WASHINGTON (Sept. 22, 2005) — Interested parties have until Oct. 24 to petition for reconsideration of of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) changes to the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) standard issued in April 2005.
The changes, themselves initiated by petitions to NHTSA, are mostly technical in nature, relating to methods for testing the accuracy of monitoring systems.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) was turned down, among other things, in its request that the 35-psi minimum activation pressures for light truck tires in Load Range C, D or E. This is plainly inadequate when the tire is at maximum load and inflated to 80 psi, an RMA spokesman said.
The Specialty Market Equipment Association (SEMA) got the agency to confirm that aftermarket malfunction indicator lamps are approved for use. But SEMA was disappointed in its efforts to get NHTSA to mandate that auto makers provide independent repair shops with service information for the monitoring systems, and that the systems can be recalibrated after their first service life to accommodate tires with different recommended air pressures.
“With a 30-psi tire, the first owner will receive a warning at 24 psi,” said Stuart Gosswein, director of federal government affairs for SEMA. “If that's replaced with a 36-psi tire, the TPMS still may only issue a warning at 24 psi if the system can't be reset.”
Mr. Gosswein said the recalibration issue would be a panel question at the upcoming SEMA trade show in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, a lawsuit to throw out the entire TPMS standard—filed by Public Citizen, the Tire Industry Association, Goodyear, Bridgestone/Firestone, Pirelli Tire L.L.C. and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.—is still pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.