Companies Challenge Tyre pressure Rule
Major tyre companies including Bridgestone Corporation, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co have sued the US government in order to block the introduction of a new TPMS regulation. The companies, joined by trade and consumer groups, claimed that the car and light truck regulation was inadequate to ensure safety.
“While we support tyre pressure monitoring systems as a way to increase safety, the current (rule) does not go far enough,” the companies said in a joint statement. “There is technology available to provide faster, more accurate information to motorists.”
A previous legal challenge by safety groups forced regulators to rewrite the rule, which was subsequently completed in April. Under the new monitoring standard, a dashboard light warns motorists if tyres are under-inflated by more than 25 per cent. But tyre manufacturers and consumer group Public Citizen oppose a single standard because tyres vary in size and thickness. They argue that a 25 per cent drop in recommended pressure may leave some tyres so under-inflated they cannot safely support a fully loaded vehicle. Tyre companies in the lawsuit also claim that the technology required by the government takes too long to activate and does not require monitoring systems to operate with replacement tyres.
Regulators estimate the new rule will cost the auto industry between $800 million and $1.1 billion to phase in the technology on all new vehicles through 2007. The more precise technology favored by tire manufacturers would cost more money.
In the US 2 to 4 million vehicles have (mainly indirect) TPMS installed.