RMA tells NHTSA inflation/load reserves should be part of ruling

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Tires should have sufficient inflation and load reserves, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The RMA's comments are in response to NHTSA's proposed rule for tire pressure monitoring systems that include two options for when drivers would be alerted to "significantly underinflated" tires.

One standard suggests a warning when tire psi fell below 20% of the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure; the other recommends a 25% threshold.

"The RMA believes that the agency should adopt a requirement...such that an inflation pressure that is 20% to 25% less than the vehicle manufacturer's recommended inflation pressure is sufficient for the vehicle maximum load on the tire."

The RMA also has voiced opposition to NHTSA's claim that tire industry inflation and load standards are outdated. "The industry's inflation standards have been recognized and for many decades have been used as a consensus, scientific guide to avoid failures."

In addition, the Washington, D.C.-based organization is worried that drivers will not check their tires' air pressure until warned of psi losses.

"Safety should be the paramount concern."

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