ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Feb. 13, 2012)—Feb. 21 is the date for the Maryland House Committee on Economic Matters to hold a hearing on House Bill 729, which would require tire age labeling and disclosure on any tire sold in the state.
Introduced by Del. Benjamin F. Kramer, D-District 19, and 21 co-sponsors, HB 729 requires tire manufacturers and distributors selling tires in Maryland to affix on each tire a paper label that displays in a specified manner the month and year in which the tire was manufactured. Tire dealers are forbidden from removing the labels unless customers specifically request it.
Manufacturers and distributors also would have to provide specified statements relating to tire age and tire deterioration, according to the bill. Tire dealers would be required to provide consumers with information about the date of a tire's manufacture and written disclosures about the dangers of tire aging.
If a tire is more than one year old, consumers would have to sign the written disclosures. Merchants would have to give copies to customers and keep the originals for at least three years.
Each violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to $500.
A companion bill, Senate Bill 940, was introduced in the Maryland Senate Feb. 13.
The Tire Industry Association is strongly opposed to the bill and said it is putting together a coalition within Maryland to fight it.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association also opposes the bill. An RMA spokesman said HB 729 contains some of the worst features of previous bills considered in California and Florida.
“It seeks to perpetuate the idea that chronological age alone is a key factor in a tire's service life, even though there are no scientific studies that support that notion,” the spokesman said.
Several auto makers—including Ford, Chrysler, Audi and BMW—recommend removing tires after six years. Others, such as General Motors, make no tire age recommendations at all. Four tire makers—Bridgestone, Cooper, Michelin and Continental—recommend changing tires after 10 years.