Indiana State legislators is now considering consumer protection legislation to prohibit tire and automotive service businesses from installing unsafe used tires on vehicles.
Rep. Robert Morris (R-Fort Wayne), Chairman of the House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, introduced the bill today. The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) is spearheading the effort to enact the Indiana legislation.
“Safety is our industry’s top priority which is why USTMA is continuing to advocate for common-sense state laws to stop the installation of unsafe used tires,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO.
HB 1774 defines an unsafe used tire as worn-out, has visible damage or improper repairs.
Tires worn to 2/32nds of an inch are worn-out and dangerous because they no longer provide sufficient grip on the road, particularly under wet conditions. Damage that exposes steel belts or other internal components threatens a tire’s structural integrity. Improperly repaired tires can suffer loss of inflation pressure or have hidden damage that may contribute to tire failure. Tires with bulges indicate possible internal damage that can lead to tread separation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. NHTSA crash statistics indicate that about 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries are attributed to tire-related causes annually.
USTMA research shows that more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally each year. The Indiana legislation does not ban all used tires. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions.
“This targeted legislation will help protect Indiana consumers from risks posed by unsafe used tires,” Luke said. “We hope to capitalize on the momentum we achieved last year with enactment of New Jersey legislation and solid progress on an Ohio bill last year.”
The Ohio Senate passed a similar unsafe used tire measure in December. The Ohio House of Representatives will debate that bill in the coming weeks.
“We are very grateful to Rep. Morris for his strong leadership on this important issue,” Luke said. “We are excited at the opportunity to advance a key consumer safety initiative in Indiana, which is an important state to our industry.”
The tire manufacturing industry in Indiana generates $3.5 billion in economic output and supports more than 18,000 Indiana jobs including nearly 2,000 in manufacturing, according to a 2017 USTMA economic impact study.