A new law in New Jersey forbids the sale of unsafe used tires. The legislation, signed by Gov. Chris Christie on Aug. 7, 2017, was supported by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), Tire Industry Association and the New Jersey Gas Station-C-Store Automotive Association.
The law fines businesses that sell tires that exhibit any of these unsafe conditions:
— tread depth of less than 1/16 inch measurable in any groove;
— damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including any cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes or wear;
— improper repairs, including, but not limited to:
- any repair to the sidewall or bead area of the tire;
- any repair made in the tread shoulder or belt edge area of the tire;
- any puncture that has not been sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem through the outside of the tire;
- any puncture repair of damage larger than 1/4 inch;
— evidence of prior use of a temporary tire sealant without evidence of a subsequent proper repair;
defaced or missing tire identification number;
— inner liner or bead damage; or
— signs of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear.
Violators will be subject to a fine up to $500 for a first offense. A second offense will be considered a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and subject to a penalty up to $10,000. Additional violations will be subject to a penalty of up to $20,000.
Anne Forristall Luke, CEO and president of the USTMA, said, “New Jersey has taken a bold step to protect motorists from high-risk used tires that have no business being put back into service on New Jersey roads."
The USTMA says its research shows more than 30 million used tires are available for sale nationally. The legislation does not ban all used tire sales. It targets used tires that have specific, well-established, unsafe conditions
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says worn-out tires are three times more likely to be involved in a crash than tires with sufficient tread depth. NHTSA crash statistics indicate about 200 fatalities and 6,000 injuries are attributed to tire-related causes annually.
The law was sponsored by Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Raj Mukherji.
Sumter said, "What initially seems like a good deal ultimately can be deadly in the market for tires. Retailers who sell damaged tires to consumers endanger not only their customers but also everyone else on the road. Banning the sale of damaged tires simply is a common-sense matter of public safety."
Mukherji said, "Drivers in New Jersey should be able to buy tires and rest assured that the items they've purchased are safe. The lower cost of used tires does not warrant putting lives across the state at risk. Damaged goods that put consumers in danger simply should not be on the market, especially when it comes to tires."