Washington DC--Representatives of the tyre industry blasted as inadequate the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's final rule on tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) issued yesterday.
The new standard requires a TPMS on all new cars by the 2008 model year that will warn motorists when one or more of their tyres is 25 percent or more under the vehicle manufacturer's recommended air pressure. The Rubber Manufacturers Association--supported by the Tire Industry Association, the American Automobile Association and other groups--consistently has said this is too low a warning level to protect consumers from tyre damage and accidents related to underinflation.
"This regulation may give motorists a false sense of security that their tyres are properly inflated when they may be significantly underinflated," RMA President Donald Shea said in a release.
The RMA and other groups asked NHTSA for a tyre pressure reserve requirement to make sure that tyres still can carry the vehicle's maximum load at the time the underinflation warning light illuminates. In its final rule, the agency said it would rule on that request in a separate notice.
Final Rule published by NHTSA
Press release from NHTSA
Press release from Rubber Manufacturers' Association