The concept wasn’t for everyone. Honda tried but dropped run-flats after the 2009 model year. Among their drawbacks was reduced tread wear, because tire makers had to use a softer tread to offset the harsh ride caused by stiffer sidewalls. And the tires weren’t invincible. Suffer a puncture to the sidewall, and you’d still need a tow truck.
But premium brands in particular liked the benefits. Run-flat tires developed a niche demand that has held steady at 12 percent of the original-equipment market for the past four years, according to data from Edmunds.com. They remain standard equipment on select models of Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Mini.