DETROIT (Aug 3, 2016) — It's time to do something about the old spare tire — and not the one that my wife, my doctor and I would all like me to get rid of, if you know what I mean.
No, what I'm arguing here is that we all need more junk in our vehicle trunks, not less.
In fact, our safety may depend, legislatively, on correcting the weight-slashing overzealousness that has eliminated spare tires from many new cars.
AAA Inc. recently said it came to the rescue of 32 million drivers in 2015 — a record number of service calls that was about 10 percent higher than in 2014. The main culprits were flat tires, accidental lockouts and battery failures, as might be expected.
Yet, AAA noted that newer vehicles — less than five years old — accounted for an outsized portion of all service calls, and that one out of five calls required a tow to a repair facility.
First, an admission: I've been stranded on the side of the road in a car with no spare, thanks to a pothole, more than once. For what it's worth, I didn't like it.
My car, a 2013 Ford C-Max, doesn't have the luxury of a spare tire because of the packaging of its hybrid battery pack. If I wanted to keep a spare on hand, it means giving up space in the back as well as the hatchback's rear flat load floor.