Under the new labelling regulation, all tyres produced after July 2012 and on sale in the EU from 1 November 2012 will need to be accompanied by label at point of sale providing information on wet grip, fuel efficiency and exterior rolling noise. Tyre manufacturers will, also, have to make this information available to customers through technical promotional material and their websites.
The tyre label will apply to car and sports utility vehicle (SUV) tyres, van tyres and truck tyres but not to re-treaded tyres, off-road professional tyres, tyres only fitted to cars registered for the first time before 1 October 1990, T-type temporary-use spare tyres and certain other specialist tyres.
Rolling Resistance (Fuel Efficiency)
Fuel efficiency will be rated on a sliding scale from A to G, with A being the best performers and G being the worst. The difference between each grade means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of between 2.5%-4.5%.
Mandatory reductions in rolling resistance will be introduced in November 2012, with further reductions introduced in November 2016. Tyre manufacturers and retailers have been given time to adjust to the new rules and entire market implementation is not expected until 2020.
Noise (Exterior Noise Emissions)
External noise will be measured in decibels split into 3 categories represented by black sound waves. One sound wave will demonstrate that the tyre is 3dB less than the future tighter European limit. Two black sound waves will demonstrate that the tyre is already compliant with the future European limit and three black sound waves will demonstrate that the tyre is compliant only with the current European limit.
Tyres will also have to be quieter, with new standards introduced in 2012 and entire market implementation expected by 2016.
Wet Grip (Safety Performance)
Wet grip will be measured on a scale from A to G. The difference between each grade means an increase or decrease in stopping distance of between one to two car lengths (3-6 metres) when braking at speeds of 50mph.
For more information, please see a copy of the EU Regulation (661/2009) on type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles and tyres a http://bit.ly/SOQnhh