According to the Tyre, Equipment, and Parts Association (TEPA) of South Africa, an unused car tyre typically has a five-year warranty – and cannot be sold as “new” after this.
“This warranty is from the manufacturer that warrants that the tyre in its unused form is safe from manufacturing defects during the five-year period from date of manufacture,” said Hedley Judd, national director of TEPA.
But what if you have tyres on your car which have ample tread and are in a good condition which are over five years old?
More importantly, what happens if you have tyres on your car which are over five years old and you are in an accident?
We contacted prominent vehicle insurance providers in South Africa to find out how the age of your tyre may affect your insurance claim.
King Price said that although the tyres might have reached their expiry date, simply reaching this date does not necessarily make the car unroadworthy.
“Even though most insurers, including King Price, have a clause that requires clients to ensure that their car is always in a roadworthy condition, this may not in itself be a reason to reject a claim,” said Wynand van Vuuren, King Price client experience partner.
“In the event of a claim, a tyre expert would have to investigate and determine whether the condition of a tyre could have influenced the roadworthiness of the car.”
The company said that an insurer must be able to prove there was a causal link between the age of the tyre and the way in which the accident occurred for the specific tyre expiration date to be of any real impact.
“King Price won’t reject a claim solely on the basis of a tyre being past its manufacturer’s expiry date,” said van Vuuren.
“However, you might land up in trouble if your tyres have corroded or cracked, or are smooth, and this contributes to causing an accident.”
MiWay said it will not reject your insurance claim on the basis of the tyre’s age alone, but that the tyre’s condition will be a factor which is considered.
“In order to maintain the validity of your cover, it’s important to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy state and give your tyres a regular once-over, paying close attention to the tread grooves,” said Karabo Kopeka, head of claims.
“Worn tyres can significantly compromise your ability to navigate wet roads, thus elevating your risk profile and your chances of losing control.”
OUTsurance said the age of a tyre is not a factor it takes into consideration when determining the outcome of a claim, but rather the roadworthiness of the tyre is considered.
“It is important for the safety of motorists and passengers, though, that they consider the roadworthiness of the tyres and a common checkpoint would be the tyre tread limit,” said the company.
“Tyres that are below the minimum tread allowance should be replaced to avoid accidents, such as loss of control due to a tyre blow or where the vehicle is unable to stop timeously due to the worn tread.”
OUTsurance said that worn tyres might influence the outcome of a claim if there is a possibility that they contributed to an accident.