The EU is actually planning to introduce an "Environmental label" to show the rolling resistance levels of a tire. Customers will be then able to choose quieter, more fuel efficient tires. However, this can potentially lower safety (through reduced road grip) in hard braking conditions, and Continental is raising its voice about this.
Continental also states that the EU's target is not compatible with reducing to under 25,000 the number of accident victims on European roads by 2010. Continental's CEO, Manfred Wennemer, said that statistics showed that the reduction in braking efficiency was about 10 percent lower. Take this example: two cars running at 100 km/h each and the driver slams on the brakes. By the time the vehicle with regular tires has already stopped, the one with low-rolling tires will be still running at 35 km/h.
While I believe that they should develop tires able to brake efficiently and save fuel at the same time, I also think that Continental's concerns are quite appropriate. You?