Mr. Claude R. Beverly
390 Rhea Lee Drive
Paducah, KY 42001

Dear Mr. Beverly:

Please pardon the delay in responding to your letter to this agency in which you expressed concerns about the small space-saver spare tires with which new passenger motor vehicles are commonly equipped.

We have addressed this issue in the past (see enclosed letters to Representative Paul E. Kanjorski, dated May 13, 1996; and to Senator Bob Graham dated January 11, 1993). We explained in those letters that although the space-saver spare tires are smaller than regular tires, they are nevertheless required to meet the Federal motor vehicle safety standards applicable to tires. Thus, although they are designed to be used only in emergencies and their service life is normally less than regular tires, they are as safe as regular tires if properly maintained and inflated and the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations are followed.

Should you have any further questions, feel free to provide them to this office at this address or by fax at (202) 366-3820.

John Womack
Acting Chief Counsel