Currently, it’s up to Florida drivers to educate themselves on the risks of buying used car tires. But a bill introduced in the Florida Senate would make it illegal to sell unsafe used tires in the state.
Staffers of Sen. Greg Evers, the bill’s sponsor, told the local CBS affiliate Feb. 6 that the bill is intended to address predatory used tire businesses that exploit consumers’ lack of knowledge, as well as safety issues associated with some used tires.
In January, the Rubber Manufacturers Association said that it expected seven states, including Florida, to consider legislation regulating used tire sales in 2015 (Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas round out that list). The goal of such legislation, the group said, should be to improve “highway and motorist safety.”
Some used tire dealers have said that they support these goals, but that the RMA has not emphasized enough that only some used tires are dangerous. “RMA is doing a great job urging sates and consumers to understand the risks of buying worn, damaged tires, but they fail to include that buying premium used tires is still a cost-effective and safe option for drivers,” Champtires President Brad Rea stated in a recent article published on industry site RubberNews.com.
SB 236 does set some specific guidelines for what constitutes an unsafe tire. Dealers would not be allowed to sell tires if the tread depth were shallower than 2/32 of an inch, if any damage exposed the structural supports of the tire, if the tire had been improperly repaired, if a temporary sealant had been applied without further repair, if the tire showed signs of internal separation, if the tire had liner or bead damage, or if the tire’s identification number had been defaced.
“Used tire sales is a high liability issue right now and many garage insurance companies won’t allow the sale of used tires,” said Stan Creech, president of Creech Import “Any type of regulation used to regulate used tire sales has got to be a good thing. Those looking to purchase new tires should go for name brands.”
If the bill becomes law as currently written, regulations would take effect July 1 of this year. It has now been referred to the Commerce and Tourism and Judiciary committees for consideration.