Motorists in Wolverhampton are being urged to beware of buying part worn tyres after an inquiry proved a number did not comply with safety standards.

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Wolverhampton Trading Standards conducted an investigation identifying sellers of part worn tyres in in the city and randomly made test purchases of part worn tyres from some of these businesses.

All the tyres purchased by officers were incorrectly marked but, worryingly, 33% of the part worn tyres failed to comply with the legislation governing the safety of tyres making them unsafe to sell and use.

The tyres purchased were examined by Newlaw Associates Limited, who specialise in the forensic examination of tyres.

The investigation was also part funded by the National Tyre and Distributors Association (NTDA).

Councillor John Reynolds, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for City Services, said: "In the present economic climate it is understandable that consumers may consider buying part worn tyres to keep cost down.

"Unsafe part worn tyres are a serious danger to all road users, as the results of the test purchases by trading standards has indicated.

"We will be working with part worn tyre sellers in our area to ensure they are aware of the legislation to prevent the sale of unsafe tyres but for the more serious failures enforcement action will be considered."

Richard Edy, Director of NTDA, said: "Tyres are a safety critical component for all vehicles and selling part worn tyres which are dangerous not only put the driver at risk but also other road users.

"Proper inspections should be carried out in accordance with the legislation relating to part worn tyres sales. Unfortunately projects being carried out by Trading Standards officers throughout the country confirm that too many of these tyres are unfit for use and should not be sold to unsuspecting motorists."

Many people are tempted to save money by purchasing part worn tyres.

Whilst it is legal to buy part worn tyres, people need to be confident that the tyres being offered are both safe and suitable for the intended vehicle.

For a part worn tyre to be legally sold, they must have a minimum tread depth of 2 millimetres all round (the legal limit being 1.6mm), be free of large cuts and bulges and not have any cords exposed. They should also be marked as part worn before they are sold.

  • released: Thursday 19 December, 2013