Run-Flat Tires Disappoint, Study Finds


  • Run-Flat Tire Picture

    Run-Flat Tire Picture

    A new study finds consumers are not happy with run-flat tires. | April 02, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Run-flat tires, which help cut vehicle weight to boost fuel efficiency, are proving to be a disappointment to consumers, a new J.D. Power and Associates report finds.
  • Consumers with run-flat tires are twice as likely to have to replace their tires as are those with standard tires, the report said.
  • Run-flat tires are not meeting "expectations," said the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study. effort.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California — Run-flat tires were designed to help eliminate tire-changing by the side of the road. They also cut vehicle weight by doing away with the spare tire, helping to boost fuel economy. But run-flats are proving to be a disappointment to consumers, a new J.D. Power and Associates report finds.

Consumers with run-flat tires are twice as likely to have to replace their tires as are those who have vehicles with standard tires, the report said. Run-flats typically are replaced sooner than conventional tires, too.

Study respondents also griped about low-rolling-resistance tires.

Run-flats allow automakers to skip the traditional spare tire in the trunk. The spare adds more weight to the car, which burns more gas.

Run-flat tires are not meeting "expectations," said the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study.

"Automakers are trying to reach the next level of fuel economy and are looking to their suppliers — in this case, tire manufacturers — to help them get there," said Brent Gruber, director, global automotive division at J.D. Power and Associates. "The challenge is doing this while finding tires that meet customers' expectations. Run-flat tires are not currently meeting those expectations."

Nearly one-third of customers whose vehicles are equipped with run-flat tires have had to replace at least one tire, compared with just 19 percent of those whose vehicles are equipped with standard tires, the report said.

In addition, customers with vehicles equipped with standard tires replace their tires after an average of 22,559 miles, more than 6,000 miles beyond the average life of run-flat tires.

Run-flat tires are used mainly for luxury and performance vehicles. The study is based on responses from more than 30,835 new-vehicle owners who purchased a 2011 or 2012 model-year vehicle.

Edmunds says: Run-flat tires may not be the innovation they're billed to be.

Comments

  • joe_scuba joe_scuba Posts:

    So how much gas does the spare tire require? I know think that the added gas mileage is not measurable, it's more a pr claim.

  • se_riously se_riously Posts:

    Joe_scuba - What is easily measurable how much room a spare tire/wheel eats into trunk space. To compensate for that space, you have to make the trunk bigger, which of course adds weight (in addition to the tire/wheel itself).

  • andys120 andys120 Posts:

    Let's hope someone @ BMW-NA reads this study. They ought to at least give buyers a choice to specify run flat or regular tires. The article does not mention that RFTs are pretty expensive to replace, around $200 each IIRC.

  • ks55 ks55 Posts:

    Had them on my 2002 and 2011 Mini Cooper S....and hated every mile...until I got fed up and replaced them........WHAT A DIFFERENCE. Cannot understand BMW/Mini fascination with these heavy thumpers but seems a can of special tire seal goop in the trunk would make the BMW accountants and the public much happier. Lose the Runflats BMW ...they suck

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    "Run-Flat Tires Disappoint, Study Finds". Ha! More like Run-Flat Tires have been disappointing for a good while, I've found. Also, in breaking news, the Earth's gravity keeps you from flying off into space. Run-Flats were a good concept that just didn't work out, not to mention they also make the ride rougher, and we should have moved on a long time ago. If anyone is still undecided, go read about Run-Flats in a BMW Forum...

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Was there a minimum word count requirement for submitting this article? Because a number of lines were just repeated multiple times. ("Run flat tires did not live up to expectations" was a particularly egregious example).

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