Sales of ‘part worn’ tyres raise concerns

Published

Trading Standards is asking people to be cautious when purchasing ‘part worn’ tyres for their vehicles, after several test purchases in Suffolk raised concerns.

An independent expert was asked to assess tyres purchased from six Suffolk dealers, which sell and fit part worn tyres. He noted that all suppliers contravened regulations by not having the required ‘part worn’ marking on the tyres, and he raised a number of other concerns about the age and condition of some tyres.

The warnings come as October is a month of tyre safety awareness, led by tyresafe.org.

Nousha Meek, Senior Trading Standards Officer, said:

“A part worn tyre is essentially a second hand tyre. They are an attractive option for motorists as they are often much cheaper than buying a brand new tyre. This practice is perfectly acceptable, however we carried out this project to check that dealers are providing safe tyres to the public.

“None of the tested tyres carried the required markings, which immediately contravenes regulations as set out in The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. Many tyre manufacturers recommend that tyres have a maximum life of 10 years, even if they look like they’re in good condition. Half of the tyres we had purchased were older than this, in one case a tyre was 14 years old.”

Other concerns included a tyre with a substantial cut in its sidewall, one with debris embedded and another with cracking of the rubber due to age and poor storage. In one case a single part worn ‘winter’ tyre was fitted to a rim, which didn’t match the other three. It is strongly recommended that a complete set of four seasonal tyres is fitted at the same time which won’t upset the stability of your car.

Although these examples do not contravene regulations, dealers and customers should be aware of their potential dangers.

Councillor Richard Rout, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection at Suffolk County Council, said:

“Our Trading Standards officers have now contacted all the dealers and advised them of their responsibilities and obligations for selling part worn tyres. We carry out these test purchases and checks so that Suffolk residents can shop with confidence and be safe.”

If you have concerns about the safety of any product you have bought, you can report it to the national Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

For more information on tyre safety, visit www.tyresafe.org.