US tyre manufacturers petitioned federal highway safety officials to adopt new regulations that will see all new cars fitted with a reserve tyre inflation pressure monitoring systems.
Under inflation of tyres causes excessive build up of heat. Over time, this can lead to unseen damage that can lead to premature failure.
On June 5, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued its ruling mandating tyre pressure monitoring systems. These systems warn motorists when their tyres are 25-30% under inflated depending on the type of system adopted and will be standard on vehicles built from 2004 onwards. The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) is concerned that these systems will instil a false sense of security, allowing tyres to become unsafe before the motorist is even warned.
The RMA’s recommendation that a vehicles tyres pressure should be capable of carrying a vehicle load even if the tyre had deflated as much as 30%, takes the tyre pressure monitoring systems one step further. The RMA’s reserve pressure proposal would see motorists warned when a tyre is overloaded for its pressure, not just if the tyre was under inflated.
The RMA backed their proposal with data indicating that in over 70% of 100 cases, the approved system would not warn the motorist that their tyres were no longer able to support the load and that the system may mislead the motorist.
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