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Sponsors pull CA tire aging bill from consideration

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A California state bill that would have required tire dealers to provide notification of a tire's date of manufacture has been pulled from consideration at the request of its sponsors.

The bill, A.B. 496, had been in front of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. Its supporters included Strategic Safety and Research and the Consumer Attorneys of California.

"Pulling the measure from consideration is a tactic to avoid a public defeat," says Dan Zielinski, senior vice president, public affairs, for the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA). "This is a matter of one side not being confident in its ability" to pass the resolution.

While supporters of the bill "claimed the measure was to promote safety, it would have become a vehicle for lawsuit abuse at the expense of the tire industry," Zielinski explains.

"It would have required tire dealers to provide confusing and misleading information about tire age and performance. Furthermore, dealers would have become targets for lawsuit abuse while competitors at car dealerships would be free of A.B. 496 notification requirements, administrative burdens and potential legal liability."

The bill may still be brought up for consideration at a later date, says Zielinski. However, the measure must be heard by the same committee.

"We are disappointed we didn't get it through this year," says Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies Inc. and sponsor of the bill. "I expect it will be brought up again in California, likely early next year.  We've got other states that are considering similar measures as well.

"This issue is not going to go away. The sooner we have a remedy to the disconnect between the recommendations on tire aging that are out there and the information the consumers needs to know at the time of purchase, the better off we're going to be."

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