WASHINGTON (May 19)—The Rubber Manufacturers Association has not proven the need for a tire pressure reserve load requirement for tires, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ruled in denying the RMA's petition for that requirement.
The association said the action was needed to offset the agency's tire pressure monitoring system rule, which allows tires to fall 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer's recommended pressure before motorists are warned of danger. NHTSA, however, said the RMA had no real-world data to prove its point.
The agency's cost-benefit analysis showed a tire reserve requirement to be prohibitively expensive, costing the automotive industry and consumers about $132 million annually to save maybe five lives.
Both the RMA and the Tire Industry Association, which supported the RMA petition, expressed disappointment. "We feel there should be a reserve load requirement to make sure people don't run their tires underinflated and overloaded," an RMA spokesman said.