Are speed humps causing unusual wear and damage to my Audi A6's tyres?

It recently came as a shock to find that my four-year-old A6 2.0 TDI Avant failed its MOT and that the cost of the recommended remedial work was almost £1000. I consider myself both thoughtful and careful not only to other road users but also in respect of the welfare of my own vehicle. So imagine my surprise when being told that the inner and only the inner walls of my tyres (Continental 245/40/R18] had tears (i.e. splits running circumferentially which I visually confirmed), meaning that they were, as per MOT regulations, classified as unsafe. All four tyres were replaced. The rear tyres exhibited much longer (and perhaps almost continuous in some regions) circumferential splitting compared to the front tyres. The question of any perishing being a contributory cause did, to my mind at least, not arise.

The original rear tyres were four years old having covered only 24,800 miles (still with adequate reported tread of 5/5/5 and 6/6/6 mm) whilst the front tyres were 15 months old having covered a mere 6,580 miles. The front tyres exhibited the same symptoms of inner wall deterioration as the rear but to a much less extent - this being attributed by me to it being an earlier stage of the unknown damaging process. I could only think of the frequent need to negotiate the ‘speed cushions’ whilst driving through my village where the inner tyre walls could be subjected to additional stresses.

Asked on 12 January 2012 by AS, Huntingdon

Answered by Honest John
Many thanks for the diagrams. You cannot be very familiar with my column, because this is something I have been campaigning about for at least six years. There is now new evidence that tyre failures are killing more people. A percentage of these have to be the result of abrasion of the inner shoulders of tyres against the chamfered edges of speed cushions. In addition, ground tremors from large vehicles passing over speed humps is damaging the structures of adjacent walls and buildings. They crumble and break up.

Shock waves of vehicles passing over them destroy the sub-structure of the roads. They prevent roads being cleared of snow, and speed cushions are particularly lethal in snow. They directly cause deaths of cyclists and motorcyclists. The mean-minded, utterly stupid Labour government brought them in. Borrowed government money funded them. Councillors, council officials and favoured contractors made fortunes out of installing them, despite local opposition. The result is damage to property, severe damage to vehicles, and deaths. But lots of profit for the contractors that installed the humps.
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