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AAA: Breakdowns Reach Record High

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July 20, 2016—Despite advancements in vehicle technology designed to remind drivers of maintenance and other dashboard alerts, AAA recorded a record 32 million breakdowns in 2015. 

The study shows that there are more battery, flat tire and key problems than ever before with vehicles fewer than 5 years old seeing a disproportionate amount of key and tire issues. Newer vehicles tend to have electronic keys and ignition systems that could be draining the vehicle's battery for those drivers unfamiliar with the system’s features. Many newer cars are eliminating the spare tire to reduce weight and improve fuel economy, replacing the tire with a inflator kit that can only fix a few tire issues.The findings suggest that the trend of electronic keyless ignitions and the elimination of spare tires is having unintended consequences. 

“Vehicles today are advanced more than ever, yet are still vulnerable to breakdowns,” said Gail Weinholzer, public affairs director, AAA-The Auto Club Group. “Sleek, low profile tires are highly susceptible to damage, electronic keyless ignitions can zap battery life and despite advanced warning systems, more than half a million drivers ran out of gas last year.”

To reduce roadside problems, AAA suggests that drivers check for a spare tire, routinely check tire pressure, pay special attention to smart keys, have batteries checked on a yearly basis after three years of age, and pack an emergency kit full of useful supplies. 

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