California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1665 that “requires all tire dealers to be capable of diagnosing and servicing tire pressure monitoring systems,” according to a press release sent out by California State Assembly Member Brian Jones and Senator Ted Lieu.
The bill “will improve automotive safety, protect consumers from unscrupulous tire dealers and increase fuel economy,” says the release. It was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support and is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.
The bill will be enforced by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), which is part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. AB 1665 requires all tire dealers to be capable of diagnosing and servicing tire pressure monitoring systems.
“It’s my understanding that the industry offers mechanic courses in calibrating the TPMS devices,” Jennifer Bell, communications director for Jones’ office, told us. “These courses offer a TPMS certification, which can be verified by the Bureau of Automotive Repair. “
According to Assemblyman Jones’ office, “California does not specifically define tire dealers in code; however, they do define ‘automotive repair dealer.’ This bill only applies to automotive repair dealers who service or sell tires. This bill only applies to repair dealers who service passenger vehicles and light-weight trucks. “
“California will be the first state to institute these requirements to ensure tire pressure monitoring systems are properly maintained and work in accordance to industry standards,” says the release. “The legislation also strengthens state oversight of tire dealer and repair shops and provides new recourse for consumers who’ve been wronged.”
Jones' office reports, "If someone complains about a particular tire dealer to BAR, BAR will be able to investigate that complaint and look into the dealer’s records to ensure there is someone certified at the shop to service TPMS devices."
“This is the most important automotive safety legislation since California’s hands-free while driving law took effect,” says Jones, who authored the bill. “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.”
“The bottom line is properly inflated tires are safer, last longer and give us better fuel economy and cleaner air,” says Lieu. “For California, these systems are already saving millions of gallons each year. These fuel savings will only increase as more TPMS vehicles enter our state’s car pool.”
The bill was co-authored by Lieu and Assembly Member Kevin Mullin. “AB 1665 also provides new consumer protections over questionable billing practices by some tire dealers and gives BAR disciplinary authority to go after bad actors,” the release says.
The bill’s sponsors are Les Schwab Tire Centers and the California Tire Dealers Association.
The bill's fiscal effect, according to Jones' office, is "substantial revenue gain." BAR indicates that this bill will result in a license fee revenue increase of $560,000.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.