Consumers Unhappy with Automakers Sacrificing Tires for Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency has been a hot topic in the past few years, as gas prices continue to increase and consumers demand getting more miles to the gallon. As a result, the government has stepped in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which aim to lower the average fuel economy in vehicles.

Some automakers have fought the standards in the past, but a number are trying to find ways to reduce their models' gas mileage in different ways. J.D. Power and Associates reports one of the ways car makers are improving fuel efficiency is through low-rolling or run-flat tires. Unfortunately, customers do not appear to agree with this move, with many consumers reporting low satisfaction.

The report found that of the consumers who had run-flat tires, nearly one-third have had to replace one. For drivers with standard tires, only 19 percent had the same problem.

"Automakers are trying to reach the next level of fuel economy, and are looking to their suppliers – in this case, tire manufacturers – to help them get there," said Brent Gruber, director, global automotive division at J.D. Power and Associates. "The challenge is doing this while finding tires that meet customers' expectations. Run-flat tires are not currently meeting those expectations."

This could deter people who were interested in buying new cars but do not want to deal with low quality tires. One option is avoid this is to look at used models, which may have been made prior to the changes with the tires. New Jersey Auto Auction has several models to choose from, many of which offer good fuel economy ratings. This could be the answer gas price-conscious consumers are looking for.