Tire Business staff report
Washington DC - The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued 71 new tyre plant identity codes-necessary for selling tyres in the US - during 2007, including 46 to factories in China and six in India.
The latest additions bring to 242 the number of tyre factories in China with a DOT new tyre plant code, according to the DOT's database.
The new list also includes codes for new plants for Bridgestone Corp. in China, Hungary, India and Poland; for Pirelli Tyre SpA in Brazil; for Nexen Tire Corp. in China; for Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. in Hungary; and for Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. in Japan, China and Vietnam.
The latest list from the DOT shows 851 codes issued, including 162 issued in the past three years. Of the 851 codes listed, 124 are for plants that are closed and at least 30 are for factories that don't make tyres or make only bicycle tyres and/or tubes.
The DOT symbol indicates the tyre maker certifies the tyre meets all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements. The manufacturer is not required to test the tyres, but if they are sold in the US they are subject to random testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with penalties assessed if the tyres aren't in compliance with federal standards.
Tyres found not in compliance with these federal standards will be recalled, and the manufacturer is subject to civil penalties of up to $5,000 (Euro 3411) per tyre, up to a maximum of $15 million for any related series of violations, according to agency documents.
Officially, the transportation department keeps codes for closed or sold plants in its active list for up to eight years after a change occurs, covering the limit of legal jurisdiction in which the DOT has to order a recall.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)