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DOT Approved Labeling Removal from UTV Tires: What You Need to Know

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently issued a letter to several off-road vehicle and tire associations, stating that Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) and All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) tires should not be labeled as compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). This is because UTVs and ATVs are not manufactured for use on public roadways, and therefore, no FMVSS apply to their tires.

According to the letter, the "DOT" symbol cannot appear on any ATV, UTV, or Not for Highway Service (NHS) tire, and manufacturers are not permitted to certify or represent that such tires conform to FMVSS. Only tires intended for vehicles certified to the FMVSS can be marked with "DOT" and marketed as conforming to these standards.

In response to this letter, several tire manufacturers have issued statements regarding their UTV tires:

  1. BFGoodrich (KM3) Tires: The Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 UTV tires follow the NHS tire design standard and are not DOT approved. Some states and counties allow ATVs/UTVs on public roads, but as of August 1, 2018, DOT-approved tires are not required in these areas.

  2. Greenball (GBC) Tires: GBC Powersports previously used FMVSS 119 as a measurement for calling a UTV tire "street legal," but NHTSA informed them that this standard does not specifically include UTV vehicles. GBC will remove the "DOT" stamp from their UTV tire sidewalls and will no longer make remarks about "DOT approval," "DOT certified," or "street-legal." The construction and design of their UTV tires will remain unchanged.

  3. Hercules Tires: Hercules UTV tires follow the NHS tire design standard and are intended for UTV/ATV use only. The Tire & Rim Association defines NHS as "Tires primarily designed for use outside of public roads, but suitable for temporary/incidental use on public roads."

In conclusion, the removal of the "DOT Approved" labeling from UTV tires does not necessarily indicate a change in tire construction or design. However, it is essential for consumers to be aware that there is currently no federal regulation or standard that allows UTV tires to be certified as "street legal" in the United States.

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