They’ve been mandated in the U.S. since 2007, but now, thanks to a pending EU ruling, tire pressure monitoring systems are set to become mandated equipment on vehicles in Europe from November 2011. However, the announcement has resulted in a backlash, from auto manufacturers and also groups such as the AA (Automobile Association) who believe TPMS systems are unnecessarily costly and don’t really present a worthwhile solution. At present a number of vehicles on sale in Europe are available with TPMS systems, but so far, based on market research, there appears to be only small numbers of customers opting for them.
According to a spokesperson from Vauxhall, GM’s British arm, “we’ve only had a tiny uptake – people don’t attach a great deal of importance to this.” At Hyundai, similar sentiments were echoed. “[TPMS] is a relatively costly thing and we have to pass that on to the consumer. There is a safety aspect and we appreciate that, but we don’t think it’s needed.” The AA’s Vanessa Guyll, declared that while TPMS sytems are “good in principle, they’re not a replacement for checking your tires – they don’t catch problems such as uneven wear and bulges.”