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SmarTire Systems Supports Highest Tire Safety Standard

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA---SmarTire Systems Inc. a leading developer of tire pressure and temperature monitoring technology, has reviewed the recent news release from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announcing that it has returned for further study the proposed tire safety law developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

With industry suppliers, legislative representatives and consumer safety groups, SmarTire solidly supports NHTSA's new tire safety standards as recommended to the OMB. These required standards were developed after a thorough review and evaluation of the tire monitoring industry. They reflect the letter and spirit of the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act that was passed into law in November 2000 to improve tire safety and to prevent future injuries and fatalities. The passage of the TREAD Act constituted an historic event for the automotive industry, requiring tire monitoring systems be installed on passenger cars and light trucks after November 2003.

The concern raised by the OMB primarily involves the future of anti-locking braking (ABS) systems. NHTSA is recommending a four year phasing out of the indirect approach to tire monitoring that utilizes ABS technology. As an alternative, direct measurement systems that provide a greater level of tire safety would become the required industry standard within four years. The OMB is concerned that the proposed rule-making might discourage vehicle manufacturers from installing anti-lock brakes for consumers.

In July 2001, NHTSA released its initial report outlining the possible standards for improved tire safety and the importance and benefits of direct measurement tire monitoring solutions. NHTSA determined that direct measurement technologies offered the best solution to meet the requirements for a driver to be warned when the tire pressure in one or more tires, up to a total of four tires, has fallen to 20% or more below the recommended cold inflation pressure. In the same report, NHTSA concluded that indirect technologies were not able to meet this minimum standard.

``Tire safety is a critical transportation issue,'' commented Robert Rudman, SmarTire's President and Chief Executive Officer. ``As an independent government agency, NHTSA has completed an extensive review of all tire safety solutions. It has evaluated arguments from all concerned parties and concluded that direct measurement systems offer the best tire safety solution.''

``Braking safety is an important issue and vehicle manufacturers should be encouraged to install anti-lock brakes but not at the risk of compromising tire safety.''

SmarTire has a long and proven track record in the tire monitoring industry. In addition to passenger cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles, SmarTire's target markets include industrial, commercial and recreational vehicles, transit and school buses, motorcycles and specialized vehicles. ``The same high level of tire safety that is required and being developed for these target markets should be brought forward to the passenger car market as recommended by NHTSA,'' added Rudman.

SmarTire develops and markets technically advanced tire monitoring systems for all sectors of the automotive and transportation industries. Additional information can be found at