States Moving to Crack Down on Sale of Defective Old Tires That can Cause Accidents
An ABC News investigation last year revealed that thousands of motorists may be at risk for automobile accidents because their vehicles are fitted with aged tires that are older than the recommended age limit for tires. The investigation by “20/20” caught some of the biggest retailers in the country selling outdated and aged tires. Now, states across the country are taking steps to ensure that retailers and dealers don’t fob old and weak tires on an unsuspecting motoring public.
The risk of a tire becoming dried out and prone to blowouts that can cause accidents increases after six years of age. The investigation, however found tires including some sold by Goodyear that were made in 1999 and 2002. Other investigations by ABC news affiliates around the county found outdated tires dating back to 1999 and 2001 sold at Wal-Mart. Old tires were also found at Wal-Mart stores in Florida, as well as Sears in New Jersey. Similar stories came in from across the county. The retailers including Goodyear and Wal-Mart insist that the age of the tire should not be taken as the most important factor in judging its safety.
Since the ABC investigation, several states have moved to enact laws that would prevent these old tires from being sold.
- In California, the death of a 12-year-old boy in a rollover accident after the separation of the tread on an old tire has galvanized lawmakers into action. A bill requiring tire dealers to disclose the age of the tire in writing to a customer before the tire is sold or installed has been introduced. If the bill is passed, it would also require tire dealers to retain their sale documents for a minimum of three years.
- New Jersey is also working on a law that would include an age disclosure clause.
- In Hawaii, senators have introduced a bill banning the sale of tires that are more than 6 years old.
- Suffolk County in New York has already adopted such a law, pending implementation.
- In New York, assembly members have gone one step further, and introduced a bill that would require tire manufacturers to mold the date of manufacture on both sides of the tire, in a clear and non-coded manner. Currently, the date of manufacture comes in a form of cryptic code that’s hard for a majority of consumers to decipher.
Not surprisingly, all these bills are being opposed by the tire industry. They would like for such rules on manufacture date markings to be the same across the country, and all states. However, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration moving slowly to act on the problem, state lawmakers have no other option, but to pass legislation banning the sale of defective tires, to protect motorists in their own states. Are Georgia’s lawmakers listening?
Georgia accident attorneys and citizens’ groups must demand that our legislators make efforts to prevent the sale of these old and defective tires here too.