Commission relies on tyre fitters to give emissions and noise advice

July 15, 2009

The Commission has rejected several suggestions by MEPs to make the forthcoming revised EU law on tyre labelling easier for the public to understand.

Following April’s first reading by the European Parliament, the Commission re-tabled the draft legislation, accepting some suggestions but rejecting the majority. Among the suggestions rejected was a recommendation for a ‘low noise mark’ to let buyers know which are the quietest tyres, and a website that would include a fuel efficiency calculator.

T&E policy officer Nina Renshaw said: ‘The Commission obviously wants to drop all suggestions that would ensure the scheme is properly communicated to consumers. These include an explanatory website, explanatory information with the receipt, and an on-line fuel savings calculator so drivers can see how much
fuel and money they will save.

‘The Commission is pinning hopes on tyre fitters in work-shops and garages across Europe explaining to customers what the labels mean. That’s just not realistic. Brussels has a responsibility to communicate properly if it wants its scheme to have any results in fuel savings, better road safety and reduced noise disturbance. We call on member states to support the MEPs over this, so the best tyres reach the public.’

Among the suggestions from MEPs that Brussels has accepted are to change the legislation from a directive to a regulation, which will mean it goes direct into national law, and to adapt the A-G labelling system for use on snow and
other winter tyres.

The Swedish presidency hopes to conclude the
regulation’s legislative passage by the end of the year.