TyreSafe issue warning to West Country Drivers
Part Worn Tyres have hidden dangers
Motorists in and around the Bristol area that replace their car tyres with used part worn tyres are putting their own lives and that of other road users in danger. The warning has been issued by TyreSafe, a not-for-profit road safety organisation, following an independent investigation by Bristol Trading Standards officers. With independent funding from the National Tyre Distributors Association, the team purchased ten part worn tyres from retailers across the city, which were all subsequently inspected and found to be sold illegally as they failed to meet all relevant regulations.
The UK has strict rules on the conditions of sale of part worn tyres, all types of part-worn tyre must be marked 'PART WORN' and any repairs to tyres must comply with British Standards. By law, it is illegal to supply a part-worn tyre that is capable of being fitted to a motor vehicle or trailer unless certain conditions are met regarding specific markings and the general condition of the tyre. The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations Act 1994 which is part of the Consumer Protection Act dictates the acceptable repair, tread depth and overall condition of rubber.
In the investigation carried out by Bristol Trading Standards, not one tyre met all of the requirements meaning they were all sold illegally. The results echo a similar investigation carried out by TyreSafe last year on a much larger sample of fifty tyres bought nationwide which found 98 percent were being sold illegally and even included one which was described by the examiner as “having the potential to kill.”
Dean Gray, Trading Standards Investigator for Bristol City Council said, “people can buy second hand tyres without any problems but we have seen some horrific cases, including a tyre sold, as new but which was in fact sixteen years old and blew up on the motorway the day after. For the safety of consumers it is essential that the vendor follows legislation and checks for damage, illegal repairs and properly marks the tyre as part worn. A few simple checks could save someone’s life. If people feel they have been sold a defective tyre they can report it on 08454 040506.”
Tyres are expensive and obviously need replacing quite regularly but it really can’t be worth the risk when you could be buying something so unsafe and something that probably won’t last very long anyway. Motoring expert Quentin Wilson believes part worn tyres are an unregulated scandal with four million changing hands in the UK every year. He says “there is a real danger innocent people will get hurt. Think of it this way, a part worn tyre is something someone has chucked away and they will have done it for a reason.”