By Shahrzad Pourriahi, Crain News Service
NOKIA, Finland (Feb. 29, 2016) — Group Michelin is denouncing claims by Nokian Tyres P.L.C. that the use of specially made tires to improve results in tire-tests was common practice in the industry.
Michelin's comments were in response to an acknowledgement recently by Nokian that it had engaged in providing “bespoke” tires to testing centers in order to achieve better results.
“We admit that we are guilty of sending pre-produced tires for testing, sometime half a year before their production started and sometime the tires were a bit different from the ones that went on the shelves,” a company official told European Rubber Journal (ERJ) recently.
Nokian is sorry about this practice, which has been “quite normal” in the tire industry, he added.
Michelin, however, insisted it had “never designed or manufactured tires specifically for tests conducted by the media, automobile associations or any other organizations,” according to a statement released Feb. 29.
The French tire maker added that it had “for years conducted reproducible tests that reflect real-life driving conditions using series production tires.
“Michelin has always been committed to ensuring that the conditions used to test its tires faithfully represent the conditions encountered by consumers in their actual day-to-day usage.”