WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued 1,100-plus new DOT plant identification codes for tire plants worldwide in the past year—although just 31 of them are for new plants or first-time filings.
The plethora of new tire plant codes is in line with the agency's recommendation last year to start switching to a three-place alpha-numeric code system from the two-place identity in use for the past several decades.
In all but a few cases, the DOT simply added a “1” in front of the existing code to create the new code. The exceptions were those codes that included “G,” “S” or “Q” due to potential for misreading a G or an S for a 2 or Q for 0, for example.
Tire manufacturers wishing to sell tires intended for use on U.S. roadways must have a DOT code for each plant, and that code must be molded into the sidewalls of each such tire.
Among the new codes issued for first-time applicants are those for the plants being built in Macon, Ga., by Kumho Tire Co. Inc. (000) and Clarksville, Tenn., by Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. (00T). Kumho's plant in Binh Duong, Vietnam, also was issued a code (00B).
Of the others, 19 are for plants in China, two are for plants in Thailand and Vietnam and five for plants in India, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
Among the companies issued new codes and their codes were:
• Ceat Kelani Radials (Pvt) Ltd., Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (00R), a joint venture involving India's Ceat Ltd. and Sri Lanka's Kelani Tires, producing Ceat-brand radial car, van, truck, agricultural and motorcycle/-scooter tires.
• Dongying Monday Rubber Technology Co. Ltd., Dawang, Shandong, China (00L), which is engaged in motorcycle and bicycle tire production and distribution, selling under the Monday, Lotour and Gradeland brands. In business since 2010, Dongying Monday claims annual capacity of 3 million motorcycle and 1.5 million bicycle tires.
• JianXin Tire (Fujian) Co. Ltd., Yong'an City, China (00X), a producer of steel radial truck tires and other rubber products, using the Jianxin brand name.
• Link Fortune Tyre Tube Co. Ltd., Huyen Go Dao, Vietnam (00E), a bicycle and scooter tire maker.
• Ozka Lastik ve Kaucuk San Tic S.A., Koaceli, Turkey (00U), is a manufacturer of farm, forestry and other OTR tires, in business since 2004 with one factory. Brand name is Ozka.
• Open Joint Stock Co. Omskshina, Omsk, Russia (00F);
• Qingdao Fleming Tyre Co. Ltd., Qingdao, China (001), which describes itself as “professional tire exporter” based in Yijingyuan, Qingdao, China, and selling passenger, truck and OTR tires under the Lares and Pathfinder brand names. Company also known as Pingdu Fleming Tyre Co. Ltd. (005).
• Qingdao Deji Wheel Cart Co. Ltd., Huangdao, Qingdao (002), is a motorcycle, scooter and wheelbarrow tire and tube producer selling predominantly under the Deji Tire name.
• Qingdao Kunhua Machinery Co. Ltd., Linggang Industrial Processing Zone, Qingdao, China (00V). The company produces primarily light and heavy truck, agricultural, OTR, motorcycle and industrial.
• Shandong Changsheng Rubber Co. Ltd., Gaomi City, Shandong, China (004), a producer of agricultural, implement, bias and radial truck, car, industrial, forklift, skid-steer and OTR tires and tubes. Brand name is Bostone.
• Siam Truck Radial Co. Ltd., Paihoochang, Thailand (008), the commercial vehicle tire manufacturing arm of Thailand's Deestone Group.
• Tristar Tyre Factory, Insein Township, Myanmar (00P). The first, and as yet only, tire maker in Myanmar. Also known as Ywama Tire locally; retread plant on site, as well.
• Wenling Yaoding Machine Co. Ltd., Wenling City, Zheijiang Province, China (003), describes itself as a professional rim manufacturer specializing in wheels and tires for ATV, karting, snow vehicles, agricultural vehicles, trailers, lawn and garden vehicles, golf carts, etc.
• Zhongce Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd., Pluakdaeng, Thailand (00K); Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. Ltd.'s plant that opened in mid-2015.
• Zhucheng YiHeSheng Rubber Co. Ltd., Zhucheng, Weifang Province, China (00A), is specialized in the production of motorcycle tires, selling under the YiHE brand. Annual production output is put at 3 million tires and tubes.
Others issued codes, for which little if any information is available publicly, are:
• Ace Tyres Ltd., Medak District, India (00Y);
• Asean Tire Co. Ltd., Tien Du, Vietnam (010);
• Delun Tire Co. Ltd., Anhui, China (00C);
• Guanrao Yongfeng Rubber Co. Ltd., Dongying City, China (006);
• Qingdao Haorun Hand Truck Co. Ltd., Jiaonan, Qingdao, China (007);
• Jilin Jixing Tire Co, Ltd., Gaoxin District, China (00D);
• Ningbo Fleming Machine Co. Ltd., Ningbo, China (00H);
• Tianjin Huge Dragon Tire Co. Ltd., Jinnan, China (009);
• Weihai Good Partner Tire Co. Ltd., Wehai, China (00J); and
• Wulian Senlong Rubber Co. Ltd., Rizhao, Shandong, China (00N).
The alphanumeric DOT code indicates the tire maker certifies tires bearing the mark meet all U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements.
The manufacturer is not required to test the tires, but if they are sold in the U.S., they are subject to random testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with penalties assessed if the tires aren't in compliance with federal standards.
Tires found not in compliance with these federal standards will be subject to recall and the manufacturer is subject to civil penalties of up to $6,000 per tire—up to a maximum of $17.4 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.