17/09/2010: Worrying news about your tyres from Which? Magazine
Which? Magazine has recently published a report on garage service that includes tyres in general and is likely to be of significant interest if you are questioning the value and competence of any aspects of vehicle servicing and not just your tyres. The Which? Report concludes that there are still ‘shocking levels of incompetence’ in the sector, despite the introduction of several new codes of conduct. And since your tyres are extremely important this report is well worth considering.
Using their proven ‘mystery shopper’ research technique, Which? Magazine submitted vehicles that were between three and six years old for a service. Each of these had four simple faults that included two problems that related to the tyres. The faults incorporated into the vehicles were; deflated spare and nearside tyres, brake fluid at the minimum level and a blown bulb on the reversing light. And although this website is primarily concerned with tyres, it’s interesting to note that Which? Magazine also conducted an honesty test to see if garages were charging for something that was not needed – in this case screen wash.
Sadly, the report concludes that 90% of the 62 garages tested either missed or ignored at least one potentially dangerous fault – which includes the deflated spare and nearside tyres of course. Now you have to say this is disappointing if not downright worrying. And whilst deflated spare and nearside tyres may not seem like a very serious problem at first glance, published statistics show that incorrectly inflated tyres either cause or play a significant part in many road traffic accidents.
But quite apart from concerns about tyres, the really revealing statistics are that only 8 out of 62 garages fixed all the faults whilst 5 of them failed to fix any faults! And if you’re wondering whether you can trust them with your tyres, 39% of garages failed the honesty test. As far as we are aware there are no statistics available for retailers of tyres or for tyre depots in general so it’s left to the individual to find a trustworthy supplier on a ‘buyer-beware’ basis.
Which? Magazine concluded that this was a worrying snapshot of an industry that desperately needs to clean up its act, because this could potentially endanger the lives of all road users.