TPMS is an important vehicle safety feature mandated in the EU, U.S., and China. In the U.S., if a car or light duty vehicle under 10,000 lbs is manufactured after September 1, 2007, the vehicle is required to be equipped with TPMS. Within the TREAD Act of 2000, the U.S. federal government mandated the required implementation of TPMS on all new vehicles in the following phased rollout:
Prior to the legislation, some higher-end vehicles came equipped with TPMS as a premium option.
In the EU, TPMS became mandatory for all class M1 vehicles (vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat) registered after November 1, 2014. The initial legislation was approved in 2009 in Brussels (UN ECE R64) with the aim to optimize fuel consumption and increase driver safety, which are the two most well-known benefits of TPMS systems. The introduction of the current legislation happened with a two-year phase in schedule starting from November 1, 2012. All vehicle types approved after this date are equipped with TPMS. Furthermore, all newly registered vehicles after November 1, 2014 have TPMS.
Worried about compliance with TPMS legislation?
There are several easy ways to check whether or not a vehicle comes equipped with direct TPMS. The easiest way is to watch the dashboard indicator lights at start-up. Turn the vehicle’s ignition switch to the "ON" or "AUX" position, or simply start the vehicle. Look for a TPMS warning light on the dashboard. Additionally, you can check the vehicle owner’s manual. There will be a section inside about TPMS, explaining the functionality of the system and how it works specifically for that vehicle.
Another way to verify if a vehicle is equipped with TPMS is to use a TPMS programming and diagnostic tool to “test” the sensors. Hold the TPMS tool up to the sidewall of the tire just above the exposed valve stem and follow the tool menu structure to check the TPMS sensor status. If the test fails, either TPMS sensors are not present or the sensors are not functioning.
Do you have a better understanding of whether a vehicle is equipped with TPMS after reading this article? What is your preferred method to check if a vehicle is equipped with TPMS?
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