Road users put at risk by ‘dangerous’ tyresFri, 14/09/2018
New research has revealed that the majority of part-worn tyre dealers are selling illegal tyres to drivers.
The RAC reports:
Unsafe and illegal tyres are routinely being sold across the UK, according to the shocking findings of an in-depth investigation.
The five-year study by Trading Standards and safety charity TyreSafe found that fewer than one in 10 dealers in part-worn tyres are operating completely within the law.
Of the 152 outlets visited during the investigation, no fewer than 139 were discovered to be selling unsafe and illegal tyres to unsuspecting motorists.
The findings raise the prospect that drivers are being put at “significant risk” of catastrophic tyre failure, according to the charity.
Tyres are a crucial component in car safety – particularly when it comes to ensuring effective braking and steering. But the investigators found all sorts of dangerous practices by dealers in part-worn tyres.
In some cases, dealers offered customers the wrong size of tyre, while in others they sold tyres with objects such as nails embedded in them.
The study also highlighted the case of a Hertfordshire dealer who was prosecuted and fined after he supplied a tyre with an unsafe patch-only repair.
The dealer now faces a prison sentence if he offends again.
TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson said: “It must be acknowledged that the retail of dangerous and defective tyres by part-worn dealers is unacceptably commonplace nationwide.
“As far as TyreSafe is aware, there is no other retail sector with such an atrocious track record.”
And Mr Jackson added: “Let’s remember these dealers are selling safety-critical components – when tyres are driven in an unroadworthy condition, a vehicle’s braking and steering are compromised, and road users are put at significant risk of a catastrophic tyre failure.”
Driving on unroadworthy tyres isn’t just dangerous – it can lead to a five-figure fine if they don’t meet legal requirements.
The penalty for driving with tyres below the legal tread depth limit is a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each tyre that falls short of the required standards.
Safety is paramount for every driver on the road, and having legal tyres is a large part of this safety. What has been revealed by this investigation hopefully brings changes to the attitudes of drivers considering using these types of dealers.