Michelin defender tire for my 2001 toyota camry

I need to put a michelin defender tire on my 2001 toyota camry. Some car service in Toronto demand that I need to head off to a H rated tire or the guarantee might be invalid and void! I have never had an issue with any tire and have never required the guarantee.

I don’t drive at 130 mph and don’t grasp the request of the higher speed rating. The michelin safeguard is a T rateed tire.

What are your contemplations on this?

Ridiculous. If you need a new Michelin Defender to match your other tires, go to a different tire shop who will give you one. These guys just want to sell you more expensive tires.

23 of the 46 tires that Tire Rack lists for your car are ‘T’ rated, so that shop was just blowing smoke. Find another shop.

This is another vote for finding a better tire shop.

According to the FSM Toyota recommends that if you have 14" wheels you use 195/70R14 90S,90H and if you have 15" (mostly on V6 models) 205/65R15 92H. For the exact one you need see the sticker on the drivers door jamb. I would have no problem putting S or T rated Defenders on an 01 Camry. I have 205/65R15 T rated Defenders on my 02 Camry 4 cyl. now. But I do tend to keep my speeds under 100 mph anyways :wink:

Driving a different rated tire - you may notice a difference in handling. A higher speed rated tire will give you quicker response. But after driving for about an hour you should be use to it.

“By law, we can only put (fill in the blank) tires on your car”…That’s BS. There is no such “law”. When you hear that kind of stuff, it’s because it’s company policy to tell you that when you want a less expensive tire (or whatever) on your car…The tire companies legal department may insist on these warnings to CYA in today’s sue-happy environment…Upselling through fear…

The tire companies legal department may insist on these warnings to CYA in today's sue-happy environment.

It has NOTHING to do with sue-happy environment. It has EVERYTHING to do with company greed.

I went through this with Lens Crafters some years ago. Telling me it’s LAW that they can NOT give me my eye-glass prescription due to Hippaa Law. Which was a total LIE…It had EVERYTHING to do with them keeping my prescription so I could only buy my glasses from them. Hippa law says they can not give out my prescription information to any THIRD PARTY.

The shop that replaces my tires tells me that you can drop a rating level or 2 without problems. With an H rated tire, you could drop to U or T.

Here’s the way it works.

If a tire shop doesn’t put on at least the same speed rating as came originally, AND something bad happens, then the tire shop could be legally liable. While that isn’t a law per se, it does have the effect of a law.

So many tire shops are taking a cautious approach and insisting that vehicles leaving their shop use at least the speed rating published on the vehicle tire placard.

But there is a side technical bit that might be interesting. Tire failures are relatively rare, they are virtually non-existent in H and higher speed rated tires. Now this might not be of interest in the Great White North, but folks in Arizona, Southern Calif, Texas, and FL might be best served to take notice.

@CapriRacer, is that why auto manufacturers specify H tires for even family cars?

I prefer H rated, cost isn’t much different than T and they often handle a bit better.



I don’t know why you would even need an H rated tire on a Camry. Sure, you can get one up to those speeds if you’re willing to bury the throttle for a while, but probably a tenth of a percent of people that buy a Camry will ever hit 100 MPH.

@oblivion, see @CapriRacer’s comment above concerning tire failure. My 2005 Accord came from the factory with H tires. Now I know why.

My 2005 Camry also came with H rated tires

It specifically calls for H rated tires in the owner’s manual

Family sedans are not slow and underpowered cars anymore

I guess manufacturers could face product liability suits if they sold a car that had a top speed of 125 mph, say, but put only T- rated tires on it, even though hardly anyone would drive it that fast.

For comparison, my 1999 CRV owners manual makes no mention of recommended tire ratings. So the tire shops have to sell me whatever tires I want. :slight_smile:


Does your car have the recommended tire size and speed rating on the door jamb?

Most vehicles do. Some have that information inside the glove box or on the fuel filler door.

You are correct. My door jamb sticker says “S”. As in “Slow.” :wink:

People frequently misunderstand speed ratings. The speed rating on most modern tires is faster than most people drive so from that perspective they are irrelevant. What is important is that each different speed rating carries different handling characteristics. Your car’s suspension is designed to work with the specific characteristics of tires with the speed rating called for on the door sticker of your car. Your car won’t blow up and you won’t die if you drop down a speed rating or two HOWEVER in an emergency you may find yourself wishing for the greatest handling and control which only the PROPER speed rated tire will give you.

You simply need to decide if the extra money is worth the extra margin of safety. I have four kids and they ride in my vehicles all the time so I always make sure I have the proper tires as specified by the manufacturer. My car maintenance advice to people is always “You can save money everywhere else but don’t ever go cheap on tires or brakes”. Think about it. What plays the biggest role in maintaining control of your car AND stopping it?