Part-worn tyre dealers a ‘clear and present risk to road safety’

09.02 | 8 March 2019 | | 5 comments

Motorists are being urged to think twice about buying part-worn tyres, following recent convictions of retailers found to be selling dangerous and illegal tyres.

An investigation, carried out by TyreSafe during Tyre Safety Month in October 2018, found that 99% of part worn tyre retailers in England and Scotland were selling ‘illegal and dangerous’ tyres.

Of the 68 traders investigated, all bar one were found to be supplying tyres which contravene the legislation governing their sale – while of the 129 tyres inspected during the investigation, 75% were found to be unsafe.

Following the investigation, a number of the retailers have been prosecuted, including the owner of Springside Tyre and Valet Centre in Irvine, Scotland, who was handed a 120-hour Community Payback Order for breaches in product safety and consumer protection regulations.

At the hearing, it was revealed tyres had been offered for sale with an 80mm nail through a sidewall and a socket embedded in the tread.

In a press release issued on 6 March, TyreSafe says the convictions of the part-worn dealers highlight a ‘clear and present risk to road safety’.

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “The continued vigilance of Trading Standards teams the length and breadth of the UK means at least some illegal and unsafe part worn tyres are being removed from the market.

“However, it is clear we are just scratching the surface of a trade where a completely unacceptable level of professional incompetence and worryingly high proportion of dangerous products are being sold.

“Nobody is arguing for an outright ban of part worns but when over 60% of tyres inspected by Trading Standards and TyreSafe are unsafe to return to the roads, it is clear that the sale of part worn tyres all too often represents a clear and present danger to road safety.

“Until this scandalous situation is resolved, TyreSafe urges motorists considering buying part worns to think again.”



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Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    This subject comes round with increasing frequency. Yes to better standards and more enforcement.

    As Rev Hogg mentions and as I’ve said before, if buying second hand, check the tyre carcass thoroughly yourself or take someone with you who knows what signs to look for.

    Also don’t expect all new tyres to be wonderful. Even these days some new tyres are still very poor in the wet – and you may only realise that when it’s too late.

    Pat, Wales
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    One has to balance the savings with the consequences and risk (if any) on any second-hand tyres or any second-hand car parts for that matter. For example, a new tyre for my car is only approx. £50 and any savings buying part-worn now, would be offset by the inconvenience of replacing it sooner than I would have done if I’d bought a new one. On the other hand, three years ago I fitted a second-hand (or ‘part worn’ if you like), suspension strut with damper, costing £25 as opposed to £180 new – it’s still on the car and still going strong and will no doubt last the remaining life of the car.

    As a postscript, all the punctures I’ve ever had were on tyres which were new when fitted to the car, although technically at the time of puncture part-worn, with some not that worn at all.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Part warn tyres have a place. Not everyone can afford to buy new. What we need is responsible vendors and tough penalties for those who choose not to be. Buyers should also familiarise themselves with tyre basics, understand the stampings on the side wall and examine the tyre before agreeing to purchase it. People should also check the condition of their tyres periodically and that they are correctly inflated and legal. An element of this in the theory test should be compulsory as all too many drivers are complacent about the condition of their vehicles.

    Rev L.Hogg, Lincoln
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    Whilst I agree with Hugh, buying a used car means 4/5 used tyres, though I usually have had them changed ASAP, the problem is a lot worse with dangerously damaged/repaired tyres being sold. I bought one such tyre, thankfully not for vehicular use, which had been badly damaged by a large puncturing item and impact, then simply plugged and over-patched to tyre an make it air tight, on close examination the steel cords were visible on the outside of the tread, it did however make great boot soles as I intended!

    Neil, Southampton
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Buying a used car is effectively buying a driving vehicle with ‘part-worn tyres’, not to mention the rest of the car which will inevitably be part-worn as well. Defects may well exist which may present a ‘clear and present risk to road safety’ but still nowhere near as great a risk as the person behind the wheel – it’s all relative.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

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