Garages warned to tread carefully
Published Monday, 28 May 2012
Garages are being warned to tread carefully after all of those visited in a recent test purchase exercise breached safety rules.
The results - described as 'very disappointing' by the council's Trading Standards officers following a project designed to monitor safety standards of part-worn tyres being sold to unsuspecting motorists.
Eight dealers across South Lanarkshire were visited recently and in every case where an officer undertook a test purchase of tyres, none was properly marked 'part worn' as dictated by legislation.
More worryingly, in three cases, the tyre had not been properly repaired in accordance with British Standards rules and, in one case, the internal rubber joint was split - presenting a clear safety concern. The four dealers involved with these incidents have since been given formal written warnings.
Every dealer in South Lanarkshire has now been visited by Trading Standards officers and reminded of their duties and responsibilities under the law.
Helen O'Neill, the council's Divisional Trading Standards Officer, said: "With the current economic climate and the increasing costs of motoring, the sale of part-worn tyres is increasing - with costs between £15-30 per tyre.
"In fact, the latest research by Tyre Safe, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness about tyre safety, suggests that more than a third of drivers were using or had used part worn tyres in September 2011, compared to 12% in March 2010.
"This information, together with a recent consumer complaint and surveys by other Trading Standards authorities suggesting high levels of non-compliance in the industry, prompted our officers to undertake this project.
"We were very disappointed with the results amongst local dealers, all of whom should be very clear on what is expected of them.
"It is not overstating the issue to say that lives are at risk here, and we will come down hard on those who continue to flout safety in this way.
"There will be no hiding place for those who choose to sell illegal and unsafe tyres."
Further monitoring will take place over the coming months and anyone with concerns or who would like advice on the issue can call the team on 01698 455696.
More detailed information about tyre safety and how to carry out your own safety checks is available from www.tyresafe.org