Tim's Take: Spare tires disappearing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Spare tires disappearing

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Getting a flat tire should always be the worst surprise of your day, but with many newer cars, there's a newer, worse one.

A growing number of new cars now come without a spare tire, something that would seem like basic standard and fairly important equipment being taken out of the trunk of many models in recent years.

"As an emergency road service organization, we're seeing this quite a bit,'' said Robert Sinclair, of AAA.

The trend that started as far back as 2006 now includes a list, nine pages long, naming 35 different auto makers that have taken a too literal approach to getting rid of their spare tire.

And it really is all about watching their weight, or at least the weight of their vehicles, which must now adhere to stricter fuel economy standards set by the federal government.

"As vehicle manufacturers are forced with the need to get better mileage with mandates from the federal government, they do everything and anything they can in order to meet these mandates," Sinclair said.

What some have done is replace something every driver has relied on at one time or another with roadside inflator kits or emergency sealants.

But they've also taken away a level of convenience, reliability, safety and peace of mind that you don't need until you need it.

Joan Freeman is one of a growing number of new car drivers who is finding herself on the side of the road when she got a flat.

"I frankly never would have bought the car without a [spare tire]," she said.

And she's one of many more who might never buy this change.

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