Motorists are beginning to vent anger at the increasing incidence of fake car tyres sold at the popular Ladipo Market, in Lagos. Also traders who sell similar but genuine products have been airing their frustrations. These victims of unfair and shady practices by alleged unscrupulous traders give credence to the fact that some of the tyres sold in the market are refurbished and ‘upgraded’ to deceive buyers.
CobraReview interviewed some of the victims. One Uchenna, a Lagos-based bus driver, said he discovered that the used car tyres he bought from Ladipo Market have been embossed with a new expiry date to conceal the true date. According to him:
“I didn’t notice the ‘tokunbo’ tyres I bought from Ladipo Market early this year were fake until after four days, when one of the tyres got punctured by a sharp object”.
“Within a week, the remaining three tyres got irreparably punctured. I would later discover that the tires were manufactured since 2007. But the retailers at Ladipo decided to stamp 2017 on them, professionally, to make the motorists believe they are 2017 manufactured tire,” he revealed.
Another car driver, identified as Chukwuemeka, disclosed to CobraReview how the car tyres he bought at the market with ‘2017’ manufacture date didn’t last for one month.
Chukwuemeka has this to say, “The car tyres I bought from ‘Promised Land Warehouse’ in the market looked enticingly new, with 2017 manufactured year stamped on each of them. But I would later discover the tires were outdated brands, after the first one got punctured a few weeks later. Then, the remaining three also got torn two days later, irreparably.”
Also a danfo driver identified as Timothy, a victim, explained, “I’ve learned my lesson ever since I was tricked into buying refurbished car tires in Ladipo. Since, it’s either I go for a brand new brands or I buy tokonbo brands from someone I know and trust.”
Confirming the manipulative acts, one of the ‘tokunbo’ car tire dealers in Ladipo, who begged to remain anonymous, admitted that some car tyre dealers in Ladipo use ‘upgrading stamps’ to imprint new manufacture and expiry dates on outdated tires. He said the upgraded tyres are presented in an eye-catching and saleable mold to motorists.
The trader highlighted that, “There’s a special way they stamp on the tyres to upgrade their manufactured years: they do it in such a manner that nobody, except experienced tyre dealers like me, will notice”.
Bad tyres have contributed to a number of road accidents. In the US alone 11,000 tyre-related accidents are recorded annually; In Nigeria, 7-10% of all road accidents are attributed to bad tyres. These accidents lead to death of passengers, and in some cause long term injuries.
A Vanguard report in 2017 exposed 2 traders who were caught manipulating the expiry dates on tyres sold to motorists. One of the criminals Iwueze Izuchukwu confessed:
“For instance, we can change expiration dates from 2014 to 2016. It takes just between 10 to 20 minutes to do the change. Truck pushers also bring tyres for change of expiry dates. We collect N300 for each tyre and work on at least 15 tyres daily. I work for my boss, who pays me at least N2,000 or more daily, depending on the numbers of tyres worked on.”
However, it should be noted that there exist a good number of traders who sell genuine tokunbo car tyres at the Ladipo market. Buyers need to ensure they are being led to any of these genuine traders. Because identifying the good traders and distinguishing refurbished or upgraded tyres from the original ones can be challenging.
CobraReview advises motorists to work with reliable professionals such as auto-engineers and skilled vulcanizers to serve as link.
Ladipo Market is a specialized market for new and fairly used auto spare parts. The market is located in Matori, Mushin Local Government of the state.
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