Stockholm, Sweden, A Swedish court has ruled that Nokian Tyres may not use its proprietary winter Ice label. Infringements may trigger a SEK 1 million penalty.
Michelin Nordic AB brought the action, suggesting a penalty of up to SEK 2 million be imposed on Nokian for its actions. The case was heard in summary by Per Carlson, Chairman, Christer Fallenius, Lennart GÃ¶ranson and Anders Stenlund at the Market Court in Stockholm. The hearing took place yesterday (22 November) after Nokian had agreed to withdraw the label.
The label offers an ice and snow rating in the style of the new European tyre label which gives consumers information on wet grip, rolling resistance and pass-by noise.
The argument is that the label is not backed by agreed, standardised tests, and there are no agreed limits on performance, so the label has no meaning. The suggestion is that such a meaningless label devalues the officially-sanctioned EU label.
There is concern throughout the European tyre industry that the label as defined in law is designed to compare summer tyres. The technology of winter tyres means that the good performance in snow, ice and temperatures around 0Â°C inevitably means that the tyre will perform poorly in tests designed to be carried out at more elevated temperatures. The physics of rubber technology mean there is a conflict between delivering good performance in winter conditions and achieving a good score in the standardised tests for summer tyres.