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August 21, 2014

Update on California TPMS legislation

Ejnar Fink-Jensen, executive director of the California Tire Dealers Association (CTDA), one of the sponsors of California tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) legislation Assembly Bill 1665, provides MTD with an update on the bill (see California TPMS legislation heads to governor's desk).

He said AB 1665 "requires all tire dealers to be capable of diagnosing and servicing tire pressure monitoring systems." The bill is important because it "will 'level the playing field' for those tire retailers, like all of CTDA members, who are regulated by the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). 

"Currently,  there are hundreds of 'tire sales only' shops that avoid BAR regulation. While most of those operations are legitimate, 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 tire price, there is nowhere to turn other than a local district attorney or Small Claims Court.

"AB 1665, which CTDA co-sponsored with Les Schwab Tire Centers, brings every California business that involves changing or selling tires under the jurisdiction of the BAR. The bill requires tire dealers and automotive repair shops to be capable of activating and calibrating tire pressure monitoring systems -- and all shops that deal with TPMS equipment are required to be regulated by BAR.

"Under AB 1665, BAR will annually inspect all tire shops and customers will be able to call one number -- prominently displayed in the shop -- to report unfair charges or other complaints against the business.

"Since 2008, federal law requires TPMS on all passenger vehicles and light trucks. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants every state to require that all service operators either ensure that new tires and rims they mount are compatible with existing TPMS sensors or that customers purchase new TPMS sensors that are correctly installed and calibrated by the tire shop.

"Aside from bringing all tire shops under the auspices of BAR, the TPMS requirements of AB 1665 will also provide customers added safety and improved fuel economy through properly inflated tires."

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