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Tread carefully on tyres

Tyre fitters have been warned that they could face legal liabilities if they fit run-flat tyres onto unsuitable vehicles.

“Fitters must make it clear to motorists that run-flat tyres can only be fitted in conjunction with a tyre pressure monitoring system to ensure that tyre deflation is communicated to the driver at the earliest possible moment,” says Chris Wakley, spokesman for the Tyre Industry Council.

The technology is designed as an emergency measure that allows vehicles with a puncture to continue at reduced speed to reach a workshop where repairs can be carried out.

Some motorists are unaware of the need for pressure monitors. In a recent case, the owner of a 10-year-old car fitted with run-flat tyres continued to drive it for several weeks unaware of a puncture. The problem was only detected when the car failed its MoT test due to tyre damage.

Had the vehicle been involved in a collision due to the fault, the workshop which had incorrectly fitted the tyres might have been liable.

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