A Lincolnshire tyre retailer is facing a prison sentence after being found guilty of supplying unsafe part worn tyres to the public.
The news was welcomed by TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety group, which has campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers of fitting part worn tyres.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, commented: “We are extremely pleased that a significant number of dangerous part worn tyres have been successfully removed from sale.
“It is also very encouraging that both the Courts and Trading Standards recognise the gravity of this safety issue and are prepared to prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law. Other retailers should pay close attention to this verdict and ensure that if they are selling part worn tyres, they are fully compliant with the relevant legislation.”
TyreSafe has strongly voiced its 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.
Jackson added: “The results of this latest successful prosecution emphasise the risk that drivers take if they opt for part worn tyres. Our advice remains the same that the safest possible option for drivers when replacing their tyres is to go for brand new.”
Andy Wright, principal trading standards officer, also welcomed the verdict. He said: “The fact that this case was heard by the Crown Court and the judge has indicated he is considering a custodial sentence shows just how serious this is. Many of the tyres had serious defects and exhibited accident damage which undermined the basic structure of the tyres. This could have had life-threatening consequences for innocent consumers and their families.”
And Stefan Hay, NTDA director said: “We are delighted by the court’s decision to take this matter so seriously and act accordingly. We believe this demonstrates how essential the work of TyreSafe and the NTDA, to support Trading Standards in their investigations, has been in combatting non-compliant, illegal and unsafe part worn tyres. This is just one of many cases we hope to see publicised this year.”
According to 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’.
The convicted tyre trader will be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court in April.