[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature 12-2-2008 by L.L. No. 54-2008 (Ch. 461A of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that tires have a limited service life regardless of tread depth and use.
This Legislature also finds and determines that aged tires are often unsuspectingly put into service after having served as a spare tire, been stored in garages or warehouses, or simply used on a vehicle that is infrequently driven. In many instances, these tires show no visible signs of deterioration.
This Legislature further finds and determines that a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration field study concluded that tires continue to degrade throughout their service lives, whether used on the road on in the full-size spare position. The field study also showed structural degradation of the tires in terms of internal cracks and separations. This internal degradation and damage was nearly all internal to the tire and impossible to detect from a visual inspection alone, creating what has been described as "an invisible hazard."
This Legislature finds that Ford Motor Company recently led the way in warning customers that tires should be scrapped after six years or drivers risk injury and death.
This Legislature also determines that Suffolk County consumers should be protected against retailers who are willing to sell old tires.
Therefore, the purpose of this chapter is to prohibit the sale of tires for passenger vehicles, multipurpose passenger vehicles, or light trucks that were manufactured more than six years ago.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A natural person who is solicited to purchase or who purchases tires.
- LIGHT TRUCK
- A motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,000 pounds which is either designed for off-highway operation or designed to perform at least one of the following functions: transport more than 10 persons, provide temporary living quarters, transport property in an open bed, provide greater cargo-carrying than passenger-carrying volume, or permit expanded use of a passenger vehicle for cargo-carrying purposes through the removal of seats.
- MULTIPURPOSE PASSENGER VEHICLE
- A motor vehicle designed to carry 10 persons or fewer which is constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.
- PASSENGER VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle designed to carry 10 persons or fewer.
- RETAIL TIRE DEALER
- Any natural person, individual, corporation, proprietorship, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint-stock association, or other entity or business organization of any kind engaged in the business of selling tires to consumers.
- A covering for a wheel, usually made of rubber reinforced with cords of nylon, fiberglass, or other materials and filled with compressed air.
Pursuant to Article 9, Section 2(C)10, of the New York State Constitution, governing protection, health, safety, and well-being of persons, no retail tire dealer shall sell or offer for sale any vehicle tire manufactured for light trucks, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and passenger vehicles which was manufactured more than six years prior to the date of sale.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs.
The Suffolk County Director of Consumer Affairs is hereby authorized and empowered to issue and promulgate such rules and regulations as he or she deems necessary to implement and carry out the provisions of this chapter.
Any retail tire dealer who violates any provision of § 787-3 of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of $500.
No fine shall be imposed until after a hearing has been held before the Director of the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs upon at least seven business days' notice to the person upon whom such fine is to be levied. Such notice shall be served either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of said person and shall state the date and place of the hearing as well as enumerate the grounds constituting the allegations against such person. Said person may be represented by counsel and may produce witnesses in his or her own behalf. A record of the hearing shall be taken and preserved. For purposes of such hearing, the Director of the Suffolk County Office of Consumer Affairs may administer oaths, take testimony, subpoena witnesses and compel the production of books, papers, records or other documents deemed pertinent to the subject of the hearing.
This chapter shall apply to all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this chapter.
This chapter shall be null and void on the day that statewide or federal legislation goes into effect, incorporating either the same or substantially similar provisions as are contained in this chapter, or in the event that a pertinent state or federal administrative agency issues and promulgates regulations preempting such action by the County of Suffolk. The County Legislature may determine via mere resolution whether or not identical or substantially similar statewide legislation has been enacted for the purposes of triggering the provisions of this section.
This chapter shall take effect 180 days subsequent to its filing in the Office of the Secretary of State.