One of the tyres sold by Moss Tyres of Grantham with a deep cut
TyreSafe has warned that part worn dealers are continuing to sell dangerous tyres despite recent convictions. Supported by the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) and TyreSafe, court cases and investigations of part worn dealers by Trading Standards have revealed what the road safety charity calls the wilful neglect of motorists’ safety. The news comes a few months after the launch of the Tyre Recovery Association’s part worn accreditation scheme at the Recycling Day 2016. Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe said then that a “tremendous amount of work” was needed to make part worn tyres “fit for purpose”, adding that he has “major concerns about putting part-worn tyres back into the marketplace.” The latest evidence gathered by Trading Standards has not alleviated those concerns.
In Grantham, a second member of the family which operates Moss Tyres has been convicted of selling illegal tyres. Leandra McKenzie’s father Luke was given a nine-month suspended sentence and fined £26,000 for similar offences in April 2015. Following complaints from local residents, Lincolnshire Trading Standards conducted a test purchase in June 2015, where they were sold two illegal part worn tyres by Ms Mckenzie, which weren’t stamped correctly and one tyre with a deep cut through the tread. McKenzie was ordered to pay fines and costs of just over £8,000 when convicted in late August this year.
Andy Wright, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Two things are particularly concerning here. First, that as the tyres failed to have the correct labelling on – with no distinction whether they were part worn or not – consumers had no idea what they were buying. Secondly, the damage to the tyre, which meant its structure could have been compromised. This tyre could have had life-threatening consequences for innocent consumers and their families. I am shocked that given her father’s conviction last year, Leandra has followed on and committed the same crime. I’m extremely concerned by this behaviour.”
Tyres seized from 12 different traders
In London, Brent & Harrow Trading Standards officers purchased second hand tyres in July from 12 different traders, which were handed to TyreSafe’s expert for inspection. Only two of the 12 tyres met legally acceptable standards, while at least six had defects that could pose a serious safety risk if they were fitted to a vehicle.
This follows the conviction of eight part worn dealers in the Brent & Harrow area between August and September last year.
Stefan Hay, chief executive of the NTDA, said: “In an ideal world the NTDA and its members would still like to see a total ban on the sale of part worn tyres because of the appalling ongoing levels of non-compliance and the dangerous condition of many of the tyres we are uncovering in these investigations. The repeat offences highlighted are not only completely unacceptable, but demonstrate a complete lack of respect by these retailers for both customers and their safety. It can come, therefore, as no surprise that more and more NTDA members are now deliberately damaging beyond repair the sidewalls of tyres they are removing from customers vehicles to ensure they do not end up in the part worn market.”
Stuart Jackson, Chairman, TyreSafe, said: “These recent investigations of outlets, which have already received guidance and in some cases convictions, highlights an apparently wilful disregard for the safety of motorists by part worn tyre retailers. It’s shocking and unscrupulous but having been involved in innumerable investigations, some of which are still on-going, TyreSafe is regrettably well aware this attitude is shared by a significant proportion of part worn dealers across the country.
“TyreSafe urges motorists to reconsider ever buying a part worn as new tyres are available at similar prices which won’t put them at serious risk and will last longer – making them not only safer but also better value in the long run. If vehicle owners are still tempted to buy used tyres, alarm bells should ring loud and clear if they don’t see PART WORN stamped on the tyres they are considering as they are unlikely to have been checked and the retailer is already breaking the law.”