Replacing run-flats raise safety fears

  • Replacing run-flats with standard tyres could affect handling
  • Also result in increased chances of having an accident 
  • Experts advise to stick to original equipment

Motorists replacing run-flat tyres with standard replacements are compromising their own safety according to TyreSafe, the tyre industry's independent safety organisation.

Many motorists looking to cut costs could be tempted to replace run flats with cheaper standard tyres.

TyreSafe, a non-profit making organisation, claims that standard tyres do not incorporate the run-flat technology and could change the handling characteristics of the vehicle. This could increase the chances of having an accident.

Run-flats have much stiffer sidewalls than those in traditional tyres and this is taken into account by vehicle manufacturers when they design the car's suspension and steering systems.

Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe warns, 'When replacing run-flat tyres, it's very important that drivers consult the vehicle manufacturer if they are thinking about using non run-flat tyres. By switching to tyres that do not use run-flat technology, the handling of the car can be dramatically altered and it may become unsafe, particularly during extreme manoeuvres.'

Run-flat tyres come as standard on the majority of BMW cars and the manufacturer agrees with the warning issued by TyreSafe.

A BMW spokesman said, 'We would agree with Tyresafe. Consumers should stick to original equipment. If the vehicle has started out on run-flat tyres then our advice would be to swap them for replacement run-flat rubber. Changing to standard tyres from run-flat technology could change the handling characteristics of the car.'