NHTSA denies petition for air pressure reserve, TIA 'frustrated'

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has denied a petition from the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) that asked the agency to establish a recommended cold tire inflation pressure using a tire pressure reserve.

"The tire pressure reserve would be based on the minimum pressure the RMA believes is necessary to support the vehicle's maximum load at the activation pressure of the installed tire pressure monitoring system," say NHTSA officials.

NHTSA feels that reserve inflation isn't necessary, TIA Director of Government Affairs Becky MacDicken told today. TIA supported the RMA's petition.

"Obviously, we disagree. We feel every extra bit of safety would be helpful" for motorists.

"The tire industry has been proactive in helping the motoring public get more education on tire safety and maintenance," says TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield.

He believes "it is a mistake for NHTSA to not consider adding additional safeguards."

NHTSA's ruling on reserve pressure comes on the heels of its final tire pressure monitoring system rule, which TIA calls "fatally flawed."

"TIA is frustrated with NHTSA's apparent lack of interest in what the tire industry has to say," adds Littlefield.

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