Retreads are unsafe, says motorcycle group


PETALING JAYA: Motorcycle group Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood will be sending a gift wrapped retreaded tire to a Malaysian Rubber Board official in an act of protest over a recent statement in which he defended the safety of retreads.

Speaking to FMT, Ikatan Silaturrahim Brotherhood head Azlan Sani Zawawi, also known as Lando, said that a day after the statement was made, an accident occurred involving an exploded retreaded tire.

“It happened in the night at the PLUS highway,” he said. “A motorcyclist heading towards Bukit Beruntung accidentally rammed into the dislodged tire and a Proton Wira then rammed into the motorcycle.”

In an interview with Sinar Harian last August 2, the Malaysian Rubber Board’s Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, Zairossani Mohd Nor, said retreaded tires were safe if they were filled with air at the correct pressure and users obeyed speed limits.

Lando said he had tried to arrange a meeting with Zairossani many times to demand a retraction of the statement. Zairossani had been avoiding him, he added.

“He’s afraid to see me. He keeps using the excuse that he’s too busy. So the Brotherhood and I will send to his office a retreaded tire we found,” he said.

Lando said that the Brotherhood planned to go to Zairossani’s office sometime this week.

Two years ago the Brotherhood sent a retreaded tire tied with a ribbon to Deputy Transport Minister Aziz Kaprawi over a similar statement.

Lando said retreaded tires were more dangerous to other road users than to the lorries and buses that use them.

“Most lorry drivers don’t even realize it when a tire has exploded because it’s often positioned at the back and because lorries have many tires. So it’s really more dangerous to the rest of us since the exploded tire will be left on the road.”

However, he said the blame should not be on the drivers, but the owners of transport companies.

“The lorry drivers are upset over this as well because its their bosses who force them to use these retreaded tires and because in the end it is the drivers who will be blamed. They have to pick up the tires and replace them in the middle of the road.

“I have many lorry drivers supporting our protest.”

Lando also said that it was unfair to blame users for the malfunction of retreaded tires since the Tyre Retreading Manufacturers Association of Malaysia itself had admitted that 30 per cent out of 1.2 million retreaded tires on the market were not manufactured according to specifications.