- Toyota has introduced tire- and wheel-protection packages for customers who buy or lease Toyota or Lexus vehicles from participating dealers.
- The new plans cover damage to tires and wheels caused by potholes, nails, glass and other road hazards.
- The plans are transferrable, if the vehicle is sold to a private party.
TORRANCE, California — Toyota Financial Services has partnered with Safe-Guard Products International to offer tire- and wheel-protection packages to customers who buy or lease a Toyota or Lexus vehicle from participating dealers.
Two packages are available, each providing up to five years of coverage against damage caused by potholes, nails, glass and other road hazards.
The first, Tire & Wheel Protection Platinum, covers replacement of any damaged tire (no plugs and patches; customers get a new tire for a qualifying claim, even for run-flat tires and aftermarket tires), replacement of a wheel if it won't hold a seal with the new tire, reimbursement of as much as $100 of towing expenses to the nearest Toyota dealer, and incidental costs, such as labor, wheel weights, valve stems, tire disposal fees and taxes.
The second plan, Tire & Wheel Protection Platinum Plus, covers everything in the Platinum plan as well as windshield repair of chips and cracks up to 6 inches in size and paintless dent repair of dings up to 4 inches in diameter.
With both plans there is no aggregate dollar limit, no limit to the number of covered claims, coverage for replacement tires as long as they meet the manufacturer's size specifications and coverage for damage that results from operational or structural failure due to defects in materials or workmanship.
Both plans allow a one-time transfer of benefits if the covered vehicle is sold to a private party.
"We've all had that moment when we hit a pothole, scraped up against a curb, or even had an unexpected blowout," said Jim Miller, national manager of product development for Toyota Financial Services, in a statement. "With our new Tire & Wheel protection plan, we hope we can make life a little easier for our customers by offering an option that will help protect them against the high costs of replacement."
According to the trade publication Modern Tire Dealer, the average price of a passenger tire in the U.S. increased 57 percent from 2006-'12. The publication's research shows that the average cost for a new tire on a passenger vehicle is $126.16, and for a light truck the cost is $179.15.
Toyota notes that not all coverage is available in all states. When asked about pricing of the Tire & Wheel Protection plans, Justin Leach, a Toyota spokesman told Edmunds: "The cost varies by class of vehicle (type of vehicle) and term length. The type of coverage provided also alters price."
Edmunds says: These plans may get some traction with consumers, especially in those parts of the country where potholes are a constant threat.