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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - More than 12 per cent of road accidents every year are caused by tyre bursts, according to the Sharjah Police.
Workshops and commercial outlets repairing old and damaged tyres and modifying fakes to sell them at cheaper prices are being cracked down by the Sharjah authorities.
During the inspections carried out in coordination with the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), some workshops were found refurbishing expired, damaged and fake tyres using laboratories. They bought tyres from mobile vendors who collected unusable tyres from companies after ensuring the date of manufacture did not exceed the allowed period, which is five years from the date of manufacture, to ensure that the vehicles pass the technical examination for renewal of permit. They sort out the tyres, clean them from external appendages, patch them from the inside and dye to cover marks before marketing them to commercial stores.
Serious traffic violation
More than 12 per cent of road accidents every year are caused by tyre bursts, according to the Sharjah Police. "Using overused, poor quality counterfeit tyres that do not conform to the specifications and standards in the country is a prominent violation," said the official.
The SEDD will continue field inspections in cooperation with the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma), to ensure the availability of good quality tyres. Violators will be fined Dh100,000 for selling refurbished tyres," said a SEDD official.
"The inspections will ensure that the tyres sold in Sharjah are in compliance with the mandatory UAE standards, with the presence of explanatory data such as the brand, country of origin and speed symbol," he added.
Yamen Ahmed, a tyre technician at one of the accredited agencies in the emirate, said that adulterated tyres that were refurbished by pruning the appendages and repairing the cracks in them can successfully pass the technical examination.
"Cracks and efficiency of the primary tyres are the criteria that the inspection devices recognise and if they are worn out from the inside, devices cannot identify them, especially if they have been repaired and rehabilitated using professional methods. Some shops have factories equipped with tools and machines for this purpose," he added.
'Don't go by the shining look of tyres'
Several workshops were found to be selling refurbished tyres as new and thousands of tyres were confiscated during inspections. They were also found reusing stickers after selling the tyres.
Motorists need to ensure the quality of tyres before purchasing them and not get conned by the 'new' appearance, according to a Sharjah Economic Development Department (Sedd) official.
"Refurbished tyres may con you with its 'dressing' from the outside. They may be completely eroded inside, making it 100 per cent vulnerable to the explosion, especially during hot temperatures, and vehicle load," he said.
A large number of shop owners import used tyres with manufacture dates and rehabilitate them, said Mohammed Fagiri, a shop owner in Sharjah industrial area 3.
"They rehabilitate tyres in several stages starting with cleaning the frames from nails or any iron piece stuck in them. They then drift their outer surfaces using special machines that remove inscriptions. Protruding iron wires or holes are obliterated and then coated with adhesives that stabilise the layer bearing the new inscriptions. The used tyres are usually purchased at Dh20 from tyre collectors and refurbished to sell them at Dh800."
Easy to get cheated: Motorist
Sharjah resident, Fayez Al Hamadi, said that his car tyre burst and he lost control of his vehicle while driving on the highway with his family. He was surprised as he had bought new tyres just 20 days ago. The shopkeeper had granted him one year guarantee and assured the tyre was of good quality. A tyre expert revealed to Al Hamadi that it was adulterated and professionally rehabilitated.
Mohamed Al Marzouqi, legal advisor at the Sharjah Court, said that this behavior falls under commercial fraud and is against the law. "The consumer can file a fraud lawsuit against the shop if he/she discovers that the goods bought did not comply with the requirements."
According to Article 399 of the Federal Penal Code, the shop owner will receive penalties of two years imprisonment and pay fine of Dh10,000.
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