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February 27, 2020

Road Safety Groups Caution Against Used, Worn Tires Amidst Possible Shortage of Low-Cost Tires

While most people link the Coronavirus to the closure of vehicle manufacturing plants as its most direct effect to the automotive industry, it may also have an effect on something that concerns current vehicle owners as well: the supply of low-cost tires.

With low-cost tires becoming a popular choice among motorists, the fact that a vast majority of these tires come from China or Southeast Asia, where the majority of COVID-19 cases are found, this may result in a reduced stock of low-cost tires in the near future.

Stocks are currently stable at the moment, but road safety groups are now cautioning owners who might have been in the market for these low-cost tires against the dangers of partly worn or used tires. Not only is there a possibility that these tires have been poorly patched up due to puncture damage, but used tire sellers might not actually be able to expertly determine whether or not these used tires are actually safe to be re-fitted into a car.

Road safety groups remind that tires must have a remaining tread depth of 1.6 mm to be considered as safe. Taking this into consideration, a new tire, even with a higher initial price tag, may represent a better lifetime value given worn tires will require more regular replacement.

In case that low-cost tires become scarce, buyers are recommended to skip worn or used tires, and simply go for mid-priced ones. Moreover, motorists are reminded to check air pressure, condition, and tread depth on a regular basis.

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