TyreSafe investigations have revealed that a “shocking” 99% of part-worn tyre retailers were selling illegal and dangerous tyres.
Exposing a clear opportunity for franchised car retailers to market themsleves as a trusted destination for tyre replacement, a total of 18 investigations undertaken during Tyre Safety Month (October) revealed the extenmt of the issue.
Carried out across England and Scotland, and involving 68 part worn tyre traders, the results showed that all bar one were supplying tyres which contravened the legislation governing their sale.
Of the 129 tyres inspected, 75% were unsafe.
TyreSafe has been working in partnership with Trading Standards for many years to investigate part worn traders, but during Tyre Safety Month a range of enforcement agencies also participated.
These included numerous police forces and fire services, the Environment Agency, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Health and Safety Executive.
TyreSafe chairman, Stuart Jackson, said: “Despite years of appalling results from these investigations into the retail of part worn tyres, these findings still come as a shock.
“How can it be acceptable that three-quarters of the part worn tyres offered for sale were unsafe? Tyres are the only part of car in contact with the road and essential to road safety – selling dangerous examples to unsuspecting motorists is putting lives at risk.”
In a week of activity in the North East, a multi-agency team led by officers from Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit visited 29 businesses, none of which complied with the regulations.
These “dreadful findings” support TyreSafe’s advice for motorists to think again before buying part worns as there is no guarantee the tyres being sold to them are safe. Investigations also highlight a high level of incompetence among traders.
Jackson said: “The number of dangerous part worn tyres being sold is no doubt related to the widespread incompetence of the retailers.
"With just one of the 68 retailers found to be compliant with the law, surely the part worn trade must vastly improve its standards before the British motorist can have any confidence in them.
“Until that happens, TyreSafe continues to urge drivers to buy new tyres to avoid paying a potentially heavy price for choosing to fit unsafe part worns.”
TyreSafe is campaigning to drive compliance of part worn retailers with the governing legislation (Consumer Protection Act 1987, referencing the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994) and raising their competence to a level comparable to new tyre retail technicians.