Dealers caught selling dangerous part-worn tyres

Suffolk County Council has warned about the dangers of part-worn tyres. Picture: THINKSTOCK PHOTOS

Suffolk County Council has warned about the dangers of part-worn tyres. Picture: THINKSTOCK PHOTOS - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Part-worn tyres sold by Suffolk dealers were found to dangerously contravene road safety laws as part of a trading standards investigation.

Second-hand tyres have become popular in financially challenging times, as they are cheaper and can look as good as new.

But while Suffolk County Council trading standards said the practice was "perfectly acceptable" if done correctly, its assessment found several sellers were breaking regulations.

The independent expert who carried out the assessment said all six Suffolk dealers he visited did not have required "part-worn" markings on the tyres.

He also raised concerns about the age and condition of the tyres, with one being 14 years old and another having debris embedded in it.

Others had cuts to their sidewalls and cracked rubber.

Nousha Meek, senior trading standards officer in Suffolk, 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.

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"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."

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 the Tyresafe website.

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