Page 1: PAX
Michelin's PAX system is an extended-mobility tire and wheel combination that allows a driver to continue traveling in the event of a loss of air pressure. Unlike a conventional run-flat tire, which has a short and stiff sidewall designed to support the vehicle when tire pressure is lost, the Michelin PAX system mounts the tire to a special rim that contains a pliable inner ring to support the vehicle when the tire goes flat. This allows the use of a tire with a taller sidewall, which improves ride quality during normal use. According to Honda, the 2005 Odyssey Touring can travel at speeds up to 50 mph and a distance of 125 miles when one of its Michelin PAX tires goes completely flat.
Because the system requires a special wheel to work properly, buyers of the 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring will not be able to use the system if they replace the original rims with aftermarket wheels. Owners in snow-bound northern climates will be able to swap the standard all-season tires for snow tires, but Michelin could not provide a timeframe for when the new snow tires would be ready for the redesigned Odyssey.
We had a chance to ride in an Odyssey Touring that had a deflated right rear tire. The short evaluation course included acceleration, braking, and cornering tests. Under acceleration and braking, the Odyssey performed well. When taken through a sweeping left hand turn, it was clear that the rear tire was flat, but the Odyssey remained stable and under control.
Since the 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring does not come equipped with a spare tire, we asked where owners could get replacement rubber in the event of tire failure and how much a replacement tire might cost. Michelin responded that any Honda dealer or retailer specializing in the PAX system could repair the Odyssey Touring, and that the cost would be within 15 percent of what a conventional tire might cost. Michelin concedes that there are a handful of areas in the United States where a replacement tire might not be available within a 125-mile radius, but has established a 12-hour delivery assistance program complete with compensation for rental cars, accommodations, and other needs while waiting for a new tire.
To learn more about the Michelin PAX system, go to www.michelinman.com.