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Congressional Record, Daily Digest, Senate
Vol. 112, D250, March 25, 1966

Tire Safety: Senate considered S. 2669, to establish safety stan. dards for motor vehicles sold or shipped in interstate commerce, but did not conclude action thereon, the committee amendment in nature of a substitute remaining the pending question at recess.

It was agreed, by unanimous consent, that Senate will vote at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, on question of passage of this bill, and that the provisions of Rule XII requiring a quorum call before vote at a designated time will be waived.

Pages 6802-6804, 6807-6808

Congressional Record-Senate
March 25, 1966, 6802-6804, 6807-6808

SAFETY STANDARDS FOR MOTOR

VEHICLE TIRES The PRESIDING OFFICER. In accordance with the unanimous-conscnt agreement previously entered, the Chair lays before the Senate the unfinished business.

The Senate proceeded to consider the bill (S. 2669) which had been reported from the Committee on Commerce, with an amendment, to strike out all after the enacting clause and Insert:

That this Act may be cited as the "Tire Safety Act of 1966".

PURPOSE Sec. 2. It is the purpose of this Act to protect the public against unrcasonable risk of highway accidents occurring as the result of tire failure, through the establishment and the enforcement of minimum safe performance standards for tires. It is also the purpose of this Act to authorize a study of the feasibility of a quality grading system for tires which reduce confusion in the marketing of tires.

SEC, 3. As used in this Act

(a) The term "Interstate commerce" means commerce between any pince in A State, territory, possession, the District of Columbla, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and any place in another State, territory, possession, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or between places in the same State of the District of Columbia through another state or the District of Columbia

(b) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Commerce,

(c) The term "motor vehicle" means passenger cars and station wagons, but does not

Include any motor vehicle classined as a special purpose vehicle, such as an antique or racing car, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary.

(d) Tho torm "tiro" moans • pneumatlo tire for use on motor vehicles.

(e) The term "retreaded tiro" means a used tire on which the worn trend rubber has been replaced with new tread rubber.

(1) The term "regrooved tire" means & tire on which an iron or a tread design device has been used to cut into a smooth tire carcass to produce a new tread design. INTERIM MINIMUM SAFT PERFORMANCE STAND

ARDS FOR NEW TIRKS SEC. 4. (A) In order to carry out the purposes of this Act, on or before January 31, 1967, the Secretary shall adopt and publish In the Federal Register interim minimum Balo performance standards for new tirer, which shall be based upon existing public and privnte standards.

(b) The Interim minimum safe performance standards adopted pursuant to subsectlon (R) of this section shall become effective one hundred and eighty days from the date on which the standards are published. REVISED MINIMUM BAFE PERFORMANCE STAND

ARDS FOR TIRES Sec. 5. (A) On or before January 31, 1969, and thereafter as he deems necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Act, the Secretary shall, by order, establish and publish in the Federal Register in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 1001 et seq) (1) revised minimum ante performanco standards for new tires, nnd (2) minimum ele performance standards for newly retreaded tires, which may be in the form

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of minimum safe procedures for retrending ures. Regulations established and issued pursuant to this subsection shall be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing.

(b) In such standards, the Secretary shall prescribe such maximum permissible loads for each size of tire, and the application of auch maximum permissible load standards, As he determines necessary to achieve the purposes of this Act.

(c) In prescribing standards pursunnt to clause (2) of the preceding subsection the Secretary shall not require retreaders to use tire casings produced under the minimum safe performance standards for new tires, until such time as the Secretary Ands that such casings are generally available for retreading

(d) Standards issued pursuant to this section shall become effective on a date specified by the Secretary which shall be no later than one year nor sooner than one hundred and eighty days from the date on which the standards are published, cxccpt that standards for newly retreadcd tires shall not take effect before June 30, 1969.

(e) In order to carry out sections 4 and 5 hereof, the Secretary

(1) shall consult with tire and motor vehicle manufacturers and tire retreaders; with the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission; scientific, technical, business, and trade organizations; State, local and Interstate agencies, and tire users; as appropriate; and

(2) shall take into consideration such factors as size, load-carrying ability under the conditions likely to be encountered in regular highway travel, resistance to impact and fatigue, resistance to cornering and skidding. resistance to detachment from rim, and such other factors as he deems relevant.

AMENDMENT OF STANDARDS BEC. 6. The Secretary, from time to time, subject to the administrative procedural requirements set forth in subsection 5(R), may. by order, amend the minimum bale performanco standards issued under this Act. Amendments shall become effective on the date specided therefor by the Secretary in sald order which shall be no sooner than one hundred and eighty days, nor later than one year from the date on which the amendment is issued, unless the Secretary Anda, publish. ing his ronson, thorelor, that an earlier or later date is in the public interest.

PREEMPTION SEC. 7. No State or political subdivision thereof shall establish minimum eale per. formance standards for new or newly re. trended tires which differ from minimum Base performance standards promulgated pursuant to the provisions of the Act, and Any law, regulation, or ordinance purportinp. to establish such different standards nic! providing punishment for an act of noncompllance therewith shall be null and vold. Nothing in this subsection shall be construct to prevent the Federal Government, A State or political subdivision thereof from establishing standards for the exclusive purposes of its own procurement of new or newly retreaded tires.

LABELING SEC. 8. In all standards published pursuant to this Act, the Secretary shall require that tires subject thereto be permanently and conspicuously labeled with such safety Information as he determines to be necessary to achieve the purposes of this Act. Such labeling shall include suitable Identification of the manufacturer (and in the case of a retreaded tire suitable identication of the retrender), and a recital that such tires conform to Federal minimum safe performance standards. In lieu of such recital, the Secre. tary mny prescribe an appropriate niark or symbol for use by such manufacturers or retreaders who comply with such standards,

The Secretary may require that additional safety-related information be disclosed to the purchaser at the time of sale.

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ORDERS SEC. 9. (a) (1) In a case of actual controversy as to the validity of any order under this Act, any person who will be adversely affected by such order is placed in effect may at any time prior to the forty-orth day after such order becomes effective, including the period after publication in the Federal Register before the order becomes effective. Ale a petition with the United Statcs court of Appeals for the circuit wherein such person resides or bis his prin. clpal place of business, for a judicial review of such order. A copy of the petition shall be forthwith transmitted by the clerk of the court to the Secretary or other omcer dCRIgnnted by him for that purpose. The Ser. retary thereupon shall nle in the court the record of the proceedings on which the Secretary based his orders, as provided in KCCtion 2112 of title 28

(2) If the petitioner applies to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence, it shows to the satisfaction of the court that such additional evidence is material and that there were reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence in the proceeding before the Secretary, the court n.ay order such Additional evidence (and e:1. dence in rebuttal thereof) to be taken before the Secretary, and to be adduced upon the hearing, in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as to the court may seem proper. The Secretary may modify his findings as to the facts, or make new AndIngs, by reason of the additional evidence so takon, and he shall Ole such nicxlified or new findings, and his recommendation, if fony, for the modification or setting aside of his original order, with the return of such additional evidence.

(3) Upon the filing of the petition referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the court shall have jurisdiction to athrm the order, or to set it aside in wholo or in part, temporarily or permanently. The lindings of the Secretary as to the facts, 11 supported by substantial evidence, shall be conclusive.

(4) The judgment of the court affirming or setting aside, in whole or in part, any such order of the Secretary shall be final, subject to review by the Supreme Court of the United States upon certiorari or certificution as provided in section 1254 of title 28.

(5) Any action instituted under this subsection shall survive Rotwithstanding iny change in the person occupying the office of Secretary or any Vacancy in Such office.

(6) The remedies provided for in this subsection shall be in addition to and not in substitution for any other remetlles provideo by law.

(b) A certified copy of the transmpt of the record and proceedings under this section shall be furnished by the Secretary to any interested party d bis request thd payment by suih party of the lost thercol. : hall be admissible in any chim proteins. libel for condemnation exclusion of mports. or other proceeding itrisins uncler or in respect to this Act whether or not protecchings with respect to the order hise prost.ly been instituted or become mal under subsection (a) of this section. DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARDS FOR GRADING TIRES

SEC. 10. In order to assist the consumer lo make an informed choice in the purchase of motor vehicle tires, the Secretary is authorized and directed to investigate the sensibility of it uniform quality grading system for motor vehicle tires. On or bcfore January 31, 1969, the Secretary shall report to Congress and make recommendations with respect to the implementation of such uniform quality

kruding system as he may find to be feasible, The Secretary shall also cooperate with industry and the Federal Trade Commission to the maximum extent practicable in efforts to eliminate deceptive and confusing tire nomenclature and marketing practices.

RESEARCH, TESTING, AND DEVELOPMENT Sec. 11. The Secretary, in cooperation with other departments and agencies of the Fed. eral Government, is authorized to

(a) conduct either directly or by way of grant, contract, or otherwise, research, testing, development, and information gathering and disseminating activities necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Act, which activities shall include consideration of

(1) relating tire performance characterIstice to tire safety:

(2) determining the effects of wear and use of tires upon tire safety:

(3) evaluating and developing methods and equipment for testing, inspecting, and determining sufety of tires;

(4) evaluating and developing methods and equipment for determining adequacy of minimum safe performance standards for tires, and compliance of tires with minimum sale performance standards;

(5) developing improved minimum sare perforinance standards for tires; and

(6) determining the feasibility of a uniform quality grading system for tires;

(b) purchase. Acquire, or fabricate all equipment and facilities necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, tires for research or testing purposes may be purchased and tested even though such testo muy dumage or destroy the tires being tested;

(c) sell or otherwise dispose of tires tested pursuant to the preceding clause, notwithstanding any other provision of law, and reimburse the proceeds of such sale or disposal into the appropriation or fund current and availible for the purpose of carrying out this Act: Prorided, That tires which have been rendered irreparably unsafe for use on the highways, by testing pursuant to subsection (b). shall be sold or disposed of in a manner insuring that they shall not be used on the highways or on vehicles for use on the highways. INSPECTION AND TESTING FOR COMPLIANCE

RECORDS AND REPORTS SEC. 12. (a) The Secretary is authorized to conduct such testing and Inspection as he deems necessary to aid in the enforcement of stindards issued and in effect under this Act and shall furnish the Altorney Cieneral and when appropriate, the Secretary of the Treasury any information obtained and test results indicating noncompliance with stich standards for appropriate entorcement or customis action

(b) For purposes of this section, Olliers ind employees designated by the Scorelary. upon presenting appropriate credentials the it written notice to the owner, operator, or agent in charge, are authorized to enter, at reit: onible times. (1) my plant, fitrility, wirehouse or other business estibli.hment er premises where Ure are held prior their sale or delivery, or where tires are retreaded, and to make a reasonable inspection of such tires or (2) ky molor vehicle its sembly plant and to make a reasonable inte spection, alter the motor vehicles have left the insembly line, of the tires with which such motor vehicles are equipped

(C) Every manufacturer and retrender of tires and every manufacturer of motor vehicles shall establish and maintain such records, make such reports. and provide such information as the Secretary may reason ubly require to enable him to determine whether such manufacturer or retrender has acted or is acting in compliance with the provisions of this Act and standards prescribed pursuant to this Act and shall, upon

request of an officer or employee duly designated by the Secretary, permit such umcer or employee to inspect appropriate books, papers, records, and documents.

(d) All information reported to or otherwise obtained by the Secretary or his representative pursuant to subsection (b) or (c). which Information contains or relates to a trade secret or other matter referred to in section 1906 of lille 18 of the United States Code, shul be considered confidential for the purpose of that section, except that such information may be disclosed to other ofcers or employees concerned with carrying out this Act or when relevant in any proceeding under this Act.

PROHIBITED ACTS
SEC. 13. (a) No person shall-

(1) manufacture for sale, sell, offer for sale, or introduce or deliver for introduc. tion in Interstate commerce, or import into the United States for resale, any tire manufactured or retreaded or any motor vehicle assembled on or after the date any applicable standards take effect under this Act unless It is in conformity with such standards as prescribed or amended by the Secretary pursuant to section 4, 6, 6. or 8 of this Act, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section; or

(2) fall or refuse to permit entry or inspection as authorized under section 12lb) of this Act or fail or refuse access to or copying of records, or fail to make reports or provide information, as required under section 12(c).

(b) Paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall not apply to the sale, the offer for sale, or the introduction of delivery for introduction in Interstate commerce of any tire or motor vehicle after the first purchase of it in good faith where the tire is labeled as conforming to Fecieral manum Safe performance standards.

(c)(1) A ure or motor vehicle offered for importation in violation of paragraph (1) of subsection (a) shall be refused admission into the United States, but the Secretary of the ITeasury and the Secretary may. by joint regulations, provide for authorizing the iniportation of a tire or motor vehicle, or class thereof, into the United States upon such terms and conditions including the furnishing of a bond) as may appear to them appropriate to insure that any such lire or motor vehicle will be brought into confornity with any applicable standards prescribed under this Act, or will be exported or abandoned to the Government.

(2) The Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary may, by joini regulations, prohibit the importation of any tire or motor vehicle, or class thereof, into the United States, unless it meets ally standards or regulations issued by the Secretary purstant to the provisions (1 this Act.

(3) Paragraph (1) of subsection fal shall not apply to a tire intended solely for 'Xport. 11 il is labeled on the outside of the shipping container to show that it is Dlended for export and in NO exprirleel

u No person), firm, or forjaration shall nell llir lor sale or introduser loir Sale or deliver for intrucluction in Interstate comnierce un tire or motor vehicle equipped with any tire which has been regrooved. cxcept that the Secretary my by order permit the sale of regrooved tires or motor vehicles equipped with such times which he finds itre designed and constructed in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Act.

CIVIL. PENALTY SEC 14. (a) Whoever violates any provision of section 13(a) (2) or 13(d), or any regulation issued thereunder, shall be subjected to a civil penalty of not w exceed $1.000 for each such violation.

(b) Any such civil penalty may be compromised by the Secretary The amount of

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Buch penalty, when finally determined, or the amount agreed upon in compromise. may be cleducted from any sums owing by the United States to the persons charged.

INJUNCTION SUBPENAS SEC. 15. (a) The United States district courts and the United States courts of the territories and of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall have jurisdiction, for cause shown and subject to the provisions of rule 65 (H) and (b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. to restrain violations of this Act upon petition by the appropriate United Stutes attorney or the Altorney General on behalf of the United States.

b) In any proceeding for criminal contenipt for violation of an order, injunc lion, or restraining order issued under this section, which violation also constitutes a violation of this Act, trial shall be by the court or, upun demand of the accused, by a jury. Such trial shall be conducted in accordance with the practice and procedures applicable in the case of proceedings subject w the provisions of rule 42(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

(c) In all libel or injunction proceedings for the enforcement, or to restrain violations, of this Act, subpenns for witnesses who are required to altend a court of the United States in any district may run into any other district in any such proceeding.

SEIZURE SEC, 16. (a) Any motor vehicle tire that hits been manufactured or introduced into commerce in violation of section 13 of this Act shall be liable to be proceeded against by the United States while in interstate commerce on libel of information and condemined in any district court of the United state and in any United States court" for tho territories, possessions, and the Common. wealth of Puerto Rico.

(b) Such tire shall be liable to selzure by process pursuant to the libel, and the procedure in cases under this section shall conform, as nearly as may be, to the procedure in Admiralty: except that on demand of elther party any issue of fact joined in any such caso shall be tried by jury. When libel for condemnation proceedings, under this section, involving the same clalmant, are pending in two or more jurisdictions, such pending proceedings, upon application of the United States or the claimant seasonably made to the court of one such jurisdiction, shall be consolidated for trial by order of Buch court, and tried in (1) any district selected by the applicant where one of such proceedings 18 pending; or (2) a district agreed upon by flipulation between the partiem. If no orches for consolidation 19 Bo made within a reasonable time, the United States or the claimant may apply to the court of one such jurisdiction, and such court (after giving the other party. the claimant, or the United States attorney for such district, reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard) shall by order, unless good cause to the contrary is shown, specify A district of reasonable proximity to the claimant's principal place of business, in which all such pending proceedings shall be consolidated for trinl and tried. Such order of consolidation shall not apply so as to require the removal of any case the date for trial of which has been fixed. The court granting such order shall give prompt notification thereof to the other courts having jurisdiction of the case covered thereby.

(c) Any tire condemned under this section shall, After entry of the decree, be disposed of by destruction or sale as the court may. in accordance with the provisions of this section, direct and the proceeds thereof, if sold, less the legal costs and charges, shall be paid into the Treasury of the United States, but such tire shall not be sold under such decree contrary to the provisions of this

Act or the laws of the jurisdiction in which sold: Provided. That, after entry of the decree and upon the payment of the costs of such proceedings and the execution of & good and sumclent bond conditioned that such tire shall not be sold or disposed of contrary to the provisions of this Act or the laws of any State or territory in which sold, the court may by order direct that such tire be dellvered to the owner thereof to be destroyed or brought into compliance with the provisions of this Act under the supervision of an oicer or employee duly designated by the Secretary, and the expenses of such supervision shall be paid by the person obtaining release of the tire under bond.

(d) When a decree of condemnation is entered against the tire, court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses, shall be awarded against the person, 11 any, Intervening aus claimant of the tire.

(e) In the case of removal for trial of any case as provided by subsection (c) of this section

(1) the clerk of the court from which removal is made shall promptly transmit to the court in which the case is to be tried all records in the case necessary in order that such court may exercise jurisdiction;

(2) the court to which such case is removed shall have the powers and be subject to the duties, for purposes of such case, which the court from which removal was made would have had, or to which such court would have been subject, 11 such case had not been removed.

RECULATIONS, AVOIDANCE OF DUPLICATION Sec. 17. (a) The Secretary is authorized to Issue and amend such rules and regulations as ho deems necessary or appropriate to carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(b) Tbo Secretary. In exercising the authority under this Act, shall utilize the seryices, research, and testing facilities of public and competent private agencies to the maximum extent he determines practicable in order to avoid duplication in research, facilItles, or operation services.

AUTHORIZATION Sec. 18. To carry out the purpose of this Act, there is authorized to be appropriated the sum of $2.000.000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1967, 01,450.000 for ench of the Nscal years ending June 30, 1968, and 1969, and $1,600,000 for each of the fiscal years ending June 30, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974.

Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President. I ask unanimous consent that the vote on the pending measurc, S. 2669, take place at 2 o'clock p.m., on Tuesday next and that for this purpose rule XII, clause 3, be suspended.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the request of the Senator from Montana ? The Chair hears none, and it is so ordered. The vote will begin at 2 o'clock p.m. on Tucsday ncxt.

(The unanimous-consent agreement. reduced to writing is as follows:)

UNANIMOUS-CONSENT AGREEMENT Ordered, That on Tuesday, March 29, 1966 At 2 o'clock p.m. the Senate proceed to vote on final passnge of S. 2609, a bill to establish safety standards for motor vehicle tires sold or shipped in Interstate commerce, and for other purposes.

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SAFE

Safety Commission to develop minimum safe standards for tires but, after 3 days of hearings and after reviewing the extensive hearings conducted by the Federal Trade Commission last year, our committee was convinced that the public today remains inadequately protected apiinst the risks of unsafe tires.

There is great confusion, too, in the marketing of tires. I know of no consumer commodity more sharply characterized by confused and misleading nomenclature than the lire.

Though no uniform grading system presently exists, the great majority of the private label marketers and domestic manufacturers market tires on the basis of an apparent grading system. Thus, "premiun," "first line," "SCcond line," and "100 level," imply that an objective grading system exists. Yet these designations today have no uniform fixed meaning or definitive value. One marketer's "premium" is the inferior of another's "third line" tire-and a single manufacturer may market a tire under its own brandname as a "third level" tire while his private label customer markets the same tire as a "first line"

tire.

SAFETY STANDARDS FOR MOTOR

VEHICLE TIRES The Senate resumed the consideration of the bill is. 2669), to establish safety standards for motor vehicle tires sold or Shuppel in interstate commerce, and for other purposes.

Mr. MAGNUSON. Mr. President, the American people know that no car can be safer than its tires. Yet today, there is deepening public anxiety as to the adequacy both of tires supplied with new cars and of replacement tires purchased in the "after market."

There are, today, 300 million passenger tires in use on the Nation's highways and, as the vast new Interstate Highway System reaches out across our country. these tires are being subjected to punishment of a kind and degree virtually unknown 20 years ago.

Today, station wagons heavily laden with family and baggage customarily speed across hundreds of miles of highway in the heat of summer, at legal speeds up to 80 miles an hour. As car owners, we expect our tires to perform such service safely, though it may be demanded only once or twice a year. We expect such performance from our tires not only when they are new but throughout their tread life. And when we subject millions of worn tircs to retreading, we expect the retreaded tires to perform safely throu:hout yet another tour of bervice.

At the very time that tires are being subjected to greater and greater stress the so-called cheapie tirc--the low-price replacement tire usually sold under the marketer's own unfamiliar brand namehas captured a substantial share of the replacement tire market.

The committee received disturbing testimony that significant numbers of these tires were of poor quality, often evidencing upon close inspection, fatal defects and incapable of performing safely under normal conditions of use.

With respect to tires on new cars, our committee recolved a surprising volume of complaints of unexplained tire blowouts at mileagcs as low as 6,000, 5,000, and even 4,000 and 3,000 miles.

One tire manufacturcr said:

Over the years, vehicle manufacturers. In An attempt to cut costs, have cut down the Minuunt of tire they are designing on their vehicles.

Some vehicles are overloaded when they are empty of passengers or baggage.

More than 20 percent of the 300 million passenger tires presently in use are retreaded tires, produced in thousands of shops throughout the country. The safety of such tires is subject not only to the strength of the tire carcass which has already outworn one treadbut to the quality of materials, processing methods, and the maintenance of quality control techniques as well. Yet retreaded tires must be capable to bearing up under the same conditions of use as new tires. The testimony was overwhelming to this effect. There is little doubt that far too many retreaded tires fall short of this mark

An attempt has been made by both the industry and the Vehicle Equipment

Tires are unlike inany consumer items which are bought, rapidly consumed, and bouglit again. The tire consumer has little opportunity to sample and test for himself the quality of each of the multitude of brands marketed. Fortunately, he necd not buy a new set of tires every week.

In summary, the bill, as reported by the committee:

First. Directs the Secretary of Commerce, on or before January 31, 1967, to adopt interim miniinum safe performance standards for new passenger car and station wagon tires, based upon existing public and private standards.

Second. Directs the Secretary, on or before January 31, 1969, to establish revised minimum safe performance standards for new tires and minimum safe performance standards for newly retreaded tires, based upon a comprehensive program of tire research, testing, and development also authorized by the bill: these revised standards will include maximum permissible loads for each size of tire.

This is a very important provision, because in many cases it will be found that although on a new car there may be brandı.cw tires, and good tires, they may not be the type of tire that is needed for the weight of the car. That happens many times.

Third. Directs the Secretary to study and to make recommendations to Congress on or before January 31, 1969, for the implementation of a uniform quality grading system for tires, if feasible, and to join with the Federal Trade Commission and the industry in efforts to eliminate deceptive and confusing tire nomenclature and marketing practices.

Fourth. Prohibits the sale of regrooved tires.

Fifth. Authorizes testing. inspection, and the imposition of recordkeeping re

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