By Denna Bowman
Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems are gaining popularity amongst US motorists, according to a new study.
The adoption of the TPM systems – which let drivers know when their tyres are slowly deflating – in all vehicles has resulted in the reported number of slow leaks.
However, an increase in awareness has been matched with a rise in owner acceptance of the problem, according to the JD Power and Associates 2010 US Original Equipment Tyre Customer Satisfaction Study.
The survey found that original equipment tyre customers in their second year of vehicle ownership experience 13.4 problems per 100 vehicles due to slow leaks, an increase of 2.4 from 2009.
Although this problem has become more common, tyre owners experiencing slow leaks tend to be more satisfied with their original equipment tyres, compared with owners experiencing other tyre problems, such as uneven wear or excessive road noise.
Satisfaction among owners who experience slow leaks averages 607 on a 1,000-point scale, while satisfaction among those who experience uneven wear or excessive road noise averages 469 and 509, respectively.
Owners who experience a slow leak have also become more accepting of the problem, as 15 percent of these owners say they “definitely will” recommend their tyre brand, compared with 11 percent in 2009. In comparison, only 3 percent of owners who experience fast tread wear say they “definitely will” recommend their tyre brand.
Allison LaDuc, senior research manager of automotive product quality at JD Power and Associates, said: “Owners are particularly dissatisfied with problems related to wear and traction, as they are more likely to result in the need to replace the tyres.
“Owners tend to expect some issues with slow leaks, which can more easily be repaired than other problems, so this issue has less of a negative impact on overall satisfaction.”