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Robert Sullivan's primary practice areas include product liability, environmental law and insurance coverage.

Since 2008, tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs) have been mandatory in passenger cars, which include SUVs. As early as 2006, however, 30 percent of new passenger cars were already equipped with TPMSs. A TPMS alerts the driver if a tire is underinflated. A “telltale” or “lantern” activates on the vehicle’s dashboard display indicating that one of the tires is underinflated.
Continue Reading Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems: When the Bubble Bursts

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed into law a massive (1,300-page) five-year, $281 billion transportation bill that not only covers highway, transit and rail project funding but also includes the following important provisions regarding tires:

Continue Reading Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act Could Spell Trouble for Tire Manufacturers, Distributors and Retailers

tractor-trailer-tireThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is pushing for new regulations requiring tractor-trailer trucks to be equipped with speed-limiting devices. This regulation, if passed, will impact not only the trucking industry but also the manufacturers of tractor-trailer trucks and tires. The intended purpose of this new regulation is to reduce the risk of tire disablement. NHTSA is reacting to recent Associated Press reports that many states have speed limits that are higher than truck tires’ speed ratings. Some states have speed limits of 75, 80 or 85 mph. Most truck tires are speed rated for 75 mph. There are, however, truck tires available with speed ratings in the low 80s.

What are “speed ratings”?
A speed rating indicates that a tire is capable of operating at a certain speed for a specific duration under normal inflation and load conditions. The speed rating is determined by operating a tire under a specific load and inflation pressure for specified durations that are set forth in federal regulations.

Continue Reading Can the Feds Slow Down Truckers with Mandatory Speed-Limiting Devices?

car-tire_122438534TSOur February 18, 2014 blog, Massachusetts, Where Only Young Rubber Hits the Road, covered An Act to Increase Road Safety, proposed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which was assigned bill tracking number H3016. The Act would require issuance of a rejection certificate for any vehicle equipped with a light-truck or passenger tire, including a full-service spare, more than six years old.

Continue Reading Update: Anti-Tire Aging Legislation in Massachusetts

Car-tire-driving_TS_153479870Massachusetts is considering An Act to Increase Road Safety (H3016), which will require issuance of a rejection certificate for any vehicle equipped with a light-truck or passenger tire, including a full-service spare, more than six years old. The bill would amend Massachusetts’s annual-vehicle-inspection law, failing vehicles equipped with a tire six years or older. The state inspectors will use the tire’s tire identification number or “TIN” to determine its age. A certificate of rejection authorizes vehicle operation for 60 days (20 for motorcycles) before correcting the “safety-related equipment defect(s).”  If not timely corrected, the vehicle’s registration will be suspended – a serious penalty for Massachusetts residents since it is mandatory that all vehicles used on Massachusetts roadways be registered. It is unclear whether the bill applies to motorcycle tires.

Continue Reading Massachusetts, Where Only Young Rubber Hits the Road