The primary objective of this project is to increase the fatigue life of aluminium wheels and to prevent the fatigue failure of the wheel above the bolt hole region. In the testing and validation of wheels, the cornering fatigue test (CFT) plays an important role in deciding the stiffness of the wheel. In CFT testing, the wheel will be fixed in the bottom flange, and the bending moment will be applied, according to the load rating of the wheel multiplied by its corresponding test factor. CFT testing results of aluminium wheels showed crack above the bolt hole region in most of the cases. To prevent this mode of failure, and also to improve the fatigue life of the wheel further, it has been found that increasing the localized hardness above the bolt hole region will improve the fatigue life in CFT. Laser peening is a surface hardening technique by which the surface hardness of the material will be enhanced, along with which hardness and compressive residual stresses will be imparted on the surface in which the treatment is done. The depth of the high magnitude compressive stresses will greatly improve the material’s resistance to fatigue failure. In aluminium wheels, laser peening was done circumferentially around the bolt hole region to induce localized compressive stress and increase the hardness in that area. The wheel in which laser peening was done was tested on CFT and showed a significant improvement in life. © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd 2021.