Investigation uncovers ‘appalling trading practises’

A recent investigation found that just four of the 67 used tyres inspected were sold in compliance with legal regulations, while more than half were deemed unsafe.

The TyreSafe inspections were carried out as part of joint operations with Trading Standards and the National Tyre Distributors’ Association (NTDA). They found that 58% of tyres checked had defects impairing safety, including poor repairs, structural damage and age-related deterioration.

In two operations where tyres were fitted directly to the vehicle, all four used tyres supplied by the retailers were of the wrong specification and mixed tread patterns on the same axle, which is likely to have significant impact on cornering and braking.

As a result of the investigation, which also uncovered incorrect pressures and even wrong sized tyres fitted, conviction or formal guidance was issued to the 19 part worn dealers involved across the country.

Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said, ‘The extent of non-compliance and incompetence among dealers selling part worn tyres represents a significant risk to road safety. Motorists depend on tyre dealers to supply and fit this safety-critical component in a road-worthy and legal condition but are instead being duped into buying a product which could potentially be life-threatening. Even if sold legally, TyreSafe urges Britain’s motorists not to buy part worn tyres for the sake of their own safety and other road users.’

Stefan Hay, chief executive of the NTDA, added, ‘The evidence from investigations consistently demonstrates that ‘business as usual’ in the part worn sector is typically summarised as selling on illegal and dangerous products, and appalling trading practises. While some retailers may be operating in compliance with the clearly laid out regulations, they seem to be the exception and not the norm – that should be a clear warning to anyone considering buying part worns. In the absence of meaningful enforcement of the existing legislation, the NTDA will continue to press for a complete ban on the sale of used tyres.’