European Union To Make Tire Pressure Monitoring System Mandatory, Faces Criticism

European Union To Make Tire Pressure Monitoring System Mandatory, Faces Criticism

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
17 Aug 2010

A number of car companies in the UK have voiced criticism of the European Union’s decision to make tyre pressure monitoring systems fully mandated by 2014. The criticism has focussed on a suggestion that they are an unnecessary piece of technology and one for which some motorists have suggested that they would rather not pay. The rationale advanced from some quarters is that a driver should take responsibility and check tyre pressures on weekly basis; clearly this does not happen.

Consumer research, says Schrader Electronics – Europe’s leading developer of direct tyre pressure monitoring systems – has indicated very clearly that most drivers do not check tyre pressures or indeed tyre tread depth and that up to 80% of cars on UK roads are running on either over or under inflated tyres. These findings have been confirmed in a number of checks undertaken by tyre company Michelin.

“Car companies have commented that there has only been a tiny uptake of TPMS on new car models,” said Alfonso Di Pasquale of Schrader Electronics, “this is reminiscent of the ESP debate where again it was suggested that there had been a low uptake from customers. The reality is that dealers are not been explaining the safety benefits of ESP and this applies equally to TPMS.

“The increase in cost mentioned in a news report in the UK weekly motoring magazine Auto Express is frankly misleading; we anticipate that the cost to the motorist should be no more than 100 Euros per system and this will reduce with economies of scale,” continued Alfonso Di Pasquale. “A suggestion in the same news item from the AA that a new sensor will have to be purchased if a tyre is replaced is equally incorrect and even if this were the case, experience from the United States – where TPMS has been standard on all cars since 1997 – has indicated that a replacement senor will cost around 20 Euros.”

A further suggestion is that pressure monitoring technology will not be able to identify other tyre related problems. The current system of course was not designed to do more than indicate a loss of tyre pressure. However, work undertaken by Schrader Electronics and tyre company Pirelli is well-advanced and promises the birth of the ‘intelligent tyre’ that will not only monitor tyre pressures, but also tyre tread depth as well as offering the potential for assessing the potential for skidding on wet roads.

“The safety credentials for TPMS are well known, accepted and supported by the European Union together with other independent research and safety organisations. It has been proven that up to 3% of road accidents could be avoided if tyres were inflated to the correct levels, in addition, ensuring that tyre pressures are at the correct levels reduces emissions (up to 10% in some cases) and improves fuel consumption”.

Credits: wilswong

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