Subaru Ascent Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
If you care about where your tires are actually manufactured (country, state), you can check your tires plant code. The first two DOT characters are the plant code (how to identify the plant code). You can then use that information to look up where they were manufactured here.

The first link will also provide you with manufacturing date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Nice! Thanks for providing this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
SUMITOMO RUBBER (THAILAND) CO., LTD.R8AMPHUR PLUAKDAENGRAYONGTHAILAND
My '19 18" factory rubber.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
FWIW, this information provides for more than just a bit of academic trivia and fun. :)

There is a reason why many of the more detailed tire tests will list the manufacturing dates and plants-of-origin of their tested sets of tires - it's because this has been shown in the past to actually noticeably impact test results.

If you are specifically basing your tire purchase off of test results, pay attention if those tests discuss where their tested sets were from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,875 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
FWIW, this information provides for more than just a bit of academic trivia and fun. :)

There is a reason why many of the more detailed tire tests will list the manufacturing dates and plants-of-origin of their tested sets of tires - it's because this has been shown in the past to actually noticeably impact test results.

If you are specifically basing your tire purchase off of test results, pay attention if those tests discuss where their tested sets were from.
I never heard of that focus. I am well aware of the importance of the manufacturing date but the source of testing is news to me. Can you elaborate with some documentation? I suspect you question the reliability of some of the testing sources.:unsure:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
I never heard of that focus. I am well aware of the importance of the manufacturing date but the source of testing is news to me. Can you elaborate with some documentation? I suspect you question the reliability of some of the testing sources.:unsure:
It's not that I question the testing - it's rather that there should be some healthy suspicion of the tire manufacturers.

As with anything else that's BIG money, nothing can be taken for-granted. There have been multiple instances where manufacturers have sent "ringer" tires to tests (the following is just the quickest reference that I could find, as I remember it vividly:

From Aftonbladet (Swedish), published December 25, 2004, by Robert Collin:

Byline: "Continental sends better Tyres to Tests than to motorists."

The German tyre manufacturer CONTINENTAL is not afraid to use any means necessary to win press tyre tests. Aftonbladet can prove that this company has won tests with doctored tyres.

Winning a tyre test results in increased sales.
Here in Sweden the winner of a tyre test can increase its sales by tens of thousand of Crowns, and in large countries such as France or Germany, hundreds of millions.
If the press were to buy tyres from a dealer this problem would not exist. However, when we test winter tyres in February or March to publish the results in autumn, the new products aren’t yet on the market. To include these new products in the tests, the press has to trust the manufacturers to deliver the correct tyres.

How did they win?
This year the usually secret tyre test department in Hanover has been particularly creative.
They have produced tyres adapted to each magazine.
The winner of Aftonbladet test 2004, amongst others, was Continental Viking Contact 3.
Viking also won in Auto Motor och Sport from Norway, which puts more importance on smooth surfaces. The Norwegians received a tyre with extra rigid sidewalls.
We at AftonBladet received tyres with an extra soft rubber compound, which gives better grip on ice, the characteristic that we stress the most.
The tyre we used for the test also had sidewalls reinforced to increase stability on smooth surfaces.

We have now purchased the consumer version of the tested tyre, and carried out new tests. It is apparent that there is a great difference between the tyres. The tyres we purchased had lower grip on ice and a lower stability on smooth surfaces. It is definitely not a test winner.

Some sources from within Continental at Hanover, questioned by Aftonbladet admit that the doctoring is an important element in their activity.
“We know well of course the priorities of the different magazines and we make tyres accordingly” … says an employee.

“We must win”
“The competition is even more intense in Central Europe, and the financial turnover is so important that we simply must win the tests. That’s why we always deliver special tyres.” says another employee.

Roland Martensson, responsible for NordicWinter tyre development at Continetal, admits that there is doctoring, mainly with the competitors.

“Others are cheating”
“I know that the other tyre manufacturers are cheating, but I have never heard that we have a department specialised to this purpose”.
“If there are differences between tyres that we deliver to you, and those in the market, this is due more to production variations or productions errors” said Roland Martensson.

The proof illustrated: How Continental cheats. The rigid bead filler of the test tyre is 3,5mm longer and finishes closer to the tread. This results in a tyre with better lateral stability.
The test tyre has greater thickness and is more stable
The normal tyre – unstable and narrower"
Robert Collin (who started testing tires with the Finnish Magazine Tekniikan Maailma in 1984. Those tests were at the time considered among the most advanced and comprehensive Nordic tests available, and were published in Aftonbladet, Auto Motor och Sport (both Swedish), as well as in Finland, Norway, Russia and Estonia) also authored a second byline in the same issue:

"Several Tyre Manufacturers are Susceptible to Cheating"

The easiest doctoring to carry out is improving tyre grip at the expense of wear resistance - this being difficult to test.
A winter tyre’s characteristics are a compromise where wet, dry, snow and ice grip should be balanced in a correct manner. Also comfort and wear resistance should be satisfactory. Stability on asphalt is in direct opposition to grip in winter conditions, and grip in general is in direct opposition to wear resistance.

Is it only Continental who cheats?
It is probable that other tyre manufacturers also cheat. <translation snipped>
That's obviously above and beyond what anyone would do to, say, simply bias the test conditions in their favor in order to illustrate a particular strength of their tire versus that of their competition (which, while not unethical, doesn't provide necessarily the full picture: look for the c.2007-8 season press-launch of the then-new Michelin Xi2, where they provided direct back-to-back comparisons to event participants using their tire as well as their competitors, shaved to slightly less than half tread-depth).

Overall, those who test tires know that consumers, particularly as of the last decade or so, have gotten way too savvy for them to risk any type of shortcuts (the German automotive association ADAC, for example, led part of the initial charge in the "blind-purchase" of ties destined for their testing, upon learning of the manufacturers submitting ringers). Consumer Reports' testing methods were blasted by enthusiasts in the latter half of the 'oughts, and they've re-formatted both their testing as well as their presentation of the data accordingly. Meanwhile, the European, Scandinavian, and Nordic testing houses really have led the charge, showing North-American enthusiasts just where our own stuff was lacking.

In-short, we've always trusted the (in particular, those European, Scandinavian, and Nordic) tests: they taught us what to look for (i.e. temperature at which testing was done), and showed us the importance of quantitative data that could be directly compared (versus qualitative/subjective impressions or summaries that denied us the transparency needed to better dissect individual data sets). :) It's not the testing houses that we suspected - rather, we pretty much revered them, as their competence as well as reputations were, well, pretty much beyond question. :)

Unfortunately, while it was those very tests that discussed the variances seen in tires produced by different facilities and on different dates, they've become lost to the Internet. My most active years discussing winter tires online were between 2007 to 2009, and the discussion towards place-of-maufacture and batch-dates no longer carry valid links, with only chatter between posters asking about place-of-manufacture, for example, hinting at this concern (which we only understood because we were tracking those overseas reviews/tests).

And towards that end, please do not mis-read my post either here or above as being somehow necessarily antagonistic versus the manufacturers, either.

The plant-to-plant and even batch-to-batch variances, we should remember, can simply occur due to supply-chain differences, and not be any part of any nefarious plan to swindle us consumers. :)

Additionally, one thing which many tire enthusiasts - including myself - have speculated about but have never able to truly verify is the possibility that the manufacturers may very well be tailoring specific products to specific markets, even if that product carries the same designation: i.e. that Brand X Model Y may carry compounding and other invisible-to-us differences as they exist for, say, the European/Nordic or Far-Eastern market versus the North-American market.

So, don't read into my post above any more than what the face-value of the words suggest. It's as simple as the words would read - that if one is specifically basing their tire purchase off of test results, pay attention to see if those tests discuss where their tested sets were manufactured from. [ A specific note about the date-of-manufacture: remember that when you buy tires, it's like buying anything else as a retail consumer - that item may have sat in storage for any amount of time prior to being mounted and driven away on your vehicle. It's like buying a 2019 versus 2020 model-year 13-inch Macbook Pro, for-instance, where that difference meant some rather significant changes. If you buy a "new" set of tires from your local tire shop and it carries a date-code that suggests its is two years out from date-of-manufacture, the testing results you see of the tire from your latest issue of whatever enthusiast magazine you are basing that purchase off of may or may not be valid as applied to that tire - not to even mention the fact that you're already starting off behind the 8-ball, in terms of your ire's usable lifespan. ]

Hope this helps clarify. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Nokian got caught cheating before

So-called enthusiasts hate Consumer Reports, but fails to realize unlike other magazines, they don't request free samples from manufacturers, they use their subscription dues to go out and buy all their test samples, so manufacturers can't cheat the system.

All the tires I have had... I don't need to interpret the DOT code, as the origin is molded into the tire sidewall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
530 Posts
So-called enthusiasts hate Consumer Reports, but fails to realize unlike other magazines, they don't request free samples from manufacturers, they use their subscription dues to go out and buy all their test samples, so manufacturers can't cheat the system.
Yup.

That really was where enthusiasts got a spanking and a gut-check - everyone relied on sportsmanlike behavior, willingly ignoring the fact that money and power simply corrupts.

Now, most reputable sources are quick to cite whether such events have any manufacturer influence.

Whether people pay attention, though..... ;)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top