Part worn tyres that do not meet current safety standards are still on sale in the UK placing motorists’ lives at risk, according to Lincolnshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service. This is based on the findings of a recent survey of suppliers of part worn tyres in the county conducted by Trading Standards with the help and support of TyreSafe – the UK’s leading tyre safety organisation.
TyreSafe believe that the situation in Lincolnshire is true for the rest of the UK, with thousands of potentially dangerous second hand tyres being sold to unsuspecting motorists. The tyre safety organisation believes that there could be up to 2 million part worn tyres being sold in the UK every year. The survey revealed that 30% of the part worn tyres checked were found to have serious defects which could compromise the safety of the tyre when fitted to a vehicle. Tyres examined by trading standards were found to have a variety of faults. These included unsafe repairs, damage to the bead area of the tyre compromising its ability to maintain pressure whilst on the rim, and tyres that had been run in a deflated condition leading to structural damage not visible to the naked eye.
Trading standards also voiced concern about the thoroughness of the examination process undertaken by these dealers. The findings show that the qualifications of the examiners and their ability to identify tyre faults must be in doubt.
Francis Gibson, Senior Trading Standards Officer at Lincolnshire County Council said, “It is clear from the findings of this exercise that serious problems exist that compromise the safety of part worn tyres sold to the general public. If the problems found in Lincolnshire are typical of the standard of part worn tyres being sold throughout the UK, then there is justifiable cause for concern”.
TyreSafe is calling on government to tighten up the regulations and enforcement covering part worn tyres which currently have to have a minimum of 2mm of tread and must be thoroughly examined prior to sale to the general public.
TyreSafe has consistently warned motorists about the dangers of purchasing part worn tyres not just in terms of safety, but also simple value for money. With some second hand tyres having only 2 to 3mm of tread they are not a cost effective option set against a new tyre at slightly higher cost but having 8mm or tread.
Paralysed driver pays terrible price with part worn tyres
A motorist paralysed in a horrific car accident when driving on part worn tyres is hoping his story will urge other drivers to think twice about which tyres they choose.
Apart from the severe physical injuries he has also experienced damaging emotional scars, often enduring nightmarish flashbacks to the fateful day on 8th February when he was driving his Renault Megane Scenic near Carlisle.
All of the tyres on the car had recently been purchased in a part-worn condition and a police investigation blamed them as a major contributory factor in the accident.
The front pair had only been recently fitted but the rear tyres were found to have an illegal tread depth even though they had only been on the car for a couple of months.
Keith had always bought part worn tyres and replaced them every few months, unaware of the safety risks associated with buying used tyres.
“I thought I was saving money with part worn tyres but I’ve paid a terrible price,” said Keith. “If I knew then what I know now, I would never have bought part worn tyres."