A dealer convicted of selling potentially lethal part-worn tyres has escaped a prison sentence after being found guilty of 15 counts of possessing and supplying dangerous products.
Luke McKenzie was given a nine month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £26,210 prosecution costs at the rate of £500 a month.
Daniel Brown, of Lincolnshire Trading Standards which raided Moss Tyres in Grantham following a tip off, said: “There were nails and pieces of wood embedded within the tyres … and also damage to the tyre walls which would have compromised the structure of the tyres.”
Andy Wright, principal trading standards officer, added: “This could have had life-threatening consequences for innocent consumers and their families.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that test purchases carried out by Lincolnshire Trading Standards officers revealed that 50-year-old McKenzie was selling defective tyres which could have had lethal consequences.
The jury rejected his claim that he was mainly supplying within the tyre trade and the tyres were for off-road use.
Recorder Alan Dooley, passing sentence, told him: “The degree of control and care asserted by you in the way in which this business was run on a day to day basis was appalling.
“The seriousness of this lies in the issue of safety. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent exactly what you were doing.”
According to the Consumer Protection Act, it is an offence for anyone to sell part worn tyres that do not meet a number of principal requirements. For example, the tyre’s structural integrity must not be compromised, the tyre must pass an inflation test, it must have at least 2mm of tread depth around its entire circumference, repairs must have been carried out in accordance with the relevant British Standard and the tyre must be permanently marked ‘part worn’.
TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety group, has voiced serious concerns about the number of dangerous and illegal part worn tyres being sold around the country. It carried out its own mystery shopper investigation which found that more than a third of part worn tyres being sold contained dangerous forms of damage or non-compliance.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, commented: “Our advice remains the same that the safest possible option for drivers when replacing their tyres is to go for brand new.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office