The free run-flat tire road hazard warranty your tire shop forgot to tell you about
The single most popular story of the approximately 1200 this writer has published at Torque News is our “thumbs-down of run-flat tires” based on real-life use. Readers can’t stop commenting in support of, or to express their opposition to, run-flats. One little-know fact about these types of tires is that Pirelli, Continental, and Yokohama all offer road hazard insurance on the run-flat tires they make at no added cost. A reader and fan of Torque News, Dr. HHT, who owns a BMW and had her second puncture in a BMW's run flat tire this week, brought the included insurance to our attention. Had we looked more closely at the comments under our prior story we could have written this sooner. Reader “MZMPortland” pointed out the warranty on the Pirelli brand in the comments from 2014.
We looked into the run-flat road hazard warranty first on Pirelli tires. The Pirelli program is not to be confused with a standard warranty against defects. This is a road hazard warranty just like the ones that car dealers and tire shops sell to you at an added cost above and beyond the price of the tires and mounting. Pirelli’s included free warranty, according to its website:
"If a Run Flat tire becomes unserviceable due to workmanship or material irregularities or road hazard injury during the initial warranty period, the tire will be replaced to the owner at no charge. The initial warranty period lasts one year from the date of original retail purchase (purchase receipt required) or within the first 2/32" of original tread, whichever occurs first. After the initial warranty period, if a Run Flat tire becomes unserviceable due to workmanship and material irregularities or road hazard injury, the owner must pay the cost for a comparable new Pirelli brand or PTNA private brand replacement tire on a pro-rated basis.”
Looking deeper, we found that Continental also offers a free, included road hazard warranty. Tire Rack has a summary page listing the Mfgs. that do and don’t (though we found an added one they left off). Tire Rack says of Continental’s warranty “Replaced free of charge first year or first 2/32" of wear (whichever comes first). Continental advises that a repair to one of its tires invalidates all other manufacturer's warranties.”
Tire Rack also says that Yokohama offers a “5-year prorated replacement until worn to 2/32" of remaining tread depth if punctured in RMA defined repairable area.” We could not find those warranties on the Continental or Yokohama sites after some searching, but it is well worth asking your new-car dealer or car dealership for information on the tires.
One very interesting website we did find was Bridgestone’s. They have a road hazard for all of their tires, not just run-flat models. The Bridgestone site says “For additional peace of mind, the DriveGuard Supplemental RoadHazard Limited Warranty covers eligible tires that become damaged or unusable for any reason resulting from a road hazard (e.g. cut, snag, bruise, impact, or puncture). This warranty, given to promote goodwill, is a supplement to the Limited Warranty applicable to your tires.” Interestingly, the site says that in New York this warranty does not apply. Odd.
We hope this information may be helpful to tire owners when shopping for cars or new tires. If you are offered a road hazard warranty at an extra cost, be sure the tires are not already covered.
Image courtesy of the BMW public information site.