“ATTENTION – Your gas guzzler kills. We have deflated one or more of your tires. You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s your car.” 

The letters placed on windshields, along with said deflated tires, are what greeted several Bay Area drivers on the morning of July 5. The letters contained a message written by an international group that deflates the tires of SUVs and other larger vehicles in the name of fighting climate change. 

“We did this because driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others,” the leaflet says. “We’re taking actions into our own hands because our governments and politicians will not.”


The incidents took place in Vacaville and soon went viral through Facebook and Reddit posts. This is the first known instance of members from Tyre Extinguishers, the group responsible, deflating tires in California. The U.K.-based group made their U.S. debut over the past few weeks by deflating tires in Chicago, New York City and Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

“As far as we know, this is the first action in the Bay Area – the first of many!” Marion Walker, a spokesperson for Tyre Extinguishers, said in an email to SFGATE. According to Walker, the group’s autonomous nature prevents other members from knowing who is deflating tires and where. 

This letter was left on the windshields of SUVs in Vacaville.

This letter was left on the windshields of SUVs in Vacaville.

Image courtesy of Jennifer Martin-Sierra.

Lt. Katie Cardona with the Vacaville Police Department said the department received one report on July 5 of a tire on a resident’s Honda Pilot SUV being deflated overnight. 

“We are aware that there are reports of additional tire deflations on social media, but those have not been reported to us,” Cardona told SFGATE. She added that the incident involving the Honda Pilot is being investigated as a case of vehicle tampering, which is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. 

Despite the Tyre Extinguishers claiming to target SUVs in urban areas — “You will have no difficulty getting around without your gas guzzler, with walking, cycling or public transit,” the leaflet says — the group’s first Bay Area deflations took place in a largely unwalkable suburban neighborhood. 

“We encourage people to target rich urban areas, but SUVs are a menace everywhere. This is an emergency,” Walker said. Users on Facebook and Reddit were livid over photos posted of the leaflet, which garnered thousands of comments across the two platforms. 

“If they do this to my car which I need to drive a whole 45 minutes to work and 45 minutes back from work at 10 p.m. when no public transit are working, well … [I’m] willing to take a week off to hunt them down and make sure whatever they’re using to puncture tires will be impaled somewhere on their body where the sun don’t shine,” a disgruntled Reddit user commented. (Police said there were no reports of vandalism to tires, and Tyre Extinguishers’ website only instructs people how to deflate tires, not to slash or damage them.)

The Tyre Extinguishers posted on their website yesterday that 12 SUVs had tires deflated in Vacaville, and encouraged members to avoid “cars clearly used for people with disabilities, traders’ cars (even if they’re large), minibuses and normal-sized cars.” 

“We want to make it impossible to own an SUV in the world’s urban areas. Deflating tyres repeatedly and encouraging others to do the same will turn the minor inconvenience of a flat tyre into a giant obstacle for driving massive killer vehicles around our streets,” Walker said. 



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