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Danger tyres: Garage owner must pay over £6,600

One of the tyres that was the subject of the court case

A garage owner from Bridlington who ignored safety advice from trading standards officers and was found to be selling old, part-worn tyres that could have caused “catastrophic failure” if used on a car has been ordered to pay over £6,600 by magistrates.

Marek Lukaszczyk, the owner of Mark’s Garage, High Green Bridlington, was charged with two counts of being in possession for supply of a tyre that was unsafe under the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994 as the external cord was exposed.

Lukaszczyk, who lives on Pinfold Lane, Bridlington failed to appear at Beverley Magistrates Court on Wednesday, May 22 and the case was proved in his absence.

Trading standards officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council visited Mark’s Garage in October 2018 as part of a Yorkshire and Humber-wide survey into premises selling part-worn tyres.

The court heard how during the visit officers seized two tyres from the defendant’s stock of part-worn tyres that were available to buy by members of the public, as they were showing evidence of being unsafe.

An expert inspection was carried out which revealed the tyres, according to the manufacturing dates, were 28 and 10-years-old and both showed signs of age-related deterioration.

The rubber wall on the 28-year-old tyre was cracked and both tyres had serious damage to the bead area that exposed the ply internally which meant safety would be put at risk of they were put back into service.

The inspection also revealed the 10-year-old tyre had severe structural damage which exposed the internal cords which could have caused catastrophic failure had it been put back on a car.

Both tyres were deemed unsafe for further service.

Magistrates were told how Lukaszczyk had attended an interview with trading standards officers in January and had laid the blame with a former employee who had failed to complete the necessary checks.

They also heard how Lukaszczyk had been given a warning in 2014 by trading standards officers for a similar issue and, that despite the efforts of the officers to help, the defendant continually ignored their advice.

Magistrates fined Lukaszczyk £2,500 for each offence, ordered him to pay costs of £1,505.44 and a victim surcharge of £170, making a total of £6,675.44, saying the severity of the fine recognised the substantial efforts of the officers to educate the defendant in public safety which had been ignored.

Councillor Mike Stathers, portfolio holder for enhancing communities at East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “It is clear from the severity of the fine for these offences that magistrates took this very seriously.

“The defendant was selling part-worn tyres which, if used, could have put people’s lives at risk.

“This case serves as a warning to those dealing in part-worn tyres that trading standards officers will continue to ensure the safety of the public by carrying out checks to ensure they meet safety standards.

“As tyres are the only part of a car that is in contact with the road surface, their integrity and roadworthiness is of the utmost importance.

“Any faults or defects could have catastrophic consequences such as the driver losing control of the vehicle, not only risking their life but the lives of any passengers in the car as well as other road users.

“Consumers may feel they are getting bargain by buying second-hand tyres or some consumers may not have any other choice, but irrespective of that they have the right to demand the products they buy are safe and legal.”

Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe, said: “Tyres are critical to road safety and those retailing part worns have a duty of care to motorists to ensure the examples they are selling are roadworthy.

“Regrettably, this case has highlighted, once again, far too many part worn dealers have a complacent and unacceptable attitude towards their responsibilities and the safety of their customers.

“In the present climate, TyreSafe argues part worn means part safe and drivers should remember the potential hidden dangers and consider buying new tyres instead.”

More guidance on tyre safety can be found at www.tyresafe.org/tyre-safety/part-worn-tyres

Anyone with concerns about garages across the East Riding selling part-worn tyres can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service – www.citizensadvice.org or by telephoning 0345 04 05 06.