WASHINGTON-Michelin North America received a plug for its patented low-rolling-resistance tire technology in the ``1996 Car Book'' edited by Jack Gillis. The tire chapter in the 1996 book is nearly identical to the 1995 version, which was itself reformatted from earlier years. It provides a formula for determining a tire's value by dividing the price into the treadwear grade; it also explains the treadwear, traction and temperature resistance grades.
The 1996 chapter, however, includes a box on rolling resistance and fuel economy. ``In the past, fuel efficiency (low rolling resistance) was traded off with traction,'' the box states. ``Tires with good traction had lower fuel economy.''
``Michelin has introduced a new rubber compound that doesn't sacrifice traction for fuel economy,'' it adds. ``In order to give consumers better information and to encourage the widespread use of this new compound, we have asked that the government change its heat resistance grade to a fuel efficiency rating.''
As with last year, the chapter includes a list titled, ``America's Top-Rated Tires.'' Seven tires with a treadwear grade of 540 are listed, but the 12 tires rated at 560 in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's most recent UTQG list aren't mentioned. That list was issued Oct. 24.
Copies of the ``1996 Car Book'' may be obtained for $12.95 from bookstores or for $16.50 (including postage and handling) from the Center for Auto Safety, 2001 S St. N.W., Suite 401, Washington, D.C. 20008.