Canada Enhances and Aligns Tire Regulations to U.S. Standards; Canada Transport Q&A Discusses New Regs Timing, Rationale, and Advantages

Last week, Transport Canada announced the implementation of enhanced tire safety regulations.

These regulatory changes will align Canada’s tire regulations more closely with U.S. standards.  According to Transport Canada, the new regulations will reduce “the cost and complexity of product testing for tire and vehicle manufacturers.”

Transport Canada’s Ashley Kelahear shared a Q&A on the new tire regulations with BTBObserver earlier this afternoon.

Read the full Q&A below.

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations

Q.1      What is the reason for updating the Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations, 1995?

A.        The Canadian Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations, 1995 (MVTSR, 1995) have not been significantly updated since their introduction. As a result, they have fallen behind the corresponding tire safety regulations of the United States (U.S.). Aligning Canadian tire safety standards with those of the U.S. continues to ensure the safe performance of tires in Canada.

Q.2      Why are we realigning the Canadian tire safety regulations with those of the United States?

A.    The U.S. began to address tire safety issues in the early 2000s, conducting research and, where warranted, amending their tire safety regulations. Those regulations have made the U.S. passenger car tire and light-duty truck tire safety standards more stringent and increased U.S. public awareness of the importance of observing tire load limits and maintaining proper tire inflation levels.

The new regulations align the Canadian and U.S. tire testing and marking requirements. This reduces the cost and complexity of product testing for tire and vehicle manufacturers.

Q.3     How will the regulations align Canadian and United States tire testing and marking requirements, and reduce the cost and complexity of product testing for tire and vehicle manufacturers?

A.        Subsection 12(2) of Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) gives the authority for regulations to incorporate “technical standards documents” (TSDs) by reference. TSDs are reproductions of enactments of foreign governments, such as U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The regulations introduce most of the requirements of U.S tire safety standards into the Canadian standards. The Canadian TSDs reproduce the corresponding standards from the United States with the necessary adaptations to put them in the Canadian context.

By having the same, stringent level of tire testing and marking requirements in Canada and the United States, the cost and complexity of product testing are reduced for tire and vehicle manufacturers. The changes relieve tire manufacturers of the additional cost of testing and marking tires to different national standards.

The safety of Canadian road users is improved as all tires sold in Canada will need to meet the new more stringent testing requirements as well as the standards for appropriately-marked winter tires, by the end of the transition period (September 1, 2014).

Q.4     How will the regulations enable the enforcement of winter tire standards in Canada?

A.        Since U.S. tire safety standard FMVSS No. 139 introduced requirements for winter tires marked with a pictograph of a peaked mountain with a snowflake symbol, the inclusion of such a requirement in the Canadian regulations allows the enforcement of this requirement in Canada, whenever manufacturers have chosen to apply the pictograph to a tire.

Q.5      Why did the government not address the issue of tire safety regulations like the United States did in the early 2000s?

A.        Much of the U.S. tire regulatory upgrading focused primarily on improving the safety of tires used in hot climates, which are not so typical in Canada, thus there was not the same level of urgency to upgrade the regulations. The new tire regulations address both weather extremes.

The U.S. tire regulations did not become law until September 2007. Since the tire industry is very multinational, it is expected that most tires sold in Canada already meet the more stringent U.S. regulations.

Q.6     Are tires built to the existing tire regulations safe? 

A.       The previous standards have provided a high level of safety for tires for many years and the tires manufactured to those standards will continue to do so. The new regulations represent a further, evolutionary advancement in safety. The new regulations align the Canadian and U.S. tire testing and marking requirements, which reduces the cost and complexity of product testing for tire and vehicle manufacturers.

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