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Uniform tire quality grading

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An image of a Uniform Tire Quality Grading (UTQG) Guide.

Learn what tire quality grading is and why it matters to you.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) established a rating system known as Uniform Tire Quality Grading to provide consumers with useful information to help them purchase tires. It's made up of three components:

  • Tread wear

The tread wear grade is a comparative rating based on the wear rate of the tire when tested under controlled conditions on a specified government test track. A tire graded 200 would wear twice as long on the government test course under specified test conditions as one graded 100. Tread wear grades cannot be used to project tire mileage, because a number of variables affect wear, including driving habits, service practices, differences in road characteristics and climate.

  • Traction

Traction grades — AA, A, B and C — go from highest to lowest. They represent the tires’ ability to stop on wet pavement as measured under controlled conditions on specified government test surfaces of asphalt and concrete. The testing does not take into account cornering, hydroplaning or acceleration.

  • Temperature

Temperature grades — A, B and C — go from highest to lowest and represent the tires’ resistance to heat generation.

While the ratings are established by NHTSA, tire manufacturers and independent testing companies perform the validation testing, meaning there can be inconsistencies in testing and results.



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