Today witnessed production of the 15 millionth ContiSeal tire at the Continental plant in Lousado, Portugal. Beneath the surface of the tread, these tires have a special viscous inner layer that will seal off most punctures caused by nails or screws, enabling the vehicle to continue on its way. There are now 76 sizes of summer, all-season and winter tires in production that feature this technology. The 15-million milestone model is a 255/45 R 19 ContiSportContact 5 SUV tire, destined for a Volkswagen.
Continental has been manufacturing tires with self-sealing properties since as long ago as 2008, initially for what was then the newly launched VW Passat CC. In the meantime, product approvals for these safe tires have also been granted by Cadillac, Hyundai, Porsche, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Seat and Skoda. Drivers can order them from car dealerships or the tire trade. Tires with ContiSeal technology enable the vehicle to continue its journey in 95 percent of cases when the tire tread suffers damage. Continental manufactures self-sealing tires for cars and SUVs in widths of between 195 and 285 millimeters and with aspect ratios from 65 to 35 percent. They are suitable for 15-22 inch rims and approved for speeds of up to 300 km/h. For self-sealing tires to be fitted, the vehicle must be equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system that warns the driver of any gradual loss of tire pressure.