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Michelin, Pirelli top customer satisfaction study

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Michelin and Pirelli brand tires won top honors in the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study released today.

Pirelli brand tires ranked highest and performed particularly well in the tire appearance and tire ride factors, the survey noted.

In the performance sport segment,Michelin surpassed the competition in the three largest market segments – luxury, passenger car and truck/utility.

Tire owner satisfaction, within each of the four segments (luxury, passenger car, performance sport and truck/utility) is measured by examining four factors: tire wearability, tire appearance, tire traction/handling and tire ride, according to J.D. Power and Associates. Rankings are based on owners' experiences with their tires after two years of ownership (see www.jdpower.com).

In the passenger car category featuring high volume fitments on cars like the Honda Accord, Michelin scored 66 points higher than the segment average and received 36 points more than its closest competitor. Within the luxury and truck/utility categories, Michelin reports it continues to post high customer satisfaction scores.

J.D. Power and Associates reports:

"Achieving a problem-free tire experience during the first two years of ownership is crucial to maintaining brand advocacy. Nearly one-third of owners who do not experience any problems say they will recommend their tire brand to a friend, while just 18%of owners who experience one problem say the same."

The study also looked at tire pressure monitoring sytems. The study also found that "while the adoption of tire pressure monitoring systems in all vehicle models has resulted in an increase in the reported number of slow tire leaks, owner acceptance of the problem has also increased." It also found that:

* The average number of system warnings per vehicle during the past 12 months has increased to 2.2 from 1.5 in 2009.

* A slightly higher percentage of owners take their vehicle to a dealership or repair facility to check the tires -- 34%, compared with 30% in 2009.

* In 2010, 65% of owners who received a warning say that they checked the tires themselves, while just 1% says that they ignored the warning or took no action.

The 2010 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 29,818 new-vehicle owners who purchased a 2008 or 2009 model-year vehicle. The study was fielded between October and December 2009.

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