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Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Circuit Upholds Warning Systems For Tire Pressure

TRANSPORTATION - The D.C. Circuit has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rule that requires new cars to have warning systems for under-inflated tires.

The appeals court ruled that four tire manufactures, the Tire Industry Association and Public Citizen Inc. lacked standing to challenge the safety standard, which had been established in 2005 as part of a legislative attempt to reduce the number of accidents and deaths caused by tire blowouts.

Under the creatively named Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, or the TREAD Act, the highway safety administration had to require all new cars to come with pressure-monitoring systems that trigger a warning light on the dashboard.

Plaintiffs challenged various aspects of the requirement, including the compatibility of pressure monitors with replacement tires and the alleged delay between significant under-inflation and the illumination of the warning light.

The appeals court ruled that Public Citizen "dramatically overstated" the risk to its members under the new standard by estimating all of the supposed benefits of the old standard but none of the costs. See ruling.

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