NETSA enlists legislative help in fight against vehicle inspection law

Dec. 23, 2004

The New England Tire & Service Association (NETSA) hopes that a recently submitted bill to the Maine legislature will make controversial revisions to the state´s vehicle inspection guidelines more business-friendly.

The revisions state that if the rim size on a vehicle is modified, the overall diameter of the wheel and tire "must be within the vehicle manufacturer´s specification." In addition, vehicles may only be outfitted with replacement tires that meet or exceed the load and speed ratings of the vehicle´s original equipment tires.

"We´re looking for elimination of (the part of the revisions) that refer to speed rating and load index having to be the same as the (information) on the vehicle placard," NETSA Executive Vice President Dick Cole told

Revisions, which were made in September 2003, have caused sales and customer relations problems for some tire dealers in Maine.

Cole also reports that NETSA has voted to continue to work with the Rubber Manufacturers Association in making recommendations to lawmakers.

The State of Maine Inspection Advisory Committee, of which Cole is a member, was originally scheduled to meet with the State of Maine Police Department, which enforces inspection laws, on Dec. 15. The meeting has been postponed until Jan. 5 due to police personnel changes, says Cole.

NETSA won a concession from the police two months ago when dedicated snow tires were declared exempt from the law´s speed rating requirement.

"We´ve made a great deal of progress, but it´s still going to be months" before any resolution is achieved, adds Cole.