In the wake of the massive Firestone recall. US Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater announced (30/11/00) the first 'rulemaking action' to implement requirements of the recently enacted Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act.

The US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is asking the public for comments on ways to provide consumers with information that will help them use their tyres more safely.

The agency is seeking responses from the public to a broad array of questions on such matters as the Tyre Identification Number (TIN) content, readability and location of the TIN, load rating, speed rating, tyre inflation pressure labeling, tread wear indicators, and the Uniform Tyre Quality Grading information.

"We are moving quickly to put better information programs into place in the crucial area of tyre safety," said Dr. Sue Bailey, NHTSA administrator. "We want to be sure that we present tyre information to consumers in the clearest and most understandable way."

The TREAD Act requires that the Secretary of Transportation initiate rulemaking to improve the labeling of tyres and thus help consumers identify tyres that may be the subject of a safety recall. The Act also provides that the Secretary may take whatever additional action is appropriate to ensure that the public is aware of the importance of observing motor vehicle tyre load limits and maintaining proper tyre inflation.

An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Dec. 1 Federal Register will seek public comments on tyre labeling and safety information.