The main safety feature of run-flat tires is that they are designed to prevent a driver from losing control when a tire loses pressure, especially at high speeds. Equally important is that a driver can continue traveling on a punctured run-flat tire for as far as 125 miles.
Run-flat tires keep driver in control
There are two types of run-flat tires: auxiliary support and self-support. Auxiliary support tires have a structure inside the tire that can support the weight of the car when the tire deflates. Self-supporting tires have highly reinforced sidewalls that can support the weight of the vehicle.
The technology is still limited to premium brands; notable exceptions are the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna minivans in the United States. The Mazda MX-5 Miata offers run-flat tires as an option.
Nearly all BMW models are equipped with run-flats. The tires are available in the Audi A4, A6 and A8 models. Mercedes-Benz offers run-flat tires on the S class and the SLK class. Cadillac and Lexus also offer run-flat tires.
Costs, weight and ride quality are the main issues.
Most tire makers, including Michelin, Continental, BF Goodrich, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Pirelli and Yokohama.