ERJ staff report (DS)
Paris -- Michelin has released the results of a survey of car tyre pressures in various countries across Europe. The headline result is that 32 percent of the 10 791 tyres tested were at the correct pressure (to within 200 mbar); a further 26 percent were underinflated by up to 400mbar. Michelin described these tyres as acceptable temporarily, assuming the drivers were on their way to top up the pressure.
25 percent of tyres were underinflated by up to 900mbar, while almost 10 percent were underinflated by over 1 bar. Michelin described these conditions as dangerous and 'very dangerous' respectively.
Almost one car in 13 had all tyres over-inflated, while almost one in 30 had a puncture of some kind.
Just 32 cars out of 10 000 had a tyre pressure monitor system installed and two cars -- one in Clermont Ferrand and one in Ladoux -- had PAX tyres fitted. The company did not record whether these were at the correct pressure or not -- or whether they were driven by Michelin employees.
The pressure surveys were carried out between January and September 2007 in about 50 locations in 9 countries. The nine countries were the UK, France, Serbia, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Poland and Belgium
The British came out by far the worst in the survey, with 52 percent of tyres underinflated by over 500mbar, while the French were nearly as bad, with 38 percent of tyres in the same categories. In one test (Liverpool), an astonishing 38.5 percent (90 out of 234 cars) had punctures. France was closely followed by Algeria, with 37 percent badly underinflated. The eastern countries reported generally better levels of maintenance, with around 20 percent of tyres underinflated by dangerous margins.
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Press release from Michelin UK