Q: I paid for upper-end Michelin Defender tires that are rated to wear for 145,000 km. Even though I’m a cautious highway driver who follows all scheduled maintenance, I had to replace my tires before the warranty was over. My tire dealer had to fight with Michelin to cover 54% of the replacement tire cost. Why wouldn’t they cover it?
—L. Clare, Peterborough, Ont.
A: Tire mileage warranties are primarily a marketing tool. A rule-of-thumb is to reduce the manufacturer’s stated mileage by 35%, and even that figure may be conservative. Even if the warranty is unrealistic Michelin’s pro-rated contribution is almost exactly the amount of the shortfall on the replaced set, so the company is standing behind their warranty.