Disturbing new vape trend costing Aussie drivers hundreds of dollars: ‘It’s like a bomb that goes off’
Vapes are causing new headaches for Australians, with drivers now coming to mechanics because the devices’ tires have blown.
Smokers appear to be throwing their vapes out of their vehicles as devices are scattered across a number of roads in the country.
Drivers then drive over the gadgets, which get stuck in their tires or explode on impact.
The damage has forced drivers to spend hundreds of dollars for new tires, while mechanics say this is becoming more common.
Mark Hely, owner of JAX Tires & Auto Kensington in Sydney’s east, said he saw four drivers come in with tires burst from fumes.
Vapes are getting stuck in car tires and exploding as the popularity of the smoking device increases
A Sydney mechanic said the fumes exploded once inside the tire, forcing drivers to pay hundreds of dollars for a new one.
“It’s like a small bomb going off, the fumes explode and in some cases we’ve seen remnants of it in the tire,” he told Ny Breaking Australia.
Mr Hely said drivers did not have to drive fast to cause real damage and in all cases the tires needed to be completely replaced.
“The fumes leave a hole the size of a 20 cent coin,” he said.
“Vapes just took off and people have gotten careless about throwing them out the window.”
He said the biggest problem was the price of the tires, with the most expensive now costing more than $1,000.
Drivers often did not know they had run over a vapor until they got to their mechanic.
“If you tell them what it was, they say, ‘Oh, that was that popping sound.’ said Mr. Hely.
‘So it’s loud enough to be heard from the car. I don’t expect it to cause an accident, but it makes the car difficult to drive.’
One driver suffered a flat tire while traveling from Sydney Airport along the highway this week.
“I heard a loud popping sound and then the car slowed down significantly and a tire pressure warning appeared,” she said.
‘Then I felt that it had become completely flat. I had to cross two lanes and continue with a flat tire to find a small spot where I could stop.’
The woman said she has worn out six tires this year alone, with studs from traditional tires also being a major problem.
One driver shared a photo of a fume stuck in his car on Reddit
“It’s bloody annoying and expensive,” she said.
Disturbing photos show the devices stuck in the tires, while others cracked and ripped apart the rubber on impact.
The dangerous trend has also emerged abroad, with drivers in the UK revealing they have had to spend money on new tires as a result.
The Australian government announced $234 million in funding in May for tougher regulations, including stricter import and packaging controls.
The measures include a ban on the import of non-prescription vapes for shops and single-use products.
Recent research shows that around 1.6 million Australians now vape, representing 7.9 percent of people over the age of 18.
Since December, another 308,000 people have taken up vaping, marking a 23 percent increase, according to a Roy Morgan survey.
Additionally, a Cancer Council survey found that 90 percent of teens find it easy to buy illegal e-cigarettes.
The same study, called Generation Vape, found that more than two-thirds of 14- to 17-year-olds have knowingly used vapes containing nicotine.
The illegal importation or supply of counterfeit or unapproved therapeutic goods may result in a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1.25 million.