Study says run-flat tire customer satisfaction lower
Run flat tires primarily serve two car segments, performance, and luxury vehicles. A new study by J.D. Power and Associates says that owners of such vehicles prefer non-run flat tires. The preference for non-run flat tires was strongest in the performance car category.
The study surveyed owners of vehicles who have had their car and tires for two full years. That helps to minimize any adjustment that might be expected when a customer accustomed to non-run flats switches over to a new type of tire. The survey asked owners to rate their satisfaction concerning four areas; Tire wear, tire ride, tire appearance, and tire traction/handling. The group then created a 1,000-point scale to rank the satisfaction of the customers. Higher is better.
Importantly, the study also tracked how often owners of both types replaced tires over the first two years. Although the percentage of non-run flat replacements in the first year was slightly higher (10% compare to 7% for run-flats), by the end of two years the run flats are replaced much more often. At least one run-flat being replaced 27% of the time compared to just 16% of non-run flats.
In the performance-sport segment, run flats rated 612. Non-run flats did better in this category with a score of 685. Performance-sport vehicles might be a vehicle like a BMW 335i or Mini Cooper S. In the luxury segment, the non-run flats are again preferred by customers with a comparative score of 712 to 688.
Commenting on this result, Brent Gruber, director, global automotive division at J.D. Power "The use of run-flat tires is likely to increase as automakers continue to view them as a viable option for improving fuel efficiency by eliminating the need for a spare tire, thereby reducing the weight. It's vital that auto and tire manufacturers address the ride and wear issues, which are still not meeting customer expectations.”
The J.D. Power and Associates study shows that customers prefer non-run flat tires and that standard tire designs prove to be more durable that run-flat tires by a significant amount.
Note: One of the most popular and most replied-to posts ever at Torque News is our story from May 2104 called “We put BMW run-flat tires to the test and give them a thumbs-down.” You can read the story at the link. Based on this study, has your opinion of run-flat tires changed at all?
Image courtesy of BMW public information page.