74% of used tyres failed to meet safety standards

LTS Week, Day 1 – Survey results released on used tyre safety checks

Almost three quarters (74%) of used tyres inspected by trading standards have failed to meet legal safety standards, says London Trading Standards (LTS).

The warning comes on the first day of London Trading Standards Week, a five-day campaign that raises awareness of consumer protection issues with the public and ensures legitimate business can thrive in the capital.

Operation GRIP

Safety checking a used tyre

The tyre safety project, knowns as Operation GRIP, was undertaken by London Trading Standards (LTS) and safety charity TyreSafe between January and June 2018. LTS warns that 33 per cent of tyres inspected showed serious safety failures, while a further 41 per cent had marking issues.

The project saw officers visit over 150 businesses offering advice and guidance on how to store, mark, and assess used tyres in compliance with the law. Officers then covertly purchased 51 part-worn tyres, which were assessed by TyreSafe for safety and marking features.

Gerry Hearne, Chair of LTS’ Product Safety Group said: “The results of our used tyre checks carried out with Tyresafe are concerning and indicate that there are serious safety flaws with a significant proportion of the used tyres on sale in London. Consumers need to be aware that part worn tyres which don’t comply with the law pose significant safety risks, as explained in TyreSafe guidance. Should members of the public suspect that used tyres they have been sold do not meet legal requirements, they should report the trader to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline.”

TyreSafe chairman, Stuart Jackson, said: “Our investigations with Trading Standards across the country universally reveal an appallingly high level of illegal practises among retailers of part worn tyres. That’s of grave concern as tyres are a safety critical product – if they’re not in roadworthy condition, a vehicle’s brakes and steering are compromised. Londoners should be concerned that three-quarters of tyres in this investigation failed to meet legal safety standards. TyreSafe’s advice is always buy new whenever possible.”

Trading Standards and product safety

Product safety is at the top of everyone’s agenda given product safety failings over the last year. Day one of LTS week is dedicated to highlighting partnerships between trading standards and product safety groups.

Trading standards play an important and unique role in product safety, as they have exclusive powers to remove unsafe products from the market, to make inspections and undertake prosecutions.

While local trading standards services retain responsibility for product safety enforcement, partnerships with organisations such as the, Department for Transport, TyreSafe and the newly created Office for Product Safety and Standards ensure consumers are protected despite ongoing cuts to public resources.

LTS Week takes place 10 – 14 September 2018. Read more details here and follow @London_T_S and @CTSI_UK on Twitter for full updates.

Tyre safety regulations

For full details of the regulations visit the business companion website

An unsafe used tyre