Michelin ranks highest in passenger vehicle original equipment (OE) tire satisfaction for the fifth year in a row and highest in light truck OE tire satisfaction for the third straight year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 Original Equipment Tire Satis-faction Study released Sept. 9. The study, based on the experiences and opinions of more than 33,700 consumers in their first three years of new-vehicle ownership, reports on how satisfied consumers are with their OE tires-the tires that came with their new vehicle at the time of purchase. The study monitors consumer perceptions regarding tire quality, performance, brand image and service. Study results are calculated using a tire satisfaction index, which includes five factors: product quality; long-term performance; situational performance; design; and winter traction. Michelin achieves the highest tire index score among passenger vehicle owners, which includes both cars and compact vans, with segment-leading marks for product quality, long-term performance, design and winter traction. Toyo, Pirelli and Continental follow Michelin in the passenger vehicle segment rankings. Yokohama, Goodyear and Uniroyal follow Michelin in the light truck tire segment, respectively. The light truck segment includes pickups, SUVs and full-size vans. The study finds that one out of five owners experience a tire problem in their first year of ownership, with 12 percent of owners having to replace one or more tires. Consistent with previous studies, the most commonly reported problem among all tire brands is punctures.