TOKYO (Sept. 15, 2005) — Bridgestone Corp. has begun commercial sales of a support ring-based run-flat system it's been developing since 2002 in collaboration with Continental A.G. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.
Toyota Motor Corp. is the first customer for Bridgestone's Support Ring, for use on its 2006 RAV4 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) for the European market, Tokyo-based Bridgestone said.
The Support Ring system—a lightweight metal ring and rubber inserted into the tire between the beads—keeps a tire functioning after loss of air pressure by supporting the vehicle's weight and keeping the beads in place.
Bridgestone said its system is suited for passenger cars and SUVs that have high-profile tires. It will offer the support ring system parallel to its line of sidewall-reinforced run-flat tires.