Drivers could be dicing with death by fitting dangerous part worn tyres, that is the stark message being pounded home following a series of alarming investigations by trading standards experts across the UK.
Motorists often opt for secondhand tyres because they are cheaper than brand new tyres, but many are being sold with serious safety defects, unsafe repairs and incorrect labelling.
Now the The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, is urging motorists to seriously consider their safety before fitting part worn tyres.
Simon Blackburn, Chair of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, warned: “The prevalence of dangerous used tyres for sale at some businesses is alarming and irresponsible traders have got questions to answer because they are putting lives at serious risk.
“Cheap part-worn tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don’t have the correct legal markings, motorists risk buying illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident.”
He added: “It’s also worth looking at how good a deal used tyres offer. New tyres are available to suit all budgets, provide a safer option and should last longer, meaning they may offer better value for money in the long term.
“Trading Standards teams at councils nationwide will continue to advise traders on their responsibilities, carry out test purchasing and won’t hesitate to prosecute anyone selling unsafe used tyres.
“This crackdown by councils also highlights how important it is for motorists to check their vehicle’s tyres are safe and legal.”
Latest government figures show there were 16 people killed and 908 road casualties – more than two a day – in reported accidents in the UK in 2015 where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
With research showing that around 4.5 million part-worn tyres are being sold in the UK every year, the LGA is warning sellers of illegal used tyres they face confiscation of their stock and prosecution which could lead to a hefty fine and a prison sentence.
The warning follows recent operations by council Trading Standards teams. They include:
Brent and Harrow Trading Standards officers found that only two of 12 (17 per cent) used tyres bought from 12 different traders met legally acceptable standards, while at least six of them had defects that could pose a serious safety risk if they were put back on a car. A trader is being prosecuted as a result
Durham County Council officers found that only one of 39 (2.6 per cent) tyres stocked at various dealers bore the required ‘PART-WORN’ tyre marking, with 25 tyres having problems that could impair safety. Ten tyres had unsafe repairs, nine were over 10 years old and one was 23 years old.
Enfield Trading Standards bought several part-worn tyres from local businesses and found half of them to be unsafe, with 83 per cent of the tyres not having the required ‘PART-WORN’ stamp applied to them before being exposed for sale. It is currently investigating these unsafe and non-compliant tyre sellers.
etyres supply and fit a wide range of tyres to suit all budgets, including economy, mid-range and all the premium brands. Customers also benefit from the expert and impartial advice etyres offer, helping motorists find the right tyre to suit their vehicle, driving style and bank balance.
Denna Bowman, Head Office