STOKE-ON-TRENT, England—Michelin's England Head of Fleet Dave Crinson is issuing a warning to drivers against becoming complacent with tire pressures following the introduction of Tire pressure Monitoring Systems.
The electronic safety device, which became mandatory on all new cars in November 2012, monitors pressure inside a tire and alerts drivers when pressures fall below a certain level, typically 20 percent under-inflated.
Michelin said it welcomes the new European legislation concerning the device, which has been introduced to help improve road safety and reduce carbon emissions, but Crinson emphasized that TPMS is not an alternative to regular tire checks.
"Although TPMS is an excellent tool, there is the possibility it could encourage drivers to act only when the alarm is raised and not to carry out basic checks regularly, which are so important," Crinson said.
"TPMS will only detect a reduction in tire pressure, so it's essential that drivers continue to regularly check tread depths and look for any damage, including penetrating objects such as nails and screws."
Michelin advises that tire pressures should be checked at least once a month and before long journeys.
Results from the company's Fill Up With Air events indicate a high number of drivers are neglecting their tires. Tests on a 3,722 vehicles in 2012 revealed that 30 percent of drivers had tire pressures classed as "dangerous"—between 8 and 14 psi under-inflated, and nine percent of pressures were classed as 'very dangerous' —more than 14 psi below their vehicle's recommended level. Only 28 percent of vehicles tested were found to have the correct pressures as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.