Birmingham Trading Standards: 90% of Part Worn Tyres are Illegal
Birmingham City Council’s trading standards officers recently found that nine out of ten part worn tyres examined in an inspection failed to meet the minimum legal standards. In response industry body TyreSafe is publicising the results of the investigation in order to raise awareness of what it calls “the high levels of risk associated with buying part worn tyres.”
According to Birmingham City Council’s trading standards officers, tyres which had nails embedded, illegal tread depth, exposed cords, inadequate markings and one tyre which was 17 years old were among the failures. The investigation comes just a few weeks after TyreSafe found that more than one in ten drivers was more likely to buy part worn tyres compared with 12 months ago.
The investigation formed part of an ongoing programme by Birmingham City Council to target sales of part worn tyres. This year was its ninth annual investigation and saw it buy 10 tyres from retailers across the city. Over the course of the entire programme, the team bought and tested more than 190 part worn tyres with 25 per cent found to have “some form of structural defect.” In this year’s survey 30 per cent of tyres had structural failings including illegal tread depth and a nail embedded in the casing while 90 per cent did not have the correct markings required by law, which identify them as a part worn tyre.
“We are disappointed by the increase in this year’s failure rates,” comments Cllr Neil Eustace, chairman of Birmingham Public Protection Committee. “Over the last nine years we have made significant efforts and progress in educating traders across the city about their responsibilities in selling part worn tyres. However, the latest results show that this is not a problem we can forget about and requires a programme of ongoing policing and education.”
In order to illustrate the hidden dangers of part worn tyres, TyreSafe examined six of the tyres bought by Birmingham Trading Standards by x-ray to identify any further internal damage. According to the association, all of the tyres showed signs of impact damage resulting in unstable stress points or fatigue in components which would make them much more likely to suffer a blowout. For them the clincher is the fact that these defects would not be visible under normal inspections that part worn tyres must undergo before going on sale.
The law says all second hand tyres must be permanently marked as part worn, they must have at least 2mm of tread depth around the whole tyre and the original grooves must be clearly visible in their entirety. Any repairs to the tyre must have been carried out in accordance with British Standards BS AU 159.
“The results from the Birmingham investigation are extremely worrying and confirm our worst fears about part worn tyres,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “Although guidelines do exist about the condition of tyres being sold as part worns, they are clearly not being adhered to by all traders. The types of faults found are extremely dangerous and if fitted to a vehicle, could have caused serious accident and injury. This serves as a warning to drivers and we would re-iterate our position that we would always recommend fitting brand new tyres.”