ERJ staff report (DS)
Hanover, Germany -- Dr. Burkhard Wies, Continental's head of replacement passenger tyre development is advising against the imposition of rolling resistance labelling on consumer tyres.
In a statement on Conti's website, he said, "Designing tyres for low rolling resistance only is no great technological problem today, even for the cheapest and simplest manufacturer. The question is rather how the other safety-related properties such as braking on wet surfaces are achieved. A tyre is always a compromise. If rolling resistance is to be low, this will result in reduced braking properties on wet surfaces in simple products, for example.
We cannot accept such developments which would inevitably cause more accidents. The current ADAC winter tyre test proves that even quality products which are designed for extremely low rolling resistance and high mileage are ten percent worse at wet braking than tyres with good all-round properties like the ContiWinterContact. Editors of the German magazines "auto motor und sport", "AutoBild" and "Stiftung Warentest", for example, also came to similar conclusions. Their test parameters are designed to evaluate safety and environmental aspects equally.
Wies continued, "No-one with a sense of responsibility in the tyre industry would argue against the environmental aspect of the catalogue of demands. At the same time - and this is an extremely urgent recommendation - stricter, clear labelling must be introduced which also classifies grip on wet surfaces. The current ECE 117 regulation requires a braking distance on wet surfaces which can only be viewed as a minimum requirement. New, really clear labelling would have the advantage that car drivers would then really have a choice. At the same time, it would warn against fitting tyres with poor driving properties. Such labelling would be our minimum requirement in terms of consumer information. This recommendation is also shared by the ADAC and ETRMA, the umbrella organisation for European tire manufacturers. Classification like that of refrigerators would in no way reflect the complexity of tires as high-tech products.
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.
ful interview on Continental website