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U.S. DOT Proposes New Tire Fuel Efficiency Ratings

This is one of many changes required under The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

by on Jun.19, 2009

The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed a new, “consumer-friendly replacement tire label,” which would include for the first time information about the tire’s impact on fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Tires with lower rolling resistance (and proper inflation pressures) can contribute to better fuel economy.

This technical advantage has been consistently opposed by auto maker designers who continue to insist on larger, heavier tires with lower aspect ratios, which increase a tire’s rolling resistance.

“Today’s proposal takes the guess work out of buying the best tires for your vehicle,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Our proposal would let consumers look at a single label and compare a tire’s overall performance as it relates to fuel economy, safety and durability.”

NHTSA Proposed Tire Rating Label

NHTSA already offers tire safety information on the web.

NHTSA said that it is hoped that the proposed rule will have benefits in terms of fuel economy, safety, and durability. “At the very least, the proposed rule should enable consumers to make more informed decisions about these variables.”

In addition to the new fuel efficiency ratings, the proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also would provide consumers with two other vital tire performance indicators, wet weather traction and tread wear. All three ratings would be prominently displayed on a removable label attached to the replacement tire at the point of sale. (more…)