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EU OKs New Tire Label Scheme

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On Nov. 25, the European Parliament approved the draft regulation on tire labeling without a vote.

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This means that come Nov. 1, 2012, light and heavy duty vehicle tires (C1, C2 and C3 tires) will have to be supplied with information that informs consumers about fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise classes in any technical promotional material, including Web sites. Retreaded tires, off-road professional tires and racing tires will be exempt from this requirement.

All C1 and C2 tires produced after July 1, 2012, must either have a sticker affixed or be accompanied by the label when distributed from the factory to a shop or garage. As tires, unlike the household appliances that served as inspiration for the labeling regulations, are not always on display in a retail premises, members of the European Parliament have insisted tire 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 tire label will use classes ranging from best-performance (green “A” class) to worst (red “G” class). Besides indicating how much the tire affects the car’s fuel efficiency, it will also give information about its performance in wet conditions and its external rolling noise in decibels.

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To promote quieter tires, 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 tire producing low noise emissions of less than 68 decibels will be labeled with one black and two white waves next to the decibel value.

Potential incentives for promoting better-performing tires to consumers will be decided at national level. In principle, EU member states will only be allowed to provide incentives for tires ranked at least "class C" on fuel efficiency and wet grip.  (Tyres & Accessories)

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