Nokian “regrets” tyre test “mistakes”

Nokian Tyres has apologised for past “mistakes” with magazine tyre tests. In an official statement company representatives said: “we apologise and regret the mistakes we have made in the past,” adding that the company’s tyres have “always been safe”.

The apology was precipitated by Kauppalehti reports, which contained the allegation that Nokian has been rigging tyre tests for a decade, the company responded by saying it initiated the discussion: “Nokian Tyres wants to comment on the ongoing discussion about the trustworthiness of tyre tests executed by car media…We wanted to bring up tyre testing in car media ourselves, as we have been increasing the transparency and ethicality of our operations on all levels. In past years, when the testing organisations asked manufacturers to send them tyres for the tests, activities in the industry were dubious. Major test organisations have now for years acquired the tyres from tyre stores, and also make control tests to the tyres afterwards.”

Overall Nokian’s response appears to suggest that its testing programme got stricter in the last year or so: “Last year we audited our operations. Right after that we clarified our rules for test tyres which now specifically forbid any planning or manufacturing of tyres that are targeted only for car media tests. The issue was immediately handled in our Board of directors and together we decided to come out with this information on our own terms.”

Nokian’s statement also addresses concerns related to suggestions that the alleged tyre test rigging was financially motivated: “The board of Nokian Tyres has never decided on such stock option schemes that would have encouraged cheating in tests, unlike what has been implied in the media.”

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