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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.”
[Source: Auto Express]
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has mandated that vehicle tire pressures must be checked during routine service and in line with the recommended factory settings.
The initiative comes as part of a bid to cut down on under-inflated tires, which use more fuel and by extension, emit more greenhouse gases. While the law was initiated in 2009, the law was revised to include maintenance shops but exempts auto body shops, auto glass installers, auto dismantlers, and auto parts retailers.
Despite being well intentioned .here are numerous problems with the law; tire pressures can vary based on the weather, how hot or cold the tires are, and customers with nitrogen filled tires can decline the service if the shop doesn’t have a nitrogen re-filling system. The law also smacks of yet another intrusions of an overly paternalistic government. Perhaps if CARB legislators kept their mouths shut, less hot air would escape, leading to a further reduction in emissions.
[Source: Consumer Reports]