EU Parliament Approves Tyre Labelling Regulation
On November 25 the European Parliament approved the draft regulation on tyre labelling without a vote. This means that, come November 1, 2012, light and heavy duty vehicle tyres (C1, C2 and C3 tyres) will have to be supplied with information that informs consumers about fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise classes in any technical promotional material, including websites. Retreaded tyres, off-road professional tyres and racing tyres will be exempt from this requirement.
All C1 and C2 tyres produced after 1 July 2012 must either have a sticker affixed or be accompanied by the label when distributed from the factory to a shop or garage. As tyres, unlike the household appliances that served as inspiration for the labelling regulations, are not always on display in a retail premises, Members of the European Parliament have insisted tyre sellers be obliged to show the label to the buyer before a sale takes place and also on, or with, the invoice or receipt given.
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 car’s fuel efficiency, it will also give information about its performance in wet conditions and its external rolling noise in decibels.
To promote quieter tyres, the Parliament negotiated a re-design of the noise pictogram. The level of external rolling noise will be indicated by ascending numbers of black “waves” emitted from the “speaker”. For example, a car tyre producing low noise emissions of less than 68 decibels will be labelled with one black and two white waves next to the decibel value.
Potential incentives for promoting better-performing tyres to consumers will be decided at national level. In principle, EU member states will only be allowed to provide incentives for tyres ranked at least “class C” on fuel efficiency and wet grip.