ALBANY, N.Y. (June 8, 2012)—The New York Senate Transportation Committee has passed a bill that would impose a $500-per-violation penalty on tire repair shops that fail to follow established repair procedures.
Drafted and supported by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, the bill would impose fines on tire stores that attempted to repair tires without removing them from the rim; did not inspect tires for damage; and did not follow repair procedures recommended by tire manufacturers.
The bill sets forth the proper steps to effective tire repair, including:
—Cleaning the inner liner to remove any contaminants;
—Buffing the inner liner to create a smooth, even surface; and
—Filling the injured portion of the tire with a cured rubber stem and properly installing either a tire patch or a combination repair unit.
The bill would also prohibit repairs on tires with tread depths of less than 2/32 inch; which have damaged sidewalls, tread shoulders or belt edges; which have damaged portions larger than ¼ inch; or which either have existing improper repairs or where the damage overlaps an existing proper repair.
“This legislation will help protect motorists from the risk of improperly repaired tires,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president. “Despite years of effort by tire manufacturers, tire dealer organizations and tire repair materials manufacturers to educate repair shops about proper repair, too many improper repairs are performed.”
Officials of the Tire Industry Association could not be reached for comment, but TIA and its members are on the record as opposing the legislation. TIA holds that education and training, not legislation, are the only ways to ensure professional tire repair standards.
“This bill obviously will shift the burden of liability to our members,” said Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president, when the tire repair bill was introduced in New York earlier this year. “It's putting everything on the dealer—like putting up a red flag saying, 'Sue us!'”
The full New York Senate has not yet scheduled the tire repair bill for floor action, and the New York Assembly has yet to act on the legislation. June 21 is the last scheduled day in session for the New York assembly.
The tire repair bill has not yet been introduced in any other state legislature, Zielinski said.