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NHTSA should act now on defective tire recall safety proposal

Most motor vehicle accidents are preventable. Save for those that occur due to an unforeseen weather event or other circumstance beyond human control, most devastating crashes can be prevented. Often, preventable motor vehicle accidents occur because of negligent or reckless behavior on the part of drivers. However, dangerous road conditions and defective vehicle parts can also cause vehicles to collide. In these circumstances, those responsible for road conditions or the manufacture of the defective vehicle part may be held responsible for damages.

In an effort to prevent motor vehicle accidents which occur due to defective tires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) should require tire identification numbers to be input into the federal vehicle recall portal. Such a move would help to prevent accidents when defective tires are identified and must be recalled and will likely inspire tire manufacturers to be even more careful with the production of these products.

The NHTSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in September related to new recall regulations. These regulations included heightened requirements related to the recall information auto manufacturers must provide with regard to each of their vehicles, in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Improvement Act.

The recall portal that this information will be contained on will allow the public to search for information on specific vehicle recalls. However, tire manufacturers are not explicitly required to submit information about their products to the recall portal. Given the staggering number of preventable vehicle accidents that occur each year due to defective tires, this omission is illogical and dangerous.

Safety advocacy groups are urging the NHTSA to require tire identification numbers to be input into the recall portal. Hopefully the NHTSA will take the necessary steps to ensure that this occurs.

Source: Tire Review, "Group Urges NHTSA to Use Tire ID Numbers in Recall Portal," Nov. 21, 2012

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