In September 2013, the then NTDA Vice Chairman wrote to NTDA members regarding the NTDA Part Worn Tyre Campaign and the proposal of a voluntary levy on members to create a “fighting fund” to combat the trade in illegal and dangerous part worn tyres.
In the autumn of 2013, the Association initially earmarked £5,000, from member’s funds, to help fund Trading Standards Officers, across the UK, to investigate unscrupulous part worn tyre dealers.
The primary objectives of this campaign are:
- To raise awareness amongst Trading Standards Officers regarding part worn tyre dealers and the lack of compliance with relevant regulations;
- To raise public awareness of the dangers associated with some part worn tyres;
- To remove illegal, dangerous and defective tyres from the part worn market;
- To encourage, where necessary, enforcement action and prosecution of unscrupulous part worn dealers, operating illegally, and put them out of business;
- To position the NTDA in a leadership role and its members at the forefront of industry best practice;
- To encourage consumers to use NTDA members for their tyre purchase and associated fitting services and make part worn tyres a highly UNATTRACTIVE option;
- To encourage industry to unite in best practice.
Since December 2013, joint inspections with Trading Standards Officers have been carried out in Bristol, Lincolnshire, Sandwell, St. Helens, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton, Derbyshire and North Lanarkshire.
Thousands of part worn tyres have already been inspected with the vast majority, circa 98%, found to be non-compliant with the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (as amended).
Many of the vendors identified in these investigations have been arrested, prosecuted and many more face enforcement actions. It should be noted, that no region and no tyre depot is exempt from these random inspections and the NTDA already has planned Trading Standards inspections scheduled in several other regions.
The initial budget of £5,000 has been spent and so NTDA members have now started to contribute the voluntary £15 per depot levy to raise further funds in order to widen the scope of the part worn campaign. Recognising the tangible benefits, NTDA members are supporting this campaign with growing enthusiasm and the NTDA is now urging manufacturers and other industry professionals to do so also.
NTDAChief Executive Stefan Hay said: “We are very pleased with the success of this campaign to date and now have a great opportunity to actively augment it, specifically in disseminating, to industry and consumers, the results and the ‘DANGER’ message.”
Part Worn Tyres and the Law
Under The Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 (reg.7.) which are part of the Consumer Protection Act, it is an offence for anyone to sell part worn tyres that do not meet the following principal requirements:
- The structural integrity must not be compromised.
- It should be free of large cuts, any bulges or lumps both internally and externally.
- No plies or cords should be exposed.
- Tyres must have passed an inflation test prior to sale.
- The original grooves must still be clearly visible in their entirety and must be to a depth of at least 2mm across the full breadth of the tread, around its entire circumference.
- Part worn tyres which have not been re-treaded must clearly show the relevant ‘E’ mark alongside which ‘PART-WORN’ must be permanently and legibly applied in letters at least 4mm high.
- These words cannot be hot branded or cut into the tyre.
Part-worn tyres that have been re-treaded must have one of the following:
- BS AU 144b, 144c, 144d, or 144e markings on the side wall (if first supplied as a re-tread on or before 31 December 2003 an ECE approval mark (if first supplied as a re-tread on or after 1 January 2004)
- A permanent mark to identify the original model and manufacturer, the word ‘RETREAD’ moulded onto or into its sidewall (in upper case letters at least 4mm high) and further markings in accordance with ECE rules. You may need to seek further advice as to which rules apply
- The indication ‘PART WORN’ must also appear next to the BS or ECE approval mark, or next to the word ‘RETREAD’
- For tyres marked BS AU 144e, a speed category symbol and load capacity marking should be present.
- A tyre has to comply with all these requirements whether or not it is fitted to a rim.