June 24, 2003

Safety organization extends stricter standards to light truck tires

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued new, more stringent performance requirements that will apply to nearly all new tires for use on vehicles up to 10,000 pounds.

Given the increasing consumer preference for using light trucks, the NHTSA is extending the tire performance requirements for passenger car tires to LT tires (load range C, D, and E) used on light trucks (sport utility vehicles, pickups, vans).

Since it is the first substantive change to standards in over 30 years, manufacturers will be given four years to comply. All covered tires and vehicles must meet the new standards by June 1, 2007.

“Without question, these new performance requirements will improve tire safety,” said NHTSA Administrator Jeffrey W. Runge, M.D.

The final rule strengthens the current requirements for high speed and endurance tests while adding a low-pressure performance test. It also defers action on other upgrades including new tests for aging and road hazards, and modifications to the current bead unseating test.

More info can be found at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/rulings/UpgradeTire/Final/Index.html.

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