Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., and Pirelli Tire North America joined Public Citizen and TIA in a lawsuit against the U.S. Transportation Department and NHTSA in June 2005.
More than three years have passed since an appeals court threw out NHTSA’s first tire pressure regulation, issued in 2002.
"NHTSA’s watered-down standards will cause more tire failures, leading to more deaths, injuries and property damage than standards meeting statutory requirements," lawyers for Public Citizen, the safety advocacy group, wrote in a legal brief filed late last month.
The tiremakers say the TPMS regulation puts consumers at risk because it fails to warn drivers of low tire pressures soon enough, doesn’t require the systems to work with replacement tires and allows the monitors to be tested under conditions that don’t take into account cold-weather extremes.
However, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing automakers General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and Toyota Motor Corp., are acting as a defendant in the lawsuit, saying the tire companies want to shift costs to auto companies.