The programme DID present Accelera tyres as a fake - on the grounds that the tread pattern was virtually identical to the Continental Contact tyre. The warning to the public was that someone could pass this tyre off as being the equivalent of the Continental, even though its performance was worse. "I've got this one mate, you can see its just the same as the Continentals you had on, but its only half the price"
When they were examining the computer printouts towards the end of the piece, although they had concealed the name of the budget tyre, the camera moved slightly and you could clearly see the name Accelera.
The only test shown on the programme was an inline braking test from 70mph on a wet road. I genuinely believe the test to be have been fairly conducted, and also I would expect Conti to have picked the test where the performance gap was the greatest. There may be another set of circumstances where a fully warmed up Accelera equals the performance of the Conti, or lasts twice as long.
However, its no good arguing that your Accelera tyres were within 2% of the dry cornering speed of a Continental Contact 3, when you are trapped under the tailboard of an artic on the M25 in the pouring rain waiting to be cut out.
As for doing other tests, the only ones with any validity are the ones done with sufficiently accurate intrumentation and skilled test drivers - the best one of us can hope for is a subjective opinion on how it feels to drive, an area which is notoriously unreliable. Several authoritative bodies and journals have done comparative testing on vehicle tyres. In each and every case, premium brands come out on top, when taken across all categories, because the millions of £'s/Euros put into research actually DOES improve the product. I can see no justification for choosing to disbelieve the tests shown on BBC just because it doesn't fit with what you WANT to believe.
Twissler makes a very valid point - there is a judgement to be made between price and performance. Although it is safety-related, there is nothing in law at the moment to stop you economising on the cost of critical components and compromising the safety of your car. However, I would think most members bought their Alfas because they believed it was the best performance car in its sector and price - so why compromise?
Reading some of the prior comments related to the Accelera tyres, it is very clear that most members believed they had bought tyres that were the equivalent of the premium brands, but at a budget price. Hopefully, now that the shortfalls have been highlighted, people with these tyres will adjust their driving accordingly in severe conditions.
My point was that all of these programmes avoid the whole story, and you can't just accept what they say hook line and sinker (for example different tyres will perform differently on different cars), I don't have Acceleras and in fact I always ran Conti's on my 156 because that's what they came with, so I'm not plugging Acceleras.
I'd be surprised that many folks here actually thought they were getting something for nothing and that they weren't making some sort of compromise when buying a budget tyre. They may not have understood the degree of the compromise, but it doesn't sound like the show helped much there either with the exception of those dimensions that made the best coverage.
Tyres do make a difference, I always ran N rated P-Zero Rosso's on my 911, but at the same time I also make sure the tracking is done regularly on my cars, that the brakes are in good condition, tyres inflated correctly, I don't put a mobile to my ear while driving and I keep a safe distance.
The other thing that will dramatically alter your tyres performance is the amount of tread left, did they measure the relative efficiency as the tyre depth decreased? You'll be surprised how much braking distance increases even with 50% tread life left, it isn't consistent throughout the tyres life.
I'd be willing to bet a new set of Acceleras would stop a car faster than a car with a set of Conti's down to the last 30/25/10% of tread life because you couldn't afford to change them.
There are no absolutes, get the right tyre for your car and driving style, look after them (inflated correctly, check wear patterns, don't run them down to the thread) along with your suspension & brakes, don't drive while tired or right up someones ars*, and stay off the damn phone, and you'll be fine.
Or hey, buy a set of Conti's and sod everything else cause you'll be fine!