According to J.D. Power’s 2013 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction study released Thursday, approximately one-third of the car buyers whose 2011 or 2012 vehicles had run-flat tires “had to replace at least one of them because of a flat or blowout, compared with 19% of those driving on standard tires.” This is due, in large part, to the fact that run-flat tires cannot be repaired and tire manufacturers often recommend replacing them in pairs to keep the tread wear balanced.
The findings, released Thursday, were based on more than 30,000 responses from owners of new 2011 and 2012 models and covered only original-equipment tires. Because of the higher failure rates, respondents with run-flat tires reported replacing at least two of them at an average of 16,000 miles, compared with an average of 22,559 miles for respondents whose vehicles had standard tires.
The study said the most commonly reported tire problems are road hazards or punctures, slow leaks, excessive road noise and fast tread wear.
Power alao reported that “overall satisfaction among owners of luxury vehicles equipped with run-flat tires is 728 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 739 among luxury vehicle owners with standard tires. Owners of performance sports vehicles with run-flat tires reported an even lower satisfaction rating of 665, compared with 732 for owners with standard tires.”
“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,” stated Brent Gruber, director of Power’s global automotive division Gruber.“The challenge is doing this while finding tires that meet customers’ expectations. Run-flat tires are not currently meeting those expectations.”
*Run-flat tires are pneumatic vehicle tires designed to resist the effects of deflation when punctured, and to enable the vehicle to continue to be driven at reduced speeds (up to 55 mph) and for limited distances of 100-200 miles depending on the type of tire.