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From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters, states across the country are shifting to regulate the selling of aged tires, which experts claim can prove lethal for unsuspecting motorists. Lawmakers have credited an ABC News investigation that exposed exactly how outdated tires, even if they may actually look brand new, could end up being susceptible to unexpected, catastrophic failure.

Safety specialists warn that just after six years of age tires accelerate in age and become brittle and dried out, resulting in a potential tire tread split. It could be likened to a ticking time bomb. What makes the matter worse is that you can’t see what is happening inside the tire which elevates the level of danger quite considerably. These safety experts have attributed 139 deaths nationwide to aged tires that have failed. Among the victims that have been killed was a 12-year-old child from Los Angeles, CA, whose family’s SUV rolled over right after the tread on an aged tire separated.

After that particular child’s death, California Assembly Member Mike Davis has introduced a new bill which would require tire retailers to reveal the age of any tire in writing to consumers before the actual sale and installation of that tire. Dealers would also be required to hold on to purchase documents not less than 3 years, and violators of this proposed law would be subject to a $250 fine. At a recent hearing California, several witnesses that had been involved in an aged tire experience testified on behalf of the proposed bill.

During the above mentioned expose’ by ABC News in 2008, their undercover tire shoppers discovered tires well over six years of age for sale by major U.S. merchants and retailers. Representative Davis has credited the report with highlighting how customers are usually kept in the dark concerning the age of the tires that they buy. In New Jersey, the division of Consumer Affairs is also considering a rule that would likely require dealers to disclose the actual age of tires to the consumer.

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