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Report: Europe To Exempt SUVs from Tire Noise Regulations

T&E, a European environmental NGO focusing on sustainable transport, reports that the European Commission is set to propose new noise and energy efficiency standards for tires with a blanket exemption for SUVs, according to draft rules seen by the organization.

Research presented by the German environment agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA) to the World Health Organization last week showed that traffic noise poses the same risks to health as passive smoking and is responsible for more damage to public health overall than road traffic accidents.

T&E published a report in February showing that close to half of all Europeans are regularly exposed to traffic noise levels that are potentially dangerous to health. The report found that noise from rail and road transport is linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year and 200,000 cases of cardio-vascular disease in the EU.

According to T&E, apart from the SUV exemption, half of all car tires sold today already comply with the proposed new noise limits.

The tire proposals also set new standards for the rolling-resistance of tires which T&E characterizes as unambitious. The organization estimates that more than 50% of the market already meet the second (final) stage of the proposed limits. If the average tire sold in Europe was as good as the current state of the art, there would be at least a 5% reduction in overall CO2 emissions from cars, according to the organization.

The European Commission proposal on new tire standards is due to be published on Friday 23 May.



John Taylor

Sustainable transport regulations with a blanket exemption for SUVs?????

Excuse me for noticing, but the SUVs are the cars most in need of these regulations. Would the European Commission also propose new theft penalties and exempt all those with a criminal past?
I think not!


This sounds like something the US would do. I would expect more from the EU.


Sorry. We can't hear you Peter.


Is this exemption safety related? I can't see on the surface why such an exemption would be made.

Brian P

If you accept the legitimate usage of an SUV as being an off-road-capable vehicle, it doesn't seem possible to make a tire that will have acceptable traction in mud or snow and which will also be exceptionally quiet on pavement.

The fact that only a small percentage of SUV's are used as per the intent of that type of vehicle is of course an entirely separate matter.

John Taylor

@ Brian P "If you accept the legitimate usage of an SUV as being an off-road-capable vehicle"

We don't accept that. Nor should we accept that a 'special usage' should give rules exemptions. Would it be OK for high end sports cars to be exempted from speed limits because they might also be used for racing? I think not.

It is quite reasonable to let those who actually do go off road in an SUV to switch tires for those occasions.

M. Ganger

Sounds like the "rich" are exempting themselves, because they are the only ones who can afford SUVs in the first place, and of course "the government". Laws are written for "the little people" not the elites.............

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