Today, Thursday, November sees the implementation of the EU regulation (1222/2009) on all new tyres on sale in Europe – which now have to be classified and labelled for fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise performance.
The new legislation will ensure that all new tyres are labelled with clear ratings, and aims to provide end-users of vehicles with clear and relevant information about the quality of the tyre, and to guide them towards choosing a product which is more fuel efficient, has better wet braking and is less noisy.
The EU directive known as ‘tyre labelling’ is the biggest change to the industry and the way tyres are sold for more than 50 years.
The labelling will be similar to that required for household appliances and potential buyers will be able to compare tyre characteristics before making a purchase.
Like the European energy label, the tyre label will use classes ranging from best-performance (green ‘A’ class) to worst (red ‘G’ class). Besides indicating how much the tyre affects the vehicle’s fuel efficiency, it will also give information about its performance in wet conditions and its external rolling noise in decibels.
Andy Mair, FTA Head of Engineering said: “The new tyre labelling requirements are likely to have more of an effect on driver of passenger cars rather than commercial vehicle operators. The road transport sector in recent years has seen an increasingly focussed approach on tyre selection and maintenance, and commercial fleet managers are well ahead of the game when it comes to specifying tyres for commercial vehicles. Larger tyres for the heavy end of the commercial vehicle application, which are defined as C3 class tyres are not required to be fitted with the label, but the required information must be detailed in any technical promotional material.”
Mair added: “The labelling regulations do of course provide valuable like-for-like guidance which will enable buyers to see at a glance the specification of a particular tyre which should help inform purchasing decisions.”
The labels will not be mandatory on type C3 tyres (for heavy commercial and PSVs), but the information should still be available in another format from tyre manufacturers.