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US car manufacturers to scrap spare tyre to meet new economy targets  30/04/2015

Car manufacturers in the USA are contemplating leaving out the spare tyre of new cars they make as they endeavour to hit the new fuel economy targets they are being set over the next few years.

Cars without spare tyres are already common in Europe, where BMW, Mini, Audi and Mercedes have already favoured run flat tyres instead of the weight of a spare tyre in their top end vehicles.

The Mountain West branch of the AAA, the American version of the AA in the UK, revealed that new fuel efficiency regulations issued by the government in the US were forcing manufacturers into making drastic changes to try to hit the targets.

Rather than fitting cars with more expensive run flat tyres, the car manufacturers will instead fit each car with an inflator kit and some emergency sealant to help motorists get to the nearest tyre garage or service station.

The new regulations will see manufacturers in the US have to meet fuel efficiency targets for cars they build between 2012 and 2016, with the target of 29.7mpg rising each year until it reaches 34.1mpg in 2016.

Whilst manufacturers are confident of hitting targets this year, by 2016 they will be struggling and see the 40pound weight of the spare tyre and accompanying jack and other tyre changing tools as being dispensable in their quest to reduce fuel emissions.

Tara Hanley from the AAA explained Consumers should review their owner's manual and emergency maintenance supplies they have in the vehicle and be informed about alternatives to a spare to prevent panic or a delay when encountering a flat tire.

With such a huge distance between service stations and tyre garages in some areas of the US, drivers could put themselves at risk by trying to drive on a partially repaired tyre, which will not have the specially reinforced sidewall that is found on run flat tyres sold in the UK.

Run flat tyres are designed to carry on running for up to 50 miles at up to 50mph, allowing drivers to get to a garage to get their tyre changed, but feature special reinforced tyre walls which retain the shape, and subsequently the safety of the tyre.