WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has voiced its support of a letter issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to tire dealers and distributors, warning about mislabeled utility-terrain (UTV) and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) tires.
The letter warns dealers and distributors that some UTV and ATV tires for sale in the U.S. are mislabeled and marketed as compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), rather than correctly categorized as Not for Highway Service (NHS) tires.
The letter, reads, in part that NHTSA has become aware of UTV and ATV tires offered for sale in the U.S. "that are incorrectly labeled and marketed as being compliant" with FMVSS. The agency is providing this information to help promote compliance within the off-road tire industry.
"We encourage you to share this information with other industry members and stakeholders."
Over the last 2 1/2 years, the USTMA has worked with NHTSA officials to address the issue of NHS tires with improper Department of Transportation (DOT) marks and inappropriately marketed as regulated under a FMVSS.
Tracey Norberg, USTMA senior vice president and general counsel, said the group is "committed to producing safe, durable and efficient tires, so we take labeling and certification very seriously.
"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."
USTMA said that although the tires were improperly labeled and marketed as being compliant to FMVSS, the designation does not apply to UTV or ATV tires since they are not manufactured for use on public roadways.
The "DOT" symbol cannot appear on these kinds of tires. The advisory also says the use of language "approved," "certified," or "compliant" are misleading and do not apply to these types of tires.
Neither NHTSA nor the USTMA provided examples of the non-compliant tires.