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NHTSA sets tire pressure monitoring system standards

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued part one of a two-part final rule that requires tire pressure monitoring systems on new cars starting next year.

Vehicle manufacturers can pick from two types of monitoring systems currently available, according to the agency: one that measures the pressure in each tire and another that uses a vehicle's anti-lock brake system to sense tire pressure differences by monitoring the speed of tire revolution.

Both compliance options are for the period between Nov. 1, 2003, and Oct. 31, 2006, say NHTSA officials.

"The second part of this final rule will be issued by March 1, 2005, and will establish performance requirements that will become effective on Nov. 1, 2006."

Meanwhile, NHTSA will accept feedback and suggestions concerning tire pressure monitoring system performance.

The agency also plans to compare the tire pressures of vehicles with no monitoring systems to pressures of vehicles that use systems. "This will help (us) make a decision on the second part of the rule," add NHTSA representatives.

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