When buying new tires for your vehicle, don't forget to fill out a tire registration form and mail it back to the manufacturer, reminds the Tire Industry Safety Council.
"The purpose of tire registration is to enable the manufacturer to contact you directly in the event of a recall," said Council Chairman Donald B. Shea. "While a recall is unlikely, it's important to make sure your tires are properly registered just in case."
People should know that independent tire dealers and distributors are not required to register for you -- they are only required to give you a registration form which contains the tire identification number molded on the tire sidewall.
The law once required all tire sellers to submit your name automatically to the manufacturer. While this is still mandatory for stores and distributors owned by tire manufacturers, it is not required for independent tire dealers.
"It's up to the consumer to complete the form with his or her name and address and mail it back to the tire manufacturer," Shea added. The tire identification number is a group of letters and numbers, required by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which identifies the plant in which the tire was made and the week and year of manufacture. A typical sidewall identification number might look like this: DOT WOKAABC 266.
"DOT" means the tire meets or exceeds U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. "WO" would be the code number assigned by DOT to the manufacturing plant. "KA" is the tire size. "ABC" is a group of up to four symbols, optional with the manufacturer, to identify the brand or other significant characteristics of the tire. "266" means the tire was made during the 26th week of 1996.
Here are some tire registration facts from the Tire Industry Safety Council: