Michelin Criticizes the Auto Bild Test, in Which It Showed the Poorest Results

September 26, 2019
Michelin Criticizes the Auto Bild Test, in Which It Showed the Poorest Results

«One-sided, unrepresentative, unrealistic» — Michelin criticizes the Auto Bild tire test.

After its recent comparative tests that involved tires of different degree of wear from Continental, Goodyear, and Michelin, the Auto Bild expert group warned about the danger of driving on tires with a legal tread depth of 1.6 mm on wet pavement.

At water level only 1 mm deep, such tires demonstrated a braking distance almost three times longer than the new tires’, giving the experts every reason to call tires with a minimum legal tread depth «drivers’ nightmare». Even the tires with a tread depth of 3 mm demonstrated an excessively long braking distance.

Wet Braking

Goodyear
57.3
Continental
59.1
Michelin
60.8
Goodyear
68.9
Continental
71.2
Michelin
73.5
Goodyear
118.5
Michelin
120.2
Continental
124.3
Goodyear
150.2
Continental
154.9
Michelin
158.8

Info! Wet Braking in the range of 80–0 km/h, metres.

Tread: green - new, orange - 5mm, red - 3mm, blue -1.6mm.


Auto Bild Test Results

In his interview to Neue Reifenzeitung, the head of Michelin Group test program, Pierre Robert, criticized the Auto Bild test, describing it as «one-sided, unrepresentative, and unrealistic».

His feelings are easy to understand: Continental PremiumContact 6 and Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 showed better results regardless of the wear factor, and this considering the fact that prior to the launch of Michelin Primacy 4 (and it was this specific model that was tested by Auto Bild) the French company picturesquely and in great detailed described the invariably great grip that this tire was supposed to ensure on wet pavement, even when it’s worn down to the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6 mm.

test results
According to Michelin, its tires exceeded the average result showed by its rivals in a worn-out state in the test conducted in 2017 by the experts of TUV SUD.

The only discipline, in which the Michelin model was able to hold its own against its rivals from Goodyear and Continental, was the hydroplaning resistance test. French tires with a remaining tread depth of 1.6 mm showed the best result. However, the results demonstrated by its rivals were still very close.

While the remaining tread depth that is commonly considered to be safe to drive on is 3–4 mm, Michelin is calling upon introducing worn tire tests, claiming that you can safely drive with a remaining tread depth down to 1.6 mm.

However, the results of the used tire tests conducted by the ADAC and Auto Bild expert groups make one reconsider and question the attitude of the French manufacturer.