Recent convictions of retailers across the country have once again highlighted the potential risks unsuspecting motorists take when buying part worn tyres.
Cases in Scotland and London revealed how dangerous and illegal tyres were being sold to the public following investigations by Trading Standards and TyreSafe. In each instance, the retailers faced stiff penalties and fines totalling thousands of pounds.
In December 2018, the owner of Springside Tyre and Valet Centre in Irvine, Scotland was handed a 120-hour Community Payback Order for breaches in product safety and consumer protection regulations following prosecution by Trading Standards officers from North Ayshire. 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 two months, three dealers prosecuted by Brent & Harrow Trading Standards had to pay a total of over £15,000. In January 2019, the director of Grays Tyres (Kingsbury) was fined £3,600 and ordered to pay £1,112 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. The director of S & F Tyres Ltd (Kingsbury) pleaded guilty on behalf of himself and his company, both of which were each fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,122 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.
In February the director of Pennant Tyres (Willesden) was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,117 and a victim surcharge of £75.
Colleagues in Ealing brought charges against the director of JFH London Ltd trading as Perivale Tyres (Greenford), who entered a guilty plea and was fined £500 and ordered to pay prosecution costs.
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.”
During Tyre Safety Month in October 2018, a shocking 99% of the 68 part worn tyre retailers investigated were not complying with the regulations governing their sale and 75% of tyres inspected were dangerous.