United States regulators will not appeal a federal court decision to throw out a controversial plan for monitoring vehicle tyre pressure, a government spokesman told the Reuters news agency.
According to Reuters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has instead approached the industry for updated information on the monitoring technology ordered by Congress to boost safety after the Firestone tyre debacle.
An NHTSA spokesman told the news agency that the responses, due back to NHTSA by October 17, will form the basis for how the government proceeds with new regulation.
Reuters noted that the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York rejected NHTSA’s proposal last month to let vehicle makers choose between two monitoring options, saying the proposal approved in 2002 was arbitrary and did not meet congressional requirements for improved tyre safety.
One monitoring system, favoured by vehicle makers and White House officials sensitive to the costs of industry regulation, would gauge tyre pressure through the performance of the vehicle’s anti-lock brake system while another option, which is more expensive and favoured by regulators, vehicle safety experts and consumer groups, measures pressure directly in each tyre, Reuters said.
A three-year phase-in of tyre pressure monitoring was to have started with the 2004 model-year vehicles, which began arriving in showrooms this summer, the report noted.
According to Reuters, the industry will likely pursue a direct monitoring system based on the court ruling – both systems are already in use separately in some vehicles.
Tyre manufacturers told Reuters they have no preference on monitoring systems but have pressed the government to ensure that drivers are given adequate warning when one or more tyres are under-inflated.