It appears that automakers aren't the only ones willing to cheat their way to victory. Apparently, tire manufacturers can play the same games, and Finnish tire maker Nokian admitted to creating special tires for the purpose of winning media comparos.
Bloomberg cited a report put out by Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti, which claimed that Nokian changed up its tires during comparison tests to secure victories. "In past years, when the testing organizations asked manufacturers to send them tyres for the tests, activities in the industry were dubious," the company said in a statement. "On our behalf, we apologise and regret the mistakes we have made in the past."
Nokian CEO Ari Lehtoranta said that the company had used these ringers prior to his appointment as chief executive. In its statement, the company claims that it now forbids creating tires built specifically for media tests.
Not that it matters, because the statement also points out that most outlets now retrieve tires directly from tire stores, so they're buying the same ones that consumers pick up. Altering tires can dramatically change a car's characteristics, affecting everything from fuel economy to grip to noise, vibration and harshness.