This list of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) codes for new-tire plants contains codes for plants in operation at year-end 2002. For a complete list of codes-including those for plants that are closed or no longer make tires-visit the Tire Business Web site, www.tirebusiness.com.
The U.S. government began issuing DOT codes-necessary for selling tires in the U.S.-in 1971. Since then, the agency has issued more than 800 codes, of which about a quarter are assigned to closed facilities or those that no longer make, or never made, tires.
Obtaining a DOT code for a tire plant is a relatively easy process: A manufacturer need only request one from the DOT in writing on company letterhead and signed by a legal company representative. Thereafter, the DOT symbol may be molded on a tire's sidewall at the manufacturer's discretion.
The existence of a DOT symbol on a tire ``constitutes a certification by the manufacturer and signifies that the tire meets all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements,'' according to DOT documents.
A manufacturer is not required to test tires prior to implementing the DOT code, but any tire sold in the U.S. is subject to random testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that it meets all the minimum performance and labeling requirements as specified in FMVSS.
Tires found not in compliance with these federal standards will be recalled and-according to new provisions under the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act-be subject to civil penalties of up to $5,000 per tire (up from $1,000), up to a maximum of $15 million (up from $800,000) for any related series of violations.