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Published on July 1, 2012

Tire repair bill introduced in New York

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ALBANY, N.Y. (March 26, 2012) — A bill setting forth proper tire repair techniques and establishing a $500 penalty for each violation of those procedures was introduced in the New York Assembly March 23 by Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz, D-27th District (Queens).

Assembly Bill 9683 is essentially the model bill created by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) late last year as a method of ensuring that tire repairers follow the procedures recommended by the tire industry. Organizations such as the Tire Industry Association (TIA), however, say such legislation would only serve to make tire dealers solely liable for accidents involving repaired tires.

According to the bill, a tire repair may be deemed improper if the tread depth is 2/32 inch or less; if the damage is in the sidewall; if the damage extends to the belt or shoulder; if the damage exceeds ¼ inch; if the tire has an existing improper repair; or if the repair overlaps an existing proper repair.

A tire repair may be deemed proper, the bill states, only if:

  • The technician demounts the tire from the rim/wheel assembly;

  • He or she inspects the tire to determine the extent of damage inside the tire;

  • He or she cleans the inner liner to remove any contaminants;

  • He or she removes the damaged portions of the tire;

  • He or she buffs the inner line to create a smooth, even surface; and

  • He or she fills the injured part with a cured rubber stem and properly installs a tire patch or combination repair unit.

    An RMA spokesman said his association is excited about Assembly Bill 9683 and will work closely with Mr. Simanowitz to obtain its passage.

    "Our members have long expressed concern about improper tire repairs," the spokesman said. "Despite years of training and education by ourselves, TIA, tire repair material manufacturers and others, we continue to see a significant number of tires that display improper repairs. This bill is a sound move toward preventing improper repairs."

    Roy Littlefield, TIA executive vice president, said he was disappointed at the news of Assembly Bill 9683. TIA's stand is that education and training, not legislation, are the proper methods for ensuring professional standards of tire repair.

    "I sent it to our board, but they opposed the idea back in November, and I can't imagine they would change their minds now," Mr. Littlefield said.

    "This bill obviously will shift the burden of liability to our members," he said. "It's putting everything on the dealer — like putting up a red flag saying, ‘Sue Us!'"

    Assembly Bill 9683 was referred to the Committee on Transportation, which has not yet scheduled any action.

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