ATS Euromaster (ATSE) has published further details of its plans to launch a nationwide run-flat fitting and puncture repair service. The main point that ATSE clarified is the fact that it is referring to the latest generation of self-supporting run-flat technology tyres manufactured by Bridgestone, Dunlop, Goodyear and Michelin. These, says the company, are “approved for minor repairs, subject to strict criteria.”
Before any repair can be carried out, the tyre technician must check with the customer how long the tyre has been in a deflated condition. If it has driven over 50 miles, or exceeded 50mph, ATSE says it cannot be repaired.
Technicians must also verify that the tyre is approved by the manufacturer to be repaired and that the repair is then performed in line with the British Standard for tyre repairs – BSAU 159f. If the tyre fails the thorough pre-repair examinations then it must be replaced.
What are the minor repairs ATSE is referring to? A typical minor repair would comprise a nail which has pierced the central area of the tread. If the inspection process highlights any more serious damage, including any of the aforementioned abnormalities, then the tyre must be replaced.
According to an official statement on the subject, ATS Euromaster’s repair policy is “in agreement with both the National Tyre Distributors Association and the British Tyre Manufacturers Association on the positioning of repairing run-flat technology tyres.”
A complicated issue
In view of the possible knock-on effect the announcement could have on the retail tyre trade, T&A asked the NTDA for its position on the matter.
“The repairing of run flat tyres is a complicated issue which needs clarification. Whilst the Tyre Industry Federation (TIF) has not yet considered this matter, the British Tyre Manufacturers Association (BTMA) have issued a statement on behalf of their members, recommending that repairs are not carried out on run flat tyres except where the history of the tyre is absolutely clear and that the manufacturer condones repairing,” NTDA director, Richard Edy explained.
He said the view of the NTDA is to comply with this statement. “However, we appreciate the right of any member to decide whether or not to repair a tyre. Of fundamental importance is the detailed inspection of the tyre and clear knowledge of the distance and speed following deflation.
“Because of the unique construction of all run-flat tyres it is extremely difficult to identify secondary damage caused by running the tyre in the deflated state, therefore extreme caution needs to be taken when considering repairing any run flat unit,” he added.
In its statement, the NTDA, as a core member of the Tyre Industry Federation, has called on the TIF to give commercial, and environmental consideration to this whole subject and provide “clear workable guidelines for retailers.”