You will soon have more ways to choose which tire is right for you: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed a new tire label that ranks rubber based on fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas rating, safety (wet traction), and durability. According to NHTSA's calculations, rolling resistance accounts for up to 7% of "uses and losses of fuel energy in a vehicle." With everyone paying close attention to gas mileage and gas prices now, the federal agency wants to give consumers more info on how to maximize a car's performance in that respect.

There are a variety of labels NHTSA has come up with to display a tire's ratings. When the final rule is implemented, the removable label will be located on the tire at the point-of-sale, and the ratings will also be available at the NHTSA website, www.safercar.gov. The agency is taking comments from consumers now, and needs to come up with a final rule by December of this year. You can read the press release after the jump. Thanks for the tip, Nick

[Source: LA Times]


PRESS RELEASE

U.S. DOT Proposes New Tire Fuel Efficiency Ratings for American Consumers

NHTSA Thursday, June 18, 2009 -- The U.S. Department of Transportation today 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 emission reductions. Tires with lower rolling resistance – and proper inflation pressure - can contribute to improved fuel economy.

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 key pieces of tire performance information - 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.

The new, three-tiered ratings also will appear on safercar.gov to help consumers in compare ratings as they shop for new tires.

"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 is required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to issue a final rule by December 2009.

Click here to read the proposal.

Click here to view the proposed ratings label.