SACRAMENTO (July 1, 2009)—A California state bill requiring tire dealers to include tire age information on sales contracts would provide misleading information to consumers and put tire dealers at a competitive disadvantage against auto dealers.
That's the stance of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, expressed in a June 18 letter to a California Senate committee.
The California Assembly passed AB 496 by a 41-28 vote May 28. If passed, the bill will require tire dealers to provide age information on every tire they sell, or pay a $250 fine for each violation. The bill also gives tire buyers the explicit right to sue tire dealers that don't provide tire age information.
The bill is scheduled for a July 6 hearing before the California Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development.
“AB 496 will become a vehicle for lawsuit abuse at the expense of the tire industry while doing nothing to promote motorist safety,” said Daniel Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, in his letter to Committee Chairwoman Gloria Negrete McLeod.
A tire's chronological age, he said, is only one of many factors that affect its performance; excessive heat, underinflation and overloading are all more crucial than age.