New Law Requires Tire Registration by Independent Sellers and Revised TPMS Rule

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The highway transportation bill signed into law by the president includes several provisions covering tires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is directed to issue a rule requiring independent tire sellers to register tires at the point of sale. The provision is intended to increase tire registration rates that should then assist tire manufacturers in notifying consumers in the event of a tire recall. Independent tire dealers will be required to maintain records, including the name, address and information identifying the tire purchased, and electronically transmit this information to the tire manufacturer.  

The NHTSA will consider the feasibility of developing universal bar-code scanner technologies that capture the Tire Identification Number (TIN), which could then be placed in an electronic database that unites the tire numbers with the vehicle identification number (VIN). The NHTSA is required to create a website allowing the public to search for tire recalls based on the TIN. The NHTSA is also required to issue regulations establishing minimum tire performance standards for tire fuel efficiency and wet traction.  

The NHTSA is required to update the tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) rule, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 138, to ensure that a system installed on a new motor vehicle cannot be overridden, reset or recalibrated in a way that would no longer detect when the inflation pressure in one or more of the vehicle’s tires has fallen below a safe pressure level. The rule cannot have the effect of prohibiting indirect TPMS or the ability to reset or recalibrate when replacing tires/wheels of a different size than the original-equipment tires/wheels.  

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at