NHTSA Standardizes Tire Identification Number

Change Accomodates Increasing Number of Global Tire Plants

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
202-682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, DC, April 14, 2015 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a final rule to standardize the Tire Identification Number (TIN) imprinted on tires sold in the U.S.  The new regulation creates a 13 digit TIN for new tires and seven digit TIN for retreaded truck tires.

NHTSA initiated the rulemaking because it had exhausted the number of two-digit plant codes the agency issues to every tire plant making tires for the U.S. market.  The new TIN will have a three-digit plant code.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association commented to NHTSA when its membership voiced concerns over some aspects of the proposed rule.

“RMA appreciates NHTSA’s effort to create an effective regulation to continue its obligation to provide plant codes to manufacturers while making common-sense accommodations to limit unnecessary costs,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs.

RMA commented on the proposed rule urging NHTSA to drop a proposed requirement for a 50 mm blank space after the TIN. RMA argued the additional space would add significant cost to the rulemaking with no safety benefit while causing extensive remodeling to tire molds around the world. The final rule eliminated the proposed 50 mm requirement.  Additionally, RMA successfully argued that tire manufacturers be given 10 years to phase in the new rule’s requirements.  RMA noted to NHTSA that a majority of tire molds last as long as 10 years. NHTSA agreed with RMA.

“RMA agrees that NHTSA needs to change the TIN to a three-digit plant code,” said Zielinski.  “RMA members had several concerns with the proposal that would have needlessly raised costs to tires produced in the U.S. and NHTSA agreed to make key changes.”

In response to other stakeholder requests to change the date stamp portion of the TIN, NHTSA said, “…we do not believe a change to the date code is necessary for consumers to determine when their tires were manufactured.”  NHTSA added that sufficient information to understand the date stamp is available online or by asking a tire dealer.”

Click here to link to NHTSA rule.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.