Maine legislators amend controversial tuning law

May 9, 2005

Tire dealers in the state of Maine don't have to put the same tire back on their customers' vehicles now that legislators have nullified revisions to the state's vehicle inspection law that said otherwise.

A bill to amend the controversial revisions -- which were enacted in September 2003 -- was passed by the Maine House of Representatives and Senate and then signed into law by the state's governor on April 29, New England Tire & Service Association Executive Director Dick Cole told earlier today.

"It eliminated the sentence (in the previous legislation) that indicated (customers) had to have at least the same speed rating and load carrying capacity" as the original equipment tires that came on their vehicles, says Cole.

"It provides some flexibility in what (replacement tires) dealers can put on a car. It doesn't have to be the exact same tire."

Maine requires all vehicles to undergo a multi-point safety inspection each year.

Some tire dealers in the state reported that revisions to the law caused sales and customer satisfaction problems.

Cole says NETSA didn't encounter any opposition from legislators "in trying to get this thing rescinded."

In fact, several members of the state's Transportation Committee actually discovered the tires they are using don't meet the former law's requirements, he adds.

One of NETSA's next goals will be working with the State of Maine Police Department -- which enforces inspections in the state -- to update its vehicle inspection guidelines to reflect the amendment.