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California Bans Unsafe Used Tires

On Sept. 6, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law an update to the state’s Automotive Repair Act that prohibits automotive repair dealers from installing unsafe used tires. The state now requires automotive repair dealers to use a visual inspection to determine whether a tire meets the criteria of an unsafe used tire.

California defines an “unsafe used tire” as one where any of the following criteria applies …
• The tire is worn to two-thirty-seconds of an inch tread depth or less on any area of the tread.
• The tire has any damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire through cuts, cracks, punctures, scrapes or wear.
• The tire has any repair in the tread shoulder or belt edge area.
• The tire has a puncture that has not been both sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem through to the outside.
• The tire has a repair to the sidewall or bead area.
• The tire has a puncture repair of damage larger than one-fourth of an inch.
• The tire shows evidence of prior use of a temporary tire sealant to repair a puncture or damage to the tire without evidence of a subsequent proper repair.
• The tire has a defaced or removed U.S. Department of Transportation tire identification number.
• The tire has any inner liner damage or bead damage.
• The tire shows indication of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear indicating a distortion in the tread area when compared to other areas of the tread, or belt separation.

The new section of the law does not apply to tire repairs, tire rotations, tire balancing, or a tire mounted on a wheel or rim that is temporarily removed from a vehicle and reinstalled on the same vehicle.

Under the revised law, “tire repair” is defined as repairing a puncture in the tire tread area that is no larger than one-fourth of an inch in diameter, has not caused any internal damage to the tire and is repaired according to industry standards.

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