With a transportation bill threatening to add new reporting requirements for tire manufacturers across the country, the Tire Industry Association is attempting to fight the measure via Change.org, a petition site often more closely associated with social causes.
The Change.org website is often used to drive advocacy on topics that draw an emotional impact—anything from persuading Taco Bell to go cage-free or convincing Phil Collins that he should give up that comeback attempt. (Just because it has an emotional impact doesn’t mean it has to be serious!)
Right now, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) is doing the same thing, using a Change.org petition to fight a provision in a multiyear transportation bill that would require tire-shop owners to register each new tire sold and provide the information to tire manufacturers. TIA says the rule would lead to laborious paperwork for small businesses and reintroduce a policy that was thrown out more than three decades ago.
TIA characterized the move—which quietly added the language to the highway bill during the markup process of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation—as reinstituting a previously unpopular National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) program.
“The Senate proposal was added without hearings or discussion, yet would reinstate previously rejected NHTSA rules that Congress halted under the Motor Vehicle Safety and Cost Savings Authorization Act of 1982,” the trade group said in its petition.
The House version of the transportation bill passed last week, with the language intact.
While tire registration can currently be done by retailers, the provision would make it mandatory. TIA suggests that reverting back to the old rules could put tire retailers on the hook in the case of recalls and would force them to share customer information with tire manufacturers—something the association and its members oppose.
“We are not aware of any other safety products in which an independent salesperson is responsibility for a customer’s product registration or a manufacturers’ product defect,” the association added.
The use of the Change.org platform to draw attention to the issue is something of a Hail Mary by TIA, as the tire-registration language was included in both the House and Senate versions of the surface transportation reauthorization bill that were passed. The bills are now in conference, where the differences must be worked out.