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J.D. Power Study Rates Tire Brands, Says Run Flat Tires Require More Frequent Replacement

March 29, 2013

J.D. Power and Associates released the results of its 2013 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study, which rates customer satisfaction with different tire types and brands. The study measured tire owner satisfaction in four vehicle segments, including luxury, passenger car, performance sport, and truck/utility. The study asked owners to rate tire wearability, tire appearance, tire traction and handling, and tire ride quality after 2 years of ownership for brands in each segment.

By brand, the top-scoring tires include Michelin, in three of the four vehicle segments measured, with scores of 775 in the luxury category, 729 in the passenger car category, and 751 in the performance sport category. Pirelli ranked highest in the truck/utility segment, with a score of 737.

One key finding is that vehicle owners with run-flat tires had to replace them up to twice as frequently as standard tires. According to J.D. Power, nearly one-third (31%) of owners of vehicles with run-flat tires said they had to replace at least one tire, compared with 19% of owners of vehicles with standard tires. Owners of vehicles equipped with standard tires also reported they replace their tires after an average of 22,559 miles, which is 6,000 more miles beyond the average life of run-flat tires.

Another key finding is that vehicle owners surveyed said they were apprehensive about low-rolling resistance tires. J.D. Power Consumer Insights and Strategy Group tracked social media mentions of low-rolling resistance tires found that vehicle owners generally believe the automakers select the best tires for their vehicles. The group also found that consumers were confused about the trade-offs between low-rolling resistance tires and regular tires.

Next, the report said customers found fewer problems with their original equipment tires for the fourth year in a row, at a rate of 74 problems per 100 vehicles (pp100), down from 76 pp100 in 2012, and 84 pp100 in 2011. Problems most frequently encountered include road hazards and punctures, slow leaks, excessive road noise, and fast treat wear. J.D. Power said overall satisfaction with OE tires was 135 points lower among tire owners who experienced a specific problem than it was for those who didn’t (748 vs. a score of 613).

J.D. Power fielded the study between Oct. and Dec. 2012 and the company uses responses from 30,835 new-vehicle owners to determine the results in the study.

The chart below shows tire satisfaction scores by brand.

J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study 
Luxury Vehicles  
Tire Brand Score
Michelin 775
Continental 725
Dunlop 717
Goodyear 715
Pirelli 712
Bridgestone 704
Segment Average 738
Passenger Cars  
Tire Brand Score
Michelin 729
Pirelli 712
Goodyear 689
Firestone 688
Dunlop 662
Continental 653
Bridgestone 651
Hankook 645
Nexen 641
Kumho 632
Yokohama 618
Toyo 608
Segment Average 676
Performance Sport  
Tire Brand Score
Michelin 751
Pirelli 750
Bridgestone 721
Goodyear 687
Continental 644
Segment Average 728
Tire Brand Score
Pirelli 737
Michelin 735
Bridgestone 690
BFGoodrich 682
Goodyear 663
Dunlop 627
Segment Average 676
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