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Fed Tire Safety Rule Would Bring ID Lawsuits to a Screeching Halt

August 28, 2007

New federal rules affecting auto tire safety could cause problems for Idaho consumers whose tires are defective, according to consumer watchdogs. Bill Schulz, with the American Association of Justice, says the new rules would restrict the driving public's access to the courts. He believes Idahoans who remember the Firestone tire recall, and the 200 deaths nationwide associated with defective tires, will not let this law pass without a fight.

"It stops people from being able to pursue accountability in our state courts when they’re injured by unsafe products such as defective car tires."

Schulz says the language that protects tire manufacturers from lawsuits wasn’t in the original proposal. He says it appeared just before the rule was to be put into place. He adds, tire regulations are just one example of what he sees as federal actions protecting big businesses at the expense of consumers.

"This is a very stealthy campaign, but it’s clearly a campaign against safety and against consumers"

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been drafting the rule for two years, defends it as a way to encourage tire companies to increase safety features.

Deborah Smith/David Law, Public News Service - ID