The new standards, which update a set of standards which have long ceased to act as an incentive to improvements in noise and fuel efficiency, set obligatory levels for rolling resistance, tyre pressure monitoring systems, and noise limits.
But the draft revision, which was published last month, allows for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to be exempt. As the revision is one of several 'parallel measures' which will allow car makers to have a target of 130 g/km of CO2 for new cars (as opposed to the EU's overall target of 120 g/km), the concession to SUVs has angered environmental groups.
'Cars are no quieter now than in the 1970s,' said T&E policy officer Nina Renshaw. 'The EU has an embarrassing record on cutting noise from road traffic, so giving concessions to Europe's noisiest cars is totally incomprehensible.'
The Commission seems to be denying that SUVs will be exempt, saying officials will take further measures after the revision is published to ensure SUV tyres are regulated.
Apart from the exemption of SUVs, T&E also says the proposals do not go far enough to address the fact that around half of Europe's citizens suffer from the effects of excessive road noise, such as sleepless nights, heart problems, and impacts on learning abilities.
'We need tough standards that require and inspire innovation and new technology in the industry,' Renshaw added. 'This has been the case with emissions standards for new cars, so why not with tyres?'