Questions and answers concerning Nokian Tyres' magazine test manipulation

On 24 February, Nokian Tyres released the news that our practices concerning tyre tests in car media have not inall cases always in the past been in line with the sustainable approach of the company. We have openly admitted that we acted wrong, apologised for it and have taken steps to correct our actions.

The tyre comparison tests in the major Nordic, Russian and European professional car magazines have been reliable for years. Our premium products launched during the past several years have been thoroughly tested by independent testers, and the tyres have been bought from stores or control tested. 

We stress that all of our products are, and have always been, extremely safe and of high quality.

Transparency is inevitable and benefits everyone, especially the consumer

Testing by independent magazines and consumer organisations has had a great impact on consumer safety and tyre development in Europe. Testers set the targets and put weight especially on safety-related characteristics.

The introduction of complete transparency and ethical behaviour also into tyre testing processes is important for everyone involved. It is in the consumers’, testing organisations’, publishing houses’ and manufacturers’ interest. It will ensure that consumers can rely on comparative tyre testing and drive with the safest tyres also in the future. We are also proposing to create common, industry-wide ethical tyre testing principles together. We will do that, however, on our own anyway.

Have the tyres sold to consumers been safe?

Nokian Tyres have always been safe to use. You can continue, as always, to use our tyres safely and confidently.

Generations of satisfied drivers validate the top of the industry characteristics of Nokian Tyres’ products and result in consumer recommendation level of 93%.

The differences between the tyres that were sent for testing and the tyres that were sold were very small. A tyre is the product of dozens of individual characteristics that are carefully optimised to work in unison. A small adjustment has been made in order to gain an advantage of a few per cent in a test. These slight changes have not been common and they have not even been possible when the testers have bought the products off the shelf.

How will I know if the magazine tests for my tyre model have been manipulated?

Consumers can rely on comparison tests performed by high-quality testing organisations. The comparison tests by the major test organisations like ADAC in Germany and Test World, which is the most significant independent testing organisation in the Nordic countries, have been reliable for years. Their tested products are purchased from tyre retailers. Any the tyres received from manufacturers undergo additional testing in order to ensure that the tested product properties are the same.

For example, Test World has tested the successful Nokian Hakkapeliitta 8 studded tyre over 50 times in addition to the magazine testing. Most Nokian Tyres models that have achieved high rankings in tests have been available for several seasons already. This means that the testers have been able to purchase them from retailers. There has never been any attempt to influence the tests of the company’s products intended for sale in North America. Consumer Reports’ tests in the United States have always been reliable.

Nokian Heavy Tyres has never been involved in any kind of test manipulation.

Has the test manipulation covered all product groups?

The manipulation has not been a consistent action over the years. The tests by the most important testers have been reliable for several years already.

Testers purchase their products from tyre retailers whenever possible, and they also retest new tyres afterwards to confirm the results. Most Nokian Tyres models have been available for several seasons already. This means that testers have been able to purchase them from retailers.

There has never been any attempt to influence the tests of the company’s products intended for sale in North America.

Nokian Heavy Tyres has never been involved in any kind of test manipulation.

The EU tyre labels are reliable

The authority regulated measurement results concerning wet grip, fuel consumption and external rolling noise that Nokian Tyres reports on the sales labels and on its online service have always been reliable.

How large is the quality difference between a tested tyre and a tyre that the customer can buy?

The tyre tuned for the test and the tyre received by the customer have only been different in terms of characteristics, not quality. One of the dozens of different characteristics of a tyre has been slightly emphasised at the cost of another.

Which steps have you taken to correct this?

In 2015, we organised an internal examination of the former testing behaviour and, as an outcome of that examination, the company clarified its internal policy for tyre testing. The policy strictly and explicitly prohibits all misconduct in providing tyres to magazine tests. For more information

We want to be transparent and responsible and rebuild the trust in us by acting with integrity. Going forward, only products intended for commercial use will be sent to testers.

Comparative tyre testing has been the driver for safer tyres in Europe. We are also proposing to create common, industry-wide ethical tyre testing principles together. We will do that, however, on our own anyway.

The introduction of complete transparency and ethical behaviour also into tyre testing processes is important for everyone involved. It is in the interest of the manufacturers, test organizations, publishing houses and, above all, consumers.

Are you planning to offer compensation to your customers for the test manipulation?

Tests by major professional magazines have been reliable for years. Our premium products launched during the past several years have been thoroughly tested by independent testers, and the tyres have been bought from stores or control tested. Consumers who have bought tyres in recent years on the basis of test results have received tyres that match the tyres that were tested. Nokian Tyres products have always been safe to use. You can continue, as always, to use our tyres safely and confidently.

The value of Nokian Tyres’ products is based on the know-how accrued over several generations, expertise in extreme conditions and state-of-the-art technology. We see no reason for price adjustments.

Why are transparency and independent comparison tests important to consumers?

Transparency is inevitable and benefits everyone, especially the consumer. Testing by independent magazines and consumer organisations has had a great impact on consumer safety and tyre development in Europe. Testers set the targets and put weight especially on the safety-related characteristics. The safest tyres should and will be the main focus also in the future.