J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Universal Adoption of Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Leads to Increase in the Reported Number of Slow Leaks, as Owner Acceptance of the Problem Also Increases
Michelin and Pirelli Each Rank Highest in Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction in Their Respective Segments
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 12 April 2010 - While the adoption of tire pressure monitoring systems in all vehicle models has resulted in an increase in the reported number of slow tire leaks, owner acceptance of the problem has also increased, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction StudySM released today.
The study finds that original equipment tire customers in their second year of vehicle ownership experience 13.4 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) due to slow leaks, an increase of 2.4 PP100 from 2009. Although this problem has become more common, tire owners experiencing slow leaks tend to be more satisfied with their original equipment tires, compared with owners experiencing other tire 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 tire 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 tire brand.
"Owners are particularly dissatisfied with problems related to wear and traction, as they are more likely to result in the need to replace the tires," said Allison LaDuc, senior research manager of automotive product quality at J.D. Power and Associates. "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."
The study also finds the following patterns regarding tire pressure monitoring systems, which became standard beginning with 2008 model-year vehicles:
- The average number of system warnings per vehicle during the past 12 months has increased to 2.2 from 1.5 in 2009.
- A slightly higher percentage of owners take their vehicle to a dealership or repair facility to check the tires-34 percent, compared with 30 percent in 2009.
- In 2010, 65 percent of owners who received a warning say that they checked the tires themselves, while just 1 percent says that they ignored the warning or took no action.
Tire owner satisfaction within each of the four segments (luxury, passenger car, performance sport and truck/utility) is measured by examining four factors: tire wearability, tire appearance, tire traction/handling and tire ride. Rankings are based on owners' experiences with their tires after two years of ownership.
Michelin ranks highest in the luxury, passenger car and truck/utility segments. In the passenger car and luxury segments, Michelin performs particularly well in the tire wearability factor. In the truck/utility segment, Michelin performs well in the tire ride factor.
In the performance sport segment, Pirelli ranks highest and performs particularly well in the tire appearance and tire ride factors.
The study also finds that achieving a problem-free tire experience during the first two years of ownership is crucial to maintaining brand advocacy. Nearly one-third of owners who do not experience any problems say they will recommend their tire brand to a friend, while just 18 percent of owners who experience one problem say the same. Satisfaction among owners who do not experience any tire problems is 726, compared with 590 among those who experience one or more problems.
"Providing a problem-free experience is extremely important to tire manufacturers to ensure good word of mouth recommendations," said LaDuc. "A high-satisfaction experience is also crucial to securing brand-loyal customers, as satisfied customers are less likely to defect to other tire brands."
The 2010 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 29,818 new-vehicle owners who purchased a 2008 or 2009 model-year vehicle. The study was fielded between October and December 2009.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services company meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, Capital IQ, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.