Part worn tyres are a potential accident waiting to happen according to Mark Harley, Retail Operations Director, at Micheldever Tyre Services. " Tyres removed from vehicles are usually taken off for a reason ", says Mark, " they may have hidden damage which is only likely to be revealed when the car is driven down the road ". The reality says Mark is that " they pose a real road safety danger, are not fit for purpose and in fact offer very poor value for money ".
Micheldever and its 63 Protyre branches have instigated a policy of disabling all tyres removed from cars and vans. This is achieved by drilling two holes in the sidewall of the tyre thereby ensuring that they do not find their way back onto UK roads. The disabled tyres are then responsibly disposed of by the company according to the requirements set out under the Responsible Recycler Scheme.
“ We do accept “ that some motorists opt for part worns as a means of saving money purchasing from outlets that conform to the rules and label the tyres correctly. But there are many used tyre dealers that are totally ignoring the requirements under the legislation* which have been put in place to protect motorists and other road users. In addition to offering poor value for money “ we believe that many are potentially dangerous with hidden damage. Using these tyres could put drivers and passengers at a safety risk. They also create an environmental problem said Mark, “with the vast majority of these tyres coming into the UK from Europe we then have the problem of disposing of these tyres. We are proud to put the safety of all road users at the forefront of our efforts ”
The extent of the danger posed by these tyres was underlined last year by Birmingham Trading Standards. They found that alarmingly 90% of the tyres they examined failed to meet the minimum legal requirements.
*Part worn tyres and the law
Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7), part of the Consumer Protection Act, it is an offence for anyone to sell part worn tyres that do not meet the following principal requirements:
- The structural integrity must not be compromised. It should be free of large cuts, any bulges or lumps both internally and externally. No plies or cords should be exposed.
- Tyres must have passed an inflation test prior to sale.
- The original grooves must still be clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of the tread, around its entire circumference.
- Part worn tyres which have not been retreaded must clearly show the relevant “E” mark alongside which “PART-WORN” must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4mm high. These words cannot ne hot branded or cut into the tyre.
- Part worn tyres which have been retreaded must show the relevant Britiush Standard mark as applied at the time of retreading alongside which “PART-WORN” must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4mm high. These words cannot be hot branded or cut into the tyre. Retreaded tyre must also show speed category and load capacity index in accordance with BS AU 144e 1998.
- 6. Any repair to a part worn tyre must have been carried out in accordance witjh paragraphs 4-7 of BS AU 159