WASHINGTON (July 16, 2012)—Representatives of the Rubber Manufacturers Association and Tire Industry Association said they are working together to devise a model bill setting forth proper tire repair procedures.
“We're hopeful and very confident we can come to an agreement where we can mutually support a tire repair bill,” said a spokesman for the RMA.
Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president, said his organization is negotiating with the RMA to come up with a bill that has provisions TIA can support.
“It's a huge change for TIA to go from not supporting legislation to looking at this issue and saying we need to be at the front of it,” Littlefield said.
TIA opposed the model bill the RMA devised and later introduced into the New York legislature. The RMA bill, which passed the New York Senate Transportation Committee June 8, would have imposed fines of $500 for each violation of the tire repair steps set forth in the bill.
These steps included cleaning the inner liner to remove 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.
TIA submitted amendments to the New York legislature June 14, modifying the bill's language to outlaw specific violations rather than setting forth step-by-step requirements for proper tire repair. Eight days later, the legislature adjourned without taking further action on the bill.
“The legislature told us it was too late to go back and change the bill,” Littlefield said. “Because time was running out, they simply decided not to act further on the bill, which was exactly what we wanted.”
The RMA spokesman said the association fully expects to see the bill reintroduced in the New York legislature when it reconvenes early next year. “Passing legislation often isn't a one-year job,” he said. “It takes time to get it through the system.”
Meanwhile, Littlefield said TIA is working with the RMA to devise a model tire repair bill that it plans to introduce into the Maryland legislature.
There are two good reasons to introduce the bill in Annapolis, Littlefield said. First, TIA has its headquarters in Maryland.
Second, a bill was introduced in the Maryland legislature early this year that would have required tire makers and retailers to inform consumers of a tire's age. TIA, the RMA and the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association worked in unison to oppose the bill, which died after a subcommittee of the Maryland House Economic Affairs Committee issued an unfavorable report on it.
“If we can gain the support of some of the legislators who opposed us on tire aging, that would be a tremendous boost for us,” Littlefield said.
Littlefield said he and other TIA officials have already met with CABA Executive Director James Donohue about the tire repair bill, and plan to meet with the CABA board of directors in the near future.