NHTSA submits new tire pressure monitoring rule to Office of Management and Budget

July 15, 2004

A new tire pressure monitoring system rule written by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) after the agency's original rule was shot down by a United States Appeals Court 11 months ago has been sent to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for review.

NHTSA is being tight-lipped about the new rule.

"We haven't released the proposed (rule) and won't release it until it's been reviewed," NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson told mtdealer.com this morning.

The Office of Management and Budget received the new rule on July 1 and has 90 days to review it, he says.

"They'll either approve it and send it back," or ask NHTSA to make changes to it.

Another option could be tossing it out completely and making NHTSA start all over again.

"It's hard to predict what they're going to do," says Tyson.

NHTSA's previous rule, which was issued in 2002, mandated the placement of tire pressure monitoring systems in new vehicles starting with the 2004 model year.

Under that rule, monitors had to warn drivers when psi levels fell 25% or 30% below the vehicle manufacturer's recommended level.

NHTSA's original rule allowed for either direct or indirect monitors.

The court overturned it on grounds that NHTSA "inappropriately permitted certain types of tire pressure monitoring systems to be installed on new vehicles," Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) officials said at the time.

The agency's proposed 25% and 30% thresholds "may not be good enough for all vehicles," they said.

RMA officials also added that the rule's warning light standards needed to be altered.