Here's the key takeaway from the latest J.D. Power U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study — consumers are happier with their OE tires, and giving them higher marks in key categories.
The annual study measures owner satisfaction in four key areas: tire wear, tire ride, tire appearance and tire traction/handling. (And that's the order of importance of those areas, too.)
J.D. Power then ranks tire brands according to vehicle segments: luxury, passenger car, performance sport and truck/utility.
In the 2018 study, which included responses from 30,477 owners of 2016 and 2017 model-year vehicles, overall customer satisfaction with OE tires has increased. And it's risen significantly since 2015. Here's a look at the top numbers/score in each category from 2015 to 2018.
J.D. Power says the study has also shown that "run-flat tires are closing the satisfaction gap with conventional tires."
“The rise in satisfaction helps validate tire manufacturers’ efforts to meet the demands of OEMs while simultaneously improving the customer experience,” says Brent Gruber, senior director of the automotive quality practice at J.D. Power. “The fact that there is little difference in satisfaction between run-flat and traditional tires is a great example. Many OEMs have been replacing spare tires with run-flats to help reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel efficiency. Just a few years ago run-flat tires were a detriment to customer satisfaction but the experience is much more positive now.”
How the brands stacked up
In addition to charting overall satisfaction, the J.D. Power study ranks tire brands in each vehicle category for consumer satisfaction. Michelin was the clear winner in all categories.
Michelin ranks highest in all four vehicle segments. Scores are based on a 1,000-point scale, and Michelin scored 765 in luxury; 753 in passenger car; 774 in performance sport; and 731 in truck/utility.
Here's a look at the average score in each of the four segments:
And finally, a look at how the brands ranked. To get a closer look at the charts, click and download the data here.