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Friday,

April 8, 2005

Part III

Department of
Transportation
National Highway and Traffic Safety
Administration

49 CFR Parts 571 and 585


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards;
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems;
Controls and Displays; Final Rule

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18136 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION petition must be received by May 23, (a) Function and Format of the
2005. Combined Low Pressure Warning/
National Highway Traffic Safety Malfunction Indicator Lamp
ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration
Administration (b) Telltale Symbols for Low Pressure
should refer to the docket number above
and be submitted to: Administrator, Warning and Malfunction
49 CFR Parts 571 and 585 Indication
Room 5220, National Highway Traffic
[Docket No. NHTSA 2005–20586] Safety Administration, 400 Seventh (c) Telltale Color
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. (i) Low Pressure Warning Telltale
RIN 2127–AJ23 (ii) Malfunction Indicator Telltale
See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
portion of this document (Section VIII; (d) Telltale Extinguishment
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Requirements
Standards; Tire Pressure Monitoring Rulemaking Analyses and Notice) for
(e) Telltale Illumination Priority
Systems; Controls and Displays DOT’s Privacy Act Statement regarding
(f) Supplemental Telltale
documents submitted to the agency’s
AGENCY: National Highway Traffic 4. Tire-Related Issues
dockets.
Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. (a) Replacement Tires and Spare Tires
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For (b) Tire Reserve Load
ACTION: Final rule. non-legal issues, you may call Mr. (c) Changes to Tire Publications
SUMMARY: This final rule establishes a George Soodoo or Mr. Samuel Daniel, (d) Minimum Activation Pressure
new Federal motor vehicle safety Office of Crash Avoidance Standards 5. Owner’s Manual Requirements
standard (FMVSS) requiring installation (Telephone: 202–366–2720) (Fax: 202– 6. Test Procedures
of a tire pressure monitoring system 366–4329). (a) Calibration Time
(TPMS) capable of detecting when one For legal issues, you may call Mr. Eric (b) Driving Conditions
or more of a vehicle’s tires is Stas, Office of the Chief Counsel (c) MIL Activation
significantly under-inflated. This final (Telephone: 202–366–2992) (Fax: 202– (d) Vehicle Cool-Down Period
rule responds to a mandate in the 366–3820). (e) Testing with Pressures Other Than
Transportation Recall Enhancement, You may send mail to these officials Placard Pressure
Accountability, and Documentation at National Highway Traffic Safety (f) System Reset
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, 7. Lead Time and Phase-In
(TREAD) Act. This final rule requires
SW., Washington, DC 20590. (a) Lead Time
installation in all new light vehicles of
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: (b) Phase-In Schedule
a TPMS capable of detecting when one
8. Small Business Impacts
or more of the vehicle’s tires, up to all Table of Contents 9. Environmental Impacts
four tires, is 25 percent or more below 10. Maintenance Issues
the manufacturer’s recommended I. Executive Summary
A. Requirements of the Final Rule (a) TPMS Maintenance
inflation pressure (placard pressure) or (b) Tire Maintenance
a minimum activation pressure B. Lead Time and Phase-In
C. Differences Between the Final Rule 11. Markings for Vehicles with Direct
specified in the standard, whichever is TPMSs
higher. and the Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking 12. Definitions
DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is D. Impacts of the Final Rule (a) ‘‘Tires’’
effective April 8, 2005, except for II. Background (b) ‘‘Manual Reset’’
subpart G of 49 CFR part 585, which is A. The TREAD Act 13. Educational Efforts
effective September 1, 2005. B. Rulemaking History Prior to the 14. Alternative Systems
Compliance Date: Consistent with the September 2004 Notice of Proposed 15. Over-Inflation Detection
phase-in commencing October 5, 2005, Rulemaking 16. Temperature and Altitude
all new light vehicles must be equipped III. September 2004 Notice of Proposed Compensation
with a TPMS that meets the Rulemaking (NPRM) and Public 17. System Longevity
requirements of the standard by Comments 18. Harmonization
September 1, 2007, with the following A. The NPRM V. Benefits
exceptions. Vehicle manufacturers need B. Summary of Public Comments on VI. Costs
not meet the standard’s requirements for the NPRM VII. Regulatory Alternatives
the TPMS malfunction indicator and IV. The Final Rule and Response to VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
related owner’s manual language until Public Comments
September 1, 2007 (i.e., at the end of the I. Executive Summary
A. Summary of the Requirements
phase-in), and vehicles produced by B. Lead Time and Phase-In This final rule re-establishes FMVSS
final-stage manufacturers and alterers C. Response to Public Comments by No. 138, Tire Pressure Monitoring
must be equipped with a compliant Issue Systems, which requires installation of
TPMS (including a malfunction 1. Low Tire Pressure Warning Lamp a tire pressure monitoring system in
indicator) by September 1, 2008. Activation Requirement light vehicles, thereby implementing a
However, manufacturers may (a) Under-Inflation Detection Level mandate in the TREAD Act. In accord
voluntarily certify vehicles to FMVSS (b) Time Period for Low Pressure with the Act, the objective of this
No. 138 and earn carry-forward credits Detection standard is to supplement regular tire
for compliant vehicles, produced in 2. TPMS Malfunction Indicator Lamp maintenance on the part of drivers by
excess of the phase-in requirements, (MIL) Activation Requirements providing a warning system to alert
that are manufactured between April 8, (a) Time Period for Malfunction them when one or more of a vehicle’s
2005, and the conclusion of the phase- Detection tires become significantly under-
in. (b) What Constitutes a TPMS inflated. Under-inflation of tires
Petitions for Reconsideration: If you Malfunction? increases the likelihood of many
wish to submit a petition for (c) MIL Disablement different types of crashes, including
reconsideration of this rule, your 3. Telltale Requirements those involving: (1) Skidding and/or

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 18137

loss of control of the vehicle; (2) also technology-neutral. Particularly in functioning of the TPMS when the
hydroplaning; (3) increases in stopping light of the rapid advances in TPMS original equipment tires are replaced
distance; (4) flat tires and blowouts, and technology in the past few years, we and because of the difficulty in
(5) overloading of the vehicle. We expect that vehicle manufacturers will identifying those problematic tires,
anticipate that 90 percent of drivers will have a number of technologies available NHTSA has decided to require the
respond to a TPMS low tire pressure for compliance purposes. Although the vehicle to be certified with the tires
warning by re-inflating their tires to the details of the standard, public originally installed on the vehicle at the
recommended placard pressure. Once comments, and the agency’s response time of initial vehicle sale. (This reflects
all new light vehicles are equipped with thereto, are discussed at length in the a change from the June 2002 final rule,
compliant TPMSs, we expect that a balance of this document, the following which required vehicle manufacturer to
resulting 119–121 fatalities would be points summarize the key requirements certify continued compliance with any
prevented each year. of the standard. optional or replacement tires of the
As background, we note that Standard Consistent with the Second Circuit’s size(s) recommended by the vehicle
No. 138 was promulgated previously opinion, FMVSS No. 138 requires new manufacturer.)
through a final rule published in the passenger cars, multi-purpose passenger Nevertheless, we expect that a typical
Federal Register on June 5, 2002 (67 FR vehicles, trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle will outlast its original set of
38704). It included two compliance vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 tires, and we continue to believe that it
options (i.e., a TPMS with a four-tire, kg (10,000 pounds) or less, except those is important that drivers continue to
25-percent under-inflation detection with dual wheels on an axle, to be receive the benefits of the TPMS after
capability or a TPMS with a one-tire, 30- equipped with a TPMS to alert the the vehicle’s tires are replaced.
percent under-inflation detection driver when one or more of the vehicle’s Therefore, we have decided upon a
capability). However, on August 6, tires, up to a total of all four tires, is different approach than that contained
2003, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the significantly under-inflated. in the June 2002 final rule for
Second Circuit (Second Circuit) issued Specifically, the TPMS must warn the addressing the issue of maintaining
its opinion in Public Citizen v. Mineta,1 driver when the pressure in one or more proper TPMS functionality when a
which held that the TREAD Act requires of the vehicle’s tires is 25 percent or vehicle’s original tires are replaced.
a TPMS capable of detecting when any more below the vehicle manufacturer’s Specifically, the final rule requires the
combination of tires, up to all four tires, recommended cold inflation pressure, TPMS to include a malfunction
is significantly under-inflated. It vacated or a minimum level of pressure indicator (provided either by a separate
FMVSS No. 138 and directed the agency specified in the standard, whichever telltale or a combined low tire pressure/
to conduct further rulemaking. This pressure is higher. (We note that in malfunction indicator telltale) that
final rule sets requirements for the response to a petition for rulemaking by would alert the driver in situations in
TPMS standard in a manner consistent the Alliance of Automobile which the TPMS is unable to detect low
with the Second Circuit’s opinion. It Manufacturers (Alliance) and that tire pressure.
also responds to numerous public organization’s subsequent, related This malfunction indicator is required
comments submitted in response to the comments on the NPRM, we have to detect incompatible replacement
agency’s September 16, 2004 notice of decided, as an interim measure, to tires, as well as other system faults.
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) (69 FR modify our minimum activation Similar to the low tire pressure warning,
55896). pressure (MAP) values for some light the system is required to trigger a TPMS
truck tires under the standard. Once the malfunction warning telltale within 20
A. Requirements of the Final Rule minutes of additional travel within a
agency conducts further safety research,
After careful consideration of all we will either confirm or propose to speed range of 50–100 km/hr after such
available information, including public modify these MAP requirements in a malfunction occurs. Consistent with
comments, the agency has decided to response to that petition.) the specific requirements of the
retain in the final rule most of the If any tire drops below the standard’s standard, this telltale must remain
elements of the proposed rule, with the activation threshold, the TPMS is illuminated (and re-illuminate upon
primary changes involving the detection required to provide the low tire pressure subsequent vehicle start-ups) until the
times for providing the low tire pressure warning by illuminating a yellow TPMS malfunction has been corrected.
warning and TPMS malfunction telltale within 20 minutes of additional We believe that the TPMS malfunction
warning, modification of the minimum travel within a speed range of 50–100 indicator will provide useful
activation pressure values for certain km/hr. This telltale must remain information to the driver regarding the
light truck tires, and modifications to illuminated (and re-illuminate upon long-term operability of the TPMS,
the standard’s phase-in schedule. subsequent vehicle start-ups) until the thereby increasing the overall benefits of
Although public comments on the under-inflation condition has been the system.
NPRM discussed a wide variety of corrected. The agency has determined The final rule also specifies required
issues, the majority of comments that the specified under-inflation language to be included in the vehicle
focused on the topics of the TPMS threshold and the detection time will owner’s manual (or in writing to the
malfunction indicator and the proposed allow the TPMS to provide a timely first purchaser if there is no owner’s
schedule for lead time and phase-in, the warning that permits the driver to take manual) that describes the purpose of
two major aspects of the NPRM not corrective action before adverse the low tire pressure warning telltale,
raised at earlier stages of the TPMS consequences ensue. Thus, we believe the consequences of significantly under-
rulemaking. that the low inflation pressure detection inflated tires, the meaning of the low
As reflected in the final rule, FMVSS requirement of the standard both fulfills tire pressure telltale when it is
No. 138 is a performance standard. The the mandate of the TREAD Act and illuminated, and corrective action to be
agency has sought to establish the meets the need for motor vehicle safety. taken. The owner’s manual must also
standard in a fashion that both meets Because a small number of explain the presence and operation of
the need for motor vehicle safety and is aftermarket and replacement tires have the TPMS malfunction indicator and the
construction characteristics that may potential problems associated with
1 340 F.3d 39 (2d Cir. 2003). prevent the continued proper aftermarket and replacement tires and

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18138 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

rims that may prevent continued TPMS requirements. We note that With carry-backward credits,
functionality. These provisions are manufacturers may voluntarily install a manufacturers may defer compliance
designed to ensure that consumers are TPMS malfunction indicator prior to the with a part or all of the certification
aware of the importance of regular tire mandatory compliance date. requirements under the standard for the
maintenance and of the supporting role Because our statute generally requires first period of the phase-in, provided
played by their vehicle’s TPMS. that a standard may not compel they certify a correspondingly increased
The final rule provides that compliance less than 180 days after the number of vehicles during the second
compliance testing for FMVSS No. 138 standard is prescribed,2 we have period of the phase-in. We believe that
will be conducted on a specific test decided to postpone the starting permitting carry-backward credits
course, namely the Southern Loop of the compliance date from the NPRM’s would not impact the overall safety
Treadwear Course in and around San proposed date of September 1, 2005 to benefits of the final rule because the
Angelo, Texas. We believe that this a date that corresponding to 180 days same number of vehicles would be
approach offers several advantages. after publication of this final rule. subject to compliance certification,
First, testing can be conducted in a However, we have decided to have the although the distribution may vary over
timely fashion without the need to balance of the standard’s phase-in the model years of the phase-in.
design or build a new test track. Further, coincide with traditional model year On other topics related to the phase-
this course has already been used for production schedules, in order to in, NHTSA has decided to exclude
several years by NHTSA and the tire mitigate production and cost impacts. multi-stage manufacturers and alterers
industry for uniform tire quality grading from the requirements of the phase-in
(UTQG) purposes. We believe that the We have decided not to delay the start and to extend by one year the time for
specified test course provides an of compliance until Model Year 2007, as compliance by those manufacturers (i.e.,
objective test that is representative of a several commenters suggested. If the until September 1, 2008). The final rule
variety of roadways and real world agency were to forego the first year of also excludes small volume
conditions. the phase-in, we would expect to lose manufacturers (i.e., manufacturers
24 lives and to have 1,675 more injuries producing less than 5,000 vehicles for
B. Lead Time and Phase-In than would have occurred if TPMSs had sale in the U.S. market in one year) from
In order to provide the public with been provided in vehicles, as called for the phase-in, requiring vehicles
the safety benefits of TPMSs as rapidly in the final rule’s phase-in. produced by such manufacturers to
as possible, compliance with this final Moreover, vehicle manufacturers have comply with the standard on September
rule is set to commence on October 5, been well aware of the key requirements 1, 2007.
2005, which marks the start of a two- of the final rule (other then the
part phase-in period. Subject to the malfunction indicator requirement), at C. Differences Between the Final Rule
special provisions discussed below, the least since the time of the Second and the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
phase-in schedule for FMVSS No. 138 is Circuit’s decision in August 2003 (if not As noted above, NHTSA has decided
as follows: 20 percent of a vehicle earlier), and the September 2004 NPRM to adopt most of the provisions
manufacturer’s light vehicles are clearly conveyed the agency’s intention contained in the NPRM as part of this
required to comply with the standard to begin a phase-in that would coincide final rule. The main differences between
during the period from October 5, 2005, with Model Year (MY) 2006. Further, the NPRM and the final rule involve the
to August 31, 2006; 70 percent during they did not provide any data to phase-in schedule for the standard, the
the period from September 1, 2006 to demonstrate that compliance with a Fall requirements for low tire pressure and
August 31, 2007, and all light vehicles 2005 start of the phase-in would be TPMS malfunction detection time,
thereafter. impracticable. In addition, we believe changes to the minimum activation
For the reasons discussed in detail in that concerns related to lead time are pressure for certain light truck tires, and
section IV.B of this notice, we believe either rendered moot or significantly modifications to the vehicle owner’s
that it is practicable for vehicle mitigated by the final rule’s allowance manual requirements. A number of
manufacturers to meet the requirements of both carry-forward and carry- minor technical modifications also were
of the phase-in discussed above, with backward credits. incorporated in the final rule in
the following exceptions. We have As a means of maintaining a response to public comments on the
decided to defer vehicle manufacturers’ mandatory compliance date in Fall NPRM. All of these changes and their
compliance with the standard’s 2005, we have decided to ease rationale are discussed fully in the
malfunction indicator requirements and implementation further by permitting balance of this document. However, the
associated owner’s manual language carry-forward and carry-back credits. following points briefly describe the
requirements until September 1, 2007. Vehicle manufacturers can earn carry- main differences between the NPRM
(There is no separate phase-in for the forward credits for compliant vehicles, and this final rule.
malfunction indicator requirements.) produced in excess of the phase-in • In the final rule, we have decided
After consideration of the many public requirements, that are manufactured to increase the time period for the TPMS
comments from vehicle manufacturers between the effective date of this rule to detect low tire pressure to 20
on this issue, we understand that adding and the conclusion of the phase-in.3 In minutes. The NPRM had proposed a
the TPMS malfunction indicator will order to maximize the time available to time period of 10 minutes for the TPMS
involve substantial design and earn such credits, we are making this to detect low tire pressure and
production changes and that additional final rule effective upon publication, illuminate the warning telltale.
lead time will be required to effect those although vehicle manufacturers have no • The final rule specifies a time
changes. In addition, our analysis certification responsibilities until the period for the TPMS to detect a system
demonstrates that the safety benefits official start of the phase-in. malfunction and to illuminate the TPMS
associated with the early introduction of malfunction indicator (20 minutes) and
TPMSs, even without malfunction 2 49
acknowledged that many systems may
U.S.C. 30111(d).
indicators, far outweigh the benefits of 3 We
note that carry-forward credits may not be
require vehicle motion to detect a
delaying the standard until all systems used to defer the mandatory compliance date of malfunction. The NPRM had been silent
also can meet the malfunction indicator September 1, 2007 for all covered vehicles. on these matters.

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 18139

• The agency has decided to require D. Impacts of the Final Rule rule, OMB returned it to NHTSA for
the words (‘‘TPMS’’) for the dedicated Depending upon the technology further consideration, with a letter
TPMS malfunction telltale, rather than chosen for compliance, the agency explaining the reasons for doing so, on
the symbol proposed in the NPRM. We estimates that the total quantified safety February 12, 2002.
have also lengthened the time period for benefits from reductions in crashes due On June 5, 2002, NHTSA published a
flashing of the combined low tire final rule for TPMS (67 FR 38704).
to skidding/loss of control, stopping
pressure/malfunction indicator telltale Consistent with the OMB return letter,
distance, flat tires, and blowouts, will be
from the proposed one minute to a the agency divided the TPMS final rule
119–121 fatalities prevented and 8,373–
period of 60–90 seconds. into two parts, because it decided to
8,568 injuries prevented or reduced in
defer its decision as to which long-term
• The final rule has adopted severity each year, once all light
performance requirements for TPMS
minimum activation pressures for light vehicles meet the TPMS requirement.
would best satisfy the mandate of the
truck Load Range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires of Additional benefits are expected to
TREAD Act. This deferral was intended
35 psi (240 kPa), which is different from accrue from the final rule as a result of
to allow the agency time to consider
the values in the NPRM. (However, the improved fuel economy ($19.07–$23.08
additional data on the effect and
agency has stated that it is conducting per vehicle over its lifetime), longer
performance of TPMSs currently in use.
further research in this area and that it tread life ($3.42–$4.24 per vehicle), and The June 5, 2002 final rule provided
may revisit this issue.) property damage savings and travel two compliance options during the
delay savings from avoided crashes
• The final rule’s requirements for the interim period (i.e., between November
($7.70–$7.79 per vehicle) (assuming a 1, 2003 and October 31, 2006). Under
specified statement in the owner’s
three-percent discount rate). the first compliance option, vehicle
manual regarding the TPMS have The agency estimates that the average
changed from the NPRM. Specifically, manufacturers would have been
cost per vehicle to meet the standard’s required to equip their light vehicles
these changes include clarification that requirements to be $48.44–$69.89,
both aftermarket tires and rims may (i.e., those with a GVWR of 4,536 kg
depending upon the technology chosen (10,000 pounds) or less) with TPMSs to
affect the TPMS’s continued for compliance. Since approximately 17
functionality, tailoring of the language warn the driver when the pressure in
million light vehicles are produced for any single tire or in each tire in any
to reflect the two options for the TPMS sale in the U.S. each year, the total
malfunction indicator, stressing of the combination of tires, up to a total of four
annual vehicle cost is expected to range tires, is 25 percent or more below the
driver’s ongoing responsibility for from approximately $823–$1,188
regular tire maintenance, and alerting vehicle manufacturer’s recommended
million per year. cold inflation pressure for the tires, or
consumers that some replacement tires
may call for an inflation pressure II. Background a minimum level of pressure specified
different than what is reflected on the in the standard, whichever pressure is
A. The TREAD Act higher. Under the second compliance
vehicle placard.
Congress enacted the TREAD Act 4 on option, the vehicle’s TPMS would have
• In the final rule’s test procedures, November 1, 2000. Section 13 of that been required to warn the driver when
we have deleted the NPRM’s test Act 5 required the Secretary of the pressure in any single tire is 30
requirements related to system reset. We Transportation, within one year of the percent or more below the vehicle
have decided that this provision is statute’s enactment, to complete a manufacturer’s recommended cold
impracticable, based upon how most rulemaking ‘‘to require a warning inflation pressure for the tires, or a
resets operate, and unnecessary, because system in new motor vehicles to minimum level of pressure specified in
vehicles equipped with a TPMS reset indicate to the operator when a tire is the standard, whichever pressure is
normally include instructions for the significantly under inflated.’’ Section 13 higher.6
proper use of the reset feature as part of also required the regulation to take The two compliance options were
the owner’s manual. effect within two years of the outgrowths of the alternative sets of
The final rule’s phase-in schedule has completion of the rulemaking. requirements proposed in the initial
changed from the NPRM’s 50–90–100% Responsibility for this rulemaking was NPRM. In response to comments
requirement to a 20–70–100% delegated to NHTSA. indicating that current indirect TPMSs
requirement. In another change from the could not meet the NPRM’s proposed
B. Rulemaking History Prior to the detection requirements, the agency
NPRM, vehicle manufacturers are not
September 2004 Notice of Proposed adopted a one-tire, 30-percent option
required to meet the standard’s
Rulemaking that would have permitted indirect
requirements for the TPMS malfunction
indicator (and associated owner’s FMVSS No. 138, Tire Pressure TPMSs to be used during the phase-in
manual requirements) until the end of Monitoring Systems, has had a period.7 NHTSA received 13 petitions
the phase-in (i.e., September 1, 2007). protracted regulatory history. The
6 The minimum levels of pressure were the same
following discussion briefly summarizes
• The final rule permits vehicle for both compliance options.
the key milestones in the TPMS
manufacturers to elect to use carry- 7 There are two types of TPMSs currently
rulemaking process. available, direct TPMSs and indirect TPMSs. Direct
backward credits in meeting the phase-
Today’s final rule was preceded by an TPMSs have a pressure sensor in each wheel that
in requirements under the standard.
initial NPRM on July 26, 2001 (66 FR transmits pressure information to a receiver. In
That provision was not present in the contrast, indirect TPMSs do not have tire pressure
38982). After considering public
NPRM. sensors, but instead rely on the wheel speed
comments received on that NPRM, sensors, typically a component of an anti-lock
• The final rule extends the NHTSA prepared a final rule, which braking system, to detect and compare differences
compliance date for final-stage was submitted to the Office of in the rotational speed of a vehicle’s wheels, which
manufacturers and alterers by one year Management and Budget (OMB) for correlate to differences in tire pressure.
(i.e., to September 1, 2008). The NPRM We anticipate that new types of TPMS technology
review. After reviewing the draft final may be developed in the future that will be capable
had proposed to require compliance for of meeting the standard’s requirements. For
these manufacturers’ production by 4 Pub. L. 106–414, 114 Stat. 1800 (2000). example, such systems might incorporate aspects of
September 1, 2007. 5 See 49 U.S.C. 30123 note (2003). Continued

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18140 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

for reconsideration of the June 2002 III. September 2004 Notice of Proposed alert the driver when the system is non-
final rule, raising a variety of issues. Rulemaking (NPRM) and Public operational and, thus, unable to provide
However, after issuance of the June Comments the required low tire pressure warning.
2002 final rule, Public Citizen, Inc., The NPRM proposed that TPMS
A. The NPRM
malfunction could be indicated by
New York Public Interest Research As noted above, NHTSA published an either:
Group, and the Center for Auto Safety NPRM on September 16, 2004 that (1) Installing a separate, dedicated
filed a suit challenging certain aspects proposed to re-establish FMVSS No. telltale (yellow) that illuminates upon
of the TPMS regulation. The Court of 138, Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, detection of the malfunction and
Appeals for the Second Circuit issued in a manner consistent with the Court’s remains continuously illuminated as
its opinion in Public Citizen, Inc. v. opinion. Specifically, it proposed to long as the ignition locking system is in
Mineta on August 6, 2003, which held require passenger cars, multipurpose the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position and the
that the agency’s adoption in the passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses situation causing the malfunction
standard of a one-tire, 30-percent with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 remains uncorrected, or
compliance option was ‘‘contrary to the pounds) or less, except those with dual (2) Designing the low tire pressure
intent of the TREAD Act and, in light of wheels on an axle, to be equipped with telltale so that it flashes for one minute
the relative shortcomings of indirect a TPMS to alert the driver when one or when a malfunction is detected, after
systems, arbitrary and capricious.’’ 8 The more of the vehicle’s tires, up to all four which the telltale would remain
Court found that the TREAD Act of its tires, are significantly under- illuminated as long as the ignition
unambiguously mandates TPMSs inflated. The NPRM was drafted so as to locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (’’Run’’)
capable of monitoring each tire, up to a be technology-neutral, so as to permit position. This flashing and illumination
compliance with any available TPMS sequence would be repeated upon each
total of four tires, effectively precluding
technology that meets the performance subsequent vehicle start-up until the
the one-tire, 30-percent option, or any
requirements. situation causing the malfunction has
similar option that cannot detect under- The NPRM included the following been corrected.
inflation in any combination of tires up points, which highlighted the key If the option for a separate telltale is
to four tires. provisions of the proposed selected, the TPMS malfunction telltale
Ultimately, the Court vacated the requirements. would be required to perform a bulb-
standard (FMVSS No. 138) in its • The TPMS would be required to check at vehicle start-up.
entirety and directed the agency to issue warn the driver when the pressure in • The TPMS would not be required to
a new rule consistent with its August 6, one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up to monitor the spare tire (if provided)
2003 opinion. NHTSA published a final a total of four tires, is 25 percent or either when it is stowed or when it is
rule in the Federal Register on more below the vehicle manufacturer’s installed on the vehicle.
November 20, 2003, vacating FMVSS recommended cold inflation pressure • For vehicles certified under the
for the tires, or a minimum level of standard, vehicle manufacturers would
No. 138 (68 FR 65404). With the
pressure specified in the standard, be required to provide in the owner’s
standard vacated, that notice clarified
whichever pressure is higher. manual an explanation of the purpose of
that, at that point in time, vehicle • Vehicle manufacturers would be the low tire pressure warning telltale,
manufacturers had no certification or required to certify vehicle compliance the potential consequences of
reporting responsibilities. under the standard with the tires significantly under-inflated tires, the
In light of the foregoing, NHTSA installed on the vehicle at the time of meaning of the telltale when it is
commenced rulemaking efforts to initial vehicle sale.9 illuminated, and what actions drivers
reestablish FMVSS No. 138 in a manner • The TPMS would be required to should take when the telltale is
consistent with the Court’s opinion and include a low pressure telltale (yellow) illuminated. Vehicle manufacturers also
responsive to the issues raised in earlier that must remain illuminated as long as would be required to provide a specified
petitions for reconsideration, the any of the vehicle’s tires remains under- statement in the owner’s manual
majority of which remained relevant. To inflated and the vehicle’s ignition regarding: (1) Potential problems related
locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) to compatibility between the vehicle’s
this end, the agency issued a second
position. The telltale would be required TPMS and various replacement tires,
NPRM on September 16, 2004 (69 FR
to extinguish when all of the vehicle’s and (2) the presence and operation of
55896) (discussed immediately below) tires cease to be significantly under-
and obtained and considered public the TPMS malfunction indicator.
inflated. The TPMS’s low tire pressure The NPRM proposed requirements for
comments on that NPRM, actions warning telltale would be required to covered vehicles manufactured on or
leading to this latest final rule for perform a bulb-check at vehicle start-up. after September 1, 2005 (i.e., MY 2006),
TPMS. • The TPMS also would be required subject to the following phase-in
For a more complete discussion of to include a malfunction indicator to schedule: 50 percent of a vehicle
this earlier period of the regulatory manufacturer’s light vehicles would be
9 The NPRM noted that some vehicle
history of the TPMS rulemaking, readers required to comply with the standard
manufacturers authorize their dealers to replace the
should consult the June 5, 2002 final vehicle’s factory-installed tires with other tires, during the first year (September 1, 2005
rule and the September 16, 2004 NPRM. including ones with a different size and/or to August 31, 2006); 90 percent during
recommended cold tire inflation pressure. The the second year (September 1, 2006 to
NPRM stated that the TPMS would have to perform August 31, 2007); and all vehicles
properly with any such tires, because the vehicle
could be equipped with those tires at the time of thereafter.
both direct and indirect TPMSs (i.e., hybrid
initial sale. Of course, the manufacturer would not The NPRM stated that in order to
systems). In concert with TPMS suppliers, tire
manufacturers might be able to incorporate TPMS
have that responsibility if the dealer installed other encourage early compliance, the agency
tires without manufacturer authorization. However, was proposing to permit carry-forward
sensors directly into the tires themselves. In issuing the dealer would violate the Motor Vehicle Safety
a performance standard, NHTSA is cognizant of and Act if it installed tires on a new vehicle that
credits for vehicles that are certified as
seeks to encourage technological innovation. prevented the TPMS from functioning properly. See complying with the standard and that
8 340 F.3d 39, 54 (2d Cir. 2003). 49 U.S.C. 30112(a). are manufactured on or after the

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 18141

effective date of the final rule. However, test procedures, minimum activation technology-neutral and to permit
under the proposal, beginning pressure requirements, the need for a vehicle certification with indirect
September 1, 2007, all covered vehicles tire reserve load, owner’s manual systems, the under-inflation detection
would be required to comply with the requirements, TPMS operation with time should be extended in situations
standard, without regard to any earlier replacement tires/spare tires, lead time where the vehicle has two, three, or four
carry-forward credits. and phase-in, and other topics. The significantly under-inflated tires; those
We proposed to exclude from the following discussion summarizes the comments argued that there is not a
phase-in requirements final stage main issues raised by these public safety need for rapid detection in such
manufacturers, alterers, and small comments and the positions expressed cases, where under-inflation is likely to
volume manufacturers (SVMs). The on these topics. A more complete result from diffusion over a considerable
NPRM also proposed phase-in reporting discussion of the public comments is period of time.
requirements consistent with the provided under Section IV.C, which Public interest groups, the European
proposed phase-in schedule. provides an explanation of the agency Communities (EC), and certain other
rationale for the requirements of the industry commenters argued that the
B. Summary of Public Comments on the final rule and addresses related public proposed 10-minute detection time
NPRM comments by issue. period is too long and that it would
NHTSA received comments on the allow vehicles to continue to travel in
Low Tire Pressure Warning Lamp a potentially unsafe condition without a
September 16, 2004 NPRM from a Activation Requirements
variety of interested parties including 10 warning. These comments suggested
TPMS manufacturers,10 13 automobile Regarding the activation requirements that such situations are unnecessary
manufacturers and their trade for the low tire pressure warning lamp, because technology currently exists that
associations,11 seven tire manufacturers commenters raised concerns related to would permit a shorter detection time.
and their trade associations,12 two the NPRM’s proposed under-inflation
detection level, as well as the proposed TPMS MIL Activation Requirements
public interest groups,13 and six other
interested organizations.14 Comments 10-minute time period for under- Regarding the time period for
were also received from 24 individuals. inflation detection. Public interest malfunction detection, vehicle
All of these comments may be found in groups and certain other commenters manufacturers stated their concern
Docket No. NHTSA–2004–19054. urged NHTSA to adopt a more stringent regarding the absence in the NPRM of
The commenters raised a variety of threshold for under-inflation detection an expressed time period for the TPMS
issues with the proposed requirements, (ranging from 15–20 percent below to detect a malfunction and to
including ones related to the low tire placard pressure). These commenters illuminate the TPMS MIL. Commenters
pressure warning lamp activation, the argued that existing technologies (i.e., stated that immediate detection, as
TPMS malfunction indicator lamp, the direct TPMSs) can detect and warn the implied by the NPRM, is not technically
TPMS low pressure and MIL telltales, driver at lesser levels of under-inflation, possible and that in most cases, the
thereby permitting drivers more time to vehicle must be driven in order to detect
10 Comments were received from the following take corrective action and maximizing a malfunction. Several commenters
TPMS manufacturers: (1) ALPS Automotive, Inc.; the benefits provided by the system. stated that TPMSs cannot detect
(2) Aviation Upgrade Technologies; (3) BERU The tire industry also urged NHTSA malfunctions any faster than the system
Corporation; (4) Continental Teves, Inc.; (5) Emtop to adopt a more stringent under-
Ltd.; (6) EnTire Solutions, LLC; (7) ETV Corporation
can detect low tire pressure (because the
Pty Limited; (8) MLHO, Inc.; (9) NIRA Dynamics
inflation detection threshold, with a same subsystems are involved) and that
AB, and (10) Schrader Electronics Ltd. trigger point tied to the vehicle placard the same durational parameters should
11 Comments were received from the following pressure and the Gross Axle Weight be set for both functions (with
automobile manufacturers and related trade Rating (GAWR). Specifically, the suggestions ranging from 20–30
associations: (1) Alliance of Automobile comment of TIA stated that the under-
Manufacturers; (2) American Suzuki Motor minutes).
Corporation; (3) Association of International inflation detection warning should be A number of manufacturers
Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.; (4) BMW of North triggered at 1–2 psi below the vehicle’s commented that the proposed TPMS
America, LLC; (5) DaimlerChrysler Corporation; (6) recommended cold tire inflation malfunction requirements are overly
DaimlerChrysler and Mercedes-Benz U.S.A.; (7) Fuji pressure or at an inflation level where
Heavy Industries USA, Inc. (makers of Subaru
broad and are in need of modification.
vehicles); (8) General Motors North America; (9) the tires can no longer carry the vehicle Specific commenters asserted that
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and American Honda Motor weight, whichever is higher. Other TPMSs would have difficulties
Co., Inc.; (10) Hyundai American Technical Center, commenters suggested that the under- detecting or reporting various types of
Inc./Kia Motors Corporation; (11) Mitsubishi Motors inflation detection threshold should
R&D of America, Inc.; (12) Nissan North America,
malfunctions.
Inc.; (13) Porsche Cars North America, Inc., and (14) take into account various vehicle One commenter raised the issue of
Volkswagen/Audi. loading conditions. MIL disablement (or suppression) in
12 Comments were received from the following Vehicle manufacturers did not situations where the TPMS sending
tire manufacturers and related trade associations: comment on the under-inflation units have been removed as a result of
(1) European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation; detection level, which suggests that they
(2) Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers
the replacement of the original
Association, Inc.; (3) Rubber Manufacturers do not object to that aspect of the equipment tires and rims with
Association; (4) Sumitomo Rubber Industries; (5) NPRM. aftermarket components that are not
The Tire Rack; (6) Tire and Rim Association, Inc., Regarding the NPRM’s proposed 10- compatible with the direct-sensing
and (7) Tire Industry Association. minute time period for low tire pressure
13 Comments were received from the following
TPMS. (The NPRM made no provision
detection, vehicle manufacturers for MIL disablement.)
public interest groups: (1) Advocates for Highway
and Auto Safety, and (2) Public Citizen. generally recommended extending that
14 Comments were received from the following time period, arguing that even direct Telltale Requirements
other interested manufacturers, trade associations, systems would require additional time A number of commenters discussed
and groups: (1) American Automobile Association; to detect, confirm, and relay a warning the issue of how the TPMS MIL would
(2) the European Communities; (3) Fairfax County
Public Schools; (4) GE Infrastructure Sensing; (5)
about a significantly under-inflated tire. operate, particularly when it is
National Automobile Dealers Association, and (6) Comments from vehicle manufacturers combined with the low tire pressure
Specialty Equipment Market Association. also suggested that in order to be warning telltale. Some commenters,

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18142 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

primarily representing vehicle Another topic raised by commenters manufacturers of TPMS-equipped


manufacturers, argued that the MIL related to the TPMS combined telltale vehicles.
requirements are design-restrictive and involved requests for the final rule to set The Alliance commented that the
may impose unnecessary costs. Those an illumination priority for the low tire NPRM’s proposed Table 1, which
commenters requested flexibility in pressure and TPMS malfunction specifies minimum activation pressures
providing the malfunction warning warnings. Commenters did not agree as for different tires, should be modified
through a variety of means (e.g., text to which warning should take for Load Range ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ and ‘‘E’’ light
messaging and audible warnings), precedence. truck (LT) tires. According to the
provided that the warning is explained Alliance, the MAPs currently contained
Tire-Related Issues
in the vehicle owner’s manual. in Table 1 do not allow such tires to be
Several commenters expressed Another major area of comment used across the safe operating ranges of
concern about how the malfunction involved tire issues. Regarding the issue inflation pressures for which loads are
warning would be provided to the of the NPRM’s proposed approach for specified in the TRA Yearbooks. The
driver in a combined telltale. Some TPMS operation with replacement and Alliance argued that unless corrective
commenters argued that flashing should spare tires, public interest groups action is taken, vehicle manufacturers
be used to indicate low tire pressure; generally objected to the agency’s could face costly vehicle redesigns or be
some argued that flashing should be tentative decision to require compliance forced to substitute less capable tires in
used to indicate malfunction; some certification with the tires originally certain vehicle applications.
argued that the flashing sequence installed on the vehicle, but to require
a malfunction indicator to indicate to Owner’s Manual Requirements
should be longer, and still others argued
that any sort of flashing may be the driver when replacement tires have Several commenters suggested
confusing to drivers. been installed on the vehicle which modifications to the NPRM’s proposed
Public interest groups generally prevent the continued proper language related to TPMSs for the
favored requiring a separate telltale to functioning of the TPMS. Those vehicle owner’s manual. One comment
indicate TPMS malfunction, in order to commenters suggested that the TPMS involved allowing vehicle
provide a clear message to drivers. should either be required to function manufacturers discretion to tailor the
However, manufacturers commented with all replacement tires and original owner’s manual statement to the system
that separate telltales are unnecessary, equipment (OE) full-sized spare tires (so installed on the vehicle, provided that
add cost, and consume valuable space as to provide continuing operational certain basic topics were addressed.
on the instrument panel that could be benefits to consumers) or that there Other comments included clarifying the
used to provide other safety messages. should be ongoing efforts to make the discussion of permissible telltale
Commenters overwhelmingly public aware of those tires which have formats, of proper pressures for
recommended that NHTSA reconsider been found to prevent proper TPMS replacement wheel/tire combinations,
its proposed symbol to indicate a TPMS functioning. and of ongoing driver responsibility for
malfunction, which was considered to Comments from the tire industry also maintaining proper tire inflation
be confusing, and a variety of supported a requirement for the TPMS pressure.
alternatives were suggested. Some to operate with replacement tires,
Test Procedures
commenters expressed support for only particularly in light of those tires’
permitting a low tire pressure telltale prevalence in the marketplace. Those Commenters raised a number of issues
that indicates which tire is under- commenters further argued that vehicle related to the NPRM’s proposed test
inflated, because such symbol is both manufacturers should be required to conditions and procedures. The issue of
more recognizable and offers enhanced provide affordable access to TPMS calibration time was raised, with at least
information to the driver. service information to all tire dealers one manufacturer commenter suggesting
Regarding telltale color, some and service providers. Other that no calibration period is necessary,
manufacturers recommended permitting commenters expressed concern and other manufacturer commenters
the low tire pressure telltale to change regarding the impact the proposed rule arguing that the NPRM’s proposed 20-
color (e.g., from yellow to red) to would have on small businesses. minute calibration time should be
indicate when under-inflation has The tire industry recommended that extended to 30 minutes or one hour.
progressed to a dangerously low level, the final rule should include a tire Comments from the tire industry
as determined by the vehicle pressure reserve requirement in order to recommended that the test conditions
manufacturer. Commenters also raised ensure that the vehicle can safely carry and performance parameters in the final
the issue of the color of the TPMS MIL, the vehicle maximum load, even if the rule should be expanded to capture a
with some recommending yellow and tires are under-inflated by 25 percent fuller range of real world driving
others recommending red. below placard pressure. Otherwise, conditions. Specifically, these
In their comments, manufacturers also commenters argued that the vehicle’s comments recommended expanding the
raised issues related to extinguishment tires may fall below the level designated proposed ambient temperature range to
of the TPMS telltales. For example, in the tire industry’s load/pressure include colder and warmer
concerns were raised regarding the tables but still not trigger a low pressure temperatures, testing under slippery
possibility of a TPMS reset button warning from the TPMS. These road conditions, and expanding the
extinguishing the telltale before the commenters were especially concerned vehicle speed range to include both
underlying problem (i.e., low tire that this situation could lead to slower and faster speeds.
pressure or system malfunction) has increased instances of tire failure, Commenters also offered suggestions
been corrected. Others suggested that particularly if drivers come to rely on pertaining to the test procedures for
the final rule should specify that tires the TPMS as a substitute for regular tire TPMS MIL activation, which would
must be re-inflated to a level at least 10 maintenance. Moreover, the Tire and implement their recommendations
percent above the warning threshold Rim Association (TRA) stated its regarding the types of malfunctions the
before the TPMS low pressure telltale intention to modify its 2005 Year Book system should be required to detect and
would extinguish. to provide additional instruction for how quickly they should be detected.

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Manufacturers also commented on the IV. The Final Rule and Response to • The TPMS must include a low tire
proposed cool-down period of up to one Public Comments pressure warning telltale 17 (yellow) that
hour, as contained in S6(e) of the must remain illuminated as long as any
A. Summary of the Requirements
proposed test procedures. The Alliance of the vehicle’s tires remain
recommended reducing the cool-down After careful consideration of public significantly under-inflated and the
period to five minutes or less, arguing comments on the NPRM, this final rule vehicle’s ignition locking system is in
that in certain cases, tires deflated re-establishes FMVSS No. 138, Tire the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position.18 The
during testing when cold may warm up Pressure Monitoring Systems, in a TPMS’s low tire pressure warning
to a point above the warning threshold manner consistent with the Second telltale must perform a bulb-check at
before the TPMS has time to detect a Circuit’s opinion. Specifically, it vehicle start-up.
significantly under-inflated tire. Other requires passenger cars, multi-purpose • The TPMS must also include a
commenters made similar arguments passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses TPMS malfunction indicator to alert the
and recommended adding additional with a GVWR of 4,536 kg (10,000 driver when the system is non-
pressure checks to the test procedures to pounds) or less, except those with dual operational, and thus unable to provide
ensure that the pressure level has been wheels on an axle, to be equipped with the required low tire pressure
set accurately during testing. warning.19 The TPMS malfunction
a TPMS to alert the driver when one or
indicator must detect a malfunction
Other commenters urged NHTSA to more of the vehicle’s tires, up to all four
within 20 minutes of occurrence and
modify the test procedures to recognize of its tires, is significantly under-
provide a warning to the driver. This
that testing may need to be conducted inflated. Subject to the phase-in
final rule provides two options by
with a pressure other than placard schedule and the exceptions below,
which vehicle manufacturers may
pressure in order to properly match the compliance with the requirements of the
indicate a TPMS malfunction:
load on the tires. These comments final rule commences for covered (1) Installation of a separate,
suggested that the owner’s manual vehicles manufactured on or after dedicated telltale (yellow) that
should be consulted in order to select October 5, 2005 (i.e., MY 2006). The illuminates upon detection of the
the proper pressure under certain standard is intended to be technology- malfunction and remains continuously
situations. neutral, so as to permit compliance with illuminated as long as the ignition
any available TPMS technology that locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’)
Several commenters also raised issues meets the standard’s performance
regarding use of a system reset feature position and the situation causing the
requirements. malfunction remains uncorrected, or
during testing, including use in
The following points highlight the key (2) Designing the low tire pressure
situations where the driver switches
provisions of the final rule. telltale so that it flashes for a period of
between summer and winter tires.
• The TPMS is required to detect and at least 60 seconds and no longer than
Lead Time and Phase-In to provide a warning to the driver 90 seconds when a malfunction is
within 20 minutes of when the pressure detected, after which the telltale must
In general, most of the vehicle remain continuously illuminated as
manufacturers that commented on the of one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up
to a total of four tires, is 25 percent or long as the ignition locking system is in
NPRM requested additional lead time the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position. This
more below the vehicle manufacturer’s
and a modified phase-in schedule, flashing and illumination sequence
recommended cold inflation pressure
arguing that more time is necessary to must be repeated upon each subsequent
for the tires, or a minimum level of
incorporate TPMS technologies into vehicle start-up until the situation
pressure specified in the standard,
their new vehicle production processes. causing the malfunction has been
whichever pressure is higher. These
Most vehicle manufacturer commenters corrected.
minimum activation pressures are
recommended a two-year phase-in, with If the option for a separate telltale is
included in Table 1 of FMVSS No.
an initial compliance date beginning on selected, the TPMS malfunction telltale
138.15
September 1, 2006. Furthermore, must perform a bulb-check at vehicle
vehicle manufacturers universally • Vehicle manufacturers must certify start-up.
commented that it would not be vehicle compliance under the standard • The TPMS is not required to
possible to incorporate the TPMS MIL with the tires installed on the vehicle at monitor the spare tire (if provided),
until September 1, 2007. the time of initial vehicle sale.16
17 As part of this final rule, we are adding two
In contrast, public interest groups 15 We versions of the TPMS low tire pressure telltale and
note that the Alliance of Automobile
expressed support for the NPRM’s Manufacturers submitted a Petition for Rulemaking a TPMS malfunction telltale to Table 2 of FMVSS
compliance schedule, as proposed. on April 29, 2003 that asks NHTSA to make certain No. 101, Controls and Displays. The regulatory text
changes to the MAPs in Table 1 (see Docket No. in this final rule incorporates the TPMS telltales in
Other Issues NHTSA–2000–8572–265). For a more complete Table 2, as that table currently exists in the Code
discussion of the MAP issue raised by the Alliance, of Federal Regulations. However, we note that
Commenters also raised a variety of see section IV.C.4.d of this document. NHTSA is in NHTSA published an NPRM in the Federal Register
other issues in response to the NPRM. the process of evaluating the issues raised in the on September 23, 2003 that proposes to update and
Alliance petition. However, we have decided to to expand FMVSS No. 101 (68 FR 55217).
These included small business impacts, modify the values in Table 1 pertaining to Load Publication of the present version of Table 2 here
environmental impacts, maintenance Range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires, pending completion of our is not intended to suggest a change in approach to
issues, markings on vehicles equipped analysis. the ongoing FMVSS No. 101 rulemaking. We
with direct TPMSs, definitions, 16 We note that some vehicle manufacturers anticipate incorporating the TPMS telltales in a
authorize their dealers to replace the vehicle’s revised Table 2, once a final decision is reached on
educational efforts, alternative systems, updating Standard No. 101.
factory-installed tires with other tires, including
over-inflation detection, temperature ones with a different size and/or recommended cold 18 We note that if a vehicle manufacturer elects

and altitude compensation, system tire inflation pressure. The TPMS must perform to install a low tire pressure telltale that indicates
longevity, and harmonization. properly with any such tires, because the vehicle which tire is under-inflated, the telltale must
could be equipped with those tires at the time of correctly identify the under-inflated tire. See S4.3.2.
Comments on each of these issues will initial sale. Of course, the manufacturer would not 19 We note that the TPMS telltale(s) may be
be described and addressed in section have that responsibility if the dealer installed other incorporated as part of a reconfigurable display,
IV.C of this notice. tires without manufacturer authorization. provided all requirements of the standard are met.

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18144 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

either when it is stowed or when it is manufacturers uniformly agreed would altered vehicles (70 FR 7414), final-stage
installed on the vehicle. necessitate significant engineering and manufacturers and alterers must certify
• For vehicles certified under the vehicle design efforts and corresponding compliance for covered vehicles
standard, vehicle manufacturers must production changes. Vehicle manufactured on or after September 1,
provide in the owner’s manual a manufacturers stated that they could 2008. However, final-stage
specified statement explaining the meet the TPMS MIL requirements (and manufacturers and alterers may
purpose of the low tire pressure warning associated owner’s manual voluntarily certify compliance with the
telltale, the potential consequences of requirements) by September 1, 2007. standard prior to this date.
significantly under-inflated tires, the More generally, vehicle manufacturers NHTSA has decided to permit vehicle
meaning of the telltale when it is commented that, setting aside the issue manufacturers to earn carry-forward
illuminated, and what actions drivers of the MIL requirements, the phase-in credits for compliant vehicles, produced
should take when the telltale is schedule nevertheless may be too in excess of the phase-in requirements,
illuminated. Vehicle manufacturers also aggressive. that are manufactured between the
must provide a specified statement in We acknowledge that the TPMS MIL effective date of this rule and the
the owner’s manual regarding: (1) represents a new requirement impacting conclusion of the phase-in. These carry-
potential problems related to TPMS design and functionality and that forward credits could be used during
compatibility between the vehicle’s vehicle manufacturers may require the phase-in, but they could not be used
TPMS and various replacement or additional time to incorporate the MIL to delay compliance certification for
alternate tires and wheels, and (2) the into their production processes. vehicles produced after the conclusion
presence and operation of the TPMS However, we do not believe that of the phase-in. Except for vehicles
malfunction indicator. For vehicles that implementation of the entire standard produced by final-stage manufacturers
do not come with an owner’s manual, should be delayed until technical and alterers (who receive an additional
the required information must be changes related to the TPMS MIL can be year for compliance), all covered
provided in writing to the first fully resolved, because that would deny vehicles must comply with FMVSS No.
purchaser at the time of initial vehicle the public the safety benefits of TPMSs 138 on September 1, 2007, without use
sale. in the meantime. Accordingly, we of any carry-forward credits.
believe that it is preferable to move Furthermore, we have determined
B. Lead Time and Phase-In that there is good cause to make this
rapidly to implement the standard, but
As discussed in the NPRM, the to delay the compliance date only for final rule effective upon publication so
Second Circuit’s decision vacating the TPMS MIL requirements and that vehicle manufacturers would have
FMVSS No. 138 necessitated a change associated requirements in the owner’s a standard in effect to which they may
in the standard’s phase-in schedule in manual. certify vehicles for purposes of early,
order to ensure the practicability of the In light of the above and subject to the voluntary compliance and to maximize
standard’s implementation, particularly vehicle manufacturer option for carry- the time for earning carry-forward
for those manufacturers that had backward credits discussed below, credits. We explicitly note that vehicle
intended to certify to the June 5, 2002 NHTSA has decided to adopt the manufacturers have no mandatory
final rule’s one-tire, 30-percent option. following phase-in schedule: 20 percent compliance responsibilities under the
Responses to the agency’s September 9, of a vehicle manufacturer’s light standard until the start of the phase-in.
2003 Special Orders to 14 vehicle vehicles are required to comply with the To further ease implementation, we
manufacturer and 13 TPMS suppliers standard during the period from October have decided to also provide carry-
demonstrated that in anticipation of the 5, 2005, to August 31, 2006; 70 percent backward credits, whereby vehicle
start of the phase-in under the June 2002 during the period from September 1, manufacturers may defer compliance
final rule, most vehicle manufacturers 2006 to August 31, 2007, and all light with a part or all of the certification
were moving aggressively toward vehicles thereafter. However, vehicle requirements for the first period of the
installation of TPMSs capable of manufacturers are not required to phase-in, provided that they certify a
meeting the four-tire, 25-percent comply with the requirements related to correspondingly larger percentage of
detection requirement, although some the TPMS malfunction indicator vehicles under the standard during the
were not. The information provided by (including associated owner’s manual second period of the phase-in. We
TPMS suppliers indicated sufficient requirements) until September 1, 2007; believe that permitting carry-backward
capacity to supply TPMSs with a four- however, at that point, all covered credits would not impact the overall
tire, 25-percent detection capability in vehicles must meet all relevant safety benefits of the final rule, because
quantities that would easily meet the requirements of the standard (i.e., no the same number of vehicles would be
phase-in requirements. Accordingly, in additional phase-in for MIL subject to compliance certification,
the NPRM, the agency proposed that 50 requirements). The final rule includes although the distribution may vary over
percent of a vehicle manufacturer’s light phase-in reporting requirements the model years of the phase-in.
vehicles would be required to comply consistent with the phase-in schedule Corresponding changes have been
with the standard during the first year discussed above. added to the regulatory text of both
(September 1, 2005 to August 31, 2006); Small volume manufacturers (i.e., FMVSS No. 138, as well as the TPMS
90 percent during the second year those manufacturers producing fewer phase-in requirements contained in 49
(September 1, 2006 to August 31, 2007); than 5,000 vehicles for sale in the U.S. CFR Part 585.
and all vehicles thereafter. per year during the phase-in period) are
In public comments on the NPRM, not subject to the phase-in C. Response to Public Comments by
vehicle manufacturers argued that they requirements, but their vehicles must Issue
would not be able to meet the standard’s meet the requirements of the standard As noted previously, public
requirements given the proposed lead beginning September 1, 2007. comments on the September 2004
time and phase-in schedule. Most of Consistent with the policy set forth in NPRM for TPMS raised a variety of
their concerns involved the TPMS NHTSA’s February 14, 2005 final rule issues with the NPRM’s proposed
malfunction indicator, a newly on certification requirements for requirements. Each of these topics will
proposed requirements which vehicles built in two or more stages and be discussed in turn, in order to explain

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 18145

how these comments impacted the It argued that safety should outweigh account different load conditions in
agency’s determinations in terms of cost considerations and that NHTSA’s determining the need to activate the low
setting requirements for this final rule. other rulemaking activities provided tire pressure warning.
support for adopting a 20-percent The National Automobile Dealers
1. Low Tire Pressure Warning Lamp Association (NADA) stated that
under-inflation detection level (e.g., the
Activation Requirement although the final rule must factor in
2001 TPMS NPRM and the agency’s
(a) Under-Inflation Detection Level. rollover research). The Advocates technological and cost constraints, it
The NPRM proposed to require the argued that NHTSA has not compared should specify the smallest under-
TPMS to illuminate a low tire pressure the actual benefits of the two thresholds inflation threshold that can be reliably
warning telltale not more than 10 and suggested that NHTSA’s New Car monitored.
minutes after the inflation pressure in Assessment Program (NCAP) data EnTire Solutions, LLC (EnTire)
one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up to would support the theory that different commented that the direct TPMSs it
a total of four tires, is equal to or less pressure levels correlate with different produces are capable of providing low
than the pressure 25 percent below the levels of risk. pressure warnings at a more stringent
vehicle manufacturer’s recommended Fairfax County Public Schools threshold than the NPRM’s proposed
cold inflation pressure or the pressure expressed support for a system that 25-percent under-inflation detection
specified in the 3rd column of Table 1 either provides a built-in tire pressure level. EnTire also stated that its system
of this standard for the corresponding gauge or provides an earlier warning, and those of other TPMS manufacturers
tire type, whichever is higher (see such as a 20-percent under-inflation have multiple thresholds for under-
S4.2(a)). detection level. It stated that it is not inflation detection. GE Infrastructure
A number of commenters raised always easy to find a functioning air Sensing stated that technology currently
concerns about the 25-percent under- compressor when traveling, so it is exists for TPMSs to detect a 20-percent
inflation detection level proposed in the better to provide an earlier indication under-inflation level.
NPRM. Although their reasoning before the vehicle is past the point of The Tire Rack argued that the 25-
differed, these commenters all argued safe operation. percent under-inflation detection level
that a more stringent detection level Mr. James Anderson, an individual, does not provide an adequate and
should be required under the final rule. commented that the under-inflation timely warning to the driver and may
Public Citizen stated that a 20-percent detection level should be set at some provide a false sense of security. The
threshold should be adopted. Public point between 15 percent and 18 Tire Rack also stated that, to the extent
Citizen argued that NHTSA’s percent below placard pressure, the the 25-percent under-inflation detection
technology-neutral standard, as point at which the commenter argued level reflects limitations of current
proposed, was crafted to accommodate that the tire sidewall begins to over-flex. technology, the final rule should
indirect TPMSs (which Public Citizen According to Mr. Anderson, as the tire establish successively more stringent
considers to be an ‘‘inferior over-flexes, heat begins to build up, but requirements in order to ensure future
technology’’) when there is other the tire is no longer able to dissipate the improvements in TPMS technology. It
adequate technology readily available heat. Mr. Anderson stated that at some argued that establishing goals and
(i.e., direct TPMSs). (Advocates for point above 200 °F, the tire compounds timetables as part of the final rule would
Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) begin a reversion process, which may encourage technological developments
provided a similar comment.) According lead to delamination and, ultimately, for TPMSs.
to Public Citizen, NHTSA should not separation of tire components. He The American Automobile
reduce safety requirements in order to argued that a warning level 25-percent Association (AAA) stated that the
accommodate inferior technology, below placard pressure would not NPRM proposes to set the under-
particularly when other affordable and permit sufficient time for driver inflation warning threshold at a level
more effective technology exists. recognition and timely action to correct that is insufficiently stringent, because a
Public Citizen stated that the aspect of the under-inflation situation before tire tire that is 25 percent below the
the agency’s rationale that a higher damage may occur. manufacturer’s recommended inflation
threshold could discourage The Tire Industry Association (TIA) pressure could already present a
technological innovation is argued that the proposed TPMS under- dangerous situation, particularly if the
unsubstantiated. The comments of inflation detection level is too lenient, vehicle is in a fully-loaded condition.
Public Citizen similarly characterized as suggesting that the trigger point instead AAA argued that under-inflated tires
unsubstantiated NHTSA’s concerns should be tied to the vehicle’s placard ‘‘produce increased heat, which is a
about nuisance warnings that could pressure and GAWR. Specifically, TIA major cause of failure.’’ According to
result from a detection level that is set stated that the under-inflation detection AAA, an effective TPMS is one that
too close to placard pressure and warning should be triggered at 1–2 psi provides a warning before a dangerous
requested substantive driver behavioral below the vehicle’s recommended cold situation is imminent and which does
research to confirm that this would be tire inflation pressure or at an inflation not mislead motorists into equating the
a problem. (Similarly, Advocates argued level where the tires can no longer carry absence of an illuminated warning light
that NHTSA acted arbitrarily in the vehicle weight, whichever is higher. with safety.
selecting a 25-percent under-inflation (TIA’s argument here is related to the BERU Corporation (BERU)
threshold (as opposed to the 20-percent issue of Tire Reserve Load, a topic commented that the under-inflation
level proposed in the 2001 NPRM) and discussed later in this document.) TIA detection level should be set to trigger
that the record does not justify NHTSA’s argued that the standard should require a warning at either 25-percent below
claim that a 20-percent under-inflation the TPMS to provide a warning before placard pressure or a minimum
detection level would result in nuisance there is a serious problem, thereby activation pressure of 1.4 bar.
warnings.) taking into account that drivers may not The Rubber Manufacturers
Public Citizen rounded out its immediately take corrective action Association (RMA) commented that lost
comments in this area by characterizing when the warning telltale illuminates. fuel efficiency was not adequately
the NPRM’s 25-percent under-inflation ETV Corporation (ETV) stated that the accounted for in the assessment of
detection level as a cost-saving measure. TPMS should be required to take into economic costs when selecting an

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18146 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

under-inflation detection threshold. The inflated tires at this level, incidents of lives than the 20 percent standard, we
RMA asserted that the NPRM’s benefits tire failures remain infrequent. NHTSA conclude that it was reasonable for
calculations indicated that 26 percent of conducted testing on a variety of NHTSA to adopt the former and reject
vehicles have tires that are under- Standard Load P-metric tires at 20 psi the latter.’’21
inflated below placard pressure, but that with 100-percent load at 75 mph for 90 Available agency data show that a
associated fuel efficiency costs were not minutes on a dynamometer, and none of TPMS with a four-tire, 25-percent
considered. these tires failed (see 67 FR 38704, under-inflation threshold is more cost-
The Specialty Equipment Market 38726 (June 5, 2002)). This testing led effective than one with a four-tire, 20-
Association (SEMA) argued that TPMSs the agency to conclude that warnings at percent under-inflation threshold. This
should be reprogrammable in order to less severe conditions will give drivers issue was specifically addressed in the
accommodate alternate and replacement sufficient time to check and re-inflate Final Economic Assessment (FEA) for
tires with different pressure thresholds, their vehicles’ tires before the tires the June 2002 final rule, which found
or alternatively, the system could experience appreciable damage. that the net cost per equivalent life
include ‘‘smart’’ software that would Accordingly, we believe that an under- saved for a four-tire, 20-percent system
automatically detect the proper pressure inflation detection level of 25 percent would be $5.1–$5.3 million but that the
threshold. According to SEMA, as would have a strong fleet impact, net cost per equivalent life saved for a
currently proposed, when a higher- holding driver behavior constant. four-tire, 25-percent system would be
pressure tire is installed on the vehicle, However, if we instead selected an $4.3 million.22 Although we realize that
the TPMS would not indicate low tire under-inflation detection threshold that the precise values of these figures are
pressure until the tire is 25-percent is too stringent, with some commenters somewhat outdated, we believe that
below the value for the lower-pressure, arguing for a level as small as 1 or 2 psi their cost-effectiveness relative to each
original tire, and the converse would below placard pressure, the warning other has not changed significantly. For
also be a problem, with the telltale telltale might illuminate frequently, and additional information on the cost of
actuating prematurely when a lower- the driver would need to repeatedly alternative systems considered, please
pressure aftermarket tire is installed. stop and add a small amount of air to consult the FEA and the Final
SEMA stated that this situation would the tires in order to extinguish the Regulatory Impact Analysis (FRIA) for
defeat the intent of the rule, give drivers telltale. After servicing the tires in this this final rule, which has been included
a false sense of security, and be manner for the first few times, the driver in the docket for this rulemaking.
potentially problematic for new, low- might decide to postpone action on the We are not adopting BERU’s
profile tires that may be easily damaged. TPMS’s warnings or ignore such recommendations regarding the under-
As part of the final rule, we have warnings entirely. Thus, if the under- inflation detection test procedures
decided to retain the proposed under- inflation warning threshold were to be because BERU has not provided any
inflation detection level, by which the set too low, the safety benefits rationale to explain why the existing
TPMS is required to illuminate a low associated with the TPMS’s low procedures are inadequate.
tire pressure warning telltale whenever pressure warning could be lost. Because Regarding the issue of TPMS
the inflation pressure in one or more of we have determined that a 25-percent reprogrammability raised by SEMA, we
the vehicle’s tires, up to a total of four under-inflation detection threshold have decided to permit, but not require,
tires, is equal to or less than their the already provides a warning to the driver such a feature. However, we reiterate
pressure 25 percent below the vehicle before adverse safety consequences that we will conduct compliance testing
manufacturer’s recommended cold arise, providing a more stringent with the tires installed on the vehicle at
inflation pressure or the pressure warning threshold would not be the time of initial sale, and we will
specified in the 3rd column of Table 1 expected to provide additional safety follow manufacturer instructions for
of this standard for the corresponding benefits, although it could increase the resetting the TPMS.
tire type, whichever is higher. We have risk of the nuisance warnings discussed (b) Time Period for Low Pressure
reached this determination for the above. Detection. As noted above, paragraph
following reasons. We disagree with Public Citizen’s S4.2(a) of the NPRM proposed to require
Selecting an appropriate notification reading of the Court’s decision in Public the TPMS to detect and provide a
threshold level for the TPMS is one of Citizen v. Mineta, implying that the warning to the driver within 10 minutes
the most fundamental matters to be Court had somehow ruled against after a tire becomes significantly under-
resolved as part of this rulemaking. It NHTSA’s development of a technology- inflated (i.e., reaches the warning
involves balancing the safety benefits of neutral standard or its consideration of threshold specified in the standard).
alerting consumers to low tire pressure costs as a part of the rulemaking. In fact, Under paragraph S4.2(b), the NPRM
against the risks of over-alerting them to the Court held that it was appropriate proposed to require the low pressure
the point where the warning becomes a for NHTSA to consider costs as part of telltale to continue to illuminate as long
nuisance that may be ignored. We the rulemaking, stating ‘‘the agency was as the pressure in any of the tires is
believe that the final rule’s 25-percent correct to consider the relative costs,’’20 equal to or less than the activation
under-inflation detection level strikes although the Court disagreed with how threshold specified in S4.2(a) and the
the proper balance in this regard. the agency weighed those costs in ignition locking system is in the ‘‘On’’
As discussed in the June 5, 2002 final setting compliance options in the June (‘‘Run’’) position, whether or not the
rule, NHTSA conducted a tire pressure 2002 final rule. Furthermore, the Court engine is running. The NPRM proposed
survey that inspected over 11,500 specifically found the four-tire, 25- that the telltale must extinguish after the
vehicles, which reported that 26 percent percent under-inflation detection level inflation pressure is corrected.
of passenger cars and 29 percent of light to be reasonable. The Court held, A number of commenters urged
trucks had at least one tire that was 25 ‘‘Given that the 25 percent standard was NHTSA to modify this ten-minute
percent or more below the a substantially more cost effective detection time requirement as part of
recommended inflation pressure for that means of preventing injuries and saving
vehicle (see 67 FR 38704, 38713). 21 Id.
at 62.
However, despite this substantial 20 Public Citizen v. Mineta, 340 F.3d 39, 57 (2d 22 See
page iv of the FEA (Docket No. NHTSA–
percentage of vehicles with under- Cir. 2003). 2000–8572–216).

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the final rule, with some commenters time limit to assess the vehicle’s tire According to Emtop Ltd. (Emtop), the
recommending a longer time period and pressures. Accordingly, Hyundai argued NPRM’s 10-minute under-inflation
others recommending a shorter one. that the final rule should permit at least detection requirement does not address
Manufacturers that commented on 20 minutes for low tire pressure the 15 percent of incidents of under-
low pressure detection time generally detection in order to give the TPMS inflation caused by rapid pressure drop
recommended extending the time sufficient time to gather enough data to (Emtop’s estimate). Emtop argued that
period. BMW of North America, LLC make an accurate assessment. the proposed requirement is dictated by
(BMW) stated that the TPMS Volkswagen of America, Inc., the inability of many current systems to
requirements should reflect real world Volkswagen AG, and Audi AG (VW/ meet a more stringent requirement for
needs. As a result, BMW stated that the Audi) commented that in order to detection time. Emtop stated that its
NPRM’s 10-minute detection overcome the technology-limiting TPMSs can detect rapid pressure losses
requirement should be retained when requirements of the NPRM, the final ‘‘in a fraction of a second’’ and that the
only one tire becomes significantly rule should permit a driving time of up TPMS rule should not create barriers to
under-inflated (e.g., to detect situations to one hour for the low tire pressure such high-performance systems.
where a tire is punctured by a nail or warning, a time period consistent with MLHO, Inc. (MLHO), which has
sustains other damage that could result detecting the unlikely situation where developed a battery-less, non-radio-
in a relatively rapid loss of inflation all four tires become under-inflated due frequency (RF) TPMS that relies on
pressure). BMW stated that when two, to slow air leakage or changes in directional magnetic coupling to send
three, or all four tires become ambient temperature. pressure information, commented that
significantly under-inflated at the same In contrast, other commenters argued there is no need for a TPMS to provide
time, the detection time requirement that the NPRM’s 10-minute under- either an under-inflation warning or a
should be extended to 90 minutes, inflation detection time is too long and malfunction warning while the vehicle
because under-inflation in these should be reduced. Public Citizen is stationary. (In simple terms, in the
circumstances is likely to result from argued that the requirement for under- MLHO TPMS system, wheel rotation
slow diffusion over months and is not inflation detection time should be powers the transmitter.) The commenter
likely to result in a problem requiring reduced to one minute in the final rule, argued that a very flat tire will be
immediate attention. NIRA Dynamics because direct TPMSs can meet such a obvious to the driver or will trigger the
provided similar arguments and requirement. Public Citizen stated that warning before the vehicle has traveled
reasoning, although it recommended a in proposing a 10-minute under-
a significant distance. As to the
detection time of 20 minutes for a single malfunction indication, MLHO argued
inflation detection requirement, NHTSA
tire and at least one hour for multiple that since a TPMS malfunction does not
has unjustifiably lowered the bar in
tires. constitute an emergency, the
Sumitomo Rubber Industries order to accommodate more
malfunction need not to be detected
(Sumitomo) offered a different manufacturers (i.e., to permit indirect
prior to vehicle movement.
assessment of the time needed for low TPMSs requiring a longer time period Instead, MLHO recommended that the
pressure detection. Sumitomo stated for detection). proposed detection requirements in S4.2
that it is appropriate to maintain a 10- ETV commented that the TPMS of the NPRM should be revised to
minute detection (and extinguishment) should be required to activate (and require the TPMS to detect the
requirement for one tire, but that a extinguish) its warning within 10 significantly under-inflated tire(s) and
TPMS would need at least 30 minutes seconds of vehicle start-up in order to to illuminate the low tire pressure
(preferably one hour) to detect (and prevent the vehicle from entering traffic telltale within 10 minutes after the
extinguish) multiple under-inflated with a potentially dangerous level of tire vehicle is in motion within the
tires. under-inflation. standard’s designated speed range.
In its comments, Hyundai American The EC commented that the 10- MLHO requested that NHTSA also
Technical Center, Inc./ Kia Motors minute detection time for the low tire include language in S4.2 to specify that
Corporation (Hyundai) provided yet pressure warning does not adequately the TPMS will not be expected to either
another recommendation regarding low address the tire safety problem, because illuminate or extinguish the low tire
tire pressure detection time, stating that during this period, the tire(s) may be pressure telltale without the vehicle
the time period for detection and operated at pressures even lower than being in motion, as motion is necessary
verification of low tire pressure under 25-percent below the recommended for some systems to assess the vehicle’s
the standard should be extended to at pressure and significant structural tire pressure status.
least 20 minutes. Hyundai stated that damage could occur during that time MLHO stated that as currently
delivery frequency for data from the period. The EC expressed concern that proposed, the NPRM imposes
direct TPMS tire pressure sensor to the a combination of high speed, a long unnecessary design restrictions, favors
main control unit can take as long as activation period, and a 25-percent the ‘‘present dominant RF-based
three minutes, which is a function of under-inflation detection level could technology,’’ and discriminates against
Federal Communications Commission significantly reduce the time available small businesses.
(FCC) requirements 23 that limit signal to the driver to take appropriate action. NHTSA has carefully considered the
transmissions and the capacity of the (The European Tyre and Rim Technical commenters’ countervailing arguments
battery in the sensor. In addition, Organisation (ETRTO) provided a regarding the time limit for the TPMS to
Hyundai stated that a number of similar comment.) The RMA similarly detect a significantly under-inflated tire,
transmissions may be required to objected to the 10-minute activation and we have decided to modify the
correctly diagnose low tire pressure. time period as being unsafe; the RMA relevant requirement in this final rule.
Therefore, if a wireless data error argued that, particularly at higher As revised, under S4.2 of the standard,
occurs, Hyundai argued that the TPMS speeds, that activation time would allow the TPMS must illuminate a low tire
may not be able to gather sufficient data the vehicle to travel with under-inflated pressure warning telltale not more than
within the NPRM’s proposed 10-minute tires for many miles with excessive heat, 20 minutes after the inflation pressure
over-deflected body cords, and possible in one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up
23 See 47 CFR 15.231. structural damage. to a total of four tires, is equal to or less

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18148 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

than the pressure 25 percent below the 20-minute detection period is unlikely significantly under-inflated tires for a
vehicle manufacturer’s recommended to result in any adverse safety potentially extended period of time
cold inflation pressure or the pressure consequences. without receiving a warning from the
specified in the 3rd column of Table 1 We further believe that a change in TPMS.
of this standard for the corresponding the detection time is necessary in order In addition, we are concerned that
tire type, whichever is higher. We to articulate a standard that is extending low pressure detection time
believe that this detection time period is practicable and technology-neutral. period beyond 20 minutes could be
appropriate for the following reasons. According to manufacturers’ comments, problematic in other situations. For
As noted in the agency’s June 5, 2002 even direct TPMSs will require example, where a tire is punctured by
Federal Register notice, TPMSs were additional time to detect and verify low a nail or is otherwise damaged and may
not developed to warn the driver of tire pressure, in part as a result of FCC experience a moderately rapid pressure
extremely rapid pressure losses that regulations limiting the frequency of loss. As to damaged tires but
could accompany a vehicle encounter electronic transmissions. experiencing a relatively less rapid
with a road hazard or a tire blowout.24 Furthermore, we anticipate that the pressure loss, research into the rate of
According to the tire industry, those extended time period also will ease temperature buildup shows that for
types of events account for compliance for indirect systems constant load, pressure, and speed
approximately 15 percent of pressure (particularly when detecting multiple conditions, tires generally warmed up
loss cases.25 Arguably, a driver would under-inflated tires). Most indirect and and stabilized their temperatures within
be well aware of the tire problem in hybrid TPMSs cannot currently meet 15 minutes of testing;31 thus, the tire
those situations, and the TPMS would the four-tire, 25-percent under-inflation will rapidly reach a temperature that
provide little added benefit. Instead, detection threshold within 20 minutes. places stress on an under-inflated tire.
TPMSs’ benefits lie in warning drivers However, we are aware of at least one In both of those cases, we are concerned
when the pressure in the vehicle’s tires indirect TPMS that is currently capable that a 30-minute detection time could
is approaching a level at which of doing so,28 and we expect that with delay the warning to the driver too long.
permanent tire damage could be additional time and effort, other indirect For these reasons, we have decided that
sustained as a result of heat buildup and and hybrid systems also would be able a requirement that would permit a low
tire failure is possible; this low level of to meet the requirements of the tire pressure detection time longer than
inflation pressure generally results from standard. 20 minutes could diminish the overall
a more measured pressure loss In sum, without an extension of the utility of the TPMS and concomitantly
(produced over weeks or months) time period for low tire pressure reduce the safety benefits associated
caused by a slow leak, defective valve, detection and warning, the number of with that system.
or diffusion. According to the tire TPMS technologies available for use In response to the concerns of MLHO,
industry, approximately 85 percent of under the standard may be significantly it was never the agency’s intention to
all tire pressure losses are slow air curtailed. Available information does require detection absent vehicle motion.
losses that occur over hours, weeks, or not demonstrate a safety need for As demonstrated by the standard’s test
months of vehicle use.26 In those cases, imposing such limitations, and we procedures, the detection time for low
a detection time of 20 minutes is not believe that drivers would operate the tire pressure includes a period of
likely to pose a safety risk to the driving vehicle for 20-minutes periods with vehicle operation within a designated
public. some frequency. For these reasons, we speed range (see S6(f)). This provision
The agency’s tire research suggests believe that a 20-minute detection time for vehicular motion is already built in
that even in a 25-percent under-inflated period is both practicable and meets the to the general requirements of S4.1,
condition, the vehicle can be operated need for motor vehicle safety. which provides that the TPMS must
safely for this detection period without We have decided not to extend the meet the detection requirements of S4
an appreciable risk of tire failure. low tire pressure detection time beyond under the test conditions specified in S5
Specifically and as noted above, NHTSA 20 minutes, however, as requested by and the test procedures specified in S6
conducted testing on a variety of some manufacturers in their comments. of the standard. We believe that no
Standard Load P-metric tires at 20 psi Available research shows that 75 further modifications to the standard are
with 100-percent load at 75 mph for 90 percent of commuters regularly necessary related to this point.
minutes on a dynamometer, and none of experience commute times of 30
these tires failed.27 This testing led the minutes or less.29 A recent study by the 2. TPMS Malfunction Indicator Lamp
agency to conclude that warnings at less U.S. Census Bureau, using 2002 survey (MIL) Activation Requirements
severe conditions will give drivers data, found that average commute times Paragraph S4.4 of the NPRM proposed
sufficient time to check and re-inflate for most major U.S. cities range from 20 to require each covered vehicle to be
their vehicles’ tires before the tires to 30 minutes.30 Many other trips, such equipped with a TPMS that includes a
experience appreciable damage. as routine errands, may also involve telltale that illuminates whenever there
Commenters advocating a reduced drive times of less than 30 minutes. is a malfunction that affects the
detection time did not provide any Therefore, if we were to require a low generation or transmission of control or
evidence to demonstrate that operation tire pressure detection time of 30 response signals in the TPMS and
of the vehicle with one or more tires minutes or more, it is conceivable that extinguishes when the malfunction has
under-inflated by 25 percent leads to consumers could be driving on been corrected.
tire damage or tire failure. Although The NPRM’s proposed requirement
manufacturers are encouraged to 28 DocketNo. NHTSA–2004–19054–96. for a TPMS Malfunction Indicator Lamp
provide the low tire pressure warning as 29 This
statistic is based upon the results of a (MIL) was not included in earlier
quickly as possible, we believe that a Washington Post-ABC News-Time poll conducted
by telephone from January 27–31, 2005 among
rounds of the TPMS rulemaking
1,204 randomly selected adults nationwide. Results process. Consequently, the agency
24 67 FR 38704, 38728 (June 5, 2002). of this poll were reported in the Washington Post
25 Id.
on February 13, 2005, at page A1. 31 See June 5, 2002 comments of the Rubber
26 Id. 30 See http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/ Manufacturers Association (Docket No. NHTSA–
27 Id. at 38726. Ranking/2002/R04T160.htm. 00–8011–64).

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expected and did receive extensive Heavy Industries USA, Inc. (Fuji) each DaimlerChrysler Corporation
public comment on this proposed recommended a 10-minute detection (DaimlerChrysler) made a general
provision. Commenters offered time. BERU stated that it does not argument that NHTSA has not
recommendations regarding how support an ‘‘excessive[ly] long’’ calculated or otherwise demonstrated
quickly the TPMS must detect system duration for TPMS malfunction any significant safety benefits associated
malfunctions, the types of functions to detection, because an extended ride with the TPMS MIL.
be detected, and the test procedures for (even 20 minutes) with a defective Based upon the information provided
detecting such malfunctions. Each of TPMS or an incompatible tire could by the commenters, we have decided to
these topics will be discussed in turn. prevent a low pressure warning and modify our approach to the MIL by
(a) Time Period for Malfunction lead to a tire blow out. BERU also providing a time period for malfunction
Detection. The NPRM did not specify a recommended specification of a vehicle detection and a speed range in which
time period for the TPMS to detect a moving distance. BERU stated that the vehicle will be driven as part of the
malfunction and to illuminate the TPMS specifications for ‘‘duration’’ and malfunction detection phase in the test
MIL. ‘‘vehicle moving distance’’ are necessary procedures. Specifically, this final rule
The Association of International not only for the detection of a requires the TPMS to detect a
Automobile Manufacturers, Inc. (AIAM) malfunction, but also for the validation malfunction and to illuminate the MIL
expressed concern that the NPRM of the correction of a malfunction. within 20 minutes of the occurrence of
would require detection and notification EnTire and Hyundai recommended a a malfunction, when the vehicle is
of a TPMS malfunction immediately malfunction detection time of 20 driven at a speed between 50 km/h and
upon occurrence. However, AIAM minutes. According to EnTire, if a 100 km/hr.
stated that immediate detection is not pressure sensor is disabled, it can take Several commenters have stated that
possible in most cases, because TPMSs over 13.5 minutes for the fault to TPMSs generally require the same
generally require the vehicle to be in ‘‘mature’’ and to be detected by the amount of time to detect and to verify
motion in order to detect a malfunction system and suggested 20 minutes as a a malfunction as they do for low tire
(an argument also raised by Honda reasonable detection time. (EnTire also pressure. As discussed above, the
Motor Co., Ltd. and American Honda suggested 20 minutes as a reasonable detection time period for low tire
Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) and EnTire), extinguishment time for the MIL, and pressure has been increased to 20
and several transmissions from the Fuji recommended that a vehicle be minutes. A number of commenters
pressure sensor to the controller are driven at least 10 minutes at a minimum stated that 20 minutes would provide
required to validate the existence of a of 40 kph in order to verify that the adequate time for TPMS malfunction
malfunction. malfunction has been eliminated.) detection, with some commenters
AIMA stated that the FCC requires a Hyundai commented that current direct recommending an even shorter time
pause between signal transmissions at TPMSs are designed so that a failure is period (e.g., 10 minutes). We also
least 30 times as long as the signal recognized only when the control unit believe that specifying a time period for
transmission itself. In addition, AIMA does not receive data from the pressure detection addresses MLHO’s comment
stated that interference may result in the sensor for three to four consecutive that the standard should not imply a
loss of some of these signals. AIMA delivery cycles. Hyundai stated that requirement for automatic illumination
argued that a requirement for immediate current systems, therefore, require of the MIL as soon as a malfunction
detection and reporting of a TPMS approximately 20 minutes to properly occurs.
malfunction could result in many false detect and verify TPMS malfunctions, a We understand that certain TPMS
positive warnings, which could time period consistent with technologies require vehicular motion
undermine consumers’ faith in the minimization of nuisance warnings. in order to diagnose a TPMS
system and potentially lead them to GM recommended a 30-minute drive malfunction, which is similar to the way
ignore TPMS-related warnings (an time for TPMS malfunction detection. in which such systems detect low tire
argument repeated by General Motors GM stated that the MILs for its current pressure. For that reason, we are now
North America (GM) and Hyundai in TPMSs have a 25-minute drive period specifying in the standard’s test
their comments). In light of the above, for the detection threshold, and the procedures that the vehicle will be
AIMA recommended that the agency company is not aware of any consumer driving within a designated speed range
allow the TPMS between 30 and 60 complaints arising from delayed TPMS during the malfunction detection phase.
minutes to determine with a high degree malfunction warnings. GM argued that a We see important benefits in
of certainty whether a true malfunction TPMS that is programmed to be highly including a MIL requirement as part of
is present (e.g., not one caused by reactive in terms of malfunction the final rule. First, the malfunction
signals external to the vehicle). The detection and that provides an detection requirement is intended to
Alliance made a similar comment, immediate response may result in ensure the long-term functionality of the
suggesting a 30-minute detection time relatively frequent malfunction TPMS by identifying those small
for a malfunction. warnings because common, everyday number of replacement tires with
Several other commenters also occurrences are likely to temporarily construction characteristics that would
recommended that the agency specify a disturb the TPMS’s signals. prevent proper operation of the TPMS.
time period for the detection of a TPMS MLHO stated that the regulatory text Without the TPMS MIL, some drivers
malfunction, although the related to the TPMS malfunction would lose the benefit of the low tire
recommended time periods varied. For detection requirement should be revised pressure warning to be provided by the
example, ALPS Automotive, Inc. (ALPS) to focus on the detection of a TPMS. The malfunction indicator was
and Honda commented that a TPMS malfunction or correction of a recommended by the Alliance as a
cannot detect malfunctions any faster malfunction, rather than the occurrence solution to this problem. In addition,
than the system can detect low tire of those events. MLHO’s comment is the MIL could provide ancillary benefits
pressure and that the same durational related to those about the need for the by alerting the driver of other situations
parameters should be set for both system to have adequate time to where the system becomes non-
functions. ALPS, BERU, Schrader detection the presence or absence of a operational; in some cases, the problem
Electronics, Ltd. (Schrader), and Fuji malfunction. may be temporary (e.g., brief signal

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disturbance), but in other cases, the MIL to require the TPMS to indicate a system provides a malfunction
may signal the need for repair of the malfunction under the following two indication when there is either a loss of
TPMS. In all these cases, it is useful to conditions: (1) When wheel speed power to the TPMS control unit or when
the driver to be aware that the system signals cannot be transmitted from there is no electrical connection
is unavailable to provide a low tire wheel speed sensors to the TPMS, and between the control unit and the TPMS
pressure warning. (2) when tire pressure signals cannot be telltale. Suzuki stated that although its
However, with the above said, we do transmitted from the pressure sensors to system is not compliant with the
believe that the above accommodations the TPMS. NPRM’s proposed MIL requirements, it
can be made without any significant ETV stated that the MIL should believes that its system is just as
decrease in safety benefits. A TPMS indicate the following malfunctions: (1) effective as the MIL technical
malfunction does not itself represent a Incompatibility of replacement tires/ specifications in the NPRM. Therefore,
safety risk to vehicle occupants, and we rims; (2) sensor failure; (3) signal failure Suzuki requested that NHTSA adopt
expect that the chances of having a in communications channel; (4) reader ‘‘less design-restrictive’’ requirements
TPMS malfunction and a significantly electronics failure, and (5) telltale bulb for the TPMS MIL, so as to allow
under-inflated tire at the same time are failure. ETV argued that there should be continued use of its system.
unlikely. Even if that is the case, we do a redundancy or failsafe built into the NIRA Dynamics commented that it is
not believe that a 20-minute detection system so that a burnt out telltale bulb important to keep the malfunction
time would increase occupant risk can still produce a malfunction indicator requirements generic, so that
appreciably. warning, so as to alert the consumer that any TPMS technology may be used. As
(b) What Constitutes a TPMS that bulb needs replacement. examples of limitations specific to
Malfunction? The NPRM proposed to Hyundai stated that there are three certain types of TPMS technology, NIRA
require the MIL to illuminate types of TPMS malfunctions that will Dynamics stated that: (1) Many direct
‘‘whenever there is a malfunction that require addition of a separate electrical systems cannot detect a malfunction
affects the generation or transmission of circuit to activate the MIL: (1) when the vehicle is stationary if the
control or response signals in the Disconnection of the power source to sensor does not have any contact with
vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring the main control unit; (2) disconnection
the receiver due to wheel angle; (2) it is
system’’ and to extinguish when such of the power source to the telltale lamp,
impossible for indirect systems to detect
malfunction is corrected (S4.4(a)). and (3) disconnection of wiring between
A number of commenters argued that a malfunction when the vehicle is
the main control unit and the telltale
proposed malfunction requirement is stationary because the wheel must rotate
lamp. Hyundai requested that the
overly broad and in need of to diagnose the sensor, and (3) indirect
agency exclude these three malfunctions
modification. The Alliance, the systems cannot detect tire
from the requirements of the standard
organization that originally suggested incompatibilities. NIRA Dynamics urged
during the phase-in period, because
consideration of a TPMS MIL, stated that the final rule should simply require
incorporating detection capabilities for
that it remains committed to providing TPMSs to be designed to detect
these types of malfunctions would
an in-vehicle indication when there is require additional development time. malfunctions ‘‘according to good
inadequate signal reception from one or Alternatively, Hyundai suggested that engineering practices.’’
more TPMS sensors. However, the detection of these conditions could be Honda’s comments sought
Alliance stated that the technical achieved through the bulb check confirmation that the following system
specifications for the MIL proposed in function and supplemental language in failures would be excluded from the
the NPRM are different than the MILs the owner’s manual; in those cases, the TPMS MIL activation and warning
that Alliance members were expecting TPMS lamp would not be illuminated requirements: TPMS indicator light,
and, in some cases, are inconsistent during the bulb check, and the driver TPMS coupler, and meter panel. Honda
with the MILs that manufacturers are would consult the owner’s manual to be argued that it would be unnecessary for
already voluntarily providing. alerted to the TPMS malfunction in the TPMS MIL to report these failures
Fuji stated that although it is such cases. because they would be apparent upon
reasonable to require malfunction In addition, Hyundai stated that even bulb check. Honda also requested that
detection for components that sense and though components such as the the agency issue a laboratory test
transmit tire inflation pressure data, the electronic control unit (ECU) or vehicle procedure for generating a TPMS system
standard should only require speed sensors are involved in TPMS fault, so as to clear up any confusion
malfunction detection and warning in operation, failure of these components related to the types of malfunctions that
three situations: (1) When there is should not be considered a TPMS will be subject to testing.
inadequate (or no) input signal from the malfunction. Mitsubishi stated that the Continental Teves, Inc. (Continental
wheel sensors; (2) when there is MIL should not be required to provide Teves) also commented that for a hybrid
inadequate (or no) input signal from the a warning during brief interruption of system, it would not be possible for the
antenna to the electronic control communication between sensors and TPMS to illuminate the MIL to indicate
module (ECM), or (3) when there is the ECU because the TPMS uses radio an incompatible tire unless it is on a
inadequate (or no) input signal from communications that can be affected by wheel with a pressure sensor.
other systems used by the malfunction external interference; this is a common Continental Teves stated that the TPMS
warning system (e.g., ABS wheel speed occurrence that could result in false MIL should not be required to
input to the ECM). Fuji stated that positive warnings. GM made a similar illuminate when an incompatible
malfunctions in the TPMS ECM (which point about not requiring the TPMS MIL replacement tire is installed, but
contains the logic to determine that a to illuminate during brief and temporary instead, the system should be permitted
malfunction exists) would be impossible interruption of signals. to continue to function with reduced
to indicate via the MIL, because the The comments of American Suzuki performance without the MIL being lit.
module would not be functioning to Motor Corporation (Suzuki) discussed BMW also stated that the TPMS MIL
operate the lamp. the malfunction detection capabilities of should not be required to illuminate
Sumitomo commented that paragraph the TPMS currently installed on the when system failure is the result of a
S4.4, as proposed, should be modified Suzuki XL–7. According to Suzuki, that change to an incompatible tire, because

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such failure is not the result of a adopting the specific limitations laboratory test procedure for generating
malfunction of the TPMS. recommended by the commenters. a TPMS system malfunction, we would
Schrader commented that the TPMS We agree with the comment of offer the following clarification and
should not be required to signal a Schrader that the MIL should not be cautionary note. It is our intention to
malfunction when the ignition locking required to signal a burned out bulb as publish guidelines to test facilities that
system is in the lamp-check position, a TPMS malfunction, because that the agency contracts with to conduct
because that status check should be problem would already be identified compliance testing in the near future.
reserved for confirming the during the check-of-lamp function at These guidelines are referred to as
functionality of the telltale bulb. vehicle start-up. compliance test procedures, and they
After careful consideration of the As discussed previously, we are intended to provide a standardized
public comments, we have decided to recognize that most TPMSs require testing and data recording format among
retain the NPRM’s requirement for the vehicular motion in order to detect a the various contractors that perform
MIL to illuminate whenever there is a system malfunction, so we have testing on behalf of the agency, so that
malfunction that affects the generation incorporated a 20-minute drive time in the test results will reflect performance
or transmission of control or response a designated speed range as part of the characteristics of the product being
signals in the vehicle’s tire pressure standard’s test procedures for tested, not differences between the
monitoring system. Although the malfunction detection. various testing facilities. However, we
We do not agree with the comments would stress that vehicle manufacturers’
commenters expressed preferences for
stating that the MIL should not be certification responsibilities are linked
TPMSs with reduced malfunction
required to illuminate during periods of to the requirements, test procedures,
detection capabilities, they did not state
brief external signal disturbance. The and test conditions articulated in the
that it would be impracticable to
TPMS is unlikely to know for how long standard, not the laboratory test
provide the proposed warnings.
a signal disturbance will continue. procedures.
Furthermore, we believe that, given
Instead, we believe that the driver
adequate lead time, this requirement is (c) MIL Disablement. The NPRM did
should be provided a warning that the
practicable, because a nearly identical not contain any provision for MIL
TPMS system is unavailable to detect
malfunction requirement for anti-lock disablement.
low tire pressure. This situation is not
braking systems (ABS) is contained in a false positive, but instead, it involves Honda requested clarification as to
FMVSS No. 121, Air Brake Systems, and a period when the TPMS is unavailable, whether it would be permissible to
vehicle manufacturers have certified to although through no fault of its own. disable or to suppress the MIL when the
that standard successfully. We expect Once the period of signal disturbance TPMS sending units have been removed
that manufacturers would similarly be passes, the TPMS should detect that the as a result of the replacement of the
able to meet the malfunction detection problem has been resolved and original equipment tires and rims with
requirements of the TPMS standard. extinguish the MIL, and no additional aftermarket components that are not
As drafted, the TPMS malfunction action on the part of the driver would compatible with the direct-sensing
detection requirement is technology- be required. TPMS. Honda stated that it had
neutral and capable of accommodating In addition, during periods of brief previously received complaints from
system design changes without the need disturbance, the TPMS’s circuitry and customers and dealers who encountered
to continually amend the standard. For software may require time to detect a this situation and were confronted with
example, in a direct TPMS, the control malfunction, and the MIL telltale may a recurrent malfunction warning. The
signals are generated by the wheel ultimately not illuminate. As discussed company expressed concern that if the
sensor and transmitted to an electronic above, we are requiring the TPMS to MIL cannot be suppressed in these
control unit via an antenna. In contrast, detect a malfunction and to illuminate situations, consumers may become
in an indirect TPMS, the control signals the TPMS MIL within 20 minutes of the desensitized to MILs generally, which
may be generated by the ABS wheel occurrence of such malfunction. This could have negative implications for
sensor and transmitted to the electronic time period for detection should occupant safety. NADA provided a
control unit directly. The present provide the system with an adequate similar comment.
requirement encompasses both types of opportunity to determine whether the We do not believe it is appropriate to
systems. disturbance is, in fact, brief before permit disablement of the MIL when
In response to comments suggesting illuminating the MIL. aftermarket tires and rims are installed
that the TPMS MIL should only detect We also disagree with commenters on the vehicle that are not compatible
specific malfunctions, the agency who suggested that the TPMS MIL with the continued proper functioning
believes that such restrictions would should not be required to signal when of the TPMS. In such cases, the TPMS
unnecessarily reduce the safety benefits the vehicle is equipped with alternate or MIL is performing its intended function.
of the TPMS. Specifications in the replacement tires that prevent We believe that the MIL should
standard that would limit malfunctions continued proper functioning of the continue to operate when tires and rims
that must be detected could impose TPMS. That requirement is key to the that are incompatible with the TPMS are
design restrictions on manufacturers long-term functionality of the TPMS, mounted on the vehicle, not only to
because such specifications and the and unless such a warning is provided, discourage such actions, but also to
components to which they refer may not some drivers may lose the benefits of provide an ongoing reminder that the
be applicable to current or future TPMS the system entirely. It is plainly TPMS is unavailable to provide low tire
designs. The agency recognizes that the foreseeable that most vehicles will pressure warnings.
requirement for malfunction detection outlast their original set of tires, so this 3. Telltale Requirements
includes all TPMS components and may requirement is necessary to ensure that
require some additional circuitry and consumers continue to receive the The NPRM proposed to require
software, but we believe that with minor TPMS’s important information related installation of either a single TPMS
modifications, it would be practicable to to low tire pressure. telltale (i.e., a combination telltale
monitor all TPMS components for In response to Honda’s comment that indicating both low tire pressure and
malfunction. Therefore, we are not the agency should rapidly issue a system malfunction) or separate telltales

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for low tire pressure and malfunction (a) Function and Format of the consumers as to whether a malfunction
indication. Combined Low Pressure Warning/ or a low tire pressure condition exists.
For the low tire pressure warning, Malfunction Indicator Lamp. More specifically, Hyundai stated that
paragraph S4.3 of the NPRM proposed A number of commenters discussed the initial one-minute flashing sequence
to require a telltale that is mounted the issue of how the MIL would operate, may be an insufficient period of time,
inside the occupant compartment in particularly when it is combined with because, particularly at vehicle start-up,
front of and in clear view of the driver, the low pressure warning telltale. No the driver may be preoccupied with
which is identified by one of the consensus was evident, as reflected by other tasks and may not notice the
symbols for ‘‘Low Tire Pressure the variety of viewpoints in the flashing telltale until it becomes steady-
Telltale’’ in Table 2 of FMVSS No. 101, following discussion of comments. burning, at which time it may be
Controls and Displays, and is Some commenters argued that the misconstrued to be a low pressure
illuminated under the conditions proposed requirements for the TPMS warning (a similar comment was
specified in S4.2. For low tire pressure MIL are design-restrictive and may provided by Emtop). Hyundai
telltales that identify which tire(s) is impose unnecessary costs. In its recommended that NHTSA either
(are) under-inflated, the NPRM comments, AIAM opposed the use of a consider other alternatives (e.g.,
proposed to require that each tire in that flashing low pressure telltale to indicate periodic flashing) or an extension of the
symbol must illuminate when the tire it TPMS malfunction when the MIL is part one-minute time period for the initial
represents is under-inflated to the extent of a combined format, because such a flashing. The comments of Mitsubishi
specified in S4.2. That paragraph also format may require significant software Motors R&D of America, Inc.
proposed to require the low tire and hardware changes. AIAM stated (Mitsubishi) and the TIA shared this
pressure telltale to illuminate during a that a separate MIL will not be feasible view. DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi, and
check-of-lamp function, and stated that for many vehicles, and that the NPRM’s Nissan North America, Inc. (Nissan)
the telltale would not be required to limited MIL design options would went even further in their comments
illuminate when a starter interlock is in restrict a number of potentially and suggested a continuously flashing
innovative solutions (e.g., voice TPMS MIL, which would be distinct
operation.
malfunction indicators, other visual or from the continuous warning for low
For the TPMS MIL, paragraph S4.4 of
text messaging displays). tire pressure.
the NPRM proposed two options for AIAM argued that NHTSA instead TIA also expressed concern that even
compliance. As the first option, under should include a technology-neutral if the driver does notice the initial
S4.4(b), a vehicle manufacturer could requirement for a MIL, but leave MIL flashing sequence of the combined
install a dedicated TPMS malfunction design to the discretion of the vehicle TPMS telltale, that person still may not
telltale that is mounted inside the manufacturer. Porsche Cars North comprehend its significance, instead
occupant compartment in front of and America, Inc. (Porsche) argued that misconstruing it as part of normal
in clear view of the driver, which is there is no evidence that clear and vehicle start-up. According to TIA, if
identified by one of the symbols for concise text messages create confusion, that were the case, even a more detailed
‘‘TPMS Malfunction Telltale’’ in Table 2 and the company recommended that the explanation in the owner’s manual
of FMVSS No. 101, and is continuously final rule permit text messages related to would be insufficient because the driver
illuminated under the conditions TPMS malfunction and permit those may never realize the need to consult it.
specified in S4.4(a). That paragraph also messages to be cleared by the driver (but TIA also commented that a separate
proposed to require the MIL to not permit clearing of the low pressure TPMS MIL telltale would add yet
illuminate during a check-of-lamp telltale). The Alliance, BMW, another light to an already crowded
function, and stated that the telltale DaimlerChrysler, and VW/Audi all dashboard. (BMW and Porsche provided
would not be required to illuminate expressed similar views regarding similar comments.) BMW commented
when a starter interlock is in operation. allowing design freedom for MILs with that a combined telltale would preserve
As the second option, under S4.4(c), a mix of product offerings. Suzuki space for future safety-related
a vehicle manufacturer could install a suggested that manufacturers should be technologies and warnings.
combined Low Tire Pressure/TPMS permitted to explain how different Porsche argued that the 60-second
Malfunction telltale that continues to malfunctions are identified in the flashing format for the proposed
meet the low tire pressure detection vehicle owner’s manual. combined telltale is unwarranted and a
requirements of S4.2 and S4.3 and DaimlerChrysler stated that its potentially dangerous way to signal a
meets the MIL requirements of S4.4(a) experience has shown TPMS TPMS malfunction. According to
in the following fashion. The NPRM malfunctions to be uncommon events, Porsche, a flashing telltale would send
proposed to require the combined and therefore, detailed MIL an incorrect message to the driver that
telltale to flash for one minute upon specifications are not warranted because something is seriously wrong with the
detection of any malfunction condition they do not address a significant safety vehicle, potentially alarming the driver
specified in S4.4(a) after the ignition problem or provide a significant safety and leading to a panic situation that
locking system is turned to the ‘‘On’’ benefit. DaimlerChrysler argued that it could distract the driver’s attention from
(‘‘Run’’) position. After the first minute, should be sufficient to have the final driving.
the telltale would be required to remain rule that the malfunction indicator ‘‘be In contrast, Emtop argued that there is
continuously illuminated as long as the present, visible to the driver, not any evidence to suggest that flashing
malfunction exists and the ignition perceptually upright, and explained in telltales produce inappropriate driver
locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) the owner’s manual.’’ responses or that the intended messages
position. The NPRM proposed that this Others were concerned that the are misunderstood, unless the
flashing and illumination sequence flashing-to-steady-burning MIL could indication is inconsistent.
would be required to be repeated upon lead to consumer confusion. The Fuji’s comments suggested that the
subsequent vehicle start-ups until the Alliance questioned whether having the form of the MIL warning should depend
situation causing the malfunction has combined telltale flash for one minute upon the type of malfunction
been corrected, after which time the and then become steady burning to encountered. More specifically, Fuji
telltale must extinguish. indicate a malfunction would confuse stated that malfunctions in the TPMS

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ECM (which contains the logic to similar comment.) Emtop also telltales are a nuisance or otherwise
determine that a malfunction exists) recommended this approach because a unacceptable.
would be impossible to indicate via the flashing malfunction indicator would BERU requested clarification of
MIL, because the module would not be require a control signal that may be whether the MIL should be illuminated
functioning to operate the lamp. Fuji unable to produce the requisite flashing while the system is running validation
recommended that the MIL should flash if the malfunction affects the control protocols to determine whether a
as long as the malfunction exists in signal itself; according to Emtop, problem has been corrected.
components ‘‘downstream’’ of the ECM indicating a malfunction in a steady (Presumably, this question applies to
(e.g., loss of signal from a wheel sensor) state would be more appropriate both combined and separate TPMS
but that the MIL should have because an indicator can be made to MILs.)
continuous illumination for default to a fixed state in the absence of EnTire sought clarification as to
malfunctions of components a control signal. whether vehicles that are equipped with
‘‘upstream’’ of the ECM (e.g., wiring In its comments, Emtop also both of the proposed low tire pressure
harness to telltale, loss of power to the questioned the message conveyed by a telltales (i.e., the single symbol and the
ECM). Fuji stated that this hierarchy flashing-to-steady MIL, which it argued symbol showing individual tires) are
would not apply to situations where the may be confusing, counter-intuitive, and required to have both symbols indicate
TPMS failed the bulb check. context dependent. According to Emtop, a TPMS malfunction per the defined
NADA stated that the TPMS could use drivers may equate a change in the procedure or whether the MIL may be
a single warning lamp to indicate a indicator with a change in condition. incorporated in only one of those
variety of conditions (i.e., low tire Emtop also suggested that the messages telltales.
pressure, incompatible tires, TPMS in a combined telltale could be confused After considering the public
malfunction). Under the approach in situations where low tire pressure is comments and all available information,
recommended by NADA, when the masked by the malfunction warning or we have decided to retain the NPRM’s
telltale is illuminated, the owner would where a low pressure warning flickers general approach to the telltale
consult (at least the first time) the (e.g., due to fluctuating pressure causing requirements for both the low tire
following decision tree provided in the the light to turn on and off), problems pressure warning and the TPMS
vehicle owner’s manual in order to which may increase as future TPMS malfunction indicator (with minor
determine the meaning of that technology reduces system reaction modifications), because we believe that
illumination: (1) There is an inflation time. this approach provides an effective
concern. Check tire pressures. If okay, Emtop recommended specifying a message to virtually all drivers. As part
proceed to (2); (2) A tire is incapable of flash rate of one to three times per of this final rule, we have decided to
being monitored. Check tires. If okay, second, noting that the flash rate could permit use of either separate telltales for
proceed to (3); (3) The system is faulty. be changed to convey a greater sense of the low tire pressure warning and the
See your motor vehicle dealer. NADA urgency to the driver if the situation TPMS malfunction indicator, or a
stated that the final rule should include deteriorates without being remedied. combined telltale that incorporates both
a requirement for owner’s manual Emtop stated that its TPMSs already functions. We believe that a visual
language consistent with its have a progressive flash rate that has telltale is necessary to provide a clear
recommended approach. been tested and well received by and consistent message to the driver.
Emtop commented that having consumers. (EnTire and Honda also We do not believe that other suggested
separate TPMS telltales for low tire recommended specification of a flash alternatives (e.g., audible or text
pressure and the malfunction indicator rate for the 60-second flashing messages) would be as effective in
is inadvisable because an additional malfunction indication, as well as a providing those warnings. Furthermore,
telltale is costly, would consume tolerance for the 60-second period. we are concerned that leaving the MIL
limited display space, and would EnTire recommended a tolerance for the to manufacturer discretion could result
provide little or no additional safety 60-second period of ± 10 seconds, in a proliferation of warnings that may
benefit. In contrast to earlier whereas Honda recommended a not be sufficiently noticeable or
commenters, Emtop argued that having tolerance of ± 5 seconds.) understandable to drivers. We believe
separate telltales would confuse drivers Public Citizen urged the agency to that these warnings are extremely
and undermine confidence in the mandate separate warning indicators for important in terms of providing tire
TPMS, and it also argued that allowing low tire pressure and TPMS pressure information to drivers or of
a choice in format could further confuse malfunction because a combined telltale alerting drivers when the systems is not
consumers who drive multiple vehicles could be confusing, particularly for available to provide such information.
when they encounter systems with older drivers who may have poorer However, manufacturers may
different indicators. vision and slower reaction times. supplement the required warnings with
In addition, Emtop recommended (Advocates provided a similar these additional messages.
reversing the NPRM’s approach to the comment.) Public Citizen argued that The agency’s cost-benefit analysis
low pressure and MIL warning signals, both warning telltales should be does not support a mandatory
urging the agency to require the telltale required to flash until the underlying requirement for separate telltales, and
to flash to indicate low tire pressure and problem is corrected. The organization we acknowledge that with limited space
to be continuously illuminated to stated that flashing telltales convey a available on the dashboard, a combined
indicate a TPMS malfunction. sense of urgency and are more likely to telltale has the potential to preserve
According to Emtop, a flashing telltale elicit a driver response, and it suggested precious space for future safety
is more likely to be noticed and implies that a flashing indicator could be warnings. However, we believe that
a potential danger, so in this case, programmed to provide additional there is sufficient justification for
Emtop recommended requiring the information, such as by flashing more separate warnings to warrant permitting
telltale to flash continuously to indicate frequently at increasingly lower manufacturers to use separate warning
low tire pressure, a potentially serious pressure levels. Public Citizen argued telltales if they elect to do so. We
condition which is relatively easy for that the agency has provided no support believe that providing these two
the driver to correct. (Honda provided a for a determination that flashing different compliance options offers

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18154 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

manufacturers greater flexibility in be distracted by other tasks at vehicle immediate driver attention. Thus, in the
terms of their designs without start-up and in some cases may miss a situations that would generate a TPMS-
sacrificing the important safety 60-second flashing sequence.32 related warning, the desired response
messages related to the TPMS. However, we remain concerned that would not be to have the driver
If the manufacturer chooses the drivers may consider a lengthy or immediately pull over to the side of
option for separate telltales, the final indefinite flashing sequence to be a busy highway. That is the primary
rule requires a low tire pressure telltale nuisance, which could cause the driver reason why the color yellow was
that is mounted inside the occupant to ignore the safety message. We are also selected for the TPMS telltale(s), rather
compartment in front of and in clear concerned that the flashing telltale than red. It is also the reason why we
view of the driver, which is identified should elicit the appropriate driver have chosen to require continuous
by one of the symbols for ‘‘Low Tire response. Thus, the final rule’s time illumination of the dedicated TPMS
Pressure Telltale’’ in Table 2 of FMVSS period for flashing the combined telltale MIL and to require a limited period of
No. 101, and is illuminated under the represents the agency’s determination as flashing followed by continuous
conditions specified in S4.2. For low how to best balance these competing illumination (rather than continuous
tire pressure telltales that identify concerns. We do not believe that it is flashing) of the combined TPMS telltale.
which tire(s) is (are) under-inflated, the necessary to specify a flash rate for the Particularly when combined with the
final rule requires that each tire in that combined telltale, so we leave this color yellow, we do not see any reason
symbol must illuminate when the tire it matter to the discretion of the vehicle to believe that a flashing TPMS MIL
represents is under-inflated to the extent manufacturer. telltale, in and of itself, would produce
specified in S4.2. That paragraph also Although certain commenters a panic response on the part of the
requires the low tire pressure telltale to objected to the manner in which the low driver. Furthermore, we do not believe
illuminate during a check-of-lamp tire pressure and MIL warnings are to be it is necessary to require the combined
function, and states that the telltale is provided, those commenters did not telltale to produce periodic flashing
not required to illuminate when a starter provide any evidence to show that the more frequent than upon subsequent
interlock is in operation. agency’s approach would confuse vehicle start-ups.
For the dedicated MIL, under S4.4(b), consumers or that their suggested Some commenters suggested reversing
the final rule requires the vehicle alternatives would be more effective. the way the warning messages are
manufacturer to install a TPMS The following explains our reasoning in presented in a combined telltale (i.e.,
malfunction telltale that is mounted not adopting these suggestions. requiring flashing to indicate low tire
inside the occupant compartment in The TPMS standard represents a pressure and continuous illumination to
front of and in clear view of the driver, novel case in terms of the agency’s use indicate TPMS malfunction). While
which is identified by the word of a telltale. Prior to this final rule, these arguments are not illogical, we
‘‘TPMS,’’ as described under TPMS NHTSA has not required a flashing have decided that it is appropriate, in
Malfunction Telltale’’ in Table 2 of telltale for any of the safety systems in this regard, to retain the approach
FMVSS No. 101, and is continuously any FMVSS. Although we agree with proposed in the NPRM. We believe that
illuminated under the conditions commenters that a flashing telltale is drivers are likely to encounter the low
specified in S4.4(a). That paragraph also likely to attract driver attention more tire pressure warning much more
requires the MIL to illuminate during a quickly than a continuously illuminated frequently than the malfunction
check-of-lamp function, and states that telltale, we also must consider the warning. Thus, we believe that this
the telltale is not required to illuminate appropriateness of the driver’s response situation should be assigned the
when a starter interlock is in operation. to the warning. continuous illumination format, which
For the combined low tire pressure As we have discussed at various represents the norm. The presumably
warning/MIL option, the final rule points in the course of this rulemaking, less frequent TPMS malfunction
requires that the telltale must meet the we do not believe that the TPMS’s warning is being assigned the flashing-
low tire pressure detection requirements illumination of the low tire pressure to-continuous illumination format.
of S4.2 and S4.3 and also meet the MIL telltale represents an urgent situation Although it is arguably true that the low
requirements of S4.4(a) in the following requiring immediate correction. As pressure situation would be easier for
fashion. Upon detection of any noted above, the agency’s tire testing the driver to correct, we believe that the
condition specified in S4.4(a) after the has shown that the vehicle can be final rule’s approach would minimize
ignition locking system is turned to the operated safely with a tire that is under- the amount of flashing encountered by
‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position, the combined inflated by 25 percent without an the driver overall.
telltale must flash for a period of 60–90 appreciable risk of tire failure for some We believe that the messages
seconds, after which, the telltale is reasonable period of time (i.e., at least presented by the different compliance
required to remain continuously 90 minutes). If a significantly under- options for the TPMS telltale(s) will be
illuminated as long as the malfunction inflated tire does not constitute an clear and apparent to most drivers.
exists and the ignition locking system is urgent situation, a TPMS malfunction is However, if any confusion arises, the
in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position. This even less likely to represent an first time the warning is encountered,
flashing and illumination sequence emergency situation requiring the driver would be expected to consult
must be repeated upon subsequent the owner’s manual to clarify the matter.
vehicle start-ups until the situation 32 We note, however, that in those cases where We are not adopting NADA’s
causing the malfunction has been the driver does not see the flashing sequence, the recommendation to have a single TPMS
corrected, after which time the telltale anticipated response would be to check and inflate telltale that would require the driver to
the vehicle’s tires. Even if none of the vehicle’s tires
must extinguish. is ‘‘significantly under-inflated,’’ the outcome
run through a hierarchy of diagnostics
The final rule’s requirement for a 60– would be to return the tires to optimal pressure. to determine what type of problem is
90 second time period of flashing of the This outcome would nevertheless be beneficial, causing the telltale to illuminate. We
combined telltale to indicate a TPMS although the driver may experience some envision significant driver frustration
consternation at the continued illlumination of the
malfunction represents an increase from telltale. In addition, we do not expect that the
with such an approach, particularly in
the NPRM’s proposed requirement. We driver would miss the MIL’s flashing sequence on those cases where the telltale remains
agree with comments that drivers may a regular basis. illuminated after pressure check and

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correction. This scenario can be avoided the desired response. The Alliance In the final rule, we have decided to
by setting a performance requirement argued that the TPMS Docket does not adopt the NPRM’s symbols for low tire
that differentiates between low tire provide documentation of the agency’s pressure, but we have decided to change
pressure situations and TPMS evaluation of possible icons or the the requirement for the MIL symbol. For
malfunctions. results of any focus group evaluation or the low tire pressure warning, an
In response to BERU’s request for study of such icons. The Alliance also internationally recognized symbol has
clarification, we note that the final rule stated that the proposed MIL icon is not been developed by ISO, and we are
requires the TPMS MIL to remain consistent with the approach to other adopting that symbol as one of the
illuminated until such time as the ISO standards, which indicate options under FMVSS No. 101. In
condition causing the malfunction has malfunctions by adding an exclamation addition, we are providing an option for
been corrected. Accordingly, the MIL point symbol (‘‘!’’). Accordingly, the a telltale with a car symbol that would
must remain illuminated while the Alliance argued that, in this instance, allow the TPMS to indicate which tire(s)
system is running any validation the MIL would require the addition of is (are) significantly under-inflated by
protocols to determine whether the another exclamation point (‘‘!’’) on the illuminating the corresponding tire on
problem has been resolved, as the side of the low tire pressure symbol. the telltale, which we believe would be
telltale is permitted to extinguish only The Alliance commented that it is not readily understandable and also provide
after the TPMS can confirm that the aware of any ISO symbol attributing a additional useful information to the
system is again fully operational. meaning to the dashed element found in driver. These symbols may be
In response to EnTire’s question, if the NPRM’s proposed TPMS MIL supplemented by the words ‘‘Low Tire.’’
the vehicle manufacturer elects to symbol, and instead, it suggested an We are not expressing any preference
incorporate both of the TPMS low tire alternate symbol (i.e., the low tire between these two symbols. Not all
pressure telltales, it is only necessary to pressure icon with the capital letters TPMSs may be able to distinguish and
include a malfunction indicator in one ‘‘TPM’’ in the middle). identify which tire is significantly
of those telltales. Requiring both Honda also recommended modifying under-inflated, and we expected that if
telltales to indicate a malfunction would the proposed TPMS malfunction the low tire pressure telltale were to
not only be redundant, but it would also warning telltale. Honda stated that the illuminate, most drivers would check
unnecessarily increase the amount of proposed malfunction symbol is new and adjust the pressure in all of their
flashing experienced by the driver. We and not an internationally recognized tires. Further, the Advocates did not
leave it to the manufacturer’s discretion symbol for TPMS malfunction, so provide any data to demonstrate that the
to choose in which of the two telltales Honda argued that there is latitude for consumers would be confused by ISO’s
the MIL should be incorporated. a change. It recommended using the international symbol for low tire
Regarding Fuji’s comment that the word ‘‘TPMS’’ for the system pressure. Therefore, in order maintain a
MIL should flash in certain malfunction telltale. (Hyundai provided technology-neutral standard, we are
circumstances and be continuously a similar comment.) adopting the NPRM’s two options for
illuminated in other circumstances VW/Audi suggested that for the the TPMS low tire pressure symbol.
(depending upon the type of malfunction indicator, a more Regarding the symbol for the TPMS
malfunction), we have decided not to meaningful TPMS malfunction symbol malfunction indicator using a separate
adopt that recommendation. We are might utilize the low tire symbol with telltale, we have decided to modify the
concerned that having different types of a diagonal bar across it, a feature that is requirements proposed in the NPRM.
malfunction warnings within the same generally interpreted as the negative of (For those systems providing a
system could lead to consumer the underlying symbol. combined low tire pressure/TPMS
confusion. In order to detect ETV expressed support for the malfunction warning in a single telltale,
malfunctions in all TPMS components, proposed TPMS telltale that has the no additional symbol is required
some additional circuitry and software outline of a car with lighted indicators because malfunction is indicated by the
logic may be required, as compared to at each tire that can provide tire-specific flashing sequence discussed above.)
current designs. We recognize that a information by referencing its installed Several commenters stated that the ISO
failure of the control unit would be location. ETV commented that, as symbol for low tire pressure and
difficult to detect without appropriate opposed to the proposed ISO telltale NHTSA’s proposed symbol for the MIL
circuitry and logic. Nevertheless, we design (which ETV referred to as the were so similar as to be confusing. In
believe that such a requirement for a ‘‘cutaway tire’’), the alternate symbol addition, as noted by Honda and Emtop,
flashing MIL would be practicable and provides a ‘‘common sense’’ and readily there is not any internationally
achievable for all types of malfunctions. recognizable symbol for low tire recognized symbol for TPMS
(b) Telltale Symbols for Low Pressure pressure, which would leave the car malfunction, so the agency has latitude
Warning and Malfunction Indication. symbol’s roof area available for the in selecting an appropriate symbol for
Several commenters stated that the TPMS malfunction signal. ETV urged the MIL.
proposed symbols for low tire pressure NHTSA to require that the visual telltale We agree that the TPMS-related
and TPMS malfunction are difficult to be supplemented with an audible alarm. telltales should be sufficiently distinct
distinguish and, therefore, potentially Advocates stated that the final rule and comprehensible, so as to facilitate
confusing. Emtop argued that to the should only permit the low tire pressure proper driver response in both low tire
extent that the symbols are confused, telltale that is capable of alerting the pressure and TPMS malfunction
drivers may delay taking the appropriate driver as to which tire is under-inflated, situations. Accordingly, consistent with
remedial action, and it further stated because motorists may not respond the recommendations of Honda and
that misunderstood telltales could appropriately to re-inflate their tires Hyundai in their comments, we have
undermine confidence in the TPMS. unless they can tell which tire(s) is (are) decided that for dedicated TPMS
In its comments, the Alliance under-inflated. Advocates argued that malfunction telltales, the telltale must
challenged statements in the NPRM NHTSA has not provided any data display the word ‘‘TPMS,’’ without any
indicating that the proposed symbol for regarding how consumers will react to symbol. We understand that the term
the TPMS MIL could be recognized by a warning telltale that does not indicate ‘‘TPMS’’ is becoming commonly known,
consumers or that it would help achieve which tire is under-inflated. and, because it references the system

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itself, it is distinct from the low tire Specifically, ETV recommended elect to postpone taking remedial action
pressure warning. We do not believe requiring illumination of a yellow until that time, a result quite contrary to
that VW/Audi’s suggested approach of telltale when a tire is 20 percent below that which is intended. It is conceivable
having the low pressure symbol inside placard pressure, but changing the color that such drivers might actually take
a circle with a diagonal slash through it to red (with an accompanying beep) corrective action more quickly if they
would provide sufficient clarification. when the pressure drops to 25 percent know that the illumination of the yellow
In the event that the International below placard pressure. ETV argued that low tire pressure telltale is the only
Standards Organization (ISO), the this color change would not confuse warning that they will receive.
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), drivers and that it may encourage more However, in any case, we expect that
or some other voluntary standards immediate action to remedy the under- such delayed action would be the
organization develops a symbol for inflation situation. anomalous response.
TPMS malfunction, the agency would For the final rule, we have decided to Therefore, although we are retaining
carefully evaluate such symbol and adopt the NPRM’s proposed the yellow color requirement for the low
consider migration to the consensus requirement for a yellow low tire tire pressure telltale, we have decided
standard as part of a subsequent pressure telltale. The issues of the that vehicle manufacturers may
rulemaking. We will carefully evaluate appropriate telltale color and the supplement the required low pressure
the distinctness and comprehensibility possibility of changing from one color to telltale with an additional warning. For
of any such symbol. another have been raised in earlier example, vehicle manufacturers may
We are not adopting ETV’s rounds of this rulemaking, and the choose to incorporate a second, red
recommendation that we require an commenters on the NPRM have largely lamp to accompany the continuously-
audible alarm to accompany the TPMS reiterated arguments raised previously. illuminated yellow low tire pressure
telltale(s), because we believe that the The following summarizes our telltale. This red lamp could be
requirements of the final rule provide an reasoning for the yellow color illuminated when the pressure in one or
adequate warning to the driver. requirement. more tires becomes dangerously under-
(c) Telltale Color. (i) Low Pressure As we noted in the NPRM, we believe inflated, as defined by the vehicle
Warning Telltale. The NPRM proposed that yellow is the most appropriate color manufacturer. This approach is
to require a yellow telltale to indicate to for the low tire pressure telltale. The use consistent with our traditional practice
the driver when a tire becomes of the color red is usually reserved for of allowing manufacturers to
significantly under-inflated (see Table 2 telltales warning of an imminent safety incorporate measures, consistent with
of FMVSS No. 101). hazard. An example is the brake system Federal motor vehicle safety standards,
BMW commented that manufacturers warning telltale, which is red because a which are designed to further enhance
should be permitted (but not required) failure in the vehicle’s brake system safety. If a vehicle manufacturer chooses
to change the TPMS low pressure results in an imminent safety hazard to add a second, red warning lamp, its
telltale from yellow to red once tire that requires immediate attention. In meaning and function would have to be
pressure becomes ‘‘extremely low.’’ contrast, NHTSA requires a yellow discussed in the vehicle owner’s
BMW recommended that the TPMS telltale for driver warnings when the manual.
should be allowed to change from safety consequences of the We are not adopting ETV’s suggestion
yellow to red once the tire(s) drop 50 malfunctioning system do not constitute for requiring an audible beep when tire
percent or more below placard pressure, an emergency and the vehicle does not inflation pressure drops to some point
a point at which the tire can be require immediate servicing. Based lower than 25 percent below placard
considered functionally flat. In its upon the results of the agency’s tire pressure, because the commenter has
comments, BMW emphasized that this testing, we have concluded that yellow not provided any evidence to show that
feature is particularly important for run- is the appropriate color for the low tire this redundant warning signal is
flat tires, because a consumer may not pressure telltale because it conveys the necessary. Likewise, we are not
be able to determine by visual intended message that the driver may adopting ETV’s recommendation for a
inspection or by handling feedback that continue driving, but should check and 20-percent under-inflation threshold, for
the tire is flat. According to BMW, run- adjust the tire pressure at the earliest the reasons discussed above.
flat tires are designed to be driven with opportunity. (ii) Malfunction Indicator Telltale.
a loss of inflation pressure, but only at To respond to the commenters’ The NPRM proposed to require the color
low speeds and for a limited distance; requests that NHTSA permit a telltale for the MIL to be yellow, regardless of
therefore, the consumer must be advised that changes color from yellow to red, whether it is incorporated in a
not to continue driving for an extended we are concerned that this could combined telltale with the low tire
period of time or at highway speeds. confuse consumers, particularly if it is pressure warning or is provided as a
VW/Audi and Emtop provided similar left to the discretion of individual separate, dedicated telltale. For the
comments about permitting the low tire vehicle manufacturers to decide the combined telltale, the proposed MIL
pressure warning to change from yellow level of under-inflation at which the red color requirement would carry through
to red at a specified point. VW/Audi telltale is triggered. Conceivably, it from the low tire pressure telltale’s color
asserted that this functionality is would be possible for a vehicle requirement, and for the dedicated MIL,
desirable, both as a matter of safety (i.e., manufacturer to program the TPMS to the proposed color requirement was set
to provide a heightened level of alert to illuminate a yellow telltale for a fraction forth in Table 2 of FMVSS No. 101.
indicate that the risk of tire failure is at of a second, after which time, it would In its comments, the Alliance
a higher level) and as a matter of immediately turn red; such a expressed support for requiring the
practicability (i.e., to permit a single requirement would meet the letter of the dedicated TPMS malfunction indicator
location for the basic warning indicator requirement, but foil its intent. telltale to be yellow, to be constantly
and the heightened red alert). As a counterpoint to ETV’s argument, illuminated as long as the malfunction
ETV also suggested linking a change we believe that it is possible that if a exists, and to perform a bulb check as
in telltale color to a change in tire driver knows that the TPMS low tire required for other telltales.
pressure, although at a much earlier pressure warning will eventually shift ETV stated its belief that a systemic
point than other commenters. from yellow to red, that person may failure of the TPMS should illuminate a

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red warning telltale, because the gravity have provided additional clarifying clear the malfunction telltale and would
of this situation is on par with a tire language in S4.2 of the final rule. require a complete diagnostic check
failure. We agree with Schrader that drivers cycle before illuminating the
In the final rule, we are adopting a should not reset the TPMS so as to malfunction telltale.
yellow color requirement for the MIL, extinguish the low tire pressure warning We believe that cogent arguments can
both for the combined telltale and telltale (or the MIL) until the underlying be made that either the low tire pressure
separate telltale options. As noted under problem has been corrected (e.g., warning or the malfunction warning
the earlier discussion of the MIL, we do restoring proper inflation pressure or should be given priority in a
not believe that a TPMS malfunction remedying other problems). We believe combination telltale, as both messages
constitutes an inherently dangerous that vehicle manufacturers will clearly relay important information to the
situation requiring immediate corrective address this issue when explaining the driver. However, we would preface this
action, and just because the TPMS is TPMS reset feature, if applicable. We discussion by saying that we expect that
malfunctioning, it does not necessarily believe that no additional language is the simultaneous occurrence of a low
mean that the vehicle’s tires are under- necessary on this point. pressure situation and a TPMS
inflated. Thus, if a yellow telltale is As to Emtop’s recommendation that malfunction would be a very rare event.
appropriate for the low tire pressure we should require the tires to be refilled Furthermore, we believe that the
warning, we do not believe that there is to at least 10 percent above the level ability of the TPMS to monitor both low
justification for a more stringent specified in S4.2(a) of the NPRM before tire pressure and a malfunctioning
warning for the TPMS MIL, as would be permitting the telltale to extinguish, we component simultaneously may be a
indicated by the color red. do not believe that such a requirement derivative of system design. For
(d) Telltale Extinguishment is necessary. First, if a tire is inflated to example, if a vehicle were equipped
Requirements. Under S4.2(b), the NPRM a level above the TPMS low tire with TPMS with a low pressure telltale
proposed to require that the low pressure warning threshold, it is that depicts a vehicle with a light at
presumably safe to drive. In addition, each wheel, the TPMS could
pressure telltale ‘‘must extinguish after
we do not believe that such a provision conceivably experience a malfunction in
the inflation pressure is corrected.’’
is necessary, because we would expect the sensor for one tire (thus triggering a
Similarly, under S4.4(a), the NPRM
consumers to fill all four tires to the malfunction warning) but still be
proposed to require that the TPMS
recommended inflation pressure once capable of detecting low pressure in the
malfunction telltale ‘‘extinguishes when
the low tire pressure telltale illuminates. remaining three tires. In contrast, a
the malfunction has been corrected.’’ (e) Telltale Illumination Priority. The different TPMS system might be
Continental Teves commented that NPRM did not provide any specification equipped with a low pressure telltale
S4.2 is not technology-neutral because it for telltale illumination priority for the that does not distinguish individual
does not provide for systems requiring combined TPMS telltale, in the event tires, and a malfunction in its central
manual reset (e.g., hybrid systems). It that the vehicle’s TPMS encounters both processing unit may wholly disable the
recommended that the final rule permit a low tire pressure situation and a system’s under-inflation detection
the telltale to stay illuminated until the TPMS malfunction. capabilities. To the extent that a
low-pressure situation has been Several commenters urged the agency malfunctioning system can maintain
corrected and the system has been reset to clarify how to prioritize the messages some residual level of under-inflation
in accordance with any applicable for the low tire pressure warning and detection capability, that would be
instructions in the owner’s manual. the MIL in a combined TPMS telltale, in beneficial, but it is not a result that
Schrader expressed concern that the event that both of the underlying could be consistently expected across
drivers will use TPMS reset buttons to conditions materialize simultaneously. TPM systems or even from a single
extinguish the low pressure warning In their comments, Fuji and Mitsubishi system at different times.
lamp without correcting the tire each stated that the low tire pressure As a result, we have decided to leave
inflation problem, in order to extinguish warning should take precedence over the issue of telltale illumination priority
the ‘‘annoying’’ telltale. In order to the TPMS malfunction warning. Honda for the combined telltale to vehicle
prevent such occurrences, Schrader suggested that the flashing sequence manufacturer discretion. We believe
stated that the final rule should not could occur immediately before and that because the manufacturers are the
permit TPMSs with a manual reset after one minute of steady illumination. ones most familiar with the capabilities
feature that would allow consumers to Emtop’s comments suggested that, in of their individual systems, they are the
recalibrate the system. many cases, illumination priority may ones best equipped to handle this issue.
Emtop stated that the low tire be a non-issue, because, according to (f) Supplemental Telltale. Nissan
pressure warning should not be Emtop, if one of the telltales is sought clarification that it would be
extinguished until the tire pressure is at operative, the other inevitably is not. permissible to install a ‘‘continuously-
least 10 percent above the level Emtop stated that if there is a TPMS flashing yellow light’’ instead of a
specified in S4.2(a) of the NPRM. malfunction, then the low tire pressure second, red light on vehicles equipped
We disagree with the comments of telltale is unlikely to be able to provide with run-flat tires, in order to warn the
Continental Teves, which stated that reliable information. However, Emtop driver when the tires have reach a level
S4.2 is not technology-neutral because stated that the low tire pressure warning of under-inflation necessitating more
that section does not specifically should take priority, if there is a immediate action. Nissan stated that the
mention that the TPMS will be reset in malfunction affecting only one tire; in flashing light would provide a warning
accordance with any applicable those cases, the system should continue that the tire may not be appropriate for
instructions in the vehicle owner’s to provide low tire pressure warnings continued use, but it would not indicate
manual. Although system reset was not for the unaffected tires, to the extent the level of urgency associated with a
specifically mentioned in S4.2, it is possible. red light. Nissan commented that it
clearly addressed in S6(c), S6(i), S6(j), Fuji expressed concern that if the low believes that its proposed continuously
and S6(1) of the test procedures. tire pressure warning has complete flashing light is sufficiently distinct
However, in order to foster a better priority over the malfunction warning, from the TPMS combined telltale with
understanding of this provision, we resetting the low pressure telltale could the one-minute flashing sequence as to

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permit the driver to distinguish between that if NHTSA decides to permit reasons of public safety and in
the two situations, and that the incompatible replacement tires, the observance of congressional intent
operation of the TPMS telltales would agency has an ongoing responsibility to under the TREAD Act.
be fully explained in the vehicle determine which tires are incompatible The TIA reiterated its earlier
owner’s manual. and that this responsibility should not comments on the TPMS rulemaking
The NPRM’s discussion of how it be shifted to the public. Instead, (submitted by the Tire Association of
would be permissible for a vehicle Advocates stated that the agency should North America (TANA), as TIA was
manufacturer to install an additional red issue frequent consumer notices then known), in which the organization
lamp to warn when a tire is extremely regarding replacement tires that are asked NHTSA to ensure that vehicle
under-inflated (as defined by the incompatible with different TPMSs, manufacturers provide affordable access
manufacturer) was intended to provide perhaps as part of NHTSA’s UTQG to TPMS service information to all tire
one example of a supplemental TPMS consumer information efforts. (A similar dealers and service providers. In its
telltale that could be provided. Other comment was provided by NADA, earlier comments, TANA stated,
supplemental telltales, such as the one urging NHTSA to develop and maintain ‘‘Original Equipment Manufacturers
suggested by Nissan in its comments, a comprehensive database of tire/rim (OEMs) and their wholly-owned or
would also be permissible, provided combinations that would not work with endorsed stores should not be the only
that they do not prevent the required particular TPMSs installed on certain businesses with the ability to service or
TPMS telltale(s) from complying with vehicles.) reset these systems, restricting the
the standard. Advocates also argued that the TPMS ability of consumers, tire dealers,
For example, for the flashing yellow should be required to comply with the aftermarket specialists and others to
lamp proposed by Nissan, we caution standard when a full-sized spare is service these TPMSs by requiring codes,
that it would not be permissible for that mounted on the vehicle, and that use of special equipment, computer software,
lamp to be superimposed on the a compact spare tire should trigger the or other methods of restricting
required TPMS telltale(s), either the TPMS MIL. Advocates argued that automotive service.’’ 33
combined telltale or either of the requiring that compact spares cause The TIA argued that without this type
separate TPMS telltales. We are illumination of the MIL presumably of information, it would be very difficult
concerned that if that were to occur, the would encourage the driver to replace for an independent dealer to know how
required, continuously illuminated the spare tire quickly with a full-sized to install, repair, or reset each type of
yellow low tire pressure telltale could tire. TPMS. It stated that tire rotation also
be perceived as a flashing telltale. If the ETV stated that use of a spare tire could become a major problem if
supplemental lamp were included in a should not totally disable the TPMS. telltales are used that indicate each
combined TPMS telltale, the confusion ETV argued that although it would be individual wheel, as opposed to a TPMS
could escalate even further. Thus, a preferable to have the TPMS monitor that simply warns of a low tire pressure
supplemental telltale for TPMS must the spare tire as well, use of a spare tire problem generally. The TIA stated that,
not impede or mask the functionality of should not mask a low tire pressure in order to help with these issues, it is
the required TPMS telltale. problem with another tire. in the process of developing a
The RMA commented that the comprehensive TPMS training program
4. Tire-Related Issues number of replacement tires in use at for the tire industry, with the goal of
(a) Replacement Tires and Spare any given time is very high, since tires bringing OE and aftermarket TPMS
Tires. As discussed above in further normally will be replaced two or three manufacturers together to compile all
detail, the NPRM proposed to require times over the life of a vehicle. necessary information on servicing each
vehicle manufacturers to certify that Therefore, the RMA stated that the TPMS for the benefit of any individual
their TPMS-equipped vehicles comply TPMS should be required to function performing tire service. According to
with FMVSS No. 138 with the tires with replacement tires, and that TIA, this program should be launched
installed at the time of initial vehicle permitting incompatible replacement in the first quarter of 2005. Because of
sale. tires is contrary to the purpose of the this program, TIA argued that it is
Public Citizen objected to the NPRM’s TREAD Act and could compromise appropriate for the TPMS final rule to
approach vis-à-vis replacement tires, consumer safety. The Japan Automobile require vehicle manufacturer
arguing that it would be feasible for Type Manufacturers Association, Inc. certification that the vehicle’s TPMS
vehicle manufacturers to recommend (JATMA) expressed support for the will continue to function after the OE
replacement tires that would work with comments submitted by the RMA, tires are replaced.
the system and that TPMS technology including the comment on the need for SEMA expressed support for
should be flexible enough to the TPMS to continue to function NHTSA’s tentative decision to apply the
accommodate new tires. Public Citizen properly with replacement tires. rule to only the original tires and wheels
argued that NHTSA should require The TIA did not agree with the installed on the vehicle at the time of
vehicle manufacturers to certify that the NPRM’s approach limiting the first sale. SEMA stated that requiring
TPMS will operate with all replacement standard’s requirements to those tires manufacturers to certify the vehicle
tires and original equipment full-sized installed on the vehicle at the time of under the standard with aftermarket
spare tires. initial vehicle sale. The TIA stated that tires and wheels would be unduly
Advocates expressed concern that if in recent years, the number of burdensome, although the organization
consumers install tires that are replacement tires shipped has been urged NHTSA to go even further in
incompatible with the TPMS, they may about four times greater than the terms of addressing burdens under the
elect to disable or disregard the TPMS number of OE tires shipped, which rule (see comments on Small Business
MIL rather than replace the tires supports the common understanding Impacts below).
(presumably for reasons of cost). Even if that vehicles generally outlast their OE NADA argued that no legal liability
tire incompatibility is a relatively tires. In light of these statistics, the TIA should result in cases where a particular
uncommon event, Advocates argued argued that it would be unacceptable to tire/wheel combination cannot be
that drivers may lose the benefits of the allow a TPMS to cease to function after
TPMS in those cases. Advocates stated the vehicle’s tires are replaced, for 33 Docket No. NHTSA–2000–8572–129.

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properly monitored by a particular install alternate tires that permit the many instances, TPMSs may function
TPMS. NADA stated that if tires and TPMS to function properly. properly even when equipped with
rims that meet the applicable In order to ensure continued long- replacement tires with the previously
requirements for FMVSSs directly term functionality of the TPMS, the discussed characteristics. However, to
dealing with such equipment are final rule requires a TPMS malfunction date, it has not been possible to develop
properly installed on a vehicle, the fact indicator capable of detecting when a an appropriate performance measure
that such installation causes replacement tire is installed which that would reliably identify those
illumination of the TPMS MIL should prevents continued proper functioning anomalous tires that would prevent
not be considered a violation of 49 of the TPMS and of alerting the driver proper TPMS functioning.
U.S.C. 30112(a), which prohibits the about the problem. (The interplay The commenters did not provide any
sale of noncomplying motor vehicle between the TPMS MIL and the new information that would suggest that
equipment; in such cases, the MIL activities of aftermarket sales and the technical problems related to TPMS
would illuminate, but there would be no service providers related to TPMSs, functionality with all replacement tires
defect or noncompliance. In its including legal implications of those have been resolved, or that it has
comments, the NADA also stated that activities, are discussed below.) become possible to identify that small
installation of incompatible replacement As noted in the NPRM, there are subset of problematic tires that would
tires should not be considered a several factors that have contributed to prevent the TPMS from continuing to
violation of 49 U.S.C. 30122(b), because our decision as to how to best ensure operate properly. Comments noting the
there would be no ‘‘make inoperative’’ the long-term functionality of the tire prevalence of replacement tires in
situation (i.e., action to take the vehicle pressure monitoring system. First, operation do nothing to resolve the
out of compliance with an applicable information presented to NHTSA shows underlying technical problems
FMVSS) unless the repair business were that there are currently over four million previously identified.
to somehow override the MIL. In TPMS-equipped vehicles.34 Neither the Further, it is NHTSA’s understanding
addition, NADA suggested that tire and agency nor vehicle manufacturers have that some of the reported compatibility
wheel manufacturers should be required received reports indicating any problems between direct TPMSs and
to certify to consumers and tire significant performance problems with certain replacement tires may have been
installers as to the TPMSs with which those TPMSs when replacement tires related to vehicle manufacturer use of
their tires are or are not compatible. are installed on the vehicle. In addition, TPMS transmitters and receivers
Fuji requested that NHTSA adopt the agency has noted previously that produced by different suppliers.37
explicit language in the regulatory text aftermarket direct TPMSs are available Incompatibility between different parts
of the final rule acknowledging that and that such systems may be capable of the TPMS may have contributed to
replacement tires and spare tires are not of functioning regardless of the the overall problem in those cases.
covered under the standard. Fuji construction of the tires.35 NHTSA does Thus, cognizance of this problem may
recommended the definition of ‘‘tire not have any information to suggest a limit further the number of incidents of
pressure monitoring system’’ or significant problem with the operation incompatibility between TPMSs and
paragraphs S4.2(a) and (b) of the NPRM of aftermarket TPMSs, although the replacement tires.
as potential locations for inclusion of Based upon the above information, we
performance capabilities of these
such a statement. Fuji argued that now believe that there is not a sufficient
systems are not known. This significant
unless clarifying language is added, basis to require vehicles to comply with
real world population of TPMSs
there may be confusion in the future as FMVSS No. 138 with all replacement
suggests that TPMSs will continue to
to which ‘‘four tires’’ must be tires. While the number of tires
work with replacement tires in the vast
monitored. expected to be incompatible with the
majority of cases.
After considering these comments TPMS is small, such a requirement
However, NHTSA has been presented
related to TPMS functionality with would nonetheless raise significant
with data demonstrating that a very
replacement tires, we have decided to practicability concerns. Because no one
small number of replacement tires
adopt the approach presented in the is certain which tires, either produced
(estimated at less than 0.5 percent of
NPRM to require the TPMS-equipped now or in the future, will cause various
production) may have construction
vehicle to be certified with the tires TPMSs to malfunction, it is not
characteristics and material content that
originally installed on the vehicle at the practicable to require vehicle
cause the vehicle’s TPMS to exhibit
time of initial vehicle sale. We manufacturers to certify that the TPMS
functional problems.36 There is no clear will continue to function properly with
emphasize that it would not be
design solution for this problem. In all replacement tires.
permissible for dealers to install tires on
a new vehicle that would take it out of 34 Letter from Robert Strassburger, Vice President,
We continue to believe, however, that
compliance with the TPMS standard, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, to NHTSA
the TPMS should continue to function
and to do so would violate the (October 20, 2003) (Docket No. NHTSA–2000– properly beyond the point at which the
prohibition on manufacturing, selling, 8572–277). vehicle’s original tires are replaced, a
and importing noncomplying motor 35 67 FR 38704, 38731 (June 5, 2002).
clearly foreseeable event. Continued
36 The RMA submitted information on the
vehicles and equipment in 49 U.S.C. TPMS functionality with replacement
prevalence of tires with characteristics identified as tires is consistent with Congress’
30112. If the consumer cannot expect to potentially being incompatible with proper TPMS
acquire a vehicle that meets all functioning, at least in some cases. These problems intention to improve tire and vehicle
applicable safety standards at the time are primarily related to the tires’ construction (e.g.,
of first purchase, the purpose of high carbon content in low aspect-ratio tires, 37 GM submitted a letter to NHTSA on September
thicker sidewall, or steel body ply sidewall). 11, 2003, outlining the problems that their direct
Standard No. 138, and in fact all Federal According to the RMA, in 2002, light vehicle tires TPMS was experiencing when different run-flat
motor vehicle safety standards, would having either steel body ply cords (steel casing tires were installed on the vehicle. (Docket No.
be severely undermined. Furthermore, tires) or run-flat capability accounted for less than NHTSA–2000–8572–275) Subsequent discussions
we expect that vehicle manufacturers, in 0.5 percent of tires distributed in the United States. revealed that TPMS components from different
(See letter from Steven Butcher, Vice President, TPMS manufacturers were used and that the same
light of their close relationship to their Rubber Manufacturers Association, to NHTSA tires permitted proper TPMS functioning when
dealers, would provide sufficient (October 31, 2003) (Docket No. NHTSA–2000– TPMS components from a single TPMS
recommendations to allow dealers to 8572–282)). manufacturer were used.

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safety, as expressed in the TREAD Act. Regarding the issue of consumer remedy the situation accordingly once
Moreover, there are other TPMS failure awareness of replacement and the malfunction indicator is triggered.38
modes (e.g., pressure sensor battery life, aftermarket tires that are inconsistent This principle is important, because
pressure sensor failure, antenna failure, with continued proper TPMS such modifications may: (1) Make the
TPMS power loss), and unless drivers functionality, we believe that vehicle monitored system itself incapable of
are made aware of such failures, they manufacturers and the tire industry will functioning; (2) have an appreciable
could have a false sense of security. have strong incentive to make impact on vehicle safety, and (3) be
Therefore, we are adopting a information on incompatible tires relatively difficult for the consumer to
requirement that the TPMS be equipped available to consumers and to remedy.
with a telltale indicator that would alert businesses supplying automotive However, the situation surrounding
the driver of a TPMS malfunction, tire- equipment and services. However, the TPMS malfunction indicator
related or otherwise. In addition, we are because no one is certain which tires, represents a special case. First, the
adopting owner’s manual requirements either produced now or in the future, TPMS itself is analogous to a
to make consumers aware of this will cause various TPMSs to malfunction indicator, because the low
potential problem. malfunction, it is not reasonable to tire pressure telltale would only be
In the final rule, we have decided not expect vehicle manufacturers to make expected to illuminate if the driver has
to require the TPMS to monitor the assurances to other businesses or to failed to perform routine tire
pressure in a spare tire (either compact consumers that the TPMS will continue maintenance or if a tire has developed
or full-sized), either while stowed or to function properly with all a leak. Therefore, the TPMS MIL is one
when installed on the vehicle, and the replacement tires or to attempt to step removed, essentially being a
agency will not conduct compliance identify all incompatible tires and rims. malfunction indicator for a malfunction
testing for low tire pressure detection For its part, NHTSA will notify vehicle indicator. In any event, even if the
under Standard No. 138 with a spare manufacturers when incompatible tires TPMS back-up system were not
tire installed on the vehicle. As we are discovered during compliance available, the driver could (and should)
discussed in the NPRM, we have come testing, and the results of such tests are manually check his vehicle’s tire
to this decision for a number of reasons. publicly available. inflation pressure on a regular basis.
First, we believe that most drivers know Finally, we would address NADA’s In situations where the TPMS MIL is
that temporary tires are not intended for comments regarding the legal detecting aftermarket or replacement
extended use. Second, compact spare implications for aftermarket installers tires or rims that prevent the continued
tires pose operational problems for both and vehicle repair businesses who proper functioning of the TPMS, such
direct and indirect TPMSs. Such a either install aftermarket tires or rims on equipment arguably has not damaged
the vehicle or who service the TPMS. the TPMS itself, but instead has
requirement would be a potential
We would begin by noting that the hindered its low tire pressure detection
disincentive for the vehicle
TPMS standard is not the first to require capability. (Arguably, the tires
manufacturer to supply a full-sized
a malfunction indicator. Malfunction themselves meet the requirements of the
spare (or any spare tire) if TPMS
indicators are also required under relevant FMVSSs related to tires and
compliance were required. In addition,
FMVSS No. 105, Hydraulic and Electric would be suitable for safe vehicle
it would increase the cost of the rule,
Brake Systems, and FMVSS No. 121, Air operation, absent the TPMS problem.)
but provide little if any safety benefit.
Brake Systems, and a ‘‘readiness Once the TPMS MIL illuminates, the
However, if a spare tire is installed on indicator’’ is required under FMVSS No.
the vehicle and it prevents the TPMS consumer would be warned that the
208, Occupant Crash Protection. Such equipment has caused a TPMS
from being able to detect low tire malfunction indicators are generally
pressure, the TPMS must illuminate the malfunction, and the consumer could
favored because they provide important substitute other equipment that would
MIL, as it would with any other TPMS information to consumers, as well as to
malfunction. We believe that such a permit the TPMS to resume normal
businesses with an interest in vehicle functioning.
requirement is important to remind the system operations. As noted previously, vehicle
driver to replace the spare tire, either by Under 49 U.S.C. 30122(b), ‘‘A manufacturers, tire manufacturers, and
repairing the damaged tire or manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or other businesses may not know, or
purchasing a new replacement tire. In motor vehicle repair business may not reasonably be able to know, exactly
that way, the TPMS would encourage knowingly make inoperative any part of which of the many aftermarket or
drivers not to continue driving on the a device or element of design installed replacement tire and rims would
spare tire for extended periods and to on or in a motor vehicle or motor prevent the TPMS from continuing to
rapidly return the spare tire to its vehicle equipment in compliance with function properly. There are many tire
emergency reserve status. an applicable motor vehicle safety and rim choices for a given vehicle, and
We do not agree with Fuji’s comment standard prescribed under this chapter a variety of businesses are involved in
regarding the need to include additional [49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.] unless the tire and rim installation and repair. In
regulatory text to clarify that manufacturer, distributor, dealer, or such cases, these businesses may only
replacement tires are not covered under repair business reasonably believes the come to know of a problem once the
the standard. Unless some special vehicle or equipment will not be used TPMS MIL illuminates. Furthermore,
provision is included, a FMVSS is (except for testing or a similar purpose because some TPMSs must be driven for
understood to require vehicle during maintenance or repair) when the a period of time in order to detect a
certification with original equipment. device or element is inoperative.’’ As a
However, because the vehicle may come general matter, malfunction indicators 38 An exception to this principle is where the
equipped with a spare tire as original can alert consumers when one of the monitored system, or a part of that system, wears
equipment, we have added language to above entities has made a vehicle out or experiences damage in a crash or similar
the test conditions to clarify that the modification that has rendered a event. In such cases, some intervening event caused
the ‘‘make inoperative’’ situation, and a dealer or
spare tire will not be installed for the functioning system inoperative. In such vehicle repair business is not required to bring the
purposes of low tire pressure testing instances, the business presumably took safety system back up to full compliance with an
(see S5.3.7). such action inadvertently and would applicable FMVSS.

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malfunction, it is quite possible that the noted by NHTSA at earlier stages of the New Pneumatic Tires, and 110, Tire
consumer would have driven away from TPMS rulemaking, and it cited other Selection and Rims).
such business before the MIL sources in NHTSA’s TPMS docket to This issue is already before the agency
illuminates. conclude that the record establishes that in a separate proceeding. RMA
After the time of first sale, our consumers may rely on the TPMS in submitted a petition for rulemaking
primary goal for the TPMS MIL is to this manner. As a result, RMA stated its with the agency to amend FMVSS No.
provide information and a warning to belief that there is a high probability 110 to establish a tire reserve load
the consumer in order to ensure long- that tires will be operating below requirement.39 RMA’s comments on the
term operability of the TPMS. In the placard pressure, but above the TPMS NPRM reiterate the arguments raised in
tire-related situations described above, warning threshold. its petition, and those other commenters
the TPMS MIL has arguably served its The RMA further argued that placard who addressed the tire reserve load
purpose; the consumer has been warned pressure (upon which the low tire issue made arguments consistent with
of the compatibility problem, and the warning is based) is set by the vehicle those of RMA.
consumer and the installer are able to manufacturer, and oftentimes for In response to the RMA’s petition,
work together to resolve that problem. reasons such as handling and comfort, NHTSA re-examined a 1981 NHTSA
The intention is not to penalize the the placard pressure is set only slightly study of tire failure and reserve load did
business for accidentally installing one above the minimum pressure needed to not demonstrate any correlation
of a very small number of incompatible carry the vehicle’s maximum load. Such between failure and load,40 and decided
replacement tires that are difficult to minimum pressures are specified in the to conduct a newer and more
identify. load/pressure tables published by comprehensive study of tire failure and
We note that this result might be relevant tire industry organizations, reserve load, which would reflect
different where it can be shown that the such as those contained in the Tire & changes in both tires and the vehicle
installer knew of the incompatibility Rim Association Yearbook. As a result, fleet. NHTSA noted in the TPMS NPRM
beforehand or took some other action to the RMA stated that in a significant that if new data indicate a sufficiently
disable a functioning TPMS unit. In number of cases, by the time a vehicle’s strong correlation, the agency would
addition, we would point out that we tires drop to 25 percent below placard propose appropriate amendments to its
believe that the TPMS MIL represents a pressure and the driver receives a low standards in a separate proceeding.41
unique case, and the above discussion pressure warning from the TPMS, tire As we noted in the NPRM, we believe
does not alter our approach to pressure would have dropped below the that the issue of reserve load is a tire
malfunction indicators generally or to minimum pressure required to safely issue most properly considered under
the other specific malfunction carry the vehicle’s weight at maximum FMVSS No. 110, as amended (see 67 FR
indicators referenced above. load. The RMA argued that overloaded 69600 (November 18, 2002) and 68 FR
(b) Tire Reserve Load. Commenters tires in a fully-loaded condition could 37981 (June 26, 2003)). Instead of
representing tire manufacturers and result in cumulative structural damage issuing an SNPRM, we have decided to
sellers stated that the TPMS standard to the tire and an increased risk of tire address this issue in our response to the
should require the low tire pressure failure. RMA’s petition for rulemaking on tire
telltale to illuminate before any of the Therefore, RMA argued that in the reserve load. We are publishing a
vehicle’s tires have insufficient pressure interest of safety, NHTSA should adopt separate notice that responds to that
to carry the actual load on the vehicle. a tire pressure reserve requirement to petition.
Commenters argued that because it is ensure that the tires can carry the (c) Changes to Tire Publications.
difficult to determine what a vehicle’s vehicle maximum load at the point at Because of its potential to impact
actual load will be, the vehicle which the TPMS low tire pressure NHTSA’s TPMS and tire standards, we
maximum load should be used for the warning telltale illuminates. As already are taking this opportunity to address
relevant TPMS calculations. The RMA noted, the RMA urged NHTSA to issue the comment submitted by the Tire and
discussed this issue at length in its an SNPRM to address this issue. Rim Association 42 and the related
comments, and its arguments are In its comments, the EC stressed that supplemental comment submitted by
summarized below. ETRTO, JATMA, the maximum load capacity and the Alliance 43 regarding changes to the
TIA, and the Tire Rack provided similar minimum inflation pressure compatible 2005 TRA Year Book. In its comment,
comments that supported RMA’s with the load (along with the speed of the TRA expressed concern that, in its
position on this issue, and AAA also travel) are important factors for tire opinion, the NPRM may
supported a pressure reserve performance and safety. The EC stated ‘‘inappropriately’’ permit under-
requirement. that the pressures recommended by the inflation of passenger car and light truck
RMA argued that the NPRM was tire manufacturers should be regarded tires below the recommended load/
deficient and that a supplemental notice as minima, because tires might suffer inflation limits established by the tire
of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) structural damage at pressures below industry, as reflected in the TRA Year
should be issued ‘‘to solicit public those recommended pressures. Books. (As discussed in further detail
comment on the need to include a The TRA’s comments also expressed below, FMVSS Nos. 109 and 110
requirement in the TPMS rule that a low concern that the proposed rule would currently reference the publications of a
tire pressure warning telltale will be permit the vehicle to operate without a number of tire organizations, including
activated when the pressure is already warning in situations where tire the TRA, as source documents that
at a level below that required to support inflation pressure is below the vehicle manufacturers must consult in
the vehicle maximum load.’’ RMA said minimum load/inflation pressure values
that a tire pressure reserve is essential, established by the tire industry. TRA 39 Docket No. NHTSA–2002–11398–8.
because a TPMS may instill a false sense argued that the NPRM’s approach is a 40 ‘‘TheRelationship Between Tire Reserve Load
of security in many consumers who may deviation from other NHTSA Percentage and Tire Failure Rate,’’ Crash Avoidance
Division, Office of Vehicle Safety Standards,
rely on the TPMS to provide an under- rulemakings, which have incorporated NHTSA (81–09–NPRM–N01–002) (1981).
inflation warning, rather than language to ensure that the tire pressure 41 69 FR 55896, 55914 (Sept. 16, 2004).

conducting regular tire maintenance. is appropriate for the vehicle’s load 42 Docket No. NHTSA–2004–19054–72.

RMA argued that this concern was (e.g., requirements in FMVSS Nos. 109, 43 Docket No. NHTSA–2004–19054–90.

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specifying tire inflation pressure Other Than Passenger Cars. In addition, current system worked predictably and
values.) the Alliance requested that NHTSA generated little controversy until now.
The TRA stated its intention to amend FMVSS Nos. 109, 119, and 139, However, the TRA’s recent action
modify its 2005 TRA Year Book by New Pneumatic Tires for Light Vehicles, (i.e., amending its 2005 Year Book by
adding the following statement: ‘‘If the to specify use of the 2004 publications incorporating additional text in a
vehicle is equipped with a Tire Pressure of the listed tire organization in those footnote to its tire selection procedure)
Monitoring System (TPMS), the load on tire standards as the appropriate sources represents a de facto substantive change
the tire must not exceed the tire load for determining permissible tire load to our tire placard requirements. This
capacity based on the inflation pressure ratings. The Alliance argued that good change could have an impact on vehicle
at the point of illumination of the TPMS cause exists for so amending FMVSS manufacturers’ tire and rim selections,
warning telltale.’’ (This language has Nos. 109, 119, and 139 without notice because FMVSS Nos. 110 and 120
since been incorporated in a footnote in and comment, because of the potential require vehicle manufacturers to rely on
the 2005 TRA Year Book.) compliance problems that could arise information provided by the tire
The Alliance’s supplemental industry. Specifically, S4.3.1(c) of
upon publication of the 2005 TRA Year
comment stated that TRA’s actions FMVSS No. 110 allows vehicle
create potential compliance problems Book. In the alternative, the Alliance
manufacturers to recommend a lower-
for TPMS-equipped vehicles. The asked that its supplemental comment be
than-maximum tire inflation pressure so
Alliance stated that the TRA’s treated as a petition for rulemaking to long as the tire load does not exceed the
amendment of its Year Book in this amend FMVSS Nos. 109, 119, and 139. tire load rating appearing in one of the
fashion amounts to a unilateral attempt We would begin by briefly explaining publications described in S4.4.1(b) of
to modify substantive provisions of a the relevant requirements currently FMVSS No. 109.46 Because the new
vehicle safety standard. It also faulted contained in our safety standards for TRA language may change how the tire
the TRA for eliminating information tires and our reasoning for referencing load information is calculated, this
from its Year Book about load limits at certain tire industry publication without represents a substantive change to our
pressures between 20 psi and 26 psi. a specific year or volume designation. tire safety information regulations.
According to the Alliance, NHTSA Paragraph S4.4.1 of FMVSS No. 109 Only NHTSA has the authority to
granted a privileged status to the TRA requires that each tire manufacturer amend the FMVSSs pertaining to tires.
and other tire organizations named in make available to the public information Any substantive changes to our
FMVSS Nos. 109 and 119, New on the rims that may be used with each regulations, including ones involving
Pneumatic Tires for Vehicles Other tire that it produces.44 Such information maximum tire load formulae, require
Than Passenger Cars, by authorizing may: (1) Take the form of a list that must agency action, as well as notice and
those organizations’ publications to be furnished to dealers of the comment. Because no such action has
serve as source documents for the tire manufacturer’s tires, NHTSA, and any taken place and because TRA’s above-
load limit and other information person upon request; or (2) be contained discussed amendment to its 2005 Year
required on certain vehicle labels. Other in a publication by one of the following Book may affect our regulations, we
industry standards incorporated in organization: (a) The Tire and Rim believe that it is necessary to clarify the
FMVSSs and other NHTSA regulations Association; (b) the European Tyre and regulatory effect of the TRA’s footnote.
refer to a specific version or year of Rim Technical Organization; (c) the In order to avoid the impermissible
issuance. According to the Alliance, the Japanese Automobile Tyre regulatory effect of the TRA’s footnote,
TRA’s actions amount to an abuse of Manufacturers Association; (d) Deutsche we are clarifying that the provisions of
this privilege. Industrie Norm; (e) the British FMVSS Nos. 110 and 120 pertaining to
The Alliance argued that the load tire selection only require vehicle
Standards Institution; (f) the
rating information in the publications of manufacturers to consult the numerical
Scandinavian Tire and Rim
the TRA and other referenced values contained in the load/pressure
Organization; and (g) the Tyre and Rim
organizations have remained relatively tables provided in the publications of
stable for nearly two decades, except for Association of Australia. In most
instances, the relevant information is the enumerated tire industry
introduction of new tire sizes, and that organizations. Thus, the footnote related
the information has been generally listed in one of these industry
publications. to TPMSs in the 2005 TRA Year Book
predictable, having been calculated on has no legal or regulatory effect.
the basis of universally adopted The current requirements, discussed We caution the tire organizations
formulae for tire load rating. The above, were adopted in 1981, when referenced in our tire standards that
Alliance argued that the TRA’s action NHTSA amended its tire standards to action to achieve the footnote’s results
undermines NHTSA’s rulemaking authorize the publications of the through direct manipulation of the
authority by taking steps which would organizations listed above to serve as values in the load/pressure tables would
have the effect of modifying the the source documents for tire load limits have the equally impermissible effect of
threshold for illumination of the TPMS and other tire safety information.45 The amending our tire standards. If that
low tire pressure warning telltale in a purpose of this rulemaking action was were to occur, the agency would be
manner consistent with the TRA’s to expedite the introduction of new tires forced to consider other options, such as
policy preference. to the market. (Before the 1981 specifying a specific year(s) for these
In light of the above, the Alliance amendment to the tire standards, tire tire industry publications (e.g., 2000 or
urged NHTSA to clarify in the final rule manufacturers were required to petition later), reverting to the prior system
for TPMS that the footnote in the 2005 NHTSA each time they intended to under which tire manufacturers would
TRA Year Book related to TPMS- introduce new tires. NHTSA maintained be required to petition the agency before
equipped vehicles has no regulatory a listing of all registered tires in Table introducing new tires, or publishing the
significance and does not affect the tire 1, Appendix A of FMVSS No 109.) The equations for calculation of
load rating for purposes of S4.3.1(c) of recommended tire pressures (thereby
FMVSS No. 110 and the related 44 Similar requirements are contained in S5.1 of
provision in FMVSS No. 120, Tire FMVSS No. 119 and S4.1.1 of FMVSS No. 139. 46 Similar requirements are contained in S5.1 of

Selection and Rims for Motor Vehicles 45 See 46 FR 61473 (Dec. 17, 1981). FMVSS No. 120.

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allowing vehicle manufacturers to According to the Alliance, on some DaimlerChrysler commented that the
directly recommend pressures). vehicles such as 15-passenger vans and MAPs for LT tires in Load Ranges ‘‘D’’
(d) Minimum Activation Pressure. large pick-up trucks with a large and ‘‘E’’ in Table 1 are 38 psi and 46 psi,
Paragraph S4.2 of the NPRM proposed differential between front and rear respectively, but that it uses these tires
to require that the TPMS must GAWRs, the front tires may be over- in applications with a placard pressure
illuminate a low tire pressure warning specified for the load they carry. In such of 40 psi. Thus, DaimlerChrysler
telltale not more than 10 minutes after cases, vehicle manufacturers may requested that the MAP for these tires be
the inflation pressure in one or more of specify tires that are appropriate for the set at 35 psi, a value consistent with the
the vehicle’s tires, up to a total of four heaviest axle (i.e., the rear axle), thereby TRA minimum recommended pressure
tires, is equal to or less than either the minimizing potential consumer for those tires. (However, in a
pressure 25 percent below the vehicle confusion related to different front and supplementary comment dated February
manufacturer’s recommended cold rear placard pressures and different 8, 2005, DaimlerChrysler subsequently
inflation pressure, or the pressure front and rear replacement tires. The retracted its support for a MAP set at 35
specified in the third column of Table Alliance argued that the MAPs proposed psi for Load Range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires.49
1, Low Tire Pressure Warning Telltale— in Table 1 for LT Load Range ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ In that letter, DaimlerChrysler stated
Minimum Activation Pressure, and ‘‘E’’ tires are set too close to the that it supports a solution consistent
whichever is higher. Table 1 proposed placard pressure for these vehicle with the recommendation in the
minimum activation pressures (MAPs) applications and, accordingly, should be Alliance’s petition for rulemaking on
for different tires, based upon: (1) Tire set at lower values. the MAP issue.)
type, and (2) maximum or rated The Alliance argued that for Load In its comments, DaimlerChrysler also
inflation pressure. The specified tire Range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires, field provided its view of the practical
types included P-metric (Standard performance data and other test data implications of the MAP issue. It stated
Load), P-metric (Extra Load), Load show that there is no safety need for the that if proposed Table 1 were adopted
Range ‘‘C,’’ Load Range ‘‘D,’’ and Load MAPs for these tires currently contained without change, vehicle manufacturers’
Range ‘‘E.’’ in Table 1, and in fact, the Alliance current practices for use of Load Range
In general, the proposed MAPs in stated that the currently listed MAPs for ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires would result in
Table 1 were based on the lowest those tires could actually have adverse the low tire pressure telltale being
inflation pressure values provided in safety implications. According to the illuminated much of the time when the
the TRA, JATMA, and ETRTO Year Alliance, the MAPs recommended in its vehicle is lightly loaded.
Books for loads specified, as well as petition as revisions to Table 1 would DaimlerChrysler argued that this
available information on minimum allow LT tires to be used safely in situation could result in desensitization
activation pressures for TPMSs. The different load applications in a manner of the driver and that such drivers may
relevant tire industry Year Books in consistent with the TRA Yearbook. The lose the benefits of the TPMS.
2000 consistently reported low pressure Alliance’s petition asserted that if the DaimlerChrysler further argued that this
values down to 140 kPa (20 psi) for agency retains Table 1 as proposed, it situation would leave vehicle operators
standard P-metric tires. ‘‘would necessitate significant vehicle with the choice of ignoring the safety
However, the agency found that for redesigns, cost penalties, and adverse warning, permanently disabling the
light truck tires, the low values reported safety and non-safety effects that are not warning, or over-inflating their tires.
in the tire industry Year Books were not justified by any safety need.’’ DaimlerChrysler suggested that the
consistent, although further analysis Based upon the above, the Alliance’s vehicles in question could be equipped
demonstrated that minimum pressure petition requested modification of Table with a driver-selectable TPMS.
values were approximately 58 percent of 1 to set minimum activation pressure for DaimlerChrysler stated that this
the maximum inflation pressure for the LT tires based upon the vehicle’s load mechanism would make TPMSs
tires. Therefore, the agency utilized this range. For example, if a Load Range ‘‘E’’ technology-neutral and tire type-neutral,
formula in proposing values for LT tires tire were used in a Load Range ‘‘D’’ because the driver (or the service shop)
in Load Ranges ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ and ‘‘E.’’ 47 application, the Load Range ‘‘D’’ could set the reference pressure based
In its comments, the Alliance minimum activation pressure could be on the load, driving conditions, or
requested that, as part of the final rule, used for TPMS activation purposes. For recommended replacement tire
the agency respond to the Alliance’s a more complete explanation, readers pressure. According to DaimlerChrysler,
earlier petition for rulemaking 48 seeking should consult the Alliance’s petition. such a system would provide a reliable
revision of Table 1 for minimum Alternatively, the Alliance stated that warning when there is a pressure loss of
activation pressures for vehicles with if the petition for rulemaking related to 25 percent under this reference level.
Load Range ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ and ‘‘E’’ light MAPs could not be resolved in time for DaimlerChrysler suggested that if
truck tires. The Alliance’s petition issuance as part of the final rule, NHTSA is not prepared to address this
stated that the MAPs currently NHTSA should not specify MAPs for MAP issue quickly, the final rule could
contained in Table 1 do not allow tires the affected vehicles and instead defer defer the rulemaking’s requirements for
(particularly Load Range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ implementation of the MAP trucks greater than 8,500 pounds (3,856
tires) to be used across the safe requirements for those vehicles until kg) (not passenger cars or MPVs) to
operating ranges of inflation pressures rulemaking can be conducted at a later allow more time to respond to the issue.
for which loads are specified in the Tire date. General Motors stated that it
and Rim Association Yearbooks. The major vehicle manufacturers that conducted tests of four vehicles using
commented on the MAP issue lightly-loaded and GVWR loading
47 We note that the TRA 2000 Year Book did supported the Alliance petition and the conditions. GM stated that the vehicles
report values lower than 58 percent for some LT arguments raised therein. were tested both at the recommended
tires. However, the agency believes that at 58 DaimlerChrysler stated that the NPRM pressures and at the increased pressures
percent below the maximum pressure, most tires does not accommodate vehicles that
would be significantly under-inflated for most
that would be required by the proposed
vehicle applications. Consequently, we did not require multiple tire pressures for MAPs in Table 1. According to GM, the
propose MAPs for LT tires below this level. different driving conditions (i.e., Load
48 Docket No. NHTSA–2000–8572–265. Range ‘‘C,’’ ‘‘D,’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires). 49 Docket No. NHTSA–2004–19054–89.

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higher pressures resulted in adverse Once the agency completes its prevent manufacturers from tailoring
effects, including decreased rollover analysis of the relevant data, the MAP the TPMS discussion in the owner’s
resistance, reduced understeer (2 values set forth in this final rule will be manual to the specific system installed
vehicles), increased response time (2 either confirmed or we will propose to on the vehicle. Nissan stated that
vehicles), and degraded on-center modify them as part of our rulemaking NHTSA should refrain from adopting
handling (3 vehicles). GM commented response to the Alliance’s petition. specific owner’s manual language for
that the MAPs currently proposed could TPMS, but instead provide requirements
5. Owner’s Manual Requirements for its general content (i.e., alerting
provide a disincentive for vehicle
manufacturers to select tire types that Paragraph S4.5 of the NPRM proposed consumers regarding: (1) Potential
exceed load-carrying requirements for to require each certified vehicle to problems related to compatibility
particular vehicle applications, resulting provide an image of the low tire between the vehicle’s TPMS and various
in lower load range tire types for some pressure telltale symbol (and an image types of replacement tires, and (2) the
vehicle models than would otherwise of the TPMS malfunction telltale presence and operation of the TPMS
have been chosen. symbol, if a dedicated telltale is utilized malfunction indicator).
The issues raised by the Alliance’s for this function) and the following Nissan stated that if the agency
petition related to MAPs involve a key specific, standardized statement in nevertheless decides to adopt specific
aspect of the low tire pressure warning English regarding the presence of a owner’s manual language similar to that
provided by the TPMS, in that the MAP TPMS in the vehicle and its function: proposed in the NPRM, the following
represents a threshold value for Each tire, including the spare (if provided),
points should be considered. First,
maintaining safe tire operation, because should be checked monthly when cold and Nissan expressed concern about the use
a higher MAP could provide an earlier inflated to the inflation pressure of the terms ‘‘compatible’’ and
warning to the driver. Although the recommended by the vehicle manufacturer ‘‘incompatible replacement tires’’
MAP issue raised by the Alliance is only on the vehicle placard or tire inflation without defining those terms. Nissan
expected to impact a small percentage of pressure label. (If your vehicle has tires of a stated that consumers could be misled
different size than the size indicated on the unless they are made aware that the
vehicles using LT tires (i.e., typically vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure
vehicles with a GVWR of over 8,500 purpose of this warning is to inform the
label, you should consult the appropriate consumer that the construction or other
pounds), the agency must fully section of this owner’s manual to determine
understand the potential rollover and design characteristics of some
the proper tire inflation pressure.) When the
handling implications of the final values low tire pressure telltale is illuminated, one
replacement tires may cause the TPMS
or more of your tires is significantly under- to experience inadequate signal
it selects for the MAPs. This is
inflated. You should stop and check your reception. Accordingly, Nissan
particularly true for vehicle applications
tires as soon as possible, and inflate them to recommended that additional language
where the recommended inflation
the proper pressure. Driving on a be added to clarify the terms
pressure is close to the MAP or where
significantly under-inflated tire causes the compatible/incompatible in the owner’s
it is much lower than the maximum tire to overheat and can lead to tire failure. manual language.
inflation pressure. For example, 15- Under-inflation also reduces fuel efficiency Nissan commented that the proposed
passenger vans and some pickup trucks and tire tread life, and may affect the owner’s manual language seemed to
may have a greater propensity for vehicle’s handling and stopping ability. focus on systems with a separate TPMS
rollover when their tires are Your vehicle has also been equipped with
MIL telltale, without discussion of
significantly under-inflated, so prompt a TPMS malfunction telltale to indicate when
the system is not operating properly. When TPMSs providing a combination low
application of FMVSS No. 138 (with pressure/malfunction telltale. Nissan
appropriate MAPs) to such vehicles is the malfunction telltale is illuminated, the
system may not be able to detect or signal argued that as proposed, the owner’s
important for achieving the safety manual language could confuse
low tire pressure as intended. TPMS
benefits of the TPMS standard. The malfunctions may occur for a variety of consumers whose vehicles are equipped
agency is currently analyzing the issue reasons, including the installation of with a combination telltale, so its
of minimum activation pressures for LT incompatible replacement tires on the comments stated that the owner’s
tires, and it is our intention to respond vehicle. Always check the TPMS malfunction manual language should be revised to
to the Alliance’s petition on MAPs as telltale after replacing one or more tires on also include a discussion of the
part of a separate rulemaking. your vehicle to ensure that the replacement
combination telltale. The comments of
We would emphasize that vehicles tires are compatible with the TPMS.
AIAM, Fuji, and Suzuki raised similar
equipped with LT tires load range ‘‘D’’ That paragraph of the NPRM also arguments.
and ‘‘E’’ must be equipped with a TPMS proposed to permit the owner’s manual In its comments, Nissan also
that conforms to the requirements of to include additional information about recommended that the following
FMVSS No. 138. However, in the the significance of the low tire pressure sentence from the proposed owner’s
interim period, we have decided to alter warning telltale illuminating, a manual language not be included in the
the MAPs listed in Table 1 for load description of corrective action to be final rule: ‘‘If your vehicle has tires of
range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires from the values undertaken, whether the tire pressure a different size than the size indicated
proposed in the NPRM. As the monitoring system functions with the on the vehicle placard or tire inflation
commenters pointed out, the TRA vehicle’s spare tire (if provided), and pressure label, you should consult the
Yearbooks report load rating values for how to use a reset button, if one is appropriate section of this owner’s
LT load range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires as low provided (S4.5(b)). For vehicles that do manual to determine the proper tire
as 35 psi. Hence, according to the TRA, not come with an owner’s manual, the inflation pressure.’’ Nissan stated that
these tires can be used at that inflation NPRM proposed to require the there is not currently any requirement to
pressure at the specified load rating. mandatory information to be provided include in the owner’s manual
Therefore, we are adopting a MAP of 35 in writing to the first purchaser information regarding tire sizes other
psi for LT Load Range ‘‘D’’ and ‘‘E’’ tires (S4.5(c)). than those included as original
as part of this final rule. (The values for In its comments, Nissan argued that equipment on the vehicle. According to
P-metric and LT Load Range ‘‘C’’ tires the NRPM’s proposed owner’s manual Nissan, vehicle manufacturers do not
are unchanged from the NPRM.) statement is restrictive and would and cannot provide such information for

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all tires that might conceivably be used NPRM could be interpreted as shifting However, rather than requiring that
in wheel/tire/inflation pressure this responsibility to the vehicle vehicle manufacturers provide an
combinations not designed by the manufacturer. Therefore, Sumitomo owner’s manual, we believe that it is
vehicle manufacturer, but which the proposed that the following additional preferable to allow vehicle
consumer may nonetheless choose to statement be required in the owner’s manufacturers the flexibility to instead
install. Nissan expressed concern that manual: ‘‘The vehicle operator has the provide this information through a
such a statement could confuse responsibility to maintain the correct written statement.
consumers whose owner’s manual does tire pressure even though the tire We disagree with the comment of
not include supplemental tire pressure indicator warning may not be Nissan that the proposed owner’s
information. illuminated due to the lower than manual language is overly restrictive
SEMA recommended four specified tire pressure.’’ Sumitomo also and would prevent vehicle
modifications to the proposed owner’s recommended adding a statement to manufacturers from tailoring the
manual language. First, it stated that the reflect the fact that the TPMS itself will owner’s manual discussion of the TPMS
owner’s manual language should reflect not maintain correct tire pressure. to the specific system installed on the
the fact that the recommended tire Consistent with Sumitomo’s vehicle. Paragraph S4.5(b) of the NPRM
pressure for the originally-installed tires comments immediately above, the RMA proposed to permit manufacturers to
may not be applicable to certain stated that the owner’s manual should discuss a variety of issues related to the
replacement tire/wheel combinations. include language explicitly stating that operation of their particular system. We
Therefore, SEMA recommended adding the TPMS does not verify that proper believe that requiring a specified
a statement to ‘‘select a tire pressure that tire pressure is maintained (i.e., even statement in the owner’s manual in the
considers the vehicle’s loading when the TPMS telltale is not final rule does not diminish the ability
characteristics and is appropriate for the illuminated, the tires may not be at of vehicle manufacturers to provide
wheel and tire combination installed on optimum pressure). The RMA expressed explanation of the TPMS and its
the vehicle.’’ concern that the NPRM’s proposed operation.
Second, SEMA stated that the owner’s manual language could induce In response to public comments, we
proposed owner’s manual language consumers to substitute reliance on the have made some modifications to the
alerts the consumer that replacement TPMS for routine tire maintenance. NPRM’s proposed owner’s manual
tires may trigger the TPMS malfunction The TIA stated the owner’s manual statement. We have modified our
telltale, but that it does not specifically should require a statement that even for discussion of ‘‘incompatible’’
address combined wheel/tire packages. a TPMS-equipped vehicle, the vehicle replacement tires. We recognize that
SEMA argued that because consumers operator should check the tires regularly replacement tires may be compatible
frequently replace both the vehicle’s for proper inflation pressure and tread with the vehicle in terms of carrying the
tires and wheels and also can replace depth and should rotate the tires every maximum vehicle load, but may
the wheels while maintaining the 6,000 miles for optimum performance nevertheless be incompatible with
original tires, the owner’s manual and fuel economy. continued proper TPMS functioning.
language should add the term ‘‘wheels’’ NADA questioned the NPRM’s However, replacement tires that prevent
(to read ‘‘tires or wheels’’) in order to discussion of vehicles without an proper TPMS functioning are indeed
avoid any consumer confusion. owner’s manual, which NADA thought incompatible with the TPMS. With that
Third, SEMA objected to the term might refer to used vehicles (see 69 FR said, we have revised the owner’s
‘‘incompatible’’ to describe replacement 55896, 55906 (Sept. 16, 2004)). NADA manual statement to provide further
tires whose installation causes the commented that NHTSA does not have clarity. We have also modified the
TPMS malfunction indicator to activate. authority to require point-of-sale owner’s manual statement to reflect the
SEMA seems to be arguing that the dissemination of TPMS information fact that drivers frequently replace both
replacement tires (and/or wheels) may other than through the vehicle owner’s the vehicle’s tires and wheels (rims).
be an appropriate match in terms of manual. We have decided to include tailored
supporting the vehicle, but the Particularly for a new safety standard language reflecting the fact that there are
construction nevertheless may prevent for a device whose function might not two options for the MIL, a dedicated
the TPMS from functioning properly. be apparent to the average driver, we TPMS malfunction telltale or inclusion
Accordingly, SEMA recommended believe that a clear and consistent as part of a combined low tire pressure/
substituting the word ‘‘alternate’’ for written statement in the vehicle’s TPMS malfunction telltale.
‘‘incompatible.’’ owners manual is necessary to explain We agree with Nissan that vehicle
Fourth, SEMA recommended that the the benefits and limitations of the TPMS manufacturers are unlikely to provide
owner’s manual should note that and the driver’s responsibility to recommended inflation pressures for
dealers, retailers, and installers should maintain proper tire pressure. every possible replacement tire in the
have access to all service information Consequently, as part of this final rule, vehicle owner’s manual. However, it
necessary to make the alternate tires and we are including a required statement in remains important for consumers to
wheels operate correctly in conjunction the owner’s manual (or in writing to the inflate their tires to a pressure level
with the TPMS malfunction indicator first purchaser for vehicles without an appropriate for those tires. Accordingly,
lamp. However, SEMA stated that this owner’s manual). we have modified the relevant statement
recommendation would apply only if In response to NADA’s comments, we in the owner’s manual to delete the
NHTSA mandates that vehicle would clarify that this requirement only statement regarding consultation with
manufacturers share such service applies to new vehicles. Regarding the owner’s manual to find such
information with other relevant parts NADA’s comment about the alternate tire pressures. We expect that
and service suppliers. requirement for a statement in writing consumers will be able to easily obtain
Sumitomo urged NHTSA to modify outside the owner’s manual (in cases the relevant pressure information from
the proposed owner’s manual language where there is no owner’s manual), we tire industry sources.
to reflect the responsibility of the believe that this TPMS-related We agree with Sumitomo that it
vehicle operator to maintain the correct information is important and must be remains the driver’s responsibility to
tire pressure. Sumitomo argued that the provided to the first purchaser. maintain proper tire inflation pressure

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and that the TPMS is not designed to telltale illuminates, you should stop and performance standards that meet the
signal as soon as the tires have deviated check your tires as soon as possible, and need for motor vehicle safety, are
from the optimal inflation level, and we inflate them to the proper pressure. Driving practicable, and are stated in objective
have added language to stress the on a significantly under-inflated tire causes terms. Although NHTSA tries to
the tire to overheat and can lead to tire
importance of proper tire maintenance. failure. Under-inflation also reduces fuel
develop standards that are technology-
Regarding Sumitomo’s other comments efficiency and tire tread life, and may affect neutral, that does not mean that we will
that the TPMS is a detection device that the vehicle’s handling and stopping ability. sacrifice safety in order to accommodate
does not act to add air itself to maintain Please note that the TPMS is not a every available technology. However,
inflation pressure, we believe that in the substitute for proper tire maintenance, and it when public comments identify areas
future, TPMSs may become available is the driver’s responsibility to maintain where an NPRM, such as the one for
that combine under-inflation detection correct tire pressure, even if under-inflation FMVSS No. 138, could be refined to
and re-inflation features; accordingly, has not reached the level to trigger promote advanced technologies without
we have decided not to opine as to illumination of the TPMS low tire pressure sacrificing safety, we will consider those
telltale. comments carefully. Other specific
future TPMS capabilities in this regard. [The following paragraph is required for all
We also agree with SEMA that some vehicles certified to the standard starting on
comments related to the NPRM’s test
replacement tires may call for an September 1, 2007 and for vehicles procedures are addressed below.
inflation pressure different than that of voluntarily equipped with a compliant TPMS (a) Calibration Time. Under paragraph
the OE tires that is reflected on vehicle MIL before that time.] Your vehicle has also S6(d), the NPRM proposed a cumulative
placard. The owner’s manual statement been equipped with a TPMS malfunction driving time of not less than 20 minutes
has been revised to include language indicator to indicate when the system is not for the ‘‘system calibration/learning
related to these points. operating properly. [For vehicles with a phase,’’ which would include driving
We have decided not to adopt TIA’s dedicated MIL telltale, add the following the vehicle in two directions on the test
recommended language concerning tire statement: The TPMS malfunction indicator course. The NPRM proposed that time
is provided by a separate telltale, which would not be accumulated while the
maintenance advice related to checking displays the symbol ‘‘TPMS’’ when
tread depth and rotating the tires every vehicle’s brakes are being applied.
illuminated.] [For vehicles with a combined
6,000 miles. Although this information Schrader commented that a
low tire pressure/MIL telltale, add the
may be useful for voluntary inclusion in following statement: The TPMS malfunction
calibration/learning phase should not be
the owner’s manual, we do not believe indicator is combined with the low tire necessary, regardless of the technology
that it is necessary to require such pressure telltale. When the system detects a used. According to Schrader, because
language for the following reasons. First, malfunction, the telltale will flash for calibration requires a significant amount
we believe that discussion of other approximately one minute and then remain of user knowledge and interaction to
aspects of tire maintenance is outside continuously illuminated. This sequence will ensure proper performance, the TPMS
continue upon subsequent vehicle start-ups should be ready to use and fulfill its
the scope of the TPMS rulemaking. In as long as the malfunction exists.] When the
addition, we believe that there may be intended purpose without user
malfunction indicator is illuminated, the interaction. Schrader argued that the
reasonable differences of opinion system may not be able to detect or signal
regarding proper tread depth or only time a calibration phase should be
low tire pressure as intended. TPMS
frequency of tire rotation. We do not malfunctions may occur for a variety of
necessary is when a malfunctioning
agree with the TIA’s conclusion that reasons, including the installation of system has been repaired by a qualified
consumers cannot be trusted to consult replacement or alternate tires or wheels on technician and needs to be recalibrated
their vehicle’s owner’s manual in the vehicle that prevent the TPMS from in order to restore proper performance.
functioning properly. Always check the Sumitomo recommended that the
appropriate situations.
Regarding SEMA’s recommendation TPMS malfunction indicator after replacing time period for specified calibration in
to require vehicle manufacturers to
one or more tires or wheels on your vehicle the test procedures should be increased
to ensure that the replacement or alternate to one hour, in order to reasonably
make TPMS information available to tire tires and wheels allow the TPMS to continue
retailers and dealers and to provide accommodate indirect TPMSs and
to function properly. thereby keep the standard technology-
related language in the owner’s manual,
we are addressing that issue in this Vehicle manufacturers may include neutral. Sumitomo stated that indirect
notice under section IV.C.8. Please information in the owner’s manual TPMSs require a calibration time of at
consult that section for further details. about the time for the TPMS telltale(s) least 30 minutes under good conditions
Accordingly, we have decided to to extinguish once the low tire pressure to detect 25-percent under-inflation in
require the following statement, in condition or the malfunction is multiple tires, but that one hour is
English, in the vehicle’s owner’s manual corrected. They may also include preferable in order to account for the
(or in writing for the first purchasers of information in the owner’s manual variety of circumstances the system may
vehicles without an owner’s manual): about the significance of the low tire encounter.
pressure warning telltale illuminating, a NIRA also recommended increasing
Each tire, including the spare (if provided), description of corrective action to be the calibration time to one hour, in
should be checked monthly when cold and order to be comparable with NIRA’s
inflated to the inflation pressure
undertaken, whether the TPMS
recommended by the vehicle manufacturer functions with the vehicle’s spare tire (if recommended detection time for low
on the vehicle placard or tire inflation provided), and how to use a reset button tire pressure. NIRA argued that the
pressure label. (If your vehicle has tires of a (if one is provided). additional calibration time would not
different size than the size indicated on the affect the life-saving potential of TPMSs.
vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure 6. Test Procedures It also recommended that the final rule
label, you should determine the proper As a general comment, the Alliance explicitly state that the calibration
inflation pressure for those tires.) argued that the NPRM’s test procedures procedure will be conducted at normal
As an added safety feature, your vehicle may not be sufficiently technology-
has been equipped with a tire pressure
driving speeds, at a varied speed profile,
monitoring system (TPMS) that illuminates a neutral so as to accommodate and without engagement of cruise
low tire pressure telltale when one or more developing and advanced TPMS control (if equipped).
of your tires is significantly under-inflated. technologies. In response, we note that For the final rule, NHTSA has
Accordingly, when the low tire pressure it is NHTSA’s practice to issue decided to retain a 20-minute time

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period for TPMS calibration as part of speeds between 50 km/h (31.1 mph) and the vehicle’s TPMS would not function
the standard’s test procedures. We 100 km/h (62.2 mph) (see S5.3.2). The properly at temperatures below 0° C (32°
believe that a 20-minute time period is NPRM proposed that testing would be F) or above 40° C (104° F). We believe
appropriate in order to provide a conducted on any portion of the that this temperature range covers a
technology-neutral standard that Southern Loop of the Treadwear Test large percentage of the temperatures
accounts for the need of some TPMSs to Course defined in Appendix A and normally encountered by most of the
have time to calibrate the system when Figure 2 of 49 CFR 575.104. The RMA driving public in the United States.
the vehicle is new, when new tires are commented that the TPMS test Furthermore, the commenters did not
installed, and when a tire is replaced or conditions and performance parameters specify an ambient temperature range
rotated. We do not agree with Schrader’s should be expanded to capture a fuller that they would consider to be more
comment that calibration would require range of real world driving conditions. appropriate.
a significant amount of user knowledge (AAA and ETRTO provided similar We have decided not to include
and interaction to ensure proper comments.) Accordingly, the RMA longitudinal acceleration limits in the
performance. Not all TPMSs require argued that the temperature range for test procedures for either system
calibration, and for those that do, a testing should be expanded to include calibration or low tire pressure
driver would most likely need to press ambient temperatures below freezing detection. It is our understanding that
a reset button at an appropriate point, as (32° F) and above 104° F. The RMA also TPMS technology has improved since
described in the owner’s manual. We do advocated testing under slippery road the time that the June 2002 final rule
not believe that this process would be conditions and increasing the range for was published and that current systems
difficult or require any specialized the driving speed to include speeds over detect and compensate for short periods
knowledge. 100 km/hr for low tire pressure of abnormal longitudinal acceleration.
However, we are not adopting detection. The RMA argued that as Accordingly, we do not believe that it is
commenters’ suggestions to increase the currently proposed, the TPMS test necessary to set longitudinal
calibration time in the test procedures. procedures would not test at higher acceleration limits as part of the final
We believe that an excessively long speeds (arguably when the TPMS is rule.
calibration period would increase the most important), on wet/snowy/icy Regarding suggestions that
likelihood that a tire could develop a roadways, under extreme temperatures, compliance testing should be conducted
leak during calibration that would go on secondary roads, or during turning or on slippery road surfaces, commenters
undetected. Available information braking maneuvers. RMA stated that did not provide any evidence to show
suggests that most TPMSs requiring these conditions do not occur in that the TPMS would not function
calibration could do so within this 20- isolation, but instead create situations normally on road surfaces with a
minute time period, so we do not see where multiple factors contribute to an coefficient of friction lower than the
any reason to delay the timing for the increased level of risk. (The Advocates, coefficient of friction of the road surface
TPMS to begin providing low tire the EC, Public Citizen, TIA, Tire Rack, during compliance testing. Although
pressure warnings to the driver. and ETRTO provided similar comments. surfaces with a lower coefficient of
In response to NIRA’s comment that In addition, ETRTO also called for friction may result in increased wheel
the calibration procedure should be testing at speeds below 31 mph.) VW/ slip, which in turn could result in a
conducted at normal driving speeds, at Audi recommended that the test slightly longer time to detect low tire
a varied speed profile, and without procedures should incorporate a variety pressure, we do not anticipate that
engagement of cruise control (if of speed ranges without the use of additional safety benefits would arise
equipped), we note that the final rule’s cruise control in order to be technology- from testing on slippery surfaces.
test procedures provide for a cumulative neutral. Furthermore, the commenters did not
driving time of 20 minutes within a Sumitomo recommended establishing specify a coefficient of friction or
speed range of 50–100 km/hr. We a limit in the test procedures on provide any other quantification for the
believe that this speed range is adequate longitudinal acceleration. Sumitomo recommended surface.
for proper TPMS calibration. However, argued that such a limit is necessary to We believe that the test conditions
we agree with the commenter that use reflect ordinary driving conditions, so specified in this final rule will result in
of cruise control during calibration the company recommended that robust TPMSs that will function
could provide the TPMS with a large longitudinal acceleration should be normally over a wide range of operating
amount of redundant information, as limited to ± 0.05 G during the conditions. We do not believe that
compared to information obtained while calibration and low tire pressure additional specifications related to
driving at different speeds, and we also detection phases. temperature, weather, or speed would
believe that it is important to ensure For the final rule, we have decided to appreciably change the TPMS’s
that the system performs properly over adopt the test conditions as proposed in performance or result in design changes
a range of speeds, an objective that the NPRM. Commenters who requested yielding greater safety benefits.
could be foiled by the use of cruise a broader range of test speeds (both (c) MIL Activation. Under paragraph
control in this context. Accordingly, we higher and lower) did not provide any S6(l) of the proposed test procedures,
have included a statement in S5.3.2 that evidence to show that the vehicle’s the TPMS malfunction indicator would
for vehicles equipped with cruise TPMS would not function properly at be tested by simulating one or more
control, cruise control will not be vehicle speeds outside the 50–100 km/ TPMS malfunction(s) by disconnecting
engaged during testing. hr range. Furthermore, the commenters the power source to any TPMS
(b) Driving Conditions. Under the test did not specify maximum or minimum component, disconnecting any electrical
procedures section, the NPRM proposed test speeds that would ensure that real connection between TPMS components,
that the ambient temperature for testing world driving conditions would be by simulating a TPMS sensor
would be between 0° C (32° F) and 40° represented. malfunction, or by installing a tire on
C (104° F) (see S5.1) and that the road Similarly, commenters who requested the vehicle that is incompatible with the
surface would be dry during testing (see a broader range of ambient temperatures TPMS (S6(l)(1)). When the ignition
S5.2). It also proposed that the vehicle’s for testing (both higher and lower) did locking system is turned to the ‘‘On’’
TPMS would be calibrated and tested at not provide any evidence to show that (‘‘Run’’) position (or, where appropriate,

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the position for lamp check), the TPMS reduced if the standard were to permit procedures related to TPMS
malfunction telltale would be required reference to additional instructions in malfunction detection. Schrader
to illuminate (S6(l)(2)). The NPRM also the owner’s manual procedures (if recommended that the TPMS test
proposed that for systems equipped a applicable). procedures should limit the simulation
TPMS reset feature to extinguish the In its comments, NIRA Dynamics of a malfunction to removal of a
low tire pressure and/or malfunction recommended that the final rule’s test component from the system.
telltale, the system would be reset in procedures should simulate a TPMS As noted above, the comments on the
accordance with the manufacturer’s malfunction by disconnecting the power test procedures for the TPMS
instructions, after which, continued source to any TPMS component or by malfunction indicator intertwined
illumination of the MIL would be disconnecting any electrical connection substantive discussions of what types of
verified (S6(l)(3)). Finally, the proposal between TPMS components, thereby malfunctions the system would be
stated that the malfunction would be limiting the requirements to only required to detect with procedural
corrected, that the system would be electrical and radio transmission errors. discussions of how the standard’s test
reset (if necessary), and that there would NIRA stated that the test procedures procedures would create those
be verification that the telltale has been should be limited to detection of these malfunctions and confirm that the
extinguished (S6(l)(4)). types of malfunctions in order to keep TPMS can detect them. However, the
Public comments on this issue relate the test procedures technology-neutral. substantive issue of what types of
to the previous discussion of what types Related to its earlier comments on the malfunctions the system must detect has
of malfunctions the system should be types of malfunctions that the system been addressed in Section IV.C.2(b); that
required to detect and how quickly they should be required to detect, Fuji discussion will not be repeated here.
should be detected. EnTire provided commented that the proposed test Similarly, the time period for the TPMS
draft regulatory text for the portion of procedures may involve disconnecting to detect a system malfunction and to
the standard’s test procedures related to the power to the TPMS ECM, but that illuminate the MIL, was discussed in
the TPMS malfunction indicator. The such action could make it impossible for Section IV.C.2(a). For a complete
following paraphrases EnTire’s the system’s malfunction logic to discussion of those aspects of the test
recommended approach for the final operate.
procedures, please consult those
rule on this issue. First, disable one of GM recommended adding 30 minutes
sections of this final rule.
the following TPMS functions: (a) of cumulative driving time for
malfunction detection, under S6(l)(2) of We recognize that most direct and
Control/transmission of information to
the NPRM’s proposed test procedures, indirect TPMSs will require that the
the low pressure lamp; (b) transmission
in order to ensure that the TPMS has vehicle be driven in order for the system
of pressure data from a sensor; or (c)
time to accumulate sufficient data to to detect malfunctions. Commenters
capability of the controller to receive
make a sound decision about whether a such as Nissan stated that most TPMSs
pressure information. Verify that the
malfunction has occurred. The Alliance use the same analytical processes for
TPMS telltale(s) perform the check of
recommended a similar period of 30 TPMS malfunction detection as they
lamp function. Drive for 15 minutes or
until the malfunction lamp illuminates. minutes of continuous driving under would for low tire pressure detection.
If the MIL did not illuminate within that S6(l)(4), in order to allow the TPMS the Therefore, even though some
time period, reverse direction and drive time necessary to confirm that a commenters (e.g., Fuji, Nissan)
for up to a total cumulative time of 20 malfunction no longer exists. suggested that malfunction detection
minutes or until the MIL illuminates. If Fuji’s comments made similar would be possible for certain systems
the MIL does not illuminate, arguments, stating that in order to within a shorter timeframe, we have
discontinue the test. If the MIL does provide a reasonable battery life (8–10 decided to adopt the same 20-minute
illuminate, restore the system to normal years) for the wheel-mounted pressure driving time for TPMS malfunction
operation. Drive for up to 15 minutes or sensors and transmitters, it and other detection as for the low tire pressure
until the malfunction lamp vehicle manufacturers have designed warning. In addition, we have
extinguishes. If the MIL did not their TPMSs to have the wheel sensors incorporated the same test conditions
extinguish within that time period, remain inactive until wheel rotation is (with some minor modification) as were
reverse direction and drive for up to a above 40 kph. Fuji also commented that proposed in S5 of the NPRM, including
total cumulative time of 20 minutes. vehicle motion is required for the TPMS the requirement that the vehicle will be
EnTire argued that this approach to begin its diagnostic cycle, along with driven within a speed range of 50–100
would resolve a number of questions a sufficient time period to make a km/hr, with no time accumulating when
which EnTire believes were left reliable diagnosis of the malfunction. the service brake is applied. Again, we
unanswered by the NPRM. According to Accordingly, Fuji recommended that the recognize that most TPMSs will require
EnTire, by focusing on the primary final rule’s test procedures include a vehicular motion to detect that a TPMS
TPMS functions, it would clarify what drive time of at least 10 minutes with a malfunction has been corrected as well.
malfunctions must be detected by the vehicle speed of at least 40 kph. Regarding EnTire’s suggestion that
system. It would specify a time for the Nissan also commented that the test there should be a specification for a MIL
TPMS to discover the malfunction. It procedures related to malfunction bulb check, such a requirement was
would specify that the vehicle is to be detection should specify a time for already proposed in S6(b) of the NPRM,
driven, because vehicular motion is detection and vehicle speed. Nissan and it has been retained in this final
necessary for many systems to run recommended that the TPMS should be rule. Further, we are not adopting
malfunction diagnostics. It would required to detect a malfunction under EnTire’s recommendation that the
provide for verification of both the MIL the same conditions and same owner’s manual be consulted for
lamp check and malfunction indication. timeframe as that required for detection additional instructions related to
EnTire also stated that because of low tire pressure (i.e., within 10 operation of the MIL because we do not
various malfunction conditions may minutes at speeds between 50 km/hr believe it is necessary. We believe that
require different recovery mechanisms and 100 km/hr). the final rule’s requirements for MIL
to take place, the driving sequence for In its comments, Schrader urged operation will provide a simple,
extinguishment may be avoided or NHTSA to clarify its ‘‘confusing’’ test consistent, and timely warning to the

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driver in the event of a TPMS decreased to 2 psi below the warning would consult the owner’s manual and,
malfunction. threshold, and that if the TPMS does not if covered special conditions are
(d) Vehicle Cool-Down Period. Under issue a warning during the test, the tire present, use the inflation pressures
S6(e) of the NPRM, the vehicle would be pressure should be double-checked. specified for such conditions in lieu of
stopped and kept stationary with the Similarly, VW/Audi recommended that the placard pressure. (Porsche and VW/
engine off for up to one hour, after the final rule should provide no more Audi provided similar comments.)
which time one or more tires would be than five minutes to adjust and check Schrader commented that TPMSs
deflated to 7 kPa (1 psi) below the level the tires’ inflation pressures before should accommodate drivers’ needs to
that should cause the TPMS low starting the system detection phase, and change inflation pressures to match the
pressure warning telltale to illuminate. it supported decreasing the tire pressure load on the tires.
This provision would allow the tires to 2 psi below the warning threshold. We are not adopting the commenters’
time to cool prior to initiating the Sumitomo stated that its experience recommendations regarding testing at
system detection phase of testing. has shown that it can take several pressures other than placard pressure,
In its comments, the Alliance minutes for the tire pressure to become because we do not believe that any of
recommended reducing the cool-down stable after being set to a certain value. the above-described ‘‘special
period in S6(e) from ‘‘up to one hour’’ Thus, Sumitomo recommended that the conditions’’ are likely to occur during
to ‘‘up to five minutes.’’ The Alliance test procedures be modified to set the compliance testing.
argued that, as currently proposed, this tire 1 psi below the activation pressure, (f) System Reset. As reflected in the
cool-down period could make the rule wait three minutes, and then verify the NPRM, the agency recognizes that many
technology-dependent, because only tire pressure to ensure that the pressure TPMSs are equipped with a system reset
direct TPMSs could comply. According has been accurately set. feature that must be used in appropriate
to the Alliance’s understanding, air In order to compensate for the circumstances. This understanding is
would be let out of the vehicle’s tire(s) temperature effects discussed by the reflected in the NPRM’s test procedures,
after the cooling-down period, but some Alliance, NIRA Dynamics, VW/Audi, which refer to reset at S6(c), (i), (j), and
systems may not be able to detect the and Sumitomo, we have decided to (l).
changes immediately, and by the time reduce the tire cool-down period in Several commenters discussed what
they can, the tires may have warmed up S6(e) from ‘‘up to one hour’’ to ‘‘up to they perceived to be an error in
to a level above the warning threshold. five minutes,’’ as requested by the paragraph S6(i) of the test procedures,
However, the Alliance stated that if the commenters. We believe that the which discusses action to be taken at
test is conducted with tires that were pressure differential between cold tire the end of the system detection phase
under-inflated just after having been inflation pressure and running tire (i.e., after point at which the low
warmed up during the calibration inflation pressure is approximately 8–10 pressure telltale should have
phase, then those systems should be percent. Therefore, tires that have their illuminated but prior to re-inflation of
able to detect the differential. pressure reduced to the TPMS the tires). As proposed, that provision
As a related matter, the Alliance activation pressure while cold may provided, ‘‘If the vehicle’s TPMS has a
argued that proposed S6(f)(3) of the experience a tire pressure increase once manual reset feature, attempt to reset
NPRM, which provides instructions in the vehicle has been driven for a short the system in accordance with
the event that the TPMS low pressure period of time, and this increase in instructions specified in the vehicle
telltale fails to illuminate after the tires pressure may prevent the TPMS from owner’s manual prior to re-inflating the
are deflated and the vehicle is driven as providing the low tire pressure warning. vehicle’s tires. If the low tire pressure
required, should be revised to provide Regarding the commenters’ telltale illuminates, discontinue the
for an additional check of the tires’ recommendations for a decrease in the test.’’
inflation pressures prior to tire pressure deflation in S6(e) from the The Alliance recommended
discontinuing the test. The Alliance current 1 psi below the TPMS activation elimination of S6(i) because it seems to
stated that it is requesting this change to threshold to 2 psi below that level and imply that an owner may extinguish the
avoid incorrect findings of for an additional pressure check, we TPMS low pressure telltale without
noncompliance in cases where the tire have decided to adopt the 2 psi correcting the under-inflation condition.
inflation pressure is higher than the recommendation. We believe that this According to the Alliance,
required TPMS activation threshold due modification would be sufficient to manufacturers’ recommended
to a tire temperature increase as a result account for the temperature effect procedures for TPMS reset require that
of driving, ambient temperature described by the commenters without the manual reset procedure be
changes, or a difference in temperature the need for additional pressure checks. performed only after correcting the
from the road surface in a stationary (e) Testing with Pressures Other Than inflation pressure. Continental Teves,
location to that of the test road surface. Placard Pressure. Under S6 of the Schrader, Sumitomo, and VW/Audi also
The Alliance recommended similar NPRM, the proposed test procedures set raised this issue.
modifications to proposed paragraph placard pressure as the baseline for Paragraph S6(c) of the NPRM
S6(g). inflating and deflating tires during proposed the following language, ‘‘If
NIRA Dynamics made a similar testing. applicable, reset the tire pressure
comment, arguing that the portion of the The Alliance argued that because monitoring system in accordance with
NPRM’s test procedures in which the FMVSS No. 110 requires the new tire the instructions in the vehicle owner’s
tires are deflated could conceivably pressure label to specify only one manual. The Alliance recommended
result in tires inflated above the warning recommended pressure, other modifying S6(c) to specify that the
threshold during the test. According to recommended pressures for special system will be ‘‘set or reset.’’
NIRA, tests have shown that tire conditions (e.g., extreme temperatures, BMW raised a more substantive
pressure increases due to temperature heavy loads, off-road use) must now be argument regarding system reset, stating
changes after rapid deflation, which can provided in the owner’s manual. that a manufacturer should be permitted
negate the pressure change to some Accordingly, the Alliance recommended to incorporate a TPMS reset feature to
extent. Therefore, NIRA Dynamics revising the test procedures to provide accommodate situations such as a
recommended that the tire pressure be that in conducting testing, NHTSA consumer switching between summer

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and winter tires. According to BMW, the (regarding their production capacity). substantial changes in ECM logic and
reset would allow the system to From the responses to these Special circuitry, which will require additional
calibrate immediately after the tire Orders, NHTSA learned that, in design, calibration, testing, and
change. BMW commented that if the anticipation of the start of the phase-in incorporation by suppliers.
agency is seriously concerned about under the June 2002 final rule, most The Alliance commented that,
driver misuse of a reset, NHTSA should vehicle manufacturers were moving because of the need to lock in
consider a requirement that would aggressively toward installation of production-related decisions for MY
prevent TPMS reset from the driver’s TPMSs capable of meeting the four-tire, 2006, if a final rule were issued later
seat. 25-percent under-inflation detection than December 2004, a phase-in
After further consideration on the requirement, but some were not. The beginning in September 2005 would
issue of system reset, we have decided information provided by TPMS only be feasible if the technical
to delete the provision contained at suppliers indicated sufficient capacity provisions of the new final rule would
S6(i) of the NPRM. Because some to supply TPMSs with a four-tire, 25- allow compliance certification for all
TPMSs cannot determine tire pressure percent detection capability in systems currently in production that
in individual tires, these systems cannot quantities that would easily meet the were designed in accordance with the
detect correction of the under-inflation newly proposed phase-in requirements. carryover provisions of the June 5, 2002
situation (and extinguish the low tire In general, most of the vehicle final rule for TPMS, without any
pressure telltale) without resetting the manufacturers that commented on the revision. (GM and the AIAM each made
system. In light of the information NPRM, as well as the Alliance, a similar comment.)
presented by the commenters, we have requested additional lead time and a The Alliance also stated that under
decided not to test whether the TPMS modified phase-in schedule. Public the Safety Act, a Federal motor vehicle
telltale will extinguish after the system interest groups, such as the Advocates, safety standard may not become
is reset. We expect that, for vehicles expressed support for the NPRM’s effective in less than 180 days.50 (The
equipped with a reset, the owner’s compliance schedule, as proposed. Alliance stated that its member
manual would have instructions for the Specific comments and companies will require the full 180 days
proper use of the reset feature (e.g., recommendations regarding lead time in order to complete certification testing
stating that the driver should re-inflate and the phase-in are discussed and documentation after the new
the tires to the proper level before immediately below. standard is promulgated.) Therefore, the
resetting the system). (a) Lead Time. The Alliance Alliance argued that, as a legal matter,
Regarding BMW’s comment on the recommended that the final rule include March 1, 2005 is the latest date that the
permissibility of a TPMS that may be a two-year phase-in for compliance agency can issue a final rule and have
reprogrammed or reset to accommodate beginning on September 1, 2006. It it be effective on September 1, 2005.
different tires, we leave that decision to stated that the agency could encourage Once again, the Alliance commented
the vehicle manufacturer. As noted early compliance by making phase-in that its statements regarding a
previously, NHTSA will conduct credits available for compliant vehicles September 2005 date for the start of
compliance testing with the tires built after publication of the final rule. compliance assumes deferral of
installed on the vehicle at the time of However, the Alliance made its lead compliance with the MIL provisions
initial sale. time and phase-in recommendations and related owner’s manual language
Regarding the Alliance’s request to contingent upon its assumption that the until September 1, 2007. (AIAM, BMW,
modify the language of S6(c), we have agency would defer the proposed MIL Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Suzuki
decided to adopt the Alliance’s and related owner’s manual provisions provided similar comments.)
recommended language, although we until September 1, 2007. The Alliance also commented that the
believe that the Alliance’s request The Alliance stated that the NPRM’s agency should make FMVSS No. 138 a
largely involves semantics. prohibition against a telltale that test case for the proposed revisions to 49
changes color from yellow to red at CFR Part 568 that would allow final
7. Lead Time and Phase-In increasingly low tire pressure levels will stage manufacturers and alterers, many
The NPRM proposed the following require manufacturers to add an of which are small businesses, an extra
schedule for compliance with the TPMS additional telltale to the instrument year for compliance.
standard: 50 percent of a vehicle panel. According to the Alliance, DaimlerChrysler commented that
manufacturer’s light vehicles would be instrument panel redesign requires one even if the agency were to publish a
required to comply with the standard to four years of lead time, so this change final rule in Spring 2005 that was
during the first year (September 1, 2005 could not be accomplished before identical to the September 2004 NPRM,
to August 31, 2006); 90 percent during September 1, 2007. the company could not implement the
the second year (September 1, 2006 to Similar comments about lead time MIL provisions in time for MY 2006.
August 31, 2007); all light vehicles were provided by AIAM, DaimlerChrysler stated that close to two
thereafter (see S7). The proposal stated DaimlerChrysler, Fuji, GM, Hyundai, years is needed to convert an assembly
that carry-forward credits would be Porsche, Suzuki, VW/Audi, and plant in order to accommodate a TPMS
provided for vehicles certified as Sumitomo. For example, the AIAM component into the assembly line, and
complying with the standard that are stated that the proposed MIL 9–12 months is needed to accommodate
produced after the effective date of the requirements could dictate redesign of the newly proposed MIL requirement.
final rule. vehicle dashboards and necessitate new In its comments, General Motors
The NPRM’s proposed schedule for software and hardware. AIAM also stated that it would require 24 months
lead time and phase-in was based upon argued that changes to the owner’s from publication of a final rule to the
information that the agency obtained manual cannot be accomplished effective date in order to meet the
from September 2003 Special Orders to quickly, and that the owner’s manuals requirements of the new proposal. GM
14 vehicle manufacturers (regarding for some MY 2006 vehicles have already stated that this time period includes 18
their production plans for TPMS at the gone to print. As a further example, Fuji months to engineer, prototype, tool, and
time of the Second Circuit’s decision) argued that the proposed MIL
and to 13 TPMS manufacturers requirements would necessitate 50 49 U.S.C. 30111(d).

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validate the system, and six months to phase-in and increase compliance by a postpone the start of compliance until
go from vehicle validation test corresponding amount during the 180 days after publication of this final
completion to production. second year of the phase-in). We believe rule. In order to better coincide with
Hyundai stated that NHTSA should that these changes in the final rule manufacturer production schedules, we
extend the compliance date in the final effectively resolve manufacturers’ lead have scheduled the second part of the
rule to September 1, 2007, but dispense time concerns. Consequently, we see no phase-in to begin on September 1, 2006.
with the phase-in and instead require reason to delay implementation of the However, if the agency is forced to
full compliance by that date. standard for an additional year in postpone this compliance date for an
After careful consideration of the response to the arguments raised by the additional year (i.e., eliminate the 20-
public comments related to lead time, commenters. percent compliance requirement for MY
we have decided to begin mandatory Regarding the TPMS MIL, we 2006), we would expect to lose 24 lives,
compliance (with a modified phase-in understand that the TPMS malfunction a result that could be prevented if the
discussed below) on October 5, 2005, indicator represents a new requirement vehicles subject to a phase-in
but to defer compliance with the that was not present prior to the commencing in Fall 2005 were
standard’s MIL requirements until September 2004 NPRM, and that equipped with a TPMS that could
September 1, 2007. The reasons for this implementation of the MIL provide a low tire pressure warning to
decision are as follows. requirements may necessitate significant the driver. Such delay would also be
The proposed requirements for the design and production changes (e.g., expected to result in 1,675 more injuries
TPMS to detect low tire pressure (i.e., a redesign of vehicle dashboards, new than otherwise would have occurred.
four-tire, 25-percent under-inflation software and hardware). Therefore, it We believe that other changes
detection capability) should have come may not be practicable for vehicle between the June 2002 final rule and
as no surprise to vehicle manufacturers, manufacturers to comply with the today’s final rule for TPMS are
because the Second Circuit’s opinion in TPMS MIL requirements by the start of relatively minor, and do not constitute
Public Citizen v. Mineta made clear that the phase-in. We believe that the major new and unexpected structural
the standard would require a system recommendation of at least 24 months requirements. However, after
with a four-tire detection capability, and lead time for the TPMS MIL is considering public comments, we have
the NPRM’s proposed four-tire, 25- reasonable. sought to accommodate these changes
percent requirement harkened all the In addition, as reflected in the Final through modifications in the phase-in
way back to the June 2002 final rule. Regulatory Impact Analysis for this schedule, as discussed in the next
The September 2004 NPRM also rulemaking, the incremental benefits section below. Specifically, we have
clearly indicated to the industry that associated with the MIL are expected to modified the compliance percentages of
NHTSA intended to specify be small in comparison to those the phase-in, which should ease
requirements for TPMSs beginning with provided by the system’s low tire implementation.
MY 2006. Furthermore, vehicle pressure warning. The TPMS MIL is Furthermore, manufacturers have
manufacturers’ own production data, as expected to account for 0.677 percent of known since at least August 2003 that
contained in the September 2003 the final rule’s estimated benefits, a TPMS with a four-tire detection
Special Orders, demonstrated that at which equates to 1 fatality and 57 capability would be required and that
that time, the industry was well on its injuries prevented per year (see page there would likely be a requirement for
way in terms of planning for VII–12 of the FRIA). Extrapolating from 25-percent under-inflation detection.
incorporation of TPMSs with a four-tire, the figures provided in the FRIA, we These expectations were confirmed in
25-percent under-inflation detection believe that delaying the final rule until the September 2004 NPRM, which
capability. vehicle manufacturers could have a included a proposed phase-in beginning
In addition, we do not agree with the compliant TPMS MIL in place (i.e., September 1, 2005; manufacturers have
Alliance’s argument that additional lead delaying the 20-percent phase-in in MY not suggested that TPMS technologies
time should be provided because 2006 and the 70-percent phase-in in MY are unavailable to meet those
manufacturers may wish to incorporate 2007) would lead to an estimated 107 requirements. And once again we note
a second red lamp to indicate extremely fatalities and 7,536 injuries that could that vehicle manufacturers’ own
low tire pressure; such a lamp is not have been prevented if TPMSs without production data, as contained their
required under the standard. an MIL were provided in vehicles under responses to the September 2003
However, we recognize that vehicle the final rule’s phase-in (with benefits Special Orders, demonstrated that at
manufacturers could not be certain of accruing over the life of vehicles so that time, most of the industry was
the exact details of the final rule until equipped). Accordingly, we believe that moving aggressively in terms of
publication of this notice. Therefore, in it would be more advantageous to have planning for incorporation of TPMSs
consideration of the changes made to TPMSs (without an MIL) to begin being with a four-tire, 25-percent under-
this final rule (as described below, incorporated in new light vehicles inflation detection capability. The
including deferral of the TPMS MIL sooner, rather than defer Alliance’s argument suggests that
requirements and associated owner’s implementation of the entire standard. vehicle manufacturers have disregarded
manual requirements), we have made For these reasons, we believe that a all of the knowledge they have gained
adjustments to the percentages specified compliance date of September 1, 2007 about the eventual TPMS standard since
for light vehicle compliance with the for the standard’s MIL requirements the time of the Second Circuit’s
phase-in in order to maintain Fall 2005 (including associated owner’s manual decision, including their own
compliance date proposed in the NPRM. requirements) would be both practicable production plans.
In an additional effort to maintain a Fall and maximize safety benefits under the In addition, the Alliance has not
2005 compliance date, as further standard. provided any evidence to demonstrate
described below, we have decided to In response to the Alliance’s comment that their members could not meet a Fall
permit vehicle manufacturers to earn that, by statute, a safety standard may 2005 compliance date, other than to
carry-forward credits and carry- not become effective less than 180 days assert that they will require the full 180
backward credits (i.e., reduce after the standard is prescribed (see 49 days. The Alliance’s comments also
compliance during the first year of the U.S.C. 30111(d)), we have decided to intimate that a September 1, 2005

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phase-in would be feasible ‘‘if the another way, carry-backward credits TPMS is requiring final-stage
technical provisions of the new Final allow for under-compliance in the first manufacturers and alterers to certify
Rule allow compliance certification by period of the phase-in, provided that compliance for all covered vehicles
all systems currently in production that there is corresponding, compensating manufacturers on or after September 1,
were designed in accordance with the over-compliance in the second period of 2008. However, final-stage
carryover provisions of the 2002 Final the phase-in. For example, if a vehicle manufacturers and alterers may
Rule, without any revision’’ (which manufacturer anticipated production voluntarily certify compliance with the
included a four-tire, 25-percent under- problems in terms of incorporating standard prior to this date (although no
inflation detection option). compliant TPMSs into vehicles carry-forward credits would accrue in
Furthermore, we believe that concerns produced from October 5, 2005, through this case).
related to lead time are either rendered August 31, 2006 (i.e., MY 2006), it could (b) Phase-In Schedule. In their
moot or significantly mitigated by the choose to certify 10 percent of its light comments, vehicle manufacturers and
final rule’s allowance of both carry- vehicles to the standard during that the Alliance generally favored
forward and carry-backward credits. For period and commit to certifying 80 modification of the phase-in schedule
these reasons, we have decided to percent of its light vehicles set forth in the NPRM. The following
require compliance with the manufactured from September 1, 2006 summarizes the commenters’
requirements of the standard beginning through August 31, 2007 (i.e., MY 2007). recommendations regarding the phase-
on October 5, 2005. We believe that permitting carry- in schedule. It should be noted that,
In order to ease implementation, backward credits would not impact the unless otherwise indicated, the phase-in
NHTSA has decided to permit vehicle overall safety benefits of the final rule, percentages specified below are
manufacturers to earn carry-forward because the same number of vehicles exclusive of requirements related to the
credits for compliant vehicles, produced would be subject to compliance malfunction indicator, compliance with
in excess of the phase-in requirements, certification, although the distribution which manufacturers argued should be
that are manufactured between the may vary over the model years of the postponed until the end of the phase-in
effective date of this rule and the phase-in. Corresponding changes have period.
conclusion of the phase-in.51 These been added to the regulatory text of both The Alliance recommended that 65
carry-forward credits could be used FMVSS No. 138, as well as the TPMS percent of covered vehicles should be
during the phase-in, but they could not phase-in requirements contained in 49 required to comply in September 2006,
be used to delay compliance CFR Part 585. and that 100 percent of covered vehicles
certification for vehicles produced at the In addition, since the NPRM was should be required to comply in
conclusion of the phase-in. Except for published, NHTSA has issued a final September 2007. The Alliance stated
vehicles produced by final-stage rule pertaining to certification that this schedule would accommodate
manufacturers and alterers (who receive requirements for vehicles built in two or its member companies’ different stages
an additional year for compliance), all more stages and altered vehicles (see 70 of readiness in terms of developing and
covered vehicles must comply with FR 7414 (Feb. 14, 2005)). The producing large numbers of compliant
FMVSS No. 138 on September 1, 2007, amendments made in that final rule TPMSs. The Alliance also argued that
without use of any carry-forward become effective September 1, 2006. In the agency has based its phase-in
credits. relevant part, the multi-stage schedule on the responses to NHTSA’s
Furthermore, we have determined certification final rule amended 49 CFR September 2003 TPMS Special Orders;
that there is good cause to make this 571.8, Effective Date, and it added a however, the response to those Special
final rule effective upon publication so new subparagraph (b) providing as Orders rested on certain vehicle
that vehicle manufacturers would have follows: manufacturer assumptions that have not
a standard in effect to which they may proven true (e.g., that carry-forward
(b) Vehicles built in two or more stages credits would be available from the Fall
certify vehicles for purposes of early, vehicles and altered vehicles. Unless
voluntary compliance and to maximize Congress directs or the agency expressly of 2002, that indirect TPMSs could be
the time for earning carry-forward determines that this paragraph does not used to comply with the rule). In
credits. Providing this earlier effective apply, the date for manufacturer certification addition, the Alliance commented that
date may cause some vehicles to be of compliance with any standard, or the MIL provisions are new to the
equipped with TPMSs that otherwise amendment to a standard, that is issued on NPRM and will require redesigns by
might not have been, thereby advancing or after September 1, 2006 is, insofar as its manufacturers.
application to intermediate and final-stage In addition, Mitsubishi commented
the safety goals of the standard. We manufacturers and alterers is concerned, one
explicitly note that vehicle that business circumstances since the
year after the last applicable date for
manufacturers have no mandatory manufacturer certification of compliance. time of the Special Order have resulted
compliance responsibilities under the Nothing in this provision shall be construed in changes in product plans, which have
standard until the start of the phase-in. as prohibiting earlier compliance with the impacted installation of TPMSs, and
To further ease implementation and to standard or amendment or as precluding Mitsubishi stated that it uses different
maintain a Fall 2005 compliance date, NHTSA from extending a compliance TPMS technology in each of its models,
we have decided also to provide carry- effective date for intermediate and final-stage a factor which contributes to the need
manufacturers and alterers by more than one for longer lead time.
backward credits, whereby vehicle year.
manufacturers may defer compliance AIAM recommended that 50 percent
with a part or all of the certification In light of the agency’s policy on of covered vehicles should be required
requirements for the first period of the multi-stage manufacturer certification, to comply in September 2006, and that
phase-in, provided that they certify a as expressed in the February 14, 2005 100 percent of covered vehicles should
correspondingly increased number of final rule, we have decided to adopt the be required to comply in September
vehicles under the standard during the Alliance’s suggestion and to apply that 2007.
second period of the phase-in. Stated principle to the compliance certification BMW recommended that 35 percent
requirement for final-stage of covered vehicles should be required
51 Any such certification of compliance with the manufacturers and alterers under the to comply in September 2005, that 70
standard is irrevocable. TPMS standard. Thus, the final rule for percent of covered vehicles should be

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required to comply in September 2006, VW/Audi recommended that 40 However, based upon the information
and that 100 percent of covered vehicles percent of covered vehicles should be provided by the manufacturers and the
should be required to comply in required to comply in September 2006, rapidly approaching start of the 2006
September 2007. and that 100 percent of covered vehicles Model Year, we have decided to modify
DaimlerChrysler recommended the should be required to comply in the phase-in percentages from those
following phase-in schedules if the September 2007. VW/Audi’s contained in the NPRM. Particularly at
proposed MIL are required at the start recommended schedule would include this stage in a vehicle manufacturer’s
of the phase-in. If carry-forward credits a MIL (consistent with its suggested normal production cycle, a phase-in
are permitted, DaimlerChrysler changes). VW/Audi stated its belief that starting at 50 percent of production may
recommended that 70 percent of it would be preferable to postpone the not be practicable, so we have lowered
covered vehicles should be required to phase-in until 2006 and require TPMSs that percentage to 20 percent. For
comply in September 2006, and that 100 with a MIL at that time, rather than similar reasons, we have also decided to
percent of covered vehicles should be begin the phase-in in 2005 and allow modify the second year’s phase-in
required to comply in September 2007. TPMSs without a MIL. percentage to 70 percent from 90
If carry-forward credits are not After carefully considering all percent.
permitted, DaimlerChrysler available information, we have decided Regarding the MIL requirements,
recommended that 50 percent of to require a phase-in schedule for vehicle manufacturers have commented
covered vehicles should be required to FMVSS No. 138 as follows: 20 percent that it would be possible to implement
comply in September 2006, and that 100 of a vehicle manufacturer’s light the necessary software and hardware
percent of covered vehicles should be vehicles must comply with the standard changes fully by the conclusion of the
required to comply in September 2007. during the period from October 5, 2005, phase-in on September 1, 2007. (No
If the MIL requirements are deferred to August 31, 2006; 70 percent during additional phase-in is being provided
to the end of the phase-in, the period from September 1, 2006 to for the MIL requirements.) We believe
DaimlerChrysler stated that it could August 31, 2007, and all light vehicles that that timeframe is reasonable, in
support a recommendation that 30 thereafter. However, compliance with light of the technical and production
percent of covered vehicles should be the standard’s requirements for the challenges associated with
required to comply in September 2005, TPMS malfunction indicator and related incorporating the MIL. As a related
that 70 percent of covered vehicles owner’s manual language would be matter, it would make little sense to
should be required to comply in deferred until September 1, 2007, at include owner’s manual language for
September 2006, and that 100 percent of which time those provisions also would the MIL until that feature is actually
covered vehicles should be required to be mandatory for all light vehicles. incorporated into the vehicle; therefore,
comply in September 2007. For the reasons discussed under the the requirements for owner’s manual
Hyundai recommended that 100 Lead Time section immediately above, language related to the MIL are similarly
percent of covered vehicles should be we believe that this final rule, as deferred until the conclusion of the
required to comply in September 2007, modified, provides manufacturers with phase-in.
without any phase-in. sufficient lead time to begin a October As a technical matter, we note that on
Mitsubishi recommended that 50 5, 2005, phase-in of the core December 8, 2004, NHTSA published a
percent of covered vehicles should be requirements of the TPMS standard (i.e., final rule that, among other things,
required to comply in September 2005, implementing the standard’s low consolidated the phase-in reporting
that 70 percent of covered vehicles pressure detection requirements but requirements for various standards by
should be required to comply in briefly deferring implementation of the revising 49 CFR part 585 (69 FR 70904).
September 2006, and that 100 percent of new requirements for the MIL and The amendments in that final rule
covered vehicles should be required to related owner’s manual language). Once become effective on September 1, 2005.
comply in September 2007. again, the requirements of the final rule Accordingly, we have decided to make
Porsche recommended that 65 percent are not drastically different from those the TPMS final rule’s amendments to
of covered vehicles should be required of the (subsequently vacated) standard part 585 for the TPMS phase-in
to comply in September 2006, and that established by the June 2002 final rule, reporting requirements effective that
100 percent of covered vehicles should except for the deletion of the one-tire, same day (i.e., September 1, 2005). We
be required to comply in September 30-percent detection option and the do not anticipate that this delay in the
2007. Porsche stated that if a three-year addition of the MIL requirements. The effective date for the part 585
phase-in is necessary, it recommended a Special Orders demonstrated that in Fall amendments will cause any problems,
10–50–100% phase-in schedule, which 2003, most vehicle manufacturers were because not only does it coincide with
is consistent with the June 2002 final moving aggressively towards TPMSs the start of the TPMS phase-in, but also
rule. with a four-tire, 25-percent under- vehicle manufacturers are not expected
Fuji offered two recommended inflation detection capability and to do any actual phase-in reporting until
options for the phase-in. Under Option suppliers had sufficient capacity to meet 2006. However, the details of the
1, Fuji recommended that 50 percent of demand. The direction of this reporting requirements are available for
covered vehicles should be required to rulemaking, in terms of a system with a recordkeeping purposes in the interim,
comply in September 2006, that 90 four-tire, 25-percent detection something that may be of interest to
percent of covered vehicles should be capability, was again expressed in the manufacturers seeking carry forward
required to comply in September 2007, September 2004 NPRM. In addition, credits for early, voluntary compliance.
and that 100 percent of covered vehicles some manufacturers (e.g., BMW,
8. Small Business Impacts
should be required to comply in Mitsubishi) stated in their comments
September 2008. Under Option 2, Fuji that they could begin certification to the In the NPRM, the agency tentatively
recommended that 100 percent of standard in September 2005, provided concluded that the proposal would not
covered vehicles should be required to that the MIL requirements and related have a significant economic impact
comply in September 2007, without any owner’s manual language requirements upon a substantial number of small
phase-in. are deferred. entities.

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SEMA’s comments expressed In addition, SEMA stated that recognize that some malfunctions may
disagreement with the NPRM’s consumers would have legitimate require action on the part of the dealer
preliminary conclusion that the TPMS expectations that the TPMS will in order to extinguish the TPMS MIL.
proposal would not have a significant continue to operate properly with In the NPRM, the agency’s rationale
economic impact upon a substantial replacement tires and wheels, and the for its tentative conclusion that the
number of small businesses. SEMA aftermarket industry would be faced proposal would not have a significant
represents over 550 companies that with product liability exposure. economic impact upon a substantial
manufacture, distribute, retail, and SEMA recommended that NHTSA number of small entities was based
install tire, wheel, and tire/wheel consider alternative approaches, as upon several considerations. First, the
accessories, most of which are defined outlined in its comments, in order to agency understands that there are
as ‘‘small businesses.’’ limit the impacts of the TPMS rule on currently only four small motor vehicle
Specifically, SEMA challenged the the small business community. As manufacturers in the U.S. that would
NPRM’s contention that the proposal discussed previously, SEMA have to comply with the standard and
would not have a significant impact recommended that vehicle that those manufacturers would rely on
upon aftermarket wheel and rim manufacturers should be required to TPMS suppliers to provide the requisite
manufacturers because the proposal share with retailers, installers, and system hardware to be integrated into
does not contain requirements for spare consumers, in a timely and affordable their vehicles. There are a few small
tires and rims. SEMA argued that the manner, all servicing information manufacturers of recreational vehicles,
proposal would indeed have an impact needed to operate a compliant TPMS. but the agency expressed its belief that
upon these manufacturers, because: (1) SEMA suggested that NHTSA consult most of these manufacturers could use
The NPRM would cover replacement with the Environmental Protection the TPMSs supplied with the van
tires and wheels installed by Agency (EPA) for guidance, because, chassis supplied by other large vehicle
dealerships prior to first sale, and (2) the according to SEMA, EPA has required manufacturers and rely upon the chassis
service industry would need to make vehicle manufacturers to share on-board manufacturer’s incomplete vehicle
sure that the malfunction telltale does diagnostic system (OBD) information certification. We believe that the
not illuminate when one or more tires with the service and repair industry in circumstances for these entities remain
are replaced. a timely and cost-effective manner. essentially unchanged.
According to SEMA, for replacement SEMA’s recommendations sought to In the NPRM, the agency also sought
tires and wheels to work in conjunction ensure that manufacturers develop to eliminate the concerns of small
with the OEM-installed TPMS, these transparent and minimally burdensome businesses that make and sell custom
aftermarket manufacturers may need to processes for TPMS maintenance and wheels and aftermarket rims by
institute numerous and potentially repair. Specifically, SEMA commented proposing to exempt spare tires and
costly changes, including equipment that vehicle manufacturers should be aftermarket rims (that do not match the
redesign, production retooling, and required to comply with applicable original equipment rims) from the
recall of noncompliant equipment. Society of Automotive Engineers and requirements of the standard on a
Furthermore, SEMA argued that the European Union (EU) standards practicability basis.
proposed TPMS standard could force For the following reasons, we
governing the design of wheel mounting
small business installers of aftermarket continue to believe that the
pockets in order to facilitate transferal of
wheel/tire combinations (e.g., requirements of the standard, as
sensors from the OE tires/wheels to
automobile dealerships, tire shops, contained in this final rule, will not
replacement tires/wheels (no references
repair shops) to invest in computer have a significant economic impact
provided). SEMA stated that
diagnostic equipment and employee upon a substantial number of small
communications protocols should be entities.
training in order to access, service, standardized so as to facilitate the use We do not believe that the final rule
repair, install, and calibrate these of aftermarket sensors, and that will have a significant impact upon the
TPMSs. Failure to take these steps could recalibration processes should be service industry in terms of aftermarket
cause these businesses to violate the straightforward. SEMA also sales or repair. First, the agency has
relevant statutory provisions prohibiting recommended that manufacturers already stated that we do not consider
the manufacture/sale/importation of should be prohibited from requiring installation of an aftermarket or
noncomplying motor vehicles 52 and special tools for TPMS reprogramming replacement tire or rim that is not
prohibiting actions that knowingly make or utilizing encrypted systems that compatible with the TPMS to be a
inoperative safety devices and elements would prevent installation of ‘‘make inoperative’’ situation under 49
inoperative.53 aftermarket products. U.S.C. 30122, provided that the business
According to SEMA, if these changes entity does not disable the TPMS MIL
52 Under 49 U.S.C. 30112(a), ‘‘* * * a person may
are not adopted, the potential result (see section IV.C.4(a)). In such
not manufacture for sale, sell, offer for sale,
introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate
would be to restrict aftermarket situations, once the TPMS MIL
commerce, or import into the United States, any manufacturers from offering a full range illuminates, the consumer is put on
motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment of wheel and tire combinations to notice that the aftermarket motor
manufactured on or after the date an applicable consumers, leaving such manufacturers
motor vehicle safety standard prescribed under this vehicle equipment in question is not
chapter [49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.] takes effect unless
with an unenviable choice between not compatible with the TPMS. From that
the vehicle or equipment complies with the selling these aftermarket products or point, it is within the consumer’s power
standard and is covered by a certification issued accepting the associated product to substitute other tires or rims that
under section 30115 of this title.’’ liability exposure.
53 Under 49 U.S.C. 30122(b), ‘‘A manufacturer, permit continued proper TPMS
In contrast, VW/Audi stated that the functionality.
distributor, dealer, or motor vehicle repair business
may not knowingly make inoperative any part of a test procedures in the final rule should In addition, SEMA has not provided
device or element of design installed on or in a any evidence to demonstrate that
motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment in dealer, or repair business reasonably believes the
compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety vehicle or equipment will not be used (except for
vehicle manufacturers would not make
standard prescribed under this chapter [49 U.S.C. testing or a similar purpose during maintenance or necessary repair and servicing
30101 et seq.] unless the manufacturer, distributor, repair) when the device or element is inoperative.’’ information available to the aftermarket

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sales industry and to the service of the rule’s anticipated impacts on the Procedures for Considering
industry. We have not received any environment. According to ETV, both Environmental Impacts. Our regulations
consumer complaints regarding the positive and negative impacts would be require preparation of an environmental
serviceability of existing TPMSs. expected to result from establishment of impact statement for ‘‘major Federal
Vehicles currently include many an FMVSS for TPMS. ETV stated that actions significantly affecting the
complex systems, and, although dealer two important positive environmental quality of the human environment.’’ 49
involvement may be necessitated in benefits would be lower levels of air CFR 520.5(a). The regulations also
some cases, the marketplace has pollution and reduced tire disposal provide specific examples of situations
generally made available sufficient rates, both resulting from operating tires that should ordinarily be considered as
information to permit convenient at their proper pressures. In its significantly affecting the quality of the
maintenance and repair of such systems. comments, ETV stated that correct tire human environment. The relevant
We do not believe that TPMS pressure improves fuel economy, with situations that might apply to the
technologies will prove any different in less fuel burned and correspondingly present rulemaking include:
this regard. Accordingly, we believe that less pollutants produced. Correct (8) Any action that may directly or
it is unnecessary to further consider pressure also extends tire life, thereby indirectly result in a significant increase in
SEMA’s suggestion to compel vehicle decreasing tire disposal rates at waste the energy or fuel necessary to operate a
manufacturers to share service depots. motor vehicle, including but not limited to
information with the service and repair On the negative side, ETV stated that the following: (i) Actions which may directly
industry. a significant environmental impact may or indirectly result in a significant increase
We note that we are permitting, but result from the use of batteries to power in the weight of a motor vehicle; and (ii)
not requiring, TPMSs to be wheel module pressure sensors in many actions which may directly or indirectly
reprogrammable. Although we are TPMSs. The following summarizes result in a significant adverse effect upon the
uncertain as to the exact details of ETV’s view of these purported negative aerodynamic drag of a motor vehicle;
system reprogrammability, we assume environmental impacts. According to (9) Any action that may directly or
indirectly result in a significant increase in
that it will be fairly easy for the service ETV, there are approximately 16 million
the amount of harmful emissions resulting
industry to reprogram TPMSs to new vehicle produced annually that from the operation of a motor vehicle;
accommodate different tires and rims. ultimately will be required to be (10) Any action that may directly or
We do not have any reason to believe equipped with a TPMS under the indirectly result in a significant increase in
that such information would be standard. If each vehicle has five tires either the use of or the exposure to toxic or
withheld from automotive service (including the spare) fitted with battery- hazardous materials in the manufacture,
providers. powered sensors, then there will be operation, or disposal of motor vehicles or
Regarding SEMA’s suggestion that approximately 80 million batteries motor vehicle equipment;
NHTSA require vehicle manufacturers introduced annually into the U.S. (11) Any action that may directly or
to comply with SAE and EU standards environment. Eventually, these batteries indirectly result in a significant increase in
governing the design of the wheel the problem of solid waste, as in the disposal
will lose their charge, and they (and the
of motor vehicles or motor vehicle
mounting pockets in order to facilitate chemicals contained therein) will be equipment;
transferal of sensors from the OE tires/ discarded. ETV expressed concern that
wheels to replacement tires/wheels, we toxic and corrosive chemicals in those 49 CFR 520.5(b)(8), (9), (10), and (11).
do not see a reason to impose such batteries could be released into the
design restrictions on manufacturers. environment. We believe that none of the purported
In addition, we believe that there are According to ETV, in developing the impacts cited by ETV rise to the level of
other available options for replacement final rule, NHTSA should carefully ‘‘significantly affecting the quality of the
of TPMS sensors without imposing such consider the impacts of requiring human environment.’’ According to
design restrictions. As we understand, systems that will use chemical power ETV, a requirement for a TPMS would
there are two primary methods of sources, particularly given the result in tires operating at proper
mounting a direct TPMS sensor on a standard’s broad applicability. Instead, pressures, thereby leading to lower
rim. The first option is to produce a ETV argued in favor of a requirement for levels of air pollution (through
mold for the rim that includes a small a batteryless TPMS, which ETV believes improved fuel economy) and reduced
cut-out area for the TPMS sensor. The is practical, safe and economically tire disposal rates (through increased
other option is to utilize a strap to hold viable. tread life). As discussed in the FRIA, we
the sensor to the rim. If aftermarket In the preamble to the NPRM, the believe that installation of a TPMS in
manufacturers do not receive specific agency certified that it has analyzed the light vehicles will result in an average
information on the cut-out area or if TPMS rulemaking for the purposes of savings of 22–27 gallons of gasoline over
they wish to produce a more generic the National Environmental Policy Act the life of the vehicle, depending upon
mold that could be used on any vehicle (NEPA) and that the agency has the type installed. This equated to
with the same size tires, they could determined that implementation of this roughly two fill-ups, which would be
choose to use a strap to secure the action would not have any significant expected to result in an average annual
TPMS sensor. We estimate that four impact on the quality of the human emissions reduction of 0.90–1.10
straps might cost approximately $4, environment. Even after having million metric cubic tons of carbon
which is not very expensive as considered ETV’s comments regarding equivalent (see p. V–60 of the FRIA).
compared to the cost for replacement the environmental impacts of our While these benefits in terms of reduced
rims, so we believe that aftermarket rim proposal, for the reasons that follow, we emissions are welcome, they would not
suppliers could readily apply the strap stand by our tentative conclusion that significantly change the overall level of
method without a significant economic this action would not have any emissions from automotive point
impact. significant impact on the quality of the sources. In addition, such positive
human environment. impacts would not necessitate
9. Environmental Impacts NHTSA has implemented the preparation of an environmental impact
ETV commented that the final rule requirements of NEPA through our statement under our regulations
should include an expanded discussion regulations at 49 CFR Part 520, pursuant to NEPA.

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18176 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

Regarding increased tread life, we 3.25 billion batteries already in use, recalibration costs, nor did it provide
believe that installation of a TPMS will yields an increase of 2.18 percent. We any evidence to demonstrate the
result in average tire tread life being believe that this increase is not consumers would not be willing to
increased by 740–900 miles per tire, significant in terms of total battery use incur routine maintenance costs
depending upon the type installed (see and will not have a significant impact associated with their vehicle’s TPMS.
pp. V–61 to 67 of the FRIA). The average upon the quality of the human We encourage consumers to keep their
lifespan of tires, at current inflation environment. TPMS properly maintained in order to
levels, is 45,000 miles. Consequently, In addition, we believe that other receive ongoing benefits in terms of low
although installation of a TPMS may considerations further diminish these tire pressure warnings.
increase the life of tires, it is unlikely to impacts. First, TPMS sensor batteries (b) Tire Maintenance. In its
significantly impact the number of tires tend to be extremely small in size, a comments, ETRTO expressed concern
required over the life of the fleet or the mere fraction of the size of the main that installation of a TPMS in a vehicle
number of tires ultimately reaching their engine battery present in every vehicle. may result in less preventive tire
final resting place in a landfill. Thus, from a volume standpoint, these maintenance (e.g., regular pressure and
However, any increases in tire life batteries would be expected to add very wear checks) because drivers may rely
would be positive impacts that would little to existing landfills, either in terms upon the TPMS to inform them when
not necessitate preparation of an of their volume or chemical content. tire service is necessary. (Similar
environmental impact statement under Furthermore, we believe that the comments were provided by NADA and
our regulations pursuant to NEPA. number of batteries used in TPMSs is SEMA.) According to the commenters,
Finally, we turn to the issue of the likely to decrease over time. We such a result would be contrary to the
incorporation of chemical batteries in understand that new, batteryless TPMS agency’s goals related to tire safety.
direct TPMSs that will eventually technologies have been developed, and NADA argued that the NPRM did not
require disposal. NHTSA’s current manufacturers will have strong adequately address the issue of whether
information suggests that most vehicle incentives to migrate to such systems TPMSs will necessitate tire installers/
manufacturers will comply with the both in terms of decreasing costs and rotators to maintain existing rim
requirements of the TPMS standard by minimizing maintenance issues for positions and that it failed to analyze
installing a direct TPMS that utilizes customers. We also understand that the nature and extent to which TPMS
batteries in sensors mounted in each of indirect TPMSs are becoming available functions may be impacted when rims
the vehicle’s wheels. If we expect, upon which can meet the requirements of the are replaced. NADA expressed concern
completion of the phase-in, 17 million standard without the need for batteries. that having to rotate tires off the rims
light vehicles would be certified to the Furthermore, if hybrid systems are could significantly increase the cost of
standard each year, that would mean developed, the number of batteries for a tire rotations (which presumably could
that 68 million batteries would be used. given TPMS could be cut in half. impact the regularity of rotations).
If manufacturers choose to also equip For these reasons, we continue to Under the TREAD Act, Congress
full-size spare tires with a TPMS sensor believe that the TPMS rulemaking will directed the Secretary of Transportation
(15 percent anticipated), the number of not have any significant impact on the to promulgate a regulation to require
batteries used would rise to 71 million. quality of the human environment. installation of TPMSs in new motor
However, we do not believe that vehicles, a responsibility that was
10. Maintenance Issues subsequently delegated to NHTSA. As a
requiring TPMSs, which may be
equipped with batteries, would have a (a) TPMS Maintenance. Aviation result, NHTSA does not have discretion
significant impact on the quality of the Upgrade Technologies commented that vis-à-vis this TPMS mandate. However,
human environment, as ETV suggests. most consumers will not spend money NHTSA has stated many times that the
To start, the number of batteries to maintain the functionality of the TPMS is not a substitute for regular tire
attributable to TPMSs would result in TPMS, and it argued that because the maintenance, and as part of this final
only a modest increase in the number of system is unlikely to last the life of the rule, we have reiterated such a
batteries sold. In 1998, the U.S. EPA vehicle without needing maintenance or statement in the required owner’s
estimated that approximately 3 billion 54 repair, the safety benefits associated manual language.
industrial and household batteries were with the TPMS may be lost at some Although the presence of a TPMS in
sold. point. The commenter asserted that the vehicle may cause some drivers to
NHTSA believes that battery usage is indirect TPMSs would need to be become more complacent and to check
a function of population. Given that the recalibrated each time tires are changed their tire pressure less regularly, we
population was roughly 270,248,000 55 or rotated and that recalibration would believe that this potential, negative
in 1998 and 293,028,000 56 in 2004, to cost the consumer $100 per episode. consequence would be outweighed by
arrive at a more current estimate, we This comment does not comport with the positive impact of having the system
proportionately increased the batteries our understanding of how indirect provide a warning to all drivers,
sold by multiplying the 1998 figure by TPMSs operate, and Aviation Upgrade particularly those who seldom or never
the fractional increase in population or Technologies was alone in making this checked their tire pressure.
3,000,000,000 x [293,028,000 point. It is our understanding from our Regarding NADA’s comments on the
270,248,000], which results in a 2004 review of indirect TPMSs that potential consequences of allowing
estimate of 3.25 billion batteries. recalibration is a normal part of the vehicle manufacturers to specify in the
Adding the estimate of 71 million system’s operations after tires are owner’s manual that original rim
additional batteries as a result of a changed or rotated, although it may be positions must be maintained, we do
battery-powered TPMS to the estimated necessary to reset the system in not believe that this situation is likely
accordance with instructions in the to occur with significant frequency or
54 See http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/
vehicle’s owners manual. Furthermore, that it would impose significant burdens
reduce/epr/products/batteries.html.
55 See http://www.census.gov/population/
Aviation Upgrade Technologies did not when it does arise. For example,
estimates/nation/intfile3–1.txt. provide any evidence, beyond its indirect TPMSs would not be expected
56 See http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/ assertion, to demonstrate that the to experience any problems associated
factbook/geos/us.html. consumer would encounter such with tire rotation.

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Several types of direct TPMSs have direct TPMS sensor is in place in or feature. In the final rule, we recognize
radio frequency receivers that identify around the tires, because we believe that that manual reset, where applicable,
sensors by their location on the vehicle. such a requirement is unnecessary and may be relevant to system calibration
If the location of a particular sensor is would provide no safety benefit. The and extinguishment of the low tire
changed, the sensor still will provide commenters did not provide any pressure telltale, but we will leave the
low tire pressure or TPMS malfunction evidence to demonstrate that details of the operation of reset for
data as designed when there is a general technicians have been unable to locate individual systems to the discretion of
TPMS warning telltale. However, if the and service direct TPMSs currently vehicle manufacturers.
vehicle is equipped with a TPMS installed on vehicles or that they would
13. Educational Efforts
telltale that identifies the vehicle be unable to do so in the future. In
location of the tire with low pressure, contrast, we believe that as such A number of commenters (AAA,
tire and rim relocation (i.e., rotation) systems become more prevalent in the DaimlerChrysler, EnTire, VW/Audi)
may result in the TPMS receiver not vehicle fleet, service providers will raised the issue of consumer education
knowing the proper location of the tire/ become increasingly aware of the regarding the importance of proper tire
rim combination. However, for many potential presence of TPMS sensors and maintenance and the role of the TPMS.
systems, the sensors can be ‘‘retrained’’ will exercise due care when servicing For example, AAA recommended that
to their new positions on the vehicle the vehicle. NHTSA, manufacturers, and the traffic
after being rotated, and the telltale will We are not adopting TIA’s safety community must continue to
identify the proper tire/rim position. recommendation that we mandate a aggressively educate motorists as to the
Therefore, the tires on most TPMSs will specific location for TPMS sensors. We importance of proper tire maintenance,
not need to be separated from the rim believe that such an approach would be in order to ensure that the presence of
for normal tire rotation as a result of this unnecessarily design restrictive, could a TPMS does not lull motorists into a
retraining capability. increase costs, and would provide no false sense of security.
For these reasons, we have decided to appreciable benefit. DaimlerChrysler commented that it is
adopt the proposed requirement for rim important for NHTSA, automobile
12. Definitions manufacturers, and tire manufacturers
position under S5.3.3. Therefore, in
conducting compliance testing, the (a) ‘‘Tires’’. Sumitomo commented to work together to educate the public
vehicle rims may be positioned at any that although the NPRM expressed the about how TPMSs work and about such
wheel position, consistent with any agency’s intention to require vehicle systems’ limitations. DaimlerChrysler
related instructions or limitations in the manufacturers to assure compliance requested that the agency help improve
vehicle owner’s manual. with FMVSS No. 138 only with the tires consumer understanding of the
installed on the vehicle at the time of importance of regular tire inspections
11. Markings for Vehicles With Direct initial vehicle sale, there is no and maintenance, and it suggested that
TPMSs corresponding provision in the NHTSA may be able to work with the
SEMA recommended that NHTSA regulatory text of the standard. To vehicle supply and maintenance
require a means of identifying vehicles address this matter, Sumitomo industries to improve the availability
equipped with a direct TPMS, so that recommended that the final rule should and convenience of facilities for
individuals working in the service and incorporate this limitation under S1, checking and correcting tire inflation
repair industry will be able to tell Purpose and Scope, and also define the pressure levels.
whether a direct TPMS sensor is in term ‘‘tires’’ as ‘‘the tires installed on NADA stated that outreach efforts
place in or around the tires. According the vehicle at the time of initial sale’’ should be extended to tire installers as
to SEMA, its suggestion may prevent under S3, Definitions. well.
damage to the TPMS sensors when the Consistent with the preamble of the As noted in the NPRM, NHTSA
tires are dismounted or mounted. SEMA NPRM, this final rule provides that the supports industry efforts to make the
stated that such marking should be TPMS must function properly with the public aware of the importance of
implemented in a manner that does not tires installed on the vehicle at the time proper tire maintenance, including
impose unnecessary burdens and costs of initial sale, and that the TPMS is not maintaining adequate tire inflation
on the tire and wheel industry, such as required to function with the spare tire. pressure. The agency has produced a
through permanent markings that would We agree with Sumitomo that these tire safety brochure in conjunction with
require retooling or new molds. Instead, topics should be addressed in the tire manufacturers and tire dealers that
SEMA suggested that one low-cost regulatory text. Therefore, we are adding is titled, ‘‘Tire Safety, Everything Rides
option might be to require that vehicles a new paragraph to S5.3, Vehicle On It.’’ This brochure is part of a public
equipped with a direct TPMS must have Conditions, related to tires. In that new campaign to provide information on tire
a unique, standardized valve stem paragraph, S5.3.7, Tires, we are pressure monitoring, tire inspection,
retaining nut that is distinctive by clarifying that testing under S6 will be and the selection of replacement tires.
special color or design. conducted with the tires installed at the The brochure also stresses the
In its comments, TIA made similar time of initial vehicle sale, excluding importance of tires to overall vehicle
arguments regarding the need to require the spare tire (if provided). However, a performance.
coding of the wheels or tires to let spare tire could be installed for TPMS
automotive professionals know that a 14. Alternative Systems
malfunction testing purposes.
direct TPMS sensor is in place. TIA (b) ‘‘Manual Reset’’. Sumitomo asked Aviation Upgrade Technologies
expressed support for the recommended the agency to define the term ‘‘manual requested that NHTSA reconsider its
approach contained in SEMA’s reset’’ as ‘‘an operation to extinguish the tentative decision not to permit TPMS
comments. TIA also stated that TPMS warning lamp or warning messages.’’ systems with indicators on a vehicle’s
sensor location should be standardized. According to Sumitomo, manual reset tire valve stems. The NPRM declined to
We have decided not to adopt SEMA’s should not include the start of accommodate such systems because
and TIA’s recommendations to require a calibration. they cannot provide a low pressure
specialized design feature to alert We do not believe that it is necessary warning to the driver while the vehicle
service and repair personnel when a to define the operation of a manual reset is in motion.

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Aviation Upgrade Technologies include an on-board telltale as part of might cause the driver to ignore TPMS
argued that its valve cap system meets the final rule. warnings. Alternatively, ETV argued
the letter and intent of the TREAD Act that those factors could cause the TPMS
15. Over-Inflation Detection
and actually outperforms other types of low pressure telltale to fail to
TPMSs by measuring actual tire ETV commented that, although illuminate, thereby resulting in a false
pressure and functions before the requiring the TPMS to monitor high sense of security on the part of the
vehicle begins moving. Aviation pressure is as important as monitoring driver.
Upgrade Technologies also stated that as low pressure, the NPRM did not We have decided not to adopt
proposed, the TPMS standard would consider or address this issue. ETV requirements for temperature and
only benefit the wealthy, because the stated that manufacturers specify a safe altitude compensation because we
TPMSs that can meet the proposed maximum tire pressure, and that the believe that such requirements would
requirements are expensive. The final rule should address this aspect of introduce unnecessary complexity to
company’s comments essentially repeat vehicle safety. ETV’s comments the standard. Regarding temperature
its earlier arguments raised in its recommended an intermittently flashing correction, the test procedures for low
petition for reconsideration of the June yellow telltale warning when the tire pressure detection in the final rule
2002 final rule for TPMS. vehicle’s tires are within five percent of have been amended to compensate for
For the reasons expressed in the their maximum inflation pressure and tire pressure fluctuation. Tires will be
NPRM, we have decided not to permit an intermittently flashing red telltale deflated to testing pressure within five
TPMS systems with indicators on a when the vehicle’s tires have exceeded minutes after a 20-minute period of
vehicle’s tire valve stems. We will the maximum inflation pressure. driving, which will ensure that the tire
briefly restate our reasoning, which is as We have decided not to adopt a pressure will not rise above the telltale
follows. First, we believe that the requirement for over-inflation detection activation pressure during the
language of and the safety need for the following reasons. First, the remainder of the test.
addressed by section 13 of the TREAD TREAD required a rulemaking to detect Regarding altitude correction, we do
Act would be best satisfied by requiring a significantly under-inflated tire, not not believe that altitude will be a
that the TPMS warning display be over-inflated tires, so such a significant factor in tire pressure
inside the motor vehicle in order to requirement is arguably outside the fluctuation. We expect that the effect of
indicate to the driver when a tire is scope of this rulemaking. Furthermore, atmospheric pressure on tire pressure
significantly under-inflated. We believe we are not aware of vehicle safety data will not result in more than a 5-percent
that external TPMS warning indicators reporting over-inflated tires as a change in tire pressure over the
do not provide a clear, timely, and significant safety hazard. In addition, atmospheric pressure extremes
effective safety warning, as compared to available information does not suggest encountered during normal driving.
TPMS indicators in the vehicle’s that over-inflation has the same safety We note further that ETV did not
occupant compartment. implications as under-inflation, which provide any data to demonstrate the
Specifically, TPMSs with external causes heat buildup in a tire, potentially need for either temperature or
indicators cannot provide a warning to leading to permanent tire damage and atmospheric compensation.
the driver about low tire inflation sudden failure. 17. System Longevity
pressure with the vehicle is in
operation, which is the most critical 16. Temperature and Altitude ETV commented that the TPMS safety
time period from a safety perspective. If Compensation system should be required to last for the
a vehicle developed a significant ETV requested that the agency life of the vehicle, which ETV stated is
pressure loss while it is being driven, reconsider its tentative decision in the usually about ten years. ETV’s
the driver would not receive a prompt NPRM to not include a requirement for comments expressed particular
warning from a valve stem system and temperature compensation as part of the skepticism toward battery-dependent
is unlikely to be aware of the under- TPMS standard. ETV argued that the TPMSs, which it suggests are likely to
inflation problem. standard must provide temperature fail in under ten years, and it argued
Even in cases in which the vehicle is compensation when the TPMS that consumers may decide not to
stopped, we believe that external TPMS calculates tire pressure in order to replace the batteries or otherwise repair
warning indicators would not provide determine the need for activation of the the system late in the life of the vehicle.
as effective a warning as a TPMS telltale low pressure warning. According to ETV argued that operation of the vehicle
inside the occupant compartment. ETV, temperature compensation is in that state would frustrate the purpose
People routinely do not walk around needed to account for the rise in of the rule.
their vehicle prior to driving, so it is pressure (4 psi) from the cold-start, We are not adopting ETV’s suggestion
likely that many drivers would miss the ambient temperature to the normal for what amounts to a longevity
message provided when there is an running temperature. requirement for the vehicle’s TPMS,
under-inflated tire. Therefore, we ETV also stated that the TPMS should because we believe that such a
believe that valve cap devices would not be required to account for changes in requirement is both impracticable and
provide an adequate warning to the atmospheric pressure that accompany unnecessary. Vehicle systems and
driver. changing altitudes. ETV commented components routinely wear out over the
Second, NHTSA also finds benefit to that such atmospheric pressure changes life of a vehicle, although the frequency
the centralization of warning indicators could change tire pressure by as much may vary. For example, drivers may
in a single, highly visible location, as 10 psi. need to replace their wiper blades
where they can provide important ETV argued that the TPMS should several times over the life of the vehicle,
safety-related information to the driver. make the necessary adjustments to to replace their timing belt once, but
Historically, NHTSA has required safety account for temperature, altitude, and perhaps never need to replace their
warnings to be provided to the vehicle load prior to vehicle motion in order to transmission. It is simply not reasonable
operator inside the vehicle. prevent nuisance warnings that may to expect vehicle manufacturers to
Therefore, we have decided not to result from daily and seasonal variations certify that a system, such as the TPMS,
accommodate TPMSs that do not in those factors and which eventually will function for the life of the vehicle.

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Instead, we believe that consumer has been submitted to the Docket under tire pressure warning by re-inflating
expectations and market competition the docket number for this notice. their tires to the recommended placard
will ensure that manufacturers provide The purpose of the FRIA is to reassess pressure.
TPMSs that are reasonably robust. the costs and benefits of TPMS Based upon this assumption and
Furthermore, ETV has provided no requirements, particularly in light of our depending upon the specific technology
evidence to demonstrate that consumers resolution of the replacement tire issue chosen for compliance, the agency
would not take the necessary steps to and the requirement for a TPMS estimates that the total quantified safety
keep their TPMS functioning (even for malfunction indicator. (The FRIA states benefits from reductions in crashes due
systems with battery-powered sensors) that incorporation of a TPMS to skidding/loss of control, stopping
or that the service industry would be malfunction indicator may save an distance, and flat tires and blowouts
unable to provide adequate TPMS additional two equivalent lives, will be 119–121 fatalities prevented and
repair. assuming a one-percent malfunction 8,373–8,568 injuries prevented or
rate for replacement tires.) In addition, reduced in severity each year, if all light
18. Harmonization the FRIA examines various technologies vehicles meet the TPMS requirement.
The EC commented that the United suitable for compliance with the Further, NHTSA anticipates
Nations (UN) World Forum on standard, as well as additional additional economic benefits from the
Harmonization of Motor Vehicle regulatory alternatives considered by standard due to improved fuel economy,
Regulations has begun a global technical the agency. It also discusses the longer tread life, property damage
regulation (GTR) on tires. Accordingly, uncertainties analyses and sensitivities savings, and travel delay savings.
the EC requested that the United States analyses conducted by the agency as Correct tire pressure improves a
adapt TPMS requirements in the future part of the FRIA, as required by OMB vehicle’s fuel economy. Based upon
to reflect the work of this international Circular A–4, Regulatory Analysis, data provided by Goodyear, we have
body. which was issued in September 2003. determined that a vehicle’s fuel
The following discussion summarizes
NHTSA will follow closely efficiency is reduced by one percent for
the benefits associated with this final
international efforts related to tires and every 2.96 psi that its tires are below the
rule and its four-tire, 25-percent under-
TPMSs, including the activities of the placard pressure. The agency estimates
inflation detection requirement.
UN World Forum on Harmonization of that if all light vehicles meet the TPMS
Estimates of monetary impact (both in
Motor Vehicle Regulations. To the requirement, vehicles’ higher fuel
the section V. Benefits and section VI.
extent that a GTR or a consensus economy would translate into an
Costs) are presented using a 3-percent
standard related to TPMS becomes average discounted value of $19.07–
discount rate; however, the FRIA also
available, the agency will carefully $23.08 per vehicle over the lifetime of
presents these impacts using a 7-percent
consider what actions, if any, are the vehicle, depending upon the
discount rate.
necessary to amend FMVSS No. 138. The agency notes that the FRIA specific technology chosen for
estimates 90-percent confidence bounds compliance.
V. Benefits
for many of the benefit and cost Correct tire pressure also increases a
In preparing its June 5, 2002 final statistics. Those bounds reflect a 90- tire’s tread life. Data from Goodyear
rule, NHTSA prepared a Final Economic percent certainty level that the value is indicate that, for every 1-psi drop in tire
Analysis (FEA), which was placed in within that range (both for a 3-percent pressure, tread life decreases by 1.78
the docket.57 In that document, we and a 7-percent discount rate). However, percent. NHTSA estimates that if all
discussed the costs and benefits of both to simplify the discussion here, we are light vehicles meet the four-tire, 25-
the four-tire, 25-percent option and the presenting the mean values for the percent compliance requirement,
one-tire, 30-percent option incorporated benefit estimates in this section and the average tread life would increase by 740
in that final rule. However, in Public cost estimates in the next section, with to 900 miles. The agency estimates that
Citizen, Inc. v. Mineta, the Second the ranges below reflecting differences the average discounted value of
Circuit determined that the TREAD Act in the mean values based upon resulting delays in new tire purchases
requires TPMSs to be four-tire systems manufacturers’ technology selection. would be $3.42–$4.24 per vehicle,
and invalidated the one-tire, 30-percent The mean values are our best estimates. depending upon the specific technology
option. Accordingly, that option has not Please consult the FRIA for a more chosen for compliance.
been included in this final rule. complete discussion of benefits and To the extent that TPMSs provide
Although the FEA included analyses costs. The full ranges of benefits and improvements related to stopping
related to TPMSs with a four-tire, 25- costs, as well as their 90-percent distance, blowouts, and loss of control
percent under-inflation detection confidence bounds, can be found in the in skidding, we expect that some
capability (the same performance FRIA’s uncertainty analysis (Chapter X). crashes would be prevented and that in
standard required in this final rule), Under-inflation of tires affects the others, the severity of the impacts and
circumstances have changed to a certain likelihood of many different types of the injuries that result would be
extent since the June 2002 final rule. crashes. These include crashes which reduced. As a related matter, we expect
New technologies are emerging (e.g., result from: (1) Skidding and/or losing that property damage and travel delays
batteryless direct TPMSs that could control of the vehicle in a curve, such would also be mitigated by these
greatly reduce maintenance costs for as a highway off-ramp, or in a lane- improvements. To the extent that
such systems), and new requirements change maneuver; (2) hydroplaning on a crashes are avoided, both property
have been adopted (e.g., requirement for wet surface, which can cause increases damage and travel delay would be
a TPMS malfunction indicator). in stopping distance and skidding or completely eliminated. Crashes that still
Accordingly, the agency has prepared a loss of control; (3) increases in stopping occur, but do so at less serious impact
new Final Regulatory Impact Analysis distance; (4) flat tires and blowouts, and speeds, would still cause property
to accompany this final rule for tire (5) overloading the vehicle. In assessing damage and delay other motorists, but
pressure monitoring systems. The FRIA the impact of this final rule on those to a lesser extent than they otherwise
crashes, the agency assumes that 90 would have. The value of property
57 Docket No. NHTSA–2000–8572–216. percent of drivers will respond to a low damage and travel delay savings is

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18180 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

estimated to be from $7.70–$7.79 per Thus, the agency estimates that the Act unambiguously mandates TPMSs
vehicle. average incremental cost for all vehicles capable of monitoring each tire up to a
to meet the standard’s requirements total of four tires, effectively precluding
VI. Costs
would range from $48.44–$69.89 per any option with less than a four-tire
The FRIA also contains an in-depth vehicle, depending upon the specific detection capability. Further, the Court
analysis of the costs associated with the technology chosen for compliance. found that the agency had justification
TPMS standard. It analyzes the cost of Since approximately 17 million vehicles for adopting a four-tire, 25-percent
different TPMS technologies, overall are produced for sale in the U.S. each option instead of the four-tire, 20-
vehicle costs, maintenance costs, testing year, the total annual vehicle cost is percent option proposed at an earlier
costs, and opportunity costs. The FRIA expected to range from approximately stage of the rulemaking.
also analyzes the cost impact of the $823–$1,188 million per year. Although NHTSA is requiring a 25
requirement for a TPMS malfunction The agency estimates that the net cost percent below placard threshold for
warning and its effectiveness in per vehicle [vehicle cost + maintenance under-inflation detection, technically,
resolving the replacement tire issue.58 costs + opportunity costs—(fuel savings other threshold levels could also be
Again, please consult the FRIA for a + tread life savings + property damage established. Selecting an appropriate
more complete discussion of costs.59 and travel delay savings)] would be notification threshold level is a matter
The following points summarize the key $26.63–$100.25, assuming a one-percent of balancing the safety benefits achieved
determinations related to costs. TPMS malfunction rate for replacement by alerting consumers to low tire
The agency examined three types of tires. (Maintenance costs would be pressure against over-alerting them to
technology that manufacturers could variable, depending upon whether the the point of becoming a nuisance and
use to meet the TPMS requirements. TPMS has batteries or is batteryless.) As causing consumers to ignore the
Assuming that manufacturers will seek noted above, the agency estimates the warning, thus negating the potential of
to minimize compliance costs, the total annual vehicle cost for the fleet the standard to produce safety benefits.
agency expects that manufacturers would be about $823–$1,188 million. Degradation in vehicle braking and
would install hybrid TPMSs on the 67 Thus, using the same equation, the handling performance does not become
percent of vehicles that are currently agency estimates the total annual net a significant safety issue at small
equipped with an ABS and direct cost would be about $453–$1,704 pressure losses. There does not appear
TPMSs on the 33 percent of vehicles million. to be a specific threshold level at which
that are not so equipped. The highest NHTSA estimates that the net cost per benefits are maximized by a
costs for compliance would result if a equivalent life saved would be combination of minimum reduction in
manufacturer installed direct TPMSs approximately $2.3–$8.5 million, placard pressure and maximum
with an interactive readout of depending upon the specific technology response by drivers. NHTSA is
individual tire pressures that included chosen for compliance. Placing 90- confident that existing technology can
sensors on all vehicle wheels. percent confidence bounds around the meet the 25 percent threshold.
In the near term, the agency believes cost per equivalent life saved results in Setting a lower threshold might have
that a direct system with a generic a range of $1.5–$14.5 million. resulted in the opportunity for more
warning lamp (Option 2) is the most Net benefits-costs (i.e., benefits, savings if drivers’ response levels were
likely option to be selected by including fatalities and injuries, valued maintained; however, we are concerned
automobile manufacturers. To date, no in dollars minus costs) were also that setting a lower threshold could
one has produced a hybrid system calculated per OMB Circular A–4. The result in a higher rate of non-response
(Option 3) and responses to requests for value of a statistical life is uncertain, by drivers who regard the more frequent
information from the manufacturers and a wide range of values has been notifications as a nuisance. Current
resulted in most indicating that they established in the literature. (In general, direct TPMS systems have a margin of
were planning on using direct systems. the statistical value of a life is valued in error of 1–2 psi. That means, for
Individual tire pressure displays the range of $1 million to $10 million example, that for a 30-psi tire,
(Option 1) are more costly than a per life, with a midpoint of $5.5 manufacturers would have to set the
warning light and are not required by million.) For this analysis, we have system to provide a warning when tires
the final rule, but some manufacturers examined values of $3.5 million and are 4 psi below placard if we had
may choose them for their higher priced $5.5 million, both of which fall within decided to require a 20 percent
models. In the long run, the agency the range of accepted values. The mean threshold. We have concluded that this
suspects that price pressure and further value for net benefits-costs ranges of the may be approaching a level at which a
development of tire pressure monitoring TPMS standard from a net cost of $597 portion of the driving public would
systems could result in hybrid or million to a net benefit of $655 million, begin to regard the warning as a
indirect systems meeting the final rule depending upon the specific technology nuisance. We have not examined lower
and being introduced. chosen for compliance. A 90-percent threshold levels in this analysis because
confidence bound around the net we believe that the net impact of these
58 As noted in the discussion of benefits in the
benefits-costs results in a range from a offsetting factors (quicker notification,
section immediately above, the following
discussion of costs estimates monetary impacts net cost of $1,156 million to a net but lower frequency of driver response)
using a 3-percent discount rate and provides the benefit of $1,302 million. is unknown and unlikely to produce a
mean values for cost statistics based upon significant difference in safety benefits.
manufacturers’ technology selection. The mean VII. Regulatory Alternatives We note that a four-tire, 20-percent
values are our best estimates. However, the FRIA The performance requirements
provides a full range of costs, as well as their 90-
option was examined in our March 2002
percent confidence bounds, and it also presents specified in this final rule contain two analysis, and that the total benefit for
these impacts using a 7-percent discount rate. key variables: (1) The number of tires the 20 percent threshold was about 15
59 With future technological development, it may monitored and (2) the threshold level percent higher than from the 25 percent
become possible for indirect TPMSs and other types for providing tire pressure warnings. As threshold. However, that calculation
of systems to meet the four-tire, 25-percent
requirement. However, until such new, compliant
noted elsewhere in this preamble, the assumed the same level of driver
TPMSs are developed, it is impossible to accurately Second Circuit determined in Public response for both thresholds. It is also
estimate their costs. Citizen, Inc. v. Mineta that the TREAD possible that lower thresholds might

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limit technology and discourage various TPMS technologies. We have safety because the TPMS standard will
innovation. also updated our cost and benefit provide a warning to the driver when
Overall, we have concluded that the analyses to account for new one or more tires become significantly
25 percent threshold adequately technologies emerging since issuance of under-inflated, thereby permitting the
captures the circumstances at which our prior notices in the ongoing TPMS driver to take corrective action in a
low tire pressure becomes a safety issue. rulemaking (e.g., batteryless direct timely fashion and potentially averting
We also believe that this level would be TPMSs). In sum, this document reflects crash-related injuries. Furthermore, by
acceptable to most drivers and would our consideration of all relevant, including a requirement for a TPMS
not be considered a nuisance to the available motor vehicle safety malfunction indicator, we expect that
point that it would be ignored by large information. the TPMS will be able to continue to
numbers of drivers. We also believe Second, to ensure that the TPMS provide low tire pressure warnings even
there is no reason to examine higher requirements are practicable, the agency after the vehicle’s original tires are
thresholds (e.g., a 30 percent threshold), considered the cost, availability, and replaced. The TPMS malfunction
since they would provide fewer benefits suitability of various TPMSs, consistent indicator will also alert the consumer as
for similar costs. with our safety objectives and the to when the system is unavailable to
requirements of the TREAD Act. We detect low tire pressure and is
VIII. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
note that TPMSs are already installed on potentially in need of repair.
A. Vehicle Safety Act many light vehicles, so we believe that Finally, we believe that this final rule
Under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301, Motor it will be practicable to extend a TPMS is reasonable and appropriate for motor
Vehicle Safety (49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.), requirement to all light vehicles. In light vehicles subject to the applicable
the Secretary of Transportation is of the steady advances made in TPMS requirements. As discussed elsewhere
responsible for prescribing motor technologies over the past few years, we in this notice, the agency is addressing
vehicle safety standards that are expect that vehicle manufacturers soon Congress’ concern that significantly
practicable, meet the need for motor will have a number of technological under-inflated tires could lead to tire
vehicle safety, and are stated in choices available for meeting the failures resulting in fatalities and
objective terms.60 These motor vehicle requirements of the final rule for TPMS. serious injuries. Under the TREAD Act,
safety standards set a minimum In sum, we believe that this final rule is Congress mandated installation of a
standard for motor vehicle or motor practicable and will provide several system in new vehicles to alert the
vehicle equipment performance.61 benefits, including prevention of deaths driver when a tire is significantly under-
When prescribing such standards, the and injuries associated with inflated, and NHTSA has determined
Secretary must consider all relevant, significantly under-inflated tires, that TPMSs meeting the requirements of
available motor vehicle safety increased tread life, fuel economy this final rule offer an effective
information.62 The Secretary also must savings, and savings associated with countermeasure in these situations.
consider whether a proposed standard is avoidance of property damage and Accordingly, we believe that this final
reasonable, practicable, and appropriate travel delays (i.e., from crashes rule is appropriate for covered vehicles
for the type of motor vehicle or motor prevented by the TPMS). that are or would become subject to
Third, the regulatory text following these provisions of FMVSS No. 138
vehicle equipment for which it is
this preamble is stated in objective because it furthers the agency’s
prescribed and the extent to which the
terms in order to specify precisely what objective of preventing deaths and
standard will further the statutory
performance is required and how serious injuries associated with
purpose of reducing traffic accidents performance will be tested to ensure
and associated deaths.63 The significantly under-inflated tires.
compliance with the standard.
responsibility for promulgation of Specifically, the final rule sets forth B. Executive Order 12866 and DOT
Federal motor vehicle safety standards performance requirements for operation Regulatory Policies and Procedures
has been delegated to NHTSA.64 of the TPMS, both in terms of detecting Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory
As noted previously, section 13 of the
and providing warnings related to low Planning and Review’’ (58 FR 51735,
TREAD Act mandated a regulation to
tire pressure and system malfunction. October 4, 1993), provides for making
require a tire pressure monitoring The final rule also includes test determinations whether a regulatory
system in new vehicles. In developing requirements for TPMS calibration, low action is ‘‘significant’’ and therefore
this final rule for TPMS, the agency tire pressure detection, and TPMS subject to OMB review and to the
carefully considered the statutory malfunction. This test involves driving requirements of the Executive Order.
requirements of both the TREAD Act the vehicle under a defined set of test The Order defines a ‘‘significant
and 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301. conditions (e.g., ambient temperature,
First, this proposal is preceded by an regulatory action’’ as one that is likely
road test surface, test weight, vehicle to result in a rule that may:
initial NPRM, a final rule, and a second speed, rim position, brake pedal (1) Have an annual effect on the
NPRM, all of which facilitated the application) on a designated road course economy of $100 million or more or
efforts of the agency to obtain and in San Angelo, Texas. The test course adversely affect in a material way the
consider relevant motor vehicle safety has been used for several years by economy, a sector of the economy,
information, as well as public NHTSA and the tire industry for productivity, competition, jobs, the
comments. Further, in preparing this uniform tire quality grading testing. The environment, public health or safety, or
document, the agency carefully standard’s test procedures carefully State, local, or Tribal governments or
evaluated available research, testing delineate how testing will be conducted. communities;
results, and other information related to Thus, the agency believes that this test (2) Create a serious inconsistency or
60 49
procedure is sufficiently objective and otherwise interfere with an action taken
U.S.C. 30111(a).
61 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(9).
would not result in any uncertainty as or planned by another agency;
62 49 U.S.C. 30111(b). to whether a given vehicle satisfies the (3) Materially alter the budgetary
63 Id. requirements of the TPMS standard. impact of entitlements, grants, user fees,
64 49 U.S.C. 105 and 322; delegation of authority Fourth, we believe that this final rule or loan programs or the rights and
at 49 CFR 1.50. will meet the need for motor vehicle obligations of recipients thereof; or

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(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues factual basis for certifying that a rule installation of different tires and rims.
arising out of legal mandates, the will not have a significant economic In addition, we believe that there are
President’s priorities, or the principles impact on a substantial number of small other low-cost options for maintenance
set forth in the Executive Order. entities. and repair of TPMS sensors, such as
Since the June 5, 2002 final rule, to NHTSA has considered the effects of strap mounting direct TPMS sensors to
which this final rule is directly related, this final rule under the Regulatory the vehicle’s rims. For all these reasons,
was determined to be economically Flexibility Act. I certify that this final we believe that the final rule will not
significant, the agency prepared and rule would not have a significant result in a significant economic impact
placed in the docket a Final Economic economic impact on a substantial upon aftermarket sellers of tires and
Analysis. This final rule likewise was number of small entities. The rationale rims or the vehicle service industry.
determined to be economically for this certification is that currently (For further discussion related to these
significant. As a significant notice, it there are only four small motor vehicle entities, see section IV.C.8 of this
was reviewed under Executive Order manufacturers (i.e., only four with fewer notice.)
12866. The rule is also significant than 1,000 employees) in the United We also analyzed the impact of this
within the meaning of the Department States that will have to comply with this proposal on 14 identified suppliers of
of Transportation’s Regulatory Policies final rule. These manufacturers are TPMS systems. However, of these
and Procedures. The agency has expected to rely on suppliers to provide companies, only three have fewer than
estimated that compliance with this the TPMS hardware, and then they 750 employees. Of these three
final rule will cost $823–$1,188 million would integrate the TPMS into their companies, one (SmarTire) has its
per year, since approximately 17 million vehicles. headquarters located outside of the
vehicles are produced for the United There are a few small manufacturers United States, and another (Cycloid) has
States market each year. Thus, this rule of recreational vehicles that will have to only ten employees and outsources the
would have greater than a $100 million comply with this final rule. However, manufacturing of its products.
effect. most of these manufacturers use van In conclusion, the agency believes
As noted above, this final rule was chassis supplied by the larger that this final rule will not have a
necessitated by the August 6, 2003 manufacturers (e.g., GM, Ford, or significant economic impact upon a
opinion of the Court of Appeals for the DaimlerChrysler) and could use the substantial number of small businesses.
Second Circuit in Public Citizen, Inc. v. TPMSs supplied with the chassis. These
D. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
Mineta. In that case, the court manufacturers should not have to test
determined that the TREAD Act requires the TPMS for compliance with this final Executive Order 13132, ‘‘Federalism’’
TPMSs to be four-tire systems, rule since they should be able to rely (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires
invalidated the one-tire, 30-percent upon the chassis manufacturer’s NHTSA to develop an accountable
option contained in the June 5, 2002 incomplete vehicle documentation. process to ensure ‘‘meaningful and
final rule, and vacated the standard. As Under the June 5, 2002 final rule, timely input by State and local officials
part of the final rule, NHTSA also has commenters expressed concerns about in the development of regulatory
responded substantively to public the impact upon aftermarket wheel and policies that have federalism
comments in response to the September rim manufacturers, many of which are implications.’’ ‘‘Policies that have
16, 2004 NPRM. Accordingly, the small businesses. These manufacturers federalism implications’’ are defined in
agency has prepared and placed in the were concerned that certain provisions the Executive Order to include
docket a Final Regulatory Impact of that final rule would have had the regulations that have ‘‘substantial direct
Analysis for this final rule. effect of restricting their ability to effects on the States, on the relationship
provide a full range of wheel and tire between the national government and
C. Regulatory Flexibility Act combinations to consumers, thereby the States, or on the distribution of
Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility negatively impacting their business. power and responsibilities among the
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., as amended by However, we believe that these concerns various levels of government.’’ Under
the Small Business Regulatory have largely been resolved by the final Executive Order 13132, the agency may
Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) of rule, which does not contain not issue a regulation with Federalism
1996), whenever an agency is required requirements for spare tires and implications, that imposes substantial
to publish a notice of rulemaking for aftermarket rims. direct compliance costs, and that is not
any proposed or final rule, it must We likewise do not believe that the required by statute, unless the Federal
prepare and make available for public final rule will have a significant impact government provides the funds
comment a regulatory flexibility upon small businesses within the necessary to pay the direct compliance
analysis that describes the effect of the automotive service industry, either for costs incurred by State and local
rule on small entities (i.e., small aftermarket sales or repair. As governments, the agency consults with
businesses, small organizations, and previously discussed, the agency does State and local governments, or the
small governmental jurisdictions). The not consider installation of an agency consults with State and local
Small Business Administration’s aftermarket or replacement tire or rim officials early in the process of
regulations at 13 CFR Part 121 define a that is not compatible with the TPMS to developing the proposed regulation.
small business, in part, as a business be a ‘‘make inoperative’’ situation under NHTSA also may not issue a regulation
entity ‘‘which operates primarily within 49 U.S.C. 30122, provided that the with Federalism implications and that
the United States.’’ (13 CFR 121.105(a)). entity does not disable the TPMS preempts a State law unless the agency
No regulatory flexibility analysis is malfunction indicator. As with other consults with State and local officials
required if the head of an agency vehicle systems, we expect that vehicle early in the process of developing the
certifies the rule will not have a manufacturers will make available regulation.
significant economic impact on a sufficient information to permit routine Although statutorily mandated, this
substantial number of small entities. maintenance and repair of such systems. final rule for TPMS was analyzed in
SBREFA amended the Regulatory We note also that we are permitting accordance with the principles and
Flexibility Act to require Federal TPMSs to be reprogrammable, which we criteria set forth in Executive Order
agencies to provide a statement of the expect would further accommodate 13132, and the agency determined that

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the rule would not have sufficient risks that disproportionately affect aggregate, or by the private sector, of
Federalism implications to warrant children, as would necessitate further more than $100 million annually
consultations with State and local analysis under Executive Order 13045. (adjusted for inflation with base year of
officials or the preparation of a 1995 (so currently about $112 million in
G. Paperwork Reduction Act
Federalism summary impact statement. 2001 dollars)). Before promulgating a
This final rule is not expected to have Under the Paperwork Reduction Act NHTSA rule for which a written
any substantial effects on the States, or of 1995 (PRA), a person is not required statement is needed, section 205 of the
on the current distribution of power and to respond to a collection of information UMRA generally requires the agency to
responsibilities among the various local by a Federal agency unless the identify and consider a reasonable
officials. collection displays a valid OMB control number of regulatory alternatives and
number. As part of this final rule, each adopt the least costly, most cost-
E. Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice of the estimated 21 affected vehicle
Reform) effective, or least burdensome
manufacturers is required to provide alternative that achieves the objectives
Pursuant to Executive Order 12988, one phase-in report for each of two of the rule. The provisions of section
‘‘Civil Justice Reform’’ (61 FR 4729, years, beginning in the fall of 2006. 205 do not apply when they are
February 7, 1996), the agency has Pursuant to the June 5, 2002 TPMS
inconsistent with applicable law.
considered whether this rulemaking final rule, the OMB has approved the
Moreover, section 205 allows the agency
would have any retroactive effect. This collection of information ‘‘Phase-In
to adopt an alternative other than the
final rule does not have any retroactive Production Reporting Requirements for
least costly, most cost-effective, or least
effect. Under 49 U.S.C. 30103, whenever Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems,’’
a Federal motor vehicle safety standard burdensome alternative if the agency
assigning it Control No. 2127–0631
is in effect, a State may not adopt or publishes with the final rule an
(expires 6/30/06). NHTSA has been
maintain a safety standard applicable to explanation of why that alternative was
given OMB clearance to collect a total
the same aspect of performance which not adopted.
of 42 hours a year (2 hours per
is not identical to the Federal standard, respondent) for the TPMS phase-in This final rule is not expected to
except to the extent that the State reporting. At an appropriate point, result in the expenditure by State, local,
requirement imposes a higher level of NHTSA may ask OMB for an extension or tribal governments, in the aggregate,
performance and applies only to of this clearance for an additional or more than $112 million annually, but
vehicles procured for the State’s use. 49 period of time. it is expected to result in an expenditure
U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for of that magnitude by vehicle
judicial review of final rules H. National Technology Transfer and manufacturers and/or their suppliers. In
establishing, amending, or revoking Advancement Act the June 5, 2002 final rule, the precursor
Federal motor vehicle safety standards. Section 12(d) of the National to the current final rule, the agency
That section does not require Technology Transfer and Advancement chose two compliance options (i.e.,
submission of a petition for Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104– four-tire, 25-percent and one-tire, 30-
reconsideration or other administrative 113, (15 U.S.C. 272) directs the agency percent) in order to minimize
proceedings before parties may file a to evaluate and use voluntary consensus compliance costs with the standard
suit in court. standards in its regulatory activities during the phase-in period.
unless doing so would be inconsistent However, the Second Circuit in Public
F. Executive Order 13045 (Protection of
with applicable law or is otherwise Citizen, Inc. v. Mineta struck down the
Children From Environmental Health
impractical. Voluntary consensus one-tire, 30-percent option. Thus, in this
and Safety Risks)
standards are technical standards (e.g., final rule, NHTSA is adopting a four-
Executive Order 13045, ‘‘Protection of materials specifications, test methods,
Children from Environmental Health tire, 25-percent requirement, which we
sampling procedures, and business believe is consistent with safety and the
and Safety Risks’’ (62 FR 19855, April practices) that are developed or adopted
23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) mandate in the TREAD Act. We note
by voluntary consensus standards that in promulgating a performance
Is determined to be ‘‘economically bodies, such as the Society of
significant’’ as defined under Executive standard, NHTSA has left the door open
Automotive Engineers. The NTTAA for an array of technologies that may be
Order 12866, and (2) concerns an directs us to provide Congress (through
environmental, health, or safety risk that used to meet the standard’s
OMB) with explanations when we requirements. With further TPMS
the agency has reason to believe may decide not to use available and
have a disproportionate effect on development, we expect that vehicle
applicable voluntary consensus manufacturers will have a number of
children. If the regulatory action meets standards. The NTTAA does not apply
both criteria, the agency must evaluate technological choices that will provide
to symbols. broad flexibility to minimize their costs
the environmental health or safety There are no voluntary consensus
effects of the planned rule on children, of compliance with the standard.
standards related to TPMS available at
and explain why the planned regulation this time. However, NHTSA will J. National Environmental Policy Act
is preferable to other potentially consider any such standards as they
effective and reasonably feasible become available. NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking
alternatives considered by the agency. action for the purposes of the National
Although the TPMS final rule has I. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Environmental Policy Act. The agency
been determined to be an economically Section 202 of the Unfunded has determined that implementation of
significant regulatory action under Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) this action will not have any significant
Executive Order 12866, the problems requires federal agencies to prepare a impact on the quality of the human
associated with under-inflated tires written assessment of the costs, benefits, environment. (See section IV.C.9 of this
equally impact all persons riding in a and other effects of proposed or final notice for further discussion of the
vehicle, regardless of age. Consequently, rules that include a Federal mandate environmental impacts of this final rule,
this final rule does not involve likely to result in the expenditure by in response to a related public
decisions based upon health and safety State, local, or tribal governments, in the comment.)

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K. Regulatory Identifier Number (RIN) List of Subjects in 49 CFR Parts 571 and a symbol designated in column 4 of that
585 table shall be identified by either the
The Department of Transportation symbol designated in column 4 (or
assigns a regulation identifier number Imports, Motor vehicle safety,
Reporting and recordkeeping symbol substantially similar in form to
(RIN) to each regulatory action listed in that shown in column 4) or the word or
requirements, Tires.
the Unified Agenda of Federal abbreviation shown in column 3. The
Regulations. The Regulatory Information ■ In consideration of the foregoing,
NHTSA is amending 49 CFR Parts 571 Low Tire Pressure Telltale (either the
Service Center publishes the Unified display identifying which tire has low
Agenda in April and October of each and 585 as follows:
pressure or the display which does not
year. You may use the RIN contained in PART 571—FEDERAL MOTOR identify which tire has low pressure)
the heading at the beginning of this VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS shall be identified by the appropriate
document to find this action in the symbol designated in column 4, or both
Unified Agenda. ■ 1. The authority citation for Part 571 of
the symbol in column 4 and the words
Title 49 continues to read as follows:
L. Privacy Act in column 3. Additional words or
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, symbols may be used at the
Please note that anyone is able to 30117, and 30166; delegation of authority at manufacturer’s discretion for the
49 CFR 1.50.
search the electronic form of all purpose of clarity. Any telltales used in
comments received into any of our ■ 2. Section 571.101 is amended by conjunction with a gauge need not be
dockets by the name of the individual revising paragraph S5.2.3 and Table 2 to identified. The identification required
submitting the comment (or signing the read as follows: or permitted by this section shall be
comment, if submitted on behalf of an placed on or adjacent to the display that
§ 571.101 Standard No. 101; Controls and
association, business, labor union, etc.). displays. it identifies. The identification of any
You may review DOT’s complete display shall, under the conditions of
* * * * *
Privacy Act Statement in the Federal S5.2.3 Except for the Low Tire S6, be visible to the driver and appear
Register published on April 11, 2000 Pressure Telltale, any display located to the driver perceptually upright.
(Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477– within the passenger compartment and * * * * *
78), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov. listed in column 1 of Table 2 that has BILLING CODE 4910–59–P

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■ 3. Section 571.138 is added to read as running, or until manually reset in telltale must be activated as a check of
follows: accordance with the vehicle lamp function either when the ignition
manufacturer’s instructions. locking system is activated to the ‘‘On’’
§ 571.138 Standard No. 138; Tire pressure S4.3 Low tire pressure warning (‘‘Run’’) position when the engine is not
monitoring systems.
telltale. running, or when the ignition locking
S1 Purpose and scope. This S4.3.1 Each tire pressure monitoring system is in a position between ‘‘On’’
standard specifies performance system must include a low tire pressure (‘‘Run’’) and ‘‘Start’’ that is designated
requirements for tire pressure warning telltale that: by the manufacturer as a check position.
monitoring systems (TPMSs) to warn (a) Is mounted inside the occupant (ii) The dedicated TPMS malfunction
drivers of significant under-inflation of compartment in front of and in clear telltale need not be activated when a
tires and the resulting safety problems. view of the driver; starter interlock is in operation.
S2 Application. This standard (b) Is identified by one of the symbols (c) Combination low tire pressure/
applies to passenger cars, multipurpose shown for the ‘‘Low Tire Pressure TPMS malfunction telltale. The vehicle
passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses Telltale’’ in Table 2 of Standard No. 101 meets the requirements of S4.4(a) when
that have a gross vehicle weight rating (49 CFR 571.101); and equipped with a combined Low Tire
of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or (c) Is illuminated under the Pressure/TPMS malfunction telltale
less, except those vehicles with dual conditions specified in S4.2. that:
wheels on an axle, according to the S4.3.2 In the case of a telltale that (1) Meets the requirements of S4.2
phase-in schedule specified in S7 of this identifies which tire(s) is (are) under- and S4.3; and
standard. inflated, each tire in the symbol for that (2) Flashes for a period of at least 60
S3 Definitions. The following telltale must illuminate when the tire it seconds but no longer than 90 seconds
definitions apply to this standard: represents is under-inflated to the extent upon detection of any condition
Lightly loaded vehicle weight means specified in S4.2. specified in S4.4(a) after the ignition
unloaded vehicle weight plus the S4.3.3 (a) Except as provided in locking system is activated to the ‘‘On’’
weight of a mass of 180 kg (396 pounds), paragraph (b) of this section, each low (‘‘Run’’) position. After this period of
including test driver and tire pressure warning telltale must prescribed flashing, the telltale must
instrumentation. illuminate as a check of lamp function remain continuously illuminated as
Tire pressure monitoring system either when the ignition locking system long as the malfunction exists and the
means a system that detects when one is activated to the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) ignition locking system is in the ‘‘On’’
or more of a vehicle’s tires is position when the engine is not (‘‘Run’’) position. This flashing and
significantly under-inflated and running, or when the ignition locking illumination sequence must be repeated
illuminates a low tire pressure warning system is in a position between ‘‘On’’ each time the ignition locking system is
telltale. (‘‘Run’’) and ‘‘Start’’ that is designated placed in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position
Vehicle Placard and Tire inflation by the manufacturer as a check position. until the situation causing the
pressure label mean the sources of (b) The low tire pressure warning malfunction has been corrected.
information for the vehicle telltale need not illuminate when a S4.5 Written instructions.
manufacturer’s recommended cold tire starter interlock is in operation. (a) The owner’s manual in each
inflation pressure pursuant to § 571.110 S4.4 TPMS malfunction. vehicle certified as complying with S4
of this Part. (a) The vehicle shall be equipped with must provide an image of the Low Tire
S4 Requirements. a tire pressure monitoring system that Pressure Telltale symbol (and an image
S4.1 General. To the extent provided includes a telltale that provides a of the TPMS Malfunction Telltale
in S7, each vehicle must be equipped warning to the driver not more than 20 warning (‘‘TPMS’’), if a dedicated
with a tire pressure monitoring system minutes after the occurrence of a telltale is utilized for this function) with
that meets the requirements specified in malfunction that affects the generation the following statement in English:
S4 under the test conditions specified in or transmission of control or response Each tire, including the spare (if provided),
S5 and the test procedures specified in signals in the vehicle’s tire pressure should be checked monthly when cold and
S6 of this standard. monitoring system. The vehicle’s TPMS inflated to the inflation pressure
S4.2 TPMS detection requirements. malfunction indicator shall meet the recommended by the vehicle manufacturer
The tire pressure monitoring system requirements of either S4.4(b) or S4.4(c). on the vehicle placard or tire inflation
must: (b) Dedicated TPMS malfunction pressure label. (If your vehicle has tires of a
(a) Illuminate a low tire pressure telltale. The vehicle meets the different size than the size indicated on the
warning telltale not more than 20 requirements of S4.4(a) when equipped vehicle placard or tire inflation pressure
minutes after the inflation pressure in with a dedicated TPMS malfunction label, you should determine the proper tire
one or more of the vehicle’s tires, up to inflation pressure for those tires.)
telltale that: As an added safety feature, your vehicle
a total of four tires, is equal to or less (1) Is mounted inside the occupant has been equipped with a tire pressure
than either the pressure 25 percent compartment in front of and in clear monitoring system (TPMS) that illuminates a
below the vehicle manufacturer’s view of the driver; low tire pressure telltale when one or more
recommended cold inflation pressure, (2) Is identified by the word ‘‘TPMS’’, of your tires is significantly under-inflated.
or the pressure specified in the 3rd as described under ‘‘TPMS Malfunction Accordingly, when the low tire pressure
column of Table 1 of this standard for Telltale’’ in Table 2 of Standard No. 101 telltale illuminates, you should stop and
the corresponding type of tire, (49 CFR 571.101); check your tires as soon as possible, and
whichever is higher; (3) Continues to illuminate the TPMS inflate them to the proper pressure. Driving
(b) Continue to illuminate the low tire malfunction telltale under the on a significantly under-inflated tire causes
pressure warning telltale as long as the the tire to overheat and can lead to tire
conditions specified in S4.4 for as long
failure. Under-inflation also reduces fuel
pressure in any of the vehicle’s tires is as the malfunction exists, whenever the efficiency and tire tread life, and may affect
equal to or less than the pressure ignition locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ the vehicle’s handling and stopping ability.
specified in S4.2(a), and the ignition (‘‘Run’’) position; and Please note that the TPMS is not a
locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) (4) (i) Except as provided in paragraph substitute for proper tire maintenance, and it
position, whether or not the engine is (ii), each dedicated TPMS malfunction is the driver’s responsibility to maintain

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correct tire pressure, even if under-inflation gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) (e) Stop the vehicle and deflate any
has not reached the level to trigger without exceeding any of its gross axle combination of one to four tires until
illumination of the TPMS low tire pressure weight ratings. the deflated tire(s) is (are) at 14 kPa (2
telltale. S5.3.2 Vehicle speed. The vehicle’s psi) below the inflation pressure at
[The following paragraph is required for all
TPMS is calibrated and tested at speeds which the tire pressure monitoring
vehicles certified to the standard starting on
September 1, 2007 and for vehicles between 50 km/h (31.1 mph) and 100 system is required to illuminate the low
voluntarily equipped with a compliant TPMS km/h (62.2 mph). For vehicles equipped tire pressure warning telltale.
MIL before that time.] Your vehicle has also with cruise control, cruise control is not (f) System detection phase.
been equipped with a TPMS malfunction to be engaged during testing. (1) Within 5 minutes of reducing the
indicator to indicate when the system is not S5.3.3 Rim position. The vehicle inflation pressure in the tire(s), drive the
operating properly. [For vehicles with a rims may be positioned at any wheel vehicle for up to 10–15 minutes of
dedicated MIL telltale, add the following position, consistent with any related cumulative time (not necessarily
statement: The TPMS malfunction indicator instructions or limitations in the vehicle continuously) along any portion of the
is provided by a separate telltale, which owner’s manual. test course.
displays the symbol ‘‘TPMS’’ when S5.3.4 Stationary location. The (2) Reverse direction on the course
illuminated.] [For vehicles with a combined
low tire pressure/MIL telltale, add the
vehicle’s tires are shaded from direct and drive the vehicle for an additional
following statement: The TPMS malfunction sun when the vehicle is parked. period of time for a total cumulative
indicator is combined with the low tire S5.3.5 Brake pedal application. time of 20 minutes (including the time
pressure telltale. When the system detects a Driving time shall not accumulate in S6(f)(1), and not necessarily
malfunction, the telltale will flash for during service brake application. continuously).
approximately one minute and then remain S5.3.6 Range of conditions or test (3) The sum of the total cumulative
continuously illuminated. This sequence will parameters. Whenever a range of drive time under paragraphs S6(f)(1)
continue upon subsequent vehicle start-ups conditions or test parameters is and (2) shall be the lesser of 20 minutes
as long as the malfunction exists.] When the specified in this standard, the vehicle or the time at which the low tire
malfunction indicator is illuminated, the must meet applicable requirements pressure telltale illuminates.
system may not be able to detect or signal
when tested at any point within the (4) If the low tire pressure telltale did
low tire pressure as intended. TPMS
malfunctions may occur for a variety of range. not illuminate, discontinue the test.
reasons, including the installation of S5.3.7 Tires. The vehicle is tested (g) If the low tire pressure telltale
replacement or alternate tires or wheels on with the tires installed on the vehicle at illuminated during the procedure in
the vehicle that prevent the TPMS from the time of initial vehicle sale, paragraph S6(f), deactivate the ignition
functioning properly. Always check the excluding the spare tire (if provided). locking system to the ‘‘Off’’ or ‘‘Lock’’
TPMS malfunction telltale after replacing one However, the spare tire may be utilized position. After a 5-minute period,
or more tires or wheels on your vehicle to for TPMS malfunction testing purposes. activate the vehicle’s ignition locking
ensure that the replacement or alternate tires S6 Test procedures. system to the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position.
and wheels allow the TPMS to continue to (a) Inflate the vehicle’s tires to the The telltale must illuminate and remain
function properly. cold tire inflation pressure(s) provided illuminated as long as the ignition
(b) The owner’s manual may include on the vehicle placard or the tire locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’)
additional information about the time inflation pressure label. position.
for the TPMS telltale(s) to extinguish (b) With the vehicle stationary and the (h) Keep the vehicle stationary for a
once the low tire pressure condition or ignition locking system in the ‘‘Lock’’ or period of up to one hour with the engine
the malfunction is corrected. It may also ‘‘Off’’ position, activate the ignition off.
include additional information about locking system to the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) (i) Inflate all of the vehicle’s tires to
the significance of the low tire pressure position or, where applicable, the the same inflation pressure used in
warning telltale illuminating, a appropriate position for the lamp check. paragraph S6(a). If the vehicle’s tire
description of corrective action to be The tire pressure monitoring system pressure monitoring system has a
undertaken, whether the tire pressure must perform a check of lamp function manual reset feature, reset the system in
monitoring system functions with the for the low tire pressure telltale as accordance with the instructions
vehicle’s spare tire (if provided), and specified in paragraph S4.3.3 of this specified in the vehicle owner’s manual.
how to use a reset button, if one is standard. If the vehicle is equipped with Determine whether the telltale has
provided. a separate TPMS malfunction telltale, extinguished. If necessary, drive the
(c) If a vehicle does not come with an the tire pressure monitoring system also vehicle until the telltale has been
owner’s manual, the required must perform a check of lamp function extinguished.
information shall be provided in writing as specified in paragraph S4.4(b)(4) of (j) The test may be repeated, using the
to the first purchaser of the vehicle. this standard. test procedures in paragraphs S6(a)–(b)
S5 Test conditions. (c) If applicable, set or reset the tire and S6(d)–(i), with any one, two, three,
S5.1 Ambient temperature. The pressure monitoring system in or four of the tires on the vehicle under-
ambient temperature is between 0°C accordance with the instructions in the inflated.
(32°F) and 40°C (104°F). vehicle owner’s manual. (k) Simulate one or more TPMS
S5.2 Road test surface. Compliance (d) System calibration/learning phase. malfunction(s) by disconnecting the
testing is conducted on any portion of (1) Drive the vehicle for up to 15 power source to any TPMS component,
the Southern Loop of the Treadwear minutes of cumulative time (not disconnecting any electrical connection
Test Course defined in Appendix A and necessarily continuously) along any between TPMS components, or
Figure 2 of section 575.104 of this portion of the test course. installing a tire or wheel on the vehicle
chapter. The road surface is dry during (2) Reverse direction on the course that is incompatible with the TPMS.
testing. and drive the vehicle for an additional (l) TPMS malfunction detection.
S5.3 Vehicle conditions. period of time for a total cumulative (1) Drive the vehicle for up to 15
S5.3.1 Test weight. The vehicle may time of 20 minutes (including the time minutes of cumulative time (not
be tested at any weight between its in S6(d)(1), and not necessarily necessarily continuously) along any
lightly loaded vehicle weight and its continuously). portion of the test course.

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(2) Reverse direction on the course also certify to those provisions) must period and not being counted toward
and drive the vehicle for an additional not be less than 70 percent of: the requirements of S7.2.
period of time for a total cumulative (a) The manufacturer’s average annual S7.5 Vehicles produced by more
time of 20 minutes (including the time production of vehicles manufactured on than one manufacturer.
in S6(l)(1), and not necessarily or after September 1, 2003, and before S7.5.1 For the purpose of calculating
continuously). September 1, 2006; or average annual production of vehicles
(3) The sum of the total cumulative (b) The manufacturer’s production on for each manufacturer and the number
drive time under paragraphs S6(l)(1) or after September 1, 2006, and before of vehicles manufactured by each
and (2) shall be the lesser of 20 minutes September 1, 2007. manufacturer under S7.1 through S7.3,
or the time at which the TPMS S7.3 Vehicles manufactured on or
a vehicle produced by more than one
malfunction telltale illuminates. after September 1, 2007. Except as
manufacturer must be attributed to a
(4) If the TPMS malfunction indicator provided in S7.7, all vehicles
single manufacturer as follows, subject
did not illuminate in accordance with manufactured on or after September 1,
to S7.5.2:
paragraph S4.4, as required, discontinue 2007 must comply with all requirements
of this standard. (a) A vehicle that is imported must be
the test. attributed to the importer.
(m) If the TPMS malfunction indicator S7.4 Calculation of complying
vehicles. (b) A vehicle manufactured in the
illuminated during the procedure in United States by more than one
(a) Carry-Forward Credits. For
paragraph S6(l), deactivate the ignition manufacturer, one of which also
purposes of complying with S7.1, a
locking system to the ‘‘Off’’ or ‘‘Lock’’ markets the vehicle, must be attributed
manufacturer may count a vehicle if it
position. After a 5-minute period, to the manufacturer that markets the
is certified as complying with this
activate the vehicle’s ignition locking vehicle.
standard and is manufactured on or
system to the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) position. S7.5.2 A vehicle produced by more
after April 8, 2005, but before
The TPMS malfunction indicator must than one manufacturer must be
September 1, 2006.
again signal a malfunction and remain (b) For purposes of complying with attributed to any one of the vehicle’s
illuminated as long as the ignition S7.2, a manufacturer may count a manufacturers specified by an express
locking system is in the ‘‘On’’ (‘‘Run’’) vehicle if it: written contract, reported to the
position. (1) (i) Is certified as complying with National Highway Traffic Safety
(n) Restore the TPMS to normal this standard and is manufactured on or Administration under 49 CFR Part 585,
operation. If necessary, drive the vehicle after April 8, 2005, but before between the manufacturer so specified
until the telltale has extinguished. September 1, 2007; and and the manufacturer to which the
S7 Phase-in schedule. (ii) Is not counted toward compliance vehicle would otherwise be attributed
S7.1 Vehicles manufactured on or with S7.1; or under S7.5.1.
after October 5, 2005, and before (2) Is manufactured on or after S7.6 Small volume manufacturers.
September 1, 2006. For vehicles September 1, 2006, but before Vehicles manufactured by a
manufactured on or after October 5, September 1, 2007. manufacturer that produces fewer than
2005, and before September 1, 2006, the (c) Carry-Backward Credits. At the 5,000 vehicles for sale in the United
number of vehicles complying with this vehicle manufacturer’s option, for States during the period of September 1,
standard (except for the provisions of purposes of complying with S7.1, a 2005 to August 31, 2006, or the period
S4.4 unless the manufacturer elects to manufacturer may count a vehicle it from September 1, 2006 to August 31,
also certify to those provisions) must plans to manufacture and to certify as 2007, are not subject to the
not be less than 20 percent of: complying with this standard that will corresponding requirements of S7.1,
(a) The manufacturer’s average annual be produced on or after September 1, S7.2, and S7.4.
production of vehicles manufactured on 2006 but before September 1, 2007.
S7.7 Final-stage manufacturers and
or after September 1, 2002, and before However, a vehicle counted toward
alterers. Vehicles that are manufactured
October 5, 2005; or compliance with S7.1 may not be
in two or more stages or that are altered
(b) The manufacturer’s production on counted toward compliance with S7.2.
(within the meaning of 49 CFR 567.7)
or after October 5, 2005, and before If the vehicle manufacturer decides to
after having previously been certified in
September 1, 2006. exercise the option for carry-backward
accordance with Part 567 of this chapter
S7.2 Vehicles manufactured on or credits, the manufacturer must indicate
are not subject to the requirements of
after September 1, 2006, and before this in its report for the production
S7.1 through S7.4. Instead, vehicles that
September 1, 2007. For vehicles period corresponding to S7.1 filed
are manufactured in two or more stages
manufactured on or after September 1, pursuant to 49 CFR 585.66. The vehicles
or that are altered must comply with
2006, and before September 1, 2007, the are counted in fulfillment of the
this standard beginning on September 1,
number of vehicles complying with this requirements of S7.1, subject to actually
2008.
standard (except for the provisions of being produced in compliance with this
S4.4 unless the manufacturer elects to standard during the specified time Tables to § 571.138

TABLE 1.—LOW TIRE PRESSURE WARNING TELLTALE—MINIMUM ACTIVATION PRESSURE


Column 2—maximum or Column 3—minimum
rated inflation pressure activation pressure
Column 1—tire type
(kPa) (psi) (kPa) (psi)

P-metric—Standard Load ................................................................................................ 240, 35, 140 20


300, or 44, or 140 20
350 51 140 20
P-metric—Extra Load ...................................................................................................... 280 or 41 or 160 23
340 49 160 23

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18190 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

TABLE 1.—LOW TIRE PRESSURE WARNING TELLTALE—MINIMUM ACTIVATION PRESSURE—Continued


Column 2—maximum or Column 3—minimum
rated inflation pressure activation pressure
Column 1—tire type
(kPa) (psi) (kPa) (psi)

Load Range C ................................................................................................................. 350 51 200 29


Load Range D ................................................................................................................. 450 65 240 35
Load Range E .................................................................................................................. 550 80 240 35

PART 585—PHASE–IN REPORTING production consists exclusively of Standard No. 138 (49 CFR 571.138) for
REQUIREMENTS vehicles manufactured in two or more the period covered by the report and the
stages, and vehicles that are altered after basis for that statement;
■ 4. The authority citation for Part 585 of previously having been certified in (5) Provide the information specified
Title 49 continues to read as follows: accordance with part 567 of the chapter. in paragraph (b) of this section;
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, In addition, this subpart does not apply (6) Be written in the English language;
30117, and 30166; delegation of authority at to manufacturers whose production of and
49 CFR 1.50. motor vehicles for the United States (7) Be submitted to: Administrator,
■ 5. Part 585 is amended by adding market is less than 5,000 vehicles in a National Highway Traffic Safety
Subpart G as follows: production year. Administration, 400 Seventh Street,
SW., Washington, DC 20590.
Subpart G—Tire Pressure Monitoring § 585.64 Definitions. (b) Report content—(1) Basis for
System Phase-in Reporting Requirements Production year means the 12-month statement of compliance. Each
Sec. period between September 1 of one year manufacturer must provide the number
585.61 Scope. and August 31 of the following year, of passenger cars, multipurpose
585.62 Purpose. inclusive. passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses
585.63 Applicability.
585.64 Definitions. § 585.65 Response to inquiries. with a gross vehicle weight rating of
585.65 Response to inquiries. 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less,
At any time prior to August 31, 2007,
585.66 Reporting requirements. except those vehicles with dual wheels
each manufacturer must, upon request
585.67 Records. on an axle, manufactured for sale in the
from the Office of Vehicle Safety
585.68 Petition to extend period to file United States for each of the three
report.
Compliance, provide information
previous production years, or, at the
identifying the vehicles (by make,
manufacturer’s option, for the current
Subpart G—Tire Pressure Monitoring model, and vehicle identification
production year. A new manufacturer
System Phase-in Reporting number) that have been certified as
that has not previously manufactured
Requirements complying with Standard No. 138. The
these vehicles for sale in the United
manufacturer’s designation of a vehicle
§ 585.61 Scope. States must report the number of such
as a certified vehicle is irrevocable.
vehicles manufactured during the
This subpart establishes requirements Upon request, the manufacturer also
current production year.
for manufacturers of passenger cars, must specify whether it intends to
(2) Production. Each manufacturer
multipurpose passenger vehicles, utilize either carry-forward or carry-
must report for the production year for
trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle backward credits, and the vehicles to
which the report is filed: the number of
weight rating of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 which those credits relate.
passenger cars, multipurpose passenger
pounds) or less, except those vehicles
§ 585.66 Reporting requirements. vehicles, trucks, and buses with a gross
with dual wheels on an axle, to submit
(a) General reporting requirements. vehicle weight rating of 4,536 kilograms
a report, and maintain records related to
Within 60 days after the end of the (10,000 pounds) or less that meet
the report, concerning the number of
production years ending August 31, Standard No. 138 (49 CFR 571.138).
such vehicles that meet the
2006 and August 31, 2007, each (3) Statement regarding compliance.
requirements of Standard No. 138, Tire
manufacturer must submit a report to Each manufacturer must provide a
pressure monitoring systems (49 CFR
the National Highway Traffic Safety statement regarding whether or not the
571.138).
Administration concerning its manufacturer complied with the TPMS
§ 585.62 Purpose. compliance with Standard No. 138 (49 requirements as applicable to the period
The purpose of these reporting CFR 571.138) for its passenger cars, covered by the report, and the basis for
requirements is to assist the National multipurpose passenger vehicles, that statement. This statement must
Highway Traffic Safety Administration trucks, and buses with a gross vehicle include an explanation concerning the
in determining whether a manufacturer weight rating of less than 4,536 use of any carry-forward and/or carry-
has complied with Standard No. 138. kilograms (10,000 pounds) produced in backward credits.
that year. Each report must— (4) Vehicles produced by more than
§ 585.63 Applicability. (1) Identify the manufacturer; one manufacturer. Each manufacturer
This subpart applies to manufacturers (2) State the full name, title, and whose reporting of information is
of passenger cars, multipurpose address of the official responsible for affected by one or more of the express
passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses preparing the report; written contracts permitted by S7.5.2 of
with a gross vehicle weight rating of (3) Identify the production year being Standard No. 138 (49 CFR 571.138)
4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less, reported on; must:
except those vehicles with dual wheels (4) Contain a statement regarding (i) Report the existence of each
on an axle. However, this subpart does whether or not the manufacturer contract, including the names of all
not apply to manufacturers whose complied with the requirements of parties to the contract, and explain how

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 67 / Friday, April 8, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 18191

the contract affects the report being § 585.68 Petition to extend period to file automatically extend the time for filing
submitted. report. a report. The petition must be submitted
A manufacturer may petition for to: Administrator, National Highway
(ii) Report the actual number of
extension of time to submit a report Traffic Safety Administration, 400
vehicles covered by each contract.
under this Part. A petition will be Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC
§ 585.67 Records. granted only if the petitioner shows 20590.
good cause for the extension and if the
Each manufacturer must maintain Issued: March 31, 2005.
extension is consistent with the public
records of the Vehicle Identification interest. The petition must be received Jeffrey W. Runge,
Number for each vehicle for which not later than 15 days before expiration Administrator.
information is reported under of the time stated in § 585.66(a). The [FR Doc. 05–6741 Filed 4–7–05; 8:45 am]
§ 585.66(b)(2) until December 31, 2009. filing of a petition does not BILLING CODE 4910–59–P

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