Chisom Jenniffer Okoye
Although used tyres may seem the most affordable choice when having to buy replacements, car experts warn buyers to consider safety first.
This advice comes ahead of the festive season, when hundreds of lives are lost on SA roads.
According to Arrive Alive, research done by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research revealed that “nearly 20% of accidents involving minibuses have tyre failure as a contributing factor”.
Sumitomo Rubber South Africa also released a Used Tyre Survey, which showed more than 60% of second-hand tyres sold in SA are illegal.
South African Tyre Manufacturing Conference chairperson Darren Hayes-Powell said the statistic was staggering. It was important that road users considered the fatal consequences of using a dangerous waste tyre, “especially when you consider that the only part of the car touching the road is a piece of tyre tread the size of your hand”.
“Second-hand tyres are often sold to customers looking for a way to save money. However, unless they visit a reputable dealership or know what to look out for, buyers may purchase a second-hand waste tyre, intended for the scrapheap.
“The choice … could be a matter of life and death.
“The consequences of fitting second-hand waste tyres can be dire. They reduce the performance of a vehicle by increasing stopping distances, raising the risk of skidding and increasing the risk of blowouts.”
Bridgestone technical manager Dries Venter had similar concerns.
“They regroove the tyres, which is illegal, to make them look new with enough tread, when they have damaged the structure of the tyres.”
Gumtree’s head of automotive Jeff Osborne said: “If there was regulation around used tyres and a system of certification, then it would be better, but there is no such practice.
“[Drivers] should avoid buying used tyres. You will not find any reputable dealership selling used tyres.”
“If you have any doubt about the quality of a used tyre, do not purchase it. It could save lives,” said Hayes-Powell.
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