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Michelin shines light on worn tire performance and testing

Standardized worn tire testing further proves that not all tires are created equal.

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Jon Wong

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1 of 36 Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Michelin wants to start the conversation about standardized worn tire testing.

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The French tire producer says 400 million tires are removed prematurely around the world each year, costing drivers more than $25 billion.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the end of the road for a tire is when it reaches 2/32-inch tread depth.

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Michelin's proposed tread depth for worn tire testing is at 3/32-inch tread depth.

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Michelin set up a wet handling test on two mystery all-season tires in new and worn condition.

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Even between the new condition tires, there was a noticeable difference in turn in, cornering and braking performance in the wet conditions.

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In worn condition, the performance gap was even more apparent with the Brand A tire dropping off some, but still offering decent performance.

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The Brand B tire saw more substantial decline in performance, requiring more careful driving.

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Rubber compound, contact patch shape and tread design are all major factors in a tire's ability to maintain performance throughout its life cycle, according to Michelin.

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In the wet braking test, the Brand A tire once again bettered the Brand B tire in both new and worn condition.

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Click or scroll through to see more images of Michelin's wet handling test.

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