Report: 28 percent of new cars sold without spare tire

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NEW YORK —AAA trucker operator Jerome Bowman answers the call when people break down on the road.

On a recent call, the driver suffered a flat tire, but when he went searching for the spare in the trunk he came up empty.

“There’s a space where it should go.”

He said it’s a fairly common problem.

“A lot of newer vehicles don’t have spare tires.”

A new report from AAA finds 28 percent of 2017 model year vehicles are sold without a spare tire as standard equipment. It is available as optional equipment, but many people don’t even know they need to ask for it.

“A lot of people are unaware of what’s in their trunk.”

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

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

Some high-end vehicles do come with run flat tires. Others, like the car Bowman responded to, have inflator kits and sealant, but that isn’t always enough to fix a flat.

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

AAA said drivers should always double check to make sure there is a spare tire or ask for one when purchasing a new car.