Nokian admits to cheating tyre testing for over a decade.
Nokian is known for its winter tyres that are sold throughout Europe to a large segment of the population and sales have been good based on widely advertised tyre ratings. The newspaper report cited interviews and internal emails at Nokian that suggests the practice has been going on for 10 years, something Nokian says is a problem within the industry.
Nokian’s announcement came in the wake of a recent report by Finnish business daily Kauppalehti, which cited internal emails that alleged that company had been rigging test results for the past decade. “It is difficult to comment on those emails as we have not seen them, but all I can say is that our CEO discussed the issue with the magazine in an interview on Feb. 24 in a move to be proactive about it,” a Nokian spokesman said. “We admit that we are guilty of sending pre-produced tyres for testing, sometime half a year before their production started and sometime the tyres were a bit different from the ones that went on the shelves,” the spokesman added.
The tyre maker released a statement in the aftermath of the report that said it audited its operations & clarified its rules for test tyres, which now specifically forbid any planning or manufacturing of tyres that are targeted only for car media tests. The spokesman also clarified that the practice, had stopped well over a year ago.
According to Nokian, when testing organizations asked tyre manufacturers to send tyres for tests, industry activities were “dubious.” However, many testing organizations now get test tyres from tyre stores, a way to make sure the tyres that are tested are the same tyres as sold to the public.
The company says it has been increasing transparency about its business practices while improving its ability to make ethical decisions. Furthermore, Nokian says although there have been mistakes in the past, the tyres “have always been safe” and the cheating ended in 2015.