Vehicle manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz now supply cars with brand-specific original equipment (OE) tyre identification markings. This has given rise to uncertainty in the correct identification for tyre choice. Customers are now faced with a choice of whether non OE marked replacement tyres are permissible. The details below are to assist you in making an informed choice when replacing tyres on your vehicle.
The MO prefix refers to a special type of approved tyre which is now supplied on most current Mercedes-Benz models. Mercedes-Benz recommend in instances where tyres with MO designation are fitted as original equipment that these tyres provide the optimum performance properties. Furthermore, for some tyre sizes e.g. 205/45ZR17 MO, the tyre dimensions have been designed to fit the available space in the wheel arch. This means that MO tyres may turn out to be narrower than tyres of the same indicated size without MO designation.
Tyres with original equipment markings have been specifically designed to comply with the needs of the respective vehicle manufacturer, i.e. they have been ‘fine-tuned’ to fulfill the unique characteristics requested, e.g. comfort, rolling resistance, handling, wet performance, road noise etc. Tyres without original equipment markings are adapted to meet the general requirements of a range of different vehicles and hence are a compromise of performance criteria.
Original Equipment markings currently have no legal meaning, they ‘only’ qualify as manufacturer recommendations. There is no statutory requirement to abide by this recommendation. This being the case, the customer is free to decide if he wants to equip his Mercedes-Benz with MO marked tyres or not. However, if a vehicle is involved in an accident and the tyres are deemed to be a contributory factor it is possible that this may invalidate the vehicle insurance.