Anger at garage’s tyre ‘scare tactics’

Lisa Kelly
Lisa Kelly

A mum has accused a national company of using “scare” tactics to persuade her to buy four new tyres for her car that she didn’t need.

Lisa Kelly took her car to KwikFit on Wallgate when she noticed a nail had punctured one of her tyres but was told that all four of them were cracked and brittle and were putting her at risk of aquaplaning.

She also claimed she was told the tread was near the legal limit and she could be pulled over by police as a result.

But Lisa was sceptical of the advice and decided to get a second opinion. She took her car to another garage where they fixed the tyre for £10 and told her there was nothing wrong with them and they were safe.

She said: “My daughter was going on a long journey the next day so as soon when I noticed the nail sticking out of one of the tyre I wanted it fixed straight away and took it to KwikFit because you don’t need an appointment.

“He said he could fix it for £25 so I went off to walk the dog and said I would be back in an hour for the car. But about 45 minutes later he called me and asked me to come back.

“He said the tyres were cracked and brittle and I was at risk of aquaplaning. He said the tread was near the legal limit and I could be pulled over as a result.

“I asked how much would it be to fix and he said £264. I said that was far too expensive and he offered me a lower price.

“Even so, I couldn’t believe it but I could feel myself getting sucked in because I was worried about my daughter.

“I told him I wanted to take it to another garage and to get it down from the ramp. The place I took it repaired the puncture for £10 and told me the other tyres were fine and didn’t need replacing.

“I just felt like they had been trying to scare me into paying to have all the tyres replaced.

“I want to urge other people to contact Trading Standards if it has happened to them.”

The Ince mum has since complained to Trading Standards who confirmed they have received a complaint.

But a spokesman for KwikFit said they stood by their advice and that Lisa was shown the areas on her tyres that the employee was concerned about.

He said: “We have thoroughly investigated the advice given to Ms Kelly and stand fully by our recommendations.

“Ms Kelly was given a full written inspection report on the condition of her tyres, showing where the tread levels were low, where there was uneven wear, and where there were cracks in the sidewalls - it was the combination of all these problems which led to our recommendation.

“We work closely with Trading Standards officers as part of ensuring that we have rigorous processes in place to provide drivers with the factual advice on which to make their decisions.

“Sometimes drivers won’t like hearing our advice, especially if they were unaware of a problem, but we have a duty of care to give them the facts.

“We provided Ms Kelly with two quotes - one for budget tyres and one for mid range - so that she could decide which was better for her.

“Tyres are the only components which connect a car to the road and we urge all motorists need to pay serious attention to their condition.

“Along with most leading tyre manufacturers, other tyre experts and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, we recommend changing tyres at 3mm tread depth.

“Although a tyre may still be legal, their performance starts to deteriorate significantly below 3mm tread depth, particularly with regard to grip in wet conditions.

“However, it’s not enough that there is sufficient tread depth, the health of the sidewalls, correct pressure and ensuring even wear across the tyre are equally as important for safe motoring.”