SACRAMENTO (Oct. 10, 2012)—California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that amends the state's “Check and Inflate” law to remove tire age as a reason for auto repairers to refuse to check the pressure on a vehicle's tires.
The California Air Resources Board issued its regulation Sept. 1, 2010, requiring every tire dealer and most vehicle repair facilities in the state to check the inflation of the tires of every passenger car and light truck they service. CARB promulgated the rule as a way to prevent greenhouse gas emissions from cars burning excess fuel because of underinflated tires.
Repair shops may refuse to check tire pressures if they believe the tires are unsafe. One of the reasons in the original regulation for refusing to check a tire's pressure was its age.
Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Riverside, sponsored SB 1076, which removes tire age as a reason to doubt a tire's safety. Les Schwab Tire Centers wrote the bill and brought it to Sen. Emmerson, with the support of the California Tire Dealers Association.
“There is no national tire age standard, and we didn't want to put our members at risk of liability, in case they inflated a tire that was five, six or eight years old,” said Terry Leveille, legislative representative for the CTDA. “We didn't want an attorney saying they shouldn't have inflated it.”
Gov. Brown vetoed an earlier version of the bill, but strictly on procedural grounds and not because of its content, Leveille said. After the state's Senate Appropriations Committee made a favorable analysis of SB 1076, it passed both houses of the legislature and was signed by Gov. Brown Sept. 14, he said.
In addition to removing tire age as a potential safety concern, the bill also affirms the requirement for repair shops to use tire gauges accurate within 2 psi when checking tire pressures.