Tiremakers react to TPMS court decision

June 20, 2007

Last week's U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that four tiremarkers, the Tire Industry Association and Public Citizen Inc. "lack standing" in their lawsuit challenging the final tire pressure monitoring system rule has elicited reactions from the companies involved.

"We're disappointed with the court's ruling," a Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT) spokesman has told moderntiredealer.com.

BFNT, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Pirelli Tire LLC joined TIA and Public Citizen in bringing a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation two years ago.

The suit challenged the government's requirement that tire pressure monitoring systems only need to detect when one or more of a vehicle's tires are 25% or more below the recommended inflation pressure.

Last week, the court declared that the plaintiffs lack standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that "a party must show injury... caused by the conduct of the defendants."

Under Article III, the accusing party "bears the burden of establishing these elements."

"It was a standing issue, not a merits-of-the-case issue," countered the BFNT spokesman.

"We think that we're bringing forward important information. We think the 25% threshold is too much."

A Cooper spokesperson told moderntiredealer.com that Cooper "is assessing the court's opinion and determining the best options going forward. We joined in this lawsuit to promote driving safety."

A spokesman for Goodyear said the company has not determined a course of action yet. "We are still studying the opinion."