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

September 4, 2007

Denver, CO – New federal tire safety rules could cause problems for Colorado consumers when tires are defective, according to consumer watchdogs. Bill Schulz, of the American Association for Justice, believes Coloradans who remember the Firestone tire recall, and the 200 deaths nationwide associated with defective tires, will not agree with the new rules.

"The rules stop people from being able to pursue accountability in our state courts when they're injured by unsafe products such as auto tires."

Schulz says tires are just one example of what he sees as federal actions that protect big businesses at the expense of consumers.

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

Schulz says the language that protects tire manufacturers from lawsuits wasn't in the original proposal. He says it just "showed up," shortly before the rule was to be put in place. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which claims to have been working on the new tire safety rules for two years, defends them as a way to encourage tire companies to increase safety features without government mandates.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO