Runflat tyre technology has its supporters and plenty of detractors; but one thing everyone can agree on is the fact that runflats are not cheap.
Sure there are some low priced runflat tyres like the under $200 Chinese Wanli in size 195 50 16, but most runflats range from $300 right up to $1500 for some original equipment tyre sizes which might only be made by one tyre company. As always, a lack of competition and choice results in sky rocketing prices.
High prices like these ensure that motorists have a high expectation that these tyres will be repaired when they are punctured. In Europe, it is generally accepted that punctured Runflat Tyres are not a repairable item and have to be replaced with a new tyre. No one with a $1200 tyre wants to hear that!
In New Zealand, we do repair punctured runflats and this is totally safe provided normal repair criteria are strictly adhered to. As with conventional tyres, damage to sidewalls, punctures too close to the sidewall and damage due to driving with low air pressures all render a tyre beyond repair. Yes, runflats can easily be ruined due to being driven on when flat. Drive on a completely flat runflat for more than 10 to 15 kilometres and you risk ruining the tyre. They are only designed to allow you to drive to the nearest tyre shop, which in Europe is always close by. Its not always so simple in New Zealand.
So motorists with runflat tyres should always drive directly to the nearest tyre shop when their Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) indicates low air pressure in a tyre; ignore your TPMS and you could quite easily end up investing in a new runflat tyre.