By Denna Bowman
Unsuspecting motorists who buy new tyres from unscrupulous dealers are being palmed off with potentially dangerous ‘old’ tyres, a consumer group has warned.
Dermot Jewell, the head of the Consumers Association of Ireland (CAI), has raised the alarm and is urging vehicle owners to check the date of the new tyres they are buying.
Jewell told the Irish Independent that the CAI had reports of people buying new tyres only to discover, within two months, that they had perished, because prior to being fitted they had been lying around unused for years.
“With money so scarce, people are not replacing tyres as often so they are being stockpiled and growing old,” Jewell explained. “It is very dangerous. You could buy something that’s technically new but they could end up being dangerous.”
Like all rubber products, their physical and chemical properties change over time, components dry out, adhesion breaks down and that means tread can separate from other parts.
Jewell continued: “Some consumers have bought what they believed to be new tyres. But they discovered they were in fact perished and needed to be replaced immediately for safety.”
Many motoring and safety organisations warn that tyres should not be used if they are more than five years old – this includes so-called new tyres which have been in storage or unused during that time.
There is no regulation controlling the age of new tyres being sold, so the CAI is urging buyers to take responsibility themselves for ensuring their tyres are not passed their shelf life.
Customers should always enquire about the age of the new tyres they are purchasing. Jewell said: “Although they may look new, they may in fact have been in storage for a significant period.
“Reputable traders will have no difficulty in providing basic detail about the age of the tyre. If someone cannot or will not then we suggest consumers take their business elsewhere.”
Motorists can determine the age of their new tyres themselves by following this simple guide to interpreting the DOT code created by leading online tyre company, etyres.
etyres only buy new tyres from the manufacturer when they have been ordered by a customer. This guarantees that its customers are getting the most up-to-date stock, not tyres that have been gathering dust on a store room shelf in a large depot for several years.
Offering a nationwide mobile fitting service, etyres supply and fit a wide range of new tyres at highly competitive prices at the customers home or work.