Driving Horrors: 10 Million Fake Tyres on UK Roads
For all road users, tyre replacement is something that will need to be done every so often, as tyres degenerate from wear and tear or maybe more severe faults. However, it is important that the tyres are replaced correctly and with the appropriate tyres, otherwise there are a number dangerous consequences that the driver can be faced with. A recent study has shown that there is an alarming number of motorists who are driving with fake, poorly made tyres: 10 million motorists, in fact.
Why are fake tyres so bad?
It is important to make the distinction between cheap, budget tyres and fake tyres. There are plenty of quality, cheap tyres available for people on a budget – this is a very common choice as a full set of brand new, premium tyres can often be expensive. However, the fake tyres that are being sold are of poor quality and are not as safe as their legitimate counterparts. Safety tests carried out by the tyre industry showed that under braking, performance is hampered, down to the fact that the fake tyres had 1.4mm tread depth – 0.2mm less than the required 1.6mm of all tyres. While it may not seem like a huge amount, this can have a significant impact on braking performance, increasing braking distance by as much as 14 metres. The fake vehicle parts industry is now worth a staggering £6 billion a year worldwide, which shows just how common fake parts are and how many motorists are buying them, either willingly or unknowingly.
Many fake tyres have been ‘regrooved’, which means that they have been doctored to look new despite actually being older tyres with little or no tread left. This is done by cutting and removing strips from the tyre, which creates new ‘tread’ that meets the legal depth requirements – but this is a misnomer as rubber is actually being removed from the tyre, decreasing the stability and safety. Sometimes, tyres are retreaded – this is a legitimate practice which is the exact opposite to re-grooving in that rubber is added to the tyre rather than removed from it.
Some people also sell tyres listed as ‘partly used’, when in fact they are actually tyres prone to punctures, shredding or blowouts.
Regroovable tyres are actually made for legitimate use in the trucking and passenger transport sectors, but this process is subject to stringent safety legislation.
Buying and using regrooved or regroovable tyres can be very dangerous, and if you are caught using such tyres you can be subject to a fine or even the loss of your driving licence.
Here at Tyres Northampton, we are proud to offer cheap tyres of the highest quality for those on a tight budget. Our tyres are fully tested and compliant with all legislation, so you can be sure you are getting the highest quality when you come to us.