Mr. Bruce Ainbinder
Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park & Kelly LLP
4 Manhattanville Rd., Suite 202
Purchase, NY† 10577
Dear Mr. Ainbinder:
This letter responds to your request on behalf of Kumho Tire U.S.A., Inc. (Kumho) requesting clarification regarding the spacing requirement for the 13-symbol tire identification number (TIN) required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).† NHTSA published a final rule in the Federal Register on April 13, 2015 (80 FR 19553) requiring all new plants (and, within 10 years, all existing tire plants) to mark tires with a 13-symbol TIN.† You request clarification whether there must be spacing between the three groupings of symbols within the TIN, as shown in figures accompanying 49 CFR 574.5.† As we made clear in the April 2015 final rule, no spacing between the grouping of symbols within the TIN is required.
As you note in your letter, this issue was raised in comments submitted to the agency on the notice of proposed rulemaking preceding the April 2015 final rule.† Two commenters suggested that NHTSA require spaces between the TINís three groupings of symbols.† See 80 FR 19558.† The agency did not adopt the suggestion, reasoning that such a spacing requirement would eliminate a cost-effective option to convert existing tire molds from then-existing TIN requirements to the new 13-symbol TIN requirements.† Where spacing is required, such as between the certification symbol (if required) and the TIN itself, requirements are included in the regulatory text and/or reflected in Figure 1 to 49 CFR 574.5. †There was no specification in the figures or in the regulatory text requiring spacing between the three groupings of symbols.†
I hope this information is helpful.† If you have any further questions about this issue, please feel free to contact David Jasinski of my office at (202) 366-2992.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sincerely yours,
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Stephen P. Wood
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Acting Chief Counsel
Ref: †Part 574