State Legislatures Called to Action
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 U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) economic impact study.[i] Last week, Indiana’s House of Representatives passed an important consumer protection and motorist safety legislation that prohibits tire and automotive service businesses from installing unsafe used tires on vehicles. The measure’s chief supporter, USTMA, praised the vote. HB 1774 defines an unsafe used tire as worn-out, has visible damage or improper repairs.
New Jersey passed a similar bill in November 2016. Bill A 2896 imposes a $500 fine for a first offense on any business that sells a tire that exhibits one of the following unsafe conditions:
- A tread depth of less than 1/16 inch measurable in any groove
- Having damage that exposes the reinforcing plies of the tire, including any cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes or wear;
- Improper repair to the sidewall or bead area of the tire; any puncture that has not been sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem. [ii]
The Ohio Senate passed a similar unsafe used tire measure this past December. An Ohio House of Representatives committee will consider that bill next week.
Why Are Used Tires Dangerous?
Tires worn to 1/16 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.[iii]
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.[iv] NHTSA crash statistics indicate that about 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries are attributed to tire-related causes annually.
Call an Experienced Tire Defect Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured by a used tire failure, you may have a potential claim for damages against the tire manufacturer. The tire defect lawyers with the Ammons Law Firm have the legal resources and experience to assist you. Call 713-523-1606.