• Massive setback for money-saving, safer, and quieter tyres

    The introduction of road vehicle tyres that are safer, quieter and save money though lower fuel costs, have been delayed by up to fourteen years following a vote today in the European Parliament.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The new tyre standards should have been introduced between 2012 and 2016 according to the European Commission’s original legal proposal. But the European Parliament, under pressure from the tyre industry, added a two to four year grace period before all tyres have to comply, followed by a further 30 months when existing stock can be sold off by retailers.

    Nina Renshaw of T&E said: “The industry has cynically exploited the current economic climate to postpone progress on cleaner, safer tyres for years to come. At the end of the day it is their customers who will be hurt by this. We are talking about technology that saves lives, saves money, and reduces impacts on health and the environment. Thanks to today’s vote we’ll have to wait until 2023 to see the full effects.”

    “These standards ask nothing more than what can already be achieved using existing technology. For example around 90% of lorry tyres currently on the market already meet the new noise standards.”

    Luckily, the European Commission still has the opportunity to undo some of the damage when the technical details of this law are worked out under the so-called ‘comitology’ procedure. The 30-month delay could be shortened. In T&E’s view, it is essential that it is.

    The standards that apply to noise levels from van tyres could also be rendered meaningless. Bizarrely, the Parliament created a loophole whereby tyres can be categorised under a classification not properly defined in the law. Under the ‘traction snow tyres’ category, tyres can be up to 4 decibels noisier. An increase of just 3 decibels effectively doubles the noise level.