New TPMS law could make your car fail its MOT

Working tyre pressure monitoring systems now mandatory

Motorists could see their cars fail MOT tests thanks to new legislation governing tyre pressure monitoring systems. Cars registered after January 1, 2012, are legally required to have a fully functioning TPMS if one is fitted to gain their certificate.

The new rules have been in place since the start of 2015, but Stuart Jackson, chairman of safety organisation TyreSafe, believes many motorists are still unaware of the change: ‘People simply don’t know. Though there are now systems in place to improve safety, there’s little education to tell drivers what the rules surrounding them are.’

The legislation has been introduced to cut the number of cars running with dangerously underinflated tyres.

‘When a tyre is grossly underinflated, we tend to find that it gets a concave-shaped contact patch,’ says Jackson. ‘The shoulders are likely to be in contact with the road, but the main centre-section will not be, therefore your grip on the road and everything related to it is compromised.’

While the legal requirement for TPMSs to be fully functioning on cars with them fitted will likely reduce the number of motorists running with dangerously low pressures, Jackson says motorists should still check manually.

‘A TPMS is not an excuse for people to stop checking manually. It’s only there as a safeguard, as part of the safety systems. You still have a responsibility for making sure you carry out those manual checks, at least monthly and before a long journey.’

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