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ID chips not in tyre’s valve stem, so don’t snip! 

A meme with a photo of a car tyre was shared on Facebook in September 2019. It shows a pair of pliers ready to snip off the tyre valve stem. 

The meme’s text reads: “Stop the government from tracking your car. Remove the RFID chip from the factory by snipping off this tube.”

RFID stands for radio frequency identification, a technology that allows the quick transfer of data.

The meme was shared in South Africa and flagged as possibly false by Facebook’s fact-checking system. 

Are RFID “chips” installed in the valve stems of our tyres, and should we cut them off?

RFID technology not placed in air tube

RFID technology consists of a tiny radio transmitter and a chip. It is used by commercial tyre manufacturers and dealers to track inventory, according to Modern Tire Dealer.

The technology can also monitor information such as tread depth, air pressure and tyre pressure. Manufacturers can then use the data to optimise tyre performance.

The RFID chip is either built into the tyre or placed on the inside or outside wall of the tyre, using heat or special glue.

Africa Check could not find any evidence that suggests RFID chips are fitted inside the tyre valve stem.

Joke meme

The meme was shared earlier in 2019 on platforms such as Memes Rush and Eat Liver. Many people saw it as a joke.

There is no evidence that cutting the valve stem will do anything other than deflate your car tyre, quickly. – Butchie Seroto


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