Why has the tyre label been introduced?
The label has been introduced to enable customers to make informed choices and to encourage customers to buy safer, quieter and more fuel-efficient tyres. The label covers wet grip capability, external tyre noise, and fuel efficiency. As it applies to all tyres, you can compare different brands. Details of the requirements are covered by Regulation Number 1222/2009 issued by the European Parliament dated 25 November 2009.
When was the label introduced?
All tyres made from 1 July 2012 must be accompanied by a tyre label. Labels will apply to tyres made with a DOT marking of 2712 and later, where 27 is the week of manufacture and 12 is the year of manufacture. From 1 November 2012 tyres made from 1 July 2012 must also be accompanied by a tyre label when sold.
Where can you find the information?
The information is available on the label attached to the tyre, in technical promotional material, at your Ford Dealer as well as on tyre manufacturers’ websites. The information should be available at the point of sale before you purchase a tyre and the information will either be printed on, or attached to, your sales invoice.
Does this apply when purchasing a new vehicle?
The regulations only apply to new cars if the customer has a choice of tyres on a new vehicle.
What does wet grip mean?
Better grip in the wet reduces stopping distances on wet roads. The label has grades A to G where A is the shortest braking distance and G is the longest braking distance. The difference between A and G could be up to 30% shorter braking distance, a distance of up to 18 metres when braking from 50 mph. Note that D and G are not used for car and van tyres.
How is fuel efficiency displayed on the label?
Fuel efficiency is measured according to the rolling resistance of the tyres in grades A to G where A is the most fuel efficient and G is the least fuel efficient. The difference between grade A and grade G means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of up to 7.5%.
How is external tyre noise displayed on the label?
The label displays black waves which represent the external rolling noise, measured in decibels where one wave is the most quiet and is more than three decibels below the future EU limit. The more black waves, the louder the tyre. With two black waves, the noise measured is between the future EU mandatory limit and three decibels below, and three black waves indicates that the noise will be above the future EU limit that will be introduced in 2016.
What is required of the Ford Dealer?
Your Ford Dealer must ensure that either tyres at the point of sale have the sticker provided by the tyre manufacturer in a clearly visible position, or that the information is provided during the purchase process when the tyres offered for sale are not visible to the customer (e.g. over the telephone). In addition your Ford Dealer must give the information printed on, or attached to, the invoice.
What tyres are covered by the regulations?
The Regulations apply to passenger cars (including Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) tyres), vans and light trucks, and trucks and buses.
What tyres are exempt from the regulations?
The following tyres are exempt from the tyre labelling regulations:
- Re-treaded tyres
- Off-road professional tyres
- Tyres designed only for a car registered for the first time before October 1990
- T-type temporary-use spare tyres
- Tyres whose nominal rim diameter does not exceed 254 mm or is 635 mm or more
- Studded tyres
- Vehicles exclusively used for racing
- Tyres manufactured before 1 July 2012
Can tyres be sold without labels after 1 November 2012?
Only tyres manufactured before July 2012 can be sold without the label from 1 November 2012. The Ford Dealer must provide the label information before selling a tyre from 1 November 2012, unless the tyres are exempt from the regulations – see question above.
Is the information on the label all I need to know to choose between different tyres?
Whilst the information on the tyre label will enable you to compare tyres on three specific measures, there are other factors which you might like to consider, such as:
- Tyre life – longevity
- Noise absorption
- Load-carrying ability
- Resistance to aquaplaning
- Steering precision
- Transmission braking force and power output
- Speed handling capability
But don’t forget that as well as tyre performance, the driver plays a key role in determining fuel economy and road safety. Tyre pressures should be checked regularly to optimise rolling resistance and grip as well as fuel economy.
Will the markings on the tyre sidewall change following the introduction of tyre labelling?
No changes to the markings on tyre sidewalls are required to comply with the tyre labelling regulations.
Can you compare the gradings for wet grip between standard summer tyres and winter tyres?
Comparing the grades for wet grip between standard summer tyres and winter tyres will not take account of the conditions for which each tyre was designed. Performance should be judged with reference to the actual usage conditions. Winter tyres will have good wet performance coupled with maximising their overall performance in more severe conditions.
Compared to standard summer tyres, winter tyres may have a different pattern design including sipes / blades and are designed to operate at temperatures below 7ºC. Therefore winter tyres have to be considered as a different category and will have a slightly different testing result calculation methodology to take into account differences in design and their intended purpose.
Does the introduction of tyre labels change the legal obligations of the driver?
The introduction of the tyre label does not change the legal obligations of the driver. The legal obligations of tyre labelling will be met by the tyre manufacturers, the tyre retailers and vehicle manufacturers. The legal obligations of drivers are unchanged and they should remember to check that their tyres have the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6 mm or risk a £2,500 fine and three penalty points on their licence.
All of the above information provided is current as at 22 October 2012 under EU Regulation No 1222/2009 (25 November 2009) and Amendment No 1235/2011 (29 November 2011).
Information on the tyre label will be provided by the manufacturer of each tyre. The gradings follow the standards laid down in the regulations.