Industry fury at tyre rules

Industry fury at tyre rules
6 Aug, 2010 5:01pm Jon Morgan

Pressure monitoring kit will push costs up, firms say buyers don’t want the technology

A BACKLASH is underway against mandatory safety kit after the European Union added yet another item to the list of technology required on cars.

Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) will become compulsory from November 2011, but the need for this has been questioned by the industry.

Currently offered as an option by many manufacturers, TPMS can cost up to £250. A Hyundai insider said: “It’s 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.Feedback from our customers shows they don’t like it. We offered it as standard on the i30, and customers said they’d rather not have it.

“They didn’t want the extra maintenance costs. If you said to someone: ‘Do you want to pay an extra £100 for this system?’ they’ll say no.”

A spokesman for Vauxhall said: “You could argue that people should be doing weekly tyre checks anyway.”

Vauxhall offers TPMS as an option on the Insignia in Exclusive and SRi trim. The spokesman said: “We’ve had a tiny uptake. Very few people have opted for this. People
don’t attach a great deal of importance to it.”  Vanessa Guyll, technical specialist at The AA, said: “It will increase costs. And if you have to replace a tyre then the system will need to be reset, and you’ll have to buy a new valve sensor.”

She also questioned the safety credentials of TPMS.  “They’re good in principle but they’re not a replacement for regularly checking your tyres. They don’t catch problems such as uneven wear and bulges.”

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...but, who will save us from ourselves?

For the diligent motorist standard TPMS could provide an additional level of safety information between normal checks. However, I fear that those who treat regular checks as a non-essential optional extra could overly rely on TPMS, and not assess the general condition of their tyres until it is too late.

For the diligent motorist standard TPMS could provide an additional level of safety information between normal checks. However, I fear that those who treat regular checks as a non-essential optional extra could overly rely on TPMS, and not assess the general condition of their tyres until it is too late.

I think the Commissions insistence on this is driven by environmental concerns rather than safety. An under-inflated tyre uses a bit more fuel and creates a bit more CO2. That's (I beileve) their primary concern.

I'd be interested to know whether TPMS actually COSTS Hyundai (or any manufacturer) £250 per car to fit, or, indeed, anything like it!

I have TPMS on my peugeot 607 and while they are usefull to warn when a tyre is gettin low on pressure. should have been checking this anyway? wait until the owner gets the bill if one fails or leaks or gets damaged by a tyre fitting gorrila. £120 for one. if it was £30 then ok but its a rip off. this is another example of a good safety device is used to rip poeple off.

This is just the EU trying to justify its existence.

Reliance on uncertain monitors makes for one more nail in the coffin for driving skills. Put this in the same bracket as automated lights, wipers and parking brakes.

I reckon it is being done, against public wishes - why? - in order to boost sales this year. It will make my old car more valuable, that's for sure.

We don't want these unreliable and expensive gizmos, but I'll bet the manufacturers' lobby in Brussels does. What about democracy?

Come on. Be honest. How often does the average driver check his/her tyre pressures? What sort of numbskull would object to his tyre pressures being continually checked whenever on the move? And save having to dirty hands in the depths of winter checking them manually?

The (standard fit) TPMS on my BMW has saved me a couple of times. Manually check TP (every 6 to 8 weeks), light comes on a few days later - puncture. Thought the handling had gone a bit iffy.

And the article shows how much faith we can put in the "experts'. "Vanessa Guyll, technical specialist at The AA" demonstrates her total lack of knowledge by suggesting "you’ll have to buy a new valve sensor". Go and look at the BMW system, Vanessa!

Besides the additional unnecessary cost and complexity are not tyre pressure monitors in the cabin just another further distraction for the already grossly overloaded senses of today’s driver at the wheel?

Anyway there is nothing like getting ‘down and dirty’ once a week checking each individual tyre (including the spare) for pressure, tread abnormalities, especially for uneven wear (which if caught early can save you big money in the cost of a new tyre), cracks, side wall bulges, nails and stones wedged in the treads and the like. A quick weekly visual check on brake pad wear, brake hoses, drive shaft rubber boots and even the shock absorbers can even be undertaken at the same time. It will take you less than ten minutes of your time you know.

Trouble is so many of today’s motorists just can’t be bothered full stop or don’t want the bother of getting a little bit grubby once and a while. Mind you us ‘oil heads’ fear that many of today’s motorists don’t even know what the road wheels are for.

While I don't mind doing the visual inspection, actually checking tyre pressures is a faff and I'd be happy to do without it - plus, anything which runs all the time has to be an improvement PROVIDED it does what it's meant to. If they've resolved the issues which affected the early systems (which should be the case by 2011) then mandatory fitment should bring down the price.
Probably in a minority here, but I don't care :-)

Vanessa Guyll, technical specialist at The AA, said: “It will increase costs. And if you have to replace a tyre then the system will need to be reset, and you’ll have to buy a new valve sensor.”

Since when?! The Audi TPMS system does not require a valve sensor - I think the principal of operation needs to be reviewed Venesa!

Personally, I think the TPMS system is a very good feature especially when the vehicle uses runflats and so it can be difficult to detect a flat early when driving and even when undertaking the weekly checks (depending obviously on rate of deflation and realistic duration between tyre checks).

Tyre developments, such as ContinentalsContiseal tyres that have an internal lining of what can be best described as 'goo' that can fill upto 16 x 5mm punctures is a development that can and does by design seal a tyre on a puncture. The TPMS system will detect this but not necessarily the visual inspection by the vehicle owner - especially by the majority of todays motorists are not 'oil heads' and neither are they expected to be.

I disagree that the system should be mandatory, it is a useful feature that I personally will continue to choose as an option, but to demand this feature be standard is obsured.

I've owned cars with tpms , and yes it is good , but generally doesn't work if all the tyres go down slowly at the same rate , compulsory Bluetooth in all cars would save more lives , I see literally hundreds of people a week on their phones , fit this instead !!!!

One aspect nobody's mentioned yet is that the pressure sensor batteries *inside* the tire need to be replaced every two years or so for the system to work properly. If you don't replace your tires that often, be prepared to see a TPMS error light on your dashboard until you do.

This is just ridiculous, where will EU interference end?
This unallected, faceless, communistic, expensively corrupt club, has got it in for us again.

This compulsory TPMS has probably been dreamed up by some unallected numpty who probably doesn’t even drive.
I like everybody else, have been able to check my own tyres over the last 40 yrs and don’t need any sort of gadget to tell me if they are a few pounds down.
I prophecy that this is just the start, tyre tread depth will probably be the next to be monitored, and MPH will be electronically governed to the speed signs, if we don’t fight back.

The only people to benefit from the EU are French farmers, and criminals hiding behind the EU instigated Human Rights Act.

It’s time we motorists put pressure on the government to get us out of this potty EU once and for all.

sorry, but I'm not convinced that increased safety is the issue, and that manufacturers are against the added cost: TPMS is going to be a big revenue line! Unfortunately, it's not just the cost of the system and the sensors on the car you buy, that you need to consider, but the added cost of the sensors on the second set of rims that so many people living in snow country need, or should have.

Rather than paying to get "rid" of that light on the dashboard for those without the sensors, I expect many people will be put off by the now $1,000 to $1500 for winter rims and tires, and put up the the "all-season" tires that came on their car. [Somehow I don't think my wife would go for a piece of appropriately coloured duct tape on the dashboard.] There are probably hundreds of thousands of people driving around Toronto every winter who thought $750 for that second set of rubber wasn't worth it; each typical "bad" winter storm results in 500+ reported accidents in T.O. alone, and during the rest of the winter they have a hard time just getting out of their own way.

There's no question that automobile accidents create jobs, and that TPMS will increase the cost of running future automobiles, but as a safety directive...the money could be better spent for other things.

I admit I have had cars where these have seemingly worked well; but a Peugeot 407 I owned, with these sensors fitted was positively dangerous. On icy cold mornings, the tyre pressures were 1 or 2 PSI low until they warmed up a bit; triggering a bright orange flashing warning light on the dashboard. Positively dangerous in my view because on a cold, dark, icy morning, the last thing I wanted was glaringly bright light flashing on my dashboard for the first few minutes of driving.

I admit I have had cars where these have seemingly worked well; but a Peugeot 407 I owned, with these sensors fitted was positively dangerous. On icy cold mornings, the tyre pressures were 1 or 2 PSI low until they warmed up a bit; triggering a bright orange flashing warning light on the dashboard. Positively dangerous in my view because on a cold, dark, icy morning, the last thing I wanted was glaringly bright light flashing on my dashboard for the first few minutes of driving.

I would rather see mandatory misfuelling prevention devices, and automatic oil level warnings before TPMS. And as already said, they detect deflations on the move but are no substitute for using your eyes.

This option cost £90 on our Skoda Yeti and I was quite happy to pay it - and no, there are no batteries, special valves or anything else and no false alarms in 12,000 miles. Yes I check tyres regularly but many people don't, and even if they do, TPMS can give advanced warning of a slow puncture before it becomes dangerous.

Unfortunately this is just an excuse to have a dig at the EU, for those who have been brainwashed by the tabloids, and the industry seem quite happy to spend our money on oversized alloys, metallic paint, MP3 players etc. but not on a sub-£100 safety feature? Come on!

It would seem to me that most of the posters against this idea need to swot up on the TPMS before they post!

Like a previous poster, I have a BMW with this system and I have had no problems with it al all. It is accurate and has saved me a new tyre at least three times! It is all very well saying that tyre pressures should be checked once a week, but IMHO is the daftest statement on this thread! (apart from Vanessa Guyll who really should know better!)

Of course pressures and the casing should be checked once a week and in an ideal world, it would be done! But we don't live in an ideal world and we don't check our tyres that often. Given that, what would you rather have coming towards your car? Someone who doesn't check his/her tyres and no TPMS? Or perhaps someone who also doesn't check his/her tyres and relies on TPMS to let them know when the pressures are low?

SPINDLER 1955... Using your eyes???? Whilst on the move?????? DOH!!!!

I could go on with this, but I think you all get the picture! Just a chance to have a moan at something and make yourselves look knowledgeable... NOT!!!

Scientists from 2 universities have tested the security of the system currently mandated in the US and found it's insecure. They have published a paper at http://ftp.cse.sc.edu/reports/... where they show how they were able to spoof readings in a car, and even crash the TPMS ECU which completely disabled the service (requiring a dealer visit for a replacement ECU). Oops!

If this proposal does progress I hope there is a requirement for higher security in the system (and any other radio-based safety system in the future), though I fear this is also likely to increase the cost...

From what i understand TPMS only sense pressure drops relative to the other tyres so they are useless at ensuring you are running at the correct pressure. Furthermore each sensor is registered to its specific corner of the car so those of us with rear wheel drive cars who rotate their tyres will have to take the car to the dealer so they can 'tell' the system that the wheel has moved corners. Apart from generally disliking the EUs laws for the sake of laws policy they seem to delight in thinking up ways of making me pay more money for no reason!

I've worked for developing TPMS for Hyundai and it's never been close to £250, rather £50.
There are two kinds of system, high and low line, and high line costs about £40 which display the location of low pressure tire within the vehicle. Low line system costs £30 something.
It is ridiculous to hear that it costs £250, or Hyundai is trying to rip off the customers, which they do for Korean market.

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