Schrader Rejects Magazine’s TPMS Criticism
Schrader Electronics, one of the leading suppliers of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) has rejected criticism of the technology published by motoring magazine Auto Express. The article by Jon Morgan, published online on 6 August, said a number of car companies in the UK have voiced criticism of the European Union’s decision to make TPMS fully mandated by 2014. The criticism focussed on a suggestion that they are an unnecessary piece of technology and one for which some motorists have suggested that they would rather not pay, that the car industry was “furious” and there was a “backlash” as a result. Some of those quoted in the piece said drivers should take responsibility and check tyre pressures on weekly basis. Schrader’s somewhat pragmatic point of view is that this clearly does not happen.
In its repost to the article Schrader Electronics, which is purportedly Europe’s leading developer of direct TPMS, cited consumer research that indicated very clearly that most drivers do not check tyre pressures or indeed tyre tread depth and that up to 80 per cent of cars on UK roads are running on either over or under inflated tyres. These findings have been confirmed in a number of checks undertaken by tyre company Michelin.
“Car companies have commented that there has only been a tiny uptake of TPMS on new car models,” said Alfonso Di Pasquale of Schrader Electronics, “this is reminiscent of the ESP debate where again it was suggested that there had been a low uptake from customers. The reality is that dealers are not been explaining the safety benefits of ESP and this applies equally to TPMS.
“The increase in cost mentioned in a news report in the UK weekly motoring magazine Auto Express is frankly misleading; we anticipate that the cost to the motorist should be no more than 100 euros per system and this will reduce with economies of scale,” continued Alfonso Di Pasquale. “A suggestion in the same news item from the AA that a new sensor will have to be purchased if a tyre is replaced is equally incorrect and even if this were the case, experience from the US – where TPMS has been standard on all cars since 1997 – has indicated that a replacement senor will cost around 20 euros.”
A further suggestion is that pressure monitoring technology will not be able to identify other tyre related problems. The current system of course was not designed to do more than indicate a loss of tyre pressure. However, work undertaken by Schrader Electronics and tyre company Pirelli is well-advanced and promises the birth of the ‘intelligent tyre’ that will not only monitor tyre pressures, but also tyre tread depth as well as offering the potential for assessing the potential for skidding on wet roads.
“The safety credentials for TPMS are well known, accepted and supported by the European Union together with other independent research and safety organisations. It has been proven that up to 3 per cent of road accidents could be avoided if tyres were inflated to the correct levels, in addition, ensuring that tyre pressures are at the correct levels reduces emissions (up to 10 per cent in some cases) and improves fuel consumption,” Alfonso Di Pasquale concluded.