Michelin's PAX run-flat tyre system is making its mainstream debut in the United States, on Honda's new, top-line 2005 Odyssey Touring edition.

The Odyssey is the second biggest selling minivan line in the United States.

The run-flat tyre can be driven up to 125 miles at 55 mph. PAX has been sold as standard equipment on the Rolls-Royce Phantom in the United States since 2003 and is offered as an option on several Audi models sold in Europe.

It is an assembly of four components: tyre, support ring, wheel, and pressure monitor. The unique design of the assembly means the tire will not unseat from the rim in normal operating conditions even after a total loss of air pressure.

Michelin claims PAX also offers better handling than standard tyres for everyday driving and better comfort than traditional self-supporting tyres.

Since Michelin first introduced the concept in 1998, the company has licensed the technology to Pirelli, Goodyear, Sumitomo Rubber Industries and Toyo in an effort to establish a new industry standard. Currently in North America and Europe, more than 200,000 PAX System assemblies are in operation.

"There is a lot of momentum building in the industry," said Chubb. "Several manufacturers are watching the Odyssey programme very closely and are considering PAX technology for their next generation vehicles."