The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) applauds the recent information letter issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advising tire dealers and distributors that some Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV) and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) tires for sale in the U.S. are mislabeled and marketed as compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), instead of categorized as Not for Highway Service (NHS) tires.
The information letter issued by NHTSA on June 3, reads in part:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has become aware of Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) tires offered for sale in the United States that are incorrectly labeled and marketed as being compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The Agency is providing this information for your awareness and to promote compliance within the off-road tire industry. We encourage you to share this information with other industry members and stakeholders.
Over the past two and a half years, USTMA has worked with NHTSA officials to address the issue of NHS tires carrying improper Department of Transportation (DOT) marks and inappropriately marketed as regulated under a FMVSS.
“USTMA members are committed to producing safe, durable and efficient tires, so we take labelling and certification very seriously,” said USTMA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Tracey Norberg. “We know off-road and all-terrain vehicles are especially popular during the summer months, so we applaud NHTSA for this important and well-timed information to help ensure consumer safety. We worked closely with NHTSA to raise this important safety issue and will assist in publicizing the information.”
Although the tires were improperly labeled and marketed as being compliant to FMVSS, the designation does not apply to UTV or ATV tires because they are not manufactured for use on public roadways. The symbol “DOT” cannot appear on these kinds of tires. The advisory also says that use of language “approved,” “certified,” or “compliant” are misleading and do not apply to these types of tires.
USTMA members are committed to continuous improvement of the performance of tires, worker and consumer safety and environmental stewardship. Tire manufacturers are always in pursuit of excellence by inventing new ways to design and engineer tires. That is why tires today last longer and perform better than the tires of just a couple of decades ago.