Many new cars don't have spare tires

By  | 

NEW YORK (CBS) AAA truck operator Jerome Bowman answers the call when people break down on the road.

This time, the driver suffered a flat tire. But when Bowman went searching for a spare in the trunk, he came up empty. And it turns out this is a common problem.

"A lot of newer vehicles don't have spare tires," Bowman said.

A new report from AAA finds 28 percent of 2017 model year vehicles are sold without a spare tire as standard equipment. Bowman says many people don't even know it.

"A lot of people are unaware of what's in their trunk," he said.

Automakers started removing spare tires a few years ago. AAA says they did it to make the cars lighter, which provides better gas mileage.

Last year, AAA responded to 450,000 calls involving drivers who didn't have a spare.

Some high-end vehicles do come with run-flat tires.

The car Bowman responded to had an inflator kit and sealant. But he said it wasn't enough to fix this flat.

"It won't work, this kit will not work mainly because the puncture is too wide and the sealant will come right out," he said.

The only option was to tow it away to a tire store.