DOT/NHTSA Call for New Eco-Oriented Tire Rating Labels
In an attempt to provide consumers with more relevant information about how their choice in tires can impact both fuel economy and CO2 emissions, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed a new labeling system. This tri-modal tag would allows buyers to quickly and easily compare not only relative rolling resistance of various replacement tires but to see how each stacks up in the equally critical areas of wet-weather traction and treadwear. Spurred on by a stipulation in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, this new label would be affixed to every tire at its point of sale. It would also appear on www.safercar.gov to provide this info to those who decide to do their initial comparison shopping online.
According to government statistics, the 240 million passenger cars and light trucks currently in the U.S. fleet consume about 135 billion gallons of gasoline annually. Finding new ways to help trim that level of energy consumption has been deemed a national goal "for reasons ranging from ensuring economic and national security to improving local air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions." Under EISA 2007 provisions, the National Highway Transportation Safety Board (NHTSA) must issue a final ruling on the proposed labeling by the end of the year.