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Sumter & Mukherji Measure to Prohibit Sale of Damaged Tires Continues to Advance in Legislature

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Shavonda Sumter and Raj Mukherji sponsored to protect New Jersey motorists against the sale of unsafe used tires cleared the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday.

The bill (A-3896) would prohibit New Jersey retailers from selling worn and damaged tires.

“What initially seems like a good deal ultimately can be deadly in the market for tires,” said Sumter (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Retailers who sell damaged tires to consumers endanger not only their customers but also everyone else on the road. Banning the sale of damaged tires simply is a common-sense matter of public safety.”

“Drivers in New Jersey should be able to buy tires and rest assured that the items they’ve purchased are safe,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “The lower cost of used tires does not warrant putting lives across the state at risk. Damaged goods that put consumers in danger simply should not be on the market, especially when it comes to tires.”

The legislation would ban the sale of tires exhibiting one or more of the following conditions:

  • tread depth of less than 1/16 inch measurable in any groove;
  • damage exposing the reinforcing plies of the tire, including any cuts, cracks, bulges, punctures, scrapes or wear;
  • improper repairs, including, but not limited to:
    o any repair to the sidewall or bead area of the tire;
    o any repair made in the tread shoulder or belt edge area of the tire;
    o any puncture that has not been sealed or patched on the inside and repaired with a cured rubber stem through the outside of the tire; or
    o any puncture repair of damage larger than 1/4 inch;
  • evidence of prior use of a temporary tire sealant without evidence of a subsequent proper repair;
  • defaced or missing tire identification number;
  • inner liner or bead damage; or
  • signs of internal separation, such as bulges or local areas of irregular tread wear.

Violators of the bill’s provisions would be subject to a fine of up to $500 for a first offense. A second offense would be considered a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act and subject to a penalty of up to $10,000. Third or subsequent violations would be subject to a penalty of up to $20,000 under the Consumer Fraud Act.

The measure, which the Assembly passed, 72-0, in November, now goes to the Senate President for further consideration.