AGOURA HILLS, Calif.—Owners voted Michelin the ``best overall replacement tire'' for passenger cars, compact vans and light trucks in J.D. Power and Associates' latest consumer satisfaction study. Michelin ousted Big O, last year's top-ranked brand in the passenger car/compact van tire category while also garnering first-place honors in the study's light truck tire category for the third year in a row.
In the passenger/compact van category, Dunlop grabbed second place behind Michelin, followed in turn by Kelly-Springfield and Uniroyal.
Following on the heels of first-place Michelin in the study's light truck tire category were Uniroyal, BFGoodrich and Bridgestone brands, in that order.
This year's survey results also showed an increase in the number of car owners who replaced their original equipment tires with the same brand, according to the Agoura Hills-based research firm.
Manager of Tire Research Lee Nauert said nearly one-third of this year's survey participants said they replaced their OE tires with the same brand.
This compares with fewer than 25 percent of the survey groups in years past.
Consumers rated independent tire dealerships highest among various classifications of retail outlets in terms of providing a satisfactory purchase experience.
Auto dealerships ranked tops in last year's study. Auto dealerships and service stations also scored well above average in this year's study.
Among the individual retail chains measured, mailorder specialist The Tire Rack of South Bend, Ind., Discount Tire of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Goodyear-owned Just Tires outlets all received high scores in customer satisfaction, Mr. Nauert said.
The study was conducted among 11,000 continuous owners of 1992 model-year vehicles who had recently replaced their OE tires.