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Maryland Lawmakers Get an Earful on Tire-Aging Scheme

February 24, 2012
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RMA and TIA - with an army of 45 other supporters - testified against a proposed tire-aging bill that has been introduced to the Maryland house and senate.
TIA executive vice president Roy Littlefield and RMA vice president of communications Dan Zielinski address the group of supporters who rallied against tire-aging proposals before the Maryland legislature.


The bills – HB 729 and SB 940 – would require tire retailers to inform customers about the age of the tires they are buying and that NHTSA has recommended that tires be replaced after six years of age, among other things. Violations would bring a fine of up to $500.

In testimony before the Maryland House Committee on Economic Matters earlier this week, both RMA and TIA informed Maryland legislators that NHTSA has not taken any position regarding tire aging. RMA senior vice president for government affairs Tracey Nordberg told the panel that the proposed laws would be nothing but “vehicles for trial lawyers to inflate their earnings at the expense of the tire and automotive industry while doing nothing to promote motorist safety.”

TIA and the RMA hosted an information lunch for the 45 tire dealers and others who attended the hearing to voice their concerns.

TIA helped garner an opposition coalition that included tire dealers, car dealers, service station owners, independent auto repair businesses, as well as the state petroleum group and the Chesapeake Automotive Business Association.

TIA executive vice president Roy Littlefield and senior vice president of training Kevin Rohlwing were among those testifying against the bills, as were a number of tire dealers, who “made strong concluding observations” and  “discussed the liability, paperwork, recordkeeping, and inventory concerns that this bill would create, according to TIA.
 
“It was a great example of what we can do when we work together and speak in one voice.”
 
As Littlefield pointed out to the group, the House version has 22 co-sponsors, which will make it difficult to stop the bill. In addition, the state Senate has not taken up its version, which means another round of testimony before the Senate Finance Committee in the near future.