Worn-out, Damaged Tires Readily Available
Testimony of the Rubber Manufacturers Association
For more information contact:
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27, 2013 – A Texas Senate committee today is considering a bill to prohibit the sale of unsafe used tires that are readily available and pose a significant risk to motorists.
SB 459, introduced by Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D), is supported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade organization for tire manufacturers. RMA, which is testifying at today’s hearing, believes businesses should not be permitted to offer tires that are worn out, damaged or exhibit other unsafe conditions.
“This legislation will help improve highway and motorist safety in Texas 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 support this legislation.”
To demonstrate the problem and availability of unsafe used tires, RMA purchased several used tires from used tire stores in Texas. 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.”
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.
# # # #
The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that make tires in the U.S.