1. EU Tyre Labelling – Dry braking.
The tyre labeling does not detail how well the tyre does in dry braking despite the fact that 70% off all accident happen in dry conditions (source: Michelin). This labeling is especially misleading to consumers who live in dry countries where the percentage is much higher.
2. EU Tyre Labelling – Wet & dry cornering.
The labeling gives no indication of how well the tyres perform when they are cornering even though 25% of all accidents occur on bends and these accidents tend to be much more serious. (Source: Michelin)
3. EU Tyre Labelling – Wet Braking
The wet braking tests are done over a wide range of temperatures (2-20 Celsius for winter tyres & 5-35 Celsius for summer tyres).
This makes it extremely difficult to assess how meaningful this rating is to you.
For example, what is the difference in braking performance between 5 and 35 Celcius. One would imagine there would probably be a pretty big difference yet the tyre label makes not mention of what temperature the rating was given for.
Michelin for example carry out their wet braking tests at set temperatures specifically so the figures are put into some sort of context ie you can see what the performance is at what temperature. Granted, in isolation the numbers don’t give context vs other manufacturers.
4. EU Tyre Labelling – Damp roads not tested.
This is the biggest problem with the EU tyre labeling regulation. 99% of crashes that occur in wet conditions happen when roads are only very slightly damp (Source: Honest John) and yet the wet braking rating on the tyre label is for roads which have at least 0.5mm and up to 1.5mm of standing water.
In short, the wet rating may be fantastic, but its for conditions that very rarely result in an accident.
5. EU Tyre Labelling – Interior sound not measured.
The labeling on the tyre refers to how much noise the tyre makes outside of the car, no measurement is done to illustrate how much noise is created in the cabin. (Source: Michelin)
In summary, the new EU tyre labeling regulation has the potential to mislead consumers if consumers are unaware of how the figures were calculated/measured.
For example the wet braking figure may be given huge weight by the buying public despite the fact that only 0.03% of accidents occur in these conditions.
There is also a big hole left in that the label does not cover dry braking performance, even though the majority of accidents occur in dry conditions.
These are just two of the most obvious issues with the tyre labeling.
There are even more issues when you start taking into consideration that customers in Denmark and Northern Germany have the exact same sticker on their tyres as customers in Greece & Southern Italy!
While is it nice thought to have labeling on tyres to try and help people. The fact of the matter is that the measurements are effectively meaningless, (although the noise measurements may have some use).
The EU has tried to make the labeling as simple as possible but in the process, they have demeaned what is an extremely complex and interesting subject.
To believe consumers in all parts of Europe can use the same sticker, which measures only three things and for which measurements are not done at a specific temperatures is naive at best and simply a waste of taxpayer’s/consumer’s money at worst.
If the EU really were dead set on putting labeling on tyres then they should have acknowledged the how complex the situation was and put labeling that reflected the complexity of the subject and this ultimately means more measurements.