The SABS may counter the move by tyre manufacturers to stop paying levies to the body by issuing a directive prohibiting the sale of all vehicle tyres that have not been tested.

The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) may counter the move by tyre manufacturers to stop paying levies to the body by issuing a directive prohibiting the sale of all vehicle tyres that have not been tested.

On Monday, the SABS reacted to a decision by the South African tyre manufacturers conference (SATMC) to stop payments following what they called “the deterioration in the level of service delivered by the body to the automotive industry”.

CARtoday.com yesterday quoted Etienne Human, the executive director of the SATMC, saying Bridgestone-Firestone, Continental, Dunlop and Goodyear had paid their levies up to 2001 but were holding back last year’s payments.

Meanwhile, Eugene Julies, the chief executive and president of SABS, said he had received this news "with shock", adding that the tyre manufacturers “would not be allowed to unilaterally disregard what was effectively a tax levy to ensure consumer safety and health”.

"By withholding funds they are in effect applying double standards to the very complaints of non-service delivery that they wish to correct," Julies said.

Julies told that tyre testing had "gone awry" under the management of Wimpie Lyons. Lyons, the suspended manager of SABS's vehicle regulatory department, has accused Paul Maclons, the suspended divisional director of this department, of fraud. Both are facing disciplinary hearings.

Julies further said it was under Lyons' management that some tyre samples were not sent for testing as required. "Most of these problems are being rectified. What we wish to see is that the consumer is protected, even if the industry has problems with the SABS."

However, the SABS might be forced to take steps "to the full extent of the law against the industry" if the tyre manufacturers continued to withhold the levy, Julies was quoted as saying.

The SABS will meet the SATMC today. Julies said the SABS was likely to urge the industry to make their facilities available to the bureau, as was agreed in the past, for staff to monitor and approve the results.

"The whole result would be that both parties would have done their part in ensuring consumer safety and health," he added.

Original article from Car