WASHINGTON — A new law aimed at protecting unsuspecting consumers from the installation of unsafe used tires took effect Monday.
Ohio law already allows law enforcement to ticket motorists who drive on tires exhibiting specific unsafe conditions. However, the new law, which was endorsed by U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and the Ohio Tire and Automotive Association, adds an additional layer of consumer protections by penalizing retailers that knowingly install unsafe used tires.
The enactment of this law makes Ohio the third state to prohibit the installation of unsafe used tires with specific criteria, including tires with:
- Less than 2/32 inch tread depth
- Damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including cuts, cracks, punctures or scrapes
- Damage not repaired to industry standards
- Damage to the inner liner or indication of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear indicating possible tread or belt separation
Ensuring tires are in safe working order can make a major difference in the performance and safety of a vehicle. Excessively worn tires are more susceptible to punctures and hydroplaning in wet conditions. An easy check of tire tread depth should be done using a tread depth gauge or by inserting an upside down penny into the tread to verify it covers at least a portion of President Lincoln’s head.
In addition, tire pressure should be measured using a tire gauge while the tires are cold and the car has not been driven for at least three hours. A vehicle’s proper tire pressure is contained in the owner’s manual.
Maintaining proper tire pressure, periodically rotating and balancing tires according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations (typically every 5,000-7,500 miles) and regularly inspecting tires can help prevent irregular and premature tire wear and keep consumer safe, especially during summer travel season.