• Jul 1, 2009
The long-fought battle surrounding Michelin PAX runflat tires on certain 2005-2007 Honda Odyssey and 2006-2007 Acura RL models has finally come to a close. A Maryland judge has awarded $83,000 to those taking part in the class-action lawsuit, netting each plaintiff $5,000, $2,500, or $2,000 for tire replacements.

The suit claimed Honda and Michelin weren't upfront about the cost or durability of the tires, and that they last half as long as standard radials. As part of the settlement, Michelin is offering a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty on the tires to the 94,000 owners of the affected models. Also offered is a $300 rebate on a new Odyssey or Acura RL, or $110 for the purchase of a Honda-approved PAX spare tire kits. Hat tip to FaLex.

[Source: Greenville Online]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Since the same few questions have come up a few times, I'll try to list some of the highlights of the Ody PAX debacle:

      1. Initially, the Honda Odyssey Touring model (the full-boat Wagon Queen Family Truckster) was sold exclusively with the Michelin PAX run-flat tires as standard equipment.

      2. At first, there was no non-PAX option for Touring model (there is now)

      3. Due to the stiffer sidewall, ride quality was worse than expected

      4. Due to different rubber composition, the tires are down to the wear bars by 20-30,000 miles.

      5. A set of replacement tires cost $1200-1500 (which also wear out after another 30,000 miles or so)

      6. Most tire dealers don't have the specialized mounting equipment to deal with the PAX rims and tires.

      7. Most Honda dealers do (cha-ching).

      8. Conventional tires cannot be used in place of the PAX tires due to the unique rims.

      9. Aftermarket "de-PAX" kits that include conventional rims and tires are available, but are not covered under Honda's factory warranty. In other words, you're pretty much on your own.

      I think that's most of the issues. If I've missed anything, feel free to chime in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. Sounds like quite a racket. I am very dissapointed in Honda for this.. this just isn't right.

      My question is.. were they trying to make a crap load of money, or did they just not know they were locking consumers into a horrible, horrible deal?

      I mean come on.. a system that detects wether or not you are using their proprietary tires that cost $$$.. that's bad... and invalidating the warranty when an aftermarket rim is fitted.. that's evil. It's like installing DRM on a car but worse.

      This is a sad example of why we actually need the legal system.
      Aubs
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a dumb lawsuit. THIS is why it costs so much to do business anywhere today, why insurance rates are so high, and why car companies have trouble making money. They have to idiot-proof everything.

      Why don't some of us get together and sue Acura (or any car maker for that matter) over the cost of O2 sensors, or VW over the cost to replace at timing chain on a VR-6, or Kia over the cost to fix a front bumper...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Aubs
        I would generally agree, but from what I've read and heard these folks are only getting 10 to 15K from the tires which then cost almost $1500 to replace (as Egon mentioned). So cost of tires in 100,000 miles will be $10,000 to $15,000 for run flats vs. maybe a grand for standard ones. Ouch.

        When we bought our '06 Odyssey the Sienna run flats where having the same issue so we stayed away from them. See, some minivan buyers actually do some research.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Aubs
        This is NOT a dumb lawsuit. The bigger issue with the PAX tires is finding a shop that has the expensive machine needed to mount this style tire. It wasn't simply an issue of cost.

        This was a major gaff by Michelin and Honda.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Run flat tires are great in theory, lots of potential positives. However there are plenty of downsides. One that comes to mind is what happens when you are out on your Sunday drive in the country (pick any rural area of any state) and you have a flat. Who has the replacement tire in stock or who has the equipment to mount one, if they have it. Run flat tires will have their day but it is not now... unless you live in a metropolitan area with higher end tire shops.
      • 5 Years Ago
      even though Honda should share some of the blame, shouldn't have potential owners researched this? I don't own an Odyssey or RL but I know that the sticker mentions the run-flats from various service visits. a red flag should pop up in the shopper's head if a minivan has the same tire tech as a BMW
        • 5 Years Ago
        BMW is using thicker tire walls to counter the vehicle weight when air pressure is lost. The result is a general harsh ride. To counter this, Michelin hands Honda the PAX system. Basically PAX is a hardened "honey comb" rubber within the inner part of the tires. Therefore, the ride can be better with "BMW type" run flat. Both systems have their flaws, but both are costly to replace.

        However, I wonder why there is no one complaining about the dub in 300C or FX50; they should be much more expensive to replace too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They are damn expensive to replace, and on some BMW's (MINI Cooper S) they don't include a spare tire (and it took them a while to include a car jack) because the assumption was that there would always be runflats on the car. I doubt many people with MCS's replaced their runflats with more runflats due to ride, cost, and performance issues.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When the PAX system was added to the Odyssey, this initally seemed to be a perfect matchup since the typical minivan driver has the same type of skills to change a tire as they would to change a timing belt. This is the same population that generates maintenance horror stories such as not changing the oil until the oil light comes on.

        Now before you jump all over me for some sort of unfair stereotype, know this: I own an Ody. Well okay, I own it...my wife drives it. And the upside of her not dropping the car off the screw jack (on a highway shoulder, at night, in the rain, etc) is pretty damn appealing. Initally there was no history of rougher ride, faster wear, and stupefying replacement expense. When those stories started to surface, we were getting ready to buy another Ody. The presence of PAX on any new Ody sitting on a dealer's lot became an immediate dealbreaker. But until the history had been written, we might have ended up in the same fix...and perhaps as part of the same class action.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the real problem with Honda and Micheline was when Honda made the rim size 17.5 which pretty much led to buyers with out a chance of ever replace the OEM units...and as a result owners were force to buy only Micheline cuz of their unique size...
        • 5 Years Ago
        What you people have to realize is that it's much more than that. There is this rubber doughnut glued to the OD of the rim that is inside the tire. It does not come off.

        http://www.michelinman.com/pax/

        Think about mounting a tire on that.

        What they invented was a wheel/tire SYSTEM. It is much different than stiff sidewall runflats.

        What a lot of people did is just buy a whole set of replacement wheels when it was time for new tires. You can get a whole set of non-PAX OEM wheels and nice tires for the same price as a set of PAX. Based on the fact the PAX didn't last that long, they probably had their ROI well before 30k miles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        True that..

        consumers can’t buy only the tire but the tire PLUS the rim when it comes to the Pax system....which makes it costly...I think they go for around 700 each tire/rim...cheaper to buy aftermarket rims and get new tires lol....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Special tires.. and the 05 model had odd sized 17.5 inch rims? That would play into availability of replacement tires. Tirerack doesn't even let you pick a tire for the Touring Odyssey.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, I wish I could get free money for being a dumb consumer who mindlessly buys things without thorough research.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The $300 rebate on the purchase of a new car is an insult.

      My 05 Odyssey was a lemon (electric sliding doors, among other things), and the court settlement I received was just as insulting. My revenge was to trade it for a used Dodge Caravan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a friend who bought one of these and when he bought it I told him to factor in some additional costs, because when it came time to replace the tires, it would actually be cheaper to replace the rims and tires than just to get new tires (the bolt pattern on the vehicle is standard). I mean, you could see the tires were unusual just at a glance (given how the tire meets the rim) and once I saw PAX on the sidewall I knew he was in a fix.

      When he got his at least, if you had a problem with your tire (like a flat) on the Touring, the only place to get it fixed was a Honda dealer and they wouldn't replace the tire, they would swap the rim and tire because even they didn't find it cost-effective to buy the equipment needed for getting the tire on and off the rim.

      It was clearly a huge scam, I have to imagine Honda got quite a pretty penny from Michelin to load this system onto the Touring and RL for those years (and in his year you couldn't even opt-out on the Touring, but on the RL you could).

      I dunno how well the PAX system works, but I know that the first people to get it in the US were being put up the creek pretty badly.

      I dunno how I feel about the class action. I know my friend (among others) bought something and didn't know what he was getting into. And if the tires lasted half as long as they should and so he had to replace the expensive tires (and swap rims!) I know it wasn't something he could expect. But $5000? Hmm.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does the listed treadwear rating reflect the actual lifetime of the tires? If so, then this is BS. I mean, the Sumitomos on my car are probably only going to last about 18,000 miles, but I'm not lawyering up. They're treadwear "160" so I've been duly informed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You would think that Michelin would have learned that tires that are specific to a certain type of rim never really work out after the whole TRX thing in the 80's.
        Bill Wynne
        • 3 Years Ago
        It was a real catastrophe, the whole PAX nightmare. I just depaxed this last month and was so relieved that I made a blog post of my experience. I spent 5 hours researching the options and I think I discovered the most economical but more so, the least stressful way to go about it. http://www.billwynne.com/depax-kits/
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