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Wait, what? Those second-hand tyres you bought are likely to be illegal

2019-10-17 12:20

Image: iStock

A recent report conducted by a major tyre manufacturer revealed that more than 60% of second tyres sold in South Africa are illegal.

Second-hand tyres are often sold to customers looking for a way to save money on replacement tyres.

Not always the safer option

However, unless they visit a reputable dealership or know what to look out for, buyers may purchase a second-hand waste tyre, intended for the scrapheap.

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Darren Hayes-Powell, chairperson of the South African Tyre Manufacturing Conference (SATMC), says: "This is a staggering statistic. One that has fatal consequences for road users, especially when you consider that the only part of the car touching the road is a piece of tyre tread the size of your hand. 

"This Transport Month, October 2019, we are urging drivers to only purchase tyres, new or second-hand, from reputable dealerships," he adds.

                                                                            Image: iStock

Hayes-Powell also goes on to say that the choice between a waste-tyre and a safe-to-use one could be a matter of life and death.

"The consequences of fitting second-hand waste tyres can be dire. They reduce the performance of a vehicle by increasing stopping distances, raising the risk of skidding and increasing the risk of blow-outs."

A second-hand tyre is NOT safe to use when you see: 

• Tread depth across any part of the tyre that is below the level of the tread wear indicators.

• No tread wear indicator, due to carving the rubber on tyres to create more tread depth (re-grooving).

• Damaged rubber that exposes fabric or cord. 

• Cuts, lumps or bulges.

"More concerning is the fact that we have even seen tyres that have been damaged beyond repair for safe service on the road but have been superglued so that the repair is not visible anymore. This will certainly be cause for a blow out on the road and potentially an accident," says Hayes-Powell.

Deeper impact

Fitting second-hand waste tyres can also have an impact on insurance pay-outs.

According to the Automobile Association (AA), in the event of a crash, an insurance claim could be refuted if it is found that the tyres were in poor condition and were the cause of the crash.

"While the onus of labelling and destroying of second-hand waste tyres lies with retail tyre fitment centres, the catastrophic effects lie with drivers. If you have any doubt about the quality of a used-tyre, do not purchase it. It could save lives," says Hayes-Powell.

                                                                               Image: iStock

Riaz Haffejee, CEO ofSumitomo Rubber South Africa (Sumitomo Dunlop), the country has seen a notable increase of sub-standard second-hand tyres with 61% of illegal used tyres being sold into the market, with the proliferation of these tyres having fatal consequences to road users. 

"In support of SATMC’s concerns, we believe that education on the safety risks and consequences of buying second hand waste tyres, sold into the market, is critical to consumer safety.

"More importantly, the onus lies with retail tyre fitment dealers to ensure that second hand waste tyres are mutilated and destroyed and that once these have been assigned for waste pick up, they do not resurface in the market.

"In addition, should consumers be considering purchasing second hand tyres, they must only do so from reputable retail outlets and not from the side of the road," says Haffejee.

Compiled by Robin Classen

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