- Laura A. Bischoff Columbus bureau
Shops that install bald, punctured, bulging or otherwise unsafe tires on cars and trucks could face penalties and lawsuits, according to a bill passed 31-1 by the Ohio Senate.
Current law bars motorists from driving on unsafe tires. The bill from state Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson, would also make it illegal for businesses to install unsafe tires. “If Ohioans can’t drive on unsafe used tires, businesses shouldn’t be allowed to install them,” LaRose said in his testimony for the bill.
Related: LaRose moves to eliminate gerrymandering The bill is supported by business, insurance and manufacturers, including Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Cooper Tire and Rubber and Bridgestone Americas.
“Consumers purchasing used tires are often not aware of the actual condition of the tires they are purchasing, particularly if there is no visible damage,” said Ric Oxender, lobbyist for the Ohio Conference of AAA, in written testimony. If the tire is unsafe and cannot be repaired, it shouldn’t be mounted on a wheel and should be scrapped, he said.
The bill, which now goes to the Ohio House for consideration, would subject businesses that install unsafe used tires to $1,000 fines and possible lawsuits from consumers and the Ohio Attorney General.
Related: Spare tires not always included in new carsUnsafe conditions include: less than 2/32nd of tread left, damage that exposes inner components such as steel belts, damage to the inner liner, a puncture of more than one-quarter inch in diameter.
A spokesman for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, which endorsed the bill, said that “It will help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.”