DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford Motor Co. will offer a self-sealing version of the Michelin Primacy A/S tire as standard OE fitment on two versions of the 2020 Ford Explorer, the car maker disclosed during the long-term launch of the vehicle.
"The all-new Explorer is designed to help our customers feel unstoppable and worry-free," Craig Patterson, Explorer marketing manager, said. "The availability of these new Michelin Selfseal tires is another great example of that."
The Selfseal tires feature a layer of natural rubber-based sealant bonded to the innerliner and covering the tread area. The sealant is designed to seal 90 percent of punctures up to a quarter-inch in diameter, Michelin said, which covers the most common tread punctures from nails and screws. The sealant slows the loss of air pressure to less than 15 psi per week.
Selfseal tires are standard on Explorer Platinum and Explorer Limited Hybrid four-wheel-drive models, Ford said, and optional on Explorer Limited two- and four-wheel-drive models. The tire size for all models is 255/55R20; all Explorer models are equipped with a spare tire, Ford said.
"Nothing derails a family vacation like a flat tire," Joseph Billman, Ford wheel and tire engineer, said. "Explorer is the ultimate road trip family hauler—and it's the perfect fit for these new Michelin Selfseal tires."
This is the second OE fitment for the Selfseal tire, Michelin said. It was offered on the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt as well, but this is a measurably larger tire.
The self-sealing version of the Primacy A/S is primarily an OE tire but can be found as a replacement at car dealerships that carry that fitment, Michelin said. At this point the firm is focused on the OE partnership fitment for this technology.
Michelin has been working on an effective self-sealant tire for years, according to information presented at the 2011 Challenge Bibendum event in Berlin.
At that event, Patrick Denimal, head of development, suggested that self-sealing innerliner technology eventually would become standard on all the company's tires.
Denimal noted then that Michelin saw having an effective self-sealing tire would obviate the need for a spare tire or tire-changing equipment on board a car.
Michelin previously offered a range of self-sealing tires in the Uniroyal brand, under the NailGard banner, but phased out that option nearly a decade ago. The patented technology used in the Selfseal line of tires features a new design, materials and process, Michelin said.