Florida Legislature Advances Legislation To Prohibit Sale Of Unsafe Used Tires

Worn-out, Damaged, Dangerous Used Tires Readily Available

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 3, 2013 – Legislation to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires that are readily available and pose a significant risk to motorists is advancing in the Florida Legislature.

SB 1588 is supported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade organization for tire manufacturers, which says that businesses should not be permitted to offer tires that are worn out, damaged or exhibit other unsafe conditions. Another bill, HB 485, was recently amended and it now conforms to SB 1588. Each bill has been passed unanimously by a committee in its respective chamber.Both bills identify conditions that identify an unsafe used tire.

“If enacted, this legislation will help improve highway and motorist safety in Florida by addressing the sale of unsafe used tires,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Safety is the highest priority for the tire industry and we fully support this legislation.”

To demonstrate the problem and availability of unsafe used tires, RMA and its members purchased several examples of unsafe used tires from Florida used tire stores. 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.

“Unsafe used tires are readily available for sale across the nation,” Zielinski said. “Any used tire is a risky proposition since it’s impossible to know the service history of a tire used by someone else. But some businesses are compounding that problem by selling tires that anyone in the tire business should know are dangerous.”

RMA obtained tires that were bald; had significant damage; or had punctures that were improperly repaired or not repaired at all.

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.

“We are working to educate policymakers and consumers about the dangers of unsafe used tires and will advocate state laws to prohibit the sale of used tires with conditions that pose a significant motorist safety risk,” Zielinski said. “Consumers may think used tires are a bargain but saving a few dollars isn’t worth the risk if your choice includes a worn out or damaged tire.”

RMA published an information bulletin on used tires several years ago. The group is currently advocating unsafe used tire legislation in Florida and Texas.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.

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