Following the heels of a government report that finds only one in five recalled tires is actually off the nation’s roads, the National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all passenger car and light duty truck tires be registered at the time of sale. The agency thinks it will help fix the nation’s tire recall system, recently described by regulators as ‘broken’.
Currently, it’s not mandatory for anyone, the manufacturer, dealer, independent auto shop or owner, to register tires. It’s usually left up to owners to do it, something most car owners don’t realize. So tires don’t end up getting registered at all, which makes it difficult to track owners down in the event of a recall.
NTSB and safety regulators met recently to discuss the issue and come up with some solutions. The board claims the response rate for tire recalls is roughly 20%, which is less than a third of the average response rate for other vehicle campaigns.
According to The Detroit News, one suggestion is to implement a “…computerized system for capturing, storing, and uploading tire registration information would expedite the tire registration process, reduce transcription errors, and encourage more dealers to register tires at the point of sale.”
NTSB says roughly 500 deaths and thousands of injuries every year are attributable to tire problems, including those due to defects or age, that cause some 33,000 crashes.