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App makes tire registration cheap and easy for dealers

New app makes tire registration cheap and easy for dealers

As Washington forces tire dealers to register their customers’ tires, a cheap solution could be at hand to make the exercise relatively pain-free.

Tire Force has released an app called TireDOTRegistry that allows a dealer to register the DOT instantly. A dealer simply puts the information into the app through barcode, RFID, image capture or manual input and it is sent automatically to the manufacturer — with the customer’s identity hidden unless it is needed in the case of a recall.

Tire Force’s TireDOTRegistry was on display at SEMA in Las Vegas last week. Company representative Heather Murphy said the app is already available in Apple’s App Store and is about to be released on Google Play. Murphy said TireDOTRegistry is generating a lot of interest after the Tire Efficiency, Safety and Registration Act of 2015 was rolled into the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill (or the Highway Bill) and passed the House of Representatives. The Senate has already passed its own Highway Bill — which included exactly the same mandatory registration requirement for dealers — earlier in the year. The House and the Senate must now massage out the differences between their Bills, but it’s almost certain tire dealers will be forced to register a customer’s tires with the manufacturer for the first time since 1982, when the onus for registration was shifted to consumers. According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association that change resulted in the tire registration rate dropping from nearly 50 percent to about 15 percent.

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The TireDOTRegistry interface

TIA fears red tape, big fines

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) had warned that tire dealers across the U.S. faced huge fines for any non-compliance and crippling red tape if the Bill passed.

Murphy said Tire Force had met with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which pushed for the law change, and with the TIA — which is keen on an industry-based solution rather than a bureaucratic one.

“If you put the focus on the customer and realize the customer doesn’t really know what they’re doing, then it makes sense that someone has to take responsibility,” Murphy said. “In 2000 when Firestone and Ford had that issue with tread separation I think it was 240 deaths and 3,000 injuries. That got a lot of media attention and that’s primarily how they rely on getting the word out about recalls.

“Even with that amount of media attention, the NHTSA identified that only 90,000 or so were taken out of service out of 2.5 million. So that’s only three percent, even with great media attention.

“That tells you either there was a problem with compliance rates, which were about nine percent because it was not required, or it’s also a difficulty sending information out because the industry was saddled with a system where they only had the customer’s address. People move a lot and that’s probably not the best way of getting in touch with someone who owns something dangerous.”

TireDOTRegistry’s informational video.

App protects customer confidentiality

Murphy said the company had also been talking to the NHTSA about the “very real concern” dealers have that if they register all their tires with manufacturers, who are also retailers, that information could be used for data mining and marketing.

“So we were talking about how we could be able to hide the customer’s information with a token so the tires are registered and the only reason a tire manufacturer would have to tap into a database like that is if there’s a recall,” she said.

Murphy said dealers can register with any one of 256 different vendors through the app. “You type in your information and it’s static, then you type in your customer’s information and input the DOT, hit send and it’s done.

“You don’t have to go to each individual manufacturer’s site, give all the information; it’s all done through our port.

“The other benefit is we list all of the past recalls on there, so if you enter an event that happens to have been recalled it will halt you and tell you that tire needs to be out of service.”

Get more details from the TireDOTRegistry website.

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