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Old 11-17-2012, 10:54 AM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
I think this is a bit misleading to the point of disingenuous.

The NHTSA is not cracking down on the practice of putting non-TPMS wheels on a TPMS car; what they're doing is taking a harder look at those who put run-flat tires without TPMS onto a TPMS car, and dictating that all cars equipped with run-flats are eqiupped with TPMS going forward.

The NHTSA is unable to stop you installing non-TPMS equipped tires on your TPMS car; what they can do is if a run-flat tire without TPMS loses pressure and then fails (i.e. the sidewall gives out either because you're driving too fast or too far) causing any significant damage to your car or others then that would be grounds for a report to your insurance company that they may use to deny a claim.

If you have non-run-flat tires (normal tires) on a TPMS equipped car, then it's reasonable and prudent to assume that you are well aware when your tire goes flat because the car handles like crap. It's no different than in a non-TPMS equipped car at that point.

The NHTSA is not a police force; they are an advisory body only. Even in the event you run run-flats without TPMS then it's actually quite unlikely that you're going to get yourself in particularly hot water because in order for an insurance claim to be denied it would have to be proved that the lack of TPMS caused the issue... i.e. you would have to have a sidewall of a run-flat fail hard and actually be unable to control the car. In either instance you're probably going too fast or shouldn't be driving anyway; I've had a run-flat fail hard (not a BMW) and the likelihood of you losing control is exactly the same as if you had a tire blow out.

No, I'm not an attorney but I am well familiar with the NHTSA and what they can and can't do.
NHTSA has considerable rule making authority as authorized by Congress and they can enforce those rules through the application of stiff civil penalties or through the judicial process if necessary. Their investigative process is similar to the IRS except that it lacks the empathy.

Zooks is correct (link)...making an item subject to motor vehicle safety standards (fmvss) "inoperative" by a shop is highly frowned upon and subject to civil penalties.

Another subject of NHTSA's scrutiny are auto parts subject to fmvss, but not marked with the necessary 'DOT' to indicate they meet federal testing requirements.

Not too many years ago in the L.A. area a distributor of "car boy" aftermarket auto lighting was caught selling non-DOT approved lighting. NHTSA nailed them for about $600,000+.
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