of Management and Budget
February 13, 2002
Asks NHTSA for Better Tire-Safety Analysis
DC -- The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of
OMB, in a decision announced today, has returned a draft final
rule to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
for further consideration. OMB has asked NHTSA to consider a regulatory
alternative that may be safer for motorists than the NHTSAs
draft final rule.
has directed NHTSA to develop a rule that would require automakers
to provide information to drivers about whether a vehicles
tires are under-inflated. Operating a vehicle with inadequately
inflated tires can be dangerous.
the most widely used tire-pressure monitoring system in vehicles
is an "indirect" system that detects tire pressure based on information
from a cars anti-lock braking system. In its draft final
rule, however, NHTSA would -- over a 4-year period -- effectively
phase out the current indirect systems. Instead, it would compel
vehicle manufacturers to meet a "4-wheel" rule that would require
some form of direct pressure monitoring. As a result, OMB is concerned
that NHTSAs approach would discourage vehicle manufacturers
from installing anti-lock brakes for consumers. Allowing indirect
systems as well as direct systems effectively reduces the cost
of installing anti-lock brakes by 22%. The most recent evidence
indicates that anti-lock brakes reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.
light of concerns about anti-lock brakes and other flaws in NHTSAs
safety analysis, OMB has returned the draft final rule to NHTSA
for expedited reconsideration. OIRA Administrator John D. Graham
commented that "we believe that an incentive to install anti-lock
brakes should be considered as part of the regulatory solution."
OMB expects a resubmission by NHTSA within six weeks.
copy of OMBs return letter to NHTSA is posted on OMBs
web site at www.omb.gov/inforeg/regpol.html.