WASHINGTON, D.C. – All passenger cars will have tire pressure monitoring systems beginning with the 2006 model year, according to a new motor vehicle safety standard by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The regulation will require that manufacturers install a system that can detect when one or more of the vehicle’s tires are 25% or more below the recommended inflation pressure.
Phase-in of the new regulation will begin Sept. 1, 2005. All new four-wheeled vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or less must be equipped with the monitoring system by the 2008 model year.
According to NHTSA, under-inflated tires can adversely affect fuel economy, lead to skidding and loss of control and hydroplaning on wet surfaces. It can also increase stopping distance and the likelihood of tire failure.
The NHTSA estimates that about 120 lives a year will be saved when all new vehicles are equipped with the tire pressure monitoring system. In addition, consumers should see improved fuel economy and increased tire life. The manufacturers’ average cost per vehicle is estimated to be between $48.44 and $69.89, depending on the technology used.
The tire pressure monitoring system was required by Congress when it enacted the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation (TREAD) Act in 2000.