The news comes after Malaysian Transport Ministry Secretary General Datuk Mohd Safaruddin raised the hackles of retreaders worldwide by reportedly saying that the use of retreaded tyres would be phased out of his country.
Digging deeper, it appears that the combination of the dishonest sales of regrooved tyres as re-treads and some language confusion has clouded the issue.
Datuk Mohd Safaruddin is reported to have said that the government needs “to educate the public on the dangers of using retread tyres,” adding: “studies conducted by certain non-governmental organisations found that fatal accidents were caused by retread tyres peeling when the drivers hit the brakes. Many are poorly made and the fibre and steel treads can be seen protruding from the tyres, making them most likely to burst.”
However, the Malaysian Tyre Dealers Association (MTDA) has claimed that errant dealers are selling re-grooved tyres as retreads to unsuspecting buyers, according to the Malaysia Star. The association claims that only these types of re-grooved tyres are a safety hazard.
Chairman Herman Yee said the questionable re-grooved tyres were made from bald or almost bald tyres and that patterns were cut until they almost reached the fabric and steel mesh of the tyres. “This is dangerous as the thickness of the tyres is reduced. Thus, it can burst,” he said in Kota Kinabalu recently.
Known locally as “tayar korek,” Yee said some motorists prefer regrooved tyres because they were cheaper than true retreaded tyres. “Some motorists are under the wrong impression that the re-grooved tyres are the retread variety,” Yee said, adding some unscrupulous dealers were also passing them off as second-hand tyres.