Proposed law would ban some used tire sales


ORLANDO, Fla. – Selling used tires is big business.

At Tire Zone Outlet in Orlando, 70 percent of customers prefer used tires, according to the owner.

[WEB EXTRA: Used tires]

"They're cheaper tires than the newer tires," David DeVito told Local's Louis Bolden. "Usually half of the price, at least," he said.

It's the lower cost that prompted Orlando resident Natrine Johnson to buy used tires in the past, but she always had concerns.

"I didn't know if I could be on the highway and the tire would explode or whatever they do," she said.

"I know the dangers of used tires, but that didn't stop me from buying them," she said.

Currently there is no law that prevents someone from selling a used tire, no matter how old the tire is or how damaged.

Florida Sen. Greg Evers wants to change that.

Evers introduced Senate Bill 236 this legislative session which would ban the sale of "unsafe" used tires.

"What this bill would do is try to limit the number of things that a person buying a used tire would have to be concerned about," he said.

The bill defines "unsafe" as having a tread depth lower than 2/32 of an inch.

Damaged tires would also be unsafe, "including any cut, crack, scrape or bulge," according to the bill.

DeVito says his shop already follows the guidelines the bill lays out, to protect their customers and themselves.

"So we check the tire before we put it on for the customer," he said.

Not everyone does.

Back in January, Local 6 found a man on Craigslist selling two tires and he claimed not to know the tires' history.

Devito also says some portions of the bill are unclear, including a line that says a tire is "unsafe" if it has been "improperly repaired."

"What's a proper repair for each individual?," he said.

The bill could offer consumers more peace of mind than they currently have, but even Evers admits it doesn't go far enough.

Many large tire manufacturers recommend consumers not buy tires more than 6 years old, but the proposed law does not address the age of a tire.

Those who violate the law would be punished under Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act, which can include a fine of up to 10-thousand dollars.