TOKYO (Sept. 15) — Bridgestone Corp. has begun commercial sales of a support-ring-based run-flat system it´s been developing since 2002 in collaboration with Continental A.G. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.
Toyota Motor Corp. is the first customer for Bridgestone´s Support Ring, for use on its 2006 RAV4 sport-utility-vehicle for the European market, Bridgestone said.
The Support Ring system—a lightweight metal ring and rubber inserted into the tire between the beads—keeps a tire functioning after loss of air pressure by supporting the vehicle´s weight and holding the beads in place.
Bridgestone said its system is suited for passenger cars and SUVs that have high-profile tires. It will offer the support ring system parallel to its line of sidewall-reinforced run-flat tires.