All light passenger vehicles in the US will need to be fitted with mandatory tyre pressure monitors by 2008 as the final chapter closes on the Firestone tyre problem of the late 90s.

All light passenger vehicles in the US will need to be fitted with mandatory tyre pressure monitors by 2008 as the final chapter closes on the Firestone tyre problem of the late 90s.

The regulation covers all cars and light trucks, including vans and SUVs, and is one of the final steps undertaken in response to the series of tyre-related Ford Explorer crashes. The accidents were caused by tyre blowouts and tread separations, killing close to 300 people while more than 700 were injured.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require all manufacturers to install sensors to measure simultaneous tyre pressure. If tyres are under-inflated by 25 per cent, a light on the dashboard will signal a warning to the driver, reported.

But some manufacturers have expressed concern, saying that a 25 per cent drop in standard tyre pressure may leave the tyres so under inflated that the car would not be able to carry a full load.

Under-inflation could expose rubber and other materials to heat - especially during hot weather - and create dangerous wear at the edges and sides of a tyre. Properly inflated tyres help to create a smoother ride, improve fuel efficiency and increase the tyre life.

It is estimated that the US government will spend between $800 m and $1,1b (R4,87 billion and R6,66 billion) to implement the new technology in all new cars by the deadline.

According to the NHTSA framework, all manufacturers must equip 20 per cent of their new cars and trucks with the systems in 2006. In 2007, 70 per cent of new models will be fitted with the device, and by 2008 all models will need to meet the requirement.

Original article from Car