Illegal Tyres

Submitted: Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1958 Views:1450 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
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A friend recently purchased a secondhand vehicle that had passed roadworthy even though the tyres were illegal (didn't have the load rating required). It turns out that he needs to have light truck tyres (instead of the passenger car tyres that were fitted) to acheive the necessary load rating. But the problem is that the LT tyres don't have the speed rating stated on the tyre placard.

Now according to Queensland law he only needs a speed rating of 140 km/h. The tyres he wants are rated at 150 km/h, but the tyre placard says it should be 180km/h.

Now to the question. Obviously the proposed tyres would be legal (at least in queensland), but would insurance companies be likely to try and cash in on the discrepancy between the tyre speed rating and the tyre placard rating? Anyone have any experiences with insurance companies like this?
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Reply By: Savvas - Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00
Nigel ... You would like to think insurers are consistent in their practices. But we know in reality they are not. Some insurers use contracted assessors to process claims and it seems to be in their interest to find cause to reject claims. Insurers are now using "duty of disclosure" in their policies. If they are not made aware of an issue that could alter their perception of the risk, they can use this to reject claims on the basis that they wouldn't have accepted the risk if they knew of the issue. Safest bet is to inform the insurance company of the tyre issue, get it noted on the policy, get a copy of that notation, and your friend should be safe. The insurance company then does not have a leg to stand on if they reject the claim on the basis of the tyre rating, as they were made aware of it up front and they accepted the risk. This is irrespective of the legality of the tyres. If they note it on the policy, and take the premium, you have a binding contract. The insurance company may try it on, but will back down when challenged with a legal threat, as long as the documented proof is there. Because they know they will lose in court and have to shell out approx $10k in legal fees on top, for both parties.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Sep 11, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks - good advice.
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Follow Up By: Flappan - Friday, Sep 13, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 13, 2002 at 00:00
Thats incorrect.

Insurance companies may agree to cover modiifications of any description. Be they small, bigger tyres what ever. And they will note them on the policy. HOWEVER. It is not up the the insurance company to check the mods you have made are in fact legal. That is up to you. If the mod you have made is in fact illegal according to your RTA, the insurance will not cover you EVEN if it has been noted on your policy. WHY? read the fine print. In there there will be something about Roadworthy. If its not roadworthy, according to the RTA, its not insured. End of story.
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Follow Up By: Savvas - Saturday, Sep 14, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 14, 2002 at 00:00
Sorry ... That is incorrect. I used to work for NRMA and my wife still does. No matter what the fine print. If you specify the exact modification and they accept the risk IN WRITING, it is binding. It is in fact up to the underwriter accepting the risk to know the legality. And there's the most important bit ... the person behind the counter can't do that. You need to speak to an underwriter employed by the company to accept it. That's what the whole "duty of disclosure" thing is about. It's a bit like "the all care, no repsonsibility clauses" you will see around various public places for personal injuries. It doesn't have a legal leg to stand on. I was under the same level of confusion on this until my wife went and sussed out what is the right process. Face it, there are heaps of 4wd's on the road with this type of mod. They don't get rejected just on mild tyre size and spec changes. Most don't even get defected. And there's no need too. Having said all that, this may be true for NRMA but it won't be necessarily true for any other insurer. Best bet is speak to an underwriter, not a customer service person, and MAKE SURE IT'S DOCUMENTED. That last bit is also very important.
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Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00
Nigel, tell your friend to have a look at Dunlop SP Road Grippers S. These are 8 ply LT (light truck) tyres with an S speed rating (180 kph). They were fitted standard on my 100 series and have given me trouble free running on some of the toughest tracks in the NT and SA. Mine have done over 60,000k's and I will replace them with the same in the near future. Hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks - I'll let him know.
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Reply By: Rodeoowner - Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00
If you get on the Cooper website. it says there that 4wd vehicles only require speed rating N (140km/h) to meet ADR's.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00
I guess that would suggest that the states are consistent on that. At least they can agree on some things, if only they could sort out the towing laws :)
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Reply By: Pete G - Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00
Nigel,
RTA NSW website has an article on this point. For 4WD it is Legal to run tyres at 140kph rating as long as load rating, diameter and width fall within the required limits. (if under 140kph then a sticker must be affixed to the windscreen).

I have been through this issue recently with a GU Patrol wagon and found a lack of 4WD tyres rated at 180 kph if looking for other than highway patterns.

Have a look at some AT pattern Bridgestones. I fitted 265/75R16 112S D693's Light Truck. Have done 15k's on them and so far so good. By going to the Light trucks I got a heavier side wall. Compared to the H/Ts they replaced the ride is a little harsher (to be expected) and road noise is the same.

It will pay to verify the situation with your Insurance if fitting tyres outside those allowed on the vehicle placard. However, if they are legal for rego purposes the insurance co would be hard pushed to argue otherwise.

Heat is what damages tyres and heat buildup is a function of load and speed. The tyre rating means the tyre meets a standard to carry a stated load at a stated speed. I am not sure at what temperature the test is conducted but would be surprised if it was any where near Aussie bush temperatures.

One may argue that the general speed limit is only 100kph - fine - and then you load up the wagon and do a run to the NT say Darwin on the bitumen.

Given a long run, high speeds and temperatures whilst fanging along at 160kph with a full load in 40 + deg C heat a tyre blows. One is then up the proverbial creek.

To my way of thinking the 140kph rated tyre is not an optimal tyre in this situation, however the 140kph may be fine for all dirt work where one cannot run that fast.

My 2 bobs worth any way - will probably stimulate some discussion.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nigel - Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Sep 12, 2002 at 00:00
The BFG LT235/85R16 AT's on my GQ Patrol ST3 are rated at 160 km/h which is more than I could expect to do even in NT :)
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Follow Up By: P.G. (tas) - Saturday, Sep 14, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 14, 2002 at 00:00
Ahhhh, the joys of petrol 100 series! ;-)
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