STRASBOURG, France (April 23, 2009)—The European Parliament has adopted the European Commission's draft legislation, with significant amendments, on tire labeling, which will require tires sold in the European Union starting in 2012 to carry sidewall information on fuel economy, wet grip and noise emissions.
The amended rules now go before the Council of Ministers for approval.
Among the amendments accepted into the final text of the rule was the change from a directive to a regulation. This means the rule passes directly into EC law without national parliaments needed to pass their own regulations in each member state.
A second amendment, proposed by the tire industry, states: “Tire manufacturers should be encouraged to optimize all parameters, without undercutting safety standards which have already been achieved.”
The tire industry also won an argument to permit winter tires to be assessed “on an equal footing” with normal tires.
Another amendment requests tire makers include on their Web sites a tool that would allow consumers to calculate the financial and CO2 cost of their potential tire purchases by use of calculators.
On the negative side, tire makers are being “encouraged” to comply with the regulation before its formal introduction in 2012.
The EU is being asked to set up a Web site that explains each of the components of the label — fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise emissions — and their relevance and includes a fuel-savings calculator that demonstrates average savings of fuel, CO2 and costs.
The site should be in operation before 2010
A number of other minor changes were made. Among them, the definition of a “point of sale” does not now include warehouses and storage facilities.