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Ontario association issues TPMS warning

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DRAYTON, Ontario—In the absence of any national or provincial rules about tire pressure monitoring systems, the Ontario Tire Dealers Association has issued an advisory for all tire dealerships that TPMS always must remain functional after tire service.

“We strongly suggest that a TPMS system should never be deactivated or rendered ineffective after any tire repair, replacements, rotations, installation of new wheels or any service whereby the TPMS system can be affected,” the OTDA said in its notice.

The OTDA issued the warning in light of the statements about TPMS on the website of Transport Canada, the nation's equivalent to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Transport Canada notes that TPMS is not required in Canada, unlike the U.S., which began requiring TPMS on all new vehicles since 2007.

“Based on our research and collision investigation programs,” the agency said, “Transport Canada has not identified a pattern of motor vehicle collisions caused conclusively by tire failure in Canada.

“However, we continue to monitor the effectiveness of TPMS to determine if they provide any potential safety benefits to Canadians and will take action as required.”

Meanwhile, rules about the use and maintenance of TPMS would fall under the jurisdiction of Canada's provinces, just as regulations about vehicle operation and licensing would, Transport Canada said.

However, no Canadian province has established rules about TPMS. OTDA President Mike McClory wrote Ontario Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca in May 2015, asking the provincial agency to establish best-practice guidelines for TPMS.

“Given that the majority of vehicles on Ontario roads have TPMS, issues of risk and liability arise as a result of the lack of regulatory clarity regarding the aftermarket management of TPMS,” McClory wrote.

In a July 2015 reply, Del Duca said his agency would not issue any TPMS guidelines.

“Given that Transport Canada has determined that there is not a safety-related need for TPMS in Canada's fleet of light-duty vehicles, the Ministry of Transportation has aligned with this position,” Del Duca wrote.

“As a result, no consideration has been given regarding the requirement of the retention or functionality of TPMS in Ontario's vehicles,” he wrote.

The tire and wheel section of Ontario's Light Duly Vehicle Inspection Standard, which was issued in October 2015 and will become effective July 1, 2016, does mention TPMS. Under that standard, the inspector must record on the report if the TPMS warning light is illuminated during operation. However, such illumination is not in itself grounds to reject a vehicle.

As with other tire-related associations, the OTDA strongly recommends checking tire pressures at least once every 30 days.

Ontario TDA seeks to promote, educate and represent members in areas that impact growth in the tire industry.