SACRAMENTO, Calif.The California Legislature has passed legislation that its proponents claim will improve automotive safety, protect consumers from unscrupulous tire dealers and increase fuel economy.
Approved with overwhelming bipartisan support, Assembly Bill 1665 is headed to the governor's desk for his signature.
Enforced by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), AB 1665 requires all tire dealers to be capable of diagnosing and servicing tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), strengthens state oversight of tire dealer and repair shops and provides new recourse for consumers who've been wronged, according to a statement issued by the bill's sponsors, Assemblyman Brian Jones, R-Santee, and Senator Ted Lieu, D-Redondo Beach.
This is the most important automotive safety legislation since California's hands-free while driving law took effect, Mr. Jones said. TPMS devices are one of the most significant improvements to ensure proper air pressure, which allows our tires to last longer and improves mileage.
With passage of this legislation, consumers will also have better assurance that tire dealers are properly trained and certified to service these important warning devices.
Mr. Lieu added: The bottom line is properly inflated tires are safer, last longer and give us better fuel economy and cleaner air. For California, these systems are already saving millions of gallons [of fuel] each year. These fuel savings will only increase as more TPMS vehicles enter our state's car pool.
Les Schwab Tire Centers and the California Tire Dealers Association were co-sponsors of A.B. 1665, the CTDA said, because the bill is expected to level the playing field for all tire retailers, including those currently operating as tire sales only shops that are able to avoid BAR regulation.
While most of those operations are legitimate, the CTDA said, there are many that advertise below-wholesale cost for new tires in direct competition with CTDA members. When a customer finds that unspoken 'add-ons'such as mounting, tire inflation, etc.brings the charges to much higher than the advertised price, there is nowhere to turn other than a local district attorney or Small Claims Court.
Under AB 1665, the BAR will inspect all tire shops annually, the CTDA said, and customers will be able to call one numberprominently displayed in the shopto report unfair charges or other complaints against the business. The annual fee for an automotive repair dealer (ARD) license is $200.