scope of this rulemaking proceeding, 
NHTSA is reviewing the benefits of and need for 
other aspects of the Consumer Information 
Regulations in connection with a petition for 
rulemaking submitted by General Motors. If this 
review indicates that vehicle stopping distance 
information is not useful, the potential deletion of 
this requirement will be made the subject of a 
future rulemaking proceeding. 

NHTSA has evaluated this relieving of a 
restriction and found that its effect would be to 
provide minor cost savings for motor vehicle 
manufacturers. Accordingly, the agency has 
determined that this action is not a major rule 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12291 and 
is not significant for purposes of Department of 
Transportation policies and procedures for 
internal review of regulatory actions. The agency 
has further determined that the cost savings are 
minimal and do not warrant preparation of a 
regulatory evaluation under the procedures. 

The agency certifies, pursuant to the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, that this action will not "have a 



PART 575; PRE 98 



significant economic impact on a substantial case of individual purchasers. 

number of small entities," and that a Regulatory 

Flexibility Analysis was therefore not required. Issued on May 28, 1982. 

Few, if any, motor vehicle manufacturers can be 

considered small entities within the meaning of 

the statute. Small organizations and small 

government jurisdictions will not be significantly 

affected by this action. These entities could be 



affected by the action as motor vehicle Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 

purchasers. However, the agency has determined Administrator 
that tire reserve load information is not of value 

to purchasers. Moreover, possible cost savings 47 F.R. 24593 

associated with the action will be minor in the June 7, 1982 



PART 575; PRE 99-100 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations; Uniform Tire Quality Grading 
(Docket No. 25; Notice 46) 



ACTION: Interim final rule and request for 
comments. 

SUMMARY: This notice makes several technical 
amendments to the test procedures in the 
regulation on Uniform Tire Quality Grading 
(UTQG). The UTQG regulation specifies that the 
tire rim size and tire loading used in testing 
individual tires are to be determined by using 
Table 1, Appendix A of Federal Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 109, New pneumatic tires. 
Since the portion of Table 1, Appendix A relied 
upon by the UTQG regulation was deleted in a 
previous agency rulemaking, effective June 15, 
1982, reliance upon that Appendix will no longer 
be appropriate after that date. This notice 
replaces the references to Appendix A with 
equivalent methods for determining rim size and 
tire loading. 

DATES: This amendment is effective June 15, 
1982. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) regulation (49 CFR 
575.104) requires that manufacturers and brand 
name owners of passenger car tires provide 
consumers with information on the treadwear, 
traction and temperature resistance of their 
tires. This information is to be generated in 
accordance with procedures specified in the 
regulation. 

Two parameters specified in the test procedures 
are the proper test rim width for each tire, and 
the load under which the tire is to be tested. The 
UTQG regulation refers to Appendix A of Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109 (FMVSS 
109) for the determination of rim size to be used 
for testing purposes. Table 1 of Appendix A 
provides a complete listing of tire sizes available 



in this country and for each size indicates the 
proper test rim size and maximum loads at 
various tire pressures. 

The UTQG regulation also refers to Appendix A 
of FMVSS 109 for the determination of tire load. 
The tire load for temperature resistance testing 
is the load specified in Appendix A of FMVSS 109 
for the tire pressure listed in Table 1 of the UTQG 
regulation. Thus, load is currently determined by 
obtaining the tire pressure from Table 1 of the 
UTQG regulation and finding the load for that 
pressure level in Appendix A. The tire load for 
treadwear and traction testing is determined in 
the same way, except that the load level found in 
Appendix A is multiplied by 85 percent. 

Beginning on June 15, 1982, reliance upon 
Appendix A o£ FMVSS 109 to determine rim size 
and tire load for UTQG testing will no longer be 
possible. On that date, the agency's amendment 
(December 17, 1981; 46 F.R. 61473) deleting Table 
1 of Appendix A will become effective. As 
FMVSS 109 is currently written, the tire 
manufacturers and brand name owners must 
submit the rim size information to NHTSA for 
incorporation in Table 1. Under the amendment, 
they will be able to satisfy FMVSS 109 by either 
securing the incorporation of the information in a 
publication of a standardization organization like 
the Tire and Rim Association or one of its foreign 
counterparts or by submitting it to the agency, 
their dealers, and others who request it, without 
the need for the information's incorporation in 
any other document. 

As to tire load information, the tire 
manufacturers and brand name owners must 
currently calculate loads for pressure levels 
ranging from 16 to 40 pounds per square inch in 
most cases and submit the information to NHTSA 
for incorporation in Table 1. After June 14, they 
need determine the load only for a single 



PART 575; PRE 101 



pressure level, the maximum one. The 
responsibilities of the manufacturers and brand 
name owners under amended FMVSS 109 
regarding load information may be satisfied in 
the same fashion as their responsibilities 
regarding rim size. 

The deletion of Table 1 of Appendix A was 
intended to reduce an unnecessary regulatory 
burden placed by FMVSS 109 on the tire industry 
and the agency. The action was not intended to 
make any change in the UTQG test procedures. 
However, the deletion of Table 1 of Appendix A 
necessitates amending the UTQG regulation so 
that rim size and tire load can be determined 
without reference to that appendix. 

This notice provides the means for making 
those determinations. The rim size to be used for 
UTQG testing is the same size specified by the 
tire manufacturer or brand name owner in a 
publication of a standardization association or in a 
submission directly to the agency. This provision 
does not in any way change the rim size used for 
UTQG testing. Instead, it simply changes the 
source of obtaining the rim size information. 

As to tire loading, the UTQG testing will 
henceforth rely upon mathematical calculation 
involving a tire's maximum load, as molded on its 
sidewall, instead of relying upon information 
submitted by the manufacturer or brand name 
owner to any organization or agency. Under the 
new procedure, the maximum load is multiplied 
by a factor, ranging from .851 to .887 depending 
on the tire's maximum inflation pressure, and the 
result is rounded. The rounded result is used for 
temperature resistance testing. For treadwear 
and traction testing, the rounded result is 
multiplied by 85 percent. In most instances, this 
procedure produces the same load as is currently 
obtained by reference to Table 1 of Appendix A. 
In those instances in which the load is different, 
the degree of difference is so slight that the 
difference will not have any practical effect on 
the UTQG test results. 

The agency finds good cause for issuing these 
amendments without prior notice and comment. 
The agency believes that prior notice and 
comment are unnecessary. The revisions are 
technical and editorial in nature. In most instances, 
the revisions produce no changes in the procedures 
under which tires are tested for UTQG purposes. 
In the few instances in which there will be a 



change, the change is so slight as to be 
substantively insignificant. Although the agency 
has concluded that prior notice and comment are 
unnecessary, it has decided to go beyond the 
minimum requirements of the Administrative 
Procedures Act and provide a 60-day comment 
period on these amendments. For the same 
reasons set forth above and to permit continued 
implementation of the UTQG regulation, the 
agency finds good cause for making the revisions 
effective immediately. 

Since this proceeding is merely intended to 
allow the continued implementation of the UTQG 
regulation without any change in the manner of 
implementation, NHTSA has determined that 
this proceeding does not involve a major rule 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12291 or a 
significant rule within the meaning of the 
Department of Transportation regulatory 
procedures. Further, there are virtually no 
economic impacts of this action so that preparation 
of a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary. 

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not require 
the preparation of flexibility analyses with respect 
to rulemaking proceedings, such as this one, for 
which prior notice and comment is not required 
by the Administrative Procedures Act. If the 
requirement for preparation of such analyses 
were applicable, the agency would certify that 
this action would not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
As noted above, this action will make essentially 
no change in the implementation of the UTQG 
regulation. 

NHTSA has concluded that this action will 
have essentially no environmental consequences 
and therefore that there will be no significant 
effect on the quality of the human environment. 

Interested persons are invited to submit 
comments on the agency's action announced above 
and on any other topics relevant to this notice. It 
is requested but not required that 10 copies be 
submitted. 

All comments must be limited not to exceed 15 
pages in length. Necessary attachments may be 
appended to these submissions without regard to 
the 15-page limit. This limitation is intended to 
encourage commenters to detail their primary 
argument in a concise fashion. 

If a commenter wishes to submit certain 
information under a claim of confidentiality, three 



PART 575; PRE 102 



copies of the complete submission, including 
purportedly confidential information, should be 
submitted to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the 
street address given above, and seven copies 
from which the purportedly confidential 
information has been deleted should be submitted 
to the Docket Section. Any claim of confidentiality 
must be supported by a statement demonstrating 
that the information falls within 5 U.S.C. section 
552(b)(4), and that disclosure of the information is 
likely to result in substantial competitive 
damage; specifying the period during which the 
information must be withheld to avoid that 
damage; and showing that earlier disclosure 
would result in that damage. In addition, the 
commenter or, in the case of a corporation, a 
responsible corporate official authorized to speak 
for the corporation must certify in writing that 
each item for which confidential treatment is 
required is in fact confidential within the meaning 
of section (b)(4) and that a diligent search has been 
conducted by the commenter or its employees to 
assure that none of the specified items have 
previously been disclosed or otherwise become 
available to the public. 

All comments received before the close of 
business on the comment closing date indicated 
above will be considered, and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the above address 



both before and after that date. To the extent 
possible, comments filed after the closing date 
will also be considered. However, the rulemaking 
may proceed at any time after that date, and 
comments received after the closing date and too 
late for consideration in regard to the action will 
be treated as suggestions for future rulemaking. 
NHTSA will continued to file relevant material as 
it becomes available in the docket after the 
closing date; it is recommended that interested 
persons continue to examine the docket for new 
material. Those persons desiring to be notified 
upon receipt of their comments in the rulemaking 
docket should enclose, in the envelope with their 
comments, a self-addressed stamped postcard. 
Upon receiving the comments, the docket 
supervisor will return the postcard by mail. 

Issued on June 11, 1982. 



Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 
Administrator 



47 F.R. 25930 
June 15, 1982 



PART 575; PRE 103-104 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations; Uniform Tire Quality Grading 
(Docket No. 25; Notice 48) 



ACTION: Interim final rule and request for 
comments. 

SUMMARY: This notice makes a technical 
correction to the test procedures used in Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading (UTQG). A recently issued 
amendment to those procedures inadvertently 
omitted certain factors to be used in determining 
the load under which tires are to be tested for 
traction. This notice corrects the prior 
amendment. This notice also provides that, for a 
two-year period, tires whose test loads would 
change significantly as a result of the use of the 
treadwear, temperature resistance and traction 
load factors shall continue to be tested at the 
loads used in UTQG testing prior to June 14, 
1982. The agency intends this notice to ensure 
that test loads will not significantly change from 
previously specified loads. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The UTQG amendment is 
effective on August 12, 1982. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the 
UTQG system, tires sold in this country are 
tested and grades are assigned for treadwear, 
traction, and temperature resistance. Prior to 
June 15, 1982, the UTQG Standards provided that 
the tire rim size and test loads used for UTQG 
testing were to be obtained from the tire tables of 
Appendix A to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 109, New pneumatic tires. However, 
those tables were deleted from FMVSS 109 
effective June 15, 1982. In order to provide a 
substitute means for determining rims and test 
loads for all three performance characteristics, 
NHTSA published an interim final rule on June 
15, 1982 (47 F.R. 25930). The June 15 notice 
specified alternative methods for determining 
test rim sizes and test loads, without having to 



refer to the now-deleted tire- tables of Standard 
109. 

Of relevance here is the new procedure for 
determining test loads. That procedure requires 
multiplying the maximum tire load appearing on 
the tire's sidewall by certain specified factors. 

The agency's June 15 correction notice 
inadvertently omitted factors for traction 
testing. The factors which were listed in that 
notice were those appropriate for treadwear and 
temperature resistance testing only. Therefore, 
the agency is now correcting the table set forth in 
the June 15 notice to include the factors to be used 
in UTQG traction testing. The agency has selected 
these factors, like those specified in the June 15 
notice for treadwear and temperature resistance 
testing, in an attempt to produce approximately 
the same test load as was previously specified by 
reference to the tire tables of Standard 109. The 
agency believes that for most tire types and sizes, 
this procedure will produce tire load specifications 
which differ from loads specified by the old 
procedure by less than 10 pounds. The agency 
believes that this difference will not be large 
enough to produce significant differences in test 
results, but invites comment on this point. 

The agency has identified 14 individual tire 
sizes which would have differences of more than 
10 pounds in test loads under the load factors for 
treadwear, temperature resistance or traction 
testing under UTQG. These discrepancies 
apparently result from differences in the manner 
in which various tire companies determine 
maximum tire loads and "design" loads. For these 
14 tires, the agency is specifying as an interim 
measure that the loads previously determined by 
reference to the tire tables may continue to be 
used for a period of two years. The two-year 
period will permit the tire manufacturers to make 
any design changes they feel necessary in these 



PART 575; PRE 105 



tires. While the agency believes that those 14 tire 
sizes represent the only tires now sold in the U.S. 
with load discrepancies of greater than 10 
pounds, there may be others. Commenters are 
requested to inform the agency of any additional 
tires for which such a discrepancy exists. These 
tires will be added to that list when final action is 
taken on the interim final rule. 

The agency finds good cause for issuing this 
amendment without prior notice and comment. 
The agency believes that prior notice and 
comment are unnecessary, since the revisions are 
technical and editorial in nature. They are 
intended to allow the continued implementation 
of the UTQG regulation in the same manner as it 
was before June 15, 1982. Although the agency 
has concluded that prior notice and comment are 
unnecessary, it has decided to go beyond the 
minimum requirements of the Administrative 
Procedures Act and provide a comment period on 
this amendment. For the same reasons set forth 
above and to permit continued implementation of 
the UTQG regulation, the agency finds good 
cause for making the revisions effective 
immediately. 

Since this amendment is not intended to cause 
any significant change in implementation of the 
UTQG regulation as it existed on June 14, 1982, 
NHTSA has determined that this proceeding 
does not involve a major rule within the meaning 
of Executive Order 12291 or a significant rule 
within the meaning of the Department of 
Transportation regulatory procedures. Further, 
there are virtually no economic impacts of this 
action so that preparation of a full regulatory 
evaluation is unnecessary. 

The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not 
require the preparation of flexibility analyses 
with respect to rulemaking proceedings, such as 
this one, since the agency certifies that this action 
would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. As noted 
above, this action will make essentially no change 
in the implementation of the UTQG regulation. 

NHTSA has concluded that this action will 
have essentially no environmental consequences 
and therefore that there will be no significant 
effect on the quality of the human environment. 

Interested persons are invited to submit 
comments on the agency's action announced 
above and on any other topics relevant to this 



notice. It is requested but not required that 10 
copies be submitted. 

All comments must be limited not to exceed 15 
pages in length. Necessary attachments may be 
appended to these submissions without regard to 
the 15-page limit. This limitation is intended to 
encourage commenters to detail their primary 
argument in a concise fashion. 

If a commenter wishes to submit certain 
information under a claim of confidentiality three 
copies of the complete submission, including 
purportedly confidential information, should be 
submitted to the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the 
street address given above, and seven copies 
from which the purportedly confidential 
information has been deleted should be submitted 
to the Docket Section. Any claim of confidentiality 
must be supported by a statement demonstrating 
that the information falls within 5 U.S.C. section 
552(b)(4), and that disclosure of the information is 
likely to result in substantial competitive damage; 
specifying the period during which the information 
must be withheld to avoid that damage; and 
showing that earlier disclosure would result in 
that damage. In addition, the commenter or, in 
the case of a corporation, a responsible corporate 
official authorized to speak for the corporation 
must certify in writing that each item for which 
confidential treatment is required is in fact 
confidential within the meaning of section (b)(4) 
and that a diligent search has been conducted by 
the commenter or its employees to assure that 
none of the specified items have previously been 
disclosed or otherwise become available to the 
public. 

All comments received before the close of 
business on the comment closing date indicated 
above will be considered, and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the above address 
both before and after that date. To the extent 
possible, comments filed after the closing date 
will also be considered. However, the rulemaking 
may proceed at any time after that date, and 
comments received after the closing date and too 
late for consideration in regard to the action will 
be treated as suggestions for future rulemaking. 
NHTSA will continue to file relevant material as 
it becomes available in the docket after the 
closing date; it is recommended that interested 
persons continue to examine the docket for new 
material. Those persons desiring to be notified 



PART 575; PRE 106 



upon receipt of their comments in the rulemaking 
docket should enclose, in the envelope with their 

comments, a self-addressed stamped postcard. 

Upon receiving the comments, the docket Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 

supervisor will return the postcard by mail. Administrator 

47 F.R. 34990 

Issued on August 5, 1982. August 12, 1982 



PART 575; PRE 107-108 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading 

[Docket No. 25; Notice 52] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice suspends, on an interim 
basis, the treadwear grading requirements of the 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 
(UTQGS). No change is made in the requirements 
of grading the traction and temperature 
resistance performance of new tires except for a 
minor change in the format for molding those 
grades on tires. 

The UTQGS treadwear grading requirements 
are intended to aid consumers in assessing the 
value of new tires in terms of relative treadwear 
performance. This suspension is being adopted 
because available information and analysis 
indicate that the treadwear grades are 
apparently not only failing to aid many 
consumers, but also are affirmatively misleading 
them in their selection of new tires. The 
unreliability of the treadwear grades arises from 
two major sources. One is the variability of 
treadwear test results, which could be caused by 
either the lack of sufficient measures in the 
treadwear test procedures to ensure 
repeatability, or by the inherent complexity of 
the structure of individual tires themselves, 
which would preclude reproducibility of test 
results and, thus, comparative examination 
between or among tires. The other major source 
of unreliability is substantial differences among 
the practices of the tire manufacturers in 
translating test results into grades. 

The agency has identified a wide variety of 
presently uncontrolled and perhaps 
uncontrollable sources of variability in the 
treadwear test procedure, and believes that other 
sources remain to be discovered. Although some 
or all of these sources may ultimately be found to 



be controllable to the extent that the variability 
in test results is reduced to acceptable levels, 
considerable research must be completed before 
the agency can determine whether or how that 
can be achieved. Much of the necessary research 
has already been initiated. When the research is 
completed, the agency will determine whether 
the suspension of treadwear grading should be 
lifted. 

The agency is also amending Part 575 to change 
the format for molding grades on the sidewalls of 
new tires. The new format, which would include 
traction and temperature resistance g^rades but 
not treadwear grades, must be used on new tires 
produced in molds manufactured after (180 days 
after publication in the Federal Register). The 
agency expects and directs that manufacturers 
will cease printing tire labels and consumer 
information materials which include treadwear 
grades described or characterized as having been 
determined by or under the UTQGS procedures 
of the United States Government. 

As a result of the amendments adopted by this 
notice, consumers will cease to be misled by 
unreliable treadwear grade information. In 
addition, the costs of implementing the treadwear 
grading program will no longer be imposed on the 
manufacturers and consumers. 

DATES: The suspension of the existing 
requirements relating to treadwear grades, and 
the new alternative provision specifyiijg the 
format for the molding of only traction and 
temperature resistance information on new tires 
are effective February 7, 1983. The provision 
requiring use of the new format is effective for 
tires produced in molds manufactured on or after 
August 8, 1983. 



PART 575; PRE 109 



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 203 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
prescribe a "uniform quality grading system for 
motor vehicle tires." As explained in that section, 
this system is intended to "assist the consumer to 
make an informed choice in the purchase of motor 
vehicle tires." The uniform tire quality grading 
standards (UTQGS) became effective April 1, 
1979, for bias tires; October 1, 1979, for bias 
belted tires; and April 1, 1980, for radial tires. 
UTQGS requires manufacturers and brand name 
owners of passenger car tires to test and grade 
their tires according to their expected 
performance in use with respect to the properties 
of treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance, and provide consumers with 
information regarding those grades. 

Treadwear Testing and Grading Process 

This notice focuses on the treadwear grades. 
Unlike grades for the properties of traction and 
temperature resistance, the treadwear grades 
have never been intended to promote safety. 
Their essential value has always been to aid 
consumers in selecting new tires by informing 
them of the performance expectations of tread 
life for each tire offered for sale, so that they can 
compare on a common basis the relative value of 
one tire versus another. Although these grades 
are not intended to be used for predicting the 
actual mileage that a particular tire will achieve, 
the relevance and effectiveness of the grades 
depend directly on the accuracy of the 
projections of tread life derived from tests and 
assigned by grades. 

The grades are based on a tire's projected 
mileage (the distance which it is expected to 
travel before wearing down to its treadwear 
indicators) as tested on a single, predetermined 
course laid out on public roads near San Angelo, 
Texas. Each treadwear test consists of 16 circuits 
of the approximately 400 mile long course. A 
tire's tread depth is measured periodically during 
the test. Based upon these measurements, the 
tire's projected mileage is calculated. A tire's 
treadwear grade is expressed as the percentage 
which its projected mileage represents of a 
nominal 30,000 miles. For example, a tire with a 
projected mileage of 24,000 would be graded "80," 



(i.e., 24,000 is 80 percent of 30,000 miles), while 
one with a projected mileage of 39,000 would be 
graded "130," (i.e., 39,000 is 130 percent of 30,000, 
rounded). 

Because the measured treadwear upon which 
grades are based occurs under outdoor road 
conditions, any comparison between candidate 
tire performances must involve a standardization 
of results by correction for the particular 
environmental conditions of each test. To do this, 
the treadwear performance of a candidate tire is 
measured in all cases in conjunction with that of a 
so-called "course monitoring tire" (CMT) of the 
same construction type. The treadwear of the 
standardized CMT's is measured to reflect and 
monitor changes in course severity due to factors 
such as road surface wear and environmental 
conditions. The actual measured treadwear of the 
candidate tire is adjusted on the basis of the 
actual measured treadwear on the CMT's run in 
the same convoy, and the resulting adjusted 
candidate tire treadwear is used as the basis for 
assigning the treadwear grade. 

To promote their uniformity, the CMT's are 
selected from a single production lot 
manufactured at a single plant, under more 
stringent quality control measures (set by 
contract with NHTSA) than would otherwise 
apply to production tires. 

Each test convoy consists of one car equipped 
with four CMT's and three or fewer other cars 
equipped with candidate tires of the same 
construction type. Candidate tires on the same 
axle are identical, but front tires on a test vehicle 
may differ from rear tires as long as all four are of 
the same size designation. After a two-circuit 
break-in period, the initial tread depth of each 
tire is determined by averaging the depth 
measured in each groove at six equally spaced 
locations around the circumference of the tire. At 
the end of every two circuits (800 miles), each 
tire's tread depth is measured again, the tires are 
rotated on the car, and wheel alignments may be 
readjusted as needed to fall within the ranges of 
the vehicle manufacturer's specifications. At the 
end of the 16-circuit test, each tire's overall wear 
rate is calculated from the nine measured tread 
depths and their corresponding mileages after 
break-in by using a regression line technique. 

Part 575 requires that the treadwear grading 
information be disseminated in three ways. First, 



PART 575; PRE 110 



the actual grade must be molded onto the 
sidewall of each tire. Second, the grade and an 
explanation of the treadwear grading process 
must appear on a paper label affixed to the tire 
tread. Third, the grade and the same explanation 
must be included in materials made available to 
prospective purchasers and first purchasers of 
new motor vehicles and tires. 

Agency's Recent Actions 

The basis and validity of the UTQGS has been a 
longstanding source of controversy and 
uncertainty within the agency and among 
interested parties. In view of the manifest 
potential conflict between the clear desirability of 
a valid, effective program to enable more 
informed consumer choice in the marketplace and 
the potential for serious adverse effect on the 
marketplace of an inadequate or potentially 
misleading programmatic result, the agency 
responded to its own enforcement uncertainties, 
described more fully below, by reviewing the 
current state of knowledge concerning the 
UTQGS, and addressing the specific sources of 
variability already identified. 

Variability due to treadwear test procedures. 
In response to longstanding concerns about the 
variability and unreliability of the treadwear test 
results and grades and about the underlying 
causes of these problems, the agency conducted a 
review in May 1982 of treadwear test procedures 
being used by the tire testing companies in San 
Angelo. That review confirmed the existence of 
numerous uncontrolled sources of potential 
variability in treadwater test results. The 
potential cumulative effect of those sources 
would produce test result variability approaching 
the unacceptable magnitude long asserted by 
many tire manufacturers. The high level of test 
result variability could result in tires with better 
actual treadwear performance being graded as 
inferior to tires with worse actual performance, 
or vice versa. 

The review did not, however, address in detail 
the relative significance of the various sources of 
variability. That question and the ultimate 
question of whether the identified sources of 
variability can be sufficiently controlled so as to 
bring the overall amount of variability down to an 
acceptable level can be answered only after 



extensive research and testing. 

Among the sources of variability discussed in 
the review were the weight scales intended to 
assure the proper loading of the cars used in the 
testing convoys, errors or inconsistencies 
introduced by variations in the amount of force 
applied to the probes used to measure tread 
depth and tendencies of measuring personnel to 
"search" for tread depth measurements 
consistent with expected rates of treadwear, 
discrepancies in the level of the training of 
technicians, fairly wide tolerances on critical 
alignment settings, unquantifiable variations in 
vehicle weights and weight distribution and 
suspension modification, and variations in driver 
techniques and in weather conditions on the 
course. 

Each of the specific identified sources of such 
variability is discussed in detail below. 

Variability due to grade assignment practices. 
Following the initial implementation of UTQGS, 
the agency sent a special order to the tire 
manufacturers to obtain information regarding 
their practices for translating treadwear test 
results into grades. The response indicated wide 
variation within the industry regarding those 
practices. Some manufacturers evaluated data by 
applying statistical procedures to estimate the 
percentage of their production which would equal 
or exceed a particular grade. Other 
manufacturers did not use such a procedure, 
relying instead on business and engineering 
judgment in assigning grades. The agency 
tentatively concluded that these differing 
practices created the substantial likelihood that 
different manufacturers, although faced with 
similar test results, would assign different grades 
to their tires. Accordingly, NHTSA issued a 
notice of proposed rulemaking requesting 
comment on a standardized process for 
translating test results into grades. (46 F. R. 
10429, February 2, 1981). Coramenters generally 
criticized the proposed process, particularly for 
its failure to account properly for undergrading. 
The agency is continuing its efforts aimed at 
developing a uniform procedure for translating 
test results into treadwear grades. However, 
until this problem is resolved, the unreliability of 
treadwear grades is compounded by the fact that 
the relationship between test results and 
assigned grades is not a constant one from 



PART 575; PRE 111 



manufacturer to manufacturer. 

Variability inherent in the nature of tire 
structure. A potential for an unquantified degree 
of variability is inherent in the differences 
between seemingly identical (i.e., in terms of 
brand, line, size, and manufacturing lot) tires. The 
potential arises from the complex combination of 
a variety of factors, including the materials, 
designs, and manufacturing procedures, that go 
into the production of tires. The materials include 
the rubber composition and various reinforcing 
materials such as rayon, steel, polyester, etc., 
which themselves are developed from 
complicated manufacturing processes. The design 
of a tire includes such factors as the cross section 
shape, the orientation and structure of the 
reinforcing materials, the tread design, and the 
construction (bias, bias-belted, or radial). The 
manufacturing procedures include the processes 
employed during manufacturing and the 
conditions such as temperatures and times of 
vulcanization. Separately and together, these 
variables can have a significant effect on tread 
life. 

In the production of tires, the manufacturers 
use a variety of techniques in an attempt to 
control all of these variables and to achieve a 
consistent level of quality and performance for 
their different products. The success of these 
efforts varies from tire line to tire line, lot to lot, 
and from manufacturer to manufacturer. The 
complexity of the entire process will inevitably 
lead to some variation in performance, including 
treadwear performance between nominally 
identical tires. 

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING 

Based on the assertions and submissions of the 
tire manufacturers and the agency's review of the 
test procedures and of its own enforcement data, 
the agency tentatively concluded in July 1982 
that treadwear grading under UTQGS should be 
suspended pending completion of research 
regarding the extent to which the sources of 
variability could be isolated and reduced. 
Accordingly, it issued a notice of proposed 
rulemaking to obtain both written comments and 
oral testimony on suspending treadwear grading 
(47 F.R. 30084, July 12, 1982) and to schedule 
a public meeting August 12, 1982. The agency 



stated that it was issuing the proposal principally 
to avoid the dissemination of information 
potentially misleading to consumers and 
secondarily to minimize the imposition of 
unwarranted compliance costs on industry and 
consumers. The agency noted its concern that the 
treadwear grading was not only failing to achieve 
its statutory goal of informing consumers, but 
also affirmatively misleading them. 

In defending UTQGS against earlier judicial 
challenges, NHTSA had taken the position that 
the treadwear test procedure was adequately 
specified to ensure that test result variability 
was limited to acceptable levels. See B.F. 
Goodrich v. Department of Transportation, 541 F. 
2d 1178 (6th Cir. 1976) (hereinafter referred to as 
"Goodrich I"); and B.F. Goodrich v. Department 
of Transportation, 592 F. 2d 322 (6th Cir. 1979). 
For example, the agency had stated in the 
Goodrich I litigation that variables in the testing 
procedure are controlled and taken into account, 
principally through the selection of a single test 
course and the use of CMT's. With respect to 
certain potential sources of variability, the 
agency stated that their effects on treadwear 
testing and grading would be minimal. The 
agency indicated in its suspension proposal that it 
could no longer make the same representations. 
These statements have been further undermined 
by information now available to the agency. 

The notice summarized the material relied 
upon by the agency in making its tentative 
conclusions, including the information and 
arguments submitted by the tire manufacturers. 
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, for 
example, found that treadwear test results could 
vary up to 30 percent even for CMT tires, which 
are specially manufactured for maximum 
homogeneity. That company also pointed out 
several possible causes of the variability, 
including variability in test vehicles and driver 
techniques as well as deficiencies in the details of 
the test procedures themselves. General Tire and 
Rubber Company reported additional sources of 
variability, including vehicle wheel alignment, 
weight distribution, and test course 
environmental factors. B.F. Goodrich Company 
stated that differences in tire tread composition 
between candidate tires being tested and the 
CMT's could be a major source of variability. As a 
group, the tire manufacturers generally 



PART 575: PRE 112 



contended that the variability of the test results 
is too great to permit meaningful treadwear 
grading or compliance testing. The agency's own 
preliminary research confirms this conclusion 
and supports the need for the suspension. 

The proposal also discussed the agency's 
enforcement data and described at length the 
review conducted by NHTSA of the treadwear 
testing companies. The agency emphasized that 
the list of sources of variability mentioned in the 
review was not exhaustive, but intended merely 
to be illustrative of the types of possible such 
sources and of the difficulties which exist in 
seeking to establish a treadwear test procedure 
that could produce valid, repeatable results. The 
agency found that the combination of the 
examined sources represented a potential for test 
result variability of serious dimensions. Each 
potential source of variability was described and 
the potential effect of them on test results was 
estimated. For example, effects of ± 34 or 35 
points were estimated for two sources of 
variability and ± 14 points for another. 

Summary of Comments on Proposal 

Written comments and oral testimony were 
received from a variety of sources, although the 
most detailed ones were from tire manufacturers. 
While there was a division of opinion regarding 
the merits of the proposal, most commenters 
favored the suspension. Proponents of the 
suspension included tire manufacturers, several 
tire manufacturers' associations, tire dealers, a 
motor vehicle manufacturer, some consumers, 
and a public interest group. Proponents agreed 
with the agency's statement that the treadwear 
test results and grades were so variable and 
unreliable as to confuse and mislead consumers. 
They also listed again the factors that they 
thought were causing the variability. Some 
proponents suggested that the problems are so 
serious that simple suspension was inadequate. 
They urged that the agency go further and 
rescind the treadwear provisions altogether. 

Opponents of the proposed suspension included 
one tire manufacturer, a tire dealer, a public 
interest group, a county consumer protection 
agency, and a number of consumers. The tire 
manufacturer argued that the treadwear grade 
information was sufficiently correlated with 



actual differences in tire performance to be 
helpful to those consumers who use that 
information. It acknowledged that there was 
variability in the treadwear t st results and 
differences in the grade assignment practices, 
but contended that these problems could be 
satisfactorily controlled through further 
identified changes in UTQGS. The manufacturer 
argued that even if there were difficulties in 
enforcing the current treadwear requirements, 
the overall value of the comparative treadwear 
information justified retention of the 
requirements while the enforcement problems 
were addressed. The public interest group 
argued that NHTSA was ignoring its statutory 
mandate, as interpreted by that group, in 
contemplating a suspension of treadwear 
grading. That opponent argued further that the 
agency haid artificially narrowed the options 
under consideration in this rulemaking 
proceeding. 

Two tire testing companies submitted detailed 
comments regarding their testing practices. They 
generally argued that the problems discussed in 
the agency's review of testing companies did not 
apply to them. One asserted further that the 
suspension would have a severe economic impact 
in the San Angelo, Texas area, where treadwear 
tests are conducted. The San Angelo Chamber of 
Commerce concurred in that assessment. 

Summary of Suspension Decision 

NHTSA has decided to suspend the treadwear 
provisions of UTQGS because available 
information and analysis indicate that the 
treadwear grades are apparently not only failing 
to aid many consumers, but are also affirmatively 
misleading them in their selection of new tires. 
The capacity of these grades to mislead 
consumers arises principally from variability in 
treadwear test results unrelated to actual 
differences in measured or projected 
performance, and secondarily from differences 
among manufacturers in their translation of test 
results into grades. In its proposal, the agency 
identified some of the wide variety of 
uncontrolled sources of variability in the 
insufficiently specific treadwear test procedures. 
The agency has been able to quantify the effect of 
only some of those sources. Other sources are 



PART 575: PRE 113 



believed to exist and continue to be discovered. 
Indeed, the tire manufacturer opposing the 
suspension reported only last November its 
discovery of a "major unreported source of 
variability." (Letter from R. H. Snyder, Uniroyal 
Tire Company, to Raymond Peck, NHTSA 
Administrator, November 12, 1982, Docket 25, 
Notice 47, No. 090). 

In their comments to the agency, the opponents 
of the suspension did not controvert the premise 
of the agency that there is substantial variability 
in test results and that there are specific 
identified sources of much of that variability. The 
tire manufacturer opposing suspension conceded 
that test result variability and differences in 
grading practices can be so large as to result in 
changes between the order in which tires are 
ranked based on test results and the order in 
which they are ranked based on grades. Indeed, 
comparisons of the agency's own compliance test 
data and grades assigned by the tire 
manufacturers indicate that these ranking 
changes occur with some frequency and can be 
substantial. Moreover, the opponents did not 
deny that there were significant problems with 
enforcing the treadwear requirements of Part 575 
as they are now written. 

Where the rank order of measured 
performances or assigned grades changes, it is 
clear that only one of such differing results can in 
fact be objectively correct and valid. Any such 
change in ranking thus represents a clear and 
present danger that grades can be affirmatively 
misleading. Resulting purchasing decisions based 
on such incorrect grades are not merely wrong, 
but represent instances in which the government- 
created program of consumer assistance through 
the dissemination of objective comparative 
information has in fact affirmatively misled the 
consumers which are intended to be assisted. 

Although the sources of variability may 
ultimately be controllable to the extent that the 
variability and unreliability derived from 
treadwear test results and grades are reduced to 
lower, more acceptable levels, considerable 
research must be completed before that is even a 
possibility. Even if such research were now 
complete, it is not clear at this point how much of 
the current test-derived variability and 
unreliability could be eliminated. Much of the 
necessary research has already been initiated. 



When the research is completed, the agency will 
address the question of whether the problems can 
be reduced to the point that it can begin 
considering whether to reinstate the UTQGS 
treadwear system. 

Rational for Suspension Decision 

Magnitude of the Overall Variability 
and Reliability Problem 

Available data demonstrate that the treadwear 
test results can vary substantially and that the 
treadwear grades assigned by the manufacturers 
are unreliable for the purposes of comparing 
tires. Data submitted by the tire manufacturers 
indicate that subjecting tires of a particular type 
and line to the same tests on separate occasions 
produces differences in test results of up to 80 
points. The agency's own compliance test data 
include examples of significant test result 
variability.' 

Moreover, in addition to test result variability, 
the process of assigning grades can and 
demonstrably has introduced other unacceptable 
levels of uncertainty as far as the consumer is 
concerned. Treadwear grades are often not a 
reliable indicator of the relative tread life of tires 
because the order in which tires are ranked on 
the basis of test results can differ significantly 
from the order in which they are ranked on the 
basis of grades. The magnitude of these 
crossovers (i.e., changes in rank) can be 



'The agency believes that the enforcement data are a 
particularly significant source of information since the data 
comprise the most complete set of test results available. They 
reflect consistent application of test procedures under the 
direction of a single party, the agency, under circumstances 
involving the g^reatest incentive of any interested party to 
minimize variability in data, the exigencies of the certainty 
required for enforcement purposes. In fact, to attempt to 
resolve doubts as to variability, the agency has in fact refined 
its enforcement test procedures to a gjreater extent than is 
required by Part 575. For example, all enforcement tests are 
conducted by a single contractor, eliminating the influence of 
differences between test facilities. Highly accurate electronic 
scales are used to determine wheel loads. Very precise wheel 
alignment equipment is used. That equipment has been 
operated by the same skilled technicians for all compliance 
tests since mid-1981. Thus, NHTSA believes that statements 
regarding test variability which are based on these 
enforcement data could tend only to understate the variability 
experienced by others in testing tires and assigning grades. 



PART 575; PRE 114 



substantial, as is shown in a graph which B. F. 
Goodrich constructed by plotting the agency's 
enforcement data against the grades assigned by 
the tire manufacturers for the same tires. (This is 
the same graph shown on page III-2 of the 
agency's regulatory evaluation for this 
rulemaking action and is similar to one prepared 
by Uniroyal.) Goodrich's graph includes 
information on radial ply tires primarily, 
although it also covers tires of other construction 
types. There are numerous examples in the graph 
of tires whose test results fell within a 10 point 
range, but whose assigned grades were spread 
over an 80 to 100 point range. Some tires had 
average test results which were 10 points below 
those of other tires, but were assigned grades as 
much as 60 or 70 points higher. Some tires 
assigned the same grade had average test results 
that were scattered over a 100 point range. These 
phenomena are not restricted to a particular 
portion of the graph, but exist throughout, from 
the left side where bias ply and bias belted tires 
predominate to the right side where radial ply 
tires predominate. 

The magnitude and pervasiveness of the 
crossovers and grading quirks means that the 
treadwear grades have the capacity for more 
than simply confusing consumers about the 
relative performance of tires exhibiting nearly 
the same performance. The possibility exists for 
confusion even between some tires in the lower 
third percentile and some tires in the upper third 
percentile of treadwear performance. Thus, 
whether a prospective purchaser seeking the 
particular size (i.e., diameter) of tire appropriate 
for his or her vehicle is looking at the entire 
spectrum of construction types, or is focusing on a 
single construction type only, there is a 
significant possibility that the person may be 
misled about the relative performance of tires. 
The possibility is greatest in the latter case, since 
the smaller the difference in actual performance 
between tires under consideration, the greater 
the probability that test variability and 
crossovers will cause the grades of those tires to 
be misleading about the relative performance of 
those tires. The ranges in grades for particular 
construction types are not very large when 
compared with the magnitude of the problems 
created by test variability and crossovers. 
Treadwear grades typically range from 60-120 (a 



60 point range) for bias ply tires of all sizes, 90-150 
(a 60 point range) for bias belted tires of all sizes, 
120-200 (an 80 point range) for 13 inch diameter 
radial ply tires, 160-220 (a 60 point range) for 14 
inch diameter radial ply tires, and 170-220 (a 50 
point range) for 15 inch radial ply tires. The 
ranges for radials are particularly relevant since 
radials account for most original equipment tires 
on new cars and a substantial majority of 
replacement tires for used cars. 

It is considered especially significant that the 
occurrence of such rank changes is not uncommon. 
For examples for each of a majority of the tires in 
Goodrich's graph, other tires could be found in 
the graph which had a lower assigned grade but 
which, based on compliance test results, 
exhibited superior performance. 

Although the agency recognizes that the 
graphs submitted by Goodrich and Uniroyal 
reflect, in part, manufacturer-to-manufacturer 
differences in grade assignment procedures and 
not just variability in test results, the agency 
considers the analyses made using the graphs to 
be significant since they point out the extent to 
which consumers may in fact be misled by 
treadwear grades. In its analysis, Uniroyal 
calculated a correlation coefficient of 0.763 for the 
two variables (test results and grades),^ and a 
similar rank order correlation. The coefficient of 
0.763 implies that only about 58 percent (the 
square of the correlation coefficient) of the 
variation in tire treadwear grades can be 
explained by actual differences in treadwear 



^Using a slightly different data base, B. F. Goodrich 
calculated a correlation coefficient of 0.78 between the agency's 
enforcement trest results and assigned grades. 

^While the argument has been made that this aspect of 
variability should not be taken into account because it is 
entirely within the control of the grading manufacturer, the 
agency is not able to conclude from the data before it that any 
actually assigned grade is without basis in test data. In 
implementing the statute to determine whether the sanctions 
imposed by the statute and agency regulation should be 
applied to given manufacturers, the agency has been forced to 
conclude that all assigned grades so reviewed have been 
reasonable, based on agency and manufacturer supporting 
data. Under such circumstances, the agency finds that the 
overwhelming policy purpose of the UTQGS to inform 
consumers of comparative tire data, in a meaningful way (i.e., 
one that is valid, reasonably accurate, and objectively 
verifiable for enforcement purposes) in order to affect their 
tire purchase decisions, requires that this uncertainty also be 
taken into account. 



PART 575; PRE 115 



performance. The agency estimates that as many 
as 10 of the 40 percentage points of unexplained 
variability may be due to differences in grade 
assignment practices.^ 

In reaching its decision that currently 
documented levels of variability are 
unreasonable and cannot sustain retention of the 
UTQGS treadwear grading requirements in their 
present form, the agency has been guided by two 
principal conclusions: first, the rank order of test 
results and the rank order of assigned grades can 
and do change with repeated testing under 
currently allowable procedures. This result has 
also taken place when the agency's own, far more 
carefully controlled compliance efforts are the 
basis for the test. 

Second, the levels of certainty and 
predictability which the agency expected would 
be achieved over time and which the agency so 
represented to the courts which have upheld 
UTQGS against charges of unacceptable 
uncertainty, have not been achieved in fact. 

At a minimum, the agency concludes that such 
a level of potential rank order change, under 
applicable test procedures, is unacceptable. The 
agency also concludes that unless the level of 
certainty previously asserted by the government 
in litigation can be verified to exist, the continued 
integrity of the process is undermined to a 
separate and unsupportable degree. 

Agency research is thus primarily directed to 
the determination of the degree to which these 
effects can be eliminated. 

Specific Sources of Variability 

The agency's proposal described a variety of 
potential sources of variability in the treadwear 
test results based on a review of testing being 
done in San Angelo. The tire manufacturers 
supporting the suspension, and the commenting 
tire testing companies generally agreed that 
many of such sources contributed to test result 
variability. While some commenters, especially 
two testing companies describing in detail their 
own testing practices, disputed the magnitude of 
the variability that could be caused by several of 
the sources, it remains uncontroverted that the 
sources identified in the proposal are potential 
contributors to variability. 

One such testing company objected to the 



inference it drew from the proposal that the 
agency believed that the testing companies as a 
group were to blame for the variability in the test 
results. That company also stated its belief that 
the proposal unfairly criticized the practices of 
testing companies as though all such companies 
followed identical practices. The agency 
recognizes, and reaffirms its conclusions, that the 
primary source of test variability lies in the 
shortcomings of the test procedures themselves. 
Further, it rejects any implication that the 
testing companies were improperly following 
such procedures. 

The agency emphasizes that the list of sources 
in the proposal was not exhaustive. The proposal 
specifically noted that the list was included for 
illustrative purposes only. It was recognized that 
additional research would likely reveal other 
sources, of the indisputable and undisputed levels 
of variability. Indeed, the record of comments has 
provided information regarding several 
previously unmentioned sources of variability, 
e.g., tire/wheel rim width combinations and the 
effect of rubber's high coefficient of thermal 
expansion on tire groove depth measurement. 

The following specific sources of variability 
have been confirmed by the agency as a result of 
the current rulemaking proceeding. 

Problems of instrumentation— scales. Some 
testing companies use scales that are designed 
for weighing objects up to 20,000 pounds. Scales 
are rarely accurate below 10 percent of their 
maximum measuring capacity. Since the loads 
being weighed for UTQGS purposes are less than 
half that level, the potential for inaccurately 
loading the tires on the test cars is obvious. This 
problem is compounded by the inability of many 
such scales to provide readings more precise than 
at 5 pound intervals. The combination of these 
factors could lead to significant potential 
measurement errors. 

Using a ratio of 1:4 between changes in load 
and changes in treadwear, the agency stated in 
its proposal that a 20 to 30 pound error in 
measuring a 700 to 800 pound load could cause 
test results errors of ± 20 to 34 points in a tire 
with a treadwear grade of 200. The two tire 
testing companies submitting detailed comments 
stated that their own scales are regularly 
calibrated, and that maximum weighing errors of 
not more than 10 pounds could be expected under 



PART 575; PRE 116 



such circumstances. One of the companies also 
argued that the ratio between load changes and 
treadwear changes is actually closer to 1:1. The 
agency cannot now determine with certainty the 
correct ratio between changes in tire load and 
changes in treadwear. Even assuming such actual 
ratio may be lower than 1:4, the agency believes 
that scale miscalibration is a factor that can 
potentially contribute significantly to variability 
in treadwear test results. 

— tread depth probes. Tire testing companies 
currently measure tread depth by means of either 
mechanical gauges with dial indicators or 
electronic devices which translate probe 
displacement into a voltage reading in mils or 
thousandths of an inch. NHTSA's tests of 
measurement devices produced measurement 
errors of between 3 and 5 mils for electronic 
probes and up to 10 mils for mechanical gauges, 
with the magnitude of error appearing to depend 
on the amount of the pressure placed on the 
probe. Variations in pressure can be caused by 
differences in strength or technique among 
personnel or even by the gradual effect of fatigue 
on a given technician. The resulting measurement 
differences on tires graded from 160 to 200 can 
cause treadwear grading errors of ± 2 to 3 
points. The two tire testing companies argued 
that measurement errors of 10 mils were in fact 
difficult to achieve and would not normally be 
expected to occur. The agency concurs that the 
typical such error would be expected to be less 
than 10 mils, but concludes that variation in the 
pressure placed on the probes remains one of the 
potential sources which collectively has 
produced high levels of test variability. 

Electronic probes are subject to other sources 
of measurement error. The lack of temperature 
compensation in some of the electronic probes can 
cause drifts in both the zero reading and the gain. 
One tire testing company did note that its 
electronic probes are attached directly to a 
computer, and asserted that they are capable of 
measuring accurately over a wide range of 
temperatures. While such drift can be corrected 
for in such a process, the agency has determined 
that such corrections are not in fact routinely 
sought or made by testing companies in general. 
Further, any change in probe force at the bottom 
of the groove for tires with varying hardness will 
generate different tread depth readings 



depending on the spring constant, the amount of 
deflection used in the design, and the shape of the 
tip on the electronic probe. The use of 
uncalibrated springs produces additional 
measurement differences. 

— wheel alignment equipment and procedures. 
The agency has determined that treadwear is 
very sensitive to wheel alignment, much more so 
than had previously been understood by 
interested parties. One of the two tire testing 
companies agreed with this proposition. B. F. 
Goodrich supported this proposition by asserting 
that 4/32nds of an inch increase in toe-in can 
decrease tread life by 15 to 30 percent. Since Part 
575 permits the wheels to be aligned anywhere 
within the vehicle manufacturers' specified range 
of acceptable alignments, differences in toe-in are 
possible. Armstrong Rubber Company cited 
various vehicle manufacturer specifications 
which had a minimum-to-maximum range of from 
5/32nds to 14/32nds of an inch. 

The comments on the proposal reveal that the 
use of different toe-in settings for a given vehicle 
can and do occur. Some testing companies align 
wheels to the minimum toe-in setting within the 
acceptable range while others align to the niid- 
point of the range. Indeed, practices of the two 
commenting tire testing companies vary in 
precisely this fashion, with one aligning to the 
minimum point and the other to the mid-point. 

Differences in wheel alignment may also occur 
as a result of differences in the frequency of 
wheel alignment and in the skill of the technicians 
who perform the alignments. The two tire testing 
commenters asserted that they use accurate 
alignment equipment and well-trained personnel. 
Assuming this to be true for these particular 
companies, however, does not remove wheel 
alignment as a potential source of variability 
even with respect to their testing. As noted 
above, the wheel alignment practices of these two 
companies vary significantly. Further, for these 
as well as the other tire testing companies, the 
problem of maintaining the alignment equipment 
in proper adjustment is a formidable one. 
Although all testers have suitable alignment 
equipment, their success in using it to achieve 
accurate results depends on the skill of the 
technicians operating it, the calibration of the 
equipment, and the frequency of alignment during 
a test. 



PART 575: PRE 117 



Problems of measurement. The agency 
believes that several measurement problems 
contribute to variability as well. Observed but 
currently unquantifiable measurement errors 
occur as a result of information feedback during 
testing, i.e., access by measuring personnel to the 
previous day's tread depth measurements and 
resulting conscious or unconscious bias to parallel 
or duplicate those measurements. The agency 
also believes error to be caused by the 
documented practice of some testing companies 
to establish an absolute level of coefficient of 
variation, i.e., the degree of variability among the 
separate measurements of depth in the same 
groove around the circumference of the tire. 
Some technicians tend to "hunt" for groove 
depths as uniform as possible around the 
circumference of the tire, on the understandable 
but not factually supportable or recognizable 
assumption that such variation should be 
minimized. 

One tire testing company indicated in its 
comments that it took steps to avoid these 
sources of variability. Even assuming this 
company is fully successful in that effort, the 
agency believes that such problems exist for 
other testing companies, and would compromise 
the success of the program unless all companies 
were equally successful. 

Problems with vehicle maintenance and use. 
The agency continues to believe that factors 
relating to the test cars produce substantial 
variability. One of these factors is the wide 
variation found in the approaches of the testing 
companies to achieving a proper vertical load on a 
tire. Some testing companies allow the weight to 
be placed forward of the front wheels, rearward 
of the rear wheels, or even on the vehicle 
exterior. In addition, some but not all companies 
place heavy deer guards on the front of their test 
cars.* 

The overloading of some test cars also 
produces unquantifiable effects on treadwear test 
results. Some testing companies load their cars to 
whatever weight is required to achieve the 
appropriate load level for a test tire. As a result, 
the gross vehicle weight rating for the specific 

*Some tire testing companies stated that weight is removed 
from their cars to compensate for the deer guards. However, 
the agency did not observe any accurate means of weight 
compensation. 



cars themselves may be exceeded, necessitating 
the use of special springs or shims to reestablish 
normal ride height. Such heavy loads can cause 
the cars to bottom out, while the variations in 
springs create differences in roll stiffness and 
weight transfer among vehicles of the same type. 

Each of these practices introduces changes in 
the handling characteristics of the cars and in 
different polar moments of inertia, between and 
among wheels, vehicles, and the entire test fleet. 
These factors would produce different rates of 
tire wear as the cars corner, accelerate, or 
decelerate. 

The two commenting tire testing companies 
indicated that they attempt to control these 
sources of variability. However, there is no 
evidence that those efforts are fully successful, 
and agency observations indicate that the other 
companies are not in practice as careful as those 
two companies. 

Problems with drivers and weather conditions. 
The agency found in its review that drivers of the 
test cars varied significantly in their skill and 
driving techniques. These differences are 
reflected in the frequency and severity of 
accelerations and decelerations. Further, the 
agency believes that adverse weather conditions 
may affect driving techniques and thereby 
treadwear. One tire testing company indicated 
that it carefully sought to limit these sources of 
variability. However, not all testing companies 
have adopted the same measures. In addition, 
adverse weather conditions cannot be controlled. 

CMT tread composition. Most CMT's'do not 
currently have tread composition similar to that 
of most candidate tires. As a result, a substantial 
question has been raised as to whether the use of 
the CMT measurements in fact validly 
compensate for environmental effects upon 
candidate tire wear. The last two lots of radial 
CMT's contained about 30 percent natural 
rubber. Most tires produced in the U.S. do not 
contain any natural rubber, while some Japanese 
tires contain substantial quantities of it. the 
presence of a significant percentage of natural 
rubber in CMT's is important since natural 
rubber is more sensitive to temperature changes 
than the current tread compounds used in tires, 
and in general wears at a faster rate in hot 
weather than the current materials do. Thus, 
where the CMT in use contains a larg« 



PART 575: PRE 118 



percentage of natural rubber and the candidate 
tires do not, candidate tires graded in hot 
weather would be expected to have higher grades 
than those graded in cool weather. 

The significance of CMT tread composition 
appears to be borne out by a report from B. F. 
Goodrich. That company stated that candidate 
tires made of compounds similar to that of the 
CMT's received more consistent ratings than 
those whose compounds were less similar. B. F. 
Goodrich's analysis indicates also that the latter 
tires can receive different relative rankings. 

Wheel rim width. Armstrong asserted in 
comments that the tolerance permitted on rim 
widths to be used with a given size of tire is a 
significant source of variability. The agency lacks 
any corrobative information with respect to this 
previously unrecognized problem, but will 
address the issue as another potential source of 
variability as efforts continue to complete 
research on treadwear testing variability. 

Grade assignment practices. There are 
significant differences among the tire 
manufacturers in the procedures they use to 
translate treadwear test results into grades. 
These differences arise partially from the 
differing degree of conservatism that the various 
manufacturers exercise in selecting a grade for a 
group of tires so as to ensure that the 
performance of all tires in the group exceed that 
grade as required by Part 575 (See discussion 
above). 

Uniroyal Petition 

On January 21, 1983, Uniroyal petitioned the 
agency to make three significant changes to the 
treadwear test procedures. These changes 
involve a new procedure for running CMT's, the 
rotation of candidate tires through each wheel 
position in a four-car convoy, and a doubling of 
the break-in period. 

The agency has completed its preliminary 
review of this petition and, in view of the 
pendency of the current proceeding, has also 
taken it into account as if it were a 
supplementary filing to the docket.^ 

Under the Uniroyal petition, CMT's would no 
longer be run in the same convoys as candidate 
tires, but in a separate convoy using CMT's 
exclusively. The CMT's would be rotated through 



each position in the CMT convoy. This procedure 
is claimed to substantially reduce vehicle and 
driver related sources of variability, while 
reducing costs. However, its validity depends 
upon the accuracy of Uniroyal's conclusion that 
the course environment factors measured by the 
CMT process do not produce rapidly changing 
treadwear effects, i.e., that the course 
environment effect on treadwear changes slowly, 
if at all. 

Similarly, the rotation of candidate tires 
through each position in the test convoys is 
claimed by Uniroyal to greatly reduce driver and 
vehicle related variability for those tires. All 
vehicles in a convoy would be nominally identical. 
No front wheel drive vehicles could be used due, 
according to Uniroyal, to "load distribution 
problems." Uniroyal does not state how it would 
deal with the problem of declining number of rear 
wheel drive models being produced, and the 
difficulty in matching all tire lines with the 
limited number of those models. 

Finally, Uniroyal found that the break-in effect 
for new tires occurred beyond the 800-mile period 
currently specified in the regulations. It stated 
that establishing a longer period would provide a 
more accurate estimate of treadwear rates. 

NHTSA regards Uniroyal's petition as further 
evidence of the necessity for suspending the 
treadwear provisions of UTQGS while the agency 
conducts research and testing to determine the 
feasibility of reducing variability to more 
acceptable levels. Uniroyal has revealed yet 
another previously unidentified factor, 
barometric pressure, apparently capable of 
contributing significantly to the variability of 
test results. Although Uniroyal has proposed 
several changes which it believes would 
substantially reduce certain sources of 
variability, it does not suggest how other factors 
identified in its petition are to be addressed. 

Those factors are barometric pressure, 
temperature, and wet road surfaces. Uniroyal 
supplied information indicating that the manner 



^he disposition at this time of the pending notice of 
rulemaking does not, of course, affect the pendency of this 
petition before the agency, since only a suspension of the 
UTQGS is involved. The petition will thus be treated both as a 
comment to the current proposal and as a petition directed 
toward the modification of the suspended portion of the 
UTQGS and a request for their reinstatement as so modified. 



PART 575: PRE 119 



in which temperature differences affect 
treadwear is more complicated than previously 
supposed. While some compounds wear more 
rapidly as temperature increases, Uniroyal 
reported the example of a tire which wore more 
rapidly as temperature decreased. Further, the 
degree of temperature affect was substantial. 
While Uniroyal's testing showed that one family 
of tires was only slightly affected by an eight- 
degree average temperature difference, that 
same difference caused a 20 percent change in 
wear rate for another family of tires. Further, 
Uniroyal noted that wet road surfaces could 
significantly affect the rate of treadwear and 
admitted that some allowance must be made for 
this phenomenon, but didn't indicate how that 
might be accomplished. 

Much of the work done by Uniroyal in support 
of its proposal is similar to the agency's ongoing 
research, and it may be that the agency's efforts 
will lead to the development of test procedures 
similar to those suggested by Uniroyal. However, 
Uniroyal's work does not obviate the need for 
NHTSA to complete its own research and testing 
and make its own judgments about the changes 
that might be made to the test procedures. The 
agency cannot now conclude that Uniroyal's 
proposal would reduce test variability to 
acceptable levels. Much more research and testing 
would be necessary before the agency could even 
consider proposing to adopt those or any other 
significant changes. 

Not only would the agency need to address the 
significance of the failure of Uniroyal's proposals 
to address certain sources of variability, but it 
would also need to examine the implications of 
Uniroyal's proposals which in some cases go well 
beyond those suggested by Uniroyal in its 
petition. For example, Uniroyal's proposal for 
rotating candidate tires through each of 16 wheel 
positions on test convoys would necessitate a 
doubling of the mileage driven by treadwear 
testing convoys from 6,400 miles to 12,800 miles 
(16 X 800). The additional expense and time 
necessary to conduct such extended testing 
would be substantial. 

Further, although Uniroyal urges the making 
of substantial and fundamental changes to the 
treadwear test procedures and the theory 
underlying those procedures, it argues, without 
providing the basis for that argument, that there 



would not be any necessity for retesting all tires 
in accordance with the modified procedures. 
Uniroyal apparently contemplates a marketplace 
in which some tires that were tested and graded 
under the existing, inadequate procedures are 
offered for sale side-by-side with others that are 
tested under new, revised procedures. Thus, 
Uniroyal would allow the continued 
dissemination of misleading treadwear 
information. 

In the agency's judgment, the need to make 
these types of substantial and fundamental 
changes would render wholesale retesting and 
suspension unavoidable. The inescapable 
conclusion from the necessity of making these 
changes is that the grades generated under the 
existing procedures are unreliable and should not 
be presented to the public as a basis for choosing 
between alternative tires. Further, since the 
grades that would be assigned to a particular tire 
if tested under the current and new procedures 
would differ, the grades would be inherently 
incompatible. As a matter of responsibility to the 
consumer and of fairness, the agency could not 
contemplate the simultaneous use of two 
fundamentally different yardsticks to measure 
the treadwear performance of tires. 

To avoid this situation, all tires would have to 
be retested and regraded. To provide time for the 
completion of these activities and to ensure that 
substantial numbers of tires graded under the 
existing procedures are not still in the 
marketplace when the tires graded under the 
new ones are introduced, a suspension of the 
treadwear testing requirements would be 
necessary. 

Inadequacy of Alternatives 

NHTSA considered several alternative courses 
of action in reaching its decision. In addition to 
suspending the treadwear grading provisions of 
Part 575, the agency considered rescinding them. 
NHTSA also considered retaining the provisions 
intact while it conducted its research and 
attempted to determine whether modifications to 
the test procedures and grade assignment 
practices could reduce variability to acceptable 
levels for UTQGS purposes. 

Rescission. Several commenters argued that the 
problems with the treadwear grading program 



PART 575; PRE 120 



were so substantial and intractable that 
rescission of the treadwear provisions was the 
only appropriate step for the agency to take at 
this time. While the agency believes that the 
problems now identified with respect to the 
UTQGS treadwear ratings are extensive and 
serious, that some of them can be addressed only 
after substantial research, and that some or all 
may not be fully solved even then, it is convinced 
there is a substantial possibility that its planned 
research could eventually lead to amendments 
that would reduce identified treadwear test 
result variability to acceptable levels. For 
example, if the agency were able to develop an 
appropriate procedure for rotating all tires 
among the cars in a test convoy, the contribution 
of vehicle and driver effects to test result 
variability might be greatly reduced. Similarly, 
the agency's development and adoption of 
statistical procedures that would bring 
uniformity to the translation of test results into 
grades might contribute significantly to reliable 
treadwear grading. 

In such a case, any remaining variability could 
more confidently be able to be considered 
attributable to the inherent complexity of tires 
themselves. At that stage, a failure to attain 
significant improvements in the repeatability or 
reproducibility of tests might well force the 
agency to the conclusion that no grading system 
based on measured and projected treadwear 
could be possible. 

Precisely because of the levels of uncertainty 
now understood to exist as a result of test result 
variability, however, the agency is not now able 
to assess whether or not this will likely be the 
case. Absent some further evidence on this point, 
and taking into account the positive benefits to 
the consumer and the orderly working of the 
market place which a properly functioning 
UTQGS treadwear system would produce, the 
agency is unwilling to rescind the program of 
treadwear rating entirely at this time. 

Continue treadwear grading and make 
improvements in treadwear grading process as 
they are developed. While conceding that there 
are variability problems, several commenters 
argued that the treadwear grades are still 
sufficiently useful to warrant their retention. 
They argued further that the agency should 
simply proceed to make available changes to the 



treadwear testing procedures and adopt other 
changes as they are developed. One commenter 
argued that if the treadwear grading information 
were more accurate than the information which 
previously existed in the marketplace, the agency 
was obligated to continue treadwear grading. 

NHTSA believes that the critical issue is in this 
case not merely whether the treadwear grading 
provisions are currently fulfilling their statutory 
objective, that of assisting consumers to make 
informed choices in purchasing new tires, but of 
equal or greater importance whether such 
provisions may to the contrary be affirmatively 
frustrating the achievement of that objective. As 
interpreted by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, 
the UTQGS provisions in section 203 of the Act do 
not contemplate "theoretical perfection" in 
providing such assistance. Goodrich I, at 1189. It 
calls only for "reasonably fair and reasonably 
reliable grading procedures." Id. The agency 
believes that this is an appropriate statement of 
the principal underlying test of certainty which 
the procedures should satisfy. Procedures which 
fail to meet that test will tend inappropriately to 
increase the sales of some tires and decrease 
those of other tires through inaccurately 
representing the relative performance of either 
or both. 

In the agency's view, it appears that the 
current procedures fail to meet that 
reasonableness test on several counts. Such 
procedures are not reasonably reliable because of 
the excessive magnitude of the overall 
variability. 

Moreover, the grades produced under the 
treadwear grading procedures are not merely 
imperfect, they appear to be affirmatively 
misleading. 

These problems are not minor. They do not 
affect only those tires which differ moderately in 
performance. As noted above in the discussion of 
the overall variability and reliability problem, the 
rank reversals produced by the procedures can 
be substantial and are not uncommon. Tires 
which are significantly superior to others in 
performance may be graded significantly below 
those tires, and vice versa. Tires whose test 
results show performance differences of up to 100 
points may be assigned the same grade. 

Thus, while some consumers might be aided in 
choosing between some tires, particularly those 



PART 575; PRE 121 



with very substantial differences (greater than 
100 points) in treadwear performance, there 
appears to be a significant likelihood that 
consumers choosing among closer performing 
tires will be misled. The agency believes that 
most consumers fall into the latter category. As 
noted above, the threshold considerations of tire 
size and tire construction type should lead most 
persons considering the purchase of a new tire to 
look at a universe of potential candidate tires for 
purchase whose treadwear grades differ by 
significantly less than 100 points. Accordingly, it 
appears that the treadwear grading procedures 
are neither reasonably fair to the tire 
manufacturers nor reasonably reliable in guiding 
those consumers who will in fact be purchasing 
tires for a given vehicle. 

The agency believes that the unreasonableness 
of the level of reliability of the current treadwear 
grading procedures is compounded by the 
possibility that many of the identified sources of 
variability, and thus the overall level of 
variability, might eventually be able to be 
significantly reduced, after a period of research 
and testing, at costs that are not prohibitive. 

The agency regulatory evaluation discusses a 
wide range of possible changes that the agency 
believes could ultimately reduce test-induced 
variability to more acceptable levels. Among 
these are requirements for calibration of 
alignment equipment, tighter specifications for 
alignment, load distribution, tire-rim width 
matchings and CMT composition, prohibition 
against information feedback, standardization of 
equipment calibration and tread measurement 
procedures, limitations on driver acceleration 
rates and cornering techniques, limitations on 
tire temperature during tread depth 
measurement, standardization or elimination of 
deer guards, standardized statistical procedure 
for grade /assignment, and rotation of candidate 
and CMT's tires among test cars. The actions 
which appear at this point to hold the greatest 
potential for improving the reliability of the 
grades are adoption of the grade assignment 
procedure, rotation of the tires, more precise 
specification of wheel of alignment, and 
specification of the composition of CMT's. 

The relative importance of many of these 
factors is currently unknown. As a result, it is not 
possible to determine or assess what actual result 



in improved repeatability may be achievable, and 
how or at what level such an improved result 
might be determined to be acceptable. However, 
the agency believes that together such factors 
contribute substantially to the variability of 
treadwear test results and unreliability of the 
resulting grades. The agency's research efforts 
are expected to provide information about the 
relative importance of individual sources of 
variability and the degree to which each source 
can be controlled. 

The agency expects that its research and 
testing will also provide an indication of the cost 
of implementing controls on these factors. Based 
on the costs of the current procedures, the agency 
has no current basis for concluding whether the 
costs associated with effective controls would be 
reasonable either separately or collectively. The 
current cost of treadwear testing is an average of 
$.09 per tire. Based on indications from Goodyear 
that the retail markups for manufacturing costs 
may be 100 percent, that testing cost would have 
an $.18 retail price effect, against a retail price of 
$40 to $70 for a new tire. Thus, for example, a 
doubling of testing expenses would bring the 
retail price effect of testing costs up to an 
average of only $.36 per tire, a presumptively 
reasonable economic impact in and of itself. 

As to the suggestion that the agency 
immediately commence to make changes in the 
treadwear testing procedures and make other 
changes as they are developed, the agency 
emphasizes that its research and testing have not 
proceeded sufficiently to enable it to determine 
either precisely how to define and implement the 
individual changes or which of those changes will 
make enough to a contribution to reducing overall 
variability to warrant adoption. The agency does 
not believe that the few currently acknowledged 
options would make a significant change in the 
overall level of variability. Identifying the range 
of necessary and appropriate changes will require 
iterative testing, given the interplay of the many 
sources of variability. 

The issue of adopting an appropriate statistical 
procedure to standardize the assignment of 
grades bears special mention. Although the 
agency has already proposed such a procedure (46 
F.R. 10429, February 2, 1981), commenters 
on that proposal pointed out a variety of 
shortcomings, particularly with respect to its 



PART 575; PRE 122 



failure to properly account for undergrading. No 
commenter in the present rulemaking proceeding 
has suggested that the procedure as proposed in 
February 1981 be adopted at this time. The 
agency is continuing its analysis of the extent and 
nature of the changes which might be made to the 
proposal. 

The agency does not agree with the suggestion 
by a public interest group that the mere 
possibility that the current treadwear grading 
information may be better than pre-UTQGS 
information on treadwear would justify 
continuation of treadwear grading during the 
period of any further review. In NHTSA's 
judgment, it is not clear whether and to what 
extent the UTQGS treadwear information would 
in fact be superior to any or all information 
previously available for distinguishing between 
tires on the basis of expected tread life. To the 
degree that the UTQGS system is arguably 
superior in format and direct comparability 
among tire lines or manufacturers, however, such 
apparent advantage derives entirely from those 
aspects of the system which the agency has found 
to be most flawed: the accuracy and validity of 
the UTQGS value as expressed in the grade. 
Stated differently, it is precisely that aspect of 
the UTQGS which distinguishes it from market 
claims of manufacturers which also introduces 
the clear probability that false information is 
being disseminated by or under the auspices of 
the government itself. The probable objective 
falsity of at least some of the information now 
being disseminated through UTQGS converts the 
clarity and apparent simplicity of the UTQGS 
reporting format from an asset to its most 
damaging liability. Fully cognizant of the view 
expressed by this commenter that some 
information, or a less than perfect-functioning 
system, is better than no information or no 
system at all, the agency cannot agree. The 
agency concludes that the government has a 
superior duty not to participate in such an effort 
to the probable detriment of consumers, who 
have every reason to demand, and must 
necessarily be expected to assume, that such 
participation implies and connotes, a higher level 
of certainty than the agency can now find in this 
well-intentioned effort. Given the shortcomings 
of the UTQGS system as now understood, price 
differentials and information voluntarily supplied 



by the manufacturers as to probable treadwear 
performance may be as useful to consumers as 
the current grades.' 

After weighing the possible benefits of the 
current grades against the potentially extensive 
problems created by those grades in their effects 
on consumers and tire manufacturers, NHTSA 
concludes that the appropriate course of action is 
suspension pending completion of its research 
and testing program. 

The agency believes that continuing to require 
the tire manufacturers to comply with the 
treadwear grading requirements in the interim is 
not appropriate, because of the above discussed 
impossibility of enforcing those requirements in 
an objective way. NHTSA noted in its proposal 
that the wide variability in its compliance test 
results prevented the agency from concluding 
with any certainty whether tires were incapapble 
of achieving the grades assigned to them. 
Commenters on the proposal did not controvert 
the agency's statements on this point. 

In the agency's opinion, requiring the tire 
manufacturers and consumers to continue to bear 
the costs of treadwear testing during the time 
necessary to complete the research and testing 
concerning test procedure improvements would 
be unreasonable and unwarranted since the 
treadwear grading program is apparently neither 
reasonably fair to the tire manufacturers nor 
reasonably reliable as a guide to consumers. 
Although the cost per tire is not large, those costs 
total approximately $10 million annually. 

Amendments Adopted by This Notice 

This notice adopts several amendments 
relating to the treadwear grading provisions of 
Part 575. Most important, it adopts a suspension 
of those provisions effective upon the date that 
this notice is published in the Federal Register. 



'To compound the agency's dilemma on this point, the 
number of consumers potentially aided by treadwear grading 
information, and thus the number of consumers potentially 
misled by an invalid result, is apparently fairly limited. 
According to information submitted by Uniroyal at the public 
meeting, only 30 percent of consumers surveyed by them even 
knew about the UTQGS information, after their promotional 
efforts, and only 60 percent of those consumers stated they 
would plan to use that information in making their next tire 
purchase. Thus, only 18 percent of consumers are potentially 
benefited, or potentially misled, by the treadwear information. 



PART 575; PRE 123 



On that date, manufacturers will no longer be 
required to submit treadwear grading 
information to this agency or to disseminate it to 
consumers through moldings on the side of new 
tires, paper labels on the treads on new tires, or 
consumer information materials. The only 
information that would be required to be 
submitted or disseminated on or after that date 
would be traction and temperature resistance 
grading information. 

The agency believes there is ample 
justification for an immediate effective date. The 
suspension relieves a restriction and will aid in 
ending as quickly as is reasonably practicable the 
possibility that consumers will be misled by the 
treadwear grading information. 

The agency is not requiring that manufacturers 
immediately cease disseminating treadwear 
information already printed or embodied on tires 
or tire molds, through the means formerly 
required by Part 575. Such a requirement would 
be impracticable. The greatest problem is 
associated with the molding of treadwear 
information on the tires. Discontinuation of that 
practice would necessitate making changes to the 
molds being used to produce new tires. 
Specifically, the manufacturers would have to fill 
in the indentations used to print the word 
"TREADWEAR" and the appropriate grade on 
the sidewall of each new tire. The total cost to the 
tire industry of making those changes to all molds 
would be approximately $11 million. Instead of 
requiring that all molds be changed 
simultaneously, the agency is requiring that all 
tires produced in molds manufactured after (180 
days after publication in the Federal Register), 
use a format which provides for the molding of 
only traction and temperature resistance grades 
on new tires. 

I Although the manufacturers could cease 
printing labels and consumer information 
materials containing treadwear information 
almost immediately, they are confronted with the 
problem of existing inventories of labels and 
materials containing that information. The 
agency has decided to allow the manufacturers to 
exhaust those inventories. The agency expects 
that after the effective date of this suspension, 
the labels and materials printed and used by the 
manufacturers to comply with the UTQGS 
provisions of Part 575 will not contain that 



information. The continued printing of labels and 
materials that set forth the treadwear grades 
without revealing the suspension of the 
treadwear requirements, or the absence of any 
participation by the government in procedures to 
use similar tests or measurement systems as a 
basis for warranties or other forms of 
representation as to treadwear expectancy, 
would be doubly misleading, i.e., it could be 
misleading as to the relative performance of tires, 
but also would be misleading as to the current 
existence of a government sanctioned system for 
grading treadwear. 

The agency believes that the publicity given 
this notice will minimize the likelihood that 
consumers will be misled as a result of the 
continued molding of treadwear information on 
some new tires and the continued dissemination 
for a relatively short period of treadwear 
information by means of labels and other 
materials. Probable media coverage of the 
agency's conclusions in taking this action should 
reduce the extent of any consumer reliance on 
them. Further, consumers would be even less 
likely to rely on the grades after the existing 
inventories of those lables and materials are 
exhausted. After then, only the grade would 
appear on the tire. There would not be any 
explanatory information concerning the 
development or meaning of the grade. As the 
molds are replaced, even the treadwear grade 
would disappear from the tire, during the 
pendency of this suspension. 

Status of Research 

As NHTSA noted in its proposal, it has begun 
several research activities aimed at reducing the 
variability of treadwear test results. The agency 
is proceeding diligently to complete these 
activities. One program discussed above would 
attempt to establish the relationship between 
treadwear, tire inflation pressure, and load. The 
program to develop this relationship is partially 
completed, with final results expected by the end 
of February. If such a relationship could be 
established, it could aid future research to 
determine the effects of rotating tires through all 
positions in test car convoys. Rotating tires in 
this fashion would tend to minimize the 
variability that is caused by differences in 



PART 575; PRE 124 



vehicles and in driver techniques. A contract to 
test the validity of the rotation concept is 
expected to be awarded by late spring of this 
year. 

Another program is aimed at establishing the 
effect of reducing tolerances on permitted test 
vehicle loading configurations, wheel alignment, 
driver techniques, and tread depth measurement 
techniques. A contract for this program is 
expected to be awarded soon. 

A third program will attempt to quantify the 
individual sources of treadwear test variability 



through a statistical analysis of existing 
enforcement data. This research program has 
already begun and should be completed by the 
end of February. 

Research planned for the future includes an 
attempt to achieve greater accuracy in test 
equipment, to specify test vehicle maintenance 
procedures, and to account for differences in the 
testing and tread depth measurement 
environment. A contract for this work is expected 
to be awarded by late summer of this year. 

Issued on February 1, 1983. 



Raymond A Peck, Jr. 
Administrator 
48 F. R. 5690 
February 7, 1983 



PART 575; PRE 125-126 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Customer Information Regulations; 
Uniform Tire-Quality Grading 

[Docket No. 80-14; Notice 8] 
[Docket No. 25; Notice 54] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS) by revising 
the procedure used to establish tire loads under 
which temperature-resistance tests are con- 
ducted. This amendment is being issued to make 
test loads under the temperature-resistance test 
consistent with test loads specified for the high- 
speed test in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stan- 
dard (FMVSS) 109. It is anticipated that this 
amendment will assure that UTQGS temperature- 
resistance tests and FMVSS 109 high-speed tests 
may, to the maximum possible extent, be con- 
ducted together. 

DATE: This amendment is effective July 1, 1984. 
Certain minor technical amendments in the notice 
are effective immediately on publication. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On Decem 
ber 17, 1981, NHTSA amended FMVSS 109, which 
establishes performance requirements for new 
automobile tires, by deleting the tire tables in Ap- 
pendix A of that standard. Information in these 
tables was previously used, among other pur- 
poses, to specify tire test loads under the UTQGS. 
Therefore, with the deletion of the tire tables of 
FMVSS 109, it was necessary to establish alterna- 
tive procedures for determining UTQGS test 
loads. Interim procedures were established by 
NHTSA on June 15 and August 12, 1982, in 47 FR 
25930 and 34990, and public comment was invited 
on the adopted technical approaches. On August 
19, 1982, the agency issued a notice of proposed 
rulemaking, inviting further public comment on 
other possible approaches to be used in specifying 
test loads under the UTQGS. See 47 FR 36260. 



This notice establishes these procedures in final 
form. 

The UTQGS establish procedures for testing 
tires to evaluate their traction, temperature 
resistance, and tread-wear performance. (On 
February 7, 1983, NHTSA suspended the tread- 
wear portion of the UTQGS, pending the comple- 
tion of research intended to determine the causes 
of the high levels of test variability found in 
tread-wear test results, and to reduce that 
variability. (See 48 FR 5690.)) The test procedures 
specify loads to be placed on the tire. Those loads 
differ for each of the three types of tests. Prior to 
the deletion of the FMVSS 109 tire tables, tem- 
perature-resistance tests were conducted at the 
maximum load specified in those tables for a tire 
pressure 8 pounds per square inch (psi) below the 
tire's maximum inflation pressure. Tread-wear 
tests were conducted at 85 percent of the load for 
temperature-resistance testing. Traction tests 
were conducted at 85 percent of the maximum 
load specified in the tire tables for tire pressures 
of 24 psi or 180 kilopascals, as appropriate. 

With the deletion of the tire tables, the agency 
developed a range of numerical factors which 
relate a tire's maximum load rating, as stated on 
the tire's sidewall, to the appropriate test load. 
Rather than relying on the tables, manufacturers 
or others conducting tests under the UTQGS 
would simply multiply the maximum load by the 
factor to determine the test load. This procedure 
resulted in at most a 10-pound change in the load 
at which tests were conducted, for all but a small 
number of tires. For these remaining tires, the 
agency provided that tests would be conducted at 
the same load as was done prior to June 15 (rely- 
ing on the tire tables), until July 1, 1984. After 
that date, test loads would be determined by us- 



PART575;PRE127 



ing the load factors. 

Shortly after the load-factor procedure was 
established the Rubber Manufacturers Associa- 
tion and the Cooper Tire Company raised objec- 
tions to it. These parties pointed out that prior to 
the deletion of the tire tables, a single test could 
be used to demonstrate compliance with high- 
speed requirements under FMVSS 109 and tem- 
perature-resistance testing under the UTQGS. 
However, after the deletion of the tire tables, 
slightly different loads would be specified for 
those two purposes. (When the tire tables were 
deleted, NHTSA specified a single test-load fac- 
tor of 88 percent of the tire's maximum load for 
high-speed testing under FMVSS 109.) 

On August 19, 1982, NHTSA issued a notice of 
proposed rulemaking, inviting comment on 
methods for restoring equivalent load specifica- 
tions for purposes of high-speed testing under 
FMVSS 109 and temperature-resistance testing 
under the UTQGS. The agency proposed three 
possible methods for achieving this result, and re- 
quested that commenters present any other alter- 
natives they felt appropriate. The three NHTSA 
alternatives were: 

(1) To amend the UTQGS temperature-resis- 
tance test by deleting the load factors and speci- 
fying a single 88-percent factor, as was done with 
FMVSS 109. 

(2) To amend the FMVSS 109 high-speed test 
by deleting the 88-percent factor and adopting 
the series of load factors used in the UTQGS 
temperature-resistance test. 

(3) To amend FMVSS 109 and the UTQGS by 
relying on load information published by industry 
standardization organizations such as the Tire 
and Rim Association and The European Tyre and 
Rim Technical Organization. This approach would 
be much the same as the procedure previously 
followed by the agency in relying on the FMVSS 
109 tire tables. 

Virtually all comments received on the agency's 
notice of proposed rulemaking recommended 
adopting the third alternative, since it is the 
closest to past practice and would assure that test 
data derived under the pre-June 15 procedures 
would still be valid. Also, some tire manufac- 
turers felt this option would minimize the "load 
range creep" phenomenon, in which tire manufac- 
turers were encouraged by vehicle manufac- 
turers to increase incrementally the load rating 
of a tire, thus permitting the use of a smaller, less 



expensive tire for a given automobile. These in- 
creases could ultimately result in overloaded tire 
operation. The tire manufacturers felt that the 
existence of tabulated load information would 
discourage the load creep phenomenon. On the 
other hand, the European Tyre and Rim Tech- 
nical Organization favored the first alternative 
(testing at 88 percent of maximum load), due to 
the simplicity of that approach. 

NHTSA has concluded that the first alterna- 
tive is preferable, and is herein amending the 
UTQGS accordingly. That alternative has the ad- 
vantage of being the simplest to use, and has been 
shown to work well in FMVSS 109. The agency is 
concerned that adoption of alternative 3 could 
I'esult in the reinstitution of NHTSA tire tables. 
Information on tires not listed by one of the stan- 
dardization organizations would be submitted to 
NHTSA under that alternative. However, com- 
menters requested that information on such tires 
be published by NHTSA to make it available to 
all interested parties, thereby resulting in new 
tire tables, albeit on a smaller scale. The possibil- 
ities also exist of inconsistent data entries for 
tires appearing in more than one table and omis- 
sions of certain tires from all tables. The 
undesirability of this unwieldy system is clear 
and the disadvantages of the continued reliance 
on tire tables was discussed fully in the notices in- 
volving the deletion of the FMVSS 109 tire tables. 

With regard to the load range creep phenome- 
non, the agency does not agree that the third 
alternative would discourage such actions to any 
greater degree than would the other alternatives. 
Under the third option, all a manufacturer would 
have to do to change a tire's load rating would be 
to submit new information to a standardization 
organization. Further, the agency has ample 
authority to deal with this problem and will take 
appropriate action to prevent such actions where 
safety would be jeopardized. 

In the case of the second option, amending 
FMVSS 109 to adopt varying load factors would 
disrupt testing programs under that standard 
which have worked well for the past year using 
the 88-percent load criterion. Further, adopting 
the varying load factors is slightly more complex 
than using the single 88-percent factor. There- 
fore, the agency considers option 1 to be the 
preferable alternative. 

Adoptive alternative 1 will produce no changes 
in tire testing under FMVSS 109. However, the 



PART 575: PRE 128 



Rubber Manufacturers Association points out 
that adoption of this alternative will increase tire 
test loads for UTQGS purposes by from 1 to 3 per- 
cent for certain tires. 

For the vast majority of currently produced 
tires (p-metric sizes with maximum inflation 
pressure of 240 kilopascals), the increase in test 
load is approximately 1.6 percent. An increase in 
load of this small a magnitude is insufficient to af- 
fect temperature-resistance grades. Also, the ma- 
jority of tires are graded "C" for temperature 
resistance, a grade which merely signifies 
minimum compliance with the high-speed test of 
FMVSS 109. Therefore, increasing the test loads 
for UTQGS temperature-resistance purposes 
(which should theoretically make that test more 
stringent) will not affect the grades of those tires. 
Therefore, the amendments promulgated herein 
should impact only a very small number of tires. 
To the extent that the adoption of identical test 
loads for the FMVSS 109 high-speed test and the 
UTQGS temperature-resistance test permits the 
two tests to be run together, this amendment will 
produce an overall reduction in testing costs. 

This amendment is being made effective on 
July 1, 1984, to coincide with the effective date 
for test-load factors for traction and tread-wear 
testing for all tires, as specified in the August 2, 
1982, Federal Register notice. 

Two minor amendments are also being promul- 
gated in this notice for which, due to their tech- 
nical nature, the agency finds good cause for mak- 
ing effective immediately. The first of these adds 
three size designations to table 2A of the UTQGS, 
as requested by the Japanese Automobile Tire 
Manufacturers Association. This addition will 
avoid (until July 1, 1984) having to test these tires 
at significantly different test loads than those 
specified through the FMVSS 109 tire tables. The 
second technical amendment clarifies that the 
traction-test pavement-wetting procedure is that 
specified in the 1979 version of American Society 
for Testing and Materials Method E 274. 

Since this rule should not cause any significant 
change in implementation of the UTQG regula- 



tion, NHTSA has determined that this pro- 
ceeding does not involve a major rule within the 
meaning of Executive Order 12291 or a significant 
rule within the meaning of the Department of 
Transportation regulatory procedures. Further, 
there are no significant economic impacts of this 
action, so that preparation of a full regulatory 
evaluation is unnecessary. 

Tht agency has also considered the impacts of 
this rule in accordance with the Regulatory Flex- 
ibility Act. I certify that this action will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. As noted above, this ac- 
tion will make essentially no change in the im- 
plementation of the UTQG regulation. 

NHTSA has concluded that this action will 
have essentially no environmental consequences 
and therefore that there will be no significant ef- 
fect on the quality of the human environment. 



Part 575-CONSUMER INFORMATION REG- 
ULATIONS 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 
575 is amended as follows: 

1. Section 575.104(g)(6) is revised to read as 

follows: 

« * * « * 

(g) * * * * * 

(6) Press the tire against the test wheel with a 
load of 88 percent of the tire's maximum load 
rating as marked on the tire sidewall. 

2. Section 575.104(hKl) is revised to read as 
follows: 

(h) Determination of test load. To determine 
test loads for purposes of paragraphs (e)(2)(iii) and 
(f)(2)(viii), follow the procedure set forth in 
paragraphs (h)(2) through (5) of this section. 

3. Table 2 of section 575.104 is amended by 
deleting the words "and temperature resistance" 
from the heading of the middle column of the 
table. 

4. Table 2A of section 575.104 is amended by 
adding the following new entries at the bottom of 
the table: 



PART 575; PRE 129 



Tire-STze (designation Temp resistance 




Traction 




Tread-wear 


Max. pressure 








Max. pressure 


32 36 


40 




32 


36 40 


5.20-14 695 785 


855 


591 


591 


667 727 


165-15 915 1015 


1105 


779 


779 


863 939 


185/60 R 13 845 915 


980 


719 


719 


778 833 


5. The references to "ASTM Method E 274-70" 








Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 


in sections 575.104(f)(l)(iii) and (fKlKiv) are deleted 








and replaced by "ASTM Method E 274-79." 








Issued on March 5, 1984. 








48 FR 8929 
March 9, 1984 



PART 575; PRE 130 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 

Operation of Utility Vehicles on Paved Roadways 

(Docket No. 82-20; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This final rule adds a new require- 
ment to the Consumer Information Regulations, 
applicable to "utility vehicles", i.e., multipurpose 
passenger vehicles which have a short wheelbase 
and special features for occasional off-road use. 
Some of these special features cause utility 
vehicles to handle and maneuver differently from 
ordinary passenger cars under certain driving con- 
ditions. A driver who is unaware of the differences 
and who makes sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers 
when operating utility vehicles on paved roads may 
lose control of the vehicle or rollover. To inform 
drivers of the handling differences between utility 
vehicles and passenger cars, this amendment re- 
quires manufacturers to place a prescribed sticker 
on the windshield, dashboard or some other promi- 
nent location of the vehicle to alert operators. In 
addition, the new regulation requires manufac- 
turers to include information in the vehicle 
Oumer's Manual concerning the proper method of 
on- and off-road driving for utility vehicles. 

DATES: This amendment is effective September 
1, 1984. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice 
amends the Consumer Information Regulations (49 
CFR 575) to add a new requirement applicable to 
"utility vehicles"— multipurpose passenger 
vehicles (49 CFR 571.3) which have a short 
wheelbase and special features for occasional off- 
road operation. This new regulation addresses a 
safety concern resulting from a possible lack of 
owner awareness about the proper handling and 
operation of utility vehicles. These vehicles have 
features which cause them to handle and maneuver 
differently than ordinary passenger cars under 
certain on-pavement driving conditions. Those 
features include: short wheelbase, narrow track. 



high ground clearance, high center of gravity, stiff 
suspension system and, often, four-wheel drive. 
Examples of utility vehicles in current production 
include: AMC Jeeps, Chevrolet Blazer, Ford 
Bronco, Dodge Ram Charger, Toyota Land 
Cruiser, and the CMC Jimmy. 

Because of the drivers' apparent unfamiliarity 
with the unique characteristics of these vehicles 
(their higher center of gravity, narrower track and 
stiffer suspensions), utility vehicles are more likely 
to go out of control or roll over than passenger cars 
during sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers on paved 
roads, especially at high speeds. Certain research 
studies appear to indicate that utility vehicles are 
disproportionately represented in rollover ac- 
cidents than are passenger cars, and that the rates 
of death and disabling injury per accident could be 
twice as high for utility vehicles. (These studies are 
discussed more fully in this notice.) 

In response to these factors, the agency issued a 
notice of proposed rulemaking on December 30, 
1982 (47 FR 58323) to require a new consumer in- 
formation regulation which would require 
manufacturers to alert utility vehicle drivers of the 
unique handling characteristics of these vehicles. 
As noted in that proposal, the agency believes that 
the differences in safety statistics and apparent 
performance with regard to utility vehicles are 
likely influenced by the lack of awareness by utility 
vehicle drivers concerning the operational charac- 
teristics of these vehicles, especially under condi- 
tions approaching the limits of vehicle perform- 
ance. The occurrence of accidents at observed 
rates makes it clear that operators do not under- 
stand or appreciate the need for adjusting their 
driving habits to coincide with physical differences 
between utility vehicles and ordinary passenger 
cars. 



PART 575; PRE 131 



The proposed amendment to the Consumer In- 
formation Regulations specified a prescribed 
sticker which manufacturers would be required to 
place in a prominent vehicle location to alert 
drivers concerning the special handling character- 
istics of utility vehicles. Additionally, the proposed 
regulation specified that manufacturers would be 
required to include information in the vehicle 
Owner's Manual concerning the proper method of 
handling and maneuvering these vehicles when 
driven on paved roads. 

There were twenty comments to the notice of 
proposed rulemaking. Nearly all of these sup- 
ported promulgation of the proposed new regula- 
tion, in principle. However, many commenters did 
not accept the agency's basis for the rulemaking 
and nearly all of the comments recommended 
various changes. The following is a discussion of 
the major comments, along with agency's response 
and final conclusions. 

Basic Premise of the New Regulation 

The proposal cited a study conducted by the 
Highway Safety Research Institute of the Univer- 
sity of Michigan which found that utility vehicles 
rollover at a rate at least five times higher than 
that experienced by the average passenger car 
("On Road Crash Experience of Utility Vehicles", 
see NHTSA Docket 82-20). In addition, the pro- 
posal noted that NHTSA fatal accident report data 
indicate that on a statistical basis, given a rollover 
accident, occupants are more likely to be killed in 
utility vehicles than in passenger cars (probability 
twice as high). Several manufactiu-ers took strong 
exception to the Michigan study and challenged its 
scientific accuracy in certain regards, citing 
statements by the study's author that it was not a 
definitive project. Although these manufacturers 
did not oppose the proposed new regulation, they 
strongly objected to using the cited research as 
support for the regulation. Several manufacturers 
also stated that the proposal focused too narrowly 
on the physical characteristics of utility vehicles 
and failed to take into account the driver and 
environmental factors which affect the safety 
operation of these vehicles. 

The agency did not intend to imply that it is only 
the unique physical characteristics of utility 
vehicles which are responsible for the great 
number of accidents in these vehicles. The basic 
premise of the new regulation, as evidenced by 



statements in the proposal, is that drivers are ap- 
parently unaware of the unique handling char- 
acteristics of these vehicles as compared to 
ordinary passenger cars, and that this coupling of 
unique vehicle attributes and lack of awareness is 
apparently a large part of the problem. 

Regarding the research cited in the proposal, the 
agency also did not intend to imply that further 
study would not be advantageous or that the 
Michigan study is an exhaustive, definitive state- 
ment concerning the actual accident experience of 
utility vehicles. However, the agency does believe 
that the information from the Michigan study, 
together with NHTSA' s own data and other 
research cited below, is sufficiently reliable to in- 
dicate that utility vehicles are involved in a 
substantial number of accidents which appear to be 
related to their unique handling characteristics, of 
which their operators may not be fully aware. 

In addition to the research mentioned in the pro- 
posal, the agency also notes the following informa- 
tion which has been submitted to the Docket con- 
cerning this proceeding: "A Comparison of the 
Crash Experience of Utility Vehicles, Pickup 
Trucks and Passenger Cars," Reinfurt, et al.. 
Highway Safety Research Center, University of 
North Carolina, September 1981: "Analysis of 
Fatal Rollover Accidents in Utility Vehicles," S. R. 
Smith, NHTSA, February 1982; "Insurance 
Losses Personal Injury Protection Coverage, 
Passenger Cars, Vans, Pickups, and Utility 
Vehicles, 1979-1981 Models," HLDI, 1-18-1, 
September 1982. These studies also indicated 
significant rollover accident experience with utility 
vehicles. While it may be true that these studies do 
not quantify the contributions of the various possi- 
ble causes of this accident experience (vehicle 
characteristics, driver characteristics, vehicle use, 
environmental factors, etc.), the agency believes 
that this research does indicate a serious problem 
which should be brought to the attention of vehicle 
owners and which can be alleviated by the 
dissemination of information to alert vehicles 
owners and drivers. 

Application 

Several commenters requested changes and 
clarifications in the definition of "utility vehicle" 
as set forth in the proposal's application section. 
The proposal specified the following: 



PART 575; PRE 132 



"This Section applies to multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles which have special features for 
occasional off-road operation ('utility 
vehicles')." 

Commenters noted that the utility vehicles at issue 
typically have a wheelbase of 1 10 inches or less and 
recommended that this specification be added to 
the definition so that other vehicles are not in- 
advertently included in the regulation's applica- 
tion. Manufacturers were particularly concerned 
that certain vehicles such as long wheel base utility 
trucks like the General Motors "Suburban" line, 
motor homes and multi-use recreational vehicles 
would be included even though they do not have 
the same rollover propensities as utility vehicles. 
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 
argued that the application of the rule should be 
limited to those vehicles most likely to present 
rollover concerns. The agency generally agrees 
with these concerns. As noted in the proposal, the 
vehicles which are intended to be covered are those 
with relatively short wheelbases, narrow tracks, 
high ground clearances, high centers of gravity 
and stiff suspensions. The proposal also mentioned 
four-wheel drive as a characteristic of utility 
vehicles. While four-wheel drive is typically a 
characteristic of those vehicles, it was mentioned 
in the proposal only because it is descriptive of the 
majority of vehicles at issue. Four-wheel drive in 
and of itself, however, has very little to do with the 
rollover propensities involved in this rulemaking, 
and the agency did not intend to include a vehicle 
simply because it had four-wheel drive if it did not 
also have the characteristics which necessitate 
alerting drivers to special handling methods. 

After reviewing these comments and informa- 
tion concerning the vehicles at issue, the agency 
has determined that the definition should include a 
110-inch wheel base specification in order to 
segregate those vehicles which are dispropor- 
tionately involved in rollover accidents. Thus, as 
specified in this new regulation, utility vehicles are 
multipurpose passenger vehicles which have a 
wheel base of 110 inches or less and special 
features for occasional off-road operation (which 
may or may not include four-wheel drive). 

One manufacturer recommended that the new 
regulation also apply to four-wheel drive light 
pickup trucks (GVWR of 8,500 pounds or less) as 
well as to utility vehicles. The manufacturer did 



not supply any information, however, indicating 
that the same accident experience occurs with 
respect to light pickup trucks. Moreover, data 
before the agency do not indicate that this vehicle 
class has a different rollover experience than 
ordinary passenger cars. Therefore, the fact that 
certain pickup trucks have four-wheel drive does 
not seem to be sufficient reason for including this 
vehicle type in the standard's application. As noted 
earlier, there is no indication that four-wheel drive 
alone leads to the rollover propensities which are 
the subject of this rulemaking action. The agency 
will continue to monitor the accident experience of 
these vehicles, however, to determine if they 
should be included in the standard at some time in 
the future. 

Sticker Location 

The proposal preceding this new regulation 
specified that manufacturers shall affix a sticker to 
"the instrument panel, windshield frame or in 
some other location in each vehicle prominent and 
visible to the driver", to alert drivers concerning 
the special handling characteristics of utility 
vehicles. Several commenters requested that this 
requirement specifically include the driver's sim 
visor as an acceptable location for the required 
sticker. One commenter stated that the warning 
should be of a more permanent nature than a 
sticker affixed to the windshield or instrument 
panel. That commenter stated that, if the sticker is 
located on the instrument panel, it should be 
behind the plastic lens so that it cannot be re- 
moved, arguing that the sticker should remain per- 
manently affixed so that subsequent vehicle 
owners are made aware of "the vehicle's sensi- 
tivity to certain maneuvers." 

The agency considers the driver's sun visor to be 
a "prominent" location in a vehicle, and is modify- 
ing the language of this requirement to specifically 
mention that vehicle location. The agency agrees 
that the sticker should be of a permanent natiu-e, 
but does not believe that it is necessary at this time 
to require the sticker to be placed, for example, 
behind the plastic lens of the instrument panel. 
There is no wish to place design restrictions on 
manufacturers, but the agency does intend for the 
sticker to be permanently affixed in a prominent 
position and readily visible to drivers. Stickers 
similar to the placard required in FMVSS 110 
would be considered adequate. 



PART 575; PRE 133 



Sticker and Manual Language 

A majority of the commenters recommended 
clarification and changes in the prescribed 
language for the warning sticker and information 
in the vehicle Owner's Manual. The proposal 
specified that the sticker shall have the language 
prescribed "or similar language", and included the 
following caveat: 

"The language on the sticker required by this 
paragraph may be modified as is desired by the 
manufacturer to make it appropriate for a 
specific vehicle design, to ensure that consum- 
ers are adequately informed concerning the 
unique propensities of a particular vehicle 
model." 

As proposed, this caveat was not applicable to the 
language required in the vehicle Owner's Manual. 
Numerous commenters requested that this flex- 
ibility be allowed for the Owner's ManvM as well. 
One commenter stated that there is no way the 
sticker can "ensure" consumers are adequately in- 
formed. One commenter requested that manufac- 
turers be allowed to place the required information 
in any section of their Owner's Manual they 
choose, rather than in the "introduction" and "on- 
pavement" driving sections as prescribed in the 
proposal. Several commenters also suggested that 
the word "rollover" be specifically included in the 
required warnings, on the basis that "loss of con- 
trol" does not sufficiently describe the hazard. 

The agency agrees that language flexibility may 
be useful for the Owner's Manual as well as for the 
prescribed sticker, in order to ensure that con- 
sumers are adequately informed concerning the 
unique characteristics of a particular vehicle 
design. That modification is made in this notice. 
The agency believes that the objection to use of the 
word "ensure" in the specified caveat is a matter 
of semantics since the agency's intent is that 
manufacturers make every attempt to adequately 
inform its customers. It was for this reason that 
the language flexibility is being allowed. The 
agency also agrees that use of the word "rollover" 
in the sticker and Owner's Manual might more ac- 
curately describe the possible consequences of 
sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers than the phrase 
"loss of control" used alone. Accordingly, that 
word is added to the language specified in this 
notice. Finally, the agency agrees that manufac- 
turers should be allowed to place the required "on- 



pavement" driving information in any prominent 
location of their Owner's Manual they desire, 
rather than only in a section specifically labeled 
"on pavement driving". However, the agency 
believes that the specified introductory statement 
must be included in the Manual's introduction (or 
preface) so that any person consulting the Manual 
will be aware that driving guidelines are included 
in the Manual. 

One commenter requested that the required in- 
formation be allowed in a supplement to the 
Owner's Manual, i.e., a separate pamphlet. The 
agency has no objections to additional, or com- 
prehensive supplements which further describe 
driving methods and operating procedures for 
utility vehicles (one manufacturer currently pro- 
vides such a Supplement). However, the agency 
believes that the two prescribed (or similar) 
statements should be placed in the general Owner's 
Manual since some operators might be more likely 
to consult the Manual, which includes all informa- 
tion concerning their vehicles, than they would 
supplements. Further, the required statements are 
short and should not be onerous to manufacturers. 

Effective Date 

The proposal specified that the new regulation, if 
promulgated, would become effective 60 days after 
publication of a final rule. Several manufacturers 
stated that their Oumer's Manuals are typically up- 
dated only at the beginning of a new model year 
and that longer than 60 days is needed to comply 
with the requirements of the regulation. After 
considering these comments, the agency has con- 
cluded that the new regulation should become ef- 
fective September 1, 1984, coincidental with the 
typical introduction of new models. This is longer 
than the 60-days leadtime specified in the proposal 
and should allow all manufacturers sufficient time 
to comply with the requirements. 

NHTSA has examined the impacts of this new 
regulation and determined that this notice does not 
qualify as a major regulation within the meaning of 
Executive Order 12291 or as a significant regula- 
tion under the Department of Transportation 
regulatory policies and procedures. The agency has 
also determined that the economic and other im- 
pacts of this rule are so minimal that a regulatory 
evaluation is not required. The prescribed sticker 
and additional information required in the vehicle 
Owner's Manual will result in only minimal costs 



PART 575; PRE 134 



for vehicle manufacturers and will not likely result tions or governmental units which purchase utility 

in any cost increase for consumers. vehicles. Moreover, few, if any, vehicle manufac- 

The agency also considered the impacts of this turers would qualify as small entities under the 

rule under the precepts of the Regulatory Flexibil- Act. 

ity Act. I hereby certify that the regulation will not Issued on May 7, 1984. 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial 

number of small entities. As just discussed, the Diane K. Steed 

cost of the required sticker and information will be Administrator 

extremely small. Accordingly, there will be vir- 49 F.R. 20016 

tually no economic effect on any small organiza- May 11, 1984 



PART 575; PRE 135-136 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 

Operation of Utility Vefiicles on Paved Roadways 

[Docket No. 82-20; Notice 3] 



ACTION: Final rule, response to petitions for 
reconsideration. 

SUMMARY: This final rule responds to petitions 
for reconsideration filed by American Motors Cor- 
poration and Subaru of America, Inc., with regard 
to the agency's requirement that manufacturers of 
utility vehicles inform drivers of those vehicles of 
the propensity of such vehicles to rollover. Ameri- 
can Motors and Subaru pointed out in their peti- 
tions that the scope of this requirement includes 
certain passenger car derivatives such as the AMC 
Eagle and the Subaru four-wheel drive vehicles 
which do not have the operating characteristics 
which were the focus of the rule. Therefore, the 
agency is herein clarifying the regulations to ex- 
empt passenger car derivatives. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This amendment is effective 
September 1. 1984. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 11, 
1984, NHTSA amended its Consumer Information 
Regulations (49 CFR 575) to add a new require- 
ment applicable to "utility vehicles" — multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles (49 CFR 571.3) which have 
a short wheelbase (110 inches or less) and special 
features for occasional off-road operation. See 49 
FR 20016. This new regulation addresses a safe- 
ty concern resulting from a possible lack of owner 
awareness about the proper handling and opera- 
tion of utility vehicles have features which causes 
them to handle and maneuver differently than 
ordinary passenger cars under certain on- 
pavement driving conditions. Those features in- 
clude: short wheelbase, narrow track, high ground 
clearance, high center of gravity, stiff suspension 



system and, often, four-wheel drive. Examples of 
utility vehicles in currert production which were 
cited in the agency's finai rule include: AMC Jeeps, 
Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Bronco, Dodge Ram Charger, 
Toyota Land Cruiser, and the CMC Jimmy. 

On June 11, 1984, the agency received petitions 
for reconsideration of the utility vehicle labeling 
rule from American Motors Corporation and 
Subaru of America, Inc. Both manufacturers 
pointed out that although the preamble to the 
agency's final rule indicated that the rule was in- 
tended to apply to a class of vehicles with attri- 
butes which might tend to increase the likelihood 
of vehicle rollover (high center of gravity, narrow 
track, stiff suspension, etc.), the actual language of 
the rule applied to certain vehicles without these 
attributes. In particular, these manufacturers 
were concerned that the labeling requirements 
would apply to their four-wheel drive vehicles 
which are derived from passenger cars, i.e., the 
American Motors Eagle and the Subaru four-wheel 
drive station wagons, sedans, and Brat. Both 
manufacturers requested that the agency clarify 
the scope of the rule to exclude these vehicles. 

Since the American Motors and Subaru vehicles 
in question are certified as multipurpose 
passenger vehicles under 49 CFR Part 567, have a 
wheelbase of 110 inches or less and have four 
wheel drive, they would fall within the "utility 
vehicle" definition in the Consumer Information 
Regulations, and would therefore be subject to the 
rollover warning label requirements. However, 
the manufacturers are correct in pointing out that 
the main thrust of the agency's May 11 rule was to 
regulate the more traditional types of utility 
vehicles, such as the Jeep CJ series and the Toyota 
Land Cruiser. 



PART 575 -PRE 137 



To assess the appropriateness of subjecting the 
Eagle and Subaru model lines to the labeling re- 
quirements, the agency analyzed its accident data 
to determine the frequency of involvement in fatal 
rollover accidents for various types of vehicles. 
Fatality data were obtained from the agency's 
Fatal Accident Reporting System, while vehicle 
registration information was obtained from R. L. 
Polk data. The rollover rate for the Eagle is much 
lower than that for the more traditional utility 
vehicles, and is, in fact, lower than that for all 
passenger cars. This data strongly supports the 
American Motors argument that the Eagle should 
not be subject to the labeling rule. The case for the 
Subaru vehicles is less clear, since their rollover 
fatality rate is between that of passenger cars and 
the more traditional utility vehicles. However, the 
Subaru four-wheel drive vehicles have a rollover 
fatality rate which is virtually identical to that of 
their two-wheel drive counterparts, which are not 
subject to the labeling requirement, and is still 
only about 'A that of more traditional util- 
ity vehicles. Subaru submitted data with its recon- 
sideration petition indicating that the handling 
characteristics of the Subaru four-wheel drive 
vehicles are on a par with those of passenger cars, 
and superior to those of more traditional utility 
vehicles. Therefore, the agency is exempting 
passenger car derivative multipurpose passenger 
vehicles from the rollover labeling requirements. 
These vehicles are typically based upon a passen- 
ger car chassis, then modified to have certain at- 
tributes common to trucks or utility vehicles. The 
Subaru and Eagle vehicles are the only vehicles 
currently sold in the Untied States which fall 
within this exemption. 

The amendments promulgated herein are effec- 
tive September 1, 1984, to coincide with the effec- 
tive date of the May 11 labeling rule. The agency 
finds good cause for making this amendment effec- 
tive less than 180 days after publication. The 
amendment relieves an inappropriate restriction, 
avoiding the need to provide warning information 
in vehicles which do not pose an unusual risk of 
rollover. 



NHTSA has examined the impacts of this new 
regulation and determined that this notice does 
not qualify as a major regulation within the mean- 
ing of Executive Order 12291 or as a significant 
regulation under the Department of Transporta- 
tion regulatory policies and procedures. The agen- 
cy has also determined that the economic and 
other impacts of this rule are so minimal that a 
regulatory evaluation is not required. The rule 
merely exempts a small number of vehicles from 
the labeling rule, which imposed minimal costs. 
The agency also considered the impacts of this rule 
under the percepts of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act. I hereby certify that the regulation will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The cost of the required 
sticker and information will be extremely small, 
and only a small number of vehicles are being ex- 
empted. Accordingly, there will be virtually no 
economic effect on any small organizations or gov- 
ernmental units which purchase utility vehicles. 
Moreover, few, if any, vehicle manufacturers 
would qualify as small entities under the Act. 

In consideration of the foregoing, paragraph 
575.105(b) is amended to read as follows: 
§575.105 Utility Vehicles 

(b) Application. This section applies to multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles (other than those which 
are passenger car derivatives) which have a wheel- 
base of 110 inches or less and special features for 
occasional off-road operation ("Utility vehicles"). 

Issued on August 6, 1984. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

49 FR 32069 
August 10, 1984 



PART 575 -PRE 138 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 
Effective Dates for Reimplementation of Treadwear Grading 

[Docl<et No. 25; Notice 58] 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule sets forth the effective 
dates for the reimplementation of the treadwear 
grading requirements under this agency's Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS). Those 
requirements were suspended after the agency 
found high levels of variability in treadwear test 
data and grade assignment practices. The United 
States Court of Appeals for the District of Colum- 
bia Circuit vacated the agency's suspension of the 
treadwear grading requirements on April 24, 1984. 

In response to the court, NHTSA published a 
notice on August 13, 1984, proposing dates on 
which tires would again be required to comply 
with the treadwear grading requirements. Subse- 
quently, the agency learned that there were some 
problems with reimplementing treadwear grading 
for bias belted tires by the proposed dates. 
Therefore, the agency published a notice on 
September 12, 1984, asking for public comment on 
what effect, if any, this newly discovered informa- 
tion should have on the proposed schedule for 
reimplementing treadwear grading for bias belted 
tires. 

Despite these agency actions to reinstate tread- 
wear grading, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued an 
order on September 27, 1984, finding NHTSA in 
violation of its April 24 order, and directing the 
agency to either reinstate the treadwear grading 
requirements in full "forthwith" or to apply to that 
court for a modification of the mandate and pro- 
vide a reasonably prompt reimplementation sched- 
ule. NHTSA filed an application for a modification 
of the mandate on October 11, 1984. On October 31, 
1984, the U.S. Court of Appeals granted NHTSA's 
application and ordered NHTSA to reimplement 



treadwear grading in accordance with the sched- 
ule proposed by NHTSA in its October 11 filing. 
That same schedule is set forth in this rule. 

DATES: In the case of bias ply tires, requirements 
that treadwear information be included on paper 
labels affixed by tire manufacturers to tire treads 
and for the submission of consumer information 
brochures to NHTSA for review are reimple- 
mented effective December 15, 1984. Those bro- 
chures are required to be distributed to prospec- 
tive purchasers by tire dealers effective January 
15, 1985. Requirements regarding the molding of 
treadwear grades on tire sidewalls become effec- 
tive again on May 15, 1985. 

In the case of bias belted tires, requirements 
that treadwear information be included on paper 
labels and for the submission of the consumer in- 
formation brochures to NHTSA for review are re- 
implemented effective March 1, 1985. The bro- 
chures must be distributed to prospective purchas- 
ers effective April 1, 1985. The requirements re- 
garding the molding of treadwear grades on tire 
sidewalls become effective again on August 1, 1985. 

In the case of radial tires, requirements that 
treadwear information be included on paper labels 
and for the submission of the consumer informa- 
tion brochures to NHTSA for review are reimple- 
mented effective April 1, 1985. The brochures 
must be distributed to prospective purchasers ef- 
fective May 1, 1985. The treadwear grades must be 
molded on the sidewall of all new radial tires 
manufactured on or after September 1, 1985. 

In the case of vehicle manufacturers, the re- 
quirements to include treadwear grading informa- 
tion in the vehicle consumer information are 
reimplemented effective September 1, 1985. 



PART 575; PRE 139 



The amendments made to the UTQGS by this 
rule are effective December 19, 1984. This action is 
taken to permit those manufacturers which choose 
to do so to comply with the treadwear grading re- 
quirements before the mandatory reimplementa- 
tion dates listed above. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NHTSA sus- 
pended treadwear grading requirements under 
the UTQGS at 48 FR 5690, February 7, 1983. This 
action was announced after the agency found high 
levels of variability in treadwear test results and 
in the grade assignment practices of the various 
tire manufacturers. This variability resulted in a 
substantial likelihood that treadwear information 
being provided to the public under this program 
would be misleading, i.e., that the assigned grades 
could, in many instances, incorrectly rank the ac- 
tual treadwear performance of different tires. 

On April 24, 1984, the United States Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 
vacated the agency's suspension of the treadwear 
grading requirements in Public Citizen v. Steed, 
733 F.2d 93. NHTSA interpreted the court's action 
as requiring the agency to reimplement the tread- 
wear grading requirements at the earliest reason- 
able time. To comply with this interpretation of 
the court order, NHTSA published a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking at 49 FR 32238, August 13, 1984. 
That proposal set forth the following dates for 
reimplementing treadwear grading requirements: 

AUGUST 13 SCHEDULE 



Bias Ply and Bias 
Belted Tires 



Radial Tires 



Tire manufacturers 

complete testing November 15. 1984 June 15, 1985 

Affix paper labels and 

submit brochures to 

NHTSA for review December 15, 1984 July 15, 1985 

Distribute brochures 

to the public January 15, 1985 August 15, 1985 



Modify all molds to 
include treadwear 



May 15, 1985 December 15. 1985 



Include treadwear 
grading in vehicle 
manufacturer's 
consumer information 
booklet 



September 1, 1985 



The reason for proposing different reimple- 
mentation dates for bias ply and bias belted tires, 
on the one hand, and radial tires, on the other, was 
the need to procure new course monitoring tires 
(CMT's, for the radial tires. As of that date, 
NHTSA believed that its existing supply of bias 
ply and bias belted CMT's would be adequate for 
testing those tire types. This fact would allow the 
manufacturers to begin their testing very quickly, 
which would in turn allow the treadwear grading 
requirements to be reimplemented more quickly. 

However, shortly after publication of that 
notice, the agency determined that its existing 
supply of bias belted CMT's showed unacceptably 
high levels of variability, and concluded that it 
would be inappropriate to use such tires as CMT's. 
A notice announcing these determinations was 
published at 49 FR 35814, September 12, 1984. 
This notice asked for public comment on what ef- 
fect, if any, this newly discovered information 
would have on the dates proposed for the reimple- 
mentation of treadwear grading for bias belted 
tires. 

Despite these agency actions to reimplement 
treadwear grading, the U.S. Court of Appeals 
issued an order on September 27, 1984, finding the 
agency in violation of the court's April 24 order. 
The court gave the agency a choice of either im- 
mediately reinstating treadwear grading in full, 
or, within 14 days of September 27, applying to the 
court for a modification of its earlier order and pro- 
viding the court with a reasonably prompt 
schedule for reimplementing the treadwear 
grading requirements. 

In accordance with this order, NHTSA applied 
for a modification of the court's April 24 mandate 
on October 11, 1984. This application was accom- 
panied by a proposed schedule for reimplementing 
treadwear grading and an affidavit in support 
thereof. The schedule which the agency proposed 
to the court is shown on the next page. 

This schedule was the same as that proposed in 
the August 13 notice for reimplementing tread- 
wear grading for vehicle manufacturers and for 
bias ply tires. However, it accelerated the 
reimplementation of treadwear grading by 3 1/2 
months from what had been proposed for radial 
tires in the August 13 notice, and postponed the 
proposed dates for bias belted tires by 2 1/2 
months. In formulating this revised schedule, 
NHTSA considered all nine comments received on 
the August 13 notice, and the one comment it 



PART 575; PRE 140 



PROPOSED SCHEDULE 

Bias Ply Tires Bias Belted Tires Radial Tires 



Tire manufacturers 
complete testing 


November 7, 1984 


February 1, 1985 


March 1. 1985 


Affix paper labels and submit 
brochures to NHTSA for review 


December 15, 1984 


March 1. 1985 


April 1, 1985 


Distribute brochures to the 
public 


January 15, 1985 


April 1, 1985 


May 1, 1985 


Modify all molds to include 
treadwear 


May 15, 1985 


August 1, 1985 


September 1, 1985 



Include treadwear grading in 
vehicle manufacturer's consumer 
information booklet 



September 1, 1985 



received on the September 12 notice. The agency 
received an additional comment regarding the 
September 12 notice on October 12, the comment 
closing date for that notice. That additional com- 
ment was not considered by the agency in pre- 
paring its October 11 application. 

The court issued an order on October 31, 1984, 
granting NHTSA's application for a modification 
of the court's earlier mandate, and ordered the 
agency to reimplement treadwear grading accord- 
ing to the schedule proposed by the agency in its 
October 11 application. This final rule implements 
the court's October 31 order. 

Comments received on previous notices. As 
noted above, all but one of the comments received 
in response to the agency's August 13 and 
September 12 notices were considered while the 
agency formulated the revised schedule for reim- 
plementing treadwear grading which was sub- 
mitted to the court on October 11. What follows is 
a brief explanation of the agency's response to the 
more significant comments. 

The petitioners in the U.S. Court of Appeals 
submitted their motion to enforce judgment, 
which they fUed with the court, as a comment to 
the agency on its August 13 proposed schedule. 
The essential allegation of that motion was that 
the August 13 schedule was not reasonably 
prompt. NHTSA responded to this allegation in 
considerable detail in the application and affidavit 
in support thereof filed with the court on October 



11. Rather than repeat this lengthy response 
herein, this rule incorporates by reference the ap- 
plication and affidavit filed October 11 as the agen- 
cy response to petitioners' comments. Copies of 
the application and affidavit are available in 
Docket No. 25, Notice 58, and any interested per- 
sons are advised to contact the Docket Section to 
obtain a copy of those documents. 

Several tire manufacturers commented that the 
August 13 notice was unclear as to whether the 
agency would permit tire manufacturers to modify 
their molds to show treadwear grading informa- 
tion prior to the dates by which they were re- 
quired to modify all their molds. These manufac- 
turers stated that they wanted to modify some of 
their molds before the effective dates when they 
had to have all of their molds modified. This issue 
arises because of amendments made to the 
UTQGS in connection with the agency's suspen- 
sion of the treadwear grading requirements. Since 
NHTSA had concluded that there was a substan- 
tial likelihood that treadwear information would 
be misleading, the UTQGS were amended to pro- 
hibit the sidewalls of tires from showing any 
treadwear grades. As long as that prohibition, con- 
tained in 49 CFR §575.104(i)(2)(ii), remains in effect, 
tire manufacturers may not legally begin con- 
verting their molds to show the treadwear grades 
on the sidewalls of their tires. 

NHTSA wishes to encourage the manufacturers 
to reimplement the treadwear grading require- 



PART 575; PRE 141 



ments as expeditiously as possible, to comply with 
the decision in Public Citizen v. Steed, supra. The 
agency intended to allow manufacturers to imple- 
ment any of the necessary steps, including not just 
the molding of the grades on the sidewall, but also 
paper labels and the submission and distribution of 
consumer information brochures, as soon as was 
feasible. If some requirements can be satisfied by a 
particular manufacturer prior to an effective date 
specified in this rule, it would serve no interest to 
prohibit that manufacturer from disseminating 
treadwear grading information to consumers. 
Hence, a manufacturer is permitted to comply 
with any of these reimplemented treadwear 
grading requirements in advance of the effective 
dates specified herein. These dates represent the 
agency's best judgment as to the earliest dates by 
which it would be reasonable to require all tires to 
again comply with the treadwear grading re- 
quirements. However, manufacturers may comply 
with the requirements of this notice sooner than 
the mandatory effective dates, if they wish. To 
make this intent more clear, a statement has been 
added to the DATES section to the effect that the 
amendments made by this rule take effect upon 
publication. This action immediately removes the 
prohibition on molding treadwear grades on the 
sidewalls of tires, which was a part of the action 
taken by NHTSA in connection with the decision 
to suspend treadwear grading. 

Most tire manufacturers also indicated that 
they could meet the dates proposed in the August 
13 notice for reimplementing treadwear grading 
for radial tires, albeit "with some difficulty". This 
notice accelerates that schedule by shortening the 
time available for the agency's completion of its 
tasks while retaining the proposed amount of time 
following these tasks for the manufacturers to 
achieve compliance. This acceleration was made 
possible as the result of CMT's being made 
available to the agency more quickly, and the agen- 
cy accelerating its own testing. The time periods 
allowed to the manufacturers for completing each 
step of the reimplementation process (3 months 
for testing, 1 month to print paper labels and 
draft the consumer information brochure to be 
submitted to NHTSA for its review, 1 month to 
distribute the brochures to all dealers, and 6 
months to modify all molds) will require the 
manufacturers to move expeditiously, but are 
reasonable for completing each of the needed 
steps. 



One manufacturer asked for additional time in 
reimplementing treadwear grading for radial tires 
imported from other countries. The comment 
stated that there is a logistical problem in shipping 
the tires for testing into the U.S., clearing them 
through customs, shipping the tires to Texas for 
testing, conducting the tests and evaluating the 
data, printing the labels in the U.S. and shipping 
them overseas, and finally affixing the paper labels 
to the tires for sale before shipping them into the 
United States to be offered for sale. The comment 
concluded by requesting an additional 2 months 
period for affixing paper labels to imported radial 
tires, and for an additional 1 month to modify all 
molds to include the treadwear grade. 

NHTSA considered these logistical problems. 
However, the agency believes that radial tires to 
be imported into the United States can be shipped 
early enough so that the tires will be in Texas for 
testing very early, since the foreign producers are 
well aware of the logistical burdens confronting 
them. The testing and analysis for these tires 
would then be among the first completed on radial 
tires. While the agency agrees that it is more dif- 
ficult for manufacturers of imported tires to 
reimplement treadwear grading than manufac- 
turers of domestic tires, the agency believes that 
the time allotted for reimplementing is feasible 
and reasonable for all manufacturers. Accordingly, 
the schedule set forth in this final rule establishes 
the same dates for compliance with radial tire 
treadwear grading requirements for both foreign- 
and domestically-produced tires. 

The comments on the proposed dates for reim- 
plementing treadwear grading for bias ply tires all 
indicated that those dates were feasible, and those 
dates have been adopted as proposed. 

Three manufacturers asked in their comments 
for an additional month for testing bias belted 
tires. That would be the same period of time allot- 
ted for testing radial tires. The August 13 notice 
proposed to allow only 2 months for testing bias 
belted tires, since there are only about 350 bias 
belted tire designs. Radial tires, for which 3 
months were proposed for testing, are produced in 
about 1,400 designs. Hence, the difference in the 
number of tires to be tested suggested to NHTSA 
that bias belted tire testing could be completed in 
less time than would be needed for radial tire 
testing. The commenters asking for additional 
testing time for bias belted tires did not provide 
any evidence that the proposed 2 months for 



PART 575; PRE 142 



testing bias belted tires was insufficient. Absent 
such evidence, NHTSA has no basis for concluding 
that the proposed 2-month period for testing is in- 
sufficient. Accordingly, this final rule adopts the 
proposed 2-month testing period for bias belted 
tires. 

The only comment addressing the proposed date 
for reimplementing treadwear grading re- 
quirements for vehicle manufacturers stated that 
the proposed September 1, 1985, date was accept- 
able as long as the agency had a final rule publish- 
ed by March 1, 1985. This rule is published well in 
advance of that date. 

Impact analyses. NHTSA has determined that 
this final rule is neither "major" within the mean- 
ing of Executive Order 12291 nor "significant" 
within the meaning of the Department of Trans- 
portation regulatory policies and procedures. The 
treadwear grading is being reimplemented in its 
current form as a result of the court decision in 
Public Citizen v. Steed, supra, and the dates set 
forth herein for reimplementation were ordered to 
be established by the same court in its October 31, 
1984, order. The agency is required to comply with 
those court orders. Most of the analysis in the 
regulatory evaluation which accompanied the 
agency's suspension of treadwear (Docket No. 25; 
Notice 52) is still applicable to this rule. In that 
regulatory evaluation, NHTSA estimated that the 
costs of treadwear grading were about $10 million 
annually to tire manufacturers and brand name 
owners. That is equivalent to less than 6 cents per 
tire. These costs are well below the level for classi- 
fying a rule as a major action. A separate 
regulatory evaluation has not been prepared for 
this rule, because the costs and impacts of tread- 
wear grading set forth in the regulatory evalua- 
tion accompanying the suspension of treadwear 
grading are still the agency's estimate of the ef- 
fects of treadwear grading. 

Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the 
agency has considered the impacts of this rule on 
small entities. I hereby certify that this rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Therefore, a 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required. 
NHTSA concluded that few, if any, of the manufac- 
turers and brand name owners are small entities. 
To the extent that any of these parties are small 
entities, the additional costs imposed by reimple- 
menting treadwear grading for passenger-car tires 
are slightly less than 6 cents per tire ($10 



million total costs/178 million passenger car tires 
produced annually). This does not constitute a 
significant economic impact. Small organizations 
and small governmental units will be minimally af- 
fected in their tire purchases as a result of the 
minimal additional costs imposed by reimple- 
menting treadwear grading. Further, those 
minimal costs will have minimal impacts on the 
costs and sales for any tire dealers which might 
qualify as small entities. 

NHTSA has also considered the environmental 
impacts of this rule. While it is possible that 
reimplementation of treadwear testing may have 
some negative effects on the environment around 
the Texas test course in terms of increased fuel 
consumption and increased noise and air pollution, 
NHTSA has concluded that the environmental con- 
sequences of this rule are of such limited scope 
that they will clearly not have a significant effect 
on the quality of the human environment. 

Effective date. As noted above, the amendments 
made by this rule are effective as of the date this 
rule is published in the Federal Register. NHTSA 
has taken this step so that the tire manufacturers 
and brand name owners who wish to reimplement 
any portion of the treadwear grading require- 
ments in advance of the dates by which they are 
required to do so may follow that course of action. 
Prior to the effective date of these amendments, 
§575.104(1) prohibits manufacturers from molding 
treadwear grades on the sidewalls of tires. 
Manufacturers and brand name owners which are 
unable or unwilling to reimplement treadwear 
grading in advance of the mandatory compliance 
dates specified herein will not be affected by an im- 
mediate voluntary compliance date for these 
amendments, because they are not required to 
reimplement before the mandatory compliance 
dates. There is also a public interest in complying 
with the court orders as soon as possible. For 
these reasons, NHTSA has concluded that there is 
good cause for specifying an immediate effective 
date for the amendments made by this rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§575.104 is amended as follows: 

1. By revising paragraph (i) and adding new 
paragraphs (j), (k), and (1) to read as follows: 



(i) Effective dates for treadwear grading re- 
quirements for radial tires. 



PART 575; PRE 143 



(1) Treadwear labeling requirements of §575.104 
(dKlKiKBK2) apply to tires manufactured on or after 
April 1, 1985. 

(2) Requirements for NHTSA review of tread- 
wear information in consumer brochures, as 
specified in paragraph 575.6(dK2), are effective 
April 1, 1985. 

(3) Treadwear consumer information brochure 
requirements of paragraph 575.6(c) are effective 
May 1, 1985. 

(6) Treadwear sidewall molding requirements of 
§575.104(dKlKiKA) apply to tires manufactured on 
or after September 1, 1985. 

(j) Effective dates for treadwear grading re- 
quirements for bias ply tires. 

(1) Treadwear labeling requirements of §575.104 
(dKl)(i)(BM2) apply to tires manufactured on or after 
December 15, 1984. 

(2) Requirements for NHTSA review of tread- 
wear information in consumer brochures, as 
specified in paragraph 575.6(d)(2), are effective 
December 15, 1984. 

(3) Treadwear consumer information brochure 
requirements of paragraph 575.6(c) are effective 
January 15, 1985. 

(4) Treadwear sidewall molding requirements of 
§575.104(d)(l)(i)(A) apply to tires manufactured on 
or after May 15, 1985. 

(k) Effective dates for treadwear grading re- 
quirements for bias belted tires. 



(1) Treadwear labeling requirements of §575.104 
(d)(l)(i)(B)(2) apply to tires manufactured on or after 
March 1, 1985. 

(2) Requirements for NHTSA review of tread- 
wear information in consumer brochures, as 
specified in paragraph 575.6(d)(2), are effective 
March 1, 1985. 

(3) Treadwear consumer information brochure 
requirements of paragraph 575.6(c) are effective 
April 1, 1985. 

(4) Treadwear sidewall molding requirements of 
§575.104(d)(l)(i)(A) apply to tires manufactured on 
or after August 1, 1985. 

(1) Effective date for treadwear information re- 
quirements for vehicle manufacturers. 

Vehicle manufacturer treadwear information re- 
quirements of §§575.6(a) and 575.104(dKlKiii) are ef- 
fective September 1, 1985. 

2. By deleting Figure 6. 

Issued on December 14, 1984. 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

49 F.R. 49293 
December 19, 1984 



PART 575; PRE 144 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 



Consumer Information Regulations; 

Vehicle Stopping Distance 

[Docket No. 83-09; Notice 2] 



ACTION: Final rule. 



SUMMARY: This rule amends the requirements of 
the Consumer Information Regulations by delet- 
ing the requirement that vehicle stopping distance 
information be provided to first purchasers of new 
passenger cars and motorcycles at the time the 
vehicle is delivered to the first purchaser. The 
agency has taken this action because the primary 
purpose of the consumer information is to permit 
prospective purchasers to obtain as much com- 
parative information as possible before deciding 
which particular model to buy. Information 
provided after the consumer has purchased the 
vehicle cannot serve that purpose. Since NHTSA 
is unaware of any other value to the consumer 
being given stopping distance information after 
purchasing a new vehicle, this rule rescinds that 
requirement. Based on cost information provided 
by General Motors, the agency estimates that this 
action will save vehicle manufacturers over one 
million dollars annually. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule is effective July 24, 
1987. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule 
amends the requirements of 49 CFR Part 575, Con- 
sumer Information Regulations, to delete the re- 
quirement that manufacturers of passenger cars 
and motorcycles provide stopping distance informa- 
tion to the first purchasers of their vehicles at the 
time of delivery of the new vehicle. The primary 
purpose underlying the requirement that vehicle 
manufacturers provide consumers with stopping 
distance information is to provide consumers with 
comparative information on different vehicles so 
that they can consider this information when 
deciding which new vehicle to purchase. Stopping 
distance information that is given to consumers 
after they have purchased a new vehicle does not 
serve this purpose. 

Vehicle manufacturers have been required to 
provide stopping distance information to first 



purchasers of new vehicles at the time of delivery 
of the vehicle ever since the original consumer 
information regulations were published at 34 FR 
1246, January 25, 1969. At this time, however, it 
is not clear what benefits the agency believed first 
purchasers would derive from information provided 
to them after they had purchased the vehicle. The 
preamble to the 1969 rule requiring manufacturers 
to provide such information explained only that, 
"This regulation is intended to be the initial part 
of a comprehensive program to supply the con- 
sumer with information concerning safety and 
other performance characteristics of motor 
vehicles." 34 FR 1247. No further explanation was 
set forth in the final rule or any other document 
of how or why the agency believed it would be 
helpful to consumers to obtain stopping distance 
information for vehicles after they had purchased 
the vehicle. The agency is not aware of any 
empirical or analytical evidence that stopping 
distance information is or could be useful to con- 
sumers after they have purchased a new vehicle. 
Therefore, the requirement to provide this infor- 
mation to first purchasers is deleted from Part 575 
by this rule. 

Under the requirements as they existed before 
today's amendment, stopping distance information 
was required to be disseminated to consumers via 
three separate sources. First, §575.6(a) requires 
manufacturers to provide the first purchasers of 
new vehicles with stopping distance information 
at the time of delivery of the new vehicle. Second, 
§575. 6(c) requires stopping distance information to 
be provided by each vehicle manufacturer to each 
of its dealers, so that prospective purchasers can 
examine the information in the dealer's showroom 
at no cost. Third, §575.6(d) requires the stopping 
distance information to be provided by each vehi- 
cle manufacturer to NHTSA, so that it can be made 
available to the public in NHTSA's Technical 
Reference Library and upon request. 

General Motors Corporation (GM) filed a petition 
for rulemaking with the agency, in which GM 
asked that the requirements for vehicle manufac- 



PART 575-PRE 145 



turers to disseminate stopping distance informa- 
tion about their vehicles be deleted altogether. GM 
asserted that the stopping distance information 
was not actually used by consumers, that it was 
not a meaningful comparison between different 
vehicles, and that dissemination of the stopping 
distance information was an unnecessary economic 
burden on the vehicle manufacturers. In response 
to this petition, NHTSA carefully reexamined the 
requirements that stopping distance information 
be disseminated to consumers via the three 
separate sources identified above. 

As a result of this reexamination, NHTSA 
published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) 
on June 30, 1983. 48 FR 30166. This NPRM 
proposed to delete the requirement that manufac- 
turers provide stopping distance information to the 
first purchasers of new vehicles, since this infor- 
mation does not become available to the consumer 
soon enough to serve the primary purpose of these 
consumer information regulations. However, the 
agency did not propose to delete the requirements 
that vehicle manufacturers provide stopping 
distance information to their dealers and to this 
agency. The agency stated in the NPRM that it did 
not agree with GM's assertion that the stopping 
distance information was not meaningful to con- 
sumers. While some manufacturers report that 
their vehicles stop exactly at the maximum stop- 
ping distance allowed under Standard No. 105, 
Hydraulic Brake Systems (49 CFR §571.105), most 
manufacturers reported that their vehicles stop in 
a shorter distance. The differences in reported stop- 
ping distance could be used by consumers to make 
comparative evaluations of the vehicles. Further, 
the NPRM noted that 14 percent of the dealerships 
surveyed by that company reported that they had 
been asked by consumers for stopping distance in- 
formation. The NPRM stated that these requests 
"indicate that the information is being used by the 
public and NHTSA is reluctant to curtail the 
amount of information available to the public when 
that information is reliable and can be provided at 
a reasonable cost." 48 FR 30167. Based on GM's 
estimates of its own costs for providing stopping 
distance information to the three sources presently 
required by Part 575, NHTSA estimated total costs 
to vehicle manufacturers at $266,000 if stopping 
distance information were required to be provided 
only to each dealer and this agency. This translates 
to less than 3 cents for each new car and motor- 
cycle sold, and NHTSA tentatively adjudged this 
to be a reasonable cost for providing the 
information. 

The NPRM also sought comments on the 
desirability of requiring vehicle manufacturers to 



permanently affix a label to the vehicle, setting 
forth the stopping distance information. Such label- 
ing would ensure that continuing availability of 
stopping distance information to subsequent pur- 
chasers of the vehicle. The current practice of put- 
ting stopping distance information in the owner's 
manual or in a separate consumer information 
booklet can result in the stopping distance infor- 
mation not being available to the subsequent 
purchasers of the vehicle. 

After publication of this NPRM, NHTSA under- 
took research to gain a better understanding of con- 
sumer awareness of and interest in NHTSA's 
consumer information programs, and to learn if 
there were ways in which the consumer informa- 
tion programs could be made more useful to con- 
sumers. The final report is entitled "Consumer 
Attitudes Toward Consumer Information Pro- 
grams," and is available in the General Reference 
section of Docket No. 83-09. This report indicated 
that most consumers are satisfied with the infor- 
mation available to them when purchasing a vehi- 
cle. There is, however, a small segment of car 
buyers who actively seek information about 
vehicles when making a purchase and would prefer 
that more information be made available. This seg- 
ment's interest in the subject of stopping distance 
increases when they are informed that stopping 
distances for comparable vehicles may vary. 

The agency received 12 comments on the NPRM. 
Nine of these 12 comments were submitted by vehi- 
cle manufacturers. Each of these manufacturers 
supported the proposal to delete the requirement 
that stopping distance information be provided to 
first purchasers at the time of delivery of a new 
vehicle. However, all nine of the vehicle manufac- 
turers disagreed with the agency's decision to 
continue requiring stopping distance information 
to be provided to each of their dealers and to 
NHTSA. 

Along with its petition, GM submitted a survey 
of 162 of its dealers. Of these 162 dealers, 140 had 
not received a single request for stopping distance 
information, while 22 (14 percent) had received 
such requests. The 22 dealers that received re- 
quests for stopping distance information received 
an average of five such requests each. In the 
NPRM, the agency stated, "The fact that 14 per- 
cent of the dealerships surveyed by GM received 
requests for stopping distance information in- 
dicates that the information is being used by the 
public and NHTSA is reluctant to curtail the 
amount of information available to the public when 
that information is reliable and can be provided at 
a reasonable cost." 48 FR 30167. 



PART 575-PRE 146 



All nine of the commenting vehicle manufac- 
turers stated in their comments that the public had 
shown little or no interest in stopping distance in- 
formation. Most of these commenters questioned 
the agency's interpretation of the GM dealer 
survey, and suggested that sales-weighting of the 
siu^ey results would show that very few consumers 
requested the information. GM stated that by ad- 
justing the requests received by the number of 
potential purchasers passing through each dealer- 
ship, NHTSA would conclude that less than 1/10 
of 1 percent of prospective purchasers had re- 
quested stopping distance information. Volks- 
wagen raised the same point in its comments. 
Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. (Suzuki) provided a survey 
of 50 of its dealerships in its comments. Suzuki's 
survey showed that 30 of 50 dealers had no re- 
quests for the information, 13 of 50 had one per- 
cent or fewer of their customers ask for stopping 
distance information, 4 dealers had 5 percent of 
their customers ask for the information, and 3 
dealers said that 10 percent of their customers 
asked for stopping distance information. 

Admittedly, the GM and Suzuki surveys, as well 
as the agency's own research of this topic, show 
that most consumers do not request stopping 
distance information from dealers. However, 
NHTSA does not believe that consumer informa- 
tion requirements need to be justified by a majority 
vote of consumers. If majority use of information 
were the test, it seems likely that few, if any, con- 
sumer information requirements could pass this 
test. For instance, whether or not most consumers 
read the list of ingredients on processed food, the 
point of that consumer information requirement, 
as is the case for the stopping distance information 
requirements, is to permit those consumers that 
choose to do so to obtain useful comparative infor- 
mation on different products before deciding which 
of the products to purchase. The surveys submitted 
by the commenters and the agency's own research 
indicate that some consumers do use the informa- 
tion in this manner. The agency believes this 
number is not insignificant. NHTSA believes it 
would be inappropriate to curtail the amount of in- 
formation available to these consumers simply 
because other consumers do not use this informa- 
tion when making their purchase decisions. 

American Motors Corporation commented that 
there was no evidence that stopping distance in- 
formation was actually used by consumers in 
making the purchase decision. Mercedes-Benz com- 
mented that it was doubtful that stopping distance 
information would be a decisive criterion for a con- 
sumer in choosing a particular car. As noted above, 
the agency's consumer research indicated that a 



small minority of consumers are interested in stop- 
ping distance information. Some consumers 
asserted that stopping distance information could 
be used as an indicator for assessing the car as a 
whole, while others perceived stopping distance in- 
formation as crucial information all by itself These 
research findings do not directly contradict the 
assertions of either commenter. However, the find- 
ings do indicate that some consumers are in- 
terested in stopping distance information and that 
the information would be useful to those consumers 
when making their purchase decisions. Since this 
is the reason for requiring the information to be 
made available, NHTSA is not persuaded by the 
manufacturers' comments. 

Several commenters stated that stopping 
distance information as currently reported is not 
useful to consumers. Volkswagen stated that the 
example offered in the NPRM of the differing 
reported stopping distances for the three largest 
U.S. automakers illustrated why the stopping 
distance information was not useful to consumers. 
The NPRM noted that the 1982 stopping distances 
reported by Ford and Chrysler showed that all of 
their domestically produced vehicles stop at exactly 
the maximum distance permitted by Standard No. 
105, Hydraulic Brake Systems (49 CFR §571.105), 
while GM reported that its vehicles stopped on 
average in about 5 percent less than the maximum 
permissible distance. 

First, Volkswagen stated its doubts that both 
Ford and Chrysler build all of their cars to stop 
exactly at the limit prescribed by Standard No. 
105. Instead, Volkswagen stated that the reported 
stopping distances do not reflect the actual 
performance of the vehicles, but are "very con- 
servative estimates." Volkswagen stated that the 
companies have a very strong incentive to over- 
state the actual stopping distances, so as to 
minimize consumer complaints that the car does 
not perform up to expectations. By being "con- 
servative," Volkswagen stated that the manufac- 
turers avoid consumer complaints, but also dilute 
the usefulness of the stopping distance information 
for comparative purposes. Hence, Volkswagen con- 
cluded that the requirement to provide stopping 
distance information should be rescinded 
altogether. 

NHTSA does not agree with Volkswagen's 
premise that most manufacturers will follow this 
practice of reporting conservative estimates. For 
1986, Ford and Chrysler were the only manufac- 
turers that reported that their vehicles stopped at 
the limit specified in Standard No. 105. The other 
16 manufacturers reported some value under that 
limit. Additionally, two manufacturers have in- 



PART 575-PRE 147 



eluded stopping distance information in some of 
their television advertising during the past two 
years. This indicates either that those manufac- 
turers believe that stopping distance information 
is an aspect of vehicle performance in which some 
consumers are mterested or that stopping distance 
is indicative of the image they are trying to achieve 
for their vehicles. In either case, the advertising 
strategy of these manufacturers uses stopping 
distance information to distinguish the perform- 
ance of one vehicle from another to try to influence 
consumers. Thus, no matter how plausible the 
Volkswagen premise sounds, it is simply not borne 
out by the facts. 

Even if the premise were true, it is not clear to 
the agency why the commenter concluded that the 
requirement to report stopping distance informa- 
tion should be rescinded for all manufacturers, 
since some manufacturers have chosen not to 
report useful stopping distance information. To the 
contrary, it seems more responsible to conclude 
that some steps should be taken to encourage all 
manufacturers to report more representative stop- 
ping distance information. Indeed, it is possible 
that the marketplace itself will force manufac- 
turers to report more representative stopping 
distance information, if the aforementioned adver- 
tising campaigns are effective. Alternatively, the 
agency could "market" the facts about stopping 
distance: stopping distance is an important safety 
attribute of a vehicle, not all comparable vehicles 
perform equally, and good driving skills become 
better when combined with better braking perform- 
ance. By trying to get all manufacturers to provide 
more reprevsentative stopping distance information 
to consumers, the agency would better achieve its 
goal of informing consumers of performance dif- 
ferences in cars. If the agency rescinded the stop- 
ping distance requirements altogether, it would 
have simply abandoned that goal. 

The Automobile Club of Southern California 
(ACSC) also directed its comments towards the 
practice of some vehicle manufacturers just 
publishing the limits allowed under Standard No. 
105 as the stopping distance for all of their vehicles. 
ACSC commented that disseminating such infor- 
mation is not useful to consumers, and recom- 
mended that Standard No. 105 be reevaluated by 
the agency to determine if the results obtained ac- 
cording to Standard No. 105's test procedures are 
sufficiently accurate and useful as probable indices 
of the braking performance for the vehicles tested. 
This comment was probably based on the erroneous 
assumption that vehicle manufacturers are re- 
quired to report the actual stopping distances 
measured under Standard No. 105 as the stopping 



distance information under Part 575. Instead, Part 
575 requires only that vehicle manufacturers 
report stopping distance values that can be met or 
exceeded by the group of vehicles in question. Those 
manufacturers that have chosen to report the 
Standard No. 105 stopping distance limit for all 
their vehicles have chosen a value that can be 
exceeded by the overwhelming majority of vehicles. 
If a regulatory change were chosen as the means 
for addressing this problem, it could be accom- 
plished by amending Part 575 without changing 
the test procedures in Standard No. 105. 

As stated earlier, Volkswagen commented on the 
NPRM's example that the 1982 stopping distance 
information reported by the three largest U.S. auto 
manufacturers showed that two of the three 
reported that all their vehicles stopped in the 
maximum distance allowed by Standard No. 105, 
while the other manufacturer reported that its 
vehicles generally stopped in a distance that was 
5 percent less than the maximum allowed under 
Standard No. 105. According to Volkswagen, the 
5 percent shorter stopping distance was "inconse- 
quential" and "certainly not a good reason to 
purchase a vehicle." This comment misunder- 
stands the purpose of the consumer information 
regulations. Under these regulations, manufac- 
turers of new vehicles are required to provide con- 
sumers with pertinent safety information about the 
particular vehicles they might purchase. Thus, 
whether or not a 5 percent stopping distance dif- 
ference is a good reason to choose a pailiculai- vehi- 
cle, it is a decision to be made by consumers and 
making such information available to consumers 
is the underlying purpose of the consumer infor- 
mation regulations. 

American Motors Corporation stated its opinion 
that a consumer information program is not needed 
for stopping distance, because Standard No. 105 
already specifies performance requirements for 
vehicle stopping distance. What is omitted from 
this argument is that Standard No. 105, like all 
of the Federal motor vehicle safety standards, 
merely establishes minimum levels of performance 
necessary for safe operation of vehicles on the 
public roads. The amount by which a vehicle 
exceeds those minimum levels, if any, is still rele- 
vant and useful information for consumers contem- 
plating the purchase of that vehicle. Therefore, 
NHTSA does not find this argument persuasive. 

After considering all the comments received, this 
agency has decided to amend Part 575 to incor- 
porate the proposed actions with respect to the 
dissemination of stopping distance information. 
Vehicle manufacturers are no longer required to 
provide stopping distance information to the first 



PART 575-PRE 148 



purchasers of new vehicles at the time of delivery 
of the vehicle. As noted in the NPRM, the purpose 
of requiring the dissemination of the stopping 
distance information is to provide consumers with 
relevant safety information on the different vehi- 
cle models they are considering purchasing. Re- 
quiring such information to be provided to con- 
sumers after they have just purchased a new vehi- 
cle does not serve this piu pose. As explained at the 
beginning of this preamble, NHTSA is unaware of 
any other purpose that would be served by 
providing stopping distance information to con- 
sumers after they have purchased a new vehicle. 
No commenters disagreed with this proposed deter- 
mination, or suggested some purpose that would 
be served by providing stopping distance informa- 
tion after a consumer has purchased a new vehicle. 

On the other hand, the agency believes that the 
requirements to disseminate stopping distance in- 
formation to each dealer and to this agency could 
serve the above-described intended purpose. More- 
over, this purpose can be served while imposing 
minimal burden and cost on the vehicle 
manufacturers. 

The National Automobile Dealers Association 
(NADA) indicated its support for the changes pro- 
posed in the NPRM. However, NADA asked that, 
in conjunction with the proposed amendments, the 
agency retain the requirements that manufac- 
turers provide the stopping distance information 
to dealers free of charge and in sufficient quantity. 
NHTSA did not propose to amend those re- 
quirements, and has not changed them in this rule. 
Therefore, this rule will not result in any increase 
in burden for the dealers. 

The NPRM asked for comments on the desir- 
ability of requiring the stopping distance informa- 
tion to be permanently labeled on vehicles, so as 
to ensure its availability for subsequent purchasers 
of the vehicles. One commenter, an individual, sup- 
ported this idea, stating that it was "obvious that 
labels with stopping distance information would be 
best for consumers." 

All of the other commenters that addressed this 
topic opposed the idea for a number of reasons. The 
motorcycle manufacturers stated that there is 
almost no place to put another label on a motor- 
cycle. They believed that if stopping distance in- 
formation requirements were to be retained for 
first purchasers, the manufacturers should be 
allowed to continue printing it in the owner's 
manuals. Several passenger car manufacturers 
stated that proper maintenance of the vehicle was 
a far more significant factor in a vehicle's braking 
performance for subsequent purchasers than was 
its braking performance when it was delivered to 



the first purchaser. GM commented that requiring 
permanent labels to disseminate stopping distance 
information would cost manufacturers twice as 
much as requiring the information to appear in 
owner's manuals. 

The agency sought comments on this topic to 
learn if there was an effective and inexpensive way 
to make stopping distance information available 
to prospective purchasers of used vehicles, in the 
same way that such information is available to pro- 
spective purchasers of new vehicles. If the infor- 
mation could be used for comparative purposes by 
persons shopping for a used car, NHTSA was con- 
sidering proposing a requirement that stopping 
distance information be permanently affixed to 
new vehicles. 

However, the agency agrees with the comments 
stating that maintenance of a particular vehicle 
would have the greatest impact on that particular 
vehicle's braking performance. This gives rise to 
the possibility that subsequent purchasers could 
be misled by the stopping distance information 
labeled on a vehicle. For instance, a vehicle with 
very good braking performance when it was new 
may subsequently exhibit very poor braking per- 
formance because of inadequate maintenance by 
the owner. A person purchasing the vehicle might 
be led to believe that the braking performance was 
still very good, because of the stopping distance 
label. NHTSA believes that any labeling require- 
ment for stopping distance information would give 
rise to this potential misuse. Accordingly, the 
agency has no plans to propose adopting a stopping 
distance labeling requirement. 

As explained above, the agency has concluded 
that no purpose was served by the requirement 
that vehicle manufacturers provide first pur- 
chasers with stopping distance information at the 
time of delivery of the new vehicle. The amend- 
ment made by this rule will relieve vehicle 
manufacturers of this unnecessary restriction, 
without lessening the information available to 
potential purchasers before they make a final pur- 
chase decision. Accordingly, the agency finds for 
good cause that this final rule should become 
effective immediately upon publication in the 
Federal Register, instead of 30 days after publica- 
tion as is generally required by 5 U.S.C. 553(d). 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 
575 is amended as follows: 

1. The authority citation for Part 575 is revised 
to read as set forth below and the authority sections 
following §§575.6, 575.7, and 575.104 are removed. 

AUTHORITY: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407, 1421, 
and 1423; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 



PART 575-PRE 149 



2. 49 CFR §575.6(a) is amended by revising the Issued on July 20, 1987 
first sentence to read as follows: 

§575.6 Requirements. 

(a) At the time a motor vehicle is delivered to the 
first purchaser for purposes other than resale, the 
manufacturer of that vehicle shall provide to the 



purchaser, in writing and in the English language, Diane K. Steed 

the information specified in §§575.103 and 575.104 Administrator 

of this part that is applicable to that vehicle and (52 F R 27806 

^' '''''■ July 24, 1987 



PART 575-PRE 150 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 
(Docket 88-04; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final rule 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Standard No. 109, 
New Pneumatic Tires, to include an additional max- 
imum inflation pressure, 340 kPa, in the Standard. 
Before the effective date of this rule, the Standard re- 
quires that the maximum permissible inflation 
pressure for each tire must be either 32, 36, 40 or 60 
psi, or 240, 280 or 300 kPa. The European Tyre and 
Rim Technical Organization (E.T.R.T.O.) submitted 
a petition for rulemaking requesting the inclusion of 
the 340 kPa pressure. After evaluating the petition 
and comments on the proposal, NHTSA has decided 
to include 340 kPa as a permissible inflation pressure. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 20, 1988 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Until the effec- 
tive date of this rule. Standard No. 109, New 
Pneumatic Tires, requires that the maximum per- 
missible inflation pressure for each tire must be 32, 
36, 40 or 60 psi, or 240, 280 or 300 kPa. The standard 
specifies differing test criteria depending upon the 
maximum permissible inflation pressure. 

The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organiza- 
tion (E.T.R.T.O.) submitted a petition for rulemaking 
requesting the inclusion of an additional inflation 
pressure, 340 kPa, in Standard No. 109. The peti- 
tioner stated that its members are receiving requests 
with increasing frequency from vehicle manufac- 
turers for reinforced tires at an inflation pressure 
higher than 300 kPa, for purposes of safety and op- 
timum vehicle handling. The requests for these tires 
are primarily for station wagons. E.T.R.T.O. re- 
quested that a pressure of 340 kPa be added, so that 
the standard inflation pressure for reinforced tires 
(280 kPa) can be increased for special performance re- 
quirements with no increase in tire load capacity. 

On January 18, 1988, NHTSA published a notice 
of proposed rulemaking to allow a new maximum per- 
missible tire inflation pressure. (53 FR 936.) NHTSA 
addressed petitions raising almost identical issues in 
1978. As discussed in the January 18, proposal, the 
300 kPa maximum pressure for non-reinforced tires 
was added to the standard in response to those peti- 
tions. The relationship of the 300 kPa non-reinforced 



tire to the standard inflation pressure (240 kPa) non- 
reinforced tire is analogous to that of the 340 kPa 
reinforced tire to the 280 kPa reinforced tire. Thus, 
NHTSA tentatively concluded that the 340 kPa tire 
pressure should be added to Standard No. 109 for the 
same reasons the 300 kPa pressure was added. The 
agency explained its reason in detail in the January 
18 proposal. 

The agency received comments from Chrysler 
Motors Corporation, General Motors Corporation, 
General Tire, and Volkswagen of America. Each com- 
menter endorsed the proposal. NHTSA is adopting the 
proposed changes for the reasons expressed in the 
proposal. 

Further, the agency is issuing a conforming amend- 
ment to Table 1, 49 CFR 575.104, Uniform Tire Qual- 
ity Grading Standards, to set out the 340 kPa max- 
imum permissible inflation pressure. The agency in- 
advertently neglected to propose the Table 1 amend- 
ment when NHTSA issued the proposed rule. Without 
such an amendment, NHTSA could not conduct com- 
pliance testing for UTQGS of tires with a 340 kPa 
maximum inflation pressure. The agency finds that 
there is good cause for amending Table 1 without 
notice and comment because the amendment adds no 
new substantive requirement for tires with a 340 kPa 
maximum inflation pressure. 

The agency finds that there is good cause for mak- 
ing this final rule effective in less than 180 days 
because the amendment relieves a restriction, and 
permits the sale of tires that can provide better per- 
formance without any negative impact on safety. 

Impact Assessments 

The agency has analyzed this proposal and deter- 
mined that it is neither "major" within the meaning 
of Executive Order 12291, nor "significant" within 
the meaning of the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures. The amendments 
do not impose new requirements for current tires, but 
instead permit a new category of tire. Since the new 
tires can provide better performance, the amend- 
ments will result in consumer benefits. 

In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
NHTSA has evaluated the effects of this action on 



PART 575-PRE 151 



small entities. I certify that this final rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The agency believes that 
few of the tire manufacturers qualify as small 
businesses. Any tire manufacturers that do qualify 
as small businesses might benefit to a small extent 
by being permitted to produce these new tires. Small 
non-profit organizations and small governmental 
units are affected by the final rule only to the extent 
that they purchase motor vehicles. These small en- 
tities may benefit to a small extent if they purchase 
vehicles with these new tires. 

The agency has analyzed this action under prin- 
ciples and criteria of Executive Order 12612, and has 
determined that this final rule does not have suffi- 
cient Federalism implications to warrant preparing 
a Federalism Assessment. 

Finally, the agency has considered the environmen- 
tal implications of this proposed rule in accordance 
with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
and determined that the rule does not have any 
significant impact on the human environment. 

PART 571-lAMENDED] 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Parts 571 
and 575 are amended as follows: 

Section 571.109 [Amended] 
S4.2.1(b) is revised to read as follows: 
Cb) Its maximum permissible inflation pressure 



shall be either 32, 36, 40 or 60 psi, or 240, 280, 300 
or 340 kPa. 
S4.2.2.2 is revised to read as follows: 
S4.2.2.2 Physical dimensions. The actual section 
width and overall width for each tire measured in ac- 
cordance with S5.1, shall not exceed the section width 
specified in a submission made by an individual 
manufacturer, pursuant to S4.4.1(a) or in one of the 
publications described in S4.4.1(b) for its size designa- 
tion and type by more than: 

(1) (For tires with a maximum permissible inflation 
pressure of 32, 36, or 40 psi) 7 percent, or 

(2) (Por tires with a maximum permissible inflation 
pressure of 60 psi or 240, 280, 300, or 340 kPa) 7 per- 
cent or 0.4 inch, whichever is larger. 

S4.3.4 is revised to read as follows: 
S4.3.4 If the maximum inflation pressure of a tire 
is 240, 280, 300, or 340 kPa, then: 

(a) Each marking of that inflation pressure pur- 
suant to S4.3(b) shall be followed in parenthesis by 
the equivalent inflation pressure in psi, rounded to 
the next higher whole number; and 

(b) Each marking of the tire's maximum load rating 
pursuant to S4.3(c) in kilograms shall be followed in 
parenthesis by the equivalent load rating in pounds, 
rounded to the nearest whole number. 

Tables I-A, I-B and I-C of Appendix A are revised 
to read as follows: 
Table II of Appendix A is revised to read as follows: 

Table 1 of PART 575 is amended to read as follows: 



57 1.109- Appendix A 
Table I-A For Bias Ply Tires With Designated Section Width of 6 Inches and Above 



Cord Material 


Maximum permissible inflation 




32 Ib/in^ 


36 Ib/in^ 


40 lb/in= 


240 kPa 


280 kPa 


300 kPa 


340 kPa 


Rayon (in-lbs) 


1,650 
2,600 


2,574 
3,900 


3,300 
5,200 


1,650 
2,600 


3,300 
5,200 


1,650 
2,600 


3,300 


Nylon or polyester (in-lbs). . . 


5,200 



I 



PART 575-PRE 152 



571.109-Appendix A 
Table I-B For Bias Ply Tires With Designated Section Width Below 6 Inches 



Cord Material 






Maximum 


permissible inflation 








32 Ib/in^ 


36 Ib/in^ 


40 Ib/in^ 


240 kPa 


280 kPa 


300 kPa 


340 kPa 


Ravon (in-lbs) 


1,000 
1,950 


1,875 
2,925 


2,500 
3,900 


1,000 
1,950 


2,500 
3,900 


1,000 
1,950 


2,500 


Nylon or polyester (in-lbs). . . 


3,900 



571.109-Appendix A 
Table I-C For Radial Ply Tires 



Size Designation 


Maximum permissible inflation 




32 Ib/in^ 


36 Ib/in^ 


40 Ib/in^ 


240 kPa 


280 kPa 


300 kPa 


340 kPa 


Below 160 mm (in-lbs) 

160 mm or above (in-lbs). . . . 


1,950 
2,600 


2,925 
3,900 


3,900 
5,200 


1,950 
2,600 


3,900 
5,200 


1,950 
2,600 


3,900 
5,200 



571.109-Appendix A 
Table II— Test Inflation Pressures 



Maximum permissible 
inflation pressure 


32 Ib/in^ 


36 lb/in'' 


40 Ib/in^ 


60 Ib/in^ 


240 kPa 


280 kPa 


300 kPa 


340 kPa 


Pressure to be used in 


















tests for physical 
dimensions, bead 


















unseating, tire 
strength, and tire 
endurance 


24 


28 


32 


52 


180 


220 


180 


220 


Pressure to be used in 


















test for high-speed 
performance 


30 


34 


38 


59 


220 


260 


220 


260 



Issued on May 11, 1988 



PART 575-PRE 153-54 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

53 F.R. 17950 
May 19, 1988 f 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 

Vehicle Owner's Manual 

(Docket No. 88-13; Notice 2) 

RIN 2127-AC72 

ACTION: Final Rule. 



SUMMARY: This final rule amends the Consumer 
Information Regulations to require vehicle manufac- 
turers to include information in the owner's manual 
for each vehicle about NHTSA's toll-free Auto Safety 
Hotline and its defect investigation and remedy and 
recall authority. This requirement will allow 
NHTSA to obtain more information, more expedi- 
tiously about potential safety-related defects and 
noncompliances with safety standards. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 1, 1990. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 
On May 26, 1987, Motor Voters, a consumer organ- 
ization interested in motor vehicle safety, petitioned 
I the agency to require manufacturers of passenger 
vehicles to include information about NHTSA in the 
vehicle owners' manuals. Specifically, the petitioner 
requested that the agency require information ad- 
vising owners about NHTSA's safety defect author- 
ity and urging them to contact the agency about 
potential safety defects in their vehicles. To facilitate 
contacting the agency, the petitioner requested that 
the agency require manufacturers to include the 
toll-free telephone number of the Auto Safety Hot- 
line and the agency's address. The petitioner sug- 
gested that the message explain that while the 
agency has authority to investigate defects and 
order recall and remedy campaigns, it does not 
become directly involved in the dealings of a partic- 
ular consumer with a manufacturer of a motor 
vehicle regarding a defect in that vehicle. 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 

In response to the petition, on November 10, 1988, 

NHTSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 

(NPRM) proposing to amend title 49 CFR Part 575, 

Consumer Information Regulations. (53 PR 45527). 

The NPRM explained that the National Traffic and 

Motor Vehicle Safety Act ("Vehicle Safety Act." 15 

k U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) requires manufacturers of motor 

^ vehicles and motor vehicle equipment to recall and 

remedy vehicles and equipment that are determined 



by the manufacturer or NHTSA to contain either a 
safety-related defect or a failure to comply with a 
Federal motor vehicle safety standard issued under 
the Vehicle Safety Act. The NPRM further noted 
that the agency's most important source of data used 
to identify defects which relate to motor vehicle 
safety is the consumer complaints made by persons 
calling the agency's toll-free Auto Safety Hotline. In 
1987, the agency received 332,659 calls on the Hot- 
line, of which 75 percent concerned alleged defects or 
recall information. In addition, over 15,092 of these 
Hotline callers followed by up completing and re- 
turning to NHTSA detailed Vehicle Owner Ques- 
tionnaires which were mailed by the agency to 
callers reporting defects and seeking recall informa- 
tion. The NPRM also noted that a longstanding 
agency goal is to enhance publication of the Auto 
Safety Hotline and to improve the process of getting 
information from consumers about potential safety 
defects. The NPRM explained the agency's plans to 
publicize the Hotline through public service an- 
nouncements in the media, through consumer and 
corporate safety offices, in telephone books, and 
through programs with State transportation agencies. 
NHTSA tentatively concluded that the inclusion 
of the requested information in each owner's manual 
would be an important addition to NHTSA's public 
information campaign to increase consumer aware- 
ness of the Hotline and the agency's efforts to 
strengthen its defect investigation activities. The 
agency stated its tentative belief that including the 
Hotline number in owners' manuals would put that 
number in the hands of millions of motor vehicle 
purchasers at virtually no additional cost. Moreover, 
the NPRM noted that since owners typically refer to 
their manuals periodically throughout the owner- 
ship of their vehicles, especially when they are 
experiencing vehicle problems, the Hotline number 
printed in the manuals would be seen many times. 
The agency stated that inclusion of the Hotline 
number in manuals would be particularly important 
for new car owners, since it would produce a higher 
volume of calls about potential safety defects earlier 
in a vehicle's life. The agency believed that this 



PART 575; PRE 155 



would be particularly important to detect defects in 
newly introduced models. 

The NPRM accordingly proposed to amend section 
575.6 of the Consumer Information Regulations to 
require motor vehicle manufacturers to include in- 
formation about NHTSA's recall and remedy author- 
ity and about the Auto Safety Hotline in the owner's 
manual. The agency proposed requiring that all new 
motor vehicles, not just "passenger vehicles," be 
subject to the proposed amendment. The agency 
explained that facilitating owner reporting of poten- 
tial safety defects would be important for all types of 
motor vehicles. The agency also made minor 
changes in the information requirements requested 
in the petition. 

The proposed amendment required a manufac- 
turer to state in each owner's manual that consum- 
ers may contact NHTSA if they believe that their 
vehicle contains a safety defect. The proposed 
amendment also required that the manuals include 
the toll-free Hotline telephone number and agency 
address. Finally, the proposed amendment required 
that manufacturers include in the manuals a state- 
ment about the agency's authority to order a safety 
recall if it finds that a safety defect exists in a group 
of vehicles. 

Comments and The Agency's Response 
NHTSA received 24 comments in response to the 
NPRM. Commenters included 15 automotive manu- 
facturers and automotive affiliates; four academic, 
medical, and insurance groups; and five consumers 
and consumer organizations. The agency considered 
all these comments in developing this final rule. 

General Comments 

American Honda, American Insurance Associa- 
tion (AIA), Cagiva Motorcycle of North America, 
Children's Mercy Hospital, the National Consumers 
League (NCL), the University of Maryland's Center 
for Business and Public Policy, US Public Interest 
Research Group ("US Pirg"), and several citizens 
favored the proposal. US Pirg stated that the pro- 
posal would be a cost-effective and efficient way to 
improve consumer awareness of the Hotline. NCL 
commented that this measure would further the 
agency's need to receive information about safety 
defects so that the agency can protect the consumer. 

On the other hand, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors 
(GM), General Tire, Mercedes, Michelin, the Motor 
Vehicle Manufacturers Association (MVMA), the 
National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), 
Navistar, Volkswagen and Volvo opposed the pro- 
posal. NADA stated that there was no need for the 
rule and suggested NHTSA reevaluate the proposal. 
MVMA similarly commented that there was no 
safety need for this requirement. Ford, Michelin, 



MVMA, Chrysler, General Tire, GM, and Volkswa- 
gen elaborated that the proposal was unnecessary, 
might adversely affect customer manufacturer rela- 
tions, delay corrective action, and overburden the 
agency's resources to respond to calls. Mercedes 
stated that the proposal would give consumers the 
false impression that they could receive immediate 
action related to their problems and that resolution 
of the problem would be delayed. Volvo commented 
that the rule would not be in the best interests of the 
vehicle owners, who would be better served by con- 
tacting the manufacturer rather than NHTSA. 

Upon considering these comments in light of cur- 
rent trends in consumer awareness, NHTSA con- 
cludes that the benefits of increasing the availability 
of information about consumer remedies support the 
inclusion of information about the agency in the 
owner's manuals. Calls to the Hotline decreased 
from about 332,000 in 1987 to 252,000 in 1988, a 
reduction of about 24 percent. In turn, receipt of 
Vehicle Owner's Questionnaires decreased from 
about 15,000 in 1987 to about 12,000 in 1988. The 
agency believes that this new information will in- 
crease consumer awareness about the Hotline and 
the agency's defect investigation activities, espe- 
cially for newly introduced models, and thus will 
improve the agency's information about potential 
safety defects and noncompliances. The agency is 
accordingly adopting the proposals. The increased 
dissemination of information about NHTSA will 
enable the agency to identify, investigate, and re- 
solve potential problems more rapidly, because the 
agency will have a more extensive and more timely 
data base for analyzing owners' experiences with a 
given problem. 

Chrysler, MVMA, and Volkswagen disagreed with 
the statement in the NPRM that the Hotline was the 
agency's most important source of data used to 
identify safety-related defects. Although the com- 
menters are correct in noting that many recalls are 
initiated by manufacturers based on their own tests 
and field evaluations, the statement referred to 
NHTSA's own investigations, which continue to in- 
fluence a high percentage of the total vehicles re- 
called and which rely heavily on consumer contacts 
through the Hotline. 

Message's Language 
The NPRM proposed to require the following mes- 
sage in the owner's manual: 

If you believe that a vehicle or item of motor 
vehicle equipment (such as tires, lamps, etc.) 
has a potential safety-related defect, you may 
notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Ad- 
ministration (NHTSA). You may either call toll 
free at 800-424-9393 (or 366-0123 in Washing- 
ton, D.C.) or write Administrator, NHTSA, 400 



i 



PART 575; PRE 156 



Seventh Street, S.W., Washington D.C. 20590. 
NHTSA investigates alleged safety-related de- 
fects and may order a recall and remedy cam- 
paign if it finds that a safety defect exists in a 
group of vehicles and the manufacturer does not 
voluntarily conduct a recall and remedy cam- 
paign. However, NHTSA does not become di- 
rectly involved in the dealings between a partic- 
ular consumer and a vehicle manufacturer 
regarding a defect in the consumer's vehicle. 
Mercedes and other manufacturers commented 
that this proposed language would hinder their 
relationship with their customers by delaying the 
correction of vehicle problems and by providing the 
unrealistic expectation that NHTSA can remedy the 
problem. According to these commenters, a con- 
sumer should contact the manufacturer before con- 
tacting the agency because the manufacturer is in a 
better position to actually remedy a safety related 
defect. 

In response to this comment, NHTSA iterates that 
requiring this message will help to publicize the 
Auto Safety Hotline and NHTSA's related activities. 
The agency believes that NHTSA might lose valu- 
able information from owners if the message did not 
initially focus on the agency's information collection 
responsibilities. For instance, in order for NHTSA to 
react quickly to reports of a defect trend, it is 
necessary for the agency to receive the information 
I as soon as possible. The agency believes that this 
invitation for early consumer communication to 
NHTSA will also encourage manufacturers to act 
quickly to address consumer concerns. The agency 
further notes that even if NHTSA is contacted first, 
a manufacturer still will become aware of a problem 
because the agency will notify them about these 
complaints. 

NHTSA nevertheless agrees with the commenters 
that the public should be instructed to also contact 
the manufacturer. Therefore, the agency has revised 
the message to state that a consumer should also 
contact the manufacturer or its designate (e.g., its 
authorized dealer) to resolve safety-related or other 
problems with the vehicle. In addition, the final rule 
explains NHTSA's authority and limitations more 
clearly. NHTSA believes that these modifications 
will increase the effectiveness of the message. 

The agency emphasizes that NHTSA's message is 
mandatory, and thus a manufacturer cannot modify 
or otherwise vary it. Nevertheless, the agency notes 
that a manufacturer may place additional language 
elsewhere in the owner's manual encouraging a 
vehicle owner to contact them, provided that this 
additional information is not included in the mes- 
^sage required by NHTSA and does not otherwise 
^dilute the content of the required message. 

GM suggested that the message be written in a 



"plain English" style. After reexamining the propos- 
al's wording, NHTSA agrees with GM that to in- 
crease the final rule's effectiveness, the message 
should be written in an easily understood style. 
Accordingly, the final rule adopts more simplified 
wording whenever such wording does not misstate 
the legalities or realities of NHTSA's defect investi- 
gation and recall and remedy program. 

Volkswagen commented that listing examples of 
equipment would result in consumers overreporting 
those items of equipment. In response to this com- 
ment, NHTSA has decided to eliminate these exam- 
ples in the required message. The agency agrees 
with Volkswagen that including examples might 
bias the reporting and thus provide an inacciu-ate 
record of overall complaints about equipment. Ac- 
cordingly, the final rule deletes reference to "tires, 
lamps, etc." 

Several commenters noted that the proposed mes- 
sage should include more information than the 
NPRM proposed. The American Insurance Associa- 
tion (AIA) and Gillis and Associates stated that the 
final rule should contain information about other 
NHTSA activities such as drunk driving and odom- 
eter fraud. The NCL commented that NHTSA 
should expand the message to inform consumers 
that they should contact other consumer organiza- 
tions such as the Better Business B\u"eau. NADA 
suggested that the required message should state 
that consumers should initially refer to the war- 
ranty booklet's section concerning dispute resolu- 
tion and then contact the manufacturer. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA has de- 
cided to include a general statement that a con- 
sumer can "get other information about motor vehi- 
cle safety from the Hotline." Nevertheless, the 
agency believes that the final rule should not in- 
clude detailed information about NHTSA's other 
consumer protection matters. The agency notes that 
the principal purpose of this rule is to disseminate 
information about the Auto Safety Hotline and 
NHTSA's defect investigation authority which will 
lead to the increased reporting of potential safety 
defects and noncompliances with safety standards. 
The agency further notes that the rule is not in- 
tended as an all-encompassing source of consumer 
information. NHTSA believes that if the message 
were required to address all the agency's activities 
and consumer protection, then the most important 
information about this rulemaking (the Hotline and 
NHTSA's defect investigation authority) would be 
obscured. 

The agency notes that upon contacting the Auto 
Safety Hotline, the caller will receive information about 
NHTSA's other activities. As for consumer protection 
information (e.g., warranty information), NHTSA notes 



PART 575; PRE 157 



that this type of activity is beyond the agency's statutory 
mandate. 

Applicability of Requirement 
Motor Voter's petition requested that NHTSA re- 
quire "passenger vehicle manufacturers" to include 
information about the Hotline and the agency's 
defect investigation authority. The NPRM expanded 
the applicability of this requirement to "all new 
motor vehicles," reasoning that "facilitating owner 
reporting of potential safety defects is important for 
all types of motor vehicles." 

US Pirg agreed with NHTSA's decision to expand 
the requirement's applicability to all motor vehicles. 
The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association 
(TTMA) commented that the rule would create prob- 
lems for small truck trailer manufacturers, some of 
which currently do not provide an owner's manual. 
After reviewing these comments, NHTSA con- 
cludes that the final rule should be applicable to all 
motor vehicles, because any vehicle type may expe- 
rience a safety-related defect. However, to accommo- 
date a manufacturer that does not provide an 
"owner's manual," as defined in section 572.2(c) of 
the final rule, the rule provides that the manufac- 
turer may provide the information in a separate 
one-page document to be included with the sales 
documents. In other words, a manufacturer must 
include the required information in the owner's 
manual if it provides one, or in a separate document 
if it provides no manual. 

Placement of Information 

The NADA suggested that a manufacturer be 
given the option of including the required informa- 
tion in the warranty booklet rather than in the 
owner's manual, claiming that consumers would 
more likely look in the warranty booklet for assis- 
tance with defect matters. GM stated that the man- 
ufacturer was in the best position to determine 
placement of the required information, suggesting 
that this information be placed in its "Warranty and 
Owner Assistance Information" booklet. GM stated 
that a manufacturer should not be required to place 
this information in the owner's manual. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA has de- 
termined that the manufacturer must include this 
information in the owner's manual. The agency 
believes that requiring the information to be placed 
in the owner's manual will promote uniformity 
among manufacturers. In addition, NHTSA notes 
that placing the information in the warranty book 
would be less effective because the warranty lasts for 
a finite time (often much less than the life of the 
vehicle), after which a vehicle owner would have 
little reason to retain the book. In contrast, many 
manufacturers state in the owner's manual that this 



document should stay with the vehicle for its life, 
even if it is sold. Thus, it is more likely that a vehicle's 
owner or owners will retain the owner's manual for a 
longer time period than the warranty booklet. The M 
agency notes that a manxrfacturer may place this " 
information in any additional document provided that 
it includes this information in the owner's manual. 

The agency is aware that manufacturers refer to 
such documents by many terms, including "Owner's 
Guide," "Owner's Handbook," or "Operating In- 
structions." Accordingly, the final rule expressly 
defines an "owner's manual" in section 575.2(c) as 
"the document which contains the manufacturer's 
comprehensive vehicle operating [and maintenance] 
instructions, and which is intended to remain with 
the vehicle for the life of the vehicle." 

Several organizations commented about the place- 
ment of this information within the owner's manual. 
Volvo Truck stated that a manufacturer should have 
discretion about where it places the information. 
Volkswagen stated that this information be placed 
near the information on customer assistance. Gillis 
and the Center for Business and Policy did not 
suggest a specific location in the manual but noted 
that the agency should require that a manufacturer 
refer to it in the table of contents. US Pirg suggested 
that the agency require the information to be placed 
in a prominent location such as the front or back 
cover to prevent a manufacturer from "bury(ing)" it. j 
NCL stated that the agency should specify the fl 
location to reduce reporting discrepancies. It sug- ^ 
gested in order of preference that the information be 
placed opposite the first page of the table of contents, 
on the inside front cover, in the text preceding the 
maintenance schedule, or on the inside back cover. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA agrees 
with Volvo Truck that a manufacturer should be given 
discretion about where it places the information. The 
agency believes that requiring the table of contents to 
include reference to the Hotline will adequately en- 
sure that vehicle owner's will see this information. 
Accordingly, section 575.6(aX2XB) of the final rule also 
requires that the table of contents in the owner's 
manual specify the location of the information about 
NHTSA. In particular, the heading must be entitled 
"Reporting Safety Defects" and include the corre- 
sponding page number to effectively alert consumers 
and to provide uniformity as to the heading. 

Two commenters offered their views on the type 
size. Volvo GM Heavy Truck requested that the type 
size be left to the manufacturer's discretion. NCL 
commented that the rule should specify a minimum 
point size for the type. It further stated that NHTSA 
should specify a minimum amount of space not less 
than one-half page for this information. ^ 

NHTSA has concluded that to be easily readable^ 
the required message must be written in letters and 



PART 575; PRE 158 



numbers not smaller than 10 point type, and has 
incorporated that requirement in the final rule. The 
agency notes that the point type size is consistent 
with the labeling requirements in S5.5.2 of Standard 
No. 213. The agency concludes that it is superfluous 
to specify a minimum page length because the final 
rule specifies the type size and the message itself 

Effective Date 

The NPRM proposed that the rule would become 
effective "180 days after the publication of the final 
rule." Several manufacturers requested that the 
effective date coincide with the start of the model 
year to avoid unnecessary costs that would result in 
reprinting manuals during the middle of a model 
year American Honda suggested that the effective 
date coincide with the change in model year Volvo 
GM Heavy Truck requested that the effective date be 
changed to "January 1, or at the option of the 
manufacturer, the time of model year change-over" 
Cagiva, which changes its motorcycle models every 
two to four years, requested an effective date that 
would "allow us adequate lead time to incorporate 
the regulatory language" at the start of its model 
run. Chrysler recommended an effective date of the 
"first day of September occurring 180 days after 
publication of the final rule." Navistar requested an 
effective date of 270 days after the final rule's 
publication. US Pirg noted that the agency should 
"act promptly." 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA deter- 
mines that the effective date will be September 1, 
1990, which typically is the beginning of a model 
year for most vehicles. The agency believes that this 
effective date will allow the timely inclusion of this 
information at little or no cost to the manufacturers. 

Cagiva requested that the final rule allow it to 
exhaust its supply of already printed manuals, ex- 
plaining that its model runs may extend up to four 
years. A manufacturer whose models run for more 
than one year may comply with the final rule by 
placing an add-on-sticker on its existing manuals, 
until this supply is exhausted. The agency believes 
that this will ensure that consumers receive the 
information while minimizing the costs related to 
this rule for manufacturers like Cagiva. 

Section 575.2(c) is amended by adding the follow- 
ing definition of "Owner's manual" after the defini- 
tion for "Maximum loaded vehicle weight" and 
before the definition for "Skid number": 



operating and maintenance instructions, and which 
is intended to remain with the vehicle for the life of 
the vehicle. 

Section 575.6(a) is revised by redesignating the 
existing language as Section 575.6(aXl), and adding 
a new Section 575.6(aX2), to read as follows: 

§575.6 Requirements. 

(aXl) * * * 

(2XA) At the time a motor vehicle manufactured 
on or after September 1, 1990 is delivered to the first 
purchaser for purposes other than resale, the man- 
ufacturer shall provide to the purchaser, in writing 
in the English language and not less than 10 point 
type, the following statement in the owner's man- 
ual, or, if there is no owner's manual, on a one-page 
document: 

"If you believe that your vehicle has a defect 
which could cause a crash or could cause injury 
or death, you should immediately inform the 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administra- 
tion (NHTSA) in addition to notifying [INSERT 
NAME OF MANUFACTURER]. 
If NHTSA receives similar complaints, it may 
open an investigation, and if it finds that a 
safety defect exists in a group of vehicles, it may 
order a recall and remedy campaign. However, 
NHTSA cannot become involved in individual 
problems between you, your dealer, or [INSERT 
NAME OF MANUFACTURER.] 
lb contact NHTSA, you may either call the Auto 
Safety Hotline toll-free at 1-800-424-9393 (or 
366-0123 in the Washington D.C. area) or write 
to: NHTSA, U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Washington, D.C. 20590. You can also obtain 
other information about motor vehicle safety 
from the Hotline." 

(2XB) The manufacturer shall specify in the table 
of contents of the owner's manual the location of the 
statement in 575.6(aX2XA). The heading in the table 
of contents shall state "Reporting Safety Defects." 

Issued on: November 21, 1989 



(c) Definitions used in this part. 

"Owner's manual" means the document which 
contains the manufacturer's comprehensive vehicle 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Acting Administrator 

54 F.R. 48745 
November 27, 1989 



PART 575; PRE 159-160 



i 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 62) 
RIN 2127-AB21 



ACTION— Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: The Uniform Tire Quality Grading Stan- 
dards (UTQGS) require that manufacturers and brand 
name owners of passenger car tires provide consumers 
with information about the relative performance of a 
tire in terms of treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance. This notice amends the treadwear grading 
procedures by adopting four proposals that are in- 
tended to reduce the variability of the test results and 
simplify the calculations related to treadwear grades. 
First, the rule requires the wheel alignment of a test 
veh4cle to be set more precisely based on the vehicle 
manufacturer's alignment specifications. Second, the 
rule amends the requirements related to tire rotation 
so that each tire in a test convoy is driven on each wheel 
position on each vehicle for the same distance. Third, 
the rule permits the use of a simplified treadwear 
gradinig method so that tire tread depth measurements 
may be taken twice rather than nine times, rourth the 
rule replaces the previous practice of assigning grades 
in 10-point intervals to reflect the differences in tread- 
wear with a new practice of assigning grades in 
20-point intervals. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: These amendments are December 
15, 1990 except the amendment on the grading inter- 
val is effective one year after the publication of the final 
rule. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

/. Background Information 

Section 203 of the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act ("Vehicle Safety Act") requires the 
Secretary of Transportation to prescribe a "uniform 
quality grading system for motor vehicle tires." As 
explained in that section, the purpose of this system 
is to "assist the consumer to make an informed choice 
in the purchase of motor vehicle tires." The agency has 
specified these requirements in the Uniform Tire 
Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS) regulation (49 



CFR § 575.104), which requires that manufacturers or 
brand name owners of passenger car tires provide con- 
svuners with information about their tires' relative per- 
formance in terms of treadwear, traction, and 
temperature resistance. 

The primary purpose of the treadwear grades is 
to aid consumers in the selection of new tires by 
informing them of the relative amount of expected 
tread life for each tire offered for sale. This allows the 
tire purchaser to compare passenger car tires based 
on tread life. Although these treadwear grades are not 
intended to be used to predict the actual mileage that 
a particular tire will achieve, they must be reasonably 
accurate to help consumers predict the relative tread 
life. 

The treadwear grades are based on the test results 
of tires traveling 6,400 miles over a single, predeter- 
mined course on public roads near San Angelo, Texas. 
These grades represent a comparative rating of tread- 
wear on tested tires. For example, a tire graded 180 
would last one and a half times as long on the govern- 
ment course as a tire graded 120. The relative perfor- 
mance of tires, however, depends on the actual 
conditions of their use and may depart significantly 
from the norm due to variations in driving habits, 
service practices, and differences in road characteris- 
tics and climate. 

Since the treadwear upon which the grades are 
based occurs under outdoor road conditions, any com- 
parison between candidate tire performances must 
involve a standardization of results by correction for 
the particular environmental conditions of each test. 
Accordingly, the treadwear performance of a candidate 
tire is measured by comparing its wear rate with that 
of a "course monitoring tire" (GMT) run in the same 
test conditions. The treadwear of the GMT reflects 
changes in course severity due to factors such as road 
surface wear and environmental conditions and is used 
to adjust the measured treadwear of the candidate 
tire. 



PART 575-PRE 161 



Under the current regulations, each test convoy 
consists of one rear-wheel-drive passenger car with 
four CMTs and up to three other rear-wheel-drive pas- 
senger cars with the candidate tires of the same con- 
struction type. 49 CFR § 575.104(eXlH2). Candidate 
tires on the same axle must be of the identical manufac- 
turer and line, but front tires on a test vehicle may 
differ from rear tires as long as all four are of the same 
size designation. After a two circuit (800 mile) break- 
in period, the initial tread depth of each tire is deter- 
mined by averaging the depth measures in each groove 
at six equally spaced points. After each 800 miles of 
the test, each tire's tread depth is measured again in 
the same manner, the tires are rotated on the car, the 
order of the cars in the convoy is changed, and the 
wheel alignments are readjusted if necessary to come 
within he ranges of the vehicle manufacturer's specifi- 
cations. At the end of the 16-circuit test, each tire's 
overall wear rate is calculated from the tread depths 
measured after each interval by using the regression 
line technique in Appendix C of § 575.104. 

NHTSA has long been concerned with variability 
in the treadwear test results and grades. Less varia- 
bility in treadwear test results will provide consumers 
with more precise information on relative tread life of 
different tires. To the extent that the variability in 
treadwear results is reduced, the treadwear grades 
calculated from them will provide consumers with more 
accurate information. Accordingly, the agency has 
examined possible means to reduce the variability of 
treadwear. These studies indicate that differences in 
treadwear are caused by variability in such factors as 
tire pressure, loading, wheel alignment and suspension, 
vehicle make and model, the impact of different driver 
characteristics, tire rotation, and environmental factors 
such as temperature, presence of moisture, and season. 

II. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 

The agency issued a notice of proposed rulemak- 
ing on January 19,1989 (54 FR 2167), which proposed 
four methods that the agency tentatively concluded 
would make the treadwear grades more representative 
by reducing the variability or simplifying the calcula- 
tions related to these grades. First, it proposed to 
require the wheel alignment of the test vehicle to be 
set at the midpoint of the permissible range specified 
by the manufacturer. Second, it proposed to amend the 
rotation provisions to require convoys to contain four 
cars so that each tire would be driven on each wheel 
position on each vehicle for the same distance through- 
out the convoy. Third, it proposed to simplify the tread- 
wear grading method so that tire tread depth 
measurements would be taken only after the break-in 
period and at the conclusion of the test. Fourth, it pro- 
posed to replace the current practice of assigning 
grades in 10-point intervals to reflect differences in 



treadwear with a new practice of assigning grades in 
20-point intervals. Each proposal will be discussed in 
detail later in the notice. 

Comments to NPRM \ 

In response to the NPRM, NHTSA received com- 
ments from the Rubber Manufacturers Association 
(RMA). the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organi- 
zation (ETRTO), the Japanese Automobile Tire 
Manufacturers' Association (JATMA), and Standards 
Testing Laboratories (STL). The agency considered all 
the comments in developing this final rule and 
addresses the significant ones below. For the Con- 
venience of the reader, this rule uses the NPRM's 
organization and format. 

in. Amendments to the 
UTQGS Treadwear Requirements 

A. Wheel Alignment Specifications 

The current UTQGS provisions require the evalu- 
ator to "adjust wheel alinement to that specified by the 
vehicle manufacturer" after the break-in period and 
after each 800 miles. (575.104(eX2Xiv). Because 
manufacturers typically specify a permissible range for 
each Lignment factor, this means, in practice, that 
wheel alignment factors such as toe-in, caster, and 
camber currently may vary by as much as 1/8 inch. 
[Toe-in is the degree to which the front wheels turn a 
in so that their forward radii are closer together. Caster ' 
is the tilting of the steering axis either forward or back- 
ward from the vertical. Camber is the inward or out- 
ward tilting of the front wheels from the vertical.] 

The NPRM proposed to require a test vehicle's 
wheel alignment for toe-in, caster, and camber be set 
at the midpoint of the permissible range specified by 
the vehicle manufacturer. The agency tentatively con- 
cluded that a requirement that precisely specified wheel 
alignment would serve to reduce the variability of 
treadwear grades. This proposal was based on a 1983 
study by the Southwest Research Institute which 
determined that a range of 1/8 inch between permiss- 
ible wheel alignment settings resulted in a variance of 
as much as 14 percent in the average wear rate for 
three convoys. ("An Evaluation of the Effects of Load 
and Pressure on Tire Treadwear." SRI, Docket 
00-25-GR-256, DOT HS-806 456, June 1983). 

In its comment, RMA recommended that "realis- 
tic tolerances be established for each of the alignment 
settings." Similarly, STL stated that maintaining align- 
ment at the midpoint of the permissible range would, 
at times, be impossible to achieve. Even if possible to 
achieve, it commented that such a requirement would 
raise costs unreasonably. m 

NHTSA notes that the purpose of the amendment ^ 
is to reduce variability by prescribing exact alignment 



PART 575-PRE 162 



settings rather than a range. Thus, allowing a "toler- 
ance." (i.e., a permissible range of variation) is contrary 
to the purpose of this amendment. Furthermore, based 
on NHTSA's actual experiences with wheel alignment, 
the agency believes that setting precise alignment set- 
tings, while difficult, is nonetheless feasible. Once 
wheel alignment is set, it can be checked and main- 
tained throughout a convoy test. The current proce- 
dure requires wheel alignment to be adjusted at the 
beginning of the test and after each 800 miles. The 
amendment does not alter the number of alignments 
but does require greater precision. Even so, because 
it typically takes less than twenty minutes per car to 
measure and adjust wheel alignment, the increase in 
costs, if any, are minimal. ETRTO commented that 
even though setting the test vehicle's wheel alignment 
at the midpoint of the manufacturer's specified range 
would reduce variability of tread wear grades, they 
believed that the vehicle manufacturer's procedures for 
setting wheel alignment must be followed. In response 
to ETRTO's comment and after additional review of 
practices related to wheel alignment, NHTSA has 
decided to modify its proposal. The agency notes that 
vehicle manufacturers sometimes specify nominal set- 
tings that are not at the midpoint. For instance. Ford 
has specified the camber setting for its Crown Victoria 
to be at a nominal setting of - 1/2 inch with a minimum 
setting of - 3/4 inch and maximum setting at + 1/4 inch. 
The agency believes that because a vehicle manufac- 
turer is imiquely situated to prescribe the proper use 
of its vehicles, its procedures should be followed in set- 
ting wheel alignment. Thus, the agency is modifying 
the f4nal rule to address those cases in which the vehi- 
cle manufacturer specifies a nominal setting that is not 
at the midpoint of the specified range. As amended, 
the requirements related to wheel alignment in section 
575.104(eX2) provide that the midpoint will be used, 
unless the manufacturer specifies another setting, in 
which case the manufacturer's setting will be used. As 
a practical matter, the agency notes that most testing 
organizations align wheel settings to the middle of the 
manufacturer's specifications, or to the nominal set- 
ting for caster, camber, and toe-in. Thus, this amend- 
ment will formalize current testing and enforcement 
practices and establish a uniform procedure for all 
contractors to follow. 

B. Tire Rotation Among Convoy Vehicles 

The current UTQGS provisions require that tires 
be rotated to each wheel position on a given passenger 
car in a test convoy. (575.104(e)). However, tires are 
not required to be rotated to the other cars in a convoy. 

NHTSA proposed amending the treadwear grad- 
ing provisions to require that tires be rotated among 
the four passenger cars composing a test convoy. As 
proposed, each tire would occupy each of the four wheel 



positions on each of the four cars in a convoy for 400 
miles. The agency believed that this proposal would 
help to eliminate variabUity in treadwear grades caused 
by tires being tested on different cars. The proposal 
was designed to reduce variability caused by driver and 
vehicle factors that affect the treadwear rates because 
each tire would be exposed to the same factors at each 
wheel position on each car in the convoy. The NPRM 
cited a study which attributed a 30-percent difference 
between the highest and lowest treadwear rates to 
factors other than the qualities of the tires themselves, 
(see "Analysis of Course Monitoring Tires on Vehicles 
of Different Makes." NHTSA. Docket 00-25-GR-269. 
June 1988). Based on the study, NHTSA tentatively 
concluded that this proposal would significantly reduce 
the variability in treadwear grades resulting from the 
test car and driver factors. 

Several commenters stated that the proposal would 
be infeasible and create hardships to the testing organi- 
zations. RMA stated that the large number of tire and 
wheel sizes would make the proposal "impossible to 
achieve." ETRTO stated that the proposal would be 
restrictive because each vehicle in a convoy would have 
to be the same type to allow the wheels to be inter- 
changeable. RMA and ETRTO also commented that 
the proposal would result in a great deal of expense 
because CMTs would be needed in virtually every size 
from 13 inch to 17 inch diameters. JATMA similarly 
believed that the proposal would result in restricting 
treadwear testing to a single tire size. STL and ETRTO 
were concerned that the proposal would result in sig- 
nificant cost increases but failed to provide cost data 
to support this claim. Like RMA. STL stated that the 
proposal would force testing companies to increase 
their fleet sizes to accommodate different four-car 
convoys for each tire size. STL was also concerned that 
it would be more difficult to get tires for a given test. 

NHTSA disagrees with the commenters' concerns 
about the feasibility and the cost of the proposal to 
require tire rotation among cars in the test convoy. The 
agency believes that even though the amendment will 
require that each vehicle must be able to accommodate 
all of the tires within the convoy regardless of size, this 
requirement is necessary to reduce the effects of driver 
and vehicle variability. The agency does not believe it 
will be a significant hardship to the industry. The 
agency notes that manufacturers have established an 
industry practice in which they test 14-inch tires and 
apply the test results to grade both 14-inch and 15-inch 
tires. As a result, approximately 85 percent of the 
treadwear tests are conducted on 14-inch tires. As for 
the remaining 15 percent of tires, the agency acknow- 
ledges that evaluators will have to test 13-inch and 
16-inch tires. However, the agency believes that the 
manufacturers can minimize the effects of this require- 
ment through planning and coordination. As an option 



PART 575-PRE 163 



to running separate convoys for each tire size, it is pos- 
sible to use versatile vehicles that can be equipped with 
tires of different sizes. The agency further notes that 
tires of a certain diameter but of differing tire widths 
could be part of a four-car convoy because such tires 
are interchangeable. Similarly, NHTSA does not fore- 
see the amendment resulting in any significant changes 
in the number of cars in treadwear test convoys, since 
89 percent of the convoys in 1988 were composed of 
four cars. 

NHTSA anticipates only a minimal cost impact 
from the rotation of tires among cars in a treadwear 
test convoy. The agency expects that the amendment 
will result in a marginal labor cost increase of approx- 
imately $20 per vehicle, which represents only 0.7 
percent of the current test cost of $2,750 per vehicle. 
As for costs associated with the size of a testing 
organization's vehicle fleet, the agency acknowledges 
that the amendment may require a testing laboratory 
to acquire a greater variety of test vehicles for its over- 
all fleet. However, the overall vehicle fleet size will be 
essentially the same because the miles per vehicle will 
be unchanged. Thus, the long-term impact of this 
amendment is to affect the mix of vehicle types and 
not the overall size of vehicle fleets. 

Conversely, the agency anticipates several cost 
savings and other benefits as a result of this amend- 
ment. Most importantly, NHTSA believes that this 
amendment will further reduce variability by serving 
as an impetus for UTQGS testing organizations to stan- 
dardize the type of vehicles selected for the majority 
of its convoys. It should also serve to reduce the 
number of convoys, increase the number of candidate 
tires to be tested by each convoy, and result in a cost 
savings since the ratio of CMTs to candidate tires will 
likely be smaller since four car test convoys will be the 
norm. In addition, the revision to the test procedures 
will allow radial CMTs to be used in all tests since the 
tires will be rotated among convoy vehicles in sets of 
four. Thus, there will be no problem with mixing tires 
of different construction types on any convoy vehicle. 
As a result, bias or bias-belted CMTs will no longer be 
needed. 

In response to RMA's concern that some tire and 
wheel assemblies are so unique to a single vehicle (e.g., 
the Chevrolet Corvette, which specifies P275/40ZR17 
front and P315ZR17 rear tires) as to preclude their use 
on any other vehicle, NHTSA notes that similar 
problems occur under the existing rotation require- 
ments. For instance, the vehicle on which the Cor- 
vette's 17-inch tires were recently tested had to be 
modified, because of loading problems. Nevertheless, 
to reduce the potential hardships of testing tires used 
on unique vehicles, the agency has modified the final 
rule to permit two-car convoys along with four-car 
convoys. Thus, if tires used on unique vehicles need to 



be tested, only two rather than four cars will have to be 
modified or leased to test the tires used on such vehi- 
cles. The agency notes that tire rotation in a two-car 
convoy will still require each tire to be tested on each M 
wheel position for the same distance. Therefore, the " 
agency expects that non-tire sources of variability will 
be similarly reduced in both two-car and four-car 
convoys. 

NHTSA agrees with STL's comment that Lf differ- 
ent vehicle types are included within a convoy, vehicle 
weights may have to be adjusted when tires are rotat- 
ed to a different type of vehicle. Nevertheless, the 
agency notes that such a situation poses similar 
problems under the current requirements, which per- 
mit candidate tires of different brands or tire lines to 
be on each axle. Thus, the only significant difference 
under the amendment will be that tire rotation will be 
to other vehicles rather than on one vehicle. In addi- 
tion, as the agency explained above, any requirement 
that results in an increased standardization of vehicle 
types in a test convoy is beneficial because it helps to 
reduce variability. 

RMA recommended that NHTSA run one radial 
CMT convoy each testing day to uniformly define 
environmental and road surface variations. Under this 
suggestion, candidate tires would be run in separate 
convoys of one to four vehicles. RMA stated that its 
suggestion would have the advantage of requiring only 
one size and type of CMT. i 

NHTSA notes that under both the present proce- " 
dure and the proposal, four CMT tires must accompa- 
ny the candidate tires in each convoy. This procedure 
serves to limit the effects of the non-tire sources of 
variability such as the driver, the test vehicle, and 
environmental factors. For instance, over the 6,400 
mile course, variability caused by changes in weather 
and the time of day affect treadwear. Therefore, it is 
essential that the CMTs accompany each convoy to 
monitor the conditions uniquely affecting that partic- 
ular convoy. 

After reviewing the proposal in light of the com- 
ments. NHTSA continues to believe that requiring 
rotation of tires to each wheel position of each car in 
a test convoy will limit the effects of vehicle and driver 
variability. Along with the factors considered in the 
NPRM. the agency has determined that rotating tires 
among convoy cars reduces the coefficient of variation 
for treadwear to 3 percent from the 10 percent level 
experienced under the current requirement. Accord- 
ingly, the notice amends section 575.104(e) to require 
tires to be rotated among convoy vehicles so that each 
tire is at each wheel position in the test convoy for the 
same distance. As mentioned above, in response to 
RMA's concern about the testing of tires used with i 
unique vehicles, the agency has modified the final rule ' 
to permit convoys containing either two or four cars. 



PART 575-PRE 164 



C. Simplification of the 
Treadwearing Grading Procedure 

NHTSA also proposed to simplify the grading 
I procedures for measuring tread depth nine times 
during the 6.400 mile test. Accordingly, an evaluator 
using a four-car convoy must make 4.320 measure- 
ments (the number of cars in a convoy (four) times the 
number of tires on each car (four) times the grooves 
on each tire (five) times equally spaced points on each 
groove (six) times the number of measurements due to 
tire rotation (nine)). After making these 4,320 measure- 
ments, the evaluator must calculate the measured 
treadwear rate by making a regression analysis of 
tread depth versus mileage. 

NHTSA proposed amending the treadwear grad- 
ing procedures to reduce the number of tread depth 
measurements from 9 to 2: after the break-in period 
and at the end of the testing. The proposal would thus 
reduce the total measurements from the current 4.320 
to 960 measurements. 

The agency tentatively concluded that the proposal 
simplifying the method of measuring tread depth would 
provide sufficient data to determine treadwear for 
several reasons. First, since wear rates are essentially 
linear, only two points are needed to establish the slope 
of tread wear. Second, an agency study determined 
that treadwear grades obtained by the simplified two- 
point method were not significantly different from the 
nine-point method. ("Treadwear Grade Comparison 
Between Standard and Simplified Methods," NHTSA, 
Docket 00-25-GR-270. June 21, 1988]. Third, it noted 
that the calculation of tires' treadwear rates would also 
be simplified because a simple arithmetical formula 
would be used to calculate treadwear rather than the 
currently required regression analysis. 

RMA, ETRTO, JATMA, and STL opposed the 
proposal to change the treadwear measurement proce- 
dures. RMA claimed that the simplified grading method 
would result in increased variability. It further stated 
that recording intermediate measures provides a check 
against errors and treadwear anomalies. ETRTO 
objected to the simplified method claiming that the 
grades obtained by the simplified grading method 
would differ significantly from the current grading 
procedure. JATMA also favored the current grading 
practice because the regression analysis is "highly 
precise." 

In response to RMA's specific criticism that varia- 
bility would increase under the simplified grading 
method, the agency used both methods to calculate 
treadwear grades. These calculations indicated that the 
differences between the two methods were not statisti- 
cally significant. In the few situations where grade cal- 
I culations did differ, the differences were typically 
wthin the 10-point round off increment. Thus, the 
differences between the two grading methods would 



have little, if any, effect on the final grade 
determination. 

In response to RMA's and JATMA s arguments 
supporting the need for intermediate measurements, 
the agency notes that its experience with the two-point 
method is that it accurately measures treadwear 
without the need for intermediate measurements. The 
agency wishes to emphasize that the simplified "two- 
point" grading method is in some respects a misnomer 
because each data point is actually the average of 30 
measurements per tire (five grooves on a tire times six 
equally spaced points on a groove). Each of the 30 
measurements per tire should be the same or only 
slightly different for that tire; if they differ signifi- 
cantly, the treadwear for that tire will be remeasured. 
In addition, under the simplified grading measure, the 
evaluator is still required to inspect for treadwear 
anomalies when the tires are rotated. Similarly, the tire 
is immediately inspected if a vehicle experiences an 
event which may adversely affect treadwear such as 
hitting an obstacle or hard braking. Thus, even without 
intermediate measurements, the simplified procedure 
will still allow for detection of any significant tread- 
wear anomalies. 

NHTSA disagrees with ETRTO's comment that 
"valuable technical data" will be lost if the simplified 
two-point method is substituted for the nine-point 
method. While intermediate measurements may pro- 
vide some information about the trend the treadwear 
is taking, the agency does not believe that this infor- 
mation is of sufficient importance to warrant requir- 
ing the intermediate measurements. The agency 
further notes that a tire manufacturer or test facility 
can take the intermediate measurements, if it finds 
such information worthwhile. 

ETRTO stated that because treadwear is non- 
linear, the grades obtained by the simplified method 
will .differ significantly from the current procedure. The 
agency agrees that while treadwear is not perfectly 
linear for radial tires, the differences in terms of 
assigning treadwear grades will not be significant. In 
the agency's view, the critical issue is not whether 
treadwear is perfectly linear but whether the two 
Methods yield approximately the same grades for radial 
tires. The agency study cited earlier found that the 
treadwear grades for radial tires by either the simpli- 
fied two-point method or the present method are not 
significantly different. In view of this finding, the 
agency has determined that the simplified treadwear 
grading procedure serves as a reasonable measure of 
radial tire treadwear. 

JATMA and STL commented that the regression 
analysis would be a more precise way to approximate 
a linear function than the two-point arithmetical for- 
mula. NHTSA disagrees with this contention based on 
its study comparing the two methods. The agency 



PART 575-PRE 165 



conducted an evaluation of treadwear testing at the 
San Angelo test center which showed tread life to be 
linear for the initial readings of radial tires. However, 
as the mileage increased, treadwear for radial tires 
became nonlinear and in fact wear rate decreased. See: 
"Uniform Tire Quality Grading Course Monitoring," 
Southwest Research Institute, DOT Institute, DOT-HS 
802-526. Because treadwear is not perfectly linear for 
radial tires, an increase in the number of data points 
will not improve the precision of the estimated slope 
for wear. In fact, because the treadwear rate decreases 
with mileage, the slope based on the two end points 
is a better projection of the overall tread life for a radial 
tire than the current method. 

After reviewing the comments, NHTSA has 
decided to permit but not require the simplified tread- 
wear grading method. The agency continues to believe 
that the simplified grading method will provide 
representative treadwear grades, while simplifying the 
test procedures, reducing costs, and reducing the com- 
plexity of the calculations. Nevertheless, given that the 
industry prefers the existing more burdensome grad- 
ing method, that the proposal was offered as a replace- 
ment that is comparable to but not superior to the 
existing test, and that the agency is aware of no 
compelling reason to eliminate the more complex proce- 
diu-e, the agency has decided to permit evaluators to 
rely on it as an alternative. Consequently, section 
575.104(e)(2Xix) permits both the present procedure 
and the simplified procedure. The manufacturer will 
be required to identify the method used when the tire 
grade data are submitted to the agency for compliance 
verification. 

D. Increase Treadwear Grade Interval 
From 10 TO 20 Points 

In determining the treadwear grade to be assigned 
to a tire, the evaluator currently expresses the pro- 
jected mileage for a candidate tire as a percentage of 
30,000 miles, rounded off to the next lowest 10 per- 
centage points (575.104(eXixXF)). For example, a tire 
with a projected mileage of 21,000 miles would be 
graded 70, as would a tire with a projected mileage of 
23.000 miles. A tire with a projected mileage of 24.000 
miles would be graded 80. Under this 10-point scale. 
each single grade level interval (i.e., 80 vs. 70) 
represents a difference of 3,000 miles in projected tread 
life on the test course. 

As explained in the NPRM, the 10-unit scale was 
designed when most tires were of bias or bias-belted 
construction. Tires of those constructions generally 
have projected mileages between 20,000 and 40,000 
miles; thus the 3,000 mile difference in projected tread 
life for each grade interval represents between 7.5 and 
15 percent of a tire's projected tread life. In earlier 
rulemakings. NHTSA determined that this was the 



proper percentage difference for treadwear grades. In 
contrast, radial tires, which now comprise approxi- 
mately 91 percent of the new passenger car tire 
market, usually have projected treadlife of approxi- m 
mately 60,000 miles., thus the 3.000 mile difference in ^ 
projected tread life for each grade interval represents 
approximately 5 percent of a radial tire's projected 
tread life. Based on these considerations, the agency 
proposed to increase treadwear grades to 20-point 
intervals. 

The agency proposed that, if adopted, this amend- 
ment of the treadwear grade interval would become 
effective one year after publication of the final rule. 
(The three other proposals would become effective 30 
days after publication of the final rule.) The agency pro- 
posed this longer leadtime because it believed that tire 
manufacturers would need more than 30 days to recom- 
pute the grades of some of their existing tire lines, print 
new labels and brochures with the changed grades, and 
change their molds to show the changed grades on the 
sidewall of those tires. 

RMA and ETRTO commented that the proposal to 
increase the grade interval to 20 points would provide 
no benefit to consimiers but would result in significant 
costs to the tire manufacturers. RMA estimated that 
the cost of mold reworking and relabeling for tread- 
wear grades of 90, 110, 130 etc. would exceed $2 mO- 
lion. JATMA and ETRTO noted that if the agency 
adopted the proposal for radial tires, it still should con- i 
tinue to use the 10-point interval for bias and bias belt- " 
ed tires. Alternatively, RMA suggested that radial tires 
should have a 10-point increment up to a grade of 300 
and 20 points above 300. 

After reviewing the comments, the agency has 
decided to adopt the 20-point interval, as proposed. 
Since the passenger car tire market is now comprised 
predominantly of radial tires whose treadwear grades 
typically run above 200, with many approaching 300, 
the 10-point interval has become less relevant to a 
consumer's buying decision. For instance, it would be 
unlikely for a consumer to view the difference between 
a 290 tire and a 280 tire as significant. In addition, the 
normal variation of treadlife inherent among tires 
within given tire lines means that the 10-point inter- 
val, which represents intervals of only 5 percent, might 
convey information that was not useful and even 
misleading to consumers. Given the agency's goal of 
having a treadwear scale that allows for reasonable 
comparisons among tire lines, without unduly em- 
phasizing the precision of the measurement, the agency 
has decided to adopt the 20-point treadwear grade 
interval. 

The agency also disagrees that the amendment to , 
increase the grade interval to 20 points will signifi- i 
cantly increase costs. First. 68 percent of tire lines " 
currently correspond to the proposed 20-point interval 



PART 575-PRE 166 



(200 220, 240 etc.) Thus, only the remaining 32 per- 
cent of the tire Hnes need to have the treadwear grade 
reassigned. Even these tire lines need not be retested, 
since a manufacturer may lower a grade (e.g., from 210 
to 200). Moreover the one year leadtime should further 
reduce the cost impact given that molds are typically 
refurbished each year, labels are typically exhausted 
within six months to one year, and brochures are 
updated and distributed to dealers on an annual 
basis. 

NHTSA has decided to reject the suggestion that 
the treadwear grade interval remain at 10-point inter- 
vals for bias and bias-belted tires. As noted above, such 
tires are currently a very small segment of the total 
passenger car tire market. In the last few years, only 
two bias-belted tire convoys and one bias-ply convoy 
have been run at the San Angelo UTQGS test course. 
Thus, a separate grade interval for non-radial tires is 
not needed and would be contrary to the agency's goal 
to standardize treadwear grading procedures. To 
effectuate such standardization of treadwear grades, 
the agency must select a single grade interval. Because 
the vast majority of passenger car tires are and will 
increasingly be of radial construction, the agency has 
decided to replace the 10-point interval with the 
20-point interval. 

NHTSA is also rejecting RMA's suggestion to have 
a 10-point scale imtil a treadwear grade of 300 and then 
a 20-ooint scale over 300. The agency believes that such 
a dual scale would unnecessarily complicate treadwear 
grading without providing any significant benefit. 
Based on the above considerations, the agency has 
determined that the 20-point scale should apply to 
all treadwear grades, not just to grades above 300. 

In response to RMA's conoment that existing radial 
tires graded prior to the effective date need not be 
regraded thus precluding the need to remark thousands 
of tire molds, the agency notes that the rule will not 
require tires with treadwear grades molded before the 
effective date to be remolded. Nevertheless, given 
575.104(d)0)'s molding and labeling requirements in 
relation to 575.104(dX2Xi)'s new requirement that 
"treadwear grades shall be in multiples of 20. (e.g., BO. 
120, 160)." the rule will require the treadwear grade 
to be remolded and relabeled when the one year lead- 
time expires (see also the grading requirement in 
575.104(eX2XixXF)). This leadtime should be adequate 
to exhaust existing inventories. As for regrading, a 
manufacturer can avoid hardship by merely grading the 
tire to the next lower 20-point interval (e.g., a tire with 
a raw grade of "131" would be assigned a treadwear 
grade of "120" rather than "130.") Of course, if the 
manufacturer retests such tires and wishes to change 
the grade, the 20-point interval will apply. 



Miscellaneous Considerations: 

RMA suggested that the agency should consider 
alternative test vehicles to include light trucks and 
front-wheel-drive vehicles. STL also commented that 
front-wheel-drive vehicles and pickup trucks should be 
used as test vehicles. The agency notes that whether 
to use non-passenger cars or front-wheel-drive cars is 
beyond the scope of the rulemaking. 

STL stated that specific instructions would be help- 
ful on those tires which have directional tread designs. 
The agency notes that unusual tire features, such as 
directional tread design, are generally accommodated 
by making appropriate modifications in the test proce- 
dures. For example tire depth measurements are taken 
at more points around the tire for those with two or 
three grooves. For directional tires, rotation could be 
limited to one side or the tire could be remounted on 
the rim when rotated to the other side of the vehicle. 

Economic and Other Impacts 

NHTSA has analyzed this rule and determined that 
it is neither "major" within the meaning of Executive 
Order 12291 nor "significant" within the meaning of 
the Department of Transportation regulatory policies 
and procedures. The agency believes that a full regula- 
tory evaluation is not required because the rule will 
have only minimal economic impacts. The agency be- 
lieves that there will be no significant additional costs 
related to the first amendment because it merely en- 
tails changes to the current testing procedures. 
Although the second amendment will result in addition- 
al labor costs and initial costs related to obtaining 
CMTs, these costs are minimal and may be offset by 
the savings resulting from the third amendment. As 
for tire rotation, the test procedure had required tires 
be rotated after the first 400 miles, at the completion 
of break-in (800 miles), and seven times thereafter in 
800-mile increments, or a total of nine times during the 
6,400 mile test. Under the second amendment, tires will 
be rotated 17 times, thus adding to the time and cost 
of testing. Specifically, 16 tires will be removed from 
the four vehicles in the convoy and rotated to differ- 
ent wheel or vehicle positions every 400 miles, after 
break-in. According to agency staff in San Angelo, this 
operation generally takes two people approximately 30 
minutes to complete or one labor-hour per convoy. 
Thus, this amendment will result in eight additional 
labor-hours per four vehicle test convoy. The number 
of convoys (each composed of four vehicless which com- 
pleted treadwear testing at San Angelo was 200 in 
1986 and 174 in 1987. Accordingly, based on a two-year 
average from 1986 and 1987 (187 convoys) the amend- 
ment requiring eight additional tire rotations will add 
1,496 labor hours to the test. Assuming a labor and 
overhead rate of $10 per hour for tire changes, the in- 
creased cost will be $14,960 per year. 



PART 575-PRE 167 



As for the third amendment permitting a simpli- 
fied treadwear grading method, the treadwear grad- 
ing method had required tread-depth measurements for 
each tire at nine intervals during a test sequence. With 
this method, two people took approximately two hours 
to measure and record tread depth at each interval. 
However, under the simplified grading procedure, an 
evaluator need only measure and record two intervals 
per test sequence per convoy. This amendment thus 
permits seven fewer intervals, resulting in 28 fewer 
labor hours per convoy (seven intervals x two workers 
X two hours). Based on the two year average of 187 
convoys, this amendment has the potential of result- 
ing in an annual savings of 5,236 labor hours. Assum- 
ing a labor rate of $10 per hour, permitting the 
simplified grading method has the potential to save 
$52,360. Assuming evaluators adopt this simplified 
grading method the savings from this amendment will 
offset the $14,960 additional cost from the second 
amendment requiring tire rotation among convoy 
vehicles. 

The agency notes that the one-year leadtime for 
the fourth amendment to change the grade interval will 
ensure that there are no additional printing or similar 
costs. 

In consideration of the foregoing. 49 CFR 
§ 575.104. Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards is 
amended as follows: 

1. Section 575.104(d)(2Xi) is revised to read as 
follows: 

(2) Performance— (i) Treadwear. Each tire shall 
be graded for treadwear performance with the word 
"TREADWEAR" followed by a number of two or 
three digits representing the tire's grade for tread- 
wear, expressed as a percentage of the NHTSA nomi- 
nal treadwear value, when tested in accordance with 
the conditions and procedures specified in paragraph 
(e) of this section. Treadwear grades shall be in multi- 
ples of 20. (e.g., 80, 120, 160). 

2. Section 575.104(e) is revised to read as follows: 

(e) Treadwear grading conditions and -procedures 

(1) Conditions 

(i) Tire treadwear performance is evaluated on a 
specific roadway course approximately 400 miles in 
length, which is established by the NHTSA both for 
its own compliance testing and for that of regulated 
persons. The course is designed to produce treadwear 
rates that are generally representative of those encoun- 
tered by tires in public use. The course and driving 
procedures are described in Appendix A of this section. 

(ii) Treadwear grades are evaluated by first meas- 
uring the performance of a candidate tire on the 
government test course, and then correcting the 
projected mileage obtained to account for environ- 
mental variations on the basis of the performance of 
the course monitoring tires run in the same convoy. 



The course monitoring tires are made available by the 
NHTSA at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, 
Texas, for purchase by any persons conducting tests 
at the test course. 

(iii) In convoy tests, each vehicle in the same con- 
voy, except for the lead vehicle, is throughout the test 
within human eye range of the vehicle immediately 
ahead of it. 

(iv) A test convoy consists of two or four passenger 
cars, each having only rear-wheel drive. 

(v) On each convoy vehicle, all tires are mounted 
on identical rims of design or measuring rim width 
specified for tires of that size in accordance with 49 
CFR 571.109, S4.4.1(a) or (b), or a rim having a width 
within - to -t- .0.50 inches of the width listed. 

(2) Treadwear grading procedure. 

(i) Equip a convoy as follows: Place four course 
monitoring tires on one vehicle. Place four candidate 
tires with identical size designations on each other 
vehicle in the convoy. On each axle, place tires that are 
identical with respect to manufacturer and line. 

(ii) Infate each candidate and each course monitor- 
ing tire to the applicable pressure specified in Table 
1 of this section. 

(iii) Load each vehicle so that the load on each 
course monitoring and candidate tire is 85 percent of 
the test load specified in § 575.104(h). 

(iv) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of the 
vehicle manufacturer's specifications, unless adjust- 
ment to the midpoint is not recommended by the 
manufacturer; in that case, adjust the alignment to the 
manufacturer's recommended setting. 

(v) Subject candidate and course monitoring tires 
to "break-in" by running the tires in the convoy for 
two circuits of the test roadway (800 miles). At the end 
of the first circuit, rotate each vehicle's tires by moving 
each front tire to the same side of the rear axle and 
each rear tire to the opposite side of the front axle. 
Visually inspect each tire for any indication of abnor- 
mal wear, tread separation, bulging of the sidewall, or 
any sign of tire failure. Void the grading results from 
any tire with any of these anomalies, and replace the 
tire. 

(vi) After break-in, allow the air pressure in the 
tires to fall to the applicable pressure specified in Table 
I of this section or for 2 hours, whichever occurs first. 
Measure, to the nearest 0.001 inch, the tread depth of 
each candidate and each course monitoring tire, avoid- 
ing treadwear indicators, at six equally spaced points 
in each groove. For each tire compute the average of 
the measurements. Do not measure those shoulder 
grooves which are not provided with treadwear 
indicators. 



PART 575-PRE 168 



(vii) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of the 
manufacturer's specifications, unless adjustment to the 
midpoint is not recommended by the manufacturer; in 
that case, adjust the alignment according to the 
manufacturer's recommended setting. 

(viii) Drive the convoy on the test roadway for 6,400 
miles. 

(A) After each 400 miles, rotate each vehicle's tires 
by moving each front tire to the same side of the rear 
axle and each rear tire to the opposite side of the front 
axle. Visually inspect each tire for treadwear 
anomalies. 

(B) After each 800 miles, rotate the vehicles in the 
convoy by moving the last vehicle to the lead position. 
Do not rotate driver positions within the convoy. In 
four-car convoys, vehicle one shall become vehicle two, 
vehicle two shall become vehicle three, vehicle three 
shall become vehicle four, and vehicle four shall become 
vehicle one. 

(C) After each 800 miles, if necessary, adjust wheel 
alignment to the midpoint of the vehicle manufacturer's 
specification, imless adjustment to the midpoint is not 
recommended by the manufacturer; in that case, adjust 
the alignment to the manufacturer's recommended 
setting. 

(D) After each 800 miles, if determining the 
projected mileage by the 9-point method set forth in 
(eX2XixXAXl), measure the average tread depth of each 
tire following the procedure set forth in paragraph 
(eX2Xvi). 

(E) After each 1,600 miles, move the complete set 
of four tires to the following vehicle. Move the tires 
on the last vehicle to the lead vehicle. In moving the 
tires, rotate them as set forth in (eX2XviiiXA). 

(F) At the end of the test measure the tread depth 
of each tire pursuant to the procedure set forth in para- 
graph (eX2Xvi). 

(ixXA) Determine the prolected mileage for each 
candidate tire either by the nine-point method of least 
squares set forth in (eX2XixXAXl) and Appendix C or 
by the two-point arithmetical method set forth in 
(eX2XixXAX2). Notify NHTSA about which of the al- 
ternative grading methods in being used. 

(1) Nine-Point Method of Least Squares. For each 
course monitoring and candidate tire in the convoy, 
using the average tread depth measurements obtained 
in accordance with paragraph (eX2Xvi) and (eX2XviiiXD) 
of this section and the corresponding mileages as data 
points, apply the method of least squares as described 
in Appendix C to this section to determine the esti- 
mated regression line of y on x given by the following 
formula: 

y = a + bx 

1000 



Where: 

y = average tread depth in mils 

X = miles after break-in, 

a = y intercept of regression line (reference tread 
depth) in mils, calculated using the method of least 
squares; and 

b = the slope of the regression line in mils of tread 
depth per 1,000 miles, calculated using the method of 
least squares. This slope will be negative in value. The 
tire's wear rate is defined as the absolute value of the 
slope of the regression line. 

(2) Two-Point Arithmetical Method. For each 
course monitoring and candidate tire in the convoy, us- 
ing the average tread depth measurements obtained 
in accordance with paragraph (eX2Xvi) and (eX2XviiiXF) 
of this section and the corresponding mileages as data 
points, determine the slope (m) of the tire's wear in mils 
of tread depth per 1,000 miles by the following formula: 

m = 1000 (Yl-Yo) 
(Xl-Xo) 

Where: 

Yo = average tread depth after break-in, mils 
Yl = average tread depth at 6,400 miles, mils 
Xo = miles (after break-in). 

XI = 6,400 miles of travel 

This slope (m) will be negative in value. The tire's wear 
rate is defined as the slope (m) expressed in mils per 
1000 miles. 

(B) Average the wear rates of the four course 
monitoring tires as determined in accordance with 
paragraph (eX2XixXA) of this section. 

(C) Determine the course severity adjustment fac- 
tor by dividing the base wear rate for the course 
monitoring tires (see note below) by the average wear 
rate for the four course monitoring tires. 

NOTE: The base wear rates for the course 
monitoring tires will be furnished to 
the purchaser at the time of purchase. 

(D) Determine the adjusted wear rate for each can- 
didate tire by multiplying its wear rate determined in 
accordance with paragraph (eX2XixXA) of this section 
by the course severity adjustment factor determined 
in accordance with paragraph (eX2XixXC) of this 
section. 

(E) Determine the projected mileage for each can- 
didate tire by applying the appropriate formula set 
forth below: 

(1) If the projected mileage is calculated pursuant to 
(eX2XixXaXl). then 

Projected mileage = 1000 (a-62) + 800 

bi 



PART 575-PRE 169 



Where: (F) Compute the percentage (P) of the NHTSA nomi- 

a = y intercept of regression line (reference tread nal treadwear value for each candidate tire using the 

depth) for the candidate tire as determined in accor- following formula: 
dance with paragraph (eX2XixXAXl) of this section. 

bi the adjusted wear rate for the candidate tire as P = Projected mileage x 100 

determined in accordance with paragraph (eX2XixXD) 30,000 
of this section. 

(2) If the projected mileage is calculated pursuant to ^^"""^^ .^^ ^^^ percentage to to the nearest lower 

(eX2XixXaX2), then: 20-pomt mcrement. 

Projected mileage = - 1000 (Yo-62) + 800 Issued on: November 9, 1990 

mc 

Where Jerry Ralph Curry 

Yo = average tread depth after break-in, mils Administrator 
mc = the adjusted wear rate for the candidate tires 

as determined in accordance with paragraph ^^ '^•"* *' '^5 

(eX2XixXD) of this section. November 15, 1990 



I 



i 



PART 575-PRE 170 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations 

(Docket No. 90-042; Notice 2) 

RIN 2127-AD21 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Standard No. 109, 
New Pneumatic Tires, to permit passenger car tires 
with a maximum inflation pressure of 290, 330, 350, 
or 390 kPa, in response to a petition to allow the "CT" 
tire and rim (an inverted flange tire and rim system). 
The tire has run-flat capability. After evaluating the 
petition and comments to the proposal, NHTSA has 
concluded that the CT tire has the potential for 
increased safety, especially in the deflated condition, 
and may result in incidental benefits such as increased 
fuel efficiency. Conforming amendments have been 
made throughout Standard No. 109 and the Uniform 
Tire Quality Grading Standards to establish criteria 
suitable for tires with new pressures. 

DATES: Effective date: The final rule is effective on 
December 31, 1990. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 

Federal Motor Vehicle Standard No. 109, New 
Pneumatic Tires, (49 CFR § 571.109) specifies tire 
dimensions and laboratory test requirements for bead 
unseating resistance, tire strength, tire endurance, and 
high speed performance; defines tire load ratings; and 
specifies labeling requirements for new pneimiatic tires 
used on passenger cars. 

Until the effective date of the amendments adopted 
in this rule. Standard No. 109 requires passenger car 
tires to have a maximum inflation pressure of either 
32, 36, 40, or 60 psi (poimds per square inch), or 240, 
280, 300, or 340 kPa (kiloPascals). These maximum 
inflation pressures are incorporated in Table I-C 
"Radial Ply Tires" and Table II, "Test Inflation 
Pressures," which are in Appendix A. In addition. 
Figure 1 specifies wheel sizes for tires relative to the 
tubeless tire bead unseating resistance tests in section 
S5.2.1. The Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 
("UTQGS" at 49 CFR 575.104) sets forth similar 
requirements for maximum permissible inflation 
pressures for the testing procedures in Table 1, Table 
2, and Table 2A. 



A new pneumatic passenger car tire must comply 
with requirements for bead unseating, tire strength, 
tire endurance, and high speed endurance at a 
maximum permissible inflation pressure specified in 
Standard 109. The agency specifies a limited nimiber 
of permissible maximum inflation pressures (or wheel 
sizes, in the case of the bead unseating test) to facilitate 
compliance testing. 

On March 8, 1989, Continental AG. Daimler-Benz, 
and General Tire Inc. petitioned the agency to amend 
Standard No. 109 and the UTQGS to permit the use 
of a new tire and rim concept knowoi as the "CT" tire. 
With this tire, the rim flanges point radially inward and 
the tire fits on the imderside of the rim in a manner 
that encloses the rim flanges inside the air cavity of 
the tire. The amendments were necessary because the 
CT tire is usuable only at maximum inflation pressures 
that were not specified in Standard No. 109. 
Accordingly, the petitioners requested the agency to 
amend the standard to include four new maximum 
inflation pressures-290, 330, 350, and 390 kPa. The 
petitioners stated that amending Standard No. 109 to 
permit the CT tire would result in an increased level 
of safety compared to conventional radial tires in cases 
of flats, significant under-inflation from gradual air 
loss, or blowouts from sudden air loss. They stated that 
unlike a conventional tire, a CT tire with a flat may 
still be driven safely at normal highway speeds for up 
to 200 miles. A driver therefore could travel to a service 
station instead of changing the flat tire in a dangerous 
or inconvenient setting. They also stated that unlike 
a conventional tire, a CT tire that is under-inflated or 
experiences sudden air loss would not result in any 
appreciable loss of control because the tire would not 
leave the rim. The petitioners stated that the requested 
amendment would result in incidental benefits, 
including allowing a vehicle to have larger brake, 
suspension, and anti-lock brake systems, shorter 
stopping distances, greater resistance to hydroplaning, 
better distribution of the tire footprint pressure, and 
increased fuel savings by reducing the overall vehicle 
weight. The petitioner's test and other data on the 
performance of the CT tire indicated that 



PART 575-PRE 171 



Table 1.— Test Inflation Pressures 



Maximum permissible inflation pressure 


for the following test 










Test Type 


lbs/in^ 


kPa 


kPa (1) 


32 


36 


•40 


60 


240 


280 


300 


340 


290 


330 


350 


390 


Treadwear test 


24 


28 


32 


52 


180 


220 


180 


220 


230 


270 


230 


270 






Temperature resistance test .... 


30 


34 


38 


58 


220 


260 


220 


260 


270 


310 


270 


310 


(1) For CT tires only 



























i 



Table 2 



Maximum 
Inflation 
Pressure 



32 lbs/in2 
36 lbs/in^ 
40 lbs/in2 
240 kPa . 
280 kPa . 
300 kPa . 
340 kPa . 
290 kPa (1) 
330 kPa (1) 
350 kPa (1) 
390 kPa (1) 



Multiplier to be 

used for 
treadwear testing 



Multiplier to be 

used for 
traction testing 



.851 
.870 
.883 
.866 
.887 
.866 
.887 
.866 
.887 
.866 
.887 



.851 
.797 
.753 
.866 
.804 
.866 
.804 
.866 
.804 
.866 
.804 



I 



(1) For CT tires only 

' Prior to July 1, 1984, the multipliers in the above table are not 
to be used in determining loads for the tire size designations listed 
below in Table 2A. For those designations, the load specifications 
in that table shall be used in UTQG testing during that period. 
These loads are the actual loads at which testing shall be con- 
ducted and should not be multiplied by the 85 percent factors 
specified for treadwear and traction testing. 



19057,1— M-151 



i 



PART 575-PRE 172 



when properly inflated, would comply with Standard 
No. 109's performance requirements. They also tested 
the CT tire while in its deflated stage to determine 
whether the tire would leave the rim or come apart 
I when driven through various maneuvers. 

On February 14, 1990, the agency issued a notice of 
proposed rule making (NPRM) proposing to amend 
Standard No. 109 to include additional maximum 
inflation pressures for pneumatic tires on passenger 
cars (55 FR 5237). The NPRM summarized previous 
rulemakings in which the agency amended Standard 
No. 109 to permit additional maximum inflation 
pressures. (See 53 FR 17950, May 19, 1988, 53 FR 936, 
January 14, 1988; and (43 FR 8570, March 2, 1978; 43 
FR 24310, June 5, 1978). In those earlier rulemakings, 
the agency determined that amending the standard's 
specifications for the maximum permissible inflation 
pressure was necessary to permit a new tire technology 
to carry a load comparable to that carried by tires 
already in compliance with the standard. 

NHTSA decided to propose amending Standard No. 
109 to permit tires with maximum inflation pressures 
of 290, 330, 350, or 390 kPa, after tentatively 
concluding that the CT tire had the potential for 
increased safety, especially in the deflated condition. 
The agency also tentatively concluded that allowing the 
CT tire might result in incidental benefits such as 
increased fuel efficiency. The notice proposed 
conforming amendments to Standard No. 109 and the 
(Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards (49 CFR 
575.104) to establish test criteria suitable for tires with 
the new maximum inflation pressures. 

NHTSA received comments from ETRTO, the 
Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), and five tire 
or motor vehicle manufacturers. All commenters 
favored the proposal. The agency therefore is adopting 
the proposed amendments for the reasons set forth in 
the NPRM. 

In response to technical comments, the agency is 
modifying certain provisions in its UTQGS regulations 
relative to the inclusion of CT tires. NHTSA agrees 
with the petitioner's comment that the proposal's 
headings in Tables 1 and 2 of 49 CFR 575.104 do not 
best reflect temperature resistance testing under the 
UTQGS. The final rule therefore adopts more 
appropriate wording suggested in the petitioner's 
comments. The final rule also includes certain 
tread wear and traction testing multipliers to Table 2, 
which were inadvertently omitted in the NPRM. 

The agency agrees with RMA's comment that the 
agency should not include the phrase "or equivalent" 
to 575.104(eX2Xi) given that the tires on any one vehicle 



should be of the same size designation and that the 
additional phrase would have added imprecision to 
UTQGS. 

The agency has decided not to adopt RMA's request 
to amend 575.104(fX2XB) rather than (fX2XDXviiiXsic) 
because the CT tire inflation pressures are for 
candidate tires subject to 575.104 (fX2Xviii); while 
(fX2XB) refers to standard test tires. 

NHTSA notes that section 103(c) of the Vehicle 
Safety Act requires that each order shall take effect 
no sooner than 180 days from the date the order is 
issued unless "good cause" is shown that an earlier 
effective date is in the public interest. The agency has 
concluded that there is "good cause" not to provide the 
full 180 day lead-in period given that this amendment 
will facilitate the introduction of certain tires without 
imposing any mandatory requirement on 
manufacturers. In addition, the public interest will be 
served by not delaying the introduction of tires that 
can provide better performance without having any 
negative impact on safety. Therefore, the agency has 
determined that there is good cause to set an effective 
date 30 days after publication of the final rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 571 
and 575 is amended as follows: 

A new sentence is added to 575.104 (fX2Xviii) 
immediately after the first sentence. The first sentence 

is being republished for the convenience of the reader. 

* * * * 

(f) * * * * 
(2) * * * * 

(viii) Prepare two candidate tires of the same 
construction type, manufacturer, line, and size 
designation in accordance with parapgraph (fX2Xi) of 
this section, mount them on the test apparatus, and test 
one of them according to the procedures of paragraph 
(fX2Xii) through (v) of this section, except load each tire 
to 85 percent of the test load specified in 575 104(h). 
For CT tires, the test inflation of candidate tires shall 
be 230 kPa. 

11. Revised Table 1 of Part 575 follows. 

12. Revised Table 2 of Part 575 follows. 

Issued on : November 9, 1990. 

Jeffrey R. Miller 
Deputy Administrator 

55 F.R. 49619 
November 30, 1990 



i 



PART 575-PRE 173-174 



i 



t 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 
Consumer Information Regulations; Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 65) 
RIN: 2127-AE-02 



ACTION: Final rule; response to petitions for recon- 
sideration. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends certain provisions of 
the Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards (UTQGS), 
by rescinding the initial 30-day effective date concern- 
ing tire rotation in treadwear convoys and adopting a 
new effective date of September 1, 1993. Based on its 
further review, the agency has determined that the 
final rule provided insufficient leadtime to require tire 
rotation among vehicles in treadwear convoys. This no- 
tice also postpones the effective date for the provision 
regarding assigning treadwear grades in 20-point in- 
tervals until September 1, 1993. The agency believes 
that this additional leadtime will reduce the costs of 
this amendment. Finally, this notice responds to other 
issues raised in petitions for reconsideration by clarify- 
ing the amendment to the wheel alignment specifica- 
tion and denying a request to modify the simplified 
grading method. 

EFFECTIVE DATES: The amendment in amendatory 
instruction 3 to § 575.104(eXl) and (eX2XiHviii) is 
effective June 11, 1991, through August 31, 1993. 

The amendments in amendatory instruction 3A to § 
575.104(eXl) and (eX2Xi)-(viii) become effective on Sep- 
tember 1, 1993. Tires manufactured before September 
1, 1993, may comply with the post-September 1993 
requirements for tire rotation among treadwear con- 
voy vehicles. 

The amendments to §§ 575.104(d)(2)(l) and 
575.104(eX2XixXF) become effective on September 1, 
1993. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background Information 
Under the Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 
(UTQGS), manufacturers or brand name owners of pas- 
senger car tires are required to provide consumers with 
information about their tires' relative performance in 
terms of treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance (49 CFR §575.104). The primary purpose of 
the treadwear grades is to aid consumers in the 
selection of new tires by informing them of the rela- 



tive amoimt of expected tread life for each tire offered 
for sale. 

The treadwear grades are based on the test results 
of tires on vehicles traveling 6,400 miles over a 
predetermined outdoor course on public roads near San 
Angelo, Texas. In order to compare candidate tire per- 
formances measured at different times under differ- 
ent road conditions, there must be a correction of test 
results to account for the effects of the particular 
environmental conditions of each test. This correction 
is accomplished by including "course monitoring tires" 
(CMTs) in all treadwear test fleets. The treadwear of 
the GMT reflects changes in course severity due to fac- 
tors such as road surface wear and environmental con- 
ditions. Differences between the wear rate of the GMT 
under the set of conditions experienced by test fleets 
versus a base wear rate (explained further later in this 
notice) for the GMT are used to adjust the measured 
treadwear of the candidate tires. 

Until very recently, treadwear test convoys consisted 
of one rear- wheel-drive passenger car with four GMTs 
and up to three other rear-wheel-drive passenger cars 
with candidate tires of the same construction type (49 
GFR §575.104(eXl)-(2)). After each 800 miles of the 
test, each tire's tread depth was measured, the tires 
on each car were rotated to a different position on the 
same car, the order of the cars in the convoy was 
changed, and the wheel alignments were readjusted if 
necessary to bring them within the ranges of the vehi- 
cle manufacturer's specifications. At the end of the 
16-circuit test, each tire's overall wear rate was calcu- 
lated from the tread depths measured after each in- 
terval by using the regression line technique in 
Appendix G of §575.104. The tires were then assigned 
treadwear grades in 10-point intervals. 

On January 19, 1989, NHTSA issued a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM), proposing four changes 
that the agency tentatively concluded would make 
treadwear grades more representative by reducing the 
variability or simplifying the calculations related to 
these grades (54 FR 2167). Less variability in tread- 
wear test results would provide consumers with more 
precise information about relative tread life of differ- 
ent tires. 



PART 575-PRE 175 



These proposals were adopted in a final rule issued 
on November 15, 1990 (55 FR 47765). First, the new 
rule amended the requirements about the wheel align- 
ment of test vehicles so that they are set more pre- 
cisely, based on the vehicle manufacturer's specifi- 
cations. Second, the rule amended the requirements 
about tire rotation so that all tires, both candidate tires 
and CMTs, in a treadwear convoy are to be driven on 
each wheel position on each vehicle the same distance. 
Third, the rule amended the requirements to permit 
a simplified method for treadwear grading so that tire 
tread depth measurements may be taken twice instead 
of nine times. Fourth, it amended the requirements to 
replace the previous practice of assigning grades in 
10-point intervals to reflect the differences in tread- 
wear with a new practice of assigning grades in 
20-point intervals. The first three amendments became 
effective on December 17, 1990. The fourth amend- 
ment was set to take effect on November 15, 1991. 

Petitions for Reconsideration 
In response to the final rule, the agency received 
petitions for reconsideration from the Rubber Manufac- 
turers Association (RMA), Standards Testing Labora- 
tories (STL), Texas Test Fleet, Long and Associates, 
and Smithers Scientific Services. This notice responds 
to the petitions for reconsideration. 

Wheel Alignment Specification 
The previous UTQGS provisions required wheel 
alignment to be adjusted, as specified by the vehicle 
manufacturer. Thus, alignment factors could vary with 
the range specified by the manufacturer. To reduce 
variability, the final rule prescribed exact alignment 
settings rather than a range. 

In their petitions for reconsideration, Smithers and 
RMA commented that, because no alignment equip- 
ment can be perfectly accurate, all such equipment per- 
mit an allowable tolerance. Accordingly, they requested 
that the wheel alignment requirements be modified to 
account for this limitation by including the phrase 
"within the capability of the equipment used." 

Upon reconsideration, the agency recognizes that 
vehicle alignment factors set to the mid-point of the 
manufacturer's specifications or to the manufacturer's 
recommended tolerance cannot be absolute, given the 
physical limitations of alignment machines. Despite 
these limitations, these settings can be made within the 
tolerances of the alignment machines. To accommodate 
this situation, the agency has decided to add the 
sentence— "In all cases, the setting is within the toler- 
ance specified by the manufacturer of the alignment 
machine"— to the provisions that address wheel align- 
ment (575.104XeX2Xiv), (eX2Xvii), and (eX2XviiiXC) and 
(D)). 

Tire Rotation Among Convoy Vehicles 
The previous UTQGS provisions required that tires 
be rotated to each wheel position on a given passenger 



car in a treadwear test convoy (575.104(e)). However, 
tires were not required to be rotated to other cars in 
a convoy. ^ 

In the November 15, 1990 final rule, the agency W 
amended 575.104(e) to require tires to be rotated , 
among convoy vehicles so that each tire is at each wheel ' 
position in the test convoy for the same distance. The 
agency believed that this amendment would limit the 
effects of vehicle and driver variability. At the time, 
the agency believed that the amendment would be 
feasible and would not impose significant hardships, 
even for tires that were not 14 inches in diameter. 

In their petitions for reconsideration, all the petition- I 
ers commented that the new rotation requirements 
would result in significant problems. Accordingly, the 
petitioners requested the agency to withdraw the new 
rotation requirements or delay the amendment's effec- 
tiveness until the agency can procure CMTs and make 
them available to UTQG testers. The petitioners stated 
that at present NHTSA did not have CMTs available 
in enough sizes and load carrying capacities to prop- 
erly test all tire lines. In addition, Smithers, RMA, and 
STL argued that a delay was necessary to allow the 
agency time to establish base course wear rates for the 
new CMTs. 

Upon reconsideration, the agency has determined 
that the December 17, 1990 effective date for the tire 
rotation requirements provided insufficient leadtime i 
to require tire rotation among vehicles in treadwear ■ 
convoys. In light of the arguments presented in the 
petitions, NHTSA has carefully reexamined the tire 
rotation amendment to determine an appropriate 
effective date. Based on this reexamination, the agency 
has decided to adopt an effective date of Septem- 
ber 1, 1993. As the petitioners correctly noted, 
additional leadtime is necessary to avoid practicability 
problems which would arise from a short leadtime. Spe- 
cifically, rotation of tires among all vehicles in a tread- 
wear convoy requires the availability of CMTs of 
approximately the same size as the candidate tires. 
CMTs are specially manufactured tires whose wear 
rate is compared to the wear rate of the candidate tires 
to minimize variations in treadwear caused by factors 
other than the quality of the candidate tires. Along with 
the time needed to procure and produce CMTs, 
NHTSA normally makes two determinations about a 
new group of CMTs before making those CMTs avail- 
able to manufacturers for use in testing. First, the 
agency ensures that the coefficient of variation (GOV) 
for new CMTs does not exceed 5.0. Second, it deter- 
mines the base course wear rate (BCWR) for new 
CMTs. The BCWR is necessary to allow persons test- 
ing candidate tires to adjust the wear rates of the can- 
didate tires to reflect the severity of the environmental 
conditions encountered during the testing. m 

Contrary to the agency's determination in the final 
rule that the new rotation requirements could take 



PART 575-PRE 176 



effect soon after the rule was published, the agency 
now believes that such an implementation date is 
impracticable, given the additional time necessary to 
procure and test CMTs in sizes other than the currently 
available 14-inch CMTs. Accordingly, the agency is 
adopting a September 1, 1993 effective date for the tire 
rotation requirements. The agency notes that tires 
manufactured before September 1, 1993 may comply 
with the new requirements. To minimize the disrup- 
tion of the treadwear grading, the agency is immedi- 
ately reinstating the requirements for treadwear 
convoys that were in effect before the recent amend- 
ments. In the meantime, the agency will begin to pro- 
cure new CMTs and establish their new base course 
wear rates. The agency further notes that it will take 
no enforcement action regarding the requirements 
about rotation among treadwear convoy vehicles in 
effect between December 17, 1990 and the issuance of 
this notice. 

This notice's regulatory text sets forth the complete 
"treadwear grading procedures and conditions" in 
575.104(e) for both before and after September 1, 1993, 
except for the requirements in 574.105(eX2Xix) which 
remain essentially unchanged. Given the complexity of 
these requirements, the agency believes that this ap- 
proach will facOitate making the amendments under- 
standable to the reader. 

Simplification of the Grading Procedure 
The previous UTQGS provisions require the evalua- 
tor to measure tread depth nine times, resulting in 
4,320 measurements, during the test. In the final rule, 
the agency amended 575.104(e) to permit the evalua- 
tor to measure tread depth either twice or nine times, 
thus resulting in the need for 960 rather than 4,320 
measurements. The final rule explained that the sim- 
plified grading method will provide representative 
treadwear grades, while simplifying the test proce- 
dures, reducing costs, and reducing the complexity of 
the calculations. 

In its petition for reconsideration, Smithers com- 
mented that the two-point method would result in in- 
creased variability and the issuance of an unneeded, 
additional report. It further stated that evaluators 
would still rely on the 9-point method and that no 
manufacturer would elect the two-point method unless 
it yielded a higher grade. Accordingly, Smithers re- 
quested that the nine-point method be mandatory. 

After reviewing the treadwear grading procedures, 
the agency has decided to deny the petitioner's request 
to permit only the nine-point method. As explained in 
the final rule, because the grades determined by the 
simplified two-point method and the nine-point method 
are not significantly different, variability is not a 
problem. In addition, providing the optional two-point 
method permits a simplified test procedure, may reduce 
costs, and reduces the complexity of the calculations. 



Increased Treadwear Grade Interval 
from 10 to 20 Points 

The previous UTQGS provisions required that the 
projected mileage for treadwear grades be expressed 
in 10-point intervals (575.104(d)(2)(i), see also 
575.104(eXixXF)). In the November 15, 1990 final rule, 
the agency amended the provisions to require tread- 
wear grades to be expressed in 20-point intervals. The 
agency believed that since most passenger car tires are 
of a radial design with significantly longer treadwear 
than bias and bias-ply tires, the 20-point interval is 
more relevant to consumer's buying decisions. The 
agency provided a one-year leadtime for this amend- 
ment, which was set to take effect on November 15, 
1991. 

In its petition for reconsideration, RMA requested 
that the amendment about the 20-point grade interval 
be withdrawn. In the alternative, the petitioner re- 
quested that for tire lines existing on December 17, 
1990 with treadwear grades in multiples of 10, the 
agency should allow them to retain their current grade 
imtil the tire line is phased out of production or the 
grade is changed. The petitioner stated that applying 
the 20-point grade amendment to molds of currently 
existing tire lines would provide no benefit to con- 
sumers but would cause considerable costs and 
problems to manufacturers. 

Upon reconsideration, the agency has determined 
that a longer leadtime is necessary to reduce the costs 
associated with the amendment. Accordingly, the 
agency is postponing the effective date of November 
15, 1991 and adopting a new effective date of Septem- 
ber 1, 1993. Based on statements in the petition, the 
agency now believes that without the additional lead- 
time, the amendment might result in considerable costs 
and problems to tire manufactiirers without providing 
corresponding benefits to consumers sufficient to jus- 
tify the burdens. In particular, the agency is concerned 
that the new grading requirements would require the 
restamping of thousands of tire molds and related con- 
sumer publications within an imreasonably short 
timeframe, potentially resulting in substantial costs and 
unjustified losses of production. Additionally, the 
agency notes that a significant number of tire lines are 
routinely phased-out or regraded over the course of 
three years. These difficulties can be substantially 
reduced by allowing additional leadtime. Therefore, the 
agency has decided to postpone the implementation of 
this provision until September 1, 1993. 

Effective Date 

Section 103(c) of the Vehicle Safety Act requires that 
each order shall take effect no sooner than 180 days 
or later than one year from the date the order is issued 
unless "good cause" is showm that an earlier or later 
effective date is in the public interest. After reevalu- 
ating the amendments in light of the petitions for 



PART 575-PRE 177 



reconsideration, NHTSA believes that there is "good 
cause" to provide leadtime of less than 180 days for 
the modification of the wheel alignment requirements, 
since the amendment merely clarifies the provisions. 
For the same reason, there is "good cause" to make 
this provision effective within less than 30 days. The 
agency further believes that there is "good cause" to 
provide leadtime of more than one year for the other 
amendments. The additional leadtime to the rotation 
requirements should alleviate the practicability 
problems raised by the petitioners. The agency notes 
that tires manufactured before September 1, 1993 may 
comply with the new requirements. The additional lead- 
time to the provisions about 20-point intervals should 
significantly reduce the costs associated with that 
amendment. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR §575.104, 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards is amended 
as follows: 

1. Section 575.104(dX2Xi) is revised to read as 

follows: 

***** 

(2) Performance— (i) Treadwear. Each tire shall be 
graded for treadwear performance with the word 
"TREADWEAR" followed by a number of two or 
three digits representing the tire's grade for tread- 
wear, expressed as a percentage of the NHTSA nomi- 
nal treadwear value, when tested in accordance with 
the conditions and procedures specified in paragraph 
(e) of this section. On and before August 31, 1993. 
treadwear grades shall be in multiples of 10 (e.g., 80, 
150). On and after September 1, 1993, treadwear 
grades shall be in multiples of 20 (e.g., 80, 120, and 
160). 

2. Section 575.104(eXl) and (eX2Xi) through (viii) are 
revised to read as follows: 

(e) Treadwear grading conditions and procedures— 
The following requirements in subsections (e)(1) and 
(e)(2)(i) through (viii) are effective from [INSERT DATE 
OF PUBLICATION] until August 31, 1993: 

(1) Conditions. 

(i) Tire treadwear performance is evaluated on a 
specific roadway course approximately 400 miles in 
length, which is established by the NHTSA both for 
its own compliance testing and for that of regulated 
persons. The course is designed to produce treadwear 
rates that are generally representative of those encoun- 
tered by tires of differing construction types. The 
course and driving procedures are described in Appen- 
dix A of this section. 

(ii) Treadwear grades are evaluated by first meas- 
uring the performance of a candidate tire on the 
government test course, and then correcting the 
projected mileage obtained to account for environmen- 
tal variations on the basis of the performance of the 



course monitoring tires of the same general construc- 
tion type (bias, bias-belted, or radial) run in the same 
convoy. The three types of course monitoring tires are 
made available by the NHTSA at Goodfellow Air Force i 
Base, San Angelo, Tex., for purchase by any persons " 
conducting tests at the test course. 

(iii) In convoy tests, each vehicle in the same con- 
voy, except for the lead vehicle, is throughout the test 
within human eye range of the vehicle immediately 
ahead of it. 

(iv) A test convoy consists of no more than four 
passenger cars, each having only rear-wheel drive. 

(v) On each convoy vehicle, all tires are mounted 
on identical rims of design or measuring rim width 
specified for tires of that size in accordance with 49 
CFR 571.109, S4.4.1(a) or (b), or a rim having a width 
within -0 to -(-.0.50 inches of the width listed. 

(2) Treadwear grading procedure. 

(i) Equip a convoy as follows: Place four course 
monitoring tires on one vehicle. On each other vehi- 
cle, place four candidate tires with identical size desig- 
nations. On each axle, place tires that are identical with 
respect to manufacturer and line. 

(ii) Inflate each candidate and each course monitor- 
ing tire to the applicable pressure specified in Table 
1 of this section. 

(iii) Load each vehicle so that the load on each 
course monitoring and candidate tire is 85 percent of 
the test load specified in §575. 104(h). i 

(iv) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of the 
vehicle manufacturer's specifications, unless adjust- 
ment to the midpoint is not recommended by the 
manufacturer; in that case, adjust the alignment to the 
manufacturer's recommended setting. In all cases, the 
setting is within the tolerance specified by the manufac- 
turer of the alignment machine. 

(v) Subject candidate and course monitoring tires 
to "break-in" by running the tires in the convoy for 
two circuits of the test roadway (800 miles). At the end 
of the first circuit, rotate each vehicle's tires by mov- 
ing each front tire to the same side of the rear axle and 
each rear tire to the opposite side of the front axle. 
Visually inspect each tire for any indication of abnor- 
mal wear, tread separation, bulging of the sidewall, or 
any sign of tire failure. Void the grading results from 
any tire with any of these anomalies, and replace the 
tire. 

(vi) After break-in, allow the air pressure in the 
tires to fall to the applicable pressure specified in 
Table 1 of this section or for 2 hours, whichever occurs 
first. Measure, to the nearest 0.001 inch, the tread 
depth of each candidate and each course monitoring 
tire, avoiding treadwear indicators, at six equally 
spaced points in each groove. For each tire compute 
the average of the measurements. Do not measure § 
those shoulder grooves which are not provided with " 
treadwear indicators. 



PART 575-PRE 178 



(vii) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of the 
manufacturer's specifications, unless adjustment to the 
midpoint is not recommended by the manufacturer; in 
i that case, adjust the alignment according to the 
' manufacturer's recommended setting. In all cases, the 
setting is within the tolerance specified by the manufac- 
turer of the alignment machine. 

(viii) Drive the convoy on the test roadway for 
6,400 miles. After each 800 miles: 

(A) Following the procedure set out in para- 
graph (eX2Xvi) of this section, allow the tires to cool 
and measure the average tread depth of each tire. 

(B) Rotate each vehicle's tires by moving each 
front tire to the same side of the rear axle and each 
rear tire to the opposite side of the front axle. 

(C) Rotate the vehicles in the convoy by moving 
the last vehicle to the lead position. Do not rotate driver 
position within the convoy. 

(D) Adjust the wheel alignment to the midpoint 
of the vehicle manufacturer's specification, imless ad- 
justment to the midpoint is not recommended by the 
manufacturer; in that case, adjust the alignment to the 
manufacturer's recommended setting. In all cases, the 
setting is within the tolerance specified by the manufac- 
turer of the alignment machine. 

(E) If determining the projected mileage by the 
nine-point method set forth in (eX2XixXAXl), measure 
the average tread depth of each tire following the 
procedure set forth in paragraph (eX2Xvi) of this 

I section. 

(F) At the end of the test, measure the tread 
depth of each tire pursuant to the procedure set forth 
in paragraph (eX2Xvi) of this section. 

The following requirements in subsections (e)(1) and 
(e)(2)(i) through (viii) are effective on and after Septem- 
ber 1, 1993 and may be used at the manufacturer's 
option before this date: 

(e) Treadwear grading conditions and procedures— 
(1) Conditions. 

(i) Tire treadwear performance is evaluated on a 
specific roadway course approximately 400 miles in 
length, which is established by the NHTSA both for 
its own compliance testing and for that of regulated 
persons. The course is designed to produce treadwear 
rates that are generally representative of those encoun- 
tered by tires in public use. The course and driving 
procedures are described in Appendix A of this section. 

(ii) Treadwear grades are evaluated by first meas- 
uring the performance of a candidate tire on the 
government test course, and then correcting the 
projected mileage obtained to accoimt for environmen- 
tal variations on the basis of the performance of the 
course monitoring tires run in the same convoy. The 
course monitoring tires are made available by the 
I NHTSA at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, 
Tex., for purchase by any persons conducting tests at 
the test course. 



(iii) In convoy tests, each vehicle in the same con- 
voy, except for the lead vehicle, is throughout the test 
within human eye range of the vehicle immediately 
ahead of it. 

(iv) A test convoy consists of two or four passenger 
cars, each having only rear-wheel drive. 

(v) On each convoy vehicle, all tires are mounted 
on identical rims of design or measuring rim width 
specified for tires of that size in accordance with 49 
CFR 571.109, S4.4.1(a) or (b), or a rim having a width 
within -0 to -1-0.50 inches of the width listed. 

(2) Treadwear grading procedure. 

(i) Equip a convoy as follows: Place four course 
monitoring tires on one vehicle. Place four candidate 
tires with identical size designations on each other 
vehicle in the convoy. On each axle, place tires that are 
identical with respect to manufacturer and line. 

(ii) Inflate each candidate and each course mon- 
itoring tire to the applicable pressure specified in 
Table 1 of this section. 

(iii) Load each vehicle so that the load on each 
course monitoring and candidate tire is 85 percent of 
the test load specified in §575. 104(h). 

(iv) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of the 
vehicle manufacturer's specifications, unless adjust- 
ment to the midpoint is not recommended by the 
manufacturer; in that case, adjust the alignment to the 
manufacturer's recommended setting. In all cases, the 
setting is within the tolerance specified by the manufac- 
turer of the alignment machine. 

(v) Subject candidate and course monitoring tires 
to "break-in" by nmning the tires in the convoy for 
two circuits of the test roadway (800 miles). At the end 
of the first circuit, rotate each vehicle's tires by mov- 
ing each front tire to the same side of the rear axle and 
each rear tire to the opposite side of the front axle. 
Visually inspect each tire for any indication of abnor- 
mal wear, tread separation, bulging of the sidewall, or 
any sign of tire failure. Void the grading results from 
any tire with any of these anomalies, and replace the 
tire. 

(vi) After break-in, allow the air pressure in the 
tires to fall to the applicable pressure specified in 
Table 1 of this section or for 2 hours, whichever oc- 
curs first. Measure, to the nearest 0.001 inch, the tread 
depth of each candidate and each course monitoring 
tire, avoiding treadwear indicators, at six equally 
spaced points in each groove. For each tire compute 
the average of the measurements. Do not measure 
those shoulder grooves which are not provided with 
treadwear indicators. 

(vii) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of the 
manufacturer's specifications, unless adjustment to the 
midpoint is not recommended by the manufacturer; in 
that case, adjust the alignment according to the 



PART 575-PRE 179 



manufacturer's recommended setting. In all cases, the 
setting is within the tolerance specified by the manufac- 
turer of the alignment machine. 

(viii) Drive the convoy on the test roadway for 
6,400 miles. 

(A) After each 400 miles, rotate each vehicle's 
tires by moving each front tire to the same side of the 
rear axle and each rear tire to the opposite side of the 
front axle. Visually inspect each tire for treadwear 
anomalies. 

(B) After each 800 miles, rotate the vehicles in 
the convoy by moving the last vehicle to the lead posi- 
tion. Do not rotate driver positions within the convoy. 
In four-car convoys, vehicle one shall become vehicle 
two, vehicle two shall become vehicle three, vehicle 
three shall become vehicle four, and vehicle four shall 
become vehicle one. 

(C) After each 800 miles, if necessary, adjust 
wheel alignment to the midpoint of the vehicle 
manufacturer's specification, unless adjustment to the 
midpoint is not recommended by the manufacturer; in 
that case, adjust the alignment to the manufacturer's 
recommended setting. In all cases, the setting is within 
the tolerance specified by the manufacturer of the 
alignment machine. 

(D) After each 800 miles, if determining the 
projected mileage by the 9-point method set forth in 
(eX2XixXAXl), measure the average tread depth of each 
tire following the procedure set forth in paragraph 
(eX2Xvi) of this section. 



(E) After each 1,600 miles, move the complete 
set of four tires to the following vehicle. Move the tires 
on the last vehicle to the lead vehicle. In moving the 
tires, rotate them as set forth in (eX2XviiiXA) of this 
section. 

(F) At the end of the test, measure the tread 
depth of each tire pursuant to the procedure set forth 
in paragraph (eX2Xvi) of this section. 



4. Section 575.104(eX2XixXF) is revised to read as 

follows: 

***** 

(F) Compute the percentage (P) of the NHTSA 
nominal treadwear value for each candidate tire using 
the following formula: 

Projected mileage 

P = X 100 

30,000 

On and before August 31, 1993, round off the per- 
centage to the nearest lower 10-point increment. On 
and after September 1, 1993, round off the percentage 
to the nearest lower 20-point increment. 



Issued on June 4, 1991 



56 F.R. 26769 
June 11, 1991 



PART 575-PRE 180 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations; Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards: 

Treadwear Test Course 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 67) 
RIN: 2127-AE-01 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: The Uniform Tire Quality Grading Stand- 
ards (UTQGS) contain detailed testing procedures for 
generating consumer information about the treadwear, 
traction, and temperature resistance of passenger car 
tires. The treadwear grading procedures specify the 
specific test course along which treadwear convoys 
must travel to ensure uniformity among test grades. 
This rule amends the test course to account for poten- 
tially unsafe traffic patterns along the test route. The 
agency has concluded that the course change will not 
compromise the reliability of the treadwear grades. 

EFFECTIVE DATES: December 16, 1991. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 
(UTQGS) set forth conditions and procedures in 49 
CFR 574.104(e) for convoys used to generate tread- 
wear data. Those data are in turn used to determine 
treadwear grades. The treadwear grades inform con- 
sumers about the amoimt of expected tread life for each 
tire offered for sale. This allows the tire purchaser to 
compare passenger car tires based on tread life. 
Although these treadwear grades are not intended to 
be used to predict the actual mileage that a particular 
tire will achieve, they must be sufficiently accurate to 
help consumers choose among tires based on their rela- 
tive tread life. 

On March 26, 1991, the agency proposed amending 
the specified roadway course on which treadwear con- 
voys are required to be run (56 PR 12503). As a result 
of recent road improvements, the current course, as 
specified in Appendix A to the UTQGS, poses a sig- 
nificant safety problem to certain test convoys which 
must make a U-turn on a heavily travelled road. Ac- 
cordingly, the agency proposed substituting a similar 
3.6 mile portion to the test course at a more convenient 
location to help the adversely affected convoys avoid 
the U-turn. The agency tentatively determined that 
differences, if any, in the wear characteristics between 
the two alternate portions of the test course should 
have an insignificant effect on treadwear grades. 



The agency received one comment to the proposal 
from Smithers Laboratory, which supported the 
proposal. No comments were received opposing the 
proposal. The agency therefore has decided to amend 
the treadwear test course, as proposed. Accordingly, 
test convoys may travel on an alternative 3.6 mile leg 
of the test course to avoid the unsafe traffic situation. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR §575.104, 
Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards is amended 

as follows: 

****** 

Eastern Loop. From junction of Loop Road 306 and 
FM388 (2), make right turn onto FM388 and drive east 
to junction with FM2334 (13). Turn right onto FM2334 
and proceed south across FM765 (14) to jimction of 
FM2334 and US87 (15). For convoys that originate at 
Goodfellow AFB, make U-turn and return to junction 
of FM388 and Loop Road 306 (2) by the same route. 
For convoys that do not originate at Goodfellow AFB, 
upon reaching junction of FM2334 and US87 (15), make 
U-turn and continue north on FM2334 past the inter- 
section with FM388 to Veribest Cotton Gin, a distance 
of 1.8 miles beyond the intersection. Make U-turn and 
return to junction of FM2334 and FM388. Turn right 
onto FM388, proceed west to junction FM388 and Loop 
Road 306. 

Northwestern Loop. From junction of Loop Road 
306 and FM388 (2), make right turn onto Loop Road 
306. Proceed onto US277, to junction with FM2105 (8). 
Turn left onto FM2105 and proceed west to junction 
with US87 (10). Turn right on US87 and proceed north- 
west to the junction with FM2034 near the town of 
Water Valley (11). Turn right onto FM2034 and pro- 
ceed north to Texas 208 (12). Turn right onto Texas 
208 and proceed south to junction with FM2105 (9). 
Turn left onto FM2105 and proceed east to junction 
with US277 (8). Turn right onto US277 and proceed 
south onto Loop Road 306 to junction with FM388 (2). 
For convoys that originate at Goodfellow AFB, turn 
right onto FM388 and proceed to starting point at jimc- 
tion of Ft. McKavitt Road and FM388 (1). For convoys 
that do not originate at Goodfellow AFB, do not turn 
right onto FM388 but continue south on Loop Road 
306. 



PART 575-PRE 181 



3. In 575.104, the Chart "KEY POINTS ALONG 
TREADWEAR TEST COURSE, APPROXIMATE 
MILEAGES, AND REMARKS" is revised to read as 
follows: 

KEY POINTS ALONG TREADWEAR 

TEST COURSE, APPROX. MILEAGES, 

AND REMARKS *** 



4. In 575.104, Figure 3 is amended to read as 
follows: 



ROBERT LEE 







Mileag 


res Remarks 


1 


Ft. McKavittRoad& . 
FM388 







2 


FM388 & Loop 306 * . 


2 


STOP 


3 


Loop 306 &US277... 


10 




4 


Sonora 


72 
. 88 




5 


US 277 & FM 189 . . . . 




6 


FM 189 & Texas 163 . 


. 124 




7 


Historical Marker .... 
(Camp Hudson) 


. 143 


U-TURN 


4 


Sonora 


. 214 
. 276 




3 


Loop 306 & US 277 .. 




2 


FM 388 & Loop 306 . . 


. 283 




13 


FM 388 &FM 2334** 


. 290 


STOP 


14 


FM 2334 &FM 765 .. 


. 292 


STOP 


15 


FM2334&US87.... 


. 295 


U-TURN 


14 


FM 2334 &FM 765 .. 


. 298 


STOP 


13 


FM 388 &FM 2334 .. 


. 300 


STOP/YIELD/ 
BLINKING RED 
LIGHT 


2 


FM 388 & Loop 306 .. 


. 307 


STOP/YIELD/ 
BLINKING RED 
LIGHT 


8 


US 277 &FM 2105... 


. 313 




9 


FM 2105 & Texas 208 


. 317 


STOP 


10 


FM2105&US87.... 


. 320 


STOP 


11 


FM 2034 & US 87 ... . 


. 338 




12 


FM 2034 & Texas 208 


. 362 


YIELD 


9 


FM 2105 & Texas 208 


. 387 




8 


FM 2105 & US 277... 


. 391 


YIELD/ STOP 


2 


FM 388 & Loop 306 * . 


. 398 




1 


Ft. McKavitt Road & . 
FM388 


. 400 




16 


Veribest Cotton Gin . . 


. 1.8 


U-TURN 



WATER VALLEY 



* Convoys not originating at Goodfellow AFB will not traverse 
the leg of course. 

• ' Convoys not originating at Goodfellow AFB will proceed to 
16, Veribest Cotton Gin, Make U-turn and return to 13. 

••• (56 F.R. 26769— June 11, 1991. Effective: September 1, 
1993) 




i 



FIGURE 3 



FIGURE 2 



Issued on September 11, 1991. 



56 F.R. 47011 
September 17, 1991 



I 



PART 575-PRE 182 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 575 

Consumer Information Regulations; Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards: 

Vehicles in Treadwear Convoys 

(Docket No. 25; Notice 66) 
RIN: 2127-AD68 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This rule amends the treadwear testing 
procedures in the Uniform Tire Quality Grading Stan- 
dards (UTQGS) to permit the use of front-wheel-drive 
passenger cars and light trucks, vans, and multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles. Prior to this amendment, the 
treadware grading procedures only permitted testing 
of passenger car tires on rear-wheel-drive passenger 
cars. The agency concludes that the amendment will 
result in the use of test vehicles that more accurately 
reflect the types of vehicles currently being produced. 
The amendment will also provide treadwear evaluators 
with greater flexibility in obtaining vehicles. 

EFFECTIVE DATES: This amendment becomes effective 
December 16, 1991. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

The Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards 
(UTQGS) set forth procedures for treadwear testing 
in 49 CFR 575.104(e). The purpose of the treadwear 
grades is to aid consumers in the selection of new tires 
by informing them of the relative amount of expected 
tread life for each tire offered for sale. This allows the 
tire purchaser to compare passenger car tires based 
on tread life. Although these treadwear grades are not 
intended to be used to predict the actual mileage that 
a particular tire will achieve, they must be reasonably 
accurate to help consumers choose among tires based 
on their relative tread life. 

On February 25, 1991, the agency proposed amend- 
ing the treadwear grading procedures to permit tread- 
wear convoys to consist of front-wheel-drive passenger 
cars and light trucks, vans and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles (MPVs) (or any combination thereof) (56 FR 



7643). At the time of the proposal, the regulations 
specified that only rear-wheel-drive passenger cars 
could be used in the testing to determine treadwear 
grades (575.104(eXlXiv)). The reason for this limitation 
was that most vehicles used by consimiers were of this 
type when the regulations were initially issued. Since 
then, the proportion of the rear-wheel-drive and front- 
wheel-drive vehicles has changed radically. 

Approximately 80 percent of all model year 1989 pas- 
sengers cars have front-wheel-drive. In addition, the 
overall light duty vehicle fleet includes a steadily in- 
creasing percentage of light trucks, vans, and other 
MPVs. Given these changes, the agency studies the 
feasibility of using front-wheel-drive cars and light 
trucks, vans, and MPVs for treadwear testing. The 
agency's analysis of data indicated that treadwear rates 
of tires tested on these vehicles were comparable to 
the treadwear rates on rear-wheel-drive passenger 
cars. Based on the foregoing, the agency proposed the 
amendment, believing that it would result in the use 
of test vehicles that more accurately reflect the t3^es 
of vehicles being manufactured and would make it eas- 
ier for test fleet operators to obtain vehicles. The 
amendment also changes the specified size of the test 
convoy from "no more than four passenger cars" to 
either "two or four passenger cars, light trucks, or 
MPVs." 

The agency received no comments to the February 
proposal. The agency therefore has decided to amend 
the treadwear convoy requirements, as proposed. Ac- 
cordingly, front-wheel-drive passenger cars and light 
trucks, vans, and MPVs may be used in treadwear 
convoys. 

56 F.R. 57988 
November 15, 1991 



PART 575-PRE 183-184 



i 



PART 575— CONSUMER INFORMATION 



SUBPART A— GENERAL 

§ 575.1 Scope. 

This part contains Federal Motor Vehicle Con- 
sumer Information Regulations established under 
section 112(d) of the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 1401(d)) 
(hereinafter "the Act"). 

§ 575.2 Definitions. 

(a) Statutory definitions. All terms used in this 
part that are defined in section 102 of the Act are 
used as defined in the Act. 

(b) Motor Vehicle Safety Standard definitions. 
Unless otherwise indicated, all terms used in this 
part that are defined in the Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards, Part 571 of this subchapter (herein- 
after "The Standards") are used as defined in the 
Standards without regard to the applicability of a 
standard in which a definition is contained. 

(c) Definitions used in this part. 

"Brake power unit" means a device installed in a 
brake system that provides the energy required to 
actuate the brakes, either directly or indirectly 
through an auxiliary device, with the operator 
action consisting only of modulating the energy 
application level. 

"Lightly loaded vehicle weight" means— 

(1) For a passenger car, unloaded vehicle 
weight plus 300 pounds (including driver and 
instrumentation), with the added weight 
distributed in the front seat area. 

(2) For a motorcycle, unloaded vehicle weight 
plus 200 pounds (including driver and instrumen- 
tation), with added weight distributed on the 
saddle and in saddle bags or other carrier. 

"Maximum loaded vehicle weight" is used as 
defined in Standard No. 110. 

"Maximum sustained vehicle speed" means 
that speed attainable by accelerating at 
maximum rate from a standing start for 1 mile. 



I" Owner's manual" means the document which 
contains the manufacturer's comprehensive vehi- 
cle operating and maintenance instructions, 
and which is intended to remain with the vehicle 
for the life of the vehicle. 54 F.R. 48745— November 
27, 1989. Effective: September 1, 1990).] 

"Skid number" means the frictional resistance 
measured in accordance with American Society for 
Testing and Materials Method E-274 at 40 miles 
per hour, omitting water delivery as specified in 
paragraph 7.1 of that Method. 

§ 575.3 IVIatter incorporated by reference. 

The incorporation by reference provisions of 
§ 571.5 of this subchapter applies to this part. • 

§ 575.4 Application. 

(a) General. Except as provided in paragraphs 
(b) through (d) of this section, each section set forth 
in Subpart B of this part applies according to its 
terms to motor vehicles and tires manufactured 
after the effective date indicated. 

(bj Military vehicles. This part does not apply 
to motor vehicles or tires sold directly to the 
Armed Forces of the United States in conformity 
with contractural specifications. 

(c) Export. This part does not apply to motor 
vehicles or tires intended solely for export and so 
labeled or tagged. 

(d) Import. This part does not apply to motor 
vehicles or tires imported for purposes other than 
resale. 

§ 575.5 Separability. 

If any section established in this part or its ap- 
plication to any person or circumstances is held in- 
valid, the remainder of the part and the application 
of that section to other persons or circumstances is 
not affected thereby. 



(Rev. 11/27/89) 



PART 575-1 



§ 575.6 Requirements. 

(aXl) At the time a motor vehicle is delivered to 
the first purchaser for purposes other than resale, 
the manufacturer of that vehicle shall provide to 
that purchaser, in writing and in the English 
language, the information specified in §§ 575.103 
and 575.104 of this part that is applicable to that 
vehicle and its tires. The document provided with a 
vehicle may contain more than one table, but the 
document must either (1) clearly and uncondi- 
tionally indicate which of the tables apply to the 
vehicle with which it is provided, or (2) contain a 
statement on its cover referring the reader to the 
vehicle certification label for specific information 
concerning which of the tables apply to that vehi- 
cle. If the manufacturer chooses option (2), the 
vehicle certification label shall include such specific 
information. 

Exam/pie 1: Manufacturer X furnishes a document 
containing several tables, which apply to various 
groups of vehicles that it produces. The document 
contains the following notation on its front page: 
"The information that applies to this vehicle is 
contained in Table 5." The notation satisfies the re- 
quirement. 

Example 2: Manufacturer Y furnishes a document 
containing several tables as in Example 1, with the 
following notation on its front page: 
Information applies as follows: 
Model P. 6-cylinder engine— Table 1. 
Model P. 8-cylinder engine— Table 2. 
Model Q-Table 3. 



This notation does not satisfy the requirement, since 
it is conditioned on the model or the equipment of the 
vehicle with which the document is furnished, and 
therefore additional information is required to select 
the proper table. 

(b) At the time a motor vehicle tire is delivered 
to the first purchaser for a purpose other than 
resale, the manufacturer of that tire, or in the case 
of a tire marketed under a brand name, the brand 
name owner, shall provide to that purchaser the 
information specified in Subpart B of this part that 
is applicable to that tire. 

(c) Each manufacturer of motor vehicles, each 
brand name owner of tires, and each manufacturer 
of tires for which there is no brand name owner 
shall provide for examination by prospective 
purchasers, at each location where its vehicles or 
tires are offered for sale by a person with whom 
the manufacturer or brand name owner has a con- 
tractual, proprietary, or other legal relationship, 
or by a person who has such a relationship with a 
distributor of the manufacturer or brand name 
owner concerning the vehicle or tire in question, 
the information specified in Subpart B of this part 
that is applicable to each of the vehicles or tires 
offered for sale at that location. The information 
shall be provided without charge and in sufficient 
quantity to be available for retention by prospec- 
tive purchasers or sent by mail to a prospective 
purchaser upon his request. With respect to newly 
introduced vehicles or tires, the information shall 
be provided for examination by prospective 
purchasers not later than the day on which the 



This ligure indicates braking performance thai can be met or encecded by the vehicles to which it applies, without locking the wheels, under different 
conditions of loading and with partial failures of the braking system The information presented represents results obtainable by skilled drivers under 
controlled road and vehicle conditions, and the information may not be correct under other conditions 


Description of vehicles to which this table applies. 


A Fully Operational Service Brake Load 

Light 

Maximum 

B Emergency Service Brakes (with Par- 
tial Service Brake System Failure) 

C Brake Power Unit Failure 

Maximum Load 




1 im 




1 \H> 




- ■ 1 .1/1 








100 200 300 400 500 

Stopping Distance in Feet from 60 mph. 



FIGURE 1 



PART 575-2 



manufacturer or brand name owner first 
authorizes those vehicles or tires to be put on 
general public display and sold to consumers. 

(d)(1) (i) Except as provided in paragraph 
(d) (1) (ii) of this section in the case of all sections of 
Subpart B, other than § 575.104, as they apply to 
information submitted prior to new model intro- 
duction, each manufacturer of motor vehicles shall 
submit to the Administrator 10 copies of the infor- 
mation specified in Subpart B of this part that is 
applicable to the vehicles offered for sale, at least 
90 days before it is first provided for examination 
by prospective purchasers pursuant to paragraph 
(c) of this section. (2) In the case of § 575.104, and 
all other sections of Subpart B as they apply to 
post-introduction changes in information sub- 
mitted for the current model year, each manufac- 
turer of motor vehicles, each brand name owner of 
tires, and each manufacturer of tires for which 
there is no brand name owner shall submit to the 
Administrator 10 copies of the information 
specified in Subpart B of this part that is applicable 
to the vehicles or tires offered for sale, at least 30 
days before that information is first provided for 
examination by prospective purchasers pursuant 
to paragraph (c) of this section. 

(ii) Where an unforeseen pre-introduction 
modification in vehicle design or equipment 
results in a change in vehicle performance for a 
characteristic included in Subpart B of this part, 
a manirfacturer of motor vehicles may revise in- 
formation previously furnished under (d) (1) (i) 
of this section by submission to the Admin- 
istrator of 10 copies of revised information 
reflecting the performance changes, at least 30 
days before information on the subject vehicles 
is first provided to prospective purchasers pur- 
suant to paragraph (c) of this section. 

(2) In the case of § 575.104, and all other sec- 
tions of Subpart B as they apply to post- 
introduction changes in information submitted 
for the current model year, each manufacturer of 
motor vehicles, each brand name owner of tires, 
and each manufacturer of tires for which there is 
no brand name owner shall submit to the Admin- 
istrator 10 copies of the information specified in 
Subpart B of this part that is applicable to the 
vehicles or tires offered for sale, at least 30 days 
before it is first provided for examination by pro- 
spective purchasers pursuant to paragraph (c) of 
this session. 



[(2XA) At the time a motor vehicle manufatured 
on or after September 1, 1990 is delivered to the 
first purchaser for purposes other than resale, the 
manufacturer shall provide to the purchaser, in 
writing in the English language and not less than 
10 point type, the following statement in the 
owner's manual, or, if there is no owner's manual, 
on a one-page document: 

"If you believe that your vehicle has a defect 
which could cause a crash or could cause injury or 
death, you should immediately inform the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
in addition to notifying [INSERT NAME OF 
MANUFACTURER]. 

If NHTSA receives similar complaints, it may 
open an investigation, and if it finds that a safety 
defect exists in a group of vehicles, it may order a 
recall and remedy campaign. However, NHTSA 
cannot become involved in individual problems be- 
tween you, your dealer, or [INSERT NAME OF 
MANUFACTURER.] 

To contact NHTSA, you may either call the Auto 
Safety Hotline toll-free at 1-800-424-9393 (or 
366-0123 in the Washington D.C. area) or write to: 
NHTSA, U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Washington, D.C. 20590. You can also obtain other 
information about motor vehicle safety from the 
Hotline. 

(2)(B) The manufacturer shall specify in the 
table of contents of the owner's manual the loca- 
tion of the statement in 575.6(a)(2)(A). The heading 
in the table of contents shall state "Reporting 
Safety Defects." 54 F.R. 48745— November 27, 1989. 
Effective: September 1, 1990)] 

§ 575.7 Special vehicles. 

A manufacturer who produces vehicles having a 
configuration not available for purchase by the 
general public need not make available to ineligible 
purchasers, pursuant to § 575.6(c), the information 
for those vehicles specified in Subpart B of this 
part, and shall identify those vehicles when 
furnishing the information required by § 575.6(d). 



SUBPART B-CONSUMER INFORMATION ITEMS 
§ 575.101 Vehicle stopping distance. 

(a) Purpose and scope. This section requires 
manufacturers of passenger cars and motorcycles 
to provide information on vehicle stopping distances 



(Rev. 11/27/89) 



PART 575-3 



under specified speed, brake, loading and pave- 
ment conditions. 

(b) Application. This section applies to 
passenger cars and motorcycles manufactured on 
or after January 1, 1970. 

(c) Required information. Each manufacturer 
shall furnish the information in (1) through (5) 
below, in the form illustrated in Figure 1, except 
that with respect to (2) and (3) below, a manufac- 
turer whose total motor vehicle production does 
not exceed 500 annually is only required to furnish 
performance information for the loaded condition. 
Each motorcycle in the group to which the infor- 
mation applies shall be capable, under the condi- 
tions specified in paragraph (d), and utilizing the 
procedures specified in paragraph (e), of perform- 
ing at least as well as the information indicates. 
Each passenger car in the group to which the infor- 
mation applies shall be capable of performing at 
least as well as the information indicates, under 
the test conditions and procedures specified in S6 
and S7 of Standard No. 105-75 of this chapter (49 
CFR 571.105-75) or, in the case of passenger cars 
manufactured before January 1, 1977, and at the 
option of the manufacturer, under the conditions 
specified in paragraph (d) of this section and the 
procedures specified in Paragraph (e) of this sec- 
tion. 

If a vehicle is unable to reach the speed of 60 
miles per hour (mph), the maximum sustained vehi- 
cle speed shall be substituted for the 60 mph speed 
in the requirements specified below, and in the 
presentation of information as in Figure 1, with an 
asterisked notation in essentially the following 
form at the bottom of the figure: "The maximum 
speed attainable by accelerating at maximum rate 
from a standing start for 1 mile." The weight re- 
quirements indicated in paragraphs (c)(2), (3), and 
(4) of this section are modified for the motorcycles 
(and at the option of the manufacturer, in the case 
of passenger cars manufactured before January 1, 
1977) by the fuel tank condition specified in 
paragraph (d) (4) of this section. 

(1) Vehicle description. The group of vehicles 
to which the table applies, identified in the terms 
by which they are described to the public by the 
manufacturer. 

(2) Minimum stopping distance with fully 
operational service brake system. The minimum 
stopping distance attainable, expressed in feet. 



from 60 mph, using the fully operational service 
brake system— 

(i) In the case of a motorcycle, at lightly 
loaded and maximum loaded vehicle weight; 
and 

(ii) In the case of a passenger car, at lightly 
loaded vehicle weight and at gross vehicle 
weight rating (GVWR), except for a passenger 
car manufactured before January 1, 1977, and 
tested, at the option of the manufacturer, 
under the conditions and procedures of 
paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, which 
passenger car shall be tested at lightly loaded 
vehicle weight and at maximum loaded vehicle 
weight. 

(3) Minimum stopping distance with partially 
failed service brake system. (Applicable only to 
passenger cars with more than one service brake 
subsystem.) The minimum stopping distance at- 
tainable using the service brake control, ex- 
pressed in feet, from 60 mph, for the most 
adverse combination of GVWR or lightly loaded 
vehicle weight and partial failure as specified in 

55.1.2 of Standard No. 105-75 of this chapter. 
However, a passenger car manufactured before 
January 1, 1977, and tested, at the option of the 
manufacturer, under the conditions and pro- 
cedures of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, 
shall be tested at maximum loaded vehicle 
weight instead of GVWR. 

(4) Minimum stopping distance with in- 
operative brake power assist unit or brake power 
unit. (Applicable only to passenger cars equipped 
with brake power assist unit or brake power 
unit.) The minimum stopping distance, ex- 
pressed in feet, from 60 mph, using the service 
brake system, tested in accordance with the re- 
quirements of S5.1.3 of Standard No. 105-75 of 
this chapter. However, in the case of a passenger 
car manufactured before Janaury 1, 1977, vehi- 
cle loading may, at the option of the manufac- 
turer, be maximum loaded vehicle weight in 
place of the GVWR loading specified under 

55.1.3 of Standard No. 105-75. 

(5) Notice. The following notice: "This figure 
indicates braking performance that can be met 
or exceeded by the vehicles to which it applies, 
without locking the wheels, under different 
conditions of loading and with partial failures of 
the braking system. The information presented 



PART 575-4 



represents results obtainable by skilled drivers 
under controlled road and vehicle conditions, and 
the information may not be correct under other 
conditions." 

(d) Conditions. The data provided in the format 
of Figure 1 shall represent a level of perform.ance 
that can be equalled or exceeded by each vehicle in 
the group to which the table applies, under the 
following conditions, utilizing the procedures set 
forth in (e) below: 

(1) Stops are made without lock-up of any 
wheel, except for momentary lock-up caused by 
an automatic skid control device. 

(2) The tire inflation pressure and other 
relevant component adjustments of the vehicle 
are made according to the manufacturer's 
published recommendations. 

(3) For passenger cars, brake pedal force does 
not exceed 150 pounds for any brake application. 
For motorcycles, hand brake lever force applied 
IV4 inches from the outer end of the lever does 
not exceed 55 pounds, and foot brake pedal force 
does not exceed 90 pounds. 

(4) Fuel tank is filled to any level between 90 
and 100 percent of capacity. 

(5) Transmission is in neutral, or the clutch 
disengaged, during the entire deceleration. 

(6) The vehicle begins the deceleration in the 
center of a straight roadway lane that is 12 feet 
wide, and remains in the lane throughout the 
deceleration. 

(7) The roadway lane has a grade of zero per- 
cent, and the road surface has a skid number of 
81, as measured in accordance with American 
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) 
Method E-274-70 (as revised July, 1974) at 40 
mph, omitting the water delivery specified in 
paragraphs 7.1 and 7.2 of that Method. 

(8) All vehicle openings (doors, windows, 
hood, trunk, convertible tops, etc.) are in the 
closed position except as required for instrumen- 
tation purposes. 

(9) Ambient temperature is between 32°F and 
100°F. 

(10) Wind velocity is zero, 
(e) Procedures. 

(1) Burnish. 

(i) Passenger cars. Burnish brakes once 
prior to first stopping distance test by conduct- 



ing 200 stops from 40 mph (or maximum sus- 
tained vehicle speed if the vehicle is incapable 
of reaching 40 mph) at a deceleration rate of 12 
fpsps in normal driving gear, with a cooling in- 
terval between stops, accomplished by driving 
at 40 mph for a sufficient distance to reduce 
brake temperature to 250°F, or for one mile, 
whichever occurs first. Readjust brakes ac- 
cording to manufacturer's recommendations 
after burnishing. 

(ii) Motorcycles. Adjust and burnish brakes 
in accordance with manufacturer's recommen- 
dations. Where no burnishing procedures 
have been recommended by the manufacturer, 
follow the procedures specified above for 
passenger cars, except substitute 30 mph for 
40 mph and 150° F for 250°F, and maintain 
hand lever force to foot lever force ratio of ap- 
proximately 1 to 2. 

(2) Ensure that the temperature of the hot- 
test service brake is between 130°F and 150°F 
prior to the start of all stops (other than bur- 
nishing stops), as measured by plug-type ther- 
mocouples installed according to SAE Recom- 
mended Practice J843a, June 1966. 

(3) Measure the stopping distance as specified 
in (c) (2), (3), and (4), from the point of applica- 
tion of force to the brake control to the point at 
which the vehicle reaches a full stop. 

§ 575.102 [Reserved]. 

§ 575!l03 Truck-camper loading. 

(a) Scope. This section requires manufacturers 
of trucks that are capable of accommodating slide- 
in campers to provide information on the cargo 
weight rating and the longitudinal limits within 
which the center of gravity for the cargo weight 
rating should be located. 

(b) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to 
provide information that can be used to reduce 
overloading and improper load distribution in 
truck-camper combinations, in order to prevent ac- 
cidents resulting from the adverse effects of these 
conditions on vehicle steering and braking. 

(c) Application. This section applies to trucks 
that are capable of accommodating slide-in 
campers. 

(d) Definitions. "Camper" means a structure 
designed to be mounted in the cargo area of a 



PART 575-5 



truck, or attached to an incomplete vehicle with 
motive power, for the purpose of providing shelter 
for persons. 

"Cargo weight rating" means the value specified 
by the manufacturer as the cargo-carrying capac- 
ity, in pounds, of a vehicle, exclusive of the weight 
of occupants, computed as 150 pounds times the 
number of designated seating positions. 

"Slide-in camper" means a camper having a 
roof, floor and sides, designed to be mounted on 
and removable from the cargo area of a truck by 
the user. 

(e) Requirements. Except as provided in 
paragraph (f) of this section each manufacturer of 
a truck that is capable of accommodating a slide-in 
camper shall furnish the information specified in 
(1) through (5) below: 

(1) A picture showing the manufacturer's 
recommended longitudinal center of gravity 
zone for the cargo weight rating in the form il- 
lustrated in Figure 1. The boundaries of the zone 
shall be such that when a slide-in camper equal in 
weight to the truck's cargo weight rating is in- 
stalled, no gross axle weight rating of the truck 
is exceeded. Until October 1, 1973 the phrase 
"Aft End of Cargo Area" may be used in Figure 
1 instead of "Rear End of Truck Bed". 



LOCATION fOB 
CARGO CENTER 
Of GBAVITV FOR 
CAflGO WEIGHT ' 
k RATING 




ceed the truck's cargo weight rating and the 
camper's center of gravity should fall within the 
truck's recommended center of gravity zone when 
installed." Until October 1, 1973 the phrase "total 
load" may be used instead of "total cargo load". 
(4) A picture showing the proper match of a 
truck and slide-in camper in the form illustrated 
in Figure 2. 




TRUCK LOADING INFORMATION 



FIGURE 2 EXAMPLE OF PROPER TRUCK AND CAMPER MATCH 

(5) The statements: "Secure loose items to 
prevent weight shifts that could affect the 
balance of your vehicle. When the truck camper 
is loaded, drive to a scale and weigh on the front 
and on the rear wheels separately to determine 
axle loads. Individual axle loads should not ex- 
ceed either of the gross axle weight ratings 
(GAWR). The total of the axle loads should not 
exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). 
These ratings are given on the vehicle certifica- 
tion label that is located on the left side of the 
vehicle, normally the dash, hinge pillar, door 
latch post, or door edge next to the driver. If 
weight ratings are exceeded, move or remove 
items to bring all weights below the ratings." 

(f) If a truck would accommodate a slide-in 
camper but the manufacturer of the truck recom- 
mends that the truck not be used for that purpose, 
the information specified in paragraph (e) shall not 
be provided but instead the manufacturer shall 
provide a statement that the truck should not be 
used to carry a slide-in camper. 



(2) The truck's cargo weight rating. 

(3) The statements: "When the truck is used 
to carry a slide-in camper, the total cargo load of 
the truck consists of the manufacturer's camper 
weight figure, the weight of installed additional 
camper equipment not included in the manufac- 
turer's camper weight figure, the weight of 
camper cargo, and the weight of passengers in 
the camper. The total cargo load should not ex- 



§ 575.104 Uniform Tire Quality Grading Standards. 

(a) Scope. This section requires motor vehicle 
and tire manufacturers and tire brand name 
owners to provide information indicating the 
relative performance of passenger car tires in the 
areas of treadwear, traction, and temperature 
resistance. 

(b) Purpose. The purpose of this section is to 
aid the consumer in making an informed choice in 
the purchase of passenger car tires. 



PART 575-6 



(c) Application. (1) This section applies to new 
pneumatic tires for use on passenger cars. 
However, this section does not apply to deep tread, 
winter-type snow tires, space-saver or temporary 
use spare tires, tires with nominal rim diameters of 
10 to 12 inches, or to limited production tires as 
defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. 

(2) "Limited production tire" means a tire 
meeting all of the following criteria, as applicable: 
(i) The annual domestic production or impor- 
tation into the United States by the tire's 
manufacturer of tires of the same design and 
size as the tire does not exceed 15,000 tires; 

(ii) In the case of a tire marketed under a 
brand name, the annual domestic purchase or 
importation into the United States by a brand 
name owner of tires of the same design and 
size as the tire does not exceed 15,000 tires; 

(iii) The tire's size was not listed as a vehicle 
manufacturer's recommended tire size designa- 
tion for a new motor vehicle produced in or im- 
ported into the United States in quantities 
greater than 10,000 during the calendar year 
preceeding the year of the tire's manufacturer; 
and 

(iv) The total annual domestic production or 
importation into the United States by the tire's 
manufacturer, and in the case of a tire manufac- 
turer, and in case of a tire marketed under a 
brand name, the total annual domestic purchase 
or purchase for importation into the United 
States by the tire's brand name owner, of tires 
meeting the criteria of paragraphs (cX2) (i), (ii), 
and (iii) of this section, does not exceed 35,000 
tires. 
Tire design is the combination of general struc- 
tural characteristics, materials, and tread pat- 
tern, but does include cosmetic, identifying or 
other minor variations among tires. 

(d) Requirements. 
(1) Information. 

(i) Each manufacturer of tires, or in the case 
of tires marketed under a brand name, each 
brand name owner, shall provide ghading in- 
formation for each tire of which he is the 
manufacturer or brand name owner in the 
manner set forth in paragraphs (d) (1) (i) (A) 
and (d) (1) (i) (B) of this section. The grades for 
each tire shall be only those specified in 
paragraph (d) (2) of this section. Each tire shall 
be able to achieve the level of performance 
represented by each grade with which it is 



labeled. An individual tire need not, however, 
meet further requirements after having been 
subjected to the test for any one grade. 

(A) Except for a tire line, manufactured 
within the first six months of production of 
the tire line, each tire shall be graded with 
the words, letters, symbols, and figures 
specified in paragraph (d) (2) of this section, 
permanently molded into or onto the tire 
side wall between the tire's maximum section 
width and shoulder in accordance with one of 
the methods in Figure 1. 

(B) (1) Each tire manufactured before Oc- 
tober 1, 1980, other than a tire sold as original 
equipment on a new vehicle, shall have affixed 
to its tread surface in a manner such that it is 
not easily removable a label containing its 
grades and other information in the form il- 
lustrated in Figure 2, Part II, bearing the 
heading "DOT QUALITY GRADES." The 
treadwear grade attributed to the tire shall be 
either imprinted or indelibly stamped on the 
label adjacent to the description of the 
treadwear grade. The label shall also depict 
all possible grades for traction and temper- 
ature resistance. The traction and temper- 
ature resistance performance grades attri- 
buted to the tire shall be indelibly circled. 
However, each tire labeled in conformity with 
the requirements of paragraph (dXlXiXBX^) 
of this section need not comply with the provi- 
sions of this paragraph. 

(2) Each tire manufactured on or after 
. October 1, 1980, other than a tire sold as 
original equipment on a new vehicle, shall 
have affixed to its tread surface so as not 
to be easily removable a label or labels con- 
taining its grades and other information in 
the form illustrated in Figure 2, Parts I 
and II. The treadwear grade attributed to 
the tire shall be either imprinted or in- 
delibly stamped on the label containing the 
material in Part I of Figure 2, directly to 
the right of or below the word "TREAD- 
WEAR". The traction and temperature 
resistance performance grades attributed 
to the tire shall be indelibly circled in an ar- 
ray of the potential grade letters (ABC) 
directly to the right of or below the words 
"TRACTION" and "TEMPERATURE" 
in Part I of Figure 2. The words "TREAD- 
WEAR," "TRACTION," and "TEMPER- 
ATURE," in that order, may be laid out 



PART 575-7 



vertically or horizontally. The text part of 
Part II of Figure 2 may be printed in 
capital letters. The text of Part I and the 
text of Part II of Figure 2 need not appear 
on the same label, but the edges of the two 
texts must be positioned on the tire tread 
so as to be separated by a distance of no 
more than one inch. If the text of Part I 
and the text of Part II are placed on sepa- 
rate labels, the notation "See EXPLAN- 
ATION OF DOT QUALITY GRADES" 
shall be added to the bottom of the Part I 
text, and the words "EXPLANATION OF 
DOT QUALITY GRADES" shall appear at 
the top of the Part II text. The text of 
Figure 2 shall be oriented on the tire tread 
surface with lines of type running perpen- 
dicular to the tread circumference. If a 
label bearing a tire size designation is at- 
tached to the tire tread surface and the tire 
size designation is oriented with lines of 
type running perpendicular to the tread 
circumference, the text of Figure 2 shall 
read in the same direction as the tire size 
designation, 
(ii) In the case of information required in 
accordance with § 575.6(c) to be furnished to 
prospective purchasers of motor vehicles and 
tires, each vehicle manufacturer and each tire 
manufacturer or brand name owner shall as 
part of that information list all possible grades 
for traction and temperature resistance, and 
restate verbatim the explanations for each 
performance area specified in Figure 2. The in- 
formation need not be in the same format as in 
Figure 2. In the case of a tire manufacturer or 
brand name owner, the information must in- 
dicate clearly and unambiguously the grade in 
each performance area for each tire of that 
ma ufacturer or brand name owner offered for 
sale at the particular location. 

(iii) In the case of information required in 
accordance with § 575.6(a) to be furnished to 
the first purchaser of a new motor vehicle, 
other than a motor vehicle equipped with bias- 
ply tires manufactured prior to October 1, 
1979, and April 1, 1980, and a radial-ply tire 
manufactured prior to October 1, 1980, each 
manufacturer of motor vehicles shall as part of 
the information list all possible grades for trac- 
tion and temperature resistance and restate 
verbatim the explanation for each perform- 
ance area specified in Figure 2. The informa- 



tion need not be in the format of Figure 2, but it 
must contain a statement referring the reader 
to the tire sidewall for the specific tire grades 
for the tires with which the vehicle is equipped. 

(2) Performance. 

(i) Treadwear. Each tire shall be graded for 
treadwear performance with the word 
"TREADWEAR" followed by a number of 
two of three digits representing the tire's 
grade for treadwear, expressed as a percen- 
tage of the NHTSA nominal treadwear value, 
when tested in accordance with the conditions 
and procedures specified in paragraph (e) of 
this section. [On and before August 31, 1993, 
treadwear grades shall be multiples of 10 (e.g., 
80, 150). On and after September 1, 1993, 
treadwear grades shall be in multiples of 20. 
(e.g., 80, 120, and 160). (56 F.R. 26769— June 11, 
1991. Effective: September 1, 1993)] 

(ii) Traction. Each tire shall be graded for 
traction performance with the word "TRAC- 
TION," followed by the symbols C, B, or A 
(either asterisks or 5-pointed stars) when the 
tire is tested in accordance with the conditions 
and procedures specified in paragraph (f) of 
this section. 

(A) The tire shall be graded C when the 
adjusted traction coefficient is either: 

(1) 0.38 or less when tested in accord- 
ance with paragraph (f) (2) of this section 
on the asphalt surface specified in 
paragraph (f) (1) (i) of this section, or 

(2) 0.26 or less when tested in accord- 
ance with paragraph (f) (2) of this section 
on the concrete surface specified in 
paragraph (f) (1) (i) of this section. 

(B) The tire may be graded B only when 
its adjusted traction coefficient is both: 

(1) More than 0.38 when tested in 
accordance with paragraph (f) (2) of this 
section on the asphalt surface specified in 
paragraph (f) (1) (i) of this section, and 

(2) More than 0.26 when tested in 
accordance with paragraph (f) (2) of this 
section on the concrete surface specified in 
paragraph (f) (1) (i) of this section. 

(C) The tire may be graded A only when 
its adjusted traction coefficient is both: 

(1) More than 0.47 when tested in accord- 
ance with paragraph (f) (2) of this section on 
the asphalt surface specified in paragraph 
(f) (1) (i) of this section, and 



(Rev. 6/11/91) 



PART 575-8 



(2) More than 0.35 when tested in accord- 
ance with paragraph (f ) (2) of this section on 
the concrete surface specified in paragraph 
(f) (1) (i) of this section, 
(iii) Temperature resistance. Each tire shall 
be graded for temperature resistance perform- 
ance with the word "TEMPERATURE" fol- 
lowed by the letter A, B, or C, based on its 
performance when the tire is tested in accord- 
ance with the procedures specified in 
paragraph (g) of this section. A tire shall be 
considered to have successfully completed a 
test stage in accordance with this paragraph if, 
at th end of the test stage, it exhibits no visual 
evidence of tread, sidewall, ply, cord, in- 
nerliner or bead separation, chunking, broken 
cords, cracking or open splices a defined in 
§ 571.109 of this chapter, and the tire pressure 
is not less than the pressure specified in 
paragraph (g) (1) of this section. 

(A) The tire shall be graded C if it fails to 
complete the 500 rpm test stage specified in 
paragraph (g) (9) of this section. 

(B) The tire may be graded B only if it 
successfully completes the 500 rpm test stage 
specified in paragraph (g) (9) of this section. 

(C) The tire may be graded A only if it 
successfully completes the 575 rpm test stage 
specified in paragraph (g) (9) of this section. 

(e) Treadwear grading conditions and proce- 
dures.— (1) Conditions, (i) Tire treadwear per- 
formance is evaluated on a specific roadway course 
approximately 400 miles in length, which is 
established by the NHTSA both for its own com- 
pliance testing and for that of regulated persons. 
The course is designed to produce treadwear rates 
that are generally representative of those en- 
countered by tires in public use. The course and 
driving procedures are described in Appendix A to 
this section. 

(ii) Treadwear grades are evaluated by first 
measuring the performance of a candidate tire 
on the government test course, and then 
correcting the projected mileage obtained to 
account for environmental variations on the 
basis of the performance of the course 
monitoring tires run in the same convoy. The 
course monitoring tires are made available by 
the NHTSA at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San 
Angelo, Tex., for purchase by any persons con- 
ducting tests at the test course. 

(iii) In convoy tests each vehicle in the same 
convoy, except for the lead vehicle, is 
throughout the test within human eye range of 
the vehicle immediately ahead of it. 



(iv) [A test convoy consists of two or four 
passenger cars, light trucks, or MVPs, each 
with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. (56 F.R. 
57988— November 15, 1991. Effective: December 
16, 1991)1 

(v) On each convoy vehicle, all tires are 
mounted on identical rims of design or measur- 
ing rim width specified for tires of that size in 
accordance with 49 CFR 571.109, § 4.4.1(a) or 
(b), or a rim having a width within -0 to -1-0.50 
inches of the width oisted. 

(2) Treadwear grading procedure, (i) [Equip a 
convoy as follows: Place four course monitoring 
tires on one vehicle. Place four candidate tires 
with identical size designations on each other 
vehicle in the convoy. On each axle, place tires 
that are identical with respect to manufacturer 
and line. 

(ii) Inflate each candidate and each course 
monitoring tire to the applicable pressure 
specified in Table 1 of this section. 

(iii) Load each vehicle so that the load on each 
course monitoring and candidate tire is 85 per- 
cent of the test load specified in § 575.104(h). 

(iv) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint 
of the vehicle manufacturer's specifications, 
unless adjustment to the midpoint is not 
recommended by the manufacturer; in that 
case, adjust the alignment to the manufac- 
turer's recommended setting. In all cases, the 
setting is within the tolerance specified by the 
manufacturer of the alignment machine. 

(v) Subject candidate and course monitoring 
tires to "break-in" by running the tires in con- 
voy for two circuits of the test roadway (800 
miles). At the end of the first circuit, rotate 
each vehicle's tires by moving each front tire 
to the same side of the rear axle and each rear 
tire to the opposite side of the front axle. 
Visually inspect each tire for any indication of 
abnormal wear, tread separation, bulging of 
the sidewall, or any sign of tire failure. Void 
the grading results from any tire with any of 
these anomalies, and replace the tire. 

(vi) After break-in, allow the air pressure in 
the tires to fall to the applicable pressure 
specified in Table 1 of this section or for 2 
hours, whichever occurs first. Measure, to the 
nearest 0.001 inch, the tread depth of each can- 
didate and each course monitoring tire, 
avoiding treadwear indicators, at six equally 
spaced points in each groove. For each tire 
compute the average of the measurements. Do 
not measure those shoulder grooves which are 
not provided with treadwear indicators. 



(Rev. 11/15/91) 



PART 575-9 



(vii) Adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint 
of the manufacturer's specifications, unless ad- 
justment to the midpoint is not recommended 
by the manufacturer; in that case, adjust the 
alignment according to the manufacturer's 
recommended setting. In all cases, the setting 
is within the tolerance specified by the 
manufacturer of the alignment machine. 

(viii) Drive the convoy on the test roadway 
for 6,400 miles. 

(A) After each 400 miles, rotate each vehi- 
cle's tires by moving each front tire to the 
same side of the rear axle and each rear tire 
to the opposite side of the front axle. Visually 
inspect each tire for treadwear anomalies. 

(B) After each 800 miles, rotate the 
vehicles in the convoy by moving the last 
vehicle to the lead position. Do not rotate 
driver positions within the convoy. In four- 
car convoys, vehicle one shall become vehicle 
two, vehicle two shall become vehicle three, 
vehicle three shall become vehicle four, and 
vehicle four shall become vehicle one. 

(C) After each 800 miles, if necessary, 
adjust wheel alignment to the midpoint of 
the vehicle maaufacturer's specification, 
unless adjustment to the midpoint is not 
recommended by the manufacturer; in that 
case, adjust the alignment to the manu- 
facturer's recommended setting. In all cases, 
the setting is within the tolerance specified 
by the manufactur of the alignment machine. 

(D) After each 800 miles, if determining 
the projected mileage by the 9-point method 
set forth in (eX2Xix)(aXl), measure the 
average tread depth of each tire following 
the procedure set forth in paragraph 
(eX2Xvi) of this section. 

(E) After each 1,600 miles, move the com- 
plete set of four tires to the following vehi- 
cle. Move the tires on the last vehicle to the 
lead vehicle. In moving the tires, rotate them 
as set forth in (eX2XviiiXA) of this section. 

(F) At the end of the test, measure the 
tread depth of each tire pursuant to the pro- 
cedure set forth in paragraph (eX2Xvi) of this 
section. 

(ixXA) Determine the projected mileage for 
each candidate tire either by the nine-point 
method of least squares set forth in 
(eX2XixXAXl) and Appendix C, or by the two- 
point arithmetical method set forth in 



(eX2Xix)(AX2). Notify NHTSA about which of 
the alternative grading methods is being used. 

(1) Nine-Point Method of Least Squares. For 
each course monitoring and candidate 
tire in the convoy, using the average tread 
depth measurements obtained in accordance 
with paragraphs (e) (2) (vi) of this section and 
the corresponding mileages as data points, 
apply the method of least squares as described 
in Appendix C of this section to determine the 
estimated regression line of y on x given by the 
follov«ng formula: 

y = a -(- bx 



1000 



where: 

y = average tread depth in mils, 

x= miles after break-in, 

a=y intercept of regression line (reference tread 
depth) in mils, calculated using the method of least 
squares; and 

b = the slope of the regression line in mils of tread 
depth per 1,000 miles, calculated using the method 
of least squares. This slope will be negative in 
value. The tire's wear rate is defined as the ab- 
solute value of the slope of the regression line. 

(2) Two-Point Arithmetical Method. For 
each course monitoring and candidate tire in 
the convoy, using the average tread depth 
measurements obtained in accordance with 
paragraph (e) (2) (vi) and (eX2XviiiXF) of this 
section and the corresponding mileages as data 
points, determine the slope (m) of the tire's 
wear in mils of thread depth per 1,000 miles by 
the following formula: 

m = 1000 (Yl-Yo) 

where: 
Yo= average tread depth after break-in, mios 
Yl = average tread depth at 6,400 miles, mils 
Xo = o miles (after break-in). 
XI = 6,400 miles of travel 

This slope (m) will be negative in value, tire's 
wear rate is defined as the slope (m) expressed 
in mils per 1000 miles. 

(B) Average the wear rates of the four 
course monitoring tires as determined in ac- 
cordance with paragraph (eX2Xix)(A) of this 
section. 

(C) Determine the course severity adjust- 
ment factor by dividing the base wear rate for 
the course monitoring tires (see note below) by 
the average wear rate for the four course 
monitoring tires. 



PART 575-10 



\^" 



if 



^^"^ 



^^,^^ZWHB rf/WPf,^^^ 



Curvature t< 
Suii Mold 



'^S 



TREADWEAR 160 _^ \ 
TRACTIONS 5 3, J32 

TEMPERATURE B ^ i 






SAMPLC 
Qual-iy Grsdet 







OPTION 3 Soil Mold 



Locaif Qudl'iy gradei beiMwen the 
thDulde> and the m»».nium section 
Midih 



Noie The gudiitv q'sdn ihali t>e m 

FulutaBold Modil-ed Condented O' 
Goih>c characieii pe'mdnenilv moldpn 
I 020 10 040 deep) •nio 01 onto the 
tire a irKl-cated 



Figure 2 



[Part 1] DOT Quality Grades 

Treadwear 

The treadwear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions 
on a specified government test course. For example, a tire graded 150 would wear one and a half (IV2) times as well on 
the government course as a tire graded 100. The relative performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of 
their use, however, and may depart significantly from the norm due to variations in driving habits, service practices, 
and differences in road characteristics and climate. 

Traction 

The traction grades, from highest to lowest, are A, B, and C, and they represent the tire's ability to stop on wet 
pavements as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. A 
tire marked C may have poor traction performance. WARNING: The traction grade assigned to this tire is based on 
braking (straightahead) traction tests and does not included cornering (turning) traction. 

Temperature 

The temperature grades of A (the highest), B, and C, representing the tire's resistance to the generation of heat and its 
ability to dissipate heat when tested under controlled conditions on a specified indoor laboratory test wheel. Sustained 
high temperature can cause the material of the tire to degenerate and reduce tire life, and excessive temperature can 
lead to sudden tire failure. The grade C corresponds to a level of performance which all passenger car tires must meet 
under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109. Grades B and A represent higher levels of performance on 
the laboratory test wheel than the minimum required by law. WARNING: The temperature grade for this tire is 
established for a tire that is properly inflated and not overloaded. Excessive speed, under-inflation, or excessive 
loading either separately or in combination, can cause heat buildup and possible tire failure. 
[Part II] All Passenger Car Tires Must Conform to Federal Safety Requirements in Addition to These Grades. 



(Rev. 1i;i5;90) 



PART 575-11 



NOTE: The base wear rates for the cou Cu 
monitoring tires will be furnished to 
the purchaser at the time of purchase. 

(d) Determine the adjusted wear rate for each 
candidate tire by multiplying its wear rate deter- 
mined in accordance with paragraph (e)(2Xix)(A) of 
this section by the course severity adjustment fac- 
tor determined in accordance with paragraph 
(eX2)(ix)(C) of this section. 

(E) Determine the projected mileage for each 
candidate tire by applying the appropriate formula 
set forth below: 

(1) If the projected mileage is calculated pur- 
suant to (eX2Xix)(aXl), then 

1000 (a -62) 



Projected mileage = 
where: 



-1-800 



a = y intercept of regression line (reference tread depth) 
for the candidate tire as determined in accordance 
with paragraph (e) (2) (ix) (A) of this section. 

b' = the adjusted wear rate for the candidate tire as 
determined in accordance with paragraph 
(e) (2) (ix) (D) of this section. 

(2) If the projected mileage is calculated pur- 
suant to (eX2)(ixXaX2), then: 

^ . , , ., 1000 (Yo- 62) „A„ 

Projected mileage = ^^ -1-8OO 

mc 
where: 

Yo = average tread depth after break-in, mils. 

mc = the adjusted wear rate for the candidate tire as 

determined in accordance with paragraph 

(e) (2) (ix) (D) of this section. 

(F) Compute the percentage (P) of the 
NHTSA nominal treadwear value for each 
candidate tire using the following formula: 

Projected Mileage 

P= X 100 

30,000 

On and before August 31, 1993, round off the 
percentage to the nearest lower 10% incre- 
ment. [On and after September 1, 1993, 
round off the percentage to the nearest 
lower 20-point increment. (56 F.R. 26769— 
June 11, 1991. Effective: September 1, 1993)] 

(f) Traction grading conditions and proce- 
dures— (1) Conditions, (i) Tire traction perfor- 
mance is evaluated on skid pads that are estab- 
lished, and whose severity is monitored, by the 
NHSTA both for its compliance testing and for 
that of regulated persons. The test pavements are 
asphalt and concrete surfaces constructed in accor- 
dance with the specifications for pads "C" and 
"A" in the "Manual for the Construction and 
Maintenance of Skid Surfaces," National Tech- 



nical Information Service No. DOT-HS-800-814. 
The surfaces have locked wheel traction coeffi- 
cients when evaluated in accordance with para- 
graphs (f)(2Xi) through (fX2Xvii) of this section of 
0.50 ± 0.10 for the asphalt and 0.35 ± 0.10 for the 
concrete. The location of the skid pads is described 
in Appendix B of this section. 

(ii) The standard tire is the American Soci- 
ety for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E 501 
"Standard Tire for Pavement Skid Resistance 
Tests." 

(iii) The pavement surface is wetted in ac- 
cordance with paragraph 3.5, "Pavement Wet- 
ting System," of ASTM Method E 274-79, 
"Skid Resistance of Paved Surfaces Using a 
Full-Scale Tire." 

(iv) The test apparatus is a test trailer built 
in conformity with the specifications in 
paragraph 3, "Apparatus," of ASTM Method 
E 274-79, and instrumented in accordance 
with paragraph 3.3.2 of that Method, except 
that "wheel load" in paragraph 3.2.2 and tire 
and rim specifications in paragraph 3.2.3 of 
that Method are as specified in the procedures 
in paragraph (f) (2) of this section for standard 
and candidate tires. 

(v) The test apparatus is calibrated in ac- 
cordance with ASTM Method F 377-74, 
"Standard Method for Calibration of Braking 
Force for Testing of Pneumatic Tires" with 
the trailer's tires inflated to 24 psi and loaded 
to 1,085 pounds. 

(vi) Consecutive tests on the same surface 
are conducted not less than 30 seconds apart, 
(vii) A standard tire is discarded in accord- 
ance with ASTM Method E 501. 

(2) Procedure, (i) Prepare two standard tires 
as follows: 

(A) Condition the tires by running them 
for 200 miles on a pavement surface. 

(B) Mount each tire on a rim of design or 
measuring rim width specified for tires of its 
size in accordance with 49 CFR 571.109, 
§ 4.4.1(a) or (b), or a rim having a width 
within -0 to -t-0.50 inches of the width 
listed. Then inflate the tire to 24 psi, or, in 
the case of a tire with inflation pressure 
measured in kilopascals, to 180 kPa. 

(C) Statically balance each tire-rim com- 
bination. 

(D) Allow each tire to cool to ambient tem- 
perature and readjust its inflation pressure to 
24 psi, or, in the case of a tire with inflation 
pressure measured in kilopascals, to 180 kPa. 



(Rev. 6/11/91) 



PART 575-12 



(ii) Mount the tires on the test apparatus 
described in paragraph (f) (1) (iv) of this sec- 
tion and load each tire to 1,085 pounds. 

(iii) Tow the trailer on the asphalt test sur- 
face specified in paragraph (f) (1) (i) of this sec- 
tion at a speed of 40 mph, lock one trailer wheel, 
and record the locked-wheel traction coefficient 
on the tire associated with that wheel between 
0.5 and 1.5 seconds after lockup. 

(iv) Repeat the test on the concrete surface, 
locking the same wheel. 

(v) Repeat the tests specified in paragraphs 
(f) (2) (iii) and (f) (2) (iv) of this section for a 
total of 10 measurements on each test surface. 

(vi) Repeat the procedures specified in para- 
graphs (f) (2) (iii) through (f) (2) (v) of this sec- 
tion, locking the wheel associated with the 
other tire. 

(vii) Average the 20 measurements taken on 
the asphalt surface to find the standard tire 
traction coefficient for the asphalt surface. 
Average the 20 measurements taken on the 
concrete surface to find the standard tire trac- 
tion coefficient for the concrete surface. The 
standard tire traction coefficient so determined 
may be used in the computation of adjusted 
traction coefficients for more than one can- 
didate tire. 

(viii) Prepare two candidate tires of the same 
construction type, manufacturer, line, and size 
designation in accordance with paragraph (f) (2) 
(i) of this section, mount them on the test ap- 
paratus, and test one of them according to the 
procedures of paragraph (fX2Xii) through (v) of 
this section, except load each tire to 85% of the 
test load specified in §575. 104(h). [For CT tires, 
the test inflation of candidate tires shall be 230 
kPa. (55 F.R. 49618— November 30, 1990. Effec- 
tive: December 31, 1990)1 

(ix) Compute a candidate tire's adjusted traction 
coefficient for asphalt (^a) by the following formula: 



//a = Measured candidate tire coefficient for 
asphalt +0.50 

- Measured standard tire coefficient for asphalt 

(x) Compute a candidate tire's adjusted trac- 
tion coefficient for concrete (/ic) by the follow- 
ing formula: 

(^ = Measured candidate tire coefficient for con- 
crete + 0.35 

- Measured standard tire coefficient for concrete 

(g) Temperature resistance grading. (1) Mount 
the tire on a rim of design or measuring rim width 
specified for tires of its size in accordance with 49 
CFR 571.109, § 4.4.1(a) or (b) CFR 571.109, 
§ 4.4.1(a) or (b) and inflate it to the applicable 
pressure specified in Table 1 of this section. 

(2) Condition the tire-rim assembly to any 
temperature up to 95°F for at least 3 hours. 

(3) Adjust the pressure again to the applicable 
pressure specified in Table 1 of this section. 

(4) Mount the tire-rim assembly on an axle, 
and press the tire tread against the surface of a 
flat-faced steel test wheel that is 67.23 inches in 
diameter and at least as wide as the section 
width of the tire. 

(5) During the test, including the pressure 
measurements specified in paragraphs (g) (1) and 
(g) (3) of this section, maintain the temperature of 
the ambient air, as measured 12 inches from the 
edge of the rim flange at any point on the circum- 
ference on either side of the tire at any tempera- 
ture up to 95°F. Locate the temperature sensor so 
that its readings are not affected by heat radia- 
tion, drafts, variations in the temperature of the 
surrounding air, or guards or other devices. 

(6) Press the tire against the test wheel with a 
load of 88 percent of the tire's maximum load 
rating as marked on the tire sidewall. 

(7) Rotate the test wheel at 250 rpm for 2 hours. 

(8) Remove the load, allow the tire to cool to 
95 °F or for 2 hours, whichever occurs last, and 
readjust the inflation pressure to the applicable 
pressure specified in Table 1 of this section. 



Table 1. — Test Inflation Pressures 





Maximum permissible injlat 


ion pressure 


for the following test: 














lbs/ in ± 






kPa 






\kPa (1) 




[Testiest] 


32 


36 


JfO 


60 


2A0 


280 300 


3J,0 


290 


330 350 


390 


[Treadwear test] 




. 224 


28 


32 


52 


180 


220 180 


220 


230 


270 230 


270 


Temperature resistance 


test]... 


. 30 


34 


38 


58 


220 


260 220 


260 


270 


310 270 


310] 


[(1) For CT tires only] 



[(55 F.R. 49618— November 30, 1990. Effective: December 31, 1990)1 
(Rev. 11/30/90) PART 575-13 



(9) Reapply the load and without interruption 
or readjustment of inflation pressure, rotate the 
test wheel at 375 rpm for 30 minutes, and then at 
successively higher rates in 25 rpm increments, 
each for 30 minutes, until the tire has run at 575 
rpm for 30 minutes, or to failure, whichever oc- 
curs first. 

(h) Determination of test load. [(1) To determine 
test loads for purposes of paragraphs (e) (2) (iii) 
and (f) (2) (viii), follow the procedure set forth in 
paragraphs (h) (2) through (5) of this section. 

(2) Determine the tire's maximum inflation 
pressure and maximum load rating both as 
specified on the tire's sidewall. 

(3) Determine the appropriate multiplier cor- 
responding to the tire's maximum inflation 
pressure, as set forth in Table 2. 

(4) Multiply the tire's maximum load rating by 
the multiplier determined in paragraph (3). This 
is the tire's calculated load. 

(5) Roimd the product determined in paragraph 
(4) (the calculated load) to the nearest multiple of 
ten pounds or, if metric units are used, 5 
kilograms. For example, 903 pounds would be 
rounded to 900 and 533 kilograms would be 
rounded to 535. This figure is the test load. 



Table 2' 



Maximum Multiplier to be Multiplier to be 

Injlaction use for used for 

Pressure treadwear testing traction testing 



[32 Ibs/in2 .851 

361bs/in2 870 

401bs/in2 .883 

240 kPa 866 

280 kPa 887 

300 kPa 866 

340 kPa 887 

290kPa(l) 866 

330kPa(l) 887 

350kPa(l) 866 

390kPa(l) 887 



.851 
.797 
.753 
.866 
.804 
.866 
.804 
.866 
.804 
.866 
.804 



(1) For CT tires only] 

' Prior to July 1 , 1984, the multipliers in the above table are not 
to be used in determining loads for the tire size designations 
listed below in Table 2A. For those designations, the load 
specifications in that table shall be used in UTQG testing during 
that period. These loads are the actual loads at which testing 
shall be conducted and should not be multiplied by the 85 per- 
cent factors specified for treadwear and traction testing. 

(55 F.R. 49618— November 30, 1990. Effective: 
December 31, 1990)1 



Table 2A 





Designation 




Temp Resistance 




Traction 




Treadwear 




Tire Size 




Max Pressure 






Max Pressure 






32 


36 


-40 


32 


36 


40 


145/70 


R13 


615 


650 


685 


523 


523 


553 


582 


155/70 


R13 


705 


740 


780 


599 


599 


629 


663 


165/70 


R13 


795 


835 


880 


676 


676 


710 


748 


175/70 


R13 


890 


935 


980 


757 


757 


795 


833 


185/70 


R13 


990 


1040 


1090 


842 


842 


884 


926 


195/70 


R13 


1100 


1155 


1210 


935 


935 


982 


1029 


155/70 


R14 


740 


780 


815 


629 


629 


663 


693 


175/70 


R14 


925 


975 


1025 


786 


786 


829 


871 


185/70 


R14 


1045 


1100 


1155 


888 


888 


935 


982 


195/70 


R14 


1155 


1220 


1280 


982 


982 


1037 


1088 


155/70 


R15 


770 


810 


850 


655 


655 


689 


723 


175/70 


R15 


990 


1040 


1090 


842 


842 


884 


927 


185/70 


R15 


1100 


1155 


1210 


935 


935 


982 


1029 


5.60-13 




725 


810 


880 


616 


616 


689 


748 


5.20-14 




695 


785 


855 


591 


591 


667 


727 


165-15 




915 


1015 


1105 


779 


779 


863 


939 


185/60 


R13 


845 


915 


980 


719 


719 


778 


833 



(Rev. 11/30/90) 



PART 575-14 



[(i) Effective dates for treadwear grading 
requirements for radial tires. 

(1) Treadwear labeling requirements of 
§575.104 (d)(l)(iXB)(2) apply to tires manufac- 
tured on or after April 1, 1985. 

(2) Requirements for NHTSA review of tread- 
wear information in consumer brochures, as 
specified in paragraph 575.6(d)(2), are effective 
April 1, 1985. 

(3) Treadwear consumer information brocliure 
requirements of paragraph 575.6(c) are effective 
May 1, 1985. 

(4) Treadwear sidewall molding requirements 
of §575.104(d)(lXi)(A) apply to tires manulac- 
tured on or after September 1, 1985. 

(j) Effective dates for treadwear grading require- 
ments for bias ply tires. 

(1) Treadwear labeling requirements of 
§575.104 (d)(lXi)(B)(2) apply to tires manufac- 
tured on or after December 15, 1984. 

(2) Requirements for NHTSA review of 
treadwear information in consumer brochures, 
as specified in paragraph 575.6(dX2), are effec- 
tive December 15, 1984. 

(3) Treadwear consumer information brochure 
requirements of paragraph 575.6(c) are effective 
January 15, 1985. 

(4) Treadwear sidewall molding requirements 
of §575.104(dXlXi)(A) apply to tires manufac- 
tured on or after May 15, 1985. 

(k) Effective dates for treadwear grading re- 
quirements for bias belted tires. 

(1) Treadwear labeling requirements of 
§575.104 (dXlXi)(B)(2) apply to tires manufac- 
tured on or after March 1, 1985. 

(2) Requirements for NHTSA review of 
treadwear information in consumer brochures, 
as specified in paragraph 575.6(d)(2), are effec- 
tive March 1, 1985. 

(3) Treadwear consumer information brochure 
requirements of paragraph 575.6(c) are effective 
April 1, 1985. 

(4) Treadwear sidewall molding requirements 
of §575.104(dXlXi)(A) apply to tires manufac- 
tured on or after August 1, 1981. 

(1) Effective date for treadwear information 
requirements for vehicle manufacturers. 

Vehicle manufacturer treadwear information 
requirements of §§575.6(a) and 575.104(dXlXiii) 



are effective September 1, 1985. (49 F.R. 49293— 
December 19, 1984. Effective: see Preamble to Docket 
No. 25; Notice 58)] 



§ 575.105 Utility Vehicles. 

(a) Purpose and scope. This section requires 
manufacturers of utility vehicles to alert drivers 
that the particular handling and manuvering 
characteristics of utility vehicles require special 
driving practices when those vehicles are operated 
on paved roads. 

(b) Application. This section applies to 
multipurpose passenger vehicles (other than those 
which are passenger car derivatives) which have a 
wheelbase of 110 inches or less and special features 
for occasional off-road operation ("Utility 
vehicles"). 

(c) Required information. Each manufacturer 
shall prepare and affix a vehicle sticker as specified 
in paragraph 1 of this subsection and shall provide 
in the vehicle Owner's Manual the information 
specified in paragraph 2 of this subsection. 

(1) A sticker shall be permanently affixed to 
the instrument panel, windshield frame, driver's 
side sun visor, or in some other location in each 
vehicle prominent and visible to the driver. The 
sticker shall be printed in a typeface and color 
which are clear and conspicuous. The sticker 
shall have the following or similar language: 

This is a multipurpose passenger vehicle which 
will handle and maneuver differently from an or- 
dinary passenger car, in driving conditions which 
may occur on streets and highways and off road. 
As with other vehicles of this type, if you make 
sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers, the vehicle 
may rollover or may go out of control and crash. 
You should read driving guidelines and instruc- 
tions in the Owner's Manual, and WEAR YOUR 
SEATBELTS AT ALL TIMES. 

The language on the sticker required by 
paragraph (1) and in the Owner's Manual, as re- 
quired in paragraph (2), may be modified as is 
desired by the manufacturer to make it appro- 
priate for a specific vehicle design, to ensure that 
consumers are adequately informed concerning 
the unique propensities of a particular vehicle 
model. 

(2Xi) The vehicle Owner's Manual shall include 
the following statement in its introduction: 

As with other vehicles of this type, failure to 
operate this vehicle correctly may result in loss 



(Rev. 12/19/84) 



PART 575-15 



of control or an accident. Be sure to read "on- 
pavement" and "off-road" driving guidelines 
which follow. 

(ii) The vehicle Owner's Manual shall include 
the following or similar statement: 

Utility vehicles have higher ground clear- 
ance and a narrower track to make them 
capable of performing in a wide variety of off- 
road applications. Specific design character- 
istics give them a higher center of gravity than 
ordinary cars. An advantage of the higher 
ground clearance is a better view of the road 
allowing you to anticipate problems. They are 



not designed for cornering at the same speeds 
as conventional 2-wheel drive vehicles any 
more than low-slung sports cars are designed 
to perform satisfactorily under off-road condi- 
tions. If at all possible, avoid sharp turns or 
abrupt maneuvers. As with otheh vehicles of 
this type, failure to operate this vehicle cor- 
rectly may result in loss of control or vehicle 
rollover. 



§575.106 Deleted. 



34F.R. 8112 
May 23, 1969 



PART 575-16 



APPENDIX A 

Treadwear Test Course and 
Driving Procedures 

INTRODUCTION 

The test course consists of three loops of a total 
of 400 miles in the geographical vicinity of 
Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, Texas. 

The first loop runs south 143 miles through the 
cities of Eldorado, Sonora, and Juno, Texas, to the 
Camp Hudson Historical Marker, and returns by 
the same route. 

The second loop runs east over Farm and Ranch 
Roads (FM) and returns to its starting point. 

The third loop runs northwest to Water Valley, 
northeast toward Robert Lee and returns via 
Texas 208 to the vicinity of Goodfellow AFB. 

ROUTE 

The route is shown in Figure 3. The table iden- 
tifies key points by number. These numbers are en- 
circled in Figure 3 and are in parentheses in the 
descriptive material that follows. 

Southern Loop 

The course begins at the intersection (1) of 
Ft. McKavitt Road and Paint Rock Road (FM 388) 
at the northwest corner of Goodfellow AFB. 

Drive east via FM 388 to junction with Loop 
Road 306 (2). Turn right onto Loop Road 306 and 
proceed south to junction with US 277 (3). Turn 
onto US 277 and proceed south through Eldorado 
and Sonora (4), continuing on US 277 to junction 
with FM 189 (5). Turn right onto FM 189 and pro- 
ceed to junction with Texas 163 (6). Turn left onto 
Texas 163, proceed south to Camp Hudson Histor- 
ical Marker (7) and onto the paved shoulder. 
Reverse route to junction of Loop Road 306 and 
FM 388 (2). 

Eastern Loop 

From junction of Loop Road 306 and FM 388 (2), 
make right turn onto FM 388 and drive east to 
junction with FM 2334 (13). Turn right onto FM 
2334 and proceed south across FM 765 (14) to junc- 
tion of FM 2334 and US 87 (15). For convoys that 
originate at Goodfellow AFB, make U-turn and 
return to junction of FM 388 and Loop Road 306 
(2) by the same route. For convoys that do not 
originate at Goodfellow AFB, upon reaching junc- 
tion of FM 2334 and US 87 (15), make U-Turn and 
continue northon FM 2334 past the intersecton 
with FM 388 to Veribest Cotton Gin, a distance of 



ROBERT LEE 



[™^ 1 



@ 



WATER VALLEY 




FIGURE 3 



Amended: (56 F.R. 47011— September 17, 1991) 

1.8 miles beyond the intersection. Make U-turn and 
return to junction of FM 2334 and FM 388. Turn 
right onto FM 388, proceed west to junction FM 
388 and Loop Road 306. 

Northwestern Loop 

From junction of Loop Road 306 and FM 388 (2), 
make right turn onto Loop Road 306. Proceed onto 
US 277, to junction with FM 2105(8). Turn left 
onto FM 2105 and proceed west to junction with 
US 87 (10). Turn right on US 87 and proceed north- 
west to the junction with FM 2034 near the 



PART 575-17 



town of Water Vally (11), turn right onto FM 2034 
and proceed north to Texas 208 (12). Turn right 
onto Texas 208 and proceed south to junction with 
FM 2105 (9). Turn left onto FM 2105 and proceed 
east to junction with US 277 (8). Turn right onto 
US 277 and proceed south onto Loop Road 306 to 
junction with 388 (2). For convoys that originate at 
Goodfellow AFB, turn right onto FM 388 and pro- 
ceed to starting point at junction of Ft. McKavitt 
Road and FM 388 (1). For convoys that do not 
originate at Goodfellow AFB, do not turn right 
onto FM 388, but continue south on Loop Road 
306. 

DRIVING INSTRUCTIONS 

The drivers shall run at posted speed limits 
throughout the course unless an unsafe condition 
arises. If such condition arises, the speed should be 
reduced to the maximum safe operating speed. 

BRAKING PROCEDURES AT STOP SIGNS 

There are a number of intersections at which 
stops are required. At each of these intersections a 
series of signs is placed in a fixed order as follows: 

Sign Legend 

Highway Intersection 1000 (or 2000) Feet 

STOP AHEAD 

Junction XXX 

Direction Sign (Mereta^) 

STOP or YIELD 

PROCEDURES 

1. Approach each intersection at the posted 
speed Hmit. 

2. When abreast of the S T P A H E A D sign, 
apply the brakes so that the vehicle decelerates 
smoothly to 20 mph when abreast of the direction 
sign. 

3. Come to a complete stop at the STOP sign 
or behind any vehicle already stopped. 



Key Points Along Treadwear 

Test Course, Approximate Mileages, 

and Remarks *** 



Mileages Remarks 


1 


Ft. McKavitt Road & . 
FM388 







2 


FM388 & Loop 306 ' . 


2 


TOP 


3 


Loop 306 & US277 . . . 


10 




4 


Sonora 


72 

88 




5 


US 277 & FM 189 . . . . 




6 


FM 189 & Texas 163 . 


124 




7 


Historical Marker .... 
(Camp Hudson) 


143 


U-TURN 


4 


Sonora 


214 
276 




3 


Loop 306 & US 277 .. 




2 


FM 388 & Loop 306 . . 


283 




13 


FM 388 &FM 2334** 


290 


STOP 


14 


FM 2334 &FM 765 .. 


292 


STOP 


15 


FM 2334 & US 87 ... . 


295 


U-TURN 


14 


FM 2334 &FM 765 .. 


298 


STOP 


13 


FM 388 &FM 2334 .. 


300 


STOP/YIELD/ 
BLINKING RED 
LIGHT 


2 


FM 388 & Loop 306 . . 


307 


TOP/YIELD/ 
BLINKING RED 
LIGHT 


8 


US 277 &FM 2105... 


313 




9 


FM 2105 & Texas 208 


317 


STOP 


10 


FM2105&US87.... 


320 


STOP 


11 


FM 2034 & US 87 ... . 


338 




12 


FM 2034 & Texas 208 


362 


YIELD 


9 


FM 2105 & Texas 208 


387 




8 


FM 2105 & US 277... 


391 


YIELD/ STOP 


2 


FM 388 & Loop 306 * . 


398 




1 


Ft. McKavitt Road & . 
FM388 


400 




16 


Veribest Cotton Gin . . 


1.8 


U-TURN 



* Convoys not originating at Goodfellow AFB will not traverse 
the leg of course. 

** Convoys not originating at Goodfellow AFB will proceed to 
16, Veribest Cotton Gin, Make U-turn and return to 13. 
••'(56 F.R. 47011— September 17, 1991. Effective: 
December 16, 1991)] 

FIGURE 2 



(Rev. 9M7/91) 



PART 575-18 



Effective: August 15, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO PART 576^RECORD RETENTION 
(Docket No. 74-31; Notice 1) 



This notice establishes an immediate temporary 
requirement for retention by motor vehicle manu- 
facturers of records concerning malfunctions 
that may be related to motor vehicle safety. 

By a separate notice published today, 39 FR 
30048, the NHTSA proposes to establish perma- 
nent requirements for the retention of records 
by manufacturers. The proposed nile would 
require motor vehicle manufacturers to retain 
for 5 years all records in their possession relating 
to failures, malfunctions, or flaws that could be 
a causative factor in accidents or injuries. These 
records are needed in agency investigations of 
possible defects related to motor vehicle safety, 
or of nonconformity to the safety standards and 
regulations. A fuller discussion of the proposal 
is contained in that notice. 

The NHTSA finds it important that existing 
records and those that may be generated or ac- 
quired while this rulemaking is under considera- 
tion not be disposed of prior to the permanent 
effectiveness of the rule. In order to maintain 
the status quo, therefore, this rule is issued to be 



effective immediately upon posting for public 
inspection at the Federal Register. For the 
reasons stated, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b), 
notice and public procedure thereon with respect 
to this interim notice are found to be imprac- 
ticable and contrary to the public interest. This 
rule in its present form will be effective only 
until action is taken upon the proposed perma- 
nent rule issued concurrently. 

In light of the foregoing, a new Part 576, 
Record Retention., is added to Title 49, Code of 
Federal Regulations. 

Effective date : August 15, 1974. 

AUTHORITY: Sec. 108, 112, 113, 119, Pub. L. 
89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1397, 1401, 1402, 
1407 ; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51. 

Issued on August 13, 1974. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 
39 F.R. 30045 
August 20, 1974 



PART 576— PRE 1-2 



PART 576— RECORD RETENTION 
(Docket No. 74-13; Notice 1) 



Sec. 

576.1 Scope. 

576.2 Purpose. 

576.3 Application. 

576.4 Definitions. 

576.5 Basic Requirement. 

576.6 Records. 

576.7 Retention. 

576.8 IVIalfunctions Covered. 

§ 576.1 Scope. This part establishes require- 
ments for the retention by motor vehicle manu- 
facturers of complaints, reports, and other 
records concerning motor vehicle malfunctions 
that may be related to motor vehicle safety. 

§ 576.2 Purpose. The purpose of this part 
is to preserve records that are needed for the 
proper investigation, and adjudication or other 
disposition, of possible defects related to motor 
vehicle safety and instances of nonconformity 
to the motor vehicle safety standards and asso- 
ciated regulations. 

§ 576.3 Application. This part applies to all 
manufacturers of motor vehicles, with respect to 
all records generated or acquired after August 
15, 1969. 

§ 576.4 Definitions. All terms in this part 
that are defined in the Act are used as defined 
therein. 

§ 576.5 Basic Requirements. Each manufac- 
turer of motor vehicles shall retain as specified 
in § 576.7 all records described in § 576.6 for a 
period of 5 years from the date on which they 
were generated or acquired by the manufacturer. 



§ 576.6 Records. Records to be retained by 
manufacturers under this part include all docu- 
mentary materials, films, tapes, and other infor- 
mation-storing media that contain information 
concerning malfunctions that may be related to 
motor vehicle safety. Such records include, but 
are not limited to, communications from vehicle 
users and memoranda of user complaints; reports 
and other documents related to work performed 
under, or claims made under, warranties; service 
reports or similar documents from dealers or 
manufacturer's field personnel; and any lists, 
compilations, analyses, or discussions of such 
malfunctions contained in internal or external 
correspondence of the manufacturer. 

§ 576.7 Retention. Duplicate copies need not 
be retained. Information may be reproduced or 
transferred from one storage medium to another 
{e.g., from paper files to microfilm) as long as 
no information is lost in the reproduction or 
transfer, and when so reproduced or transferred 
the original form may be treated as a duplicate. 

§ 576.8 Malfunctions covered. For purposes 
of this part, "malfunctions that may be related 
to motor vehicle safety" shall include, with re- 
spect to a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle 
equipment, any failure or malfunction beyond 
normal deterioration in use, or any failure of 
performance, or any flaw or unintended deviation 
from design specifications, that could in any 
reasonably foreseeable manner be a causative 
factor in, or aggravate, an accident or an injury 
to a person. 

39 F.R. 30045 
August 20, 1974 



PART 576-1 



EffacHva: March 26, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO PART 577— DEFECT NOTIFICATION 
(Dockat No. 72-7; Notice 2) 



This notice establishes a new regulation cover- 
ing notifications of motor vehicle safety defects 
and nonconformity to safety standards. The 
notice proposing these regulations was published 
May 17, 1972 (37 F.R. 9783). 

The regulation is intended to improve the re- 
sponse of owners in vehicle notification cam- 
paigns. Data which the NHTSA has been re- 
ceiving on the completion rates of notification 
campaigns show a wide range of completion 
rates, with campaigns involving newer vehicles, 
and more serious safety problems, having higher 
completion rates than others. In many cam- 
paigns, however, the rate is alarmingly low. 

An examination of the notifications sent by 
manufacturers reveals wide disparity in emphasis. 
Although precise evaluation of the impact of no- 
tification letters is difficult, due to its being 
largely subjective, the NHTSA is of the opinion 
that many notifications have tended to deem- 
phasize the safety problems involved. Some 
of these notification letters are questionably 
within the requirements of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, and litigation on 
a case by case basis to improve them is prac- 
ticable. These regulations are intended to ensure 
that all notification letters contain sufficient in- 
formation, as determined by NHTSA, to prop- 
erly notify purchasers. 

The regulation applies to manufacturers of 
incomplete and complete motor vehicles, and 
motor vehicle equipment. In the case of ve- 
hicles manufactured in two or more stages, com- 
pliance by any one of the manufacturers of the 
vehicle is considered compliance by all. This 
provision is based on similar language in the 
Defect Reports regulation (Part 573 of this chap- 
ter), and is included in response to comments 
received. 

The regulation requires the notification to con- 
tain substantially the information specified in 



the proposal. It requires each notification to 
begin with a statement that it is sent pursuant 
to the requirements of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The NHTSA did 
not concur with comments to the effect that the 
inclusion of this statement would not promote 
the purpose of the regulation. The regulation 
requires the notification to state that the manu- 
facturer, or the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administrator, as the case may be, has deter- 
mined that a defect relating to motor vehicle 
safety (or a noncompliance with a motor vehicle 
safety standard) exists in the vehicle type, or 
item of motor vehicle equipment, with which the 
notification is concerned. When the manufac- 
turer (or the Administrator) has, as part of his 
determination, also found that the defect may 
not exist in each such vehicle or equipment item, 
he may include a statement to that effect. The 
NHTSA has decided to allow such statements 
based on comments that many defects in fact do 
not exist in each vehicle or equipment item of the 
group whose owners are notified. 

The manufacturer must also describe the de- 
fect, evaluate the risk it poses to traffic safety, 
and specify measures which the recipient should 
take to have it remedied. In each case, the regu- 
lation requires information which the NHTSA 
has determined will meet these objectives. In 
describing the defect, the manufacturer must 
indicate the vehicle system or particular items 
of equipment affected, describe the malfunction 
that may occur, including operating conditions 
that may cause it to occur, and precautions the 
purchaser should take to reduce the likelihood of 
its occurrence. In providing that the vehicle sys- 
tem affected be mentioned, the regulation reflects 
comments to the effect that listing each particular 
part involved would be too technical to be useful 
to most consumers. 



PART 577— PRE 1 



EfFtcHva: March 26, 1973 



In evaluating the risk to traffic safety, the man- 
ufacturer must indicate if vehicle crash is the po- 
tential result, and whatever warning may occur. 
Where vehicle crash is not the potential result, 
the manufacturer must indicate the general type 
of injury which the defect can cause. Although 
many comments protested that it was impossible 
to predict a specific type of injury, the NHTSA 
believes that manufacturers can easily foresee the 
general type of injury, such as asphyxiation, that 
cnn result from those defects which are not ex- 
pected to result in crashes. 

In stating measures to be taken to repair the 
defec!, tlie requirements differ in the case where 
the manufacturer's dealers repair the vehicle free 
of charge to the purchaser, where the manufac- 
turer merely offers to pay for the repair, and 
where he refuses to pay for the repair. The pur- 
pose of this distinction is to provide information 
sufficient to have adequate repairs made in each 
case. 

AVhere the manufacturer's dealers repair the 
vehicle free of charge, the notification must in- 
clude a general description of the work involved, 
the manufacturer's estimate of when his dealers 
will be supplied with parts and instructions, and 
his estimate of the time reasonably necessary to 
perform the labor involved in correcting the de- 
fect. The agency's position is that consumers are 
entitled to know approximately when their cars 
will be repaired and how much labor is needed 
in order for the repair to be made. The NHTSA 
realizes that dealers frequently retain vehicles 
longer than the actual work involved, due to 
difficulties in scheduling, repairs. However, 
manufacturers are free to impart this informa- 
tion to consumers under the regulation. Some 
comments objected to requiring manufacturers 
to provide information on when replacement 
parts will be available, on the basis that manu- 
facturers cannot know, at the time a notification 
is issued, precisely when parts deliveries will be 
made to dealers. To include this information, it 
is argued, would therefore delay the issuance of 
the notification. The NHTSA has modified the 
proposed language to allow manufacturers to 
"estimate" when corrective parts will be available. 
The estimate would be based on the manufac- 
turer's knowledge at the time the notification is 
sent, thereby eliminating any reasons for delay. 



When manufacturers do not provide for repairs 
to be made by dealers, the notification is required 
to contain, in addition, full lists of parts and com- 
plete instructions on making the repairs. The 
regulation also requires the manufacturer to 
recommend, generally, where the vehicle should 
be repaired, and manufacturers are free to make 
general and specific recommendations. This re- 
quirement reflects the intent of the proposal that 
manufacturers who believe particular repairs may 
require special expertise should indicate that 
fact to purchasers. 

AVTien the manufacturer does not offer to pay 
for repairs, he must, in addition, include full 
cost information on necessary parts. The notice 
would have required the retail cost of all parts, 
and information on labor charges of the manufac- 
turer's dealers in the general area of the purchaser. 
In response to comments, the cost information is 
limited to the suggested retail price of parts. 
Manufacturers have indicated they do not set ac- 
tual prices of parts, but do have suggested list 
prices. With respect to labor charges, manufac- 
turers have indicated that labor charges vary, 
and that requiring them to ascertain exact charges 
would delay issuance of notifications. The 
NHTSA believes these comments to be well- 
founded, and has dropped the proposed require- 
ments regarding labor charges. Consumers will 
still have information on costs of parts, and time 
necessary for repairs to be performed, from 
which they can obtain a fair idea of the cost of 
a repair. 

The reguations prohibit the notification from 
stating or implying that the problem is not a de- 
fect, or that it does not relate to motor vehicle 
safety. Moreover, in those cases where the noti- 
fication is sent pursuant to the direction of the 
Administrator, it cannot state or imply that the 
manufacturer disagrees with the Administrator's 
finding. Many comments opposed these require- 
ments on the basis that they unconstitutionally 
limited manufacturers' freedom of speech. The 
NHTSA emphatically rejects this contention. 
Notification letters are not intended to serve as 
forums where manufacturers can argue that prob- 
lems are not safety-related or dispute the Ad- 
ministration's findings. Their purpose is to un- 
ambiguously and adequately induce owners to 
remedy a potentially hazardous situation. The 



PART 577— PRE 2 



NHTSA is of the opinion that there is ample 
precedent that allows the Federal government to 
require manufacturers to warn purchasers in a 
particular manner that certain products they 
manufacture may be hazardous. If a manufac- 
turer does not believe that his condition is a 
safety-related defect, he is not required by law to 
notify owners at all. It is only when he deter- 
mines that a defect exists that he must notify in 
accordance with the regulations. Similarly, when 
the Administrator has made the finding that a 
certain product is defective, the manufacturer 
can administratively and judicially challenge this 
determination as provided in the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act before sending a 
notification. 

The NHTSA received other objections to the 
proposed requirements. Numerous tire manu- 
facturers argued that parts of the regulation 
dealing with repairs of defects are inappropriate 
when applied to them, since repairs generally 
meant replacement. Certain manufacturers of 
lighting equipment argued that notification re- 
quirements should not apply to them at all. The 
NHTSA disagrees with both of these contentions. 
In the case of tire manufacturers, the NHTSA 
believes that the requirements can be followed. 
If the repair of a defective tire entails its re- 
placement, this can certainly be stated within the 
regulatory scheme. Similarly, lighting equip- 
ment manufacturers are responsible for defects 
to the same extent as manufacturers of other 
equipment. The NHTSA rejects completely the 
argument that no lighting failures can be con- 
sidered safety-related because of the millions of 
lights that bum out every year without resulting 
in accidents. The question in each case is not 
whether a failure may occur, but whether a defect 
exists, and whether the defect may cause a haz- 
ardous situation to arise. 

The notice of proposed rulemaking would 
have prohibited manufacturers from making 
statements contemporaneous with the notification 
that disagreed with its conclusions. This pro- 
posal has not been adopted. After careful con- 
sideration, the NHTSA has determined that its 
inclusion is probably unnecessary. The agency's 
position is that if notification letters clearly and 
unambiguously describe and evaluate defects in 
accordance with this regulation, other statements 



EffMHva: March 26, 1973 

by manufacturers will not normally affect re- 
actions of consumers. 

Certain comments requested that manufac- 
turers be allowed to state in the notification that 
it does not constitute an admission of liability or 
wrongdoing. The regulation does not preclude 
the making of such statements, as the agency 
has concluded that their inclusion will not sig- 
nificantly deter owners from having repairs made. 

One comment suggested that the notification 
be required to contain a postage-free card by 
which consumers could notify manufacturers 
when vehicles had been sold or otherwise disposed 
of. "While the NHTSA believes this practice 
would be advantageous in improving notification 
campaigns, it has concluded that such a require- 
ment would be outside the scope of the regula- 
tion, which is limited to notifications to first pur- 
chasers and warranty holders. 

Certain comments objected to the regulations 
on the ground that they prescribed a rigid format 
in an area where each case must be treated sep- 
arately, and thus where flexibility was required. 
The NHTSA has modified to some extent the 
proposed restrictions on format. Manufacturers 
are free, within the limits established, to com- 
pose notifications to fit each case. As issued, these 
regulations do not require rigid, inflexible letters 
(only the first two sentences must contain specific 
statements in a set order), but require that man- 
ufacturers include certain important items of in- 
formation. It is hoped that manufacturers in 
meeting these requirements will provide required 
information in easily understandable form. 

In light of the above, a new Part 577, "Defect 
Notification" is added to Chapter V of Title 49, 
Code of Federal Regulations, to read as set forth 
as below. 

Eifective date: March 26, 1973. Because these 
requirements are not technical in nature, and do 
not require lead times for compliance, good cause 
exists, and is hereby found, for an effective date 
less than 180 days from the day of issuance. 

Issued on January 17, 1973. 

Douglas Toms 
Administrator 

38 F.R. 2215 
January 23, 1973 



PART 577— PRE 3^ 



Efhctiv*: April 17, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 577— DEFECT NOTIFICATION 

(Dockst No. 72-7; Notice 3) 



This notice responds to petitions for recon- 
sideration of the Defect Notification regulations, 
published January 23, 1973 (38 FR 2215). Peti- 
tions were received from the Firestone Tire and 
Rubber Company, Chrysler Corporation, the 
Motor and Equipment Manufacturers' Associa- 
tion, and the Recreational Vehicle Institute. , A 
petition was also received from the Wagner Elec- 
tric Company. Although not received within 30 
days of the regulation's publication (49 CFR 
553.35), it has been considered in the preparation 
of this notice. Insofar as this notice does not 
grant the requests of the petitioners, they are 
hereby denied. 

The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company has 
petitioned for reconsideration of section 577.6, 
"Disclaimers", which prohibits manufacturers 
from starting or implying that the notification 
does not involve a safety related defect. Fire- 
stone requested that the provision, for Federal 
Constitutional reasons, be dropped from the rule. 
This request is denied. The NHTSA does not 
believe, for the reasons set forth in the notice of 
January 23, 1973 (38 FR at 2216), that the pro- 
vision is violative of the Constitution. 

Chrysler Corporation has requested that the 
phrase, "his dealers" be modified in section 577.4- 
(e)(l)(ii), which requires the manufacturer to 
estimate the date by which his dealers will be 
supplied with corrective parts and instructions. 
It argues that the phrase "his dealers" could be 
interpreted to mean all dealers, regardless of 
whether all of the manufacturer's dealers are in- 
volved in the campaign. This request is denied. 
Neither section 113 of the Safety Act nor the 
regulation require a notification campaign to ex- 
tend to all of the manufacturer's dealers, whether 
or not they have any involvement in a particular 
campaign. The NHTSA does not believe that 
the phra.se "his dealers", when read in context, 
means all of the manufacturer's dealers. 



Chrysler also asks that special requirements be 
specified for the notification of "noncompliance 
non-operational defects", citing as an example 
the improper placement of the VIN plate under 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115. Chrysler 
states that existing provisions of the regulation 
dealing with malfunctions (specifically 577.4- 
(c)(2), (c)(3), (c)(4)), and evaluating the risk 
to traffic safety (sections 577.4(d), (d)(1), 
(d)(1) (i), (d)(1) (ii), (d)(2)) are not perti- 
nent to these defects. This request is denied. 
The' NHTSA does not believe that separate re- 
quirements for notification of the type of defect 
described by Chrysler are either necessary or 
desirable. If a particular defect does not in- 
volve a malfunction, to be in compliance with 
the regulation a manufacturer should, in response 
to the appropriate provisions of the regulation, 
indicate that to be the case. The NHTSA be- 
lieves this approach will notify purchasers of the 
defect as effectively as separate, more specific re- 
quirements. The NHTSA does not agree that 
the relationship to safety of these types of defects 
should not be evaluated in notification letters, 
similarly to other defects. 

The Motor and Equipment Manufacturers As- 
sociation (MEMA objects to the requirements of 
sections 577.4(e)(2) (vi) and 577.4(e) (3) (vi) 
that the manufacturer recommend whom the piu*- 
chaser should have perform necessary repair 
work, and requests that these provisions be de- 
leted. MEMA argues that the requirement is 
anti -competitive in that it sanctions the steering 
of consumers to vehicle dealerships for repairs, 
to the detriment of the independent repair in- 
dustry, even when the manufacturer does not pay 
for the repair. MEMA argues that original 
equipment replacement parts are frequently more 
expensive than competitively produced parts, re- 
sulting in added costs to owners. It argues also 
that limiting repairs to dealers precludes the use 



PART 577— PRE 5 



E«mHv«: April 17, 1473 



of the full domestic repair industry, which 
should be utilized fully given the magnitude of 
recent notification campaigns. 

While the NHTSA appreciates the concern of 
this association in not being precluded from a 
large market, the NHTSA believes the require- 
ment as issued to be consistent with the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the 
need for motor vehicle safety. The NHTSA 
has, in issuing the requirement, indicated that 
manufacturers should indicate to purchasers 
when special expertise may be necessary to cor- 
rect defects. The repairs in issue do not involve 
normal maintenance, but constitute defects whose 
proper repair is essential to the safety of the na- 
tion's highways. Frequently these repairs in- 
volve a higher degree of expertise and familiarity 
with a particular vehicle than that required to 
perform normal maintenance. If such expertise 
will more likely be found at dealerships, in the 
view of the vehicle manufacturer, the NHTSA 
believes that opinion should be imparted to pur- 
chasers. 

Moreover, even if the NHTSA deleted the re- 
quirement the manufacturer could if he desired, 
consistently with the regulation, recommend a re- 
pair facility. The NHTSA would not prohibit 
the making of such a recommendation, for it is 
responsive to the statutory requirement that the 
notification contain a statement of the measures 
to be taken to repair the defect (15 U.S.C. 
1402(c)). Moreover, the argument that the reg- 
ulation stifles competition does not appear to 
have merit. In the event the manufacturer does 
not bear the cost of repair, the regulation 
(§ 577.4(e) (3) (i)) requires the manufacturer to 
provide the purchaser with the suggested list 
price of repair parts. As a consequence, pur- 
chasers will be provided with information with 
which they can "shop", with full knowledge, for 
the least expensive repair facilities. The peti- 
tion is accordingly denied. 

The Recreational Vehicle Institute (RVI) has 
petitioned that the requirements of both section 
577.4(a), requiring an opening statement that the 
notification is sent pursuant to the Act, and sec- 
tion 577.6, prohibiting disclaimers, be deleted. 
RVI argues such requirements may result in de- 
lay by manufacturers in determining that defects 



exist, forcing the use of administrative and legal 
procedures before purchasers are notified. The 
agency cannot accept the position that the notifi- 
cation should be diluted because of possible eva- 
sion by manufacturers. The NHTSA believes 
that the need that notification letters fully in- 
form purchasers outweighs the possible problems 
caused by manufacturers delaying their notifica- 
tions to purchasers until forced to notify them. 
The request is denied. 

RVI points out that section 577.4 seems to as- 
sume that defects will be evidenced by some 
form of mechanical failure. It asks, therefore, 
whether a safety-related defect can exist where 
proper corrective action to avoid an occurrence 
or possible occurrence is appropriate maintenance 
or operational use. RVI also requests, if 
NHTSA adheres to its present position regard- 
ing these issues, that it undertake rulemaking 
to define "safety related defect". For the fol- 
lowing reasons, these requests are denied. There 
is no intent in the regulation to limit the concept 
of safety related defects to those involving me- 
chanical failures. As stated above, in reply to 
the petition from Chrysler, non-mechanical de- 
fects can be the basis of defect notification, and 
purchasers can be fully notified of them under 
the present regulatory scheme. Moreover, the 
NHTSA believes any attempt to precisely define 
.safety related defect would be ill-ad nsed. 
Whether a defect exists depends solely on the 
facts of each particular situation. The fact that 
such determinations may encompass a wide va- 
riety of factual situations, and may consequently 
be difficult to make, does not mean that it is 
necessary, desirable, or even possible to replace 
the decision with a simple formula. The NHTSA 
believes, on the contrary, that the relatively broad 
definition of defect contained in the Safety Act 
is best suited to the wide variety of defective 
conditions that may arise. 

RVI has also pointed out that references to a 
manufacturer's dealers in section 577.4(e), speci- 
fying measures to be taken to repair the defect, 
overlook the fact that manufacturers' dealers may 
not always provide service facilities, or that 
manufacturers may use service facilities other 
than dealers. The NHTSA agrees with RVI, 
and has therefore modified the provisions of that 



PART 577— PRE 6 



Mccllve: April 17, 1973 



section to include "other service facilities of the 
manufacturer", as well as his dealers. 

RVI requested that the regulation be amended 
to permit compliance by either a component 
manufacturer or a vehicle manufacturer, .vhen 
the defect involves a specific component. RVI 
also requested that compliance be permitted by 
either the vehicle alterer or the complete vehicle 
manufacturer in cases involving altered vehicles. 
The regulations do not prohibit the sending of 
notification letters by persons other than the ve- 
hicle manufacturer. Accordingly, no modifica- 
tion of the regulation is called for. However, 
manufacturers who do utilize the services of 
others in meeting requirements still bear the ulti- 
mate responsibility for compliance with the 
regulation under the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act. 

The Wagner Electric Company has requested 
that the provisions of the regulation regarding 
manufacturers of motor vehicle equipment (ex- 
cluding tires) be reconsidered in light of the fact 
that, under present marketing procedures, it is 
difficult or impossible for such manufacturers to 
notify jobbers, installers, dealers, or consumers. 
The notification required by the regulation is 
directed at the notification sent to retail purchas- 
ers and not that sent to distributors or dealers 
of the manufacturer. The notification of the 
latter is subject only to the statutory provision 



of section 113 of the Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 
1402). Moreover, manufacturers of equipment 
(other than tires) who do not have the names 
of first purchasers are not required to notify 
them either under the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act or the regulation. There is 
consequently no need for modification of the 
regulation for the reasons presented by AVagner, 
and its request is accordingly denied. 

In light of the above. Part 577 of Title 49, 
Code of Federal Regulations, "Defect Notifica- 
tion", is amended .... 

Effective date: April 17, 1973. These amend- 
ments impose no additional burdens on any per- 
son, and serve only to clarify the application of 
existing requirements to specific situations. Ac- 
cordingly, notice and public procedure thereon 
are unnecessary, and good cause exists for an 
effective date less than thirty days from the day 
of publication. 

(Sec. 108, 112, 113, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 
718 as amended, sec. 2, 4, Pub. L. 91-265, 84 
Stat. 262 (15 U.S.C. 1397, 1401, 1402, 1408); 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51) 

Issued on April 10, 1973. 

James E. Wilson 
Acting Administrator 

38 F.R. 9509 
April 17, 1973 



PART 577— PRE 7-8 



Effective: September 1 4, 1 975 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 577— DEFECT NOTIFICATION 

(Docket No. 74-42; Notice 2) 



This notice amends 49 CFR Part 577, Defect 
Notification^ to require that bilingual notification 
be sent to owners in certain cases, and to clarify 
the wording manufacturers are required to use 
to indicate their determination that a safety- 
related defect exists. 

A notice of proposed rulemaking on this sub- 
ject was published on November 25, 1974, (39 
F.R. 41182) and an opportunity afforded for 
comment. The Center for Auto Safety had 
questioned the efficacy of defect notification 
campaigns in Puerto Rico conducted in the Eng- 
lish language since the primary language of that 
Commonwealth is Spanish. A National High- 
way Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
survey in Puerto Rico confirmed that there was 
a need for bilingual defect notification. It was 
proposed that whenever the address of the pur- 
chaser is in either the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico or the Canal Zone the notification be sent 
in both the English and Spanish languages. 

The notice also proposed clarifying § 577.4(e) 
(1) so that the second paragraph of a notifica- 
tion letter could no longer be written to reflect 
a manufacturer's belief that the cause of a defect 
is an item other than that which he manufac- 
tured. 

Only Chrysler Corporation and Firestone Tire 
and Rubber Company commented on bilingual 
notification. Both stated that it was not neces- 
sary for the Canal Zone. Firestone also felt 
that the requirement to translate the notification 
would delay its mailing, and voiced the belief 
that NHTSA must express the exact wording 
in Spanish for § 577.4(a) and (b). Chrysler 
commented that it had been providing bilingual 
notification to owners of automobiles purchased 
in Puerto Rico but that extensive and burden- 
some data-processing reprogramming would be 
required to identify owners of vehicles originally 



purchased on the mainland and later taken to 
Puerto Rico. 

The NHTSA believes that the language prob- 
lem is a significant factor in the below-average 
response to notification campaigns in Puerto 
Rico, and that owner response rate to campaigns 
in the Canal Zone will improve if notifications 
are provided in Spanish as well as English. 
Information from the Census Bureau indicates 
that more than 50% of the residents of each area 
speak Spanish as their primary language. Trans- 
lation may delay mailing to tliese areas a few 
days, but this is deemed inconsequential com- 
pared with the benefits to be derived by an im- 
proved response to campaigns. This agency 
does not consider that it need specify the exact 
wording in Spanish of § 577.4(a) and (b). If 
it appears that manufacturers are providing 
ambiguous statements it will consider the matter 
further. Finally, since section 153(a) (1) of the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 
15 U.S.C. 1413(a) (1), requires notification to be 
sent to the person who is registered under State 
law as the owner of the vehicle to be campaigned, 
Chrysler's commejits on reprogramming of data 
do not appear to have merit. 

This notice also amends § 577.4(b) (1), which 
presently requires the second sentence of the 
notification to state that the manufacturer has 
determined that a defect which relates to motor 
vehicle safety exists in its motor vehicles or 
motor vehicle equipment. Certain notification 
letters have characterized the defect as existing 
in a vehicle or item of equipment not manufac- 
tured by the manufacturer making the determi- 
nation. The intent of the section is that a 
manufacturer of motor vehicles would state its 
determination that the defect exists in the motor 
vehicle it manufactures, while a manufacturer 
of motor vehicle equipment would state its de- 



PART 577— PRE 9 



Effective: September 14, 1975 



termination that the defect exists in the motor 
vehicle equipment it manufactures. If the manu- 
facturer believes the cause of the defect to be an 
item other than that which he manufactured, 
that information can be imparted in the other 
parts of the notification, but not in the second 
parao:raph where the content is specifically pre- 
scribed. 

Kelsey-Hayes Company and Skyline Corpora- 
tion commented on the proposal to clarify 
§57T.4(b)(l). Both objected to it, feelinpc that 
the present regulation is adequate and that tlie 
mandatory statement may be prejudicial. How- 
ever, in the opinion of this agency, manufactur- 
ers with limited experience in composing notifi- 
cation letters have in many cases misinterpreted 



§ 577.4 (b) (1). Clarification of the sentence 
should eliminate mistakes. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Part 577 of 
Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Defect 
Xotif cation^ is amended. . . . 

Effective date: September 14, 1975. 

(Sec. 108, 112, 113, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 
Stat. 718; sec. 2, 4. Pub. L. 91-265, 84 Stat. 262 
(15 U.S.C. 1397, 1401, 1402, 1407) ; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on June 10, 1975. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

40 F.R. 25463 
June 16, 1975 



PART 577-PRE-lO 



EfFecHve: June 28, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO PART 577— DEFECT NOTIFICATION 

(Docket No. 75-10; Notice 2) 



This notice amends 49 CFR Part 577, "Defect 
Notification," to conform to §§ 151 through 160 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act (the Act) (Pub. L. 93-492, 88 Stat. 1470, 
October 27, 1974; 15 U.S.C. 1411-1420). 

The amendments of Part 577 were published 
as a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Fed- 
eral Register on May 6, 1975 (40 FR 19651). 
Approximately 30 comments were received from 
vehicle and equipment manufacturers, equipment 
distributors, trade associations representing these 
groups, and the Center for Auto Safety. The 
National Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council 
did not take a position on this proposal. Inter- 
ested persons are advised that NHTSA Dockets 
75-30 (Defect and Noncompliance Responsibil- 
ity), 75-31 (Petitions for Hearing on Notification 
and Remedy of Defects or Failure to Comply), 
and 74-7 (Defect and Noncompliance Reporting) 
are relevant to the subject matter of this rule- 
making. 

The agency is amending its earlier notification 
procedures to reflect the major expansion of 
manufacturer responsibilities under the Motor 
Vehicle and Schoolbus Safety Amendments of 
1974 to notify vehicle and equipment owners or 
purchasers of noncompliances with safety stand- 
ards and of defects that relate to motor vehicle 
safety (hereinafter referred to as defects), chief 
of which is tliat remedy shall be without charge 
in most cases. 

The new regulation specifies the content, tim- 
ing, and form of notification that complies with 
the requirements set forth in § 153 of the Act. 
Distinctions among notifications that arise under 
different circumstances are set forth in detail. 
Provisions concerning disclaimers in the notifica- 
tion and conformity to the statutory requirements 
are carried over from the former Part 577. 



Comments on the proposal were generally in 
agreement with the revision of the regulation, in 
recognition that tlie revision reflects responsibili- 
ties already a matter of law. Sevei'al questions 
were raised with regard to the authority for or 
wisdom of specific provisions of the proposed 
regulation, and these are discussed below. 

Motor vehicle manufacturers and the Motor 
Vehicle Manufacturers Association (MVMA) 
expressed strong support for modification of the 
statutory definitions of "original equipment" and 
"replacement equipment" that allocate responsi- 
bility for notification and remedy between vehicle 
and equipment manufacturers. The agency has 
issued a separate proposal to redistribute respon- 
sibility (40 FR 56930, December 5, 1975) which 
addresses the issues raised. Resolution of that 
proposal will be responsive to the issues raised 
by the MVMA and vehicle manufacturers. To 
simplify any future action in this area, the two 
terms are no longer set forth in Part 577. 

In the definitions section of the regulation, the 
phrase "in good faith" has been added to the 
definition of "first purchaser" to conform to its 
meaning under § 108(b) (1) of the Act. 

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association 
(RVIA) requested that vehicle alterers be per- 
mitted to meet (assume) the obligations of manu- 
facturers for notification and remedy on a 
voluntary basis. Without notice and oppor- 
tunity for comment on this idea, the agency does 
not consider it wise to modify the regulation as 
suggested by the RVIA. 

NOTIFICATION PURSUANT TO A 
MANUFACTURER'S DETERMINATION 

Section 151 of the Act provides that a manu- 
facturer who determines in good faith that a 
defect or noncompliance exists in its products 



PAET 577— PEE 11 



EfFeclive: June 28, 1977 



"shall furnish notification to the Secretary and 
to owners, purchasers, and dealers in accordance 
with section 153, and he shall remedy the defect 
or failure to comjjly in accordance with section 
154." 

Section 577.5 of Part 577 provides for manu- 
facturer-initiated notifications in accordance witli 
§ 151. The section specifies, among other things, 
that a statenient appear in the notification that 
the manufacturer has determined that a defect 
or noncompliance exists in identified vehicles or 
equipment. An additional statement may be 
made to indicate that the problem may not exist 
in each such vehicle or item of equipment. The 
MVMA and American Motors Corporation 
(AMC) believed that a better approach would 
be to state that the defect or noncompliance 
exists in some, but not all, vehicles or items of 
equipment (if such is the case), and that an 
owner should bring his vehicle in for inspection 
in any case. The agency does not believe that 
either the MVMA or AMC has an expertise in 
this area and declines to adopt the suggested 
modification. 

Paragraph (e) of § 577.5 requires a clear de- 
scription of the defect or noncompliance, includ- 
ing, among other things, 
(e) *** 

(2) A description of any malfunction that 
may occur. The description of a noncompli- 
ance with an applicable standard shall include 
the difference between the performance of the 
noncomplying vehicle or item of replacement 
equipment and the performance specified by 
the standard; 

The MVMA viewed the phrase "any malfunc- 
tion" as overbroad and ambiguous, in that a 
manufacturer would be held to correctly antici- 
pate a malfunction, whether or not related to 
safety or the noncompliance. The agency agrees 
that such a description would go beyond the 
purpose of the notification and therefore has 
narrowed somewhat the language proposed. 

Vehicle manufacturers and the MVMA argued 
that the second sentence of paragraph (e) (2) 
should be deleted because an exact description 
of the difference in performance due to noncom- 
pliance would be too technical for comprehension 
by most owners, require extensive and expensive 



testing in some cases that would delay notifica- 
tion, and be the basis for a technical violation of 
the regulation. The agency believes that the 
description is valuable to vehicle or equipment 
owners in understanding the noncompliance, but 
agrees that a detailed description could delay 
notification unnecessarily. Accordingly, the 
phrase "in general terms" is added to modify tlie 
required description. 

The Center for Auto Safety (the Center) be- 
lieved that the statement required by (e) to 
minimize the chances of an accident before 
remedy failed to mention prior warnings that 
the vehicle's operating characteristics might of- 
fer. "Wliile prior warning is adequately covered 
by the "evaluation of risk" statement made re- 
garding the possibility of vehicle crash (para- 
graph (f)(l)(ii)), the agency has added a 
comparable requirement to paragraph (f) (2) 
(that covei's "non-crash" type defects and non- 
compliances). 

The Specialty Equipment Manufacturers As- 
sociation objected that any evaluation of the risk 
to motor vehicle safety would be speculative and 
therefore was unjustified. This requirement, 
however, is based on the specific requirement of 
§ 153(a) of the Act, and cannot be eliminated. 

The Center believed that the evaluation of risk 
to motor vehicle safety is a discretionary state- 
ment that need not be made by a manufacturer. 
This is not the case. Section 577.5 is a require- 
ment that the information (b) through (g) be 
listed and, under paragraph (f), the evaluation 
nmst either describe the crash hazard or be a 
description of the "general type of injury to 
occupants, or [others], that can result." 

Paragraph (g) of § 577.5, dealing with meas- 
ures to be taken by the owner, proved to be the 
greatest source of comments on the proposal. 
The paragraph is divided into subparagraphs 
dealing with notification of remedy without 
charge and notification of remedy for which the 
manufacturer will charge. This distinction is 
based on § 154(a) (4) of the Act which limits the 
"remedy without charge" to vehicles or equip- 
ment first purchased no more than 8 years (3 
years in the case of tires) before notification in 
accordance with §§ 151 or 152. 

Paragraph (g)(1) specifies requirements both 
for notification when the remedy must be under- 



PART 577— PRE 12 



EfFecllve: June 28, 1977 



taken and also notification when the manufac- 
' turer voluntarily decides to remedy without 
charge. The MVMA and General Motors (GM) 
felt that manufacturers undertaking voluntary 
remedy should not be subjected to the same noti- 
fication requirements as those manufacturers 
required to remedy. The agency distinguishes 
between the separate duties of notification and 
remedy, however, and notes that the notification 
requirements of § 153 of the Act contain no ex- 
ceptions for older vehicles and equipment. The 
MVMA's abbreviated list of requirements for a 
voluntary remedy do not fulfill the requirements 
of §153. For example, § 153(a) (2) requires 
that the notification contain an evaluation of the 
risk to motor vehicle safety. 

It is the agency's philosophy that a manu- 
facturer undertaking a remedy should provide 
the same information to the owner whether or 
not the remedy is undertaken voluntarily. In 
this way, an owner will be apprised of the infor- 
mation necessary to make informed decision. 
Also, events beyond the manufacturer's control 
will not be able to negate the remedy without 
agency or manufacturer's knowledge. For these 
reasons, the agency does not modify the require- 
ments as suggested. 

Aside from the general suitability of para- 
graph (g)(1) 's requirements for a vohmtary 
remedy, manufacturers raised more specific ques- 
tions about the separate provisions. 

International Harvester Company (IH) as- 
serted with regard to paragraph (g) (1) (i) that 
no basis existed for the exception of replacement 
equipment from the right to refund as a means 
of remedy. In the agency's view, § 154(2) (B) 
of the Act clearly limits the remedy for items of 
replacement equipment to either repair or re- 
placement. 

IH objected to the requirements that the 
earliest date for repair set under paragraph 
(g) (1) (ii) be premised on anticipated receipt by 
dealers of necessary parts for repair. The com- 
pany pointed out that some repair parts would 
not typically be forwarded to a dealer for repair 
until a specific request has arisen. The agency 
would like to clarify that the "earliest date" can 
be established as a ceitain number of days fol- 
' lowing inspection of the defective or noncomply- 



ing vehicle. Thus a manufacturer need only 
calculate the time that it would take to get the 
parts to the dealer following an inspection and 
then state that the earliest date for repair will 
follow the date of inspection by that amount. 

AMC argued that the requirement for a gen- 
eral description of the work and amount of time 
involved in a repair without charge by the manu- 
facturer's dealer exceeded the authority of the 
Act and is unnecessary when the manufacturer 
undertakes repair. The same argument was 
made with regard to paragraphs (g) (1) (v) and 
(vi). The agency disagrees, and notes that the 
specific authority listed in § 153(a) is "in addi- 
tion to such other matters as the Secretary may 
prescribe by regulation." As for the need for a 
general description, it is concluded that the owner 
would value knowledge of the time involved and 
the nature of the repair that is involved, to cor- 
rectly weigh the gravity of the problem. Cor- 
respondingly, the offer of replacement or refund 
is more helpful to the owner if it includes the 
detail that has been specified. 

In paragraph (g)(l)(iv), the MVMA asked 
for parallelism with the construction of para- 
graph (g)(1) (iii). It is accomplished by the 
addition of "or its dealers" following the word 
"manufacturer." IH suggested the addition of 
"authorized service centers" to the list, but this 
is unnecessary in view of the NHTSA's interpre- 
tation of "dealer" to include an authorized service 
centej". 

The Center, Mack Trucks, and Crane Carrier 
Corporation (CCC) commented on paragraph 
(g)(1) (iv)'s requirement that the method or 
basis for a manufacturer's assessment of depre- 
ciation be specified. The two manufacturers 
suggested use of a retailer's price guide as the 
basis. The Center suggested that a method for 
determination of depreciation be devised by a 
panel of industry, government, and consumer 
representatives. The legislative history indicates 
that retailer price guides should not be the sole 
criterion, and thus the Mack and CCC recom- 
mendations are not adopted. Until there is some 
indication that the manufacturers' chosen meth- 
ods of assessment are unreasonable, the agency 
does not consider it necessary to exercise its 
authority in this area, and the Center's sugges- 
tion is also not adopted. 



PAKT 577— PRE 13 



Effective: June 28, 1977 



The greatest objections were raised regarding 
the statement advising an owner how to inform 
the NHTSA if he believes that the notification 
or remedy is inadequate, or that the remedy was 
untimely or not made in accordance with the 
notification. PACCAR, AMC, Chrysler, GM, 
IH, the RVIA, and the MVMA considered the 
statement to be, in some respects, beyond the 
agency's statutory authority and not contem- 
plated by Congress. As earlier noted, § 153 is 
prefaced by a general grant of authority to the 
agency to specify the contents of the notification. 

The agency has considered the objections, in 
any case, particularly in view of the decision to 
require the same notification in the case of vol- 
untary and mandatory remedy notices. It is 
concluded that modification of the statements to 
reflect the exact terms of § 154(a) (6) is appro- 
priate. 

Manufacturers objected to the language of 
paragraph (g) (1) (vii) (C) that invites owner 
complaints if a remedy is not effected within a 
reasonable period. The agency considers timeli- 
ness to be an aspect of whether a manufacturer 
has failed or is unable to provide a remedy as 
specified in § 153(a) (6) of the Act. The agency 
does agree that remedy by replacement or refund 
should not be limited to the first 60 days, since 
it might follow a failure to repair within that 
60-day period. In conforming to § 154(b)(1), 
the agency substitutes "tender" for "first at- 
tempt." Also reference to extension by the 
Administrator of the 60-day repair period has 
been added to paragraph (g) (1) (vii) (C) (1). 

GM suggested that an additional statement be 
made to owners, advising them of recourse avail- 
able with the manufacturer if the dealer's re- 
sponse is unsatisfactory. Tlie agency considers 
this desirable but, without the benefit of notice 
and opportunity for comment, declines to make 
this addition. Paragraph (g) (1), of course, only 
sets forth what the manufacturer "shall include" 
in its notification, and it may make such addi- 
tional statements as it deems necessary. 

There was no comment on the second part of 
§ 577.5 that deals with manufacturer notices in 
which remedy without charge is not required and 
is not volunteered. Accordingly, the paragraph 
is adopted as proposed. 



NOTIFICATION PURSUANT TO 
ADMINISTRATOR'S DETERMINATION 

Section 577.6 provides for Administration- 
ordered notifications in accordance with >§ 152. 
Paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) set forth require- 
ments for the three types of notification contem- 
plated by the Act. Manufacturers made no 
comment on the requirements for notification 
ordered by the Administrator in the fii"st instance, 
and paragraph (a) is accordingly made final as 
proposed. 

PACCAR objected to provisional notification 
as placing an unreasonable burden on the manu- 
facturer, rendering any court decision in its 
favor meaningless. Section 155(b) of the Act 
clearly contemplates such an order, however, and 
the regulations consequently do provide for it. 

Comments were received on the proposed con- 
tent of the provisional notification. The MVMA 
pointed out that the requirement in paragi-aph 
(b) (2) should be clarified to permit a statement 
that the defect or non-compliance may not occur 
in all the described vehicles. The agency agrees 
and adds a paragraph similar to § 577.5(d). 

With regard to the proposed paragraph (b) 
(4), the MVMA asked that reference to a 
"United States District Court" be broadened to 
"the Federal courts" and that the statement make 
clear that the NHTSA and not the court is order- 
ing pi'ovisional notification. The agency concurs 
in these clarifications and they are made where 
appropriate in the final rule. 

The requirements of paragraphs (b)(5), (6), 
and (7) provide for a description of the Admin- 
istrator's determination, his evaluation of the 
hazard, and the recommended measures to avoid 
unreasonable hazard resulting from tlie defect 
or noncompliance. Fiat requested that the de- 
scription, evaluation, and recommended measures 
be provided by the NHTSA. As specified in the 
requirements, it is the "Administrator's stated 
basis" that must be described, and the measures 
"stated in his order'" that must be listed. The 
agency intends to include in each order a de- 
scription, evaluation, and list of measures that 
permit quotation or paraphrase by the manufac- 
turer. 

Chrysler and the MVMA asked that a manu- 
facturer be permitted more latitude to explain 



PART 577— PRE 14 



Effective: June 28, 1977 



its position than provided for in paragraph 
(b) (8). The agency has considered this request, 
and concludes that extensive advocacy of the 
manufacturer's position would detract from the 
intent of the provisional notification to put the 
owner on notice of potential problems. The 
Chrysler and MVMA suggestion is therefore not 
adopted. 

In the required statement dealing with avail- 
ability of remedy and reimbursement in the 
event the court upholds the Administrators de- 
termination (paragraph (b)(9)), Chrysler ar- 
gued that the suggestion of reimbursement would 
generate poor customer relations if a repair were 
sought or undertaken during pendency of a court 
proceeding in which the manufacturer prevailed. 
The agency is aware of the possibility for some 
misunderstanding but is certain that the provi- 
sional notification was intended by the Congress 
to encourage owners to consider repair or other 
corrective action while the manufacturer contests 
the determination. For this reason, the notice 
of possible I'eimbursement remains in the regu- 
lation. The first statement in (b) (9) (i) has 
been clarified in one minor respect. 

The MVMA requested that the phrase "for 
repair" be substituted for "in repairing" to per- 
mit manufacturers to make clear that reimburse- 
ment would only cover the repairs that were 
reasonable and necessary to correct the defect or 
noncompliance. The NHTSA believes that the 
term "reasonable and necessary" makes clear 
what repairs would be reimbursed should the 
court uphold an Administrator's determination. 

The M\'T\IA asked, and the agency agrees, that 
the reimbursement statement be qualified by the 
limitations that appear in the statute. 

Paragraph (b) (10) requires a statement 
whether, in the manufacturer's opinion, a repair 
of the defect or noncompliance is possible. GM 
asked that "feasible" be substituted for "possible" 
and the agency makes the change in agreement 
that it more clearly reflects the judgement made 
by a manufacturer in choosing its preferred 
remedy. The MVMA and Chrysler made the 
more basic objection that (b) (10) assumes that 
a defect or noncompliance exists prior to the 
court's ruling, and that it requires unjustified 
effort to develop repair parts and facilities before 
a decision is reached on the validity of the Ad- 



ministrator's determination. The agency is of 
the view that the level of detail specified is justi- 
fied in these cases and necessary to fulfill the 
purpose of provisional notification contemplated 
by Congress. The agency has modified the word- 
ing to make clear that reimbursement for ex- 
penses are limited to those necessary and 
reasonable for repair. 

With regard to proposed paragraph (b)(12), 
the MVMA asked that only notification and not 
remedy be mentioned. There will be a discussion 
of remedy in the notification, however, and the 
owner should be encouraged to inquire further 
as to this aspect of the notification. 

Firestone and the Automotive Parts and Ac- 
cessories Association felt that the regrulations 
should apply to the agency and that it should 
be required to advise the owner, purchaser, and 
dealer in the event its determination is not up- 
held by the courts. The statutory' scheme being 
implemented by Part 577 concerns manufacturer 
obligations under §§ 151 through 160 of the Act 
to notify and remedy safety problems in vehicles. 
The agency does not consider an expansion of 
the regulations beyond this purpose as appro- 
priate. Nothing, of coui-se. prevents the manu- 
facturer from making such a notice to the owner 
or others. 

Paragraph (c) of § 577.6 deals with final 
notification following a court decision in the 
Administrator's favor, and it is adopted, with 
corrections similar to those made in the other 
sections. Because the MVMA objected to ref- 
erence to being "upheld in a proceeding in a 
United States District Court" as the basis for 
the post-litigation order, the agency has sub- 
stituted the language of the Act. Also, reference 
to "a date" on which provisional notification was 
ordered is corrected to "the date" to reflect that 
it will in all cases be a specific date. 

TIME AND MANNER OF NOTIFICATION 

The major problem with regard to the time 
and manner of notification concerned the statu- 
tory requirement (§ 153(c)(1)) that notification 
be, 

§ 153 * * * 
(c) * * * 

(1) in the case of a motor vehicle, by first 
class mail to each person who is registered 



PART 577— PRE 15 



EfFeclive: June 28, 1977 



under State law as the owner of such vehicle 
and whose name and address is reasonably 
ascertainable by the manufacturer through 
State records or other sources available to 
him; 

PACCAR, Volkswagen, and IH expressed 
their doubts that all State records would be 
available or that alternative services would pro- 
vide timely information. The agency has in- 
corporated the statutory' requirements in this 
regulation word-for-word and, on that basis, de- 
clines to modify it. As for the suggestion that 
"reasonably ascertainable" be defined, it is the 
agency's view that the phrase is only given 
meaning by the separate factual situations that 
arise. The agency cannot agree with PACCAR 
that records are not "reasonably ascertainable" 
simply by virtue of delay in retrieving them. 

Sheller-Globe Corporation asked if certified 
mail would be considered the equivalent of first 
class mail for meeting the requirements. As a 
school bus manufacturer. Sheller-Globe wanted 
certainty of notification to school districts and 
other customers. The NHTSA does not consider 
them equivalent in view of relevant legislative 
history. Congress considered the U.S. Postal 
Service regulation that prohibits forwarding of 
certified mail and they concluded that first class 
mail would be a superior means of obtaining 
notification. 

With regard to the maximum times permitted 
for issuance of notification, the Center asked 
that the period be reduced to 30 days in the 
case of all Administration-ordered notifications. 
Some manufacturers asked that the 30-day period 
for provisional notification be expanded to 60 
days. B.F. Goodrich stated that notification 
letters cannot he printed in advance of actual 
mailing, because the date for earliest remedy 
must be included in the letter. The agency has 
weighed the conflicting views, and concludes that 
a 60-day period is justified for administration- 
ordered recalls. The provisional notification re- 
quirement is amended accordingly. 

TH suggested that public notice of defects or 
noncompliances in items of replacement equip- 
ment would be adequate, and that notice to the 
most recent purchaser should be optional. The 



agency has simply conformed its regulation to 
the statutory requirements of § 153(c). 

OTHER MATTERS 

The MVA suggested that the disclaimer sec- 
tion of the regulation could be clarified by an 
additional paragraph permitting manufacturer 
statements that a notification does not "constitute 
an admission by the manufacturer that it has 
been guilty of negligence or other wrong doing." 
The agency views this statement as exactly the 
type of disclaimer that could contribute to a 
reader's decision not to take action in response to 
notification and accordingly declines to adopt the 
MVMA recommendation. 

With regard to the MVMA concern that tech- 
nical violations of the regulations not be pursued 
as a violation of the Act under § 577.9, the 
agency expects to continue to enforce the Act 
and its regulations in a reasonable manner, calcu- 
lated to avoid arbitrariness or in-ationality. 

After-market equipment manufacturers and 
their associations expressed the view that the 
notification scheme was unworkable for notice 
to equipment purchasers, that wear of parts in 
normal use conflicted with the concept of safety- 
related defects, and that the 8-year period for 
remedy without charge was too long. Also, the 
establislunent of a cut-off based on the date of 
retail sale appeared impractical, because records 
of these transactions are not maintained. As a 
response, the agency notes that the regulation 
conforms to the statute's language and clearly 
expressed Congressional intent. Experience to 
date with the requirements does not demonstrate 
that they are in fact unworkable. The issues of 
improper installation and reinanufactured parts 
were not addressed by the statute, and resolution 
of these issues wil require some experience with 
situations as they arise. 

The RVIA asked that the agency exercise its 
authority to require the submission to manufac- 
turers by dealers of the names and addresses of 
purchasei-s. The agency takes this recommenda- 
tion under advisement but, as it is beyond the 
scope of Part 577, does not act on it in this 
notice. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Part 577, 
"Defect Notification," of Title 49, Code of Fed- 



PART 577— PRE 16 



EfFective: June 28, 1977 

eral Regulations, is renamed "Defect and Non- Issued on December 22, 1976. 

compliance Notification" and is amended to read 

as set forth below. 

Effective date : June 28, 1977. John W. Snow 

(Sees. 108, 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. Administrator 

718; Sec. 102, 103, 104, Pub. L. 93-492, 88 Stat. 

1470 (15 U.S.C. 1397, 1401, 1407, 1411-1420; 41 F.R. 56813 

delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50) December 30, 1976 



PART 577— PRE 17-18 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO PART 577 



Defect and Noncompliance Notification 
(Docitet No. 80-17; Notice 1) 



ACTION: Final rule. 



SUMMARY: This notice amends the defect and non- 
compliance notification regulation to require that 
manufacturers include the agency's toll free Auto 
Safety Hotline number in their defect and non- 
compliance notification letters. The amendment is 
being made to provide a means of easy access to 
the agency by consumers who may have com- 
plaints about the recall and remedy of their 
vehicles or equipment. Since it is a minor technical 
amendment, it is being made effective immediate- 
ly without notice or opportunity for comment. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 22, 1981. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Mr. James Murray, Office of Defects 
Investigation, National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590, 
202-426-2840 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice 
makes a minor technical amendment to Part 577, 
Defect and Noncompliance Notification, to require 
manufacturers conducting recall campaigns to in- 
clude the agency's toll free Auto Safety Hotline 
number in the notification letters. 

Existing notification letters are required to 
state that a consumer may contact the agency if he 
or she feels that remedy of a defect or non- 
compliance is not being made without charge or in 
a reasonable time. Manufacturers also frequently 
include their address and a toll free number that 
consumers can call to complain to the manufac- 
turer about the status of a remedy. The agency 
believes that the use of manufacturer toll free 
numbers is a good idea and has decided that the 
agency's toll free number should also be included 



in the letter. This will provide easy access for con- 
sumers to the agency for