Dangerous used tires sold in Florida
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Feb. 1, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. - FOX 4 continues to investigate tire problems that could put you in danger.
Investigator Kelli Stegeman is finding a danger that's perfectly legal in Florida.
A national group has its sights set on the state because of what they call a big problem here, selling unsafe used tires.
"This is very much a buyer beware situation," said Dan Zielinski with the Rubber Manufacturer's Association.
He says the sale of unsafe used tires in Florida is a very real threat.
"We have samples that we have purchased from some Florida sources," Zielinski said. "You can buy unsafe used tires, people can put themselves at risk as well as others."
"That's kind of scary if you think about it," said Steve Joslin with Tuffy Auto Service.
Like many tire businesses, Joslin's Tuffy store has customers' bad tires behind the shop waiting to be recycled.
"I have people pick through them, preferably used tire people, and they're reselling these to the public," Joslin said. "And the tires that are out here are no good, and the scary part is that people are re-buying these and putting them on their vehicle."
Joslin believes tires need to be mandated at least at a state level. The Rubber Manufacturer's Association is hoping to help do just that.
"We would like to see some legislation that regulates this business that at least sets some minimum standards that says you can't buy a tire that's already worn out," said Zielinski.
RMA is first taking the fight to Florida, other states could follow.
"We have some pretty high confidence that we will see a bill introduced in the session of the Florida legislature that starts in March," said Zielinski.
But, what happens is up to lawmakers. FOX 4 talked with State Representative Matt Caldwell's office about regulating tires.
He says the issue is on his radar and that his colleague, Representative Jason Brodeur, is currently drafting a bill to regulate tires. But until a law actually passes, it's up to the consumer to protect themselves.
"For those who are selling those tires," Josling said. "If you're going to be in the business of selling any kind of tire, you should know better."