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Editor's Notebook

More Consumer Complaints About TPMS Corrosion

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Every so often I receive notes from consumers who have read about TPMS maladies on our website and my blog. Most of the problems are because of serious corrosion issues that are not being addressed by the automakers or NHTSA. Of course, NHTSA isn’t accomplishing anything of late, and we can see (GM and Toyota, we’re talking about you) how forthcoming OEMs are when it comes to questions of quality.

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So here are two more notes from avid TR online readers:

125455blogjpg_00000074499Hello Mr. Smith,

Have you had any response from the industry about the TPMS corrosion problem? I’m living/working in Germany for the Department of the Army. I was driving on the autobahn doing 110 mph and the low tire pressure light came on and the tire pressure was dropping fast. I slowed down as safely as I could.

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The tire was thrashed. The valve stem was missing. (see photos) I changed the tire with the full sized spare and the aluminum nut over the valve stem was half missing.

After reading your article I checked out the flat tire. The tread was good, no puncture, and inside it was the corroded TPMS valve stem and the threads were corroded off. I’m going to have to change them all out (5) for peace of mind. I’m hoping the guys at Chrysler have a better replacement for this. Could this be a possible recall issue?

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Thanks

Henry Dunn
2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Mr. Smith,

125455201402021_00000074500Just read your web posting about problems with TPMS systems, and your question about “how many of you have had problems?”

I just returned from getting new tires on my 2011 Toyota Sienna with

60,000 miles on it. Three of the TPMS valve stems broke off, as the metal caps had fused to the stem. We left the fourth old tire on the car until I go talk to the dealer about what transpired. I broke one off myself, as the shop wanted me to come see what they were experiencing.

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The cap was immovable by hand. I used a simple socket on a handle – not a 90-degree ratchet handle. I thought I successfully freed the cap with not a lot of effort, but the valve stem had broken off.

The car spent one winter in Michigan. The dealer says it’ll cost $300 per wheel to replace them. Personally, I think this is a manufacturing defect if they are that susceptible to corrosion. I’m guessing I’ll wind up driving the car without the TPMS.

Thom Brennan

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