Tyre defects are the cause of ‘unacceptable’ MoT failure rates, says TyreSafe
Government figures have revealed
that tyre defects account for more than a quarter (27%) of all car MoT
The data requested by TyreSafe
from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) reveals nearly 2.2 million
cars failed the MoT in 2016 as a result of dangerous or illegal tyres.
The figures mean tyre defects
remain the second most common reason for an MoT failure after lighting.
Of those, 106,000 failures were
cars taking their first MoT, currently required when it reaches three years of
age. That equates to a 5% failure rate due to tyre defects for all cars taking
their first MoT.
In combination with TyreSafe’s
own findings that more than one-in-four tyres are already illegal when they are
replaced, the overwhelming conclusion is that far too many of Britain’s
motorists were not carrying out routine tyre maintenance checks between MoTs,
leaving themselves and other road users at an increased risk of an incident on
the roads, according to TyreSafe.
The findings are set against the
background of the government consulting to
evaluate extending the requirement for a car to be submitted for its first MoT
after four years rather than the current three, known as the ‘grace period’.
The government argues that it could
be considered as the existing three-year gap was implemented when vehicles were
not as reliable as they are today. The consultation is open for comments until
However, TyreSafe says tyres’
tread depth can easily be worn to below legal limits in three years and being
in contact with the physical road environment they were vulnerable to damage at
Drivers can reduce the risk of
driving with defective tyres and facing a potential fine of up to £2,500 and
three-penalty points per tyre by carrying out routine checks, yet the evidence
proves they do not. Evidence also implies a substantial proportion of tyres
continue to be used despite being unsafe and only replaced when the owner has
no choice, for example following an MoT failure.
Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe
chairman, said: “The existing MoT failure rates are unacceptable as they are
and, based on current evidence, it’s reasonable to suggest any extension would
only result in more defective tyres on Britain’s roads.
“Many of the government’s own
departments, agencies, and associate companies, along with road safety
stakeholders, are working tirelessly to make our roads ever safer and reduce
the number of incidents. TyreSafe believes increasing the grace period for
cars’ first MoT to four years would counteract those efforts and would urge
those involved in the consultation to reject this proposal purely on the
grounds of safety.
“However, regardless of
legislation, drivers individually need to take their responsibilities to road
safety seriously and carry out routine checks to stay tyre safe out on the
roads. Remember ACT: check tyres’ Air pressure, Condition and Tread
depth at least once a month and before long journeys.”