ANNAPOLIS, Md.—Two tire-related bills before the Maryland House Committee on Economic Matters will not be reported out of committee before the April 8 adjournment of the Maryland General Assembly.
House Bills 122 and 1110 were sent to "summer study," meaning that committee members wanted to study them further before acting on them. Both bills may be reintroduced after the General Assembly reconvenes in January 2014.
HB 122, a model bill drafted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire Industry Association, states that auto and tire repair facilities may not repair tires unless they demount them from the rim. They also must perform a visual and tactile inspection of the tires' interiors and exteriors, and they must repairs punctures and cuts in the tread area with a patch and rubber stem or a combination repair unit instead of a plug.
The bill would make it illegal to repair any tire that has 2/32-inch tread depth or less; that has a puncture or cut in the sidewall, shoulder or belt edge; that has a puncture or cut more than ¼-inch in diameter or width; that already has a non-compliant repair; or that requires a patch that overlaps an existing patch. Each violation of the bill's provisions would mandate a $500 fine.
HB 1110 is a simplified version of a tire aging bill introduced in 2012. Like the earlier bill, it is sponsored by Del. Benjamin F. Kramer, D-19th District.
The new bill would require Maryland tire sellers to give consumers an exactly worded, printed statement on the dangers of tire aging when they sold a tire more than three years past its manufacture date.
Merchants would be fined up to $250 for each violation, but the bill makes such violations inadmissible in personal injury lawsuits.