Conti Urges European Adoption of 10% Deviation TPMS
The European Commission has ruled that tyre pressure monitoring systems are to be a mandatory on all new vehicles as of 2012. With this deadline only three years away, Continental is urging the adoption of systems that give precise measurements and alert drivers as soon as even slight levels of underinflation are detected.
“About 90 per cent of all tyre defects are attributable to a slow leak in tyre pressure,” comments Conti spokesman Alexander Lührs. He adds that one third of cars on the road in Continental’s home market of Germany have at least one underinflated tyre, and this problem is mirrored throughout Europe. If the tyres on each of these vehicles were correctly inflated, vehicle running costs in Europe alone could be reduced by £3.1 billion a year. Vehicle braking distances would also decrease.
Conti’s chassis and tyre engineering experts urge the adoption of a low warning threshold for underinflation conditions in order to increase vehicle safety and minimise the number of tyre failures. The German tyre and automotive systems manufacturer is pressing for a compulsory tyre pressure monitoring system that alerts the driver as soon as the pressure in at least one of the tires shows a 10 per cent deviation from the recommended inflation pressure. At the same time, Conti’s experts warn against being too lax when formulating the technical standards: It is important to recognise that if legislation was to provide for a low pressure warning threshold of as much as 25 per cent, an increasing number of drivers would drive around on underinflated tyres simply because manual tyre checks would be regarded as being inconvenient. This would then severely affect the running costs, fuel efficiency and vehicle safety, comments Continental.