National Technical Systems Corporation Tests Embedded Tire Pressure Sensors in Support of TREAD Act

Calabasas, CA – February 15, 2005 - National Technical Systems, Inc. (NTS) (Nasdaq: NTSC), a leading provider of quality and conformance testing and managed services is now testing miniature tire pressure sensors. The units are embedded in the car tires during manufacturing to sense tire pressure and transmit it to a readout device. The purpose is to alert the vehicle operator of low tire pressure that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has identified as a contributing factor to vehicle accidents.  As a safety measure under new Transportation, Recall, Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act, the NTSB will require all new vehicles to have a low tire pressure warning system. The NTSB tests are to establish proof of design and verify manufacturing processes. The test will be conducted at the NTS Detroit facility.  Automotive manufacturers anticipate a progressive incorporation of the sensors into vehicles beginning in the 2005 model year.     

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 49 CFR Part 571, Docket No. NHTSA 2000-8572, RIN 2127-AI33, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems; Controls and Displays, noted that under-inflation of tires consequences include reduced vehicle safety, reduced tread life and reduced fuel economy.  

The NHTSA has called for the industry to develop systems to monitor and enunciate low tire pressure in order to alert the driver. The first suggested alternative is the incorporation of a system that would require that the driver be warned when the tire pressure in one or more tires, up to a total of 4 tires, has fallen to 20 percent or more below the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure for the vehicle's tires, or a minimum level of pressure to be specified in the new standard, whichever pressure is higher. The document, 49 CFR Part 47, states, “ incorporation of the first (monitoring) alternative would prevent 10,635 injuries and 79 deaths at an average cost of $66.33 per vehicle. (1).  (The range of injuries prevented would be 0 to 21,270, and the range of deaths prevented would be 0 to 158.)


The Test Program will consist of thermal exposures, mechanical tests and spin tests to 200 miles per hour. NTS Detroit’s expertise in testing, analysis, and engineering for the automotive and transportation related industries has been utilized by the Big Three car manufacturers i.e., Ford, GM, and DaimlerChrysler as well as Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, and numerous tier-1 automotive suppliers and manufacturers. Programs range from DVP&R (Design Verification Plan and Reporting) to PV (Process Validation) testing. NTS has the experience to take products from R&D to PPAP (Production Part Approval Process). The NTS Detroit Facility automotive products evaluated include brake systems, engines and drive trains, car interiors and electronic systems. Test capabilities include dynamometer, EMI/EMC, fuels and fluids, climatics, HALT/HASS, vibration, shock and acoustics. The laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025 through the American Accreditation of Laboratories Association (A2LA) assuring worldwide acceptance of NTS automotive test reports.  

“The industry is working to quickly introduce a cost effective solution”, notes NTSC President and Chief Operating Officer William C. McGinnis. “Our Detroit facility will continue to be involved in the development and sample lot production testing of these sensors.”  

About NTS  

National Technical Systems, Inc. is a business-to-business services company providing organizations in the aerospace, defense, information technology (IT) and high technology markets integrated testing, certification, quality registration, systems evaluation and engineering solutions.  For additional information about National Technical Systems, visit its web site at           

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"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding National Technical Systems's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.