Does the label tell you everything?
The three criteria on the EU tire label are a good starting point and important in helping to judge the safety and environmental performance of a tire. However, the label does not provide information on all aspects related to the overall performance of a tire. Goodyear EMEA* tests almost 50 criteria when developing a new tire, including the tire’s level of aquaplaning resistance, its dry and wet handling performance and its stopping distance on dry roads. These are all important safety criteria that are not mentioned on the new EU tire label.
The EU tire label does not provide adequate information on the specific performance criteria of a winter tire. Winter tires need to provide excellent grip and short braking distances on wet roads, slush, snow and ice – uphill and down, while also delivering good braking, accelerating and cornering performance. This information is not included in the EU tire label rating and road users must be sure to check these important criteria via other sources. Why not consult tests undertaken by leading car magazines and independent testing organizations or ask a trusted tire dealer for advice.
Tire development – the journey before the label
Tire development is a highly complex process. There are literally thousands of challenges to be solved and a slight variation at each stage can have a dramatic impact on the end performance of a tire. At Goodyear* tire development involves dozens of experts from areas including tire design, compound, construction, evaluation, product marketing, and tire industrialization and manufacturing. While the EU tire label highlights three specific factors affecting tire performance but it does not give the full picture and many important performance aspects are are not addressed in the information on the label.
How can consumers choose the right tires if the label does not provide all this information?
The EU tire label provides a good starting point for consumers to judge a tire’s performance based on 3 standardized parameters. However, when buying new tires drivers should also consult other sources of information such as annual tire tests in leading car magazines and product reviews by independent testing organizations such as TUV SUD who test around 15 criteria. People should also ask the advice of their tire dealer who will consider the type of vehicle they drive, their driving style and the seasonal requirements before giving advice on the right tires to suit their needs.
* Goodyear EMEA/Goodyear Dunlop Tires Group