Warning as 50pc of used tyres 'not fit for purpose'
MORE than half (51pc) of second-hand tyres are dangerous or not fit to do their job, a new study has shown.
Even more (55pc) would warrant an NCT "advisory warning".
The study says there has been a big increase in outlets selling second-hand or "part-worn" tyres.
It is claimed that, in most cases, these tyres have been used by central and northern European motorists.
They are sold here because of the European practice of seasonal tyre change, at prices well below the cost of a new set. And that can tempt motorists.
However, the message from the experts is: think twice.
The warning comes as part of the current National Road Safety Week.
It is being run by the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA), with free tyre checks at participating centres.
Road Safety Authority (RSA) chief Noel Brett said: "There has been a noticeable increase in the number of vendors offering part-worn tyres.
"These can be risky as there is no history of how they have been used.
"There may be damage internally from hitting hazards or kerbs. They may have been under-inflated or overloaded, causing heat build-up damage in the tyre.
"The 'good deal' you think you got may not be as good as anticipated."
ITIA president Kevin Farrell added: "We carried out a detailed study of second-hand tyres bought from outlets across Ireland and the findings were quite startling."
Of 134 tyres bought and examined, 51pc were described as "dangerous or not fit for purpose".
Several had nails or screws embedded in the tread, while others had evidence of repairs to the side wall.
That would seriously weaken the tyre, with the increased likelihood of a blowout.
"Our message is that second-hand tyres are a false economy and in many cases a danger," said Mr Farrell.
"Do you really want to take chances with the lives of your family and friends by fitting second-hand tyres?"
The age of some of the tyres examined also raised concerns -- 55pc were six years or older and one was 21 years old.
The National Car Test (NCT) here will issue an advisory warning on tyres six years or older.