Coming attack on tire pressure monitoring rule?
by Guest Blogger, 11/4/2004
Remember the tire pressure monitoring rule? NHTSA was forced by law to require automakers to implement systems that alert drivers when air pressure in their tires becomes dangerously low. There was unnecessary brouhaha (and lives were needlessly lost) because White House regulatory czar John Graham forced the agency to select a less effective alternative. Public interest advocates had to go to court to get NHTSA to do the right thing and issue an effective TPMS rule. NHTSA is currently in the process of accepting comments on the new rulemaking to replace the TPMS rule rejected by the federal court. The next battle may be even uglier than anticipated. The docket for the new rule includes a letter responding to a request by the European Commission's external trade office for an extension of the formal comments period. Note that it is addressed to the EC's point of contact on issues of alleged technical barriers to trade in violation of the World Trade Organization treaties. Does this letter portend a WTO complaint, secret hearing, and fines when NHTSA finally comes out with a long-delayed TPMS rule? Will the Bush administration cave to corporate special interests in the national and international sectors and run to Congress asking for a repeal of the TPMS requirement? Will the Bush administration effectively give other countries a veto on a U.S. decision to protect the public safety?