By Denna Bowman
New rules for safer, greener and quieter car tyres are being introduced by the European Parliament and from as early as 2011 all new cars will be fitted with compulsory tyres pressure monitoring systems.
The rolling resistance and pressure of tyres affect the noise levels and CO2 emitted by vehicles, but the new EU laws are set to reduce these levels, lower fuel consumption and improve safety.
The regulation also makes the installation of tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) in private cars compulsory.
MEPs also drew a clear link between this proposal and the CO2 package, and stressed the need for accurate TPMS on cars, because significant fuel consumption gains are best insured by properly inflated tyres, with significant fuel consumption losses incurred with only a marginal tyre pressure loss.
New safety technology, already available on a significant number of new vehicles, will also be introduced to help cut accident risks. The regulation will make such technology compulsory on all cars, for example electronic stability control (ESC), which helps the driver keep control of his vehicle.
The House also tightened up the definitions of tyres, for example limiting the possibility of installing off-road professional tyres on 4×4 cars marketed for private or leisure use.
The single regulation, which will apply to all the Member States, will replace around 50 existing directives, bringing them all under one umbrella.
The legislation will phase in the mandatory use of electronic stability-control systems on cars between 2011 and 2014. The law will require low-rolling resistance tyres and tyres pressure monitoring systems for cars from 2012.