Tire brands recommend a longer tire age for MVIS

The Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation Office may be optional for now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not under scrutiny. The Senate is currently studying the details of its implementation.

While that’s going on, another group has made an objection with regard to one of the requirements for cars to pass: tires.

The Tire Importers and Traders Association of the Philippines (TITAP), a group comprised of nearly all the major tire brands in the country (e.g. Bridgestone, Michelin, Yokohama, Goodyear, etc.), has just sent a letter to DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade about specific provisions in the MVIS testing guidelines. Specifically, they were concerned about the prescribed tire life in the guidelines, wherein a tire that is five years or older will yield a fail upon inspection.

In their letter, TITAP says that “mandating said age will not be commercially coherent” going so far as to say that it is “unfair” and “negligent”. TITAP cited that modern tire technology makes use of polymers, aramids, and other compounds that improve the lifespan, integrity, and strength of tires. If stored properly in covered warehouses, TITAP says that brand new tires have almost unlimited shelf life.

Tire brands: MVIS 5-year max tire age is unfair image

TITAP also cites the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) as saying that tires that are mounted properly, and well maintained can be used for six years safely. The association also says that a lifespan of 10 years from the date of manufacture is safe. The organization further argues that the tread wear indicator — not necessarily age — is the proper basis for tire performance.

TITAP has aired its concern because tire companies are allowed to import tires manufactured five years prior, meaning some dealers still have brand new tires in stock that were made in 2015. TITAP says that if the MVIS policy was enforced to the letter, companies can lose up to hundreds of millions of pesos on the existing stocks they still have, leading to further financial strain, up to and including bankruptcy.

As such, the tire companies are asking the DOTr to conduct a further study on how to address the tire-related matters of MVIS, stating that it is a “well-intended policy but not without loopholes”.

Currently, running your vehicle through MVIS is optional, thanks to the DOTr’s recent memo. If the situation (including the economic impact of the quarantines) improves, the government may make MVIS mandatory again.