Recently, I went to a Toyota dealer to have my almost-new mounted winter tires installed on my 2012 vehicle. The dealer told me they could not put them on legally as the wheels did not have tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) sensors in them. I asked how much would the sensors cost and was told over $100 per wheel. I did not have them installed.
I have since found out quite a bit about the TPMS law that is applicable to all vehicles, cars and trucks under 10,000 GVW manufactured since August 2007. I have found out that under the initial ruling most tire dealers interpreted the law that they could still mount tires/wheels legally as long as they did not disconnect the vehicles’ TPMS system. Since then the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has clarified the law so that it is also illegal ($10,000 fine) for them to even do that.
So if you have a vehicle that is equipped with the TPMS, be prepared to either buy the sensors or not have your winter tires mounted. Bill Love, who writes the Precision Driving column for The Spokesman-Review, has written three articles on TPMS recently.