went in for flat repair, they replaced TPMS valve, told me required by law, I'm calling BS whats the real deal?


  • Was the flat due to a defective valve? – mikes Apr 5 '18 at 20:26
  • Welcome to the site. FYI, this is an international site, so we have no idea what is law where you live, since you have not told us. Tell us more about your car too. Although this isn't a legal site, we may be able to lead you to the information you seek. – CharlieRB Apr 5 '18 at 20:47
  • flat was due to nail, I live in Florida. – Patrick McCarthy Apr 5 '18 at 21:13
  • 2014 Grand Cherokee – Patrick McCarthy Apr 5 '18 at 21:14
  • well it sounds like a "policy" thing. gonna go in Saturday & seek a refund as they took advantage of my GF & I have bought lots of tires from this store over the years.......thanks for your help, they're busted! – Patrick McCarthy Apr 6 '18 at 1:44

Many times people at big chain stores have certain things hammered into their heads to the point where they think (or were told) that certain company polices are in fact LAW that CANNOT be broken. Chances are good that the shop has a policy that says any TPMS must be replaced when a tire is replaced. It may not be "against the law", but chances are it is against their policy and you wouldn't have a choice if you want to do business there.

This article clarifies the law in the United States when it comes to TPMS sensors. From what I read, they are only legally responsible for not "making the system inoperable". They don't have a requirement to fix a broken system, they just can't purposely remove or disable any of the TPMS sensors.

Can a retailer replace an inoperative TPMS valve stem sensor with a standard rubber snap-in valve stem and still comply with the “make inoperative” provision?

NHTSA’s response was that as long as the TPMS part was inoperative before the customer brought the vehicle to the repair business, “a motor vehicle repair business would not be violating 49 USC 30122(b) by removing an inoperative or damaged TPMS sensor and replacing it with a standard snap-in rubber valve stem.”


If a customer purchased aftermarket performance tires and wheels and the customer refused to purchase new TPMS sensors or pay for the labor to transfer the original sensors to the aftermarket wheels, what would happen?

NHTSA responded that if the TPMS is functioning at the time of the aftermarket tire and wheel purchase, “a service provider would violate the ‘make inoperative’ prohibition of 49 USC 30122(b) by installing new tires and wheels that do not have a functioning TPMS system.

In summary - they don't have to fix a sensor or do any preventative maintenance, but they are not allowed to remove a functioning sensor.

If there was nothing wrong with your sensor, an argument could be made that there was no reason to replace it. It's a good idea to replace them when your tires wear out because the batteries have a limited life, but again, according to that article, the tire shop does not have a legal responsibility to make sure a new one is installed "because it's a good idea".

  • Do you know where this person lives? Is this international law? – CharlieRB Apr 5 '18 at 20:49
  • 1
    Edited to show this is US law. OP can clarify their country, but this is useful to others even if the poster is not in the US. – JPhi1618 Apr 5 '18 at 20:52

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