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.”