Failure of indirect tyre pressure monitoring systems puts drivers and road users at risk

Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) designed to alert the driver when their tyres are deflating or at a dangerously low pressure have been mandatory in passenger cars in Europe since 2014. There are two systems on the market today – direct and indirect TPMS; with carmakers increasingly choosing to equip their vehicles with indirect systems due to their lower price.

T&E has long been aware that indirect TPMS fails to deliver in real-world driving conditions, and is concerned that such systems could be optimised to pass the regulatory test but fail to perform appropriately on the road. We commissioned a set of tests on two vehicles equipped with such indirect systems to check their effectiveness. Both cars failed to pass most of the tests that slightly diverged from the prescribed protocol, pointing to 1) serious safety concerns for drivers using indirect TPMS and 2) manufacturers calibrating the systems to only pass the test and not deliver on the road.

T&E’s briefing outlines what urgent regulatory action is necessary at EU level to ensure TPMS delivers in real-world conditions; this must be mandated for all vehicles and apply also to replacement tyres no later than 2018. Download the briefing and test results below.