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Bridgestone calls for mandatory tyre-pressure monitoring in Australia

By Cameron Kirby, 07 Dec 2018 News

Bridgestone calls for mandatory tyre-pressure monitoring in Australia

Popularity of run-flat tyres prompts call for safety tech

TYRE pressure monitors (TPMs) would be mandatory in all new cars sold if Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand technical boss Jon Tamblyn has his way.

Tamblyn believes Australia should follow the lead of regulators in Europe and North America, and make it mandatory for every new car sold to be fitted with a TPM as standard.

The call followed a discussion on the impact of increased use of run-flat tyres by manufacturers.

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“In markets like the US and Europe, tyre pressure monitoring systems are mandatory in cars, so one of the challenges with run flats is people don’t realise the tyre is flat, so you need that tyre pressure monitoring system so people know they need to find some air, or do something to get the tyres fixed,” Tamblyn told Wheels.

When asked if the systems should be made mandatory, Tamblyn responded “I think, potentially, yes” and expanded on the safety and efficiency benefits TPMs would provide.

“I think studies from the US and Europe have shown the benefit financially. In dollar benefit alone it completely outweighs the cost, in terms of fuel consumption, in terms of safety and accidents and all those things.

“Certainly the priority in Australia of reducing emissions and those sorts of things, and increasing safety on the roads, the government has a mandate to do that.

Read next: Michelin calls for whole-of-life tyre testing

For Australia to mandate TPMs for all new cars sold would likely require the support of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), however the lobbying group’s chief executive Tony Weber refrained from backing the idea.

“We typically don’t support the mandating of one particular technology, because it is then delivered to the market at the expense of other technologies,” Weber said in a statement in response to questions from Wheels.

“We consider that the best outcomes arise through manufacturers delivering the best overall package, in all areas of the vehicle but particularly in relation to safety, fuel economy and emissions.

“Of course, manufacturers are very aware of consumer preferences and if a technology like tyre pressure monitoring systems is desired by consumers, then this technology will be offered to the market in response to this demand.”

Read next: Tyres – should you stay with original equipment?

Tamblyn believes that a move to mandatory TPMs in Australia will be inevitable.

“Typically our regulation follows what is happening in Europe, and tyre pressure monitors are now mandatory in Europe, so at some stage we will follow,” he said.

The Bridgestone technical boss stated that it was important for drivers to be more aware of their tyre pressures, with correct inflation providing multiple benefits.

“Any tyre brand will benefit from having the right pressure in it across the board. It will improve every aspect of the tyre’s performance,” he said.