Cut Price Tyres – Part Worn Tyre Safety
Safety of Part Worn Tyres
The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 SI No. 3117, the controls on the supply of part-worn tyres, came into force on 1st June 1995.
Why Do We Need These Controls?
Safe tyres are a vital element in safe driving. Work carried out in the past by trading standards officers has shown that the sale of part-worn tyres can be a particular problem. A survey carried out by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities revealed that one in three of the part-worn tyres purchased for the survey was found to be defective.
What Happens If a Trader Supplies an Illegal Part-Worn Tyre?
It is a criminal offence to supply (which includes offering, agreeing, exposing or possessing for supply), a part-worn tyre which does not meet the requirements. Any trader breaching the controls is liable to prosecution. The maximum penalty on summary conviction is a fine of £5000 and/or six months imprisonment. In addition offending tyres are liable to seizure and forfeiture.
Part worn tyres must not have any of the following defects:-
- any cuts bigger than 25mm or l0% of the section width of the tyre – measured on the outside and deep enough to reach the ply or cord,
- any internal lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial separation of the structure,
- any of the ply or cord exposed internally or externally,
- any penetration damage which has not been repaired.
NOTE – The tyre must not exhibit any of the above defects when inflated to the highest pressure at which it is designed to operate.
- The grooves of the original tread pattern of the tyre must be of a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
- If the tyre has not been retreaded it must bear the relevant APPROVAL MARK, a speed category symbol and the load-capacity index. OR
- If the tyre has been retreaded it must bear the mark BS AU 144b, BS AU 144c, BS AU 144d, BS AU 144e. AND
- Immediately next to the mark referred to above, the tyre must bear the words “PART-WORN” in capital letters at least 4 millimetres high. This mark must. be permanently and legibly applied to the tyre but NOT by hot branding or otherwise cutting the tyre.
- Any repairs must have been properly carried out to the standard required by BS AU 159f: 1997. This requires all puncture repairs to be filled externally in addition to being patched internally*
There are some limited exceptions that apply in particular circumstances but in general all part-worn tyres for supply must meet the above requirements.
What Should a Trader Do To Comply With The Law?
All sellers of part-worn tyres should take positive steps to ensure that all part-worn tyres they stock for supply meet the requirements of the regulations. Check the condition of the whole tyre, (this will mean taking it off the rim to examine internal surfaces), if it is not up to standard, or if you have any doubts, reject it. Though not required by the regulations it would be advisable to positively mark such tyres as rejected. This could help to avoid confusion or mistakes. Ensure that all relevant staff are made aware of these requirements.
- The responsibility is the Traders.
- Trading Standards Officers will carry out checks.
- Action will be taken against traders found to be in breach of the controls.
Seek further advice if it is required. This is a brief summary of the law and is intended for general guidance only and should not be taken as being an authoritative legal document. For specific advice please contact Nottinghamshire Trading Standards.