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Published on May 11, 2009

Letter: No more government interference

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Opinion

Enough govt. interference


Two articles in Tire Business' April 13 issue caught my eye.


Both dealt with subjects dear to my heart that I have addressed in previous letters to the editor in your publication. I refer to “California ready to regulate tire pressure, age.”


In regard to that state's Global Warming Solutions Act or AB32, which would mandate tire pressure checks: Where will government interference end, and when will the tire industry say, “Enough?”


We all know that tire pressure is a great safety concern and also plays a vital part in the overall performance of a tire. But should the government—any government—legislate what is common sense and thereby remove even the most rudimentary personal responsibility for one's own safety and economic well-being? I know that many good ideas and things originate in California. Unfortunately, California's legislators are also responsible for most of the harebrained laws that inevitably filter down to the rest of the country.


Stop! Stop! Stop! The funny part of all of this is that the California legislation does not even address the matter of safety, but views it as a means to reducing greenhouse gases, fuel consumption and increasing a tire's effective life span.


California's regulations are pitiful. Just another means of squeezing another few bucks out of the populace.


As for the state's AB 496 legislation—which would require all tire dealers to provide written information on sale documents about the age of each tire sold to customers—the same principles can be applied to tire aging.


This is a matter that has been discussed ad nauseum. You will remember that only recently, Ford Motor Co. and Mercedes-Benz International adopted a rule that all passenger tires should be replaced after being in service for six years. This move was not widely supported by either the automobile or tire industries and it is doubtful that it will ever be.


The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) is strongly against either of the measures, and fleet operators who practice proper tire maintenance are horrified at the idea that some bureaucrat will decide when a tire should be removed from service—even if it is on its first or second retreading—regardless of its condition.


The major retreading companies supply casings based on their condition, not their age. A customer can specify that he wants no casings that are more than six years old, but this is never a general specification, and a premium will be charged by the supplier if required.


Europe has also been debating the matter of tire age for years and years, and the general conclusion appears to be that it should not be a stipulation when grading casings.


Paul Fiore, director of government and business affairs for the Tire Industry Association (TIA), sums it up very succinctly when he says: “If there were a (product aging) bill of this kind against any other product with the extremely low level of complaints and adjustments that tires have, it would be laughed out of the hearing room.” My thoughts exactly.


Everard G. Scott


President


Harmony Hall Inc.


Margate, Fla.

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