Worn-out, Damaged, Dangerous Used Tires Readily Available
WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 22, 2015 – Several states are expected to consider legislation banning the sale of unsafe used tires. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tire manufacturers supports the efforts to rid the roadways of dangerous safety risks.
RMA says that businesses should not be permitted to sell tires that are worn out, damaged or exhibit other unsafe conditions. RMA successfully advocated unsafe used tire legislation in Colorado last year. This year, RMA expects Indiana, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas to consider bans on unsafe used tire sales.
“Safety is the highest priority for the tire industry,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Laws to stop the sale of worn out, damaged used tires will help improve highway and motorist safety.”
To demonstrate the problem and availability of unsafe used tires, RMA and its members purchased several examples of unsafe used tires. Each tire exhibited one or more conditions that are clearly unsafe: worn out, visible damage to the tread or other portions of a tire or; improperly repaired.
“Any used tire is a risky proposition since it’s impossible to know the service history of a tire used by someone else,” Zielinski said. “But when used tires are sold worn-out, damaged, improperly repaired or have other visibly unsafe conditions, states to need to take action to protect consumers.”
Tires worn to 2/32nds of an inch are considered bald and are dangerous. Such tires no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions. Tires with damage exposing steel belts or other internal components threaten a tire’s structural integrity. Improperly repaired tires can suffer loss of inflation pressure or have hidden damage that may contribute to tire failure. Tires with bulges indicate possible internal damage that can lead to tread separation.
Scrap tire data analyzed by RMA suggests that 30-35 million used tires are available for sale every year. A motorist survey sponsored by RMA found that nearly 1 in 10 motorists said their car is currently riding on tires that were bought used.
“We are working to educate policymakers and consumers about the dangers of unsafe used tires and we will advocate for state laws to prohibit the sale of used tires that pose a safety risk,” Zielinski said. “Used tires may seem like a bargain but saving a few dollars isn’t worth risking the safety of motorists and passengers.”
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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.