A new tire system designed to “run flat” for up to 125 miles at 55 mph is standard equipment on the 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring edition that went on sale last month.
The PAX System, developed and patented by Michelin, is an assembly of four components: tire, support ring, wheel, and pressure monitor. The PAX System tire is designed to never separate from the rim, even with the occurrence of a sudden flat at high speeds under normal driving conditions. The inner support ring is designed to offer greater maneuverability and control in the event of a blowout. An on-board monitoring system instantly alerts the driver to changes in tire pressure.
NHTSA has proposed a rule that by September 2007 that tire pressure monitoring systems similar to ones used with the PAX System, will be required on all new vehicles. The agency says there are more than 23,000 tire-related accidents in the United States each year, with 533 of them ending in a fatality.
PAX technology has been licensed to competing tire manufacturers including Pirelli, Goodyear, Sumitomo, and Toyo. Michelin is setting up a nationwide network of service locations equipped to mount and dismount PAX tires. It has established a 12-hour delivery assistance program.
At a recent press event in Los Angeles a Michelin spokesperson said an agreement had been reached with another auto manufacturer, but declined to provide further details.