By Denna Bowman
Trading Standards offices across the UK are being urged to enforce existing regulations regarding the sale of part worn tyres in a bid to improve consumer safety.
The alert follows a month-long nationwide investigation by TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyres safety organisation, and Auto Express which unearthed some alarming results.
The study, which involved the purchase of 50 random part worn tyres from retailers across the UK, found that 98 per cent were being sold illegally as they did not meet current requirements.
Yet more concerning was that more than a third of the tyres were found to contain potentially dangerous forms of damage or non-compliance.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, warned: “Despite clear legislation it would appear from our investigation that the sale of illegal part worn tyres is a very real problem and needs to be tackled head on by Trading Standards as a matter of urgency.
“Those who sell illegal part worn tyres need to be educated and stopped as it really it could be a matter of life and death.”
One tyre in its investigation was described as having the “potential to kill” as it still contained a metal object penetrating 5cm through the tread in a manner which was likely to result in sudden and total tyre failure had it been fitted to a vehicle.
Other serious safety breaches included dangerous and unsafe repairs, exposed cords, bead damage and evidence of runflat damage.
Despite TyreSafe’s ongoing campaigning, tyre safety remains a significant problem in the UK. Indeed, last year, there were more than 1,200 road casualties where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
Jackson added: “TyreSafe fully understands the budgetary pressures felt by many public sector departments but we would still urge Trading Standards offices to prioritise whatever resources they have to tackle rogue traders who continue to flout the law by selling illegal part worn tyres.”