By way of background, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 138, as found in 49 CFR 571.138, specifies performance requirements for tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) to warn drivers of significant under-inflation of tires and the resulting safety problems this condition can produce. The standard applies to all passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less, except for vehicles with dual wheels on an axle, that are manufactured on or after September 1, 2007.
The law establishes a self-certification process in which vehicle and equipment manufacturers themselves certify that all of their products are in compliance with all applicable FMVSSs, which establish minimum criteria that the product must meet. NHTSA does not approve or certify any motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment items as complying with all applicable FMVSS. That is instead the responsibility of the vehicle or equipment item's original manufacturer.
If the manufacturer’s letter states that the vehicle complies with all applicable FMVSS but does not comply with the requirements of FMVSS No. 138 Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems because the vehicle does not have a tire pressure monitoring system installed by the vehicle’s original manufacturer which is identical to, and with the same part number(s) as the system the manufacturer installs on vehicles manufactured for sale in the U.S., the vehicle cannot be permanently imported as a conforming motor vehicle under Box 2B on the HS-7 Declaration form https://icsw.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/import/HS7_r.v.7.pdf
. The vehicle can only be imported as a conforming motor vehicle under Box 2B if the importer furnishes CBP with an invoice from a franchised dealer or authorized repair facility of the vehicle’s original manufacturer showing that a tire pressure monitoring system identical to, and with the same part number(s) as the system the manufacturer installs on vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States has been installed on the vehicle for which entry is sought. An aftermarket TPMS does not conform to FMVSS No. 138. If a retrofit is not available for the vehicle by the manufacturer, the vehicle cannot be permanently imported into the U.S. as a U.S.-conforming vehicle under Box 2A or Box 2B on the HS-7 Declaration form, and it is not eligible to be imported by or through a registered importer under Box 3 on the HS-7 Declaration form.
Hope this information is helpful.
Import and Certification Division
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
West Building, Fourth Floor, NEF-230
Washington, DC 20590
Email: [email protected]