The new rules – relating to a new labelling system for tyres – mean those supplying tyres are legally obliged to be inform buyers about a number of standardised ratings for every tyre.
Similar to the ratings used on white goods, the label will grade tyres based on three performance criteria. Each tyre now comes with a fridge-freezer-style EU-branded label outlining the three variables – the first of which is energy efficiency, represented by the icon of a petrol pump.
Rated from A to G (with D not used), this relates to the tyre’s ‘rolling resistance’ – the level of friction that the car then has to work against. Low rolling resistance equals lower fuel consumption for the car, and a higher rating on the chart.
Next is braking distance on wet roads – represented by a rain cloud. Once again, ‘A’ marks the best rating, with Michelin estimating that the highest performing tyres could cut a car’s stopping distance by as much as 16 metres.
Finally, tyre noise – symbolised by a speaker and a decibel rating. Three waves emanating from tyre represent the noise level on a scale of one to four – the less, the quieter – while decibel figures can be compared to other tyres for complete accuracy.
According to the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association, those supplying tyres must adhere to a number of new guidelines – whether displaying tyres at the point of sale, or describing them online or over the phone.
‘If tyres are visible to the consumer’, the SMMT says, ‘they must carry a sticker delivered by the manufacturer or have a label print immediately next to the tyre, in a clearly visible position’.
If tyres aren’t visible to the buyer, ‘the distributor must provide end users with information on the fuel efficiency class, wet grip class and external rolling noise class and measured value of those tyres’.
Finally, the information ‘must be integrated on or with the invoices delivered to the end user’.
Picture courtesy of Continental