CALIFORNIA ENACTS NEW HIGHWAY SAFETY LAW PROHIBITING INSTALLATION OF UNSAFE USED TIRES

For more information contact: Kim Kleine
(202) 682-5856
kkleine@ustires.org

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2019—The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) applauds Governor Gavin Newsom for signing into law a bill that would prohibit the installation of unsafe used tires in California.

The legislation, A.B. 949, authored by Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), prohibits an automotive repair dealer from installing an unsafe used tire, as specified, on a motor vehicle for use on a highway. The law requires automotive repair dealers to inspect used tires to determine whether a tire meets the criteria of an unsafe used tire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth.

“I am extremely happy that Governor Newsom signed AB 949, a bill that will prohibit the installation of unsafe tires on cars, while maintaining the ability of retailers to sell them for other uses, said Asm. Medina. “This will ensure automobile professionals sell used tires consumers can trust to meet safety standards, making the roads safer for all Californians.”

USTMA research shows that nearly 38 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. The legislation does not ban the installation or sale of all used tires. It targets used tires with specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.

"In a state as large and as focused on transportation as California, highway safety is especially important, and preventing the installation of unsafe used tires is vital to the protection of California motorists,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO. “USTMA commends the California legislature for taking the lead on this important law, especially the bill’s author Asm. Medina as well as State Sen. Galgiani for carrying the legislation on the Senate floor. We applaud Gov. Newsom for quickly signing this bill into law.”

Tires worn to 1/16th of an inch are considered worn-out and are dangerous because they 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.

USTMA also credits the following organizations for the bill’s passage: AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah; Auto Care Association; Automobile Club of Southern California; Automotive Service Councils of California; California Autobody Association; California Automotive Business Coalition; California Automotive Wholesalers' Association; California Tire Dealers Association; Independent Automotive Professionals Association and Les Schwab Tire Centers.

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