Second Thoughts About Run Flat Tires
Are run-flat tires all they have been cracked up to be? The original idea was that these super-tires could be driven for awhile even if punctured, thereby eliminating the need to carry a spare. Many passenger cars and light trucks are now sold with four tires, rather than five. When they first came onto the market, car critics and consumers alike raved about the promised benefits and hoped for the best.
But now, that convenience has lead to a lot of complaints, not the least of which is that the specialized tires are much more expensive than regular rubber. Some drivers have expressed concern about repeated loss of tire pressure. In addition, there have been reports that particular models, including certain BMWs, show evidence of cracking in the wheel rims. This is important because, while most other makers no longer put run-flat tires on standard vehicles, BMW persists. Some technicians contend the car owners themselves are to blame, for hitting a curb or their driving technique. But, consumers really cry foul when BMW claims the high-cost repairs are not covered under warranty.
Whether manufacturer engineers have figured out a fix for the various problems remains to be seen. Meanwhile, no luxury car driver likes to be told that an obvious problem is the result of some obscure driver error.