Outstanding manufacturer recalls could be the next issue of interest for Trading Standards in the used car sector, says the Vehicle Remarketing Association. The organisation, which represents businesses that handle, sell, inspect, transport or manage more than 1.5 million used vehicles every year, says that it has received reports of dealers being asked about this issue by Trading Standards.
Recent convictions of retailers across the UK highlight the potential risks unsuspecting motorists take when buying part worn tyres. These cases in Scotland and London followed investigations by Trading Standards and TyreSafe into the sale of dangerous and illegal tyres. In each instance, the retailers faced stiff penalties and fines totalling thousands of pounds.
Investigations by TyreSafe in partnership with Trading Standards over the past five years have revealed a staggering 139 of the 152 part worn outlets visited were selling illegal and unsafe tyres to unsuspecting motorists. That leaves just 13 dealers selling roadworthy tyres from inspections spanning from Scotland to London.
TyreSafe and Trading Standards investigations highlighted that part worn retailers are either ignoring their responsibilities when selling tyres or do not have the required skill to serve motorists properly. During test purchases, some have fitted tyres with water in them to wheels, others have provided the wrong size of tyre, and the supply of examples with nails and other objects embedded in them is all too common.
TyreSafe has continued to raise awareness of the potential dangers of buying part worn tyres and encourage drivers to consider only buying new with joint activities with Trading Standards as well as in the media. This was most recently exemplified by a recent inspection carried out with Durham Trading Standards and the Sunday Mirror. The coverage was shared with the paper’s daily sister publication The Daily Mirror.
Court cases and investigations of part worn dealers by Trading Standards, supported by the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) and expertise from TyreSafe, have revealed that while convictions are being made, convictions and guidance are going unheeded as part worn dealers continue to sell dangerous tyres.
The Independent Garage Association’s (IGA) Trust My Garage (TMG) has described a “flurry of interest” following the announcement that it received final approval from The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
The Independent Garage Association’s Trust My Garage (TMG) Consumer Code of Practice has received final approval from The Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) Consumer Code Approval Scheme (CCAS).
The sale of dangerous tyres to unsuspecting motorists has led to the conviction of six retailers of part worn tyres from the Brent and Harrow area of London within the space of a week. Top Tyres & Auto Parts Ltd (Wembley); Whitchurch Road Tyres (Harrow); Pinner Road Tyres Ltd (Harrow); Quick Car Repairs Ltd (Harrow); Mr Walazedeh trading as Harrow Tyres (Harrow); and 3D Tyres Ltd (Wembley) faced 36 charges of supplying unsafe tyres, not complying with the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. All six pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay a total of £18,009.40 in fines, including individual penalties for company directors, costs and victim surcharges.
The suspended sentence and hefty bill handed to a Lincolnshire tyre dealer should serve as a warning to the rest of the industry, opines TyreSafe. Commenting on the sentencing passed on Luke McKenzie two days ago, organisation chairman Stuart Jackson said the sentence “represents a clear message to tyre retailers across the UK.” Jackson added that TyreSafe is “pleased to see that motorists are being protected from illegal and sub-standard products that will endanger lives.”
A Lincolnshire-based part-worn tyre retailer convicted of supplying unsafe tyres has been given a nine-month suspended sentence and has been ordered to pay prosecution costs totalling more than £26,000. Luke McKenzie, who sold part-worn tyres from Moss Tyres in Grantham, was found guilty in February of 16 charges related to the possession of unsafe products for sale. In addition to the suspended sentence, McKenzie is also required to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.
Lincolnshire part worn tyre retailer Luke McKenzie faces up to 12 months in prison along with a £20,000 fine after being found guilty of supplying unsafe part worn tyres to the public. The jury at Lincoln Crown Court unanimously found defendant Luke McKenzie, trading as Moss Tyres in Grantham, guilty on 16 accounts of being in possession to supply dangerous products, namely unsafe part worn tyres, to consumers after one hour’s deliberation. McKenzie also pleaded guilty on two other accounts – one account of supplying a spare tyre of the incorrect size during a Trading Standards test purchase operation; and one account of providing false information stating that that tyres fitted by the business had been balanced when they had not.
Dangerous and illegally sold part worn tyres will be one of the topics of conversation at this year’s national Trading Standards conference, after safety campaign group TyreSafe confirmed its participation in the event.
Running for three days from 30 June at the Harrogate International Centre, the event is the biggest gathering of trading standards officers and enforcement professionals in the UK. With its main theme of ‘changing behaviour’, TyreSafe sees the event as an ideal platform to continue its ongoing education and awareness activities designed to reduce the number of part worn tyres being illegally sold in the UK.