WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2002)—Even more than digital sound and in-vehicle Internet, drivers want tire pressure monitors and run-flat tires on their cars, according to a J.D. Power and Associates study.
Tire pressure monitors came in first out of 25 emerging vehicle features addressing safety, comfort, convenience and entertainment, J.D. Powers found in its 2002 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study. About 88 percent of the 22,362 drivers polled were interested in the monitors, which are mandated by the TREAD Act for all new cars and light trucks made after Nov. 1, 2003. Under the act's requirements, as many as 1.7 million 2004 model-year cars will be equipped with the monitoring systems.
Run-flat tires ranked fourth—behind anti-whiplash seats and night vision systems—in the survey, which solicits consumer feedback on a select list of new and emerging automotive features to help manufacturers better understand which of them consumers most desire and value. Seventy-seven percent of respondents indicated an interest in run-flat tires. Anti-whiplash seats captivated 80 percent of respondents, while night vision systems captured 79 percent.
“Given the high level of interest U.S. consumers also had with run-flat tires, it is clear that they have concerns about the safety of their tires and are looking for technological advances to alleviate some of the fear generated by the high-profile tire recalls,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior research manager for J.D. Power.
Nine of the top 10 features focused on safety. The highest-rated entertainment feature was digital premium surround sound, ranked 8th with 72 percent of respondents showing interest. In-vehicle Internet came in last with only 20 percent.