Crain News Service report
STOKE-ON-TRENT, England (July 1, 2013) — The head of Group Michelin's England fleet issued a warning to drivers against becoming complacent with tire pressures following the introduction of tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS).
Dave Crinson said the electronic safety technology, which became mandatory on all new cars in November 2012, monitors pressure inside a tire and alerts drivers when pressures fall below a certain level—typically 20 percent under-inflattion.
Michelin said it welcomes the new European legislation concerning TPMS, which has been introduced to help improve road safety and reduce carbon emissions, but Mr. Crinson emphasized the technology is not an alternative to regular tire checks.
"Although TPMS is an excellent tool, there is the possibility it could encourage drivers to act only when the alarm is raised and not to carry out basic checks regularly, which are so important," he said.
"TPMS will only detect a reduction in tire pressure, so it's essential that drivers continue to regularly check tread depths and look for any damage, including penetrating objects such as nails and screws."
Michelin advised that tire pressures should be checked at least once a month and before long journeys.
Results from the tire maker's "Fill Up With Air" events indicate a high number of drivers are neglecting their tires, the company said. Tests on a 3,722 vehicles in 2012 revealed that 30 percent of drivers had tire pressures classed as "dangerous"—between 8 and 14 psi under-inflated, and nine percent of pressures were classed as "very dangerous"—more than 14 psi below their vehicle's recommended level.
Only 28 percent of vehicles tested were found to have the correct pressures as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, according to Michelin.
This report appeared in European Rubber Journal, a UK-based sister publication of Tire Business.