By Denna Bowman
Honda USA will not equip its vehicles with run-flat tyres for the year 2010, after settling a recent lawsuit with almost 100,000 unhappy customers.
The car company settled the class action lawsuit with the disgruntled owners of Michelin run-flat tyres which were fitted to the Odyssey Touring minivan and some Acura RL models.
The announcement not to use run-flats for original equipment on the vehicles is seen as another disappointment for Michelin and other makers of run-flat tyres after a 17-year effort to win customers in the US.
When run-flat tyres arrived on the market in 1992, they were expected to win wide acceptance as original equipment. However, their high replacement cost and poor availability have hampered their success.
Some owners in the Honda law suit, which was launched in Maryland against Michelin and Honda, also said the tyres wore out at around 15,000 miles.
As part of the settlement, Michelin said it is offering a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty on the tyres to owners of the affected models. Also offered is a $300 rebate on a new Odyssey or Acura RL or $110 for the purchase of Honda-approved Pax spare-tyre kits.