When the tread on the tyres of Alan Bickerstaff’s two-year-old Mazda CX-5 started to get close to the 1.6mm legal limit, he set about sourcing replacements. However, no one had them in stock.
Alan’s CX-5 requires specific tyres made by the original equipment manufacturer, Toyo Tyres, but even the Mazda dealers he tried and Toyo UK itself couldn’t come up with the goods. A shipment was on its way from Japan but because of a three-month lead time, it wouldn’t arrive in Britain in time for Alan, who drives around 1000 business miles every month.
‘It now looks like I’m going to run out of tread well before any tyres are available, leaving me no option but to take the car off the road – something which my dealer has told me has already happened to another of his customers,’ said Alan when he contacted Helpdesk.
We got straight on to Mazda UK, and while we waited for the manufacturer to investigate, also started our own search. Alan’s CX-5 requires tyres with a speed rating of V, which is approved for speeds up to 149mph.
We searched the internet, from the major wholesalers and retailers to more specialist regional shops, but to no avail.
We then tried Blackcircles.com and Kwik Fit head offices directly to see if they could make one last trawl of their national stock lists to help keep Alan on the road. They both came up trumps, and promised to keep the scarce tyres on hold for him.
In the meantime, Mazda got in touch with Alan with the news that it would approve a tyre with a Y speed rating (up to 186mph) from a budget manufacturer, which could be supplied and fitted free of charge as an interim measure until the correct specification tyres arrived from Japan. Alan gratefully accepted.
A Mazda spokesman told Helpdesk that: ‘We can only recommend the tyres that are homologated for the vehicle, especially with the added complication of the pressure sensors. Toyo tyres are available, but as they come in from Japan via ship we do experience delays on occasion but seek to remedy any delay as quickly as possible.
‘Although this vehicle is approved for fitment with V-rated tyres, Y-rated tyres would be acceptable from a safety and legal point of view, provided that all other size parameters remain the same as the OE-spec tyre.
‘However, the rolling radius of the tyre can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, in some cases causing the tyre-pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning to be triggered. This will not be caused by increasing the speed rating, but could be by changing the brand or tread pattern. Changing both tyres on the same axle would prevent this, although that could be costly.’
What if this happens to you?
- Contact the car and tyre manufacturers for advice.
- Never fit tyres that don’t meet the manufacturer’s recommendations. It could be dangerous and invalidate your insurance.
- Concerned about buying budget? Check the A-G tyre label, which states how a tyre performs in the wet.
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