Nokian may not be a household name in the United States, but the Finnish tire manufacturer is taking a bold move by offering a standard “Pothole Protection” warranty for its new all-season passenger car tire. Called the One, the tire is designed specifically for the North American market and carries an 80,000-mile tread-life warranty in addition to the pothole protection.
Tire road hazard warranties, not to be confused with treadwear warranties, have been around for decades but remain one of the most confusing and misunderstood aspects of a tire purchase. Intended to protect the consumer against tire failure due to potholes and other road debris, they are generally a point of sale add-on underwritten by a separate entity and include plenty of fine print. That said, some tire retailers, including the Tire Rack, now offer limited road hazard warranty protection as part of the sale price.
By contrast, the Nokian One warranty specifically states, “if a tire is damaged beyond repair by rough roads, potholes or curbs, the company will replace it free of charge.” Curious if that warranty extended to more traditional damage like punctures, Nokian confirmed to Forbes Wheels, “the Pothole Protection warranty covers damage beyond repair from any road hazard, not just potholes and rough roads. If a road hazard damages the tire beyond repair, Nokian Tyres will replace it at no cost.”
Nokian credits the tire’s durability to Aramid fibers embedded in the sidewall. A synthetic fiber, Aramid is used in the aerospace and marine industries, as well as in the manufacture of bullet-resistant tactical vests. Versions of the product are sold under the trade names Kevlar and Nomex among others. Brands including BF Goodrich, Goodyear and Kumho all currently utilize Kevlar, but primarily in tires designed for serious off-road use.
Treadwear warranties for passenger car tires have been inching to the 100,000-mile mark for a few years now, but the One’s 80,000-mile treadwear expectancy is still impressive. Nokian credits the durability to its modern silica compound engineered to give the tire versatile properties for a wide range of temperatures while remaining robust enough to withstand intense wear in hot summer weather. A non-directional tread pattern promotes even wear and allows for various rotation methods. Still, most treadwear warranties are conditionally based on the tire’s history, including documented rotations, repairs and vehicle wheel alignment, among other items.
Offered in a wide range of sizes from 14 to 20 inches, the Nokian One all-season passenger tire joins the One HT light truck and SUV tire introduced last year as part of the maker’s effort to serve the needs of a wide variety of owners.
In addition to the One’s tread longevity, Nokian claims the tire is the quietest any all-season passenger tire it has sold in North America to date, tread pattern reducing exterior noise by 12 percent.
Nokian Tyres will produce the tire at its state-of-the-art factory in Dayton, Tennessee, and at its other two factories in Europe.