INVESTIGATIONS carried out over the last five years have revealed that an absolutely shocking 91 per cent of part-worn retailers have been selling unsafe tyres.
Only 13 outlets of 152 spot-checked by TyreSafe and Trading Standards were providing roadworthy tyres to UK car owners.
Test purchases unveiled that some tyres had water inside of them, with other second-hand sellers installing wrong sizes.
Examples were also commonly embedded with nails and other objects.
As a result, one retailer – Hemel Tyres in Bury Road, Hemel Hempstead – was ordered to pay over £7,000 in fines and costs having been prosecuted by Hertfordshire Trading Standards.
The magistrates also considered a custodial sentence, with the owners highly likely to face prison time if found guilty of further offences.
Terry Hone, Executive Member for Community Safety, said: “We hope that this sends a message to the part-worn tyre market in Hertfordshire that we take these matters very seriously.
“Our consumers should be able to expect that any tyre they buy for road use complies with safety standards.”
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe Chairman, added: “TyreSafe applauds the magistrates’ comments and penalties in this latest conviction, but it must be acknowledged that the retail of dangerous and defective tyres by part worn dealers is unacceptably commonplace nationwide.
“While the shocking findings of joint investigations may reveal some part worn dealers are compliant, even if it is fewer than one-in-ten, motorists have a 90 per cent chance of visiting an outlet selling illegal tyres.
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“As far as TyreSafe is aware, there is no other retail sector with such an atrocious track record.
“Let’s remember these dealers are selling safety critical components – when tyres are driven in an unroadworthy condition, a vehicle’s braking and steering are compromised, and road users are put at significant risk of a catastrophic tyre failure.
“TyreSafe pledges to continue its potentially life-saving work with Trading Standards and partners with an ambition to drive compliance and competence among part worn retailers.”