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NHTSA Seeks Comment on Proposed Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard requiring the installation of tire pressure monitoring systems in new passenger cars, light trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less to warn the driver when the vehicle has a significantly under-inflated tire.

This notice seeks comment on two alternative versions of the regulation. Only one version will be in the final rule.

One alternative would require that the driver be warned when the pressure in one or more tires, up to a total of four tires, has fallen to 20 percent or more below the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for the vehicle's tires, or a minimum level of pressure to be specified in the new standard, whichever is higher.

The other alternative would require that the driver be warned when tire pressure in one or more tires, up to a total of three tires, has fallen to 25 percent or more below the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for the vehicle's tires, or a minimum level of pressure to be specified in the new standard, whichever is higher.

NHTSA estimates that 49 to 79 deaths and 6,585 to 10,635 injuries could be prevented each year if all vehicles were equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems. Consumers would benefit from increased fuel economy and longer tire wear. In addition, there would be benefits resulting from fewer crashes due to tire blowouts, immobilized vehicles, or poor vehicle handling from pressure loss and hydroplaning.

For the next 45 days, the public may submit comments in writing to: Docket Section, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. Alternatively, comments can be submitted electronically by logging onto the Docket Management System (DMS) website at http://dms.dot.gov Click on "Help & Information" or "Help/Info" to view instructions. Cite docket number 2000-8572 in either written or electronic submissions. The full text of the proposal and associated documents are on display at the website.