Run-Flat Tires: Solving a Problem or Creating One?
New York Times
March 11, 2007
RUN-FLAT tires, which have been offered on some new cars for the last few years, are a soothing security blanket. They can be driven for miles after losing their air, allowing drivers to delay fixing a flat until there is a safe place to stop and avoiding a harrowing tire change along a busy highway.
But consumers have begun to report problems with the tires.
Jennifer Stockburger, a senior tire-test engineer for Consumer Reports magazine, said the tires offered a safety advantage, but the tire forum on its Web site (consumer.org) had many complaints from run-flat owners about higher-than-expected replacement costs, difficulty getting repairs and what some considered excessive wear.
Some owners have been unhappy enough to make a federal case of it, resulting in two class-action suits. The latest was filed on Monday in United States District Court in Los Angeles against Honda and Michelin.t