Consumer Reports Ranks All-Season Tires -- and More

Bob Ulrich
Posted on March 13, 2017

“Nine percent of car, SUV, truck and van crashes are caused by tires that aren’t up to snuff. Here’s how to determine whether the ones on your car need to be replaced -- before they fail.”

Those were the opening words by Jon Linkov in the April 2017 issue of "Consumer Reports (CR)." He credits the estimate to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

I wondered about that statistic and its implications, so I looked up the April 2012 study. It defined tire problems as follows:

* Blowouts or flat tires.

* Tire or wheel deficiency.

* Tire or wheel failure.

* Tire degradation.

How NHTSA defined those problems is critical to understanding the survey. It did so based on each problem’s relationship to the crash. “Tire or wheel deficiency” is assessed as an "associated factor" prior to the crash. They are documented factors “that might have played a role in crash occurrence.”

 “Tire or wheel failure” and “tire degradation” are assessed as "critical reasons for the crash." They are the “immediate reason for the critical event” and are often “the last failure in the causal chain.”

“Blowouts or flat tires” are assessed as the "critical pre-cash events." They are documented as “the circumstances that made the crash imminent.”

What are the implications of this statement? Even though the CR story goes on to rate the top all-season, performance all-season and UHP all-season tires, Linkov does not equate brand with tire failure. Neither does NHTSA, which even goes so far as to say none of its definitions “implies that a particular tire problem caused the crash.”

In many ways, both the story and NHTSA point fingers at the consumer for poor tire maintenance. That’s where I believe the responsibility for the majority of tire failures belongs. Add in accidental tire failure (i.e., running over something that causes the tire to fail, and as such is generally no one’s fault) and it becomes apparent tire manufacturers are too often blamed for crashes and crash-related fatalities.

Speaking of those CR ratings, here’s a quick summary of the magazine’s recommended all-season tires. The cost-per-mile of each, based on the price of the tire and its limited tread wear warranty, is in parentheses.

All-season

1.Michelin Defender (13 cents)

2. Continental TrueContact (18 cents)

3. General Altimax RT43 (14 cents)

4. Pirelli P4 Four Seasons (10 cents)

Performance All-Season (H-rated)

1. Continental PureContact (21 cents)

2. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus (15 cents)

3. Michelin Premier A/S (16 cents)

Performance All-Season (V-rated)

1. Continental PureContact (20 cents)

2. Michelin Premier A/S (18 cents)

3. Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus (17 cents)

UHP All-Season

1. Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+ (28 cents)

2. Pirelli P Zero All Season Plus (25 cents)

3. Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 (31 cents)

4. BFGoodrich g-Force Comp-2 A/S (19 cents)

The tires are ranked by point total, with the overall score based on up to 14 tests.

Related Topics: Consumer Reports, Continental PureContact, Continental TrueContact, General Altimax, Michelin Defender, Michelin Premier, NHTSA, Pirelli Cinturato, Pirelli P Zero

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 4 )
  • See all comments
  • pre user

     | about 2 months ago

    NHTSA let keygate get by them who would trust them with tire durability ratings ?

More Stories
News

Haas F1 Team: Sochi Practice Recap

The fourth round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at the Sochi Autodrom as teams prepared for the Russian Grand Prix Sunday.

News

Russian Grand Prix Practice Sessions

The ultrasoft tyre set a new record on its debut at the Sochi circuit, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel setting a best time in FP2 of 1m34.120s, eclipsing the previous benchmark set by reigning world champion Nico Rosberg in Q2 last year of 1m35.337s.

News

Maxam Tire Launches E-Commerce Platform

Maxam Tire North America Inc. has increased its customer service staff and extended operating hours to support “the increasing demand for the full line of Maxam specialty tire products,” the company reports.

Jeff Bootz brings 24 years experience in the tire industry to his new role as vice president of sales at Nitto Tire U.S.A.
News

Nitto Hires Jeff Bootz to Lead Sales Team

Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. has hired Jeff Bootz as vice president of sales. Bootz comes to Nitto Tire from its sister company, Toyo Tire U.S.A., and he begins his new role with Nitto on May 1, 2017.

The new Premium Guard 96 Extend Life Oil Filter series will replace the current Premium Guard entry-level series.
Product

IDUSA Releases PG96 Series Oil Filters

The new Premium Guard PG96 filter from International Distributors USA Inc. (IDUSA) is designed to deliver more than 96% filtration efficiency for particles of 25 microns or more and trap particles 4 times smaller than can be seen by the human eye.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from MTD delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the tire industry and don't miss a thing!