Following up comments made at the Tyre Wholesale Group’s annual lunch on 5 October, NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay has called for a total ban on the sale of part-worn tyres.
Speaking at the association’s Tyre Industry Conference, held at the VOX Conference Centre on Thursday 6 October 2016, Hay said previous attempts to enforce current laws through collaboration with trade bodies and enforcement agencies have not yielded the required results, leaving the association with little option but to harden its stance. Later the same day, NTDA chairman Roger Griggs reiterated the message during the association’s annual dinner.
During the conference, Hay spoke in front of an audience of 200 delegates from the tyre manufacturing, wholesale, retail and associated sectors: “We have tried being nice and polite, we have tried working in partnership with various enforcement agencies, we have tried collaborating with other trade bodies, but the situation is now out of control. Dealers, consistently, ignore the regulations and sell tyres that have not been tested under inflation and inspected for damage. They do not mark the tyres as part-worn, they often store them in tyre mountains in yards open to the elements causing further deterioration and they are fitted by people who are very rarely, if ever, qualified tyre technicians.”
The NTDA has been working closely with the consumer charity TyreSafe and local trading standards officers over the past three years to raise public awareness of the dangers of part-worn tyres. The association states that during that time, numerous part-worn dealers have been visited and in every case non-compliance with the regulations has been found. Among the most recent visits were businesses that have already been prosecuted within the last 12 months. Trading Standards found further evidence of non-compliance leading to many further prosecutions.
Hay continued: “Part-worn tyres are, in the majority of cases, not fit for reuse, are a cancer to our business and a menace to the public. We want a total ban, it may not happen today, tomorrow or even this year, but we are ready to take this campaign forward for as long as it takes and we call on all existing and future members to join the fight and if that means drilling holes in the side walls of tyres we remove to stop them being sold as part-worns, then bring it on!”
Later that day, the NTDA’s National Chairman Roger Griggs added his voice to the call for a ban at the association’s 87th Annual Dinner, also held at the VOX. In front of 600 guests he said: “Our chief executive speaks, I believe, for most of us, when he states that the recent repeat offences by some retailers are not only completely unacceptable, but demonstrate a complete lack of respect by those retailers for both customers and their safety. As Stefan says, it really can come as no surprise that more and more NTDA members are now deliberately damaging beyond repair the sidewalls of tyres they are removing from customers vehicles to ensure they do not end up in the part-worn market. This is a bold decision by those members, but under the circumstances is certainly not surprising!”