Auto Club Warns Vehicle Spare Tires May Soon Be A Thing Of Past

Automotive
(LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25, 2012) – Buying a car can be a stressful experience. One thing buyers could depend upon was that the new vehicle they were about to purchase included a spare tire. That may not always be the case now. To meet new government fuel efficiency standards some vehicle manufacturers are omitting heavy spare tires and equipping new vehicles with an emergency sealant and inflator kit or tires that if damaged can run reasonable distances without air.
  
Why did manufacturers do this? According to the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center Manager Steve Mazor, two years ago, the Dept. of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency established new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for vehicle model years 2012 to 2016. The new standards are set at a combined 29.7 mpg for the 2012 model year, increasing to 34.1 mpg by 2016.
 
Achieving these standards will require many changes to the vehicles we drive.  One area of focus is to reduce the weight of vehicles without compromising occupant safety.  A spare tire, related tools and a jack can weigh more than 40 lbs. That may seem like a small amount but every little bit helps and unlike other weight saving changes, it doesn’t add cost to the vehicle.
  
“The spare tire is often overlooked by motorists so they should be aware that some newer vehicles don’t come with a spare,” said Mazor.  “Car owners should remember that caring for your vehicle’s tires includes the spare and that all tires need regular inspecting and maintaining correct pressure.  Good care means owners will replace tires less often and use less fuel, which results in big savings.”
 
The Auto Club recommends the following to ensure you are informed and prepared:
 
-         If the vehicle has a spare, be sure it is properly inflated and stowed. If you cannot locate a spare tire, ensure your vehicle has an alternate solution. Options include the run-flat tires that allow the car to be driven to a safe location or an emergency sealant and inflator kit.  
-         If you carry a sealant, the Auto Club recommends that you check the date and replace it every five years or after its use. Sealant can become less effective with age.
 
“The key is to follow the instructions in the owner’s manual,” added Mazor. “Mini spares have a maximum speed limit (often 50 mph) and the number of miles they can be used safely. Run-flat tires have similar speed and distance limitations. If you use an inflator/sealant kit, it should only be used to repair appropriate flats (generally punctures under ¼ inch in diameter and located in the tread area). If an inflator kit has been used the tire should be taken to a qualified repair shop to have the sealant removed and a proper repair performed.”  
 
Auto Club members needing assistance with a flat tire can request roadside rescue at (800) 400-4AAA or by downloading the smartphone app, AAA Roadside.
 
Vehicles currently being sold without a spare tire:
Acura
FCX Clarity: Inflator and sealant kit
 
Aston Martin – All models have an inflator and sealant kit
 
Audi
A5 (2008 – 2011): Runflats
A6 (2009 – 2011): Runflats
A7 (2011): Runflats
Q5 (2009 – 2011): Spare tire stored w/out air. Inflator is provided
Q7 (2007 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator kit provided when not equipped with a spare
S4 (2006 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator kit provided when not equipped with a spare
S5 (2008 – 2011): Runflats
TT (2008 – 2011): No spare. Inflator and sealant kit
 
BMW – All vehicles are equipped with Runflats, except:
1M: Inflator and sealant kit
M3: Inflator and sealant kit
X5 (2007 – 2011): Spare tire optional, Runflats are installed when not equipped with a spare
X6 (2009 – 2011): Spare tire optional, Runflats are installed when not equipped with a spare
 
Cadillac
CTS (2008 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
SRX (2010 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
STS (2005 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
XLR (2004 – 2009): Runflats
 
Chevrolet
Camaro (2010 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
Corvette (2005 – 2011): Runflats
Cruze (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
Equinox (2010 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
Volt (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Chrysler: All SRT models with 20 inch wheels are not equipped with a spate
 
Dodge
Viper (1998 – 2010): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Ford
Explorer (2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
Focus (2008 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
GT (2005 – 2006): Inflator and sealant kit
Mustang (2011): Inflator and sealant kit (except GT Base, which has a spare)
 
GM
Terrain (2010 – 2011) Inflator and sealant kit
 
Honda
Odyssey Touring (2005 – 2010): Runflats
 
Hyundai
Accent (2011 – 2012): Inflator and sealant kit
Elantra (2011 – 2012): Inflator and sealant kit
Sonata Hybrid (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
Veloster (2012): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Jaguar
XF (2009 – 2011): Spare tire optional, Runflats or inflation kit provided when not equipped with a spare
XK (2007 – 2011): Spare tire optional, Runflats or inflation kit provided when not equipped with a spare
 
Lexus
LF-A (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
SC series (2003 – 2010): Spare tire optional, Runflats provided when not equipped with a spare
 
Lotus – All models equipped with inflator and sealant kit
 
Mazda
MX5 (2006 – 2011): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Mercedes
R350 BlueTEC (2011): Runflats
GL350 BlueTEC (2011): Runflats
E350 BlueTEC (2011): Runflats
SLS AMG (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
SLR McLaren (2005 – 2009): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Mini (all models) – Spare tire optional, Runflats or inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
 
Nissan
370z (2009 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
GT-R (2009 – 2011): Runflats
 
Pontiac
Solstice (2007 – 2009): Tire inflation kit
 
Porsche
Boxster (2005 – 2011): Inflator and sealant kit
Carrera GT (2004 – 2008): Inflator and sealant kit
Cayman (2005 – 2011): Inflator and sealant kit
Panamera (2010 – 2011): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Saturn
Sky (2007 – 2009): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Scion
iQ (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Smart
Fortwo (2005 – 2011): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Toyota
Sienna XLE (2004 – 2011): Runflats
 
Volkswagen
Touareg Hybrid (2011): Inflator and sealant kit
 
Volvo
C30 (2008 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
C70 (1998 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
S60 (2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
XC60 (2010 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
XC70 (2008 – 2011): Spare tire optional, inflator and sealant kit provided when not equipped with a spare
 

Media Contacts

Elaine Beno
(714) 885-2324
Beno.Elaine@aaa-calif.com