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California Enacts Law Prohibiting Installation Of Unsafe Used Tires

The bill, except as specified, will require an automotive repair dealer to use a visual inspection to determine whether a tire meets the criteria of an unsafe used tire.

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By David Sickels, Tire Review

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A new used tire law has been signed in California by Governor Gavin Newsom, which forbids the installation of unsafe used tires on vehicles in the state, according to the Tire Industry Association (TIA).

The bill (AB 949) will prohibit an automotive repair dealer from installing an unsafe used tire, as specified, on a motor vehicle for use on a highway. The bill, except as specified, will require an automotive repair dealer to use a visual inspection to determine whether a tire meets the criteria of an unsafe used tire.

On Sept. 10, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) said in a press release that they “applaud Governor Gavin Newsom for signing into law a bill that would prohibit the installation of unsafe used tires in California.”

“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.”

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In the bill, the language reads that an unsafe used tire, is one that:

  • Has 1/16 in. of tread depth or less;
  • Has damage exposing steel belts or other internal components;
  • Has been repaired improperly; or
  • Has sidewall bulges indicating possible internal damage.

A violation of these provisions is considered a misdemeanor, the law states, unless otherwise specified, and may subject a licensee to disciplinary action, including license suspension or revocation.

USTMA 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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