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Full text of "Federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations, with amendments and interpretations"



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Eff«cHv«: January 1, 1968 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. Ill 
Rearview Mirrors — Passenger Cars and Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles 

(Docket No. 13) 



Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. Ill (32 
F.R. 2413) specifies requirements for rearview 
mirrors for use in passenger cars, multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, and passenger car and multi- 
purpose passenger car equipment. 

Paragraph S2, entitled "Application" of Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. Ill (32 F.R. 2413) 
requires that the application of the Standard be 
as follows: "This standard applies to passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and pas- 
senger car and multipurpose passenger vehicle 
equipment." 

Paragraph S3.2.1.2 entitled "Mounting" of 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. Ill (32 F.R. 
2413) requires that outside mirrors installed on 
passenger cars and multipurpose passenger ve- 
hicles be mounted as follows: "The mounting 
shall provide a stable support for the mirror 
and neither the mirror nor the mounting shall 
protrude further than ^ the widest part of the 
vehicle body, except to the extent necessary to 
meet the requirements of S3.2.1.1." 

The National Traffic Safety Agency has de- 
termined that the mirror mounting may exceed 
the width of the vehicle to the extent necessary 



to produce a field of view meeting or exceeding 
the requirements of paragraph S3.2.1.1 of Stand- 
ard No. Ill and that it would not be practicable 
to extend the application of the standard to re- 
placement parts for vehicles manufactured before 
the effective date of the standard. Therefore, 
the standard is being amended to apply to pas- 
senger cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
and to permit a mirror to protrude further than 
the widest part of the vehicle body to the extent 
necessary to produce a field of view meeting or 
exceeding the field-of-view requirements of the 
standard. 

This amendment is made under the authority 
of sections 103 and 119 of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C, 
sees. 1392, 1407) and becomes effective January 1, 
1968. 

Issued in Washington, D.C., on March 29, 
1967. 

Lowell K. Bridwell, 
Acting Under Secretary of 
Commerce for Transportation 
33 F.R. 5498 
April 4, 1967 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 1-2 



HNcHva: Fahivaiy 13, 1976 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. Ill 

Rearview Mirrors 
(Dockat No. 74-20; NoHce 2) 



This notice amends Standard No. Ill, Rear- 
view Mirrors (49 CFR 571.111) to allow in- 
stallation of truck-type mirror systems in 
multipurpose passenger vehicles and to extend 
the coverage of the standard to trucks and buses. 

The NHTSA proposed in a notice published 
on May 1, 1974 (39 F.R. 15143) to amend Stand- 
ard No. Ill, to specify minimum requirements 
for mirror size, capability, and location which 
would be applicable to all trucks, buses, and 
motorcycles, and to establish an option which 
would allow multipurpose passenger vehicles to 
meet either the present passenger-car mirror 
requirements or to satisfy the requirements pro- 
posed in the notice for trucks and buses. Stand- 
ard No. Ill currently applies only to passenger 
cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles, speci- 
fying the same rearview mirror requirements for 
each. The NHTSA has determined that a need 
exists to extend the standard's coverage to other 
vehicle types that presently lack uniform Federal 
regulation in order to ensure observance of mini- 
mum mirror performance levels essential to 
motor vehicle safety. 

The NHTSA also proposed in the notice pub- 
lished May 1, 1974 to require that all mirrors 
required by the standard, except those specified 
for motorcycles, be designed to reflect an image 
of unit magnification, thereby limiting any devia- 
tion from unit magnification to normal produc- 
tion variations and not variations which are the 
result of design. To this end it was proposed 
tliat the term "substantially" be deleted where 
it modifies "unit magnification" in the text of 
Standard No. 111. 

Interested persons were afforded an oppor- 
tunity to submit comments on the proposal by 
July 1, 1974 and due consideration has been 
given to the 36 comments received. 



Two commenters opposed deletion of the term 
"substantial" where it modifies "unit magnifica- 
tion" on the ground that only mirrors of pre- 
cisely unit magnification will now be acceptable. 
This view is erroneous. The interpretation fol- 
lowed by the NHTSA — and proposed to be in- 
corporated in Standard No. Ill in this issue of 
the Federal Register — is that deviations from 
unit magnification are acceptable under the 
standard as amended below provided that the 
deviations do not exceed normal manufacturing 
tolerances. 

All comments generally agreed with the 
NHTSA proposal to extend a Federal rearview 
mirror standard to trucks, buses and motorcycles. 
However, several comments recommended mir- 
rors of larger area than those required in the 
NHTSA proposal for trucks and buses, and 
suggested the use of convex mirrors in addition 
to unit magnification mirrors. Others recom- 
mended specific requirements for school buses 
and clarification of the proposed standard for 
motorcycles with regard to location and area of 
mirrors and use of convex mirrors. While the 
NHTSA considers that the proposed extension 
of the scope of Standard No. Ill to cover trucks 
and buses will promote eflScient rearward visi- 
bility, it agrees with those who have urged fur- 
ther research regarding requirements for school 
buses and motorcycles. Consequently, Standard 
No. Ill is amended by this notice to extend the 
scope of its coverage to trucks and buses (in- 
cluding school buses). At the same time, how- 
ever, t3ie NHTSA is proposing in this issue of 
the Federal Register to amend Standard No. Ill 
to specify new rearview mirror requirements for 
motorcycles and further requirements for school 
buses. 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 3 



EffacHva: Hbruory 12, 1»'6 

The majority of comments favored the pro- 
posal that trucks, buses, and multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds 
or less comply either with the present passenger 
car mirror requirements, or with new require- 
ments specifying outside mirrors on both sides 
of the vehicle with not less than 19.5 in^ of 
reflective surface. This option is intended to 
overcome difficulties caused by classifying trucks, 
buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles into 
groups specifying one mirror system adequate to 
fulfill the safety needs of all. 

In addition, several commenters felt that 
heavy commercial vehicles, such as truck tractors, 
moving vans, and dump trucks, needed outside 
mirrors larger than 50 in-. The NHTSA has 
determined that the 50 in^ mirror is adequate 
for buses and for smaller multipurpose passenger 
vehicles and trucks. However, for multipurpose 
passenger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR ex- 
ceeding 25,000 pounds, a 75 in^ mirror appears 
better to meet the safety need. Therefore, while 
this notice amends Standard No. Ill to require 
that multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, 
and buses with a GVWR of more than 10,000 
pounds have outside mirrors of not less than 
50 in^ of reflective surface, the NHTSA is pro- 
posing in this issue of the Federal Register to 
amend Standard No. Ill to require mirrors of 
at least 75 in^ of reflective surface on multipur- 
pose passenger vehicles and trucks with a 
GVWR of 25,000 pounds or more. 

Several persons contended with regard to 
multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and 
buses that the provision requiring that mirrors 
be adjustable by "tilting in both the horizontal 
and vertical direction" did not take into account 



the methods used to ihount mirrors on these 
types of vehicles. Large mirrors, such as the 
so-called "West Coast" mirror which affords 
approximately 96 square inches of reflective 
surface area, are commonly mounted on rigid 
brace assemblies. These mirrors can be adjusted 
to provide the driver a view to the rear. How- 
ever, once they are locked into place they are not 
capable of "tilting in both the horizontal and 
vertical direction." While mirrors mounted on 
ball sockets are fully adjustable in the horizontal 
and vertical directions by tilting, the NHTSA 
finds no reason to preclude the use of a mirror 
that possesses full adjustment capability and is 
only locked into a position once it satisfies the 
particular driver's viewing needs. 

The NHTSA has decided to delete the words 
"by tilting" from the requirements for multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses. 
The rule requires that mirrors on such vehicles 
"shall be adjustable in both the horizontal and 
vertical directions to view the rearward scene." 
In consideration of the foregoing. Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Standard No. Ill, 49 CFR 571.111, 
is amended. . . . 

Effective date : February 12, 1976. 
(Sees. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.51.) 



Issued on : August 6, 1975. 



James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

40 F.R. 33825 
August 12, 1975 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 4 



Effective: February 19, 1976 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. Ill 



Rearview Mirrors 
(Docket 74-20; Notice 4) 



This notice responds to four petitions for re- 
consideration of the notice publislied August 12. 
1975 (-10 F.R. 33825) which amended Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. Ill, Rear- 
view Mirrors (49 CFR 571.111). to allow in- 
stallation of tmck-type mirror systems in multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles and to extend coverage 
of the standard to trucks and buses. 

Petitions for reconsideration were received 
from American Motoi-s, Ford, General Motors, 
and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Associa- 
tion. They all asked the NHTSA to amend the 
standard to include a statement that the eye 
reference points to be used to determine com- 
pliance with the field of view requirements set 
forth in S4.1.1 and S4.2.1 may also be "at a 
nominal location appropriate for any 95tli per- 
centile driver." The NHTSA had determined by 
a previously published interpretation (32 F.E. 
5498) that the standard in etfect in April of 1967 
perraitte^d location of the driver's eye reference 
point in this manner. The recent amendments 



did not change this aspect of the standard. How- 
ever, in order to resolve any doubt concerning 
the applicability of the prior interpretation, the 
agency proposed in a notice published August 12, 
1975, to formally reaffirm this interpretation by 
amending the standard. Petitioners seek imme- 
diate adoption of this proposal. The NHTSA 
agrees that the standard may be amended at this 
time to incorporate the previous interpretation. 
Therefore, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ard No. Ill, Rearview Mirrors (49 CFR 571.111), 
is amended. . . . 

Effective date: February 19, 1976. 

(Sees. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563. 80 Stat. 718 (15 
U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.50.) 

Issued Februai-y 12, 1976. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

41 F.R. 7510 
February 19, 1976 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 5-6 



Effective: February 26, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. Ill 

Rearview Mirrors 

(Docket No. 74-20; Notice 5) 



This notice amends Standard No. Ill, Rear- 
view Mirrors^ to establish separate requirements 
for school buses, to increase the amount of re- 
flective surface required for mirrors on multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a 
GVWR of 25,000 pounds or more, and to extend 
the coverage of the standard to motorcycles. 

By final rule published by the National High- 
way Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
on August 12, 1975 (40 F.E. 33825), Standard 
No. Ill (49 CFE 571.111) was amended to allow 
installation of truck-type mirror systems on 
nmltipurpose passenger vehicles and to extend 
the coverage of the standard to trucks and buses. 
As amended, the standard specified identical re- 
quirements for all types of buses. No distinction 
was made between commercial buses and school 
buses. No requirements were set out for motor- 
cycles, as had been proposed in an earlier notice. 
Further, the standard imposed the same require- 
ments for all multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks, and buses with a GVAVR of more than 
10,000 pounds. 

At the time of these changes, the NHTSA had 
completed further research and considered com- 
ments submitted by participants in that rule- 
making, and det«rmined that the promulgation 
of separate rearview miror requirements for 
motorcycles, school buses, and multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles and trucks with a GVNATl of 
25.000 pounds or more would ensure the provision 
of minimum perfonnance levels essential to motor 
vehicle safety. Therefore, a notice proposing 
these changes was also published on August 12. 
1975 (40 F.R. 33828), and forms the basis of the 
present amendments. 

Interested persons were afforded an opportu- 
nity to submit coimnents on the proposal by 



September 26, 1975, and due consideration has 
been given to the 24 connnents I'eceived. The 
National Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council 
did not take a position on the proposed amend- 
ments. (Active dockets concerning rearview 
mirrors are Docket No. 74—20 and Docket No. 
71-3a.) 

Commenters generally agreed with the NHTSA 
proposal to establish rearview mirror require- 
ments for motorcycles. However, the Grote Man- 
ufacturing Company oposed the optional use 
of convex mirrors, contending that their use on 
motorcycles would be hazardous due to the distor- 
tion of distance characteristics of convex mirrors 
and the unfamiliarity of young drivers with 
them. The NHTSA has decided that both plane 
and convex motorcycle mirrors should be per- 
mitted, since available data does not support the 
contention that convex mirrors would be hazard- 
ous. The SAE Recommended Practice J268(a), 
"Rear View Mirrors — Motorcycles." specifies cri- 
teria for both plane and convex mirrors, and 
convex mirrors are presently in common usage 
on motorcycles. 

There were also recommendations for both 
larger and smaller minimmn reflective area 
requirements for motorcycle mirrors, and one 
reconmiendation for field-of-view performance re- 
quirements instead of a reflective area require- 
ment. The amendment specifies 12.5 in- of 
i-eflective surface for a plane motorcycle miiTor 
or 10 in- of i-eflective surface for a convex mir- 
ror. The NHTSA concludes that these required 
reflective surface areas will ensure a safe level 
of rearview visibility on motorcycles. The 
NHTSA finds the larger reflective area is needed 
on the plane mirror to offset its smaller field-of- 
view compared to that of a convex mirror. It is 



PART .571; S HI— PRE 7 



Effective: February 26, 1977 

contemplated that field-of-view performance re- 
quirements will be developed in future rulemak- 
ing. 

The State of California conunented that the 
SAE Recommended Practice J964a, specified in 
paragraph Sll of the standard, does not include 
a procedure for measuring the reflectance of 
convex mirrore, and suggested that a different 
procedure be specified. This suggestion is not 
well taken since, contrai-j' to California's com- 
ment, the Eecommended Practice does include a 
procedure for measuring convex mirror reflec- 
tance. 

This amendment excepts school buses from the 
general bus requirements specified in paragraphs 
S6 and S7 of the standard, as amended by this 
notice, and establishes a new paragraph, S9. 
which requires school buses to be equipped with 
outside mirrors of unit magnification with not 
less than 50 in= of reflective surface and, except 
for forward control vehicles, with a convex 
cross-view mirror that has a mininuim of 40 
in= of reflective surface and an average radius 
of curvature not less than 12 inches and not 
greater than 25 inches. 

The Grote Manufacturing Company contended 
that a 50 in= plane mirror on the right side of a 
school bus is inadequate, but the NHTSA be- 
lieves that the 50 in= mirror in common use 
offers sufficient reflective area. Likewise, the 
NHTSA cannot agree with the views of the 
States of California and Illinois that a 40 in= 
cross-view mirrors is insufficient. Manufacturers 
can meet this requirement with the 71^ inch- 
diameter convex mirror which is commonly in- 
stalled on school buses and which has been found 
to be adequate. 

California also opposed the proposal that for- 
ward control school buses be excluded from the 
cross-view mirror requirements, stating that 
cross-view mirrors might be necessary- on some 
forward control configurations. The NHTSA 
will consider this aspect of California's comment 
in future rulemaking in which the agency plans 
to develop field-of-view performance tests. 

The State of Illinois, noting that the proposed 
amendments specified requirements for cross- view 
mirrors on school buses, recommended that tlie 
title of Standard No. Ill, Rearvieic Mirrors, be 
shortened to "Mirrors." The NHTSA believes 



that such a change is unnecessaiy and might 
create confusion since the industry- has come to 
associate the existing title with the standard 
number. Therefore, there is no change in the 
title of Standard No. Ill even though this amend- 
ment adds a provision for cross-view mirrors. 

Several commenters, including Blue Bird Body 
Company, the State of Illinois, and the Grote 
Manufacturing Company, disagreed with the pre- 
amble discussion concerning preemption that ap- 
peared in the notice proposing this amendment 
(40 F.R. 33828), in regard to Federal versus 
State requirements for rearview mirrors on school 
buses. There appears to be some confusion con- 
cerning the provision of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, P.L. 89-563 
(15 U.S.C. § 1392(d)) that allows states and 
political subdivisions to iuipose higher standards 
of performance than is required by Federal 
standards in the case of vehicles procured for 
their own use. Blue Bird Body Company com- 
mented that the interpretation in the preamble 
to the proposal "would allow local governments 
and other parties to specify potentially conflicting 
requirements with all NHTSA standards." This 
is incorrect. Section 103(d) of tlie National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act provides 
that no State or political subdivision of a State 
shall have authority to establish a motor vehicle 
safety standard governing the same aspect of 
performance of a motor vehicle or of motor ve- 
hicle equipment as a Federal standard, unless it 
is identical to the Federal standard. The only 
exception, also provided in section 103(d) of 
the Act, is that a State may establish a safety 
requirement applicable to motor vehicles or motor 
vehicle equipment procured for its own use if 
such requirement imposes a higher standard of 
perfonnance than tlie Federal standard. This 
means that a State may impose requirements 
additional to those specified in an applicable 
Federal standard only if the vehicles are pro- 
cured specifically for use by the State or its 
political subdivision. Therefore, a State may not 
require vehicles manufactured or sold for use by 
private parties to meet any standards not identical 
with Federal standards, even if the State stand- 
ard would reciuire a higher level of performance. 
Use of the phrase "higher standard of perform- 
ance" means that the State standard must not 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 8 



Effective: February 26, 1977 



conflict with the Federal standard but may con- 
tain additional requirements. 

The phrase does not mean that a State standard 
will be subjectively analyzed as a whole to deter- 
mine its comparable worth in safety terms in 
relation to a Federal standard. Such an inter- 
pretation would create impracticable results. 
Finally, as stated in the preamble of the notice 
proposing these amendments, the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 does not 
prohibit a nongovernmental purchaser of a ve- 
hicle from contracting with a manufacturer or 
dealer for additional safety features beyond those 
required by Federal motor vehicle safety stand- 
ards. 

The majority of comments favored the proposal 
that multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks 
with a GVIVR of more than 10.000 and less than 
25,000 pounds, and buses, other than school buses, 
with a GA^VR of more than 10,000 pounds con- 
tinue to be equipped with outside mirrors of unit 
magnification on both sides of the vehicle, each 
with not less than 50 in- of reflective surface. 

The Teamsters Union recommended that the 
proposed 75-square-inch reflective area require- 
ment for trucks and multipurpose vehicles with 
a G^^'R of 25,000 pounds or more be increased 
to a 96-square-inch requirement. The XHTSA 
has carefully considered the views of the Team- 
sters, but must conclude, based on available 
studies, that the proposed 75-square-inch mirror 
is adequate for safety purposes. Further, a 
larger reflective area requirement would prohibit 
the new truck mirrors that are designed to be 
mounted below the driver's line of sight. Use of 
these mirrors is encouraged by the agency since 
they do not obstruct the forward view of the 
driver, as do the larger "West Coast" mirrors. 

The obsti'uction of the forward view due to 
the mounting location of some of the larger' mir- 
rors can create a potential safety hazard, as 
pointed out by several commenters. However, 
rather than incorporating mounting location as 
a requirement of the standard at this time, the 
NHTSA believes the problem can better be 
solved through viewing performance requirements 
to be promulgated in the future. 

The State of California suggested that mini- 
mum width requirements be specified for side- 



mounted mirrors, and that ti-uck classification be 
based on a system other than GVWR. We see 
no need to specify width requirements. The Cali- 
fornia comments provided no evidence, and the 
agency has no indication, that manufacturers 
would circumvent the purposes of the standard 
by providing long and narrow side mirrors. No 
circumvention of this sort has occurred in the 
case of mirrors currently available on the market. 
The NHTSA recognizes that truck classification 
based on G^^VR creates some artificiality in the 
applicability of requirements, but other methods 
of classification create similar problems. These 
problems can better be corrected in future rule- 
making with the specification of field-of-\'iew 
performance requirements. 

Finally, several commenters recommended that 
combination plane and convex mirrors be required 
for large nmltipurpose passenger vehicles and 
trucks, in order to inci'ease the field of view. 
The NHTSA agrees that the use of convex mir- 
rors on larger vehicles would be of some benefit 
because of the increased field of view they would 
provide. Therefore, the agency publishes in this 
issue of the Federal Register a proposal to amend 
Standard No. Ill to specify the optional use 
of plane and convex mirror combinations on 
buses other than school buses, multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles, and trucks that ha\'e a GVWR 
of 10,000 pounds or more. 

This amendment also clarifies the deflection 
requirements for inside rearview mirror mount- 
ings on passenger cars. The amendment specifies 
that the mounting is required to "break away" 
when the test force is applied to the reflective 
surface of the mirror in any direction that forms 
an angle of up to 45° with the forward longi- 
tudinal direction. The amendment clarifies that 
the mounting is required to deflect, collapse, or 
"break awpy" when the force is applied to the 
reflective surface in a generally forward direction. 

The provision of Standard No. Ill regarding 
mirror construction is amended to provide that 
the "average" reflectance value of the reflective 
film employed on any mirror required by the 
standard must be at least 35 percent. The pur- 
pose of this amendment is to make clear that the 
failure of any individual point or points on the 
reflective surface of a mirror to reflect -35 percent 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 9 



EfFecfive: February 26, 1977 



of a light source does not constitute a failure to 
comply with the standard if the average reflec- 
tance of the total points comprising the reflective 
surface is at least 35 percent. 

The amendment incorporates into the mirror 
construction requirements the current test pro- 
cedures for measurement of average reflectance 
value found in the Society of Automotive En- 
gineers Recommended Practice J96a. August. 
1974. 

Standard No. Ill is further amended by this 
notice to add a definition of the tenn "mirror of 
imit magnification." This definition incorporates 
a previous XHTSA interpretation to the effect 
that precise "unit magnification" is not required 
by the standard if any deviations are not in 
excess of normal manufacturing tolerances. The 
definition provides that a prismatic day-night 
adjustment rearview mirror, one of whose posi- 
tions provides imit magnification, is considered 
a unit magnification mirror. 

The notice proposing these amendments (40 
F.R. 33828) included a proposal that tlie term 
"driver's eye reference point" referred to in 
S5.1.1 and S5.2.1 of the standard as amended by 
this notice, be changed to "driver's eyes reference 
points" in order to more accurately describe the 
locations to wliich the term refers. The notice 
furtlier proposed that the standard be amended 
to permit location of the driver's eye reference 
point at "a nominal location appropriate for any 
n.5tii percentile male driver," as had been estab- 
lished in a previously published NHTSA inter- 
pretation (32 F.R. 5498). At the time of the 
proposal, Standard No. Ill only provided that 
the location of the driver's eye reference point 
"shall be that established in Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 104." The proposal i)rovi(led that 
the location of the eye I'eference point could be 
derived through either fonnula. 

In response to four petitions for reconsidera- 
tion, by final rule issued February 19. 1976 (41 
F.R. 7510). Standard No. Ill was amended to 
partially adopt the proposed changes regarding 
driver's eye reference point. The standard was 
amended to incorporate the previous NHTSA 
interpretation which allowed location of the 
driver's eye reference point "at a nominal loca- 
tion appropriate for any 95th percentile adult 
male driver." The petitioners had requested that 



this aspect of tiie proposal be adopted imme- 
diately. 

Today's amendment completes the adoption of 
the proposed changes by modifying the term 
"driver's eye reference point" to read "driver's 
eye reference points." As amended, the last 
sentence of S5.1.1 and S5.2.1 now reads: "The 
location of the driver's eye reference points shall 
be those established in Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 104 (§571.104) or a nominal loca- 
tion appropriate for any 95th percentile adult 
male driver." Even with these clianges. however, 
there still appears to- be much confusion con- 
cerning this aspect of the field-of-view perform- 
ance requirements for passenger cars. General 
Motors has reconunended that the reference to 
Standard No. 104 in paragraphs S5.1.1 and S5.2.1 
be deleted, since that standard's designation of 
"eye reference points'' is ambiguous. In light of 
the evident confusion, the NHTSA is proposing 
in this issue of the Federal Register to amend 
paragraphs S5.1.1 and S5.2.1 of Standard No. 
Ill to specify that location of driver's eye refer- 
ence points shall be detennined in accordance 
with the procedure found in SAE Recommended 
Practice J1050, "Describing the Driver's Field 
of View," Section 7 (September, 1973). Refer- 
ences to Standard No. 104 and to the "nominal 
location" method of determining the eye reference 
points would be deleted from the standard. 

These amendments should have only a minimal 
economic and environmental impact, since manu- 
facturers are currently equipping vehicles with 
the same type mirrors that are required by the 
amendments. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the amend- 
ments of Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 
Ill (49 CFR 571.111) are adopted witliout 
change. . . . 

Effective date : February 26, 1977. 

(Sees. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of autliority 
at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on Augu.st 17. 1976. 

Jolm AV. Snow 
Administrator 

41. F.R. 36023 
August 26, 1976 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 10 



Effective: February 26, 1977 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. Ill 

Rearview Mirrors 
(Docket No. 74-20; Notice 07) 



This notice responds to petitions for recon- 
siderations of a recent amendment of Standard 
No. Ill, Reat^new Mirrors, by reducing upcom- 
ing mirror size requirements to the level presently 
specified by the standard. 

By notice published August 26, 1976 (41 F.R. 
36023), paragraph S8.1 of Standard Xo. Ill (49 
CFR 571.111) was established to increase from 
50 square inches to 75 square inches the amount 
of reflective surface required for plane mirrors 
on multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks 
with a GVWR of 25,000 pounds or more. The 
new requirement becomes effective February 26. 
1977. In the same issue of the Federal Register 
the NHTSA published a proposal to further 
amend Standard 111 to provide for the optional 
use of plane and convex mirror combinations on 
multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with 
a G^^VR of 25,000 pounds or more (41 F.R. 
36037). The proposed requirements would allow 
manufacturers to equip their larger vehicles with 
either a 75-square-inch mirror of unit magnifica- 
tion or a combination mirror system comprised 
of a 45-square-inch plane mirror and a 25-square- 
inch convex mirror. 

Mr. M. W. Urban and the '\^niite Motor Com- 
pany petitioned the NHTSA to revoke the 
amendment requiring vehicles over 25.000 pounds 
to have plane mirrors with 75 square inches of 
refiective surface. Petitioners were concerned 
that the proposal to allow plane and convex com- 
binations for the larger vehicles would not be 
made a final rule by the time of the February 26, 
1977, effective date for the 75-square-inch plane 
mirror requirement. They noted that this would 
liave the effect of prohibiting the use of combina- 
tion mirrors after February 26, 1977, although 
they are presently allowed and would be allowed 



again in the future under the outstanding pro- 
posal. 

The NHTSA has determined that petitioners' 
argument has merit. As stated in the preamble 
to the August 26, 1976, proposal, the NHTSA 
recognizes that the larger vehicles (GV^VR 
greater than 25,000 pounds) have rearward vis- 
ibility problems that can create potential safety 
hazards, and that the use of both plane and 
convex mirrors on these vehicles should help to 
increase rearward visibility. The NHTSA does 
not wish to preclude the combination mirror sys- 
tems currently being used on the MPVs and 
trucks, since most of these systems would meet 
dimensional specifications set forth in the out- 
standing proposal. 

■\Vliile the NHTSA concluded that the larger 
plane mirrors are necessary on heavy vehicles not 
equipped with combination mirrors, many manu- 
facturers are already equipping these vehicles 
with "West Coast" mirrors that have 96 square 
inches of reflective surface. Therefore, postpone- 
ment of the 75-square-inch plane mirror require- 
ment for heavy vehicles sliould not significantly 
reduce motor vehicle safety. 

The rearview mirror amendments published on 
August 26, 1976, established the requirement that 
school buses be equipped with plane mirrors hav- 
ing 50 square inches of reflective surface. Mr. 
Urban's petition for reconsideration also re- 
quested that this requirement be postponed and 
modified to include separate requirements for 
small school buses. The petition stated that 
smaller plane mirrors in couibination with convex 
mirrors should be allowed on van-type school 
buses on an optional basis. 



PART 571; S 111— PRE 11 



Effective: February 26, 1977 

The NHTSA considered all comments to the 
notice proposing these school bus requirements 
prior to issuance of the final rule. It was deter- 
mined that 50-square-inch plane mirrors were 
necessary on school buses to provide the driver 
an adequate view to the rear along both sides 
of the vehicle. Since Mr. Urban did not submit 
his views regarding van-type school buses during 
the specified conmient period, his comments will 
only be considered in future rulemaking on this 
subject. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the number 
"75 in-" in paragraph S8.1 of Standard Xo. Ill 
(as published August 26, 1976 (41 F.R. 36023) 



and effective February 26, 1976) is amended to 
read "50 in-." 

Effective date: The change may be made im- 
mediately to the Federal Register text published 
August 26, 1976 (41 F.R. 36023) and is effective 
February 26, 1977. 

(Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407); delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on December 22, 1976. 

John W. Snow 
Administrator 

41 F.R. 568T3 
December 30, 1976 



PART 571: S 111— PRE 12 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 111 

Rearview Mirror Systems 
(Docket No. 71 -Sa; Notice 6) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUIVIIVIARY: This notice amends Federal Motor 
Safety Standard No. Ill (rearview mirrors) by 
permitting the use of convex rearview mirrors on 
the exterior, passenger side of passenger cars 
and light trucks, to meet the field of view 
requirements when they are not met by the inside 
rearview mirror. Previously, only flat (plane) 
outside mirrors could be used to supplement an 
inside mirror which did not fully satisfy those 
requirements. This amendment is issued in 
response to a petition by General Motors. The 
agency believes that this amendment will result 
in improved driver rearward visibility, thereby 
reducing motor vehicle accidents and injuries. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 2, 1982. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard ("FMVSS") No. Ill 
establishes requirements for the use, field of 
view, and mounting of motor vehicle rearview 
mirrors. With respect to passenger cars, the 
standard requires that manufacturers mount flat 
(sometimes referred to as "plane" or "unit 
magnification") mirrors both inside the vehicle 
and outside the vehicle on the driver's side. The 
inside mirror must, except as specified below, 
have a field of view at least 20 degrees wide and 
extending to the horizon beginning not more than 
200 feet behind the vehicle. In cases where the 
interior mirror does not meet the specified field 
of view requirements, a plane, exterior mirror 
must be mounted on the passenger's side of the 
car. If a passenger side mirror is required to be 
used, it must be stably mounted, may not have 
sharp points or edges which could injure 
pedestrians, and must be adjustable. Reflectance 



(image brightness) criteria were also established. 
(If a manufacturer uses an interior mirror which 
meets the field of view requirements, and wishes 
to install an exterior passenger side mirror 
voluntarily, it may use any type of mirror for that 
purpose.) 

In the case of light trucks, manufacturers may 
either comply with the passenger car requirement 
or have flat outside mirrors with reflective surface 
area of not less than 19.5 square inches on each 
side of the vehicle. 

On May 26, 1976, General Motors Corporation 
(GM) petitioned the agency to amend FMVSS 111 
to permit the use of convex mirrors on the 
passenger side of cars and light trucks, where the 
interior mirror did not meet the field of view 
requirements of the standard. GM pointed out in 
its petition that convex mirrors would provide a 
wider field of view than the flat mirrors of the 
same size. On August 26, 1976, the agency issued 
a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the 
standard as requested by GM, but with certain 
limitations as to the characteristics of the convex 
mirrors which could be used. These limitations 
were considered necessary because some convex 
mirrors present a distorted image which could 
cause problems for some drivers. 

The 1976 NPRM was incorporated in a proposal 
for a major upgrading of all the requirements in 
FMVSS 111. See F.R. 51657, November 6, 1978. 
Among the provisions of the 1978 proposal were 
requirements increasing the minimum field of 
view of the mirror system, more specific 
breakaway and shatter resistance requirements, 
and image luminance (another measure of image 
brigthness) criteria. 

The 1978 NPRM also proposed to permit the 
use of convex outside mirrors which met certain 
additional requirements. The additional 



PART 571; Sill -PRE 13 



requirements, which were designed to reduce or 
eliminate problems certain drivers could 
experience when viewing images in convex 
mirror; included specifications of minimum and 
maximum radii of curvature, maximum variation 
of the radius of curvature for a given mirror, 
identification of convex mirrors (through the use 
of orange border) and discussions in owner's 
manuals for passenger cars and light trucks 
which use convex mirrors regarding the presence 
of the convex mirrors, the location of the mirrors, 
and the significance of the orange border. 

The agency has determined that it is appropriate 
to take final action on the portions of the 1978 
proposed rule relating to passenger side convex 
mirrors. The remaining provisions of the 1978 
NPRM require further evaluation by the agency 
and will be addressed in a future notice. 
Therefore, the agency is amending FMVSS 111 to 
permit the use of convex mirrors on the passenger 
side of passenger cars (and also light trucks, since 
they may comply with FMVSS 111 by meeting 
the car requirements) subject to the following 
restrictions. 

1) The radius of curvature of any convex mirror 
used shall not exceed 65 inches; 

2) The radius of curvature of such a mirror 
may not be less than 35 inches; 

3) The measured radius of curvature of a convex 
mirror, as specified in the agency's test 
procedure, may not vary by more than 12.5 
percent from the mean radius of curvature; 

4) Each convex mirror shall be readily 
identifiable by the following words etched on the 
lower portion of the glazing surface: "OBJECTS 
IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY 
APPEAR". 

The need for each of these requirements, and 
the comments received on the proposed convex 
mirror requirements, are discussed below. 

Comments on the NPRM. Several commenters 
questioned the desirability of permitting the use 
of convex mirrors on passenger cars and light 
trucks. Convex automotive mirrors exhibit a 
number of characteristics which differ from the 
common plane mirrors now in general use. One is 
that the image of an object viewed in a convex 
mirror is smaller than that of the same object 
viewed in a plane mirror. Therefore, such an 
object will appear to be farther away than it 
would when viewed in a plane automotive mirror. 



A driver who has always used plane mirrors 
might, when viewing a car to his or her rear in the 
immediately adjacent lane to the right (such as in 
a passing maneuver), perceive that that car is 
further to the rear than it actually is. In that 
situation, the driver might move to the right and 
change lanes before it is safe to do so. Some 
commenters believed that the combination of a 
plane and convex mirrors, and therefore differing 
image sizes, on the same car would add to the 
confusion. Other problems experienced by some 
users of convex mirrors include double vision, 
eyestrain, and nausea. 

Research by the agency and by the mirror 
manufacturers indicate that these problems with 
convex mirrors can be greatly mitigated by 
certain restrictions and by steps to assure that 
drivers are aware that the mirror being used is 
not a standard plane mirror. Image distortion 
problems, for example, can be substantially 
reduced by regulating variation in the radius of 
curvature. The agency's NPRM specified that the 
radius of curvature of any portion of the mirror 
may not vary more than 12.5 percent from the 
mean radius of curvature for the entire mirror. 
To alert the driver that a convex mirror is being 
used, the agency is requiring both a statement in 
the vehicle owner's manual and a clear warning 
on the mirror itself. 

The agency believes that, based on all available 
research, these safety criteria are necessary to 
reduce to within acceptable bounds any potential 
problems which drivers may experience with 
convex mirrors. In this regard, the agency has 
relied significantly upon a contract study 
performed by Vector Enterprises, Incorporated, 
for the agency, in which various convex mirrors 
meeting the specifications in the 1978 NPRM 
were evaluated. The passenger side convex 
mirror was found to be highly desirable in such 
maneuvers as moving to the right into an adjacent 
lane. The main safety benefit of such a system is 
that it provides an expanded field of view of the 
right, rear quadrant area adjacent to the vehicle, 
thus reducing the need of the driver to turn 
around to view that area directly. The study 
concluded that minimizing the total time a 
driver's attention is diverted from the forward 
area through the addition of a passenger side 
convex mirror should provide safety benefits. 
Another finding of that study was that drivers' 



PART 571; Sill -PRE 14 



abilities to use convex mirrors significantly 
improved with experience. 

Several comments were also received on the 
minimum allowable radius of curvature for convex 
mirrors. Smaller radius of curvature mirrors 
provide a wider field of view but have smaller 
image sizes. The Vector study found that a radius 
range of 40 to 60 inches provided the best results, 
and the 1978 proposal specified a 40 inch minimum 
radius. Donnelly Mirrors stated that mirrors with 
about 10 percent smaller radii of curvature would 
still provide acceptable performance, based on 
several studies it cited. Therefore, in light of the 
agency's analysis of these studies, the agency is 
specifying a 35 inch minimum radius of curvature 
for convex mirrors. 

The 1978 proposal also specified a 60 inch 
maximum radius of curvature for convex mirrors. 
Several commenters questioned the need for a 
maximum specification, since plane mirrors have 
always been permitted on the passenger side of 
cars and light trucks, and plane mirrors effectively 
have an infinite radius. Nevertheless, the agency 
feels that a maximum specification is necessary, 
to limit the range of convexities and therefore 
image minification to which drivers are exposed 
and to assure to the maximum extent possible 
that drivers are, whenever convex mirrors are 
used, aware due to image differences that the 
vehicle is equipped with such a mirror. Consistent 
with the available studies and to allow greater 
manufacturing flexibility, a 65 inch maximum 
radius is being established in this final rule. 

The 1978 NPRM established a criterion of 12.5 
percent for the maximum permissible variation in 
the radius of curvature over the surface of a 
convex mirror, and that criterion is being 
maintained in the final rule. Some commenters 
recommended reliance on the European criterion 
of 15 percent (using a different measuring device 
and excluding the areas of the mirror close to the 
edge). However, Donnelly Mirrors built a strong 
case in its comment on the 1978 NPRM for the 
need for a stringent distortion criterion. As 
Donnelly points out, low distortion mirrors 
reduce many of the problems drivers could 
experience with convex mirrors (double vision, 
nausea, dizziness). Further, they point out that 
mirrors of the quality level specified in the 
proposed standard are now available commercially 
at reasonable cost. Therefore, the agency cannot 



justify reducing that criterion. Variation in the 
radius of curvature would be measured by the 
procedure specified in the 1978 NPRM. 

The proposed standard specified that convex 
mirrors must have an orange border to alert 
drivers that the mirror was not planar. The 
proposal also asked about other methods, 
including a written warning on the mirror, to 
accomplish this purpose. Chrysler Corporation 
recommended that the former approach not be 
used, since the orange border might be 
misinterpreted as being a styling feature and 
conveys no inherent, specific meaning. Rather, 
several vehicle and mirror manufacturers 
suggested that the words "OBJECTS IN MIRROR 
ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR" should be 
etched along the bottom edge of the mirror, to 
give a clear warning. Such a warning is common 
practice on current convex mirrors, in fact. One 
European mirror manufacturer suggested that 
the etched warning would be costly to apply and 
could impair the image viewed in the mirror. 
Some vehicle manufacturers suggested that the 
statement in the owner's manual would provide 
an adequate warning or that no warning at all 
was necessary. 

Based on the previously discussed research, 
the agency remains convinced that a warning on 
the mirror itself is necessary. The fact that a 
convex mirror image appears different from that 
of a plane mirror does not, in the agency's view, 
provide an adequate warning that objects viewed 
in the convex mirror are closer than they appear. 
Further, the etched warning would serve as a 
reminder to the driver with each use and would 
assist drivers who had not read the owner's 
manual. Finally, the etched warning conveys a 
much clearer warning than the rather ambiguous 
orange border. With regard to the issue of image 
impairment, the agency's engineering judgment 
involving convex mirrors having this etched 
warning indicates that any such impairment 
caused by relatively small lettering on the bottom 
edge of the mirror surface is minimal. Further, 
the fact that such warnings are commonly used on 
current convex mirrors is a strong indication that 
the cost is not excessive. Therefore, the agency is 
requiring that convex mirrors used to comply 
with FMVSS 111 must have the words mentioned 
above etched on the bottom edge of the mirror 
surface in letters 3/16 to 1/4 inch high. 



PART 571; Sill -PRE 15 



Rolls Royce argued that the agency should not 
limit the permitted convex mirror surface 
configurations to spherical surfaces, since 
spherical mirrors exhibit spherical aberration. 
Spherical mirrors (which are designed to have a 
single radius of curvature over the entire mirror 
surface) are typically used for automotive 
applications since the more optically correct 
parabolic mirror surfaces would be prohibitviely 
expensive to manufacture. However, should a 
manufacturer desire to offer a parabolic convex 
mirror and demonstrate that the mirror's surface 
configuration has a degree of accuracy equivalent 
to that specified in the standard for spherical 
surfaces, the agency would initiate rulemaking to 
permit the use of the parabolic mirror. 

It should be emphasized that these requirements 
for convex mirrors do not apply to after-market 
mirrors or to convex mirrors which are not 
required to meet the field of view requirements 
specified in FMVSS 111. However, the agency 
strongly encourages vehicle and mirror 
manufacturers to consider using and designing 
mirrors to comply with the requirements of this 
standard even where not strictly required by the 
standard. The agency will continue to study the 
safety benefits of various rearview mirror 
systems and may establish requirements 
applicable to additional mirrors in future 
rulemaking. 

The agency is making this amendment effective 
immediately upon publication, since the 
amendment "relieves a restriction" within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), by permitting the 
use of convex mirrors where they were previously 
unauthorized. The agency also finds that making 
this amendment effective immediately is in the 
public interest, in accordance with section 103(c) 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act, since doing so will permit the use of mirrors 
which provide wider fields of view for the 1983 
model year. Also, since the amendment relieves a 
restriction in FMVSS 111, providing 180 days 
lead time is unnecessary. 



NHTSA has determined that this proceeding 
does not involve a "major rule" within the 
meaning of section 1, paragraph (b), of Executive 
Order 12291 because it is not likely to have an 
effect on the economy of $100 million or more, to 
result in a major increase in costs or prices, or to 
have a significant adverse effect on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, 
or the ability of United States firms to meet foreign 
competition. Similarly, this action is not deemed 
"significant" for purposes of Department of 
Transportation procedures for internal review of 
regulatory actions. The economic impacts of this 
amendment are so minimal as to not warrant 
preparation of a full regulatory evaluation, since 
the amendment merely permits the use of certain 
rearview mirrors which were previously 
prohibited. 

Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the 
agency has considered the impact of this 
rulemaking action on small entities. The agency 
certifies that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility 
analysis is not required for this action. The 
agency has concluded that few, if any, 
manufacturers of rearview mirrors are small 
entities and that the impacts of this rule on those 
companies which decide to take advantage of the 
new alternative method of compliance should be 
small. 

Issued on August 18, 1982. 



Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 
Administrator 

47 F.R. 38698 
September 2, 1982 



PART 571; Sill -PRE 16 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT 
TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 111 

Rearview Mirror Systems 
Docket No. 71 -Sa; Notice 7 



ACTION: Final rule and response to petitions. 



SUMMARY: This notice responds to a petition for 
reconsideration filed by Volkswagen of America 
regarding a recent amendment to Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 111, and to a 
related petition for rulemaking filed by Toyota 
Motor Corporation. The amendment to FMVSS 111 
permitted the use of exterior passenger side con- 
vex mirrors on passenger cars and trucks, 
multipurpose passenger vehicles and buses other 
thein schoolbuses with a gross vehicle weight rating 
of 10,000 pounds or less to meet the field of view 
requirements of that standard. The amendment re- 
quired that such convex mirrors must have "in- 
delibly etched" on the mirror's surface the warn- 
ing "Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Ap- 
pear." The amendment also specified a maximum 
radius of curvature requirement for such mirrors. 
The agency is denying Volkswagen requests that 
the warning and maximum radius requirements 
be deleted, but in response to Volkswagen's and 
Toyota's petition, is modifying the warning re- 
quirements to permit the warning to be per- 
manently marked on the mirror by methods other 
than etching. 

DATE: This amendment is effective on August 26, 
1983. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 
2, 1982, NHTSA published an amendment to 
FMVSS 111, Rearview Mirrors. Prior to this 
amendment, the standard specified that field of 
view requirements (i.e., minimum permissible 
viewing area behind the vehicle) could be met only 
by using plane mirrors. This amendment, issued 



in response to a petition fi-om General Motors Cor- 
poration, permitted field of view requirements to 
be met in part by using an exterior, passenger side 
convex mirror meeting certain specifications. 
Among these specifications were the requirements 
that a warning ("Objects in Mirror Are Closer 
Than They Appear") must be "indelibly etched" 
on the mirror and that the radius of curvature of 
the convex mirror must not exceed 65 inches. The 
wsirning was deemed necessary to alert drivers to 
the fact that the driver is using a convex mirror, 
which provides a different image than the common 
plane mirror. The maucimum radius of curvature 
requirements was deemed necessary to limit the 
range of different image sizes to which drivers 
would be exposed and to provide an additional 
warning that the mirror being used is convex. With 
regard to the latter point, larger radius convex mir- 
rors provide images which approach those of plane 
mirrors. The agency concluded that large radius 
convex mirrors might mislead drivers into think- 
ing that a mirror was plane, when in fact it was 
convex and the distances from following vehicles 
was less than the drivers would realize. 

With respect to the warning requirement, 
Volkswagen argues in its October 4 petition for 
reconsideration that the requirement imposes a 
trade barrier, since other countries do not require 
a warning and an English language warning would 
be of no use in non-English speaking countries. The 
agency agrees that this requirement would, as a 
practical matter, require manufacturers to use dif- 
ferent convex mirrors (at least with regard to the 
WEiming lettering) in vehicles sold in the U.S. than 
in vehicles sold in some other countries. However, 
as noted in the September 2 final rule, the agency's 
research indicates that providing a clear warning 
is necessary, given the relative inexperience of U.S. 



PART 571; Slll-PRE 17 



drivers in using automotive convex mirrors. Accor- 
dingly, the agency is denying Volkswagen's re- 
quest to delete the warning requirement 
altogether. 

Nevertheless, in response to Volkswagen's peti- 
tion and an October 6, 1982 rulemaking petition 
submitted by Toyota Motor Corporation, the 
agency will amend the warning requirement to 
facilitate compliance with it. Making this change 
may reduce the burdens associated with having to 
provide different mirrors for different markets. 
Toyota pointed out that the requirement that the 
warning be "indelibly etched" on the mirror un- 
necessarily restricts the methods available for 
assuring that the warning is permanently marked 
on the mirror. "Etching" implies that lettering is 
produced by the corrosive action of an acid on the 
mirror. Toyota suggests that sandblasting or glass- 
based ink printing can equally well produce per- 
manent lettering on mirrors whose reflective sur- 
face is at the back side of the mirror glass. The 
agency agrees that manufacturers should be given 
additional flexibility in choosing their means of 
compliance. The agency is amending FMVSS 111 
to permit the use of any process which assures that 
the warning is "permanently and indelibly 
marked" on the mirror's reflective surface. The 
agency cannot foresee all possible methods which 
might be used to "permanently and indelibly" 
mark warning lettering on a mirror and does not 
wish to unnecessarily limit the use of new 
technology in this area. The agency notes that 
exterior-surface painting or the use of a plastic 
decal, either of which could be removed or become 
illegible, would not be deemed "f)ermanent and in- 
delible" by the agency. 

Volkswagen also objected to the warning require- 
ment on the basis that no advance notice or oppor- 
tunity to comment was provided with regard to the 
enactment of that provision. However, the agency 
specifically sought comment on this issue and sug- 
gested that warning lettering might be required. 
See 43 FR 51660, November 6, 1978. Further, the 
provision w£is adopted in response to several com- 
ments suggesting that warning lettering be 
required. 

With regard to the maximum radius of curvature 
requirement, Volkswagen argues that the require- 
ment differs from European requirements (which 
impose no maximum) and therefore imposes a 
trade barrier. Volkswagen also argues that large 
radius mirrors closely resemble plane mirrors in 
terms of the image provided, and therefore present 



no safety concerns. However, the agency still feels 
this requirement is necessary, given the relative 
inexperience of U.S. drivers with convex mirrors. 
The maximum radius requirement assures that 
drivers will be able to tell from the appearance of 
the image when they are using a convex mirror. 
It also assures that drivers will not be exposed to 
a wide range of image sizes and corresponding 
depth perception and distortion effects. Further, 
mirrors meeting the U.S. maximum radius re- 
quirements may still be used in European coun- 
tries, which have no maximum radius require- 
ment. Therefore, this requirement will be retained. 

The agency is making this amendment effective 
immediately upon publication, since the amend- 
ment "relieves a restriction" within the meaning 
of 5 U.S.C. 553(dXl), by permitting the use of ad- 
ditional methods for marking mirrors. The agen- 
cy also finds that making this amendment effective 
immediately is in the public interest, in accordance 
with section 103(c) of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act, since doing so will 
facilitate the use of additional mirrors as soon as 
possible. Also, since the amendment relieves a 
restriction in FMVSS 111, providing 180 days lead 
time is unnecessary. 

NHTSA has determined that this proceeding 
does not involve a "major rule" within the mean- 
ing of section 1, paragraph (b), of Executive Order 
12291 because it is not likely to have an effect on 
the economy of $100 million or more, to result in 
a major increase in costs or prices, or to have a 
significant adverse effect on competition, employ- 
ment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the 
ability of United States firms to meet foreign com- 
petition. Similarly, this action is not deemed 
"significant" for purposes of Department of 
Transportation procedures for internal review of 
regulatory actions. The economic impacts of this 
amendment are so minimal as to not warrant 
preparation of a full regulatory evaluation, since 
the amendment merely permits the use of addi- 
tional methods for labeling rearview mirrors. 

Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the 
agency has considered the impact of this rule- 
making action on small entities. I certify that this 
action will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities. 
Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required for this action. The agency has concluded 
that few, if any, manufacturers of rearview mir- 
rors are small entities and that the impacts of this 



PART 571; Slll-PRE 18 



rule on those companies which decide to take 
advantage of the new alternative methods of 
labeling should be small. Since this action will 
impose no new costs, the action will not affect small 
governmental units or other organizations which 
purchase automobiles. 

In consideration of the foregoing, Section 5.4.2 
of 49 CFR 571.111 is revised to read as follows: 

§ 571.111 Standard No. Ill; Rearview Mirrors 

***** 

Section 5.4.2 Each convex mirror shall have per- 
manently and indelibly marked at the lower edge 
of the mirror's reflective surface, in letters not less 
than 3/16 of an inch nor more than 1/4 inch high 
the words "Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They 

Appeeir." 

***** 

Issued on August 19, 1983 



Diane K. Steed, 
Deputy Administrator 



PART 571; Slll-PRE 19-20 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 

Rearview Mirrors 
[Docket No. 81-21; Notice 2] 



111 



ACTION: Final rule. 



SUIVIMARY: This rule amends Federal Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 111 to permit the use 
of nonuniform radius of curvature school bus mirrors 
to view the area immediately in front of the bus. 
Previously, only uniform radius mirrors could be 
used for this purpose. This action is taken in response 
to a petition from the North Carolina State Board 
of Education, and is intended to permit the use as 
original equipment of mirrors which provide a wider 
field of view of the area in front and along the side 
of the bus. The improved view will aid in detecting 
the presence of children in those areas. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: September 6, 1983. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FMVSS 111 
estabhshes requirements for mirror systems used on 
a variety of motor vehicles, including school buses. 
One requirement of that standard with regard to 
school buses is that those vehicles must have a 
crossview mirror permitting the bus driver to view 
the area in front of the bus. These mirrors are in- 
tended to aid bus drivers in determining, prior to 
moving from a stopped position (typically after 
loading or unloading children at a bus stop), whether 
any children are located in the area immediately in 
front of the bus." Being able to check those areas is 
important since, on average, approximately 40 
pedestrians each year are involved in school-bus- 
related accidents. 

Prior to the amendments made by this notice, the 
standard provided that crossview mirrors must be 
convex and have at least 40 square inches of reflec- 
tive surface. Such mirrors must have a single radius 
of curvature which is at least 12 inches but no more 
than 25 inches. These specifications were intended 
to assure not only that the image views in the mir- 
ror would not be unduly distorted and would be large 
enough to be clearly seen, but also that the field of 
view of the mirror would be great enough to permit 
a view of the entire area in front of the bus. 

North Carolina Board of Education petitioned the 
agency to permit the use of one specific type of mir- 



ror manufactured by Mirror-Lite Co. The radius of 
curvature of this mirror varies from 3.5 inches near 
the outer edge of the mirror to approximately 4.5 
inches in the central area. These small radii of cur- 
vature provide a much wider field of view than the 
crossview mirrors previously specified in FMVSS 
111, permitting a view of not just the area in front 
of the bus but also along the side of the bus. Although 
this wider field of view is gained at the expense of 
a smaller image size and greater optical distortion, 
the agency considers the quality of the image to be 
adequate for its intended purpose. Further, the 
wider field of view could improve safety by enabling 
school bus drivers to see children that they could not 
see with current mirrors. 

Therefore, the agency proposed to amend FMVSS 
111 to permit the use of mii-rors of this type. See 46 
FR 60481, December 10, 1981. This proposal would 
have deleted minimum and maximum radius of cur- 
vature requirements and would have permitted the 
use of any nonuniform mirror surface. 

The agency received approximately 50 comments 
on its proposal, mainly from State boards of educa- 
tion and school bus operators. Most of these com- 
menters supported the use of nonuniform radius mir- 
rors like the Mirror- Lite design, pointing out that the 
wider field of view provided by such mirrors should 
promote safety. Several other commenters sug- 
gested modifications to the agency's proposal. Bas- 
ed on these comments and the agency's further con- 
sideration of the relevant issues, the agency is amen- 
ding FMVSS 111 to permit the use of mirrors like 
the Mirror-Lite design, although it is not limited to 
that design. 

The agency received a number of comments 
regarding radius of curvature requirements. As 
noted above, FMVSS 111 has provided that cross- 
view mirrors must have a single radius of curvature 
which must be at least 12 inches but not more than 
25 inches. The maximum radius requirement was im- 
posed to assure that the mirror provides an adequate 
field of view. An overly large radius would provide 



PART 571; S 111-PRE 21 



an inadequate view since field of view decreases as 
radius of curvature increases. The minimum radius 
requirement was imposed to assure adequate image 
size and quality; as radius of curvature decreases, 
image size also decreases, and image distortion in- 
creases. Thus, the radius of curvature specifications 
reflect a trade-off between field of view on one hand 
and image size and accuracy on the other hand. The 
agency's proposal, in seeking to permit the use of 
mirrors with radii in the 3.5 inches to 4.5 inches 
range, deleted all radius of curvature requirements. 

Donnelly Mirrors, Inc., pointed out that permitting 
unlimited variation in a mirror's radius of curvature 
would permit unacceptable levels of optical distor- 
tion. It was not the agency's intention to completely 
remove restrictions on radius of curvature for 
crossview mirrors. Rather, it was the agency's desire 
to permit the use of an additional type of mirror 
which had been shown to be highly effective. 
Therefore, this final rule retains the current max- 
imum radius of curvature requirement and 
estabUshes a minimum radius requirement consistent 
with the Mirror- Lite design. Requirements were also 
established in response to this comment to assure 
that the mirror surface does not have major, abrupt 
changes in radius of curvature or other surface 
discontinuities which could cause excessive optical 
distortion. 

The Grote Manufacturing Company (a mirror pro- 
ducer) and the Truck Safety Equipment Institute 
argued that the image produced by a mirror with a 
radius of curvature below 12 inches is too small to 
be readily identifiable. The agency disagrees. Bas- 
ed on NHTSA's own evaluation of the Mirror-Lite 
design in actual school bus service, the image pro- 
vided by the mirror is adequate to tell the bus driver 
whether a child is in front of the bus or along the 
side of the bus. The agency was also impressed by 
the numerous comments received from bus operators 
who had experience with after market nonuniform 
radius mirrors, and found them to be superior in ac- 
tual service to the uniform radius mirror. While it 
is true that the image provided by the Mirror-Lite 
mirror is smaller and more distorted than that of a 
uniform 12-inch radius mirror, the agency believes 
that the image size and quality for these mirrors is 
adequate for its intended purpose and that these 
disadvantages are fully offset by the wider field of 
view provided by the former. It should be pointed 
out that this mirror is to be used for a very limited 



purpose, i.e., to determine whether a child is in close 
proximity to the front of the school bus or along the 
side, especially where the child exits from the bus. 
While a small radius mirror might be inadequate to 
judge distance and velocity as would be required in 
an automotive rearview mirror, the agency finds 
them adequate for their intended purpose, and even 
superior in terms of providing an additional view of 
the side of the bus, another potentially dangerous 
area. 

Several commenters suggested imposing perform- 
ance requirements for the field of view of the 
crossview mirror, rather than specifying the radius 
of curvature. While the agency believes this to be 
a desirable goal, it is beyond the scope of this 
rulemaking. Specifying the field of view is a com- 
plicated task, which the agency is still evaluating in 
the context of its major rulemaking on rearview mir- 
rors. See 43 FR 51657, November 6, 1978. 

Grote also recommended clarifying the require- 
ment that crossview mirrors must have 40 square 
inches of reflective surface. They suggested that this 
area requu-ement should be expressed in terms of 
the effective projected area of the reflective surface 
measured on a plane at right angles to the axis of 
the mirror. Without such clarification, the require- 
ment could be interpreted to refer to surface area, 
which would vary for a mirror of given diameter, 
depending on the radius of curvature. The agency 
agrees and is adopting Grote's suggestion for the 
newly authorized mirrors. 

Several commenters suggested that FMVSS 111 
should require the use of two convex crossview mir- 
rors, one mounted on each side of the bus. The cur- 
rent requirement is for only one mirror mounted on 
either side of the bus, but many school buses employ 
additional crossview mirrors. The agency believes 
that the use of additional crossview mirrors on each 
side of the bus would provide both a better view of 
the front of the bus and a view of each side of the 
bus. The side area can be a major concern, particular- 
ly on the passenger exit side, since children standing 
in that area can be hit as the bus pulls away from 
the stop and makes a turn. However, requiring addi- 
tional mirrors is a matter beyond the scope of the 
proposal issued in this rulemaking. The agency will 
consider requiring more additional mirrors in subse- 
quent rulemaking. In the meantime, school districts 
are strongly encouraged to use additional mirrors as 



PART 571; S 111-PRE 22 



necessary to permit the driver to view the areas 
along the front and both sides of the bus. 

The agency has considered the economic and other 
effects of this action and has determined that the rule 
is not a major rule within the meaning of Executive 
Order No. 12291. The agency has further determined 
that the action is not significant within the meaning 
of the Department of Transportation's regulatory 
procedures. The basis for these determinations is 
that the rule relaxes a design restriction in the cur- 
rent standard. It does not require school buses to be 
equipped with new mirrors; it merely gives manufac- 
turers the flexibility to use a different type of mir- 
ror, whose performance is at least as effective as 
current mirrors. Accordingly, the agency has not 
prepared a full regulatory evaluation. 

The agency has also considered the effect of this 
action in relation to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
and I certify that it would not have a significant 
economic effect on a substantial number of small en- 
tities. The effect of the amendment on small busi- 
nesses is to give manufacturers the option of using 
new types of mirrors. It does not require any 
manufacturer to change its current practice. 

The action will not have a significant effect on a 
substantial number of small government jurisdictions 
and small organizations. Those entities are affected 
because they are purchasers of school buses. It is 
unknown how many of them will exercise the volun- 
tary choice of using new types of mirrors, but the 
cost impact, if any, should be minimal. Accordingly, 
no regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared. 

This action is being made effective on publication, 
to permit the immediate use of crossview mirrors 
which are at least equivalent to current mirrors in 
safety performance, and may be superior to current 
mirrors. Since this action "relieves a restriction," the 
immediate effective date is authorized under 5 U.S.C. 
553(d). Since the immediate effective date may well 
promote safety and the amendment is merely an 
alternative method of compliance which does not 
necessarily impose additional costs or other burdens, 
the immediate effective date is in "the public in- 
terest" within the meaning of section 103(e) of the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 15 
U.S.C. 1392(e). 



In consideration of the foregoing, section 9.2 of 49 
CFR 571.111 is amended to read as follows: 

S9.2 Outside crossview mirror. Each school bus, ex- 
cept one which is a forward control vehicle, shall have 
a convex mirror which complies with the re- 
quirements in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section. 

(a) The convex mirror shall have a radius of cur- 
vature not less than 3.5 inches and not more than 25 
inches. A convex mirror whose radius of curvature 
at its periphery is not less than 12 inches and not 
more than 25 inches shall have a surface area which 
is not less than 40 square inches. A convex mirror 
whose radius of curvature at any point on the mir- 
ror is less than 12 inches shall have a projected area 
of not less than 40 square inches, measured on a plane 
at a right angle to the mirror's axis. A convex mir- 
ror with a nonuniform radius shall comply with the 
following criteria: 

(1) The radius at the periphery of the mirror shall 
be not less than 75 percent of the radius at the center 
of the mirror. 

(2) Along the intersection of any plane containing 
the axis of symmetry of the mirror and the surface 
of the mirror, the length of the radius, as measured 
by a spherometer, shall be monotonically non- 
increasing when moving from the axis of symmetry 
to the periphery along the intersection. 

(3) Along the intersection described in paragraph 
(aX2) of this section there shall be no discontinuities 
in the slope of the surface of the mirror. 

(b) The mirror shall be installed with a stable sup- 
port, and mounted so as to provide the driver a view 
of the front bumper and the area in front of the bus. 

Issued on August 30, 1983. 



Diane K. Steed 
Deputy Administrator 

48 FR 40260 
September 6, 1983 



PART 571; S 111-PRE 23- 24 



TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 111 



(Docket No. 91-11; Notice 09 
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Notice of proposed rulemaking 

On March 8, 1991, the agency issued a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to amend Sll of 
Standard No. Ill to avoid express reference to selec- 
tive position prismatic mirrors (56 FR 9928). The 
proposal explained the agency's tentative conclusion 
that an amendment was necessary to clarify the intent 
and applicability of the provision given its apparent 
ambiguity. The notice further explained that the 
amendment would remove a perceived design restric- 
tion affecting certain mirror designs. 

The NPRM explained that such an amendment is 
consistent with the agency's philosophy of promul- 
gating standards that are as performance-oriented as 
possible, consistent with the goal of obtaining specific 
types of safety performance. While the selective posi- 
tion prismatic mirror was the principal, perhaps only, 
known glare-reducing mirror technique when the 
standard was initially promulgated, new technologies 
are now available which offer other and perhaps im- 
proved means for glare reduction. Accordingly, the 
agency tentatively concluded that adopting the 
proposal would facilitate the production of new mirror 
designs that may improve motor vehicle safety. These 
new technologies may provide better glare protection 
because they automatically adjust reflectance levels 
based on the amount of light striking them. In addi- 
tion, they may be practical for use as exterior mirrors. 

The NPRM requested comments on several subissues 
related to section Sll and multiple reflectance mirrors. 
These included determining the appropriate wording 
of the regulatory text to obtain a performance oriented 
standard that is not design restrictive, eliminating the 
phrase "reflective film," and updating the section so 
that it refers to the Society of Automotive Engineers' 
(SAE) more recent Recommended Practice. 

Comments to the 
NPRM and the Agency 's Response 

NHTSA received six comments in response to the 
NPRM. These were from mirror manufacturers (Don- 
nelly and Gentex) and vehicle manufacturers (General 
Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota). The majority of 
commenters agreed with the general proposal to amend 
section Sll. Ford and Toyota commented about 
specific provisions in the proposal. The agency has 
considered the points raised by the commenters in 
developing the final rule. The agency's discussion of 
the more significant comments and other relevant 
information is set forth below. 

General Comments 

As explained above, Sll's express reference to 
mirrors of the "selective position prismatic type" led 
to the proposal to amend the provision to clarify its 



intent and applicability. Accordingly, the proposal 
omitted reference to "selective position prismatic type" 
mirrors. 

Donnelly, Gentex, General Motors, Ford, and ' 
Chrysler all agreed with the proposal's intent to make 
the standard more performance oriented by deleting 
language that is specific to certain designs or tech- 
nologies. The only other commenter, Toyota, was silent 
about its overall view about the rulemaking. 

Regulatory Text 

The NPRM also proposed that a mirror provide a 
reflectance level of at least 35 percent when in its 
normal operating state and at least 4 percent when in 
its glare reducing state. In describing these require- 
ments, the proposed regulatory text referred to the 
"day and night position or mode." The proposal also 
stated that when a multiple reflectance mirror is "not 
powered," that state would be considered as equiva- 
lent to the day position or mode. 

Ford and Toyota were concerned that the proposal 
would restrict the installation of certain mirror designs 
that they believed provide adequate levels of safety. 
In describing its "electro/mechanical mirror," Ford 
explained that this powered selective prismatic type 
mirror uses power only to shift the mirror from one 
reflectance position to another but does not use any 
power while in either position to provide a reflectance 
level. Ford further explained that if the power failed, 
the mirror could be manually repositioned to the high 
reflectance level. Ford was concerned that the pro- 
posed amendment would prohibit its mirror without 
providing any significant safety benefit because the 
failure mode of its mirror is the same as the normal 
operation of a conventional selective prismatic mirror. 
Toyota described its liquid crystal interior mirror, 
which when not powered (i.e., when the ignition key 
is withdrawn) defaults to the heavily tinted night 
setting. 

"Day/Night Setting" 

Ford requested that section Sll be modified to omit 
reference to the "day" and "night" positions or modes. 
It beheved that the terms "day" and "night" are easily 
understood for mirrors with only two reflectance levels, 
but are ambiguous for mirrors that have more than two 
reflectance levels. Accordingly, Ford suggested that 
section Sll refer to "maximum" and "minimum" 
reflectance levels rather than day and night positions 
or modes. 

After reviewing Ford's comment, the agency believes | 
that the terms "day" and "night" help to clarify the 
reflectance modes described in the standard. 



PART 571; Slll-PRE 26 



"Not powered" 

Ford and Toyota expressed concern about problems 
involved in complying with the proposed requirement 
that the mirrors provide reflectance levels of at least 
35 percent when they are "not powered." Ford stated 
that while this requirement is appropriate for mirrors 
which require electrical power to maintain the maxi- 
mum reflectance mode, the provision is inappropriate 
for its powered selective prismatic mirror, which has 
a fail-safe capacity to shift the mirror to the maximum 
reflectance mode in case of power failure. Toyota 
stated that its liquid crystal interior mirror defaults to 
the low reflectance mode in case of power failure. It 
did not mention any fail-safe provisions for this mirror 
in case of power failure. Toyota commented that the 
requirement for high transmittance in the absence of 
power is not necessary because the only situation in 
which the mirror would not be powered is when the 
key is out of the ignition switch, a time when the mirror 
is not needed. Toyota further contended that the 
NPRM faOed to justify this provision. 

NHTSA agrees with Ford's comments and has 
modified the final rule so that mirror designs that ensure 
the viewing of images during all light conditions are not 
prohibited. Specifically, the final rule omits the phrase 
"not powered." The final rule also expressly specifies 
requirements for a fail-safe device permitting the driver 
to adjust the mirror to the high reflectance mode. 

As for the phrase "not powered," NHTSA has 
determined that the proposal's intent to provide an 
electrical fail-safe condition can be met by specifying 
that a multiple reflectance mirror shall either be 
equipped with a means for the driver to adjust the 
mirror to a reflectance level of at least 35 percent in 
the event of electrical failure, or achieve such reflec- 
tance level automatically in the event of electrical 
failure. This language will permit mirror designs like 
Ford's electro/mechanical mirror, which can be manu- 
ally adjusted to provide adequate images in case of 
power failure. 

However, the amendment will not permit Toyota's 
current liquid crystal mirror, since the mirror cannot 
provide adequate images in the case of power faOure. 
After reviewing the comments, the agency believes that 
multiple reflectance mirrors should be capable of provid- 
ing adequate images in the event of electrical failure. 

Toyota commented that the proposal should be modi- 
fied so that its liquid crystal mirror is not prohibited. 
First, Toyota stated that the requirement for high 
transmittance in the absence of power is unnecessary, 
claiming that the only situation in which the mirror 
would not be powered is when the key is out of the 
ignition switch, a time when the mirror is not needed. 
Second, it stated that the preamble to the NPRM did 
not justify this provision. 



In response to Toyota's argument that a high trans- 
mittance level is not needed in the absence of power, 
NHTSA notes that Toyota's liquid crystal mirror 
defaults to a heavily tinted reflective surface that is in- 
capable of providing a proper image in normal daylight 
conditions. Accordingly, any time the mirror is not pow- 
ered, the driver experiences significant reductions in 
rearward vision because the interior mirror cannot pro- 
vide an adequate image. Contrary to Toyota's claim that 
the only time that a mirror would be unpowered is when 
the key is out of the ignition switch, the agency knows 
of other situations in which this mirror would be un- 
powered and thus would not be able to provide high 
reflectance levels necessary for daytime driving. For in- 
stance, when there are connector faults or circuit board 
faults, the mirror would be impowered, even though the 
vehicle could be operational. Given the expense of 
repairing or replacing a liquid crystal mirror, some car 
owners, particularly those of older cars, would likely be 
slow to have a failed mirror fixed. 

The agency notes that Nippondenso, a supplier of 
electrical equipment for Toyota, described an opposite 
polarity fail-safe liquid crystal mirror in a Society of 
Automotive Engineer's paper Fail-Safe Type Liquid 
Crystal Mirror for Automobiles (870637). This paper 
described the safety problem as "the breaking of the 
circuit wire." It also indicated that a fail-safe liquid 
crystal design "suitable for safe driving" has been 
achieved by using a liquid crystal layer which is aligned 
perpendicular rather than parallel to the substrate in 
the initial unpowered state. 

In response to Toyota's second argument about the 
proposal's preamble not addressing the fail-safe issue, 
NHTSA notes that the regulatory text provided ade- 
quate notice about this issue, and that both Toyota and 
Ford expressed their views on it. 

Given that safety standards are required to meet the 
need for motor vehicle safety, the rulemaking's over- 
riding focus must be to ensure that mirrors are capa- 
ble of providing adequate rearview vision at all times 
during the vehicle's operation. The agency does not 
believe it would be appropriate to permit new mirror 
designs with the potential for providing poorer safety 
performance than selective prismatic mirrors. Selec- 
tive prismatic mirrors are always capable of providing 
adequate images because they are adjustable to the 
high reflectance position, while Toyota's liquid crystal 
mirror is not. 

Reflective Film 

The NPRM proposed to amend Sll by deleting refer- 
ence to the "reflectance value of the reflective film" 
because this phrase had the potential of being unneces- 
sarily design restrictive. The proposal explained that 
certain mirrors rely on a substance other than "film" 
for their reflectance. 



PART 571; Slll-PRE 27 



Chrysler, which was the only commenter to address 
this matter, supported the proposal to eliminate the 
phrase about reflective film. Chrysler agreed with the 
proposal that there are other substances available that 
have the ability to reflect light which should be allowed 
for mirror applications. 

Based on the proposal, the agency has decided to 
adopt the proposal to delete reference to the use of 
reflective film. Such a requirement had the potential 
to be design restrictive. 

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 
Recommended Practice 

The NPRM proposed to amend Sll by updating it 
to refer to the SAE's more recent recommended prac- 
tice. While Sll currently refers to SAE Recommend- 
ed Practice J964a, August 1974, the SAE reaffirmed 
the Recommended Practice without substantive change 
in October of 1984. 

Chrysler, which was the only commenter to address 
this matter, supported the proposal to update the refer- 
ence to the more recent SAE practice. 

Based on the proposal, the agency has decided to 
adopt the proposal to update Sll to recent SAE 
practice. 

Leadtime 

The NPRM explained the agency's tentative conclu- 
sion that there was "good cause" to propose an effec- 
tive date 30 days after publication of the final rule. The 
agency reasoned that a longer leadtime was not neces- 
sary because this amendment would remove a restric- 
tion and facilitate the introduction of certain mirrors 
without imposing any mandatory requirement on 
manufacturers. The proposal also stated that the public 
interest would be served by not dela3ang the introduc- 
tion of mirrors that may provide better performance 
without having any negative impact on safety. 

Toyota stated that because the proposal would im- 
pose a new mandatory requirement on its vehicles 
equipped with the liquid crystal mirror, additional lead- 
time was necessary. 

NHTSA believes that the amendment allows the 
present minimum safety performance to be met or 



exceeded by new technology and does not place new 
requirements on mirrors. Nevertheless, the agency^ 
believes that the 30 day effective date is too short to^ 
allow Toyota to comply with the clarification. Toyota^ 
apparently introduced a mirror design it believed was 
in compliance with the standard. Toyota should be 
given sufficient time to improve or replace a mirror 
that the agency assumes was designed in good faith 
during a time in which this rule needed to be clarified. 
Accordingly, the amendments become effective on Sep- 
tember 1, 1992; however, vehicles manufactured be- 
fore September 1, 1992 may comply voluntarily with 
this rule's amendments, effective 30 days after publi- 
cation of this final rule. 

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA is amend- 
ing § 571.111 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regu- 
lations as follows: 

In § 571.111, Sll is revised effective on and after 
September 1, 1992, and may be used at the manufac- 
turer's option before this date, effective December 20, 
1991. 

Sll. Mirror Construction. The average reflectance 
of any mirror required by this standard shall be deter- 
mined in accordance with SAE Recommended Prac- 
tice J964, OCT84. All single reflectance mirrors shall 
have an average reflectance of at least 35 percent. If 
a mirror is capable of multiple reflectance levels, the d 
minimum reflectance level in the day mode shall be at " 
least 35 percent and the minimum reflectance level in 
the night mode shall be at least 4 percent. A multiple 
reflectance mirror shall either be equipped with a me- 
ans for the driver to adjust the mirror to a reflectance 
level of at least 35 percent in the event of electrical 
failure, or achieve such reflectance level automatically 
in the event of electrical failure. 

Issued on: November 14, 1991 



Jerry Ralph Curry 
Administrator 

56 F.R. 58513 
November 20, 1991 



i 



PART 571; Slll-PRE 28 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 

STANDARD NO. 111 

Convex Cross View Mirrors on School Buses 

[Docket No. 89-26; Notice 3] 
RIN 2127-AD24 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard No. Ill, Rearview Mir- 
rors, with respect to the field-of-view around 
school buses. The notice amends the standard to 
require a bus driver to be able to see, either 
directly or through mirrors, certain specified areas 
in front of and along both sides of school buses; 
to specify certain criteria for convex cross view 
mirrors; and to establish test conditions designed 
to ensure that the image of an object is sufficiently 
clear. The amendments will improve the view 
around stopped school buses, thus reducing the 
risk of school buses striking student pedestrians. 

Effective Date: The amendments become effec- 
tive December 2, 1993. 

I. Background 

School buses provide an extremely safe form of 
transportation. On a vehicle-mile basis, school 
buses are about four times safer than passenger 
cars. Despite this outstanding safety record, 
injuries and fatalities do occur, with most of them 
occurring to pedestrians outside the school bus. 
According to the May 1989 report by the 
National Academy of Sciences (NAS), "Improv- 
ing School Bus Safety," an average of 38 pedes- 
trians are killed each year in school bus-related 
incidents. Of these 38 pedestrian fatalities, an 
average of 26 result from students being struck by 
their own school bus and 12 result from being 
struck by another vehicle. The NAS report also 
estimated that 283 children suffer mostly minor 
injuries, when they are struck by their own bus. 
The NAS report concluded that since children are 
at greater risk of being killed in school bus load- 
ing zones (i.e., boarding and leaving the bus) than 
on board school buses, "a larger share of the 
school bus safety effort should be directed to 



[improving the safety of] bus stops and loading 
zones." 

NAS accordingly made two specific rec- 
ommendations to NHTSA. First, to reduce the 
number of students who are struck by vehicles 
illegally passing a stopped school bus, NAS rec- 
ommended the establishment of a Federal motor 
vehicle safety standard requiring the installation 
of stop signal arms on all new school buses. (The 
agency has published Federal motor vehicle safety 
standard 131, "School Bus Pedestrian Safety 
Devices," which becomes effective for all new 
school buses produced on or after September 1, 
1992. 56 FR 20363, May 3, 1991). Second, to 
reduce the number of children who are struck by 
their own school bus, NAS recommended that 
NHTSA "reexamine its standards for cross view 
mirrors to determine whether current specifica- 
tions can be modified to give the driver a better 
view of the areas in front of and immediately 
beside the bus." 

Federal motor vehicle safety standard No. Ill, 
Rearview Mirrors, (49 CFR 571.111) currently 
requires each school bus that is not a forward 
control vehicle, i.e., a transit style bus, to have an 
outside cross view mirror of a specified size and 
shape (S9.2), "mounted so as to provide the 
driver a view of the front bumper and the area in 
front of the bus" (S9.2(b)). The standard also 
requires each school bus to have an outside rear- 
view mirror of unit magnification (i.e., flat mir- 
ror) on each side of the bus, to provide the driver 
with a view to the rear along both sides of the 
bus (S9.1). In addition to meeting the require- 
ments in Standard No. Ill, school buses are 
required by nearly every State to be equipped 
with additional mirrors, particularly cross view 
mirrors. 

As noted earlier, an average of 26 students are 
killed each year and 283 are injured each year 
after being struck by their own school bus. These 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-29 



incidents are rare. Nevertheless, the potential for 
such tragedies is actually quite large because 
every time a student gets on or off a school bus, 
there is a chance that the driver may not see that 
student in the proximity of the bus. According to 
the 1989 NAS report, of the 26 students killed as 
pedestrians each year "two-thirds are struck by 
the front of the bus and one-third by the rear of 
the bus, usually the rear wheels." A review of 
specific incidents reveals that the fatalities 
occurred because the driver did not see the child 
in front of or to the side of the bus. In many 
cases in which the child was struck by the bus's 
rear wheels, the bus had already left the bus stop. 
In these cases, the children were typically running 
after the moving bus and fell under the rear 
wheels. Such incidents cannot be totally avoided 
through changes to the mirror requirements, since 
driver error may be a significant cause of many 
such incidents. In addition, once the school bus is 
moving, the driver must focus on other driving 
actions in addition to looking into the mirror sys- 
tems to check for students around the outside of 
the bus. However, to reduce the likelihood of stu- 
dents being struck by their own bus in the school 
bus loading zone, the agency has conducted this 
rulemaking to improve the means available for 
the school bus driver to detect their presence 
around the stopped bus. 

The Kansas Department of Transportation con- 
ducts an annual nationwide "School Bus Loading 
and Unloading Survey"" which reviews every 
school bus pedestrian fatality. This study confirms 
that a significant, although decreasing, number of 
pedestrians are killed by school buses. The Kan- 
sas data indicate that the number of pupils killed 
nationwide in school bus loading zones was 45 in 
1985. 42 in 1986, 32 in 1987, 16 in 1988. 17 in 
1989, and 18 in 1990. The agency believes that 
the decrease in the number of school bus loading 
zone fatalities is due to a combination of factors, 
including the use of more and better mirrors, the 
increased use of stop signal arms, and improved 
school bus driver and student training. Despite 
this trend, this type of incident remains the most 
common way students are killed in school bus- 
related incidents. Therefore, the agency has con- 
ducted this rulemaking to upgrade Standard No. 
Ill's mirror requirements to reduce further the 
potential for fatalities and injuries to students by 
school buses. 



II. Previous Agency Action 

A. Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemakiiii> 

On December 17. 1989, NHTSA published an 
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(ANPRM) announcing the agency's interest in 
measures designed to prevent children from being 
struck by school buses during and after loading 
and unloading operations. 54 FR 53127. The 
ANPRM asked questions about pedestrian safety 
around school buses to assist the agency in decid- 
ing whether to pursue rulemaking on cross view 
mirror systems and other devices designed to pro- 
tect pedestrians from being struck by the school 
bus (e.g., crossing control arms, sensors, or video 
monitors). Among the issues presented were: (1) 
The safety need for amending the mirror require- 
ments or for requiring additional equipment such 
as crossing control arms; (2) the need to develop 
performance requirements to ensure that a driver 
sees or is otherwise aware of pedestrians in 
school bus loading zones; (3) the costs of requir- 
ing different types of or additional mirror systems 
and of requiring other types of equipment; and (4) 
the potential impact of new requirements on 
school bus users currently in compliance with 
FMVSS No. 1 1 1 and on current State laws that 
would differ from the Federal requirements that 
might be proposed. 

The agency received comments from State and 
local governmental organizations, school bus 
manufacturers, mirror and other equipment manu- 
facturers, associations, and individuals. The com- 
menters generally agreed that measures should be 
taken to reduce the number of children struck by 
school buses and to improve the view of school 
bus drivers around the school bus while it is in 
the school bus loading zone. Commenters also 
addressed other issues raised in the ANPRM, 
including the need for devices other than mirror 
systems for increasing school bus drivers' aware- 
ness of children outside of school buses, the bene- 
fits from training programs, and the costs of the 
equipment addressed in the ANPRM. 

B. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 

Based on the comments received to the 
ANPRM and the results of NHTSA research con- 
ducted by the Vehicle Research and Test Center 
(VRTC) on school bus mirror performance 
("Ergonomic Research on School Bus Cross 
View^ Mirror Systems" DOT-HS-807-676, 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-30 



August 1990), the agency published a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal 
Register. 56 FR 20171, May 2, 1991. The 
agency had two. primary objectives in publishing 
the NPRM: (1) To improve the capability of 
school bus drivers to see specified critical areas 
in front of and alongside of school buses in 
school bus loading zones, and (2) to propose a 
performance-oriented standard that would replace 
the existing requirements that prevented certain 
new convex cross view mirror designs. The 
NPRM proposed specific performance require- 
ments to Standard No. 1 1 1 to ensure that a seated 
school bus driver could see, either directly or 
through mirrors, certain specified areas in front of 
and alongside of a school bus. The proposal 
specified certain criteria for convex cross view 
mirrors and proposed establishing test conditions 
to ensure that the image of an object in a mirror 
had sufficient clarity. The NPRM also announced 
the agency's decision not to proceed further with 
rulemaking to require school buses to be equipped 
with other devices such as crossing control arms, 
sensors, or video monitors. 

The agency received comments in response to 
the NPRM from State and local organizations, 
school bus manufacturers, equipment manufactur- 
ers and suppliers, associations, and other 
organizations. The commenters generally sup- 
ported the proposal but provided suggested modi- 
fications to various portions of it. The agency has 
considered all the comments in developing the 
final rule. The commenters' significant points are 
addressed below, along with the agency's 
response. 

III. Agency Decision 

A. General Considerations 

Based on the docket comments and other avail- 
able information. NHTSA has decided to amend 
Standard No. 1 1 1 with respect to the field-of-view 
around school buses. This final rule amends the 
standard to require a bus driver to be able to see, 
either directly or through mirrors, certain speci- 
fied areas in front of and along both sides of 
school buses; to specify certain criteria for convex 
cross view mirrors; and to establish test condi- 
tions designed to ensure that the image of an 
object is sufficiently clear. Standard No. 1 1 1 is 
also amended to include detailed test procedures 
to ensure that a school bus provides adequate 



field-of-view around a stopped school bus, thus 
reducing the risk of school buses striking student 
pedestrians. 

Among the issues addressed in this notice are 
the field-of-view performance requirements: the 
placement and characteristics of cylinders rep- 
resenting the field-of-view requirements; school 
bus mirror systems including both flat driving 
mirrors and convex cross view mirrors; specific 
concerns about convex cross view minors includ- 
ing accommodation distance, discontinuities in the 
surface's slope, adjustment, image quality, and 
labeling information about their proper use; test- 
ing procedures; and the rulemaking's anticipated 
costs and effective date. 

While the final rule essentially adopts the 
provisions proposed in the NPRM, the final rule 
does contain several changes as compared to the 
proposal. Among the more important changes are 
that the field-of-view requirements include the 
area near the rear left side of the bus, that the test 
procedure specifies the stop signal arm be in the 
retracted position and the front entry door be 
closed during the testing, that determining the 
minimum radius of curvature of a mirror be based 
solely on the distance from the driver's eye loca- 
tion to the mirror surface, that the message about 
the convex mirror be placed inside the vehicle 
and be expanded to be more informative, and that 
testing is allowed at any point within a specified 
area forward of the 25th percentile adult female 
driver's eye location, instead of four specific 
points relative to the eye location. 

B. Field-of-view requirements 

As explained above. Standard No. 1 1 1 cur- 
rently specifies that each school bus must have an 
outside rearview mirror of unit magnification (i.e., 
a flat mirror) on both sides of the bus that "pro- 
vides the driver a view to the rear along both 
sides of the vehicle * * *" In addition, each 
school bus. except for forward control vehicles, 
must have one convex cross view mirror that 
complies with detailed specifications and 
"provide(s) the driver a view of the front bumper 
and the area in front of the bus." 

The NPRM proposed requiring that a school 
bus driver be able to see, directly or through mir- 
rors, test cylinders representing students in critical 
areas around the school bus. To effectuate this 
goal, each school bus would be required to have 
mirror systems on both the left and right sides of 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-31 



the school bus — a set of driving mirrors to view 
the sides of the bus and areas to the rear of the 
bus, and a set of convex cross view mirrors to see 
specified areas at the left front comer of the bus. 
in front of the bus. and along the right side of the 
bus. Areas viewable along the bus's right side via 
the two mirror systems would be required to 
overlap, as would the areas visible along the bus's 
left side. Along each side, the driver would be 
provided with a view of the ground from the front 
bumper forward, along the sides of the bus, and 
extending at least 200 feet rearward from the mir- 
ror. The NPRM proposed that the driver must be 
able to see the entire top surface of the cylinders 
placed at critical locations around the bus. Com- 
pared to the current requirements for school bus 
mirrors, the proposed field-of-view requirements 
would extend the areas which must be visible, 
provide field-of-view requirements applicable to 
any school bus configuration, and provide greater 
objectivity. The NPRM asked whether the pro- 
posed field-of-view requirements, as expressed 
through the placement of cylinders, would reason- 
ably represent the locations at which school bus 
pedestrians need to be seen by the driver during 
school bus loading and unloading. 

With respect to the field-of-view approach, the 
commenters, including the National School 
Transportation Association (NSTA), Transport 
Canada, Mirror Lite, Arizona DOT (Arizona), and 
the Washington State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction (Washington State) believed that this 
approach was appropriate. No commenter opposed 
the proposed approach. Washington State com- 
mented that the proposal would provide a realistic 
performance standard for mirrors. Transport Can- 
ada believed that there was a need to improve the 
field-of-view for school bus drivers and to pro- 
vide an objective measurement method for all 
mirrors on school buses. 

After reviewing the comments. NHTSA con- 
cludes that establishing performance-based field- 
of-view requirements for school bus mirror sys- 
tems is reasonable and appropriate. Such an 
approach will reduce the risk of injur)' to student 
pedestrians, while affording mirror and school bus 
manufacturers and users greater flexibility. 



C. Test Cylinders 

1 . Cylinder Placement 

As for the placement of test cylinders used to 
represent student pedestrians, the NPRM proposed 
that they be located at specified locations near the 
bus's front wheels, front bumper, locations for- 
ward of the bus. near the front right and left 
wheels, and near the rear right wheel. These pro- 
posed locations were based on narratives in the 
NAS report and docket comments, the VRTC 
report, the State of Ohio's regulation, and the 
Eleventh National Conference of School 
Transportation. Nevertheless, unlike Ohio's regu- 
lation and the Eleventh National Conference's 
specification. NHTSA proposed specific locations 
and test procedures for showing compliance with 
the requirements. In requesting comments about 
whether the proposal reasonably represented loca- 
tions where student pedestrians are struck by 
school buses, the agency expressly asked whether 
the area near the left rear wheels poses a safety 
problem. 

While commenters generally supported the pro- 
posed locations for the test cylinders, some com- 
menters addressed whether cylinders should be 
placed at certain additional locations around the 
school bus. 

Several commenters, including the National 
PTA, Blue Bird. Mirror Lite, the West Virginia 
Department of Education (West Virginia), NSTA, 
Washington State, and Arizona, stated that a view 
down the left side of the bus was important. No 
commenter stated that a view of the left side of 
the bus was unnecessarj'. Mirror Lite cited fatali- 
ties in Michigan and Texas to support the view 
that incidents along the bus's left side, although 
uncommon, do occur. In recommending that the 
field-of-view be the same for both sides of the 
bus. Mirror Lite commented that the cost of such 
a requirement would be the same and that drivers 
prefer mirrors to be matching on the right and 
left, rather than having two different fields-of- 
view. 

After reviewing the comments, NHTSA has 
concluded that the field-of-view on the left side 
of the bus should be extended back to the ground 
near the left rear wheel. While the agency 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-32 



acknowledges that children are infrequently struck 
near the left side of the bus, the agency notes that 
such incidents do occur. Accordingly, by requir- 
ing test cylinders to be placed by the left rear tire, 
the amendments will increase the likelihood that 
the new school bus mirror requirements can pre- 
vent these incidents as well. 

The agency conducted mirror evaluations on 
both conventional and transit-style school buses 
indicating that left side mirror systems designed 
to meet the proposed field-of-view requirements 
for the left front comer and the front of the 
school bus would also be able to provide a view 
of test cylinders located at least six feet to the left 
of the left rear wheel without any adjustments to 
the mirrors. Additionally, based on the agency's 
review of current mirror systems, the agency 
anticipates that the mirrors on the left and right 
side of the bus will be symmetrical (i.e., a mirror 
designed to view the right side of the bus will 
also be able to view the left side of the bus when 
mounted on the left front of the bus). Based on 
the above, the agency has modified the final 
requirements to include additional test cylinders 
located one foot and six feet to the left of the left 
rear axle. 

Although a cylinder located twelve feet to the 
right of the rear axle on the bus' right side is 
required to be visible, NHTSA believes that is not 
necessary to require that a test cylinder located 
twelve feet to the left of the rear axle be visible. 
For a school bus on the side of the road in a load- 
ing zone, a cylinder located twelve feet to the left 
of the left side of the bus would represent a stu- 
dent standing a full traffic lane from the bus. The 
agency believes that it is unlikely that a student 
would be in such a position when the school bus 
starts to depart from the loading zone. In local- 
ities where school buses stop in a traffic lane, a 
cylinder located twelve feet from the left side 
would represent a child on the other side of the 
street on a two lane street. 

During the course of its mirror evaluations, the 
agency observed that, in some cases, the cylinders 
at the left rear axle of the school bus were either 
partially or fully blocked from view by the 
extended stop signal arm. Visibility depended on 
the bus body type and the location of the stop sig- 
nal and the left side cross view mirror. In con- 
trast, the test cylinders were visible when the stop 
arm was retracted. The agency also noted that the 
test cylinders at the right rear axle were either 



partially or fully blocked by the door when an 
outward-opening front entry door was open. 
Based on these observations, NHTSA has decided 
that the test procedure will specify that the stop 
signal arm be in the retracted position and the 
front entry door be closed. This procedure recog- 
nizes that school bus drivers must close the door, 
which retracts the stop signal arm, and then view 
the mirrors to ensure that no students are in dan- 
ger around the bus before the school bus leaves 
the loading zone. If the driver attempted to view 
the areas around the bus before closing the door 
and retracting the stop signal arm, the stop signal 
arm would also block the driver's view of the 
road, thus impairing many driving decisions. 

Blue Bird commented that placing test cyl- 
inders J, K, and L on a plane one foot away from 
the bus would be more appropriate than the pro- 
posed two foot distance because the two foot 
location of cylinder L would provide only limited 
visibility adjacent to the rear wheel. (The agency 
notes that cylinder L in the NPRM is cylinder N 
in the final rule.) Blue Bird commented further 
that a one foot distance from the most outboard 
edge of the front bumper for cylinders J and K 
would help ensure adequate visibility near the 
front wheels. The agency agrees with this com- 
ment and has revised the location requirements 
accordingly. 

Blue Bird commented that there were no pro- 
posed requirements for the visibility of cylinder 
M, which is located six feet from the right side 
of the bus at the rear wheel. (The agency notes 
that cylinder M in the NPRM is cylinder O in the 
final rule.) That was an oversight in the NPRM, 
and a provision about cylinder M is included in 
the final rule's requirements for mirror System B. 

NSTA suggested that a test cylinder be added 
to the area directly to the rear of the service door. 
After conducting mirror evaluations, the agency 
has concluded that locating a test cylinder to the 
rear of the service entry door would not be nec- 
essary since mirror systems that provide a view of 
cylinders K and L would also provide a view of 
the rear side of the service entry door. 

Transport Canada believed that because it is 
theoretically possible for blind spots to exist in 
some areas between cylinders in front of the bus, 
NHTSA should specify areas whose perimeters 
would be defined in terms of cylinder locations 
that must be seen, rather than simply the cylinders 
themselves. In the course of this rulemaking, 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-33 



agency staff have evaluated a variety of mirror 
systems on both conventional and transit-style 
school buses. In all cases where the test cylinders 
could be seen and identified in a mirror system, 
the full ground areas around and between the cyl- 
inders could be seen. The agency notes that while 
a blind spot could occur when looking at a single 
mirror, such blind spots were eliminated when 
viewing the entire mirror system. Although it 
might be theoretically possible for a blind spot to 
exist between test cylinders, the agency believes 
such situations would be extremely rare. 

The New York State Senate Committee on 
Transportation (New York) believed that the 
requirements in S9.2 for the System A driving 
mirrors on the right side of the bus should have 
a field-of-view that extends twelve feet out from 
the side of the bus, not just two feet out, to pro- 
vide the driver with adequate warning time that a 
pedestrian contact is imminent. The agency notes 
that the requirements in S9.2 are primarily for the 
driving mirror system which must include at least 
one mirror of unit magnification. Such a mirror 
could not be adjusted to provide a view that 
included the side of the bus and a point twelve 
feet out from the rear axle line unless it were 
unusually large in size. Yet, such a large mirror 
would create its own large blind spot. The 
requirements for System B convex cross view 
mirrors, which are pedestrian detection mirrors, 
already provide the seated driver with information 
about individuals that may be as close as twelve 
feet from the side of the school bus. Accordingly, 
because the mirror that would be necessary to 
accommodate New York's request would have 
safety trade-offs and provide redundant perfomi- 
ance, NHTSA has decided not to change the pro- 
posed requirements for S9.2 in this rule. 

2. Cylinder Dimensions 

The proposed provisions about the test cyl- 
inders used to represent student pedestrians 
specify that they be one foot high and one foot 
in diameter and require that their entire top sur- 
face be visible. The agency based this proposal on 
the VRTC report's recommendation that measure- 
ments be made near ground level and on accounts 
in the docket explaining that children struck by 
school buses were low to the ground. Addition- 
ally, narratives in the 1989 NAS report and the 
mirror requirements from Ohio support the con- 
cept of using some sort of three-dimensional rep- 



resentation of a small child. An exception to the 
one foot requirement would be that the cylinder 
placed twelve feet to the right of the rear right i 
wheel, would be three feet high and one foot in 
diameter. The agency believed that this cylinder 
needed to have such dimensions to evaluate elon- 
gation. 

Several commenters, including NSTA, Mirror 
Lite, and Thomas Built, supported the proposal to 
require the driver to view the cylinder's entire 
top. NSTA commented that this requirement 
would help ensure that the driver is provided with 
a complete enough image to enable the driver to 
identify student pedestrians in the mirror. After 
evaluating new generation mirrors and some older 
mirrors which they consider to be "marginal," 
Thomas Built determined that only the new mir- 
rors could meet the cylinder viewing require- 
ments. This led Thomas Built to conclude that 
viewing the top of the cylinders is a satisfactory 
requirement. 

A few commenters were concerned that the 
proposed test cylinder was not adequate for ensur- 
ing that all of the critical areas of the ground 
would be visible. Washington State believed that 
by focusing on the cylinder's top, the proposed 
visibility test may be inadequate because it 
ignores contact at the ground level. Lo-Mar and 
Blue Bird believed that the view of the ground is 
not ensured through the use of one foot high cyl- 
inders. Accordingly, these commenters rec- 
ommended that cylinders be replaced with one 
foot diameter flat discs. 

After considering the comments about test 
object's dimensions, NHTSA has concluded that 
one foot tall cylinders better represent real-world 
situations than flat discs. In the majority of load- 
ing zone incidents, children struck and killed by 
school buses were either standing or bending 
over, according to the Kansas Department of 
Transportation's "1989 School Bus Loading & 
Unloading Surx'ey." Therefore, the agency 
believes that most students who are struck by a 
school bus are at least one foot above the ground. 
Even children who have fallen are above ground 
level because their body thickness at their head or 
torso is at least six inches. If children have fallen, 
the agency expects that they will be attempting to 
get back up, which also adds height. The agen- 
cy's mirror system evaluations further indicate | 
that a three dimensional object such as the one 
foot tall test cylinder more accurately represents 



PART 571: Slll-PRE-34 



real-world situations than a flat disc. In addition, 
the cylinder facilitates testing by providing a 
more practicable means for demonstrating the 
ability of mirrors to view areas around the outside 
of the bus. The three dimensional cylinder also 
makes the relative image quality easier to 
ascertain. 

Mirror Lite commented that the cylinders 
should be of a readily available design to facili- 
tate testing and to avoid discouraging manufactur- 
ers from conducting the test. This view led Mirror 
Lite to recommend using bright orange 18" traf- 
fic cones. Washington State requested that along 
with establishing a requirement for the manufac- 
ture of new buses and equipment, the standard 
should also provide an ongoing performance 
standard for the end user (e.g., mechanics and bus 
drivers). Similarly, Ann Arundel County (Mary- 
land) Public Schools explained that they were 
interested in incorporating the test cylinder grid 
into its training program. 

As for Mirror Lite's comment about an 18" 
traffic cone, NHTSA believes that such a device 
is too tall to represent a child who may be bend- 
ing over or has fallen down. The agency never- 
theless agrees with Mirror Lite that having a read- 
ily available test object will assist States and local 
school districts in evaluating mirrors and training 
school bus drivers. The agency believes that the 
one foot cylinder is a reasonable size and shape 
that should be easy to obtain or fabricate. The 
agency also notes that the one foot test cylinder 
is only required for compliance test purposes, and 
that anyone desiring to build a test lane can sub- 
stitute another test object when conducting 
evaluations or training. 

While generally supporting the performance 
requirements for mirror System B, Blue Bird rec- 
ommended an alternative requirement which 
defined the bounds of specific geometric areas on 
the ground outside the school bus which would 
have to be seen. Among Blue Bird's criticisms of 
the proposal were the use of a cylinder rather 
than a disc, the need to reduce the distance 
between the test cylinders and the bus to one foot, 
the need to include cylinder M in the performance 
requirements, and the need to include visibility 
requirements for the left side of the bus. Since all 
of these items have been addressed above and all 
but the use of a disc were adopted, the agency 
does not believe Blue Bird's recommended alter- 
native is necessary. 



3. Cylinder Color 

The NPRM proposed that the test cylinders 
be a color which provides a high contrast with the 
surface on which the bus is parked. According to 
the VRTC report, such a contrast would facilitate 
compliance testing. While the proposal did not 
specify a particular color, the agency requested 
comments about what color would provide a high 
contrast with the ground and whether a given 
color should be specified. 

Several commenters addressed the appropriate 
color and design of the test objects. NSTA sug- 
gested that rather than having a high contrast 
color, the cylinder should be a color that blends 
into the surroundings, believing that visibility 
becomes a problem when a child blends in with 
the surroundings (e.g., the bus itself, pavement). 
New York favored replacing the cylinders with 
two dimensional cutouts of children and adults 
with colors that are representative of clothes typi- 
cally used by school children or adults. 

Other commenters believed that the test cyl- 
inder should be a bright color. Mirror Lite rec- 
ommended using bright orange traffic cones. 
Thomas Built explained that its mirror tests are 
conducted using bright colored cylinders, e.g., 
safety orange sides with lime green tops and 
b'ack letters. R&R Research recommended that to 
make the test procedure less vague, the color of 
the test cylinders should "be specified either 
quantitatively (i.e., the percent contrast) or quali- 
tatively by specifying the color of the cylinders." 

After reviewing the comments and its own mir- 
ror evaluations, NHTSA has decided that the test 
cylinder must provide a high contrast with the 
surface on which the bus is parked. The agency 
believes that having such a high contrast will 
facilitate compliance testing. Nevertheless, the 
agency has determined that it would be inappro- 
priate and unnecessai7 to specify a given color 
for the test cylinder. The agency has no informa- 
tion to suggest that one color would be more 
appropriate for a test cylinder than any other 
color. The agency believes that specifying a sin- 
gle color would complicate the standard without 
providing any significant corresponding benefits. 

D. School Bus Mirror Systems 

1. General 

St mdard No. 1 1 1 currently requires school 
buses to be equipped with two types of mirror 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-35 



systems: (1) An outside rearview mirror of unit 
magnification ("flat mirror") of not less than 50 
square inches of reflective surface on each side of 
the bus; and (2) one convex cross view mirror. In 
practice, buses are equipped with a flat driving 
mirror on each side of the bus, two or more con- 
vex cross view mirrors, and typically at least one 
supplemental convex mirror mounted near each 
flat mirror and designed to serve as an additional 
driving mirror. Convex driving mirrors are typi- 
cally about four inches in diameter and have a 
radius of curvature (ROC) greater than 35 inches. 
These larger radii of curvature mirrors have much 
greater image clarity than the convex cross view 
mirrors mounted on the front of the bus and 
therefore can safely be used as driving mirrors. 
All mirror systems are used by drivers to see stu- 
dents in the loading zone around buses, although 
the flat mirrors and the supplemental convex driv- 
ing mirrors are primarily designed to serve as 
driving mirrors. 

The NPRM proposed to modify the current 
requirements for both types of mirror systems so 
that each school bus would be equipped with two 
mirror systems on each side of the bus: (1) A sys- 
tem that includes flat driving mirrors of unit mag- 
nification and optional convex driving mirrors 
(designated as "System A") and (2) a system 
that consists of convex cross view mirrors for stu- 
dent detection during loading and unloading (des- 
ignated as "System B"). The areas viewable 
along both sides of the bus via the two mirror 
systems would be required to overlap on each 
side, providing the driver with a view of the 
ground in front of and along both sides of the bus 
and extending at least 200 feet rearward from the 
driving mirror. Because the agency recognized 
that most current driving mirror systems on 
school buses consist of both a flat mirror and a 
convex mirror, the NPRM included language that 
"one or more mirrors" could be used to meet the 
requirements of S9.2 for System A mirrors. 

2. Driving Minors — System A Mirrors 

As for System A mirrors, the NPRM proposed 
making the current requirements for such mirror 
systems more objective and expanding the field- 
of-view to include a larger area. Specifically, the 
NPRM proposed amending section S9.2 to require 
that the driver have a view at least 200 feet to the 
rear and at least two feet to the right of the right 
side of the bus. The NPRM explained that the 



proposed requirements reflect the findings of the 
11th National Conference on School Transpor- 
tation and accounts in the NAS report and docket { 
that a significant number of incidents occur by 
the right rear wheels of school buses. 

In responding to the NPRM's proposal about 
System A mirror systems, several commenters, 
including Mirror Lite, Thomas Built. Transport 
Canada, and Blue Bird, appear to have misunder- 
stood the proposed requirements of S9.2. Based 
on their comments, it appears that they believe 
the system's flat mirror portion by itself would 
have to comply with the requirement that the 
view of the "area of the ground which extends 
rearward from the mirror surface [must be] not 
less than 200 feet." The agency wishes to clarify 
that the flat mirror by itself need not comply with 
S9.2. The proposed requirements were for a 
"mirror system" (emphasis added) which could 
include both a flat mirror and a convex mirror. 
Accordingly, to comply with S9.2, it is permis- 
sible for the convex portion of the mirror system 
to provide some portions of the required field-of- 
view. 

The agency believes that it is unnecessary to 
expressly require the installation of a convex mir- 
ror for the driving mirror system. Since the pro- 
posed revisions to Standard No. Ill are pertbrm- 
ance-oriented, not design-oriented, manufacturers 
can choose whatever mirror system they believe 
is best. Avoiding unnecessary restrictions facili- 
tates the introduction of future technological 
improvements in mirror systems. 

Blue Bird suggested modifying S9.2(c) by 
establishing specified zones along both sides of 
the bus which would have to be viewable to the 
seated driver. As explained in the section on test 
cylinders, the agency believes that establishing 
field-of-view requirements through test cylinders 
at specific locations around a school bus provides 
a more realistic simulation of real-world school 
bus operations than establishing geometric zones. 

Blue Bird also commented that establishing 
minimum permissible radii for convex mirrors 
used in proposed mirror System A could be det- 
rimental to the performance requirements being 
proposed. The agency notes that neither the 
NPRM nor the final rule included provisions i 
about minimum radii of curvature for System A 
mirrors. The same is true for System B mirrors. 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-36 



3. Convex cross view mirrors — System B Mirrors 

a. General. S9.2(a) of Standard No. Ill cur- 
rently contains detailed specifications about the 
characteristics of convex cross view mirrors, 
including minimum and maximum permissible 
radii of curvature, minimum surface areas, and 
restrictions for convex mirrors with non-uniform 
radii. The current standard only requires one con- 
vex cross view mirror. 

The NPRM proposed that a cross view mirror 
system (System B) be provided on both sides of 
a school bus to ensure that seated drivers have a 
complete view of all critical areas in front of and 
along both sides of the bus that are not within 
their direct field-of-view. The NPRM also 
included a requirement that "[T]he view of the 
ground provided at the driver's eye location by 
system B shall overlap with the view of the 
ground provided by system A." The agency pro- 
posed to delete the current specifications for con- 
vex mirrors, believing that this action would per- 
mit States and local school districts to use a wider 
variety of mirrors. 

The NPRM addressed several subissues about 
convex cross view mirror characteristics, includ- 
ing accommodation distance (i.e., the distance at 
which people can focus on images in mirrors), 
discontinuities in the mirror surface's slope, 
adjustment, informational labeling, and image 
quality. 

In addition to general questions about convex 
cross view mirrors, the agency specifically asked 
about whether a minimum permissible radius of 
curvature should be specified, whether convex 
cross view mirrors should be used for driving 
purposes, and whether the upper portion of con- 
vex mirrors should be cut off or blackened out to 
reduce the amount of glare reflected into the driv- 
er's eye. 

All commenters supported using convex cross 
view mirrors to view areas outside of school 
buses. Commenters also addressed specific points 
about particular mirror systems. Mirror Lite 
believed that wide-angle cross view mirrors are 
better than multiple conventional mirrors because 
having multiple mirrors would result in confusion 
as to which mirror is showing what image. 

Several commenters, including Thomas Built 
and Blue Bird, stated that in practice, convex 
cross view mirrors are used for driving purposes. 
Thomas Built and Blue Bird commented that cer- 



tain convex cross view mirrors should not be used 
as driving mirrors. These comments are addressed 
later in this preamble in the section discussing an 
instructional message for the proper use of con- 
vex cross view mirrors. 

Several commenters responded to the agency's 
question in the NPRM about cutting off or black- 
ening out the cross view mirror's upper portion. 
The Arizona DOT opposed cutting off or blacken- 
ing out any portion of the convex cross view mir- 
ror, believing that all portions of the mirror pro- 
vide some benefit if properly adjusted and used. 
In contrast, Washington State, the Tennessee 
DOE, Florida, the Sloan Company, and Mirror 
Lite believed that the top portions of convex cross 
view mirrors serve no useful purpose and should 
be eliminated. Mirror Lite stated that the "market 
place has determined the upper portion of the 
mirror is of no value and may be a distraction to 
the driver." 

Notwithstanding the comments favoring the 
elimination of the top portion of convex cross 
view mirrors, NHTSA believes that there is no 
conclusive information to support this approach. 
Additionally, there is no information available for 
determining what specific areas of mirrors should 
be cut off or blackened out. This type of require- 
ment would also make the standard more design 
restrictive than the agency believes is desirable. In 
addition. Mirror Lite's claim that the "market- 
place" has determined the need for blackening 
out such mirrors does not appear to be accurate, 
since several convex mirrors without blacked-out 
areas are apparently being successfully sold in the 
marketplace. However, if certain mirror areas are 
found to be inefficient, then the agency antici- 
pates that the marketplace will make judgments 
on the efficacy of various mirror systems and that 
those judgments will be reflected in future mirror 
designs. Since no information was produced to 
suggest that the upper portions of cross view mir- 
rors were dangerous to a driver's view of pedes- 
trians, the agency has decided not to establish 
limitations on the field-of-view coverage provided 
by a cross view mirror. The agency believes that 
individual State and local school districts are 
capable of evaluating mirror systems that meet 
these standards and selecting those which best 
meet their needs, including, if they so chose, mir- 
rors from which the top portions have been elimi- 
nated. 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-37 



b. Accommodation distances. The NPRM pro- 
posed a new provision that would require that the 
distance from the center of each convex cross 
view mirror to the center point of the driver's eye 
location, plus one-half the smallest radius of cur- 
vature of the mirror surface be at least 39 inches. 
The agency based this proposal on the VRTC 
report's finding about accommodation distances, 
i.e., the finding that older people have greater dif- 
ficulty focusing on nearby objects, especially in 
convex mirrors with small radii of curvature. 
According to the VRTC report, if the distance 
between the driver and the image in the mirror is 
less than 40 inches, drivers over 40 years old may 
see a blurred image. 

Several commenters supported the 39 inch 
accommodation distance, believing that such a 
requirement is feasible. Thomas Built, R & R 
Research, and Mirror Lite stated that the 39 inch 
distance between the driver seat to the mirror is 
acceptable for most currently-produced buses. 
Nevertheless, R & R Research, along with NSTA, 
questioned whether transit type school buses 
could be equipped to comply with the 39 inch 
requirement. Neither NSTA nor R & R Research 
provided any specific information to support their 
concerns about transit buses. 

Blue Bird disagreed with the 39 inch require- 
ment, stating that it would be difficult to measure 
accurately and might hinder mirror performance 
and innovations. Blue Bird opposed having 
restrictions on the mirror's location, claiming that 
the agency does not restrict the locations of other 
bus components such as gauges, switches, and 
lights. 

Based on the available information, including 
the agency's evaluations of the comments and 
various mirror systems, NHTSA has decided to 
adopt the proposed accommodation distance 
requirement with certain modifications. In 
evaluating various mirror systems on both 
conventional and transit-style school buses, 
NHTSA has found that these mirrors are always 
capable of complying with the proposed 39 inch 
requirement of S9. 3(b)(2) when mounted at loca- 
tions consistent with the mirror manufacturers' 
recommendation. The agency also notes that the 
concerns expressed by NHTSA and R&R 
Research about transit-style school buses not 
being able to meet such a requirement were not 
shared by the school bus and mirror manufactur- 
ers commenting on this issue, all of whom stated 



that the requirement could be met. Blue Bird did 
not claim that the proposed 39 inch requirement 
could not be met, only that it would be difficult 
to measure accurately. Also, Blue Bird appears to 
disagree with the proposed requirement on a 
philosophical basis, i.e., since NHTSA does not 
establish restrictions on the location of other 
components of the bus used during its operation. 

In evaluating the proposal, NHTSA has meas- 
ured the distances from the driver's eye location 
to the mirror surface on a number of school 
buses, including transit style buses, and has found 
it to be a straight-forward task that gets easier the 
more it is done. The aspect of the measurement 
that required the most effort was establishing the 
line of sight through a window and then measur- 
ing that line. The use of standard tape measures, 
one used to measure the distance from the mirror 
to the window and the other to measure the dis- 
tance from the window to the eye location, 
worked well for establishing the line of sight and 
measuring it. The thickness of the window was 
then added to the measured distances. A more 
elaborate test setup could be established using a 
laser or high intensity light beam to establish the 
line of sight. Based on the agency's experience in 
measuring mirror distances, the degree of 
accuracy is not that critical since all of the mirror 
distances were well over 39 inches. 

However. NHTSA agrees with the commenters 
that determining the minimum radius of curvature 
of a mirror may be a difficult and time consum- 
ing task. Accordingly, the agency has modified 
the final requirement so that the eye accommoda- 
tion distance is based solely on the distance from 
the driver's eye location to the mirror surface. 

The proposed requirements in S9.3(b)(2) have 
been modified to read as follows in this final rule: 
"Each mirror shall be located such that the dis- 
tance from the center point of the eye location of 
a 25th percentile adult female to the center of the 
mirror surface shall be at least 37.5 inches."' To 
repeat, the proposed requirement was for the dis- 
tance from the center of each convex cross view 
mirror to the center point of the driver's eye, plus 
one-half the smallest radius of curvature of the 
mirror surface, to be at least 39 inches. While the 
proposal's provision about adding "one-half the 
smallest radius of curvature" to the distance from 
the driver's eye to the center of the miiTor is no 
longer expressly part of the specified measure- 
ment, the agency derived the 37.5 inch distance 



PART 571: Slll-PRE-38 



in this final rule using the proposed combination 
of distance between the driver's eye and the mir- 
ror and one-half the radius of curvature of the 
mirror. 

The 37.5 inch minimum was derived as fol- 
lows. Of all the mirrors used in the VRTC report, 
the smallest radius of curvature (and thus the one 
with the poorest image quality) was 3.41 inches. 
Assuming that the design radius of curvature of 
future mirrors would not be less than 3 inches, 
then one-half of that radius of curvature would be 
1.5 inches. Subtracting 1.5 inches from the 39 
inch proposed requirement leaves 37.5 inches. 
The final rule accordingly accounts for accommo- 
dation distances in worst case situations, just as 
the proposal did, but simplifies the calculation. 

NHTSA disagrees with Blue Bird's comment 
that mirror location should not be regulated 
because the location of other components (i.e., 
gauges, switches, and lights) in the bus are not 
regulated. The agency believes that to ensure the 
safety of student pedestrians, the images in school 
bus mirrors, particularly convex mirrors, cannot 
be blurred for any driver. That same level of con- 
cern is not necessary for clearly seeing a gauge 
or switch, since seeing such devices is not as 
critical for student safety as viewing a mirror sys- 
tem. Also the inherent nature of convex mirrors, 
which reduce the size and elongate the image of 
the reflected object, make mirror images more 
difficult to see and use. By contrast, the task of 
identifying gauges and switches is comparatively 
straightforward. 

Arizona DOT commented that school buses 
should be equipped with forward mount driving 
mirrors on the left side, in lieu of the low mount 
driving mirrors currently being used by many dis- 
tricts. Arizona stated that this requirement "is 
needed in order for the mirror to be at least 39" 
from the driver's eye." NHTSA notes that 
Arizona appears to have misinterpreted the provi- 
sion's applicability, because the minimum 
accommodation distance applies only to convex 
crossview (System B) mirrors, not to driving 
(System A) mirrors. Although the Arizona com- 
ment is related to driving mirrors, instead of the 
cross view mirrors, it illustrates that different 
cross view mirror mounting locations may be nec- 
essary on some types of school buses to meet the 
accommodation distance requirement. 

c. Discoiuiiniities in a minor swface' s slope. 
Standard No. 1 1 1 currently prohibits discontinu- 



ities in a mirror surface's slope. The NPRM pro- 
posed retaining this requirement, but redesignating 
it S9. 3(b)(3). The proposal explained that 
prohibiting mirror discontinuities would prevent 
mirrors in which the slope or surface of the mir- 
ror was concave, thus protecting against poor 
image clarity. 

All those commenting on this issue, i.e., NSTA, 
Mirror Lite, Thomas Built Buses, and New York 
State, agreed that retaining the current prohibition 
on mirror discontinuities is necessary. Accord- 
ingly, the final rule adopts this provision. 

Mirror Lite suggested that the agency use the 
term "diminishing image" instead of "distor- 
tion" to describe the image quality provided by 
cross view mirrors. It stated that distortion is a 
flaw in the mirror surface that can be found in 
any type of mirror. After reviewing the comment, 
the agency agrees with Mirror Lite and has 
decided to use the phrase "image clarity" rather 
than "distortion" in the preamble. Nevertheless, 
the agency notes that this term is not in the regu- 
latory test. 

d. Mirror supports and adjustment. Standard 
No. 1 1 1 currently requires each flat mirror and 
each convex cross view mirror to be installed 
with a stable support. The NPRM proposed that 
each convex cross view mirror "be installed with 
a stable support designed to dampen vibration." 
This requirement is intended to ensure a clear and 
properly focused image by preventing mirrors 
from vibrating unreasonably and by reducing the 
likelihood that mirrors become misaligned. Com- 
ments to the ANPRM explained that such mis- 
alignment reduces a driver's ability to see chil- 
dren in potentially dangerous locations around a 
stopped school bus. 

The NPRM asked the following questions 
about mirror stability: 

(1) Could the requirements be made more 
precise?; 

(2) Is it necessary to require adjustable 
mounting brackets for all types of cross view 
mirrors?; and 

(3) Do non-adjustable brackets reduce the 
amount of vibration of the mirror while driving 
or idling? 

Commenters disagreed about the need for 
requiring mirrors to have stable supports. NSTA 
and Thomas Built believed such requirements 
were not needed, with Thomas Built stating that 
most current mirror mounting systems provide a 



PART 571; Slll-FRE-39 



stable yet easily adjustable mirror system. In con- 
trast, Washington State and Transport Canada 
supported the proposal to require stable supports. 
Transport Canada favored an objective test to 
evaluate the stability of mirror brackets for cross 
view mirrors but had no particular recommenda- 
tions to increase the requirement's precision. 
Washington State supported the proposed regu- 
latory language, agreeing that vibration can 
significantly harm image quality. Nevertheless. 
Washington State suggested that additional lan- 
guage be included stating that if a mirror adjust- 
ment mechanism is necessary, it should be 
designed so that vibrations would not misalign the 
mirror. Arizona explained that its draft State mir- 
ror requirements would specify that cross view 
mirrors "shall be easily adjustable but be rigidly 
braced to reduce vibration." 

Commenters discussed the types of mirror 
adjustment mechanisms currently being used. 
Some mirror systems have both adjustable brack- 
ets and mirrors, some only have adjustable mirror 
portions, and others only have adjustable brackets. 
Mirror Lite, Flynn, and Sloan believed that mir- 
rors should be adjustable. Tennessee, Arizona, 
and Blue Bird believed that mirrors should have 
adjustable brackets. Blue Bird commented that 
properly tightened adjustable brackets become 
rigid and thus perform the same function as non- 
adjustable brackets. 

After considering the commenters' varying 
views, NHTSA has determined that Standard No. 
Ill's existing requirements for mirror stability 
are appropriate, and they are adopted in this rule. 
The agency recognizes that different mirror manu- 
facturers have developed various types of mount- 
ing brackets and mirror mountings that employ 
different degrees of adjustability or non- 
adjustability. There is no evidence in the com- 
ments to the docket, or in any of the mirror 
evaluations the agency has conducted, that the 
proposed requirements could be made any more 
precise. NHTSA notes that Standard No. 1 1 1 cur- 
rently requires "stable support" for both inside 
and outside mirrors on all types of vehicles, not 
just school buses. The agency believes that these 
requirements should be retained for school buses. 
While a more precise requirement is not possible, 
the agency believes it is important to retain a 
requirement for mirror stability in the standard as 
a means of highlighting the importance of mirror 
stability to mirror performance. 



One change from the proposal is prompted by 
Transport Canada's comment that the stability 
requirements should also apply to the System A 
mirrors. As Transport Canada stated. Standard 
No. Ill's existing requirements for school bus 
outside rearview mirrors include "stable sup- 
ports." The agency agrees that the stability 
requirements should continue to apply to System 
A mirrors, and the final rule's requirements have 
been modified accordingly. 

Additionally, NHTSA notes that on April 26, 
1991, it revised Guideline #17 to state "that all 
school buses shall have a system of mirrors that 
confonns to the school bus requirements of 
FMVSS No. 111." (56 FR 19270) While this 
amendment means that the most current require- 
ments in Standard No. Ill are applicable, the 
agency has decided to issue elsewhere in today's 
Federal Register a conforming amendment to clar- 
ify this situation. In particular, the conforming 
amendment deletes the outdated requirements 
referring to the 30 inch rod test in Guideline #17. 

e. Informational label on using cross view mir- 
rors for driving purposes. The NPRM discussed 
the agency's concern about using convex cross 
view mirrors as driving mirrors. These concerns 
were based on the agency's belief that the inher- 
ently poor image clarity and image size reduction 
characteristics of highly convex mirrors make 
such mirrors inappropriate for driving purposes. 
In addition, the reaction time is slower for drivers 
using several mirror systems each with signifi- 
cantly different radii of curvature. Such mirrors 
may not provide the driver with a consistent ref- 
erence point with respect to the location of 
images in the various mirrors. Accordingly, the 
NPRM proposed that mirrors with an average 
radius of curvature less than 35 inches be marked 
with the following message: 

"THIS MIRROR IS NOT DESIGNED FOR USE 
WHILE THE VEHICLE IS IN MOTION." 

The NPRM identified three issues about these 
informational requirements: (1) The need for such 
a message; (2) the message's content; and (3) the 
message's location. As to location, the agency 
proposed that the message be placed directly on 
the mirror, but requested comments about other 
possible locations. 

Regarding the need for an informational mes- 
sage on convex cross view mirrors, only NSTA 
and Thomas Built Buses believed that a message 



PART 571; Slll-PRE^O 



was unnecessary. NSTA stated that the message 
could impair the mirror's effectiveness and dis- 
tract the driver. NSTA and Thomas Built said that 
the message was unnecessary because they 
believed that driver training would be more effec- 
tive than a label whose benefits were question- 
able. 

All other commenters supported having an 
informational label either expressly (Mirror Lite, 
R&R Research. Washington State, and Sloan 
Company) or implicitly (Transport Canada, Anne 
Arundel County Schools, New York State, Ten- 
nessee DOE, Arizona DOT, Lo-Mar, and Blue 
Bird) by not objecting to the label, while com- 
menting on the location, size, or wording of the 
warning. R&R Research stated that an informa- 
tional label was necessary because in practice 
drivers use cross view mirror systems to gain 
information on traffic conditions around the bus. 

After considering the comments, NHTSA has 
determined that a message explaining the proper 
use of convex cross view mirrors is necessary 
since some drivers use these mirrors for driving 
purposes. The agency is aware that properly 
trained drivers will have been taught that these 
mirrors are for pedestrian detection purposes only. 
Accordingly, NHTSA believes that the label will 
serve more as a reminder message rather than as 
an "instructional" message for those drivers 
trained in the proper operation of school buses 
and use of mirror systems. The agency believes 
that the message will also benefit untrained driv- 
ers, by informing them about the mirror system's 
proper use. 

As to the content of the message, R&R 
Research commented that the label should 
communicate two things: the correct action 
required of drivers, and the potential con- 
sequences of inappropriate behavior. NHTSA 
agrees with R&R's comment that a more positive, 
informative message would provide greater poten- 
tial safety benefits than the proposed one. Specifi- 
cally, the message adopted in the final rule 
explains what action should be taken (i.e., use the 
mirror to detect pedestrians), what action should 
not be taken (i.e., do not use the mirror to view 
traffic), and why the mirror should not be used 
inappropriately (i.e., the images do not accurately 
show another vehicle's location). Accordingly, the 
message required by the final rule has been 
changed to read as follows: 



"USE CROSS VIEW MIRRORS TO VIEW 
PEDESTRIANS WHILE BUS IS STOPPED. DO 
NOT USE THESE MIRRORS TO VIEW TRAF- 
FIC WHILE BUS IS MOVING. IMAGES IN 
SUCH MIRRORS DO NOT ACCURATELY 
SHOW ANOTHER VEHICLE'S LOCATION." 

Many commenters addressed the proper loca- 
tion for an informational message about cross 
view mirrors. Only Anne Arundel County favored 
placing the message on the mirror itself, claiming 
that placing this message elsewhere inside or out- 
side the bus would create problems since many 
buses already are required to contain several mes- 
sages. 

All other commenters, including R&R 
Research, New York State, Lo-Mar, Arizona 
DOT, Tennessee DOE. Transport Canada, 
Washington State, and Mirror Lite, recommended 
that the message be placed inside the school bus 
near the driver instead of on the cross view mir- 
ror itself. Commenters stated that a message 
placed directly on the mirror would be difficult to 
read and would obstruct some images, thus 
adversely affecting mirror performance. Tennessee 
DOE stated that the message should be placed on 
or near the instrument panel. New York State 
favored including the message on a sticker 
attached to the bus in the line of sight of the 
driver when observing the mirror. R&R Research 
favored placing the message inside the bus either 
on the instrument panel or near the interior rear 
view mirror. 

After considering the above comments, NHTAS 
has decided that the message should be located 
inside the school bus near the bus driver instead 
of on the convex cross view mirror. The agency 
agrees with the comments that a message placed 
directly on the mirror would be difficult to see 
and would reduce mirror performance by obscur- 
ing some mirror images. As noted above, the 
agency's primary goal is for drivers to understand 
that these mirrors should not be used while the 
vehicle is in motion because information obtained 
in such situations is not accurate enough to make 
appropriate driving decisions. 

The agency agrees with Anne Arundel County 
that the driver's area already contains a number 
of informational labels explaining proper school 
bus operations. Since the agency is unaware of 
any single "best" location for the mirror-use 
label, the final rule provides flexibility to bus 
manufacturers in placing the label at an appro- 



PART571; Slll-PRE-41 



priate location which is prominent and visible 
within the driver's area of the bus. The standard 
requires the label to be printed in type face and 
color that are clear and conspicuous. NHTSA 
notes that these locations, size, and color require- 
ments are patterned after the warning label 
requirements for utility vehicles in 49 CFR 
575.105. 

f. Performance requirements for image clarity. 
The NPRM proposed performance requirements 
to ensure that the images in cross view mirrors 
were of sufficient minimum quality to provide the 
school bus driver with reliable information about 
the presence of children in front of and along 
both sides of the bus. In selecting these proposed 
requirements, the agency relied on the VRTC 
report's finding that only a limited level of image 
quality is necessary to ensure that a school bus 
driver is aware of a student in a dangerous zone, 
so as not to move the bus until the student has 
moved to a safe location. 

The NPRM proposed two requirements to 
ensure adequate image quality. First, the separa- 
tion between the edge of each cylinder's image 
and the edge of the effective mirror surface would 
have to be not less than 3.0 minutes of arc. This 
requirement stems from the agency's finding that 
the most difficult images to recognize are elon- 
gated ones near the mirror's curved reflective 
edge. Second, with respect to the image of the 
cylinder perpendicular to and twelve feet away 
from the rear right axle, the angular size of the 
longest dimension of that image would have to be 
not less than nine minutes of arc and the angular 
size of its shortest dimension would have to be 
not less than three minutes of arc. This require- 
ment stems from the agency's finding that 
unreasonable elongation would make it difficult 
for the driver to identify a child's image in the 
mirror. 

Several commenters addressed the issue of 
image quality. Mirror Lite believed that a test 
procedure was necessary to reduce distortion due 
to a flawed mirror surface and to increase image 
quality. NSTA stated that only a reasonable level 
of image quality is necessary, since a driver needs 
only to recognize that an object in the mirror is 
a child and does not need to know specific details 
about the image. Thomas Built commented that 
the specification for the minimum distance 
between the image and the mirror's effective edge 
could be eliminated, believing that the elongation 



requirements of S9.4(b) (1) and (2) should make 
the image "acceptable." 

Commenters also provided general comments 
about the image quality requirements. Transport 
Canada stated that when a cylinder is visible in 
two mirrors, both images should have to meet the 
requirements for minimum size and distance from 
the mirror's edge, believing that this would ensure 
that a small child would not be overlooked. While 
Blue Bird agreed that the location of the image 
relative to the outer edge of the mirror surface 
should be limited, it believed that the proposed 
requirement of three minutes of arc would be dif- 
ficult to measure given its dependence on the fol- 
lowing variables: (1) The radius of effective mir- 
ror surface, (2) mirror adjustment by the driver, 
and (3) distance from the driver's eye location to 
the image in the mirror for different mirror com- 
binations and bus types on which mirrors are 
mounted. Blue Bird was concerned that this pro- 
posal would result in ambiguities given potential 
problems in accurately measuring the allowed 
mirror distance between the image and edge of 
the mirror. Blue Bird recommended establishing a 
limit on the distance between images and the mir- 
ror edge which it characterized as being more 
easily measurable during compliance testing. 

Several commenters provided specific sugges- 
tions about changing the requirements for image 
quality. Thomas Built recommended that each 
cylinder's top surface have a letter which would 
be used to evaluate image clarity. Thomas Built 
believed that the proposed three minutes of arc 
was "minute and undeterminate," stating that on 
a mirror with a 28 inch radius of curvature, three 
minutes of arc is only .024 inches. Accordingly, 
Thomas Built suggested the requirement be elimi- 
nated unless a fixed dimension such as '/t inch is 
specified. Similarly, Blue Bird suggested 
establishing a fixed distance of V\e inch along the 
effective mirror surface's edge to be blocked out 
during compliance testing. 

After reviewing the comments, NHTSA 
repeated several mirror evaluations and created 
charts representing a distance of three and nine 
minutes of arc for use in the proposed test proce- 
dure. (See Figure 4.) Based on that evaluation's 
results, the agency believes that three minutes of 
arc can be accurately measured and that this 
dimension provides adequate separation between 
the test cylinders and the effective edge of the 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-42 



mirror. Accordingly, the final rule adopts the pro- 
posed three minutes of arc requirement. 

As for Thomas Built's suggestion to letter the 
tops of the cylinders, NHTSA notes that the 
VRTC report found that such precision is not nec- 
essary for the driver to recognize that a pedestrian 
is in danger. In addition, such a high level of 
precision might be impracticable for certain mir- 
rors that nonetheless provide an adequate field-of- 
view. Similarly, the agency believes that adopting 
Transport Canada's recommendation for multiple 
images of the same cylinder to comply with the 
image clarity requirements would be unnecessary 
for safety and would be redundant. Moreover, 
such a requirement appears to be impracticable 
based on the agency's evaluation of various mir- 
ror systems. 

As for the suggestions by Thomas Built and 
Blue Bird to establish a minimum fixed dimen- 
sion of either Vie or Va inch between the test cyl- 
inder image and the mirror's effective edge, 
NHTSA believes such an approach would be nei- 
ther practicable nor appropriate. NHTSA notes 
that the "effective edge" of a convex mirror var- 
ies depending on the adjustment of the mirror and 
the driver's eye location. Accordingly, it is not 
feasible to specify a measurement from a variable 
location since the effective edge of a convex 
cross view mirror is often toward the center of 
the mirror, instead of at the actual edge of the 
mirror. 

g. Image elongation. As noted above, the 
NPRM proposed language controlling the mini- 
mum angular size of the image of the test cyl- 
inder located twelve feet perpendicular to the side 
of the bus at the right rear axle line. The purpose 
of this proposal was to ensure that the image 
would not appear unreasonably elongated, a 
phenomenon that might prevent drivers from 
being able to identify a child's image in the mir- 
ror. As noted in the VRTC report and in the 
agency's in-house evaluation, drivers have the 
most difficulty seeing images of objects along the 
axis perpendicular to the right rear wheel because 
some current designs of convex cross view mir- 
rors unreasonably elongate the image. 

Several commenters expressed their views 
about the elongation requirement. R&R Research 
stated that the proposed minimum image sizes of 
three minutes and nine minutes of arc would be 
adequate as a minimum standard for most situa- 
tions. Nevertheless, it believed that occasionally a 



driver with poor vision in low contrast situations 
would not be able to detect objects in a mirror 
designed to comply with the proposed minimum 
image size requirements. 

Blue Bird objected to the proposed elongation 
requirements, claiming not to understand the use 
of cylinder N to measure distortion. Blue Bird 
believed that the agency did not justify the speci- 
fied angular dimensions for a distorted image 
viewed in any particular mirror, arguing that the 
proposed angular sizes may be too restrictive and 
may not correspond to real-world situations. In 
support of its argument. Blue Bird cited the 
VRTC report which stated that "It is better to 
have a "distorted' object in the mirror than no 
object at all." Based on the above. Blue Bird 
requested that the agency conduct additional 
research to determine practical real-world limits 
for allowable image distortion. 

Commenters also offered specific recommenda- 
tions about the performance requirements for 
elongation. R&R Research suggested that the final 
rule contain either a table of target dimensions 
that subtend the three and nine minute visual 
angles when viewed at a specified distance or 
contain the mathematical formulae to calculate 
them. Lo-Mar requested that "angular size" be 
better defined, claiming that the angular size of 
the cylinder's image in the mirror is confusing. 
Nevertheless, Lo-Mar offered no specific sugges- 
tions. 

Transport Canada suggested that the image size 
requirements be extended to all cylinders in all 
mirrors, stating that cylinder N will not nec- 
essarily appear in the mirror at the mirror's 
smallest radius of curvature. Transport Canada 
also suggested that the minimum angular size for 
cylinders A through F be five minutes of arc, and 
the minimum angular size for cylinders G through 
K be ten minutes of arc. 

After reviewing the comments and conducting 
additional mirror evaluations, NHTSA has 
decided to adopt the proposed requirements for 
minimum angular dimensions of test cylinder N 
in this final rule. The agency notes that the test 
cylinder identified as N in the NPRM is identified 
as cylinder P in this final rule. The agency 
believes that the elongation requirements are nec- 
essary to protect against poor image quality for 
objects toward the rear of the bus. 

In response to the comments from Transport 
Canada, Lo-Mar, and Blue Bird, the agency notes 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-43 



that test cylinder P will most often be located fur- 
ther toward the edge of the effective mirror sur- 
face than the other test cylinders. Therefore, cyl- 
inder P's image will typically be a worst-case 
image that is subjected to more spherical aberra- 
tion than other images that are further from the 
effective edge of the mirror. Because of this, the 
image of cylinder P will typically be the least 
clear. This fact, combined with test cylinder P 
being located the farthest away from the mirror 
and driver, indicates that controlling the image 
clarity of test cylinder P should effectively control 
the image clarity of all test cylinders. 

NHTSA believes that the minimum angular 
sizes (three minutes and nine minutes) adopted 
here in the elongation requirements are consistent 
with the dimensions adopted in the image clarity 
requirements for the distance from test cylinders 
to the effective edge of the mirror (three minutes). 
Both sets of dimensions were based on NHTSA 
mirror evaluations and the capabilities of these 
existing mirrors to meet those dimensional limits. 
While real-world evidence to define conclusively 
the optimum image sizes is not available, and 
may be impossible to obtain because of the many 
factors influencing the clarity of an image in a 
cross view mirror, the agency believes the 
adopted image clarity and elongation requirements 
are reasonable and practicable. Aside from the 
objections by Blue Bird and Lo-Mar, no other 
comments were received on this subject. The 
agency assumes that the other commenters tacitly 
approved the image clarity and elongation 
requirements since the NPRM expressly asked 
about the reasonableness and practicability of 
these requirements, a subject about which the 
commenters are generally knowledgeable. 

After reviewing R&R Research's comment 
about including a comparison chart and the 
mathematical formula, the agency has decided to 
modify the final rule to incorporate a size chart 
for three minutes and nine minutes of arc and the 
formulae for calculating them. 

E. Testing procedures 

1. General 

Based on the VRTC report and other agency 
findings, the agency proposed in section S13 cer- 
tain test procedures under which the proposed 
performance requirements would be evaluated. As 
explained below, the NPRM proposed detailed 



specifications about the characteristics of test cyl- 
inders and their placement at critical locations in 
front of and along both sides of the school bus. 
The NPRM also proposed a testing reference 
point and testing procedures, including the 
photographing of test cylinders. 

2. Testing Reference Point 25th Percentile Female 

The NPRM proposed that compliance testing 
be measured relative to the center point of the eye 
location of a 25th percentile adult female rep- 
resented by a two dimensional manikin. The 
agency selected this sized driver because such a 
driver tends to have a poorer direct field-of-view 
of the area near the bus than a taller (e.g., 95th 
male percentile) driver. 

The proposed regulatory text in SI 3.2 con- 
tained specific information on determining the eye 
location of a 25th percentile adult female seated 
in the driver's seat. These provisions concerned 
the seat's position and adjustment procedures. 

Several commenters addressed the testing 
requirements related to the driver position. R&R 
Research believed that the standard need not refer 
to the 25th percentile female since precise dimen- 
sions from the seat are provided. Blue Bird dis- 
agreed with the use of a 25th percentile female 
for identifying the eye location, stating that for 
passenger cars. Standard No. 1 1 1 uses a driver's 
eye location corresponding to a 95th percentile 
male. Notwithstanding its criticisms. Blue Bird 
acknowledged that the proposed eye location 
procedures would allow precise determination of 
the driver's eye location in any bus. Transport 
Canada believed that multiple eye locations 
should be used in the test procedure, including a 
5th percentile female and a 95th percentile male. 
It stated that the 95th percentile male provides the 
worst-case viewing in indirect field-of-view situa- 
tions since that type of driver sits farthest from 
the miiTors. 

After reviewing the comments, the agency 
continues to believe that the eye location of the 
25th percentile adult female is appropriate for 
representing a "worst case" for visibility. There- 
fore, the proposed requirements are adopted in 
this final rule. The agency notes that because the 
adopted requirements consider the bus's entire 
field-of-view and not just the indirect view cre- 
ated by mirrors, the 25th percentile female pro- 
vides a more stringent testing perspective than a 
95th percentile male. This consideration out- 



PART 571; SllI-PRE-44 



weighs the perceive benefits from having consist- 
ent reference points in Standard No. Ill for all 
the different types of vehicles. 

The agency believes that Transport Canada's 
suggestion that eye locations be based on 95th 
percentile males and 5th percentile females would 
create excessive requirements. As discussed below 
in the section on "Camera Testing Points," the 
final rule allows for compliance within an area 
formed by the points of an arc located six inches 
to the left, forward, and right of the eye location 
of a 25th percentile adult female. Such a require- 
ment recognizes that drivers typically move their 
heads while viewing mirrors, and that the range 
of these movements would encompass eye loca- 
tions for various size drivers. 

As R&R Research stated, the final rule pro- 
vides dimensional information for locating the 
center point of the driver's eye location. Even 
though it may not be strictly necessary to do so, 
the agency believes that the rule should expressly 
state that the source of that dimensional informa- 
tion is the 25th percentile adult female. 

3. Mirror Adjustment During Testing 

The NPRM proposed that the mirrors be 
adjusted in accordance with the manufacturer's 
recommendations (see S13.3). Several com- 
menters addressed the issue of mirror adjustment. 
R&R Researcher and Transport Canada stated that 
the agency should modify proposed SI 3.3 in the 
final rule to state that, once adjusted, the mirrors 
must remain fixed in one position throughout the 
measurement procedure. On the other hand. New 
York State commented that mirrors subject to 
Standard No. 1 1 1 should be remotely adjustable 
from the driver's seat to accommodate the eye 
locations of different size drivers. 

After reviewing the comments. NHTSA has 
decided to modify the language in S13.3 to pro- 
hibit moving or adjusting mirrors during compli- 
ance testing. The agency's intention in the NPRM 
was to require mirrors that would, once properly 
adjusted, afford the driver a clear view of children 
present around stopped school buses. Mirrors that 
must be repeatedly adjusted to view the entire 
area around the stopped bus would not effectuate 
that intention. In addition, mirrors that must be 
repeatedly adjusted are not likely to be adjusted 
every time by the driver, which would mean there 
potentially could still be situations where the 
driver could not detect child pedestrians around 



the stopped school bus. To ensure that the mirrors 
required by this final rule will not need any fur- 
ther adjustments after the initial one, this rule 
modifies the proposed language in SI 3.3 to make 
such a requirement explicit. 

This rule has not been modified in response to 
New York's comment about remotely adjustable 
mirrors. As explained above, the agency is seek- 
ing to require mirrors that will offer a clear view 
of the area around a stopped school bus without 
any further adjustments after the initial one. 
While remotely adjustable mirrors are now avail- 
able, they will not be considered as complying 
with this rule if they must use their adjustability 
characteristics to provide the required view during 
testing. 

4. Camera Testing Points 

The NPRM proposed that observations would 
be made and photographs taken of the test cyl- 
inders from a point representing the center of the 
driver's eye location for a 25th percentile adult 
female, as well as at locations six inches forward, 
left, and right of the center of the driver's eye 
location. These multiple positions were intended 
to account for head movements. Under the pro- 
posed test procedures, cylinders that were directly 
viewable would be evaluated first, and then cyl- 
inders that were not directly viewable would be 
evaluated. In both situations, the evaluator would 
look through a camera's film plane to determine 
whether the entire top surface of a test cylinder 
could be directly seen. A comparison chart placed 
above each mirror would serve as a reference 
point in evaluating the image size and amount of 
distortion of cylinders visible in a mirror. 

Many commenters addressed the requirements 
related to the camera locations. The Arizona DOT 
supported the proposed procedure. According to 
this commenter, it evaluated some existing mirror 
systems in accordance with the proposal and 
determined that the driver's eye location can be 
established and the camera location is correct. 

Other commenters either criticized the proposed 
camera-related testing procedures or offered 
suggestions to improve the requirements. Mirror 
Lite was concerned that the camera location 
requirements would be interpreted differently by 
various bus manufacturers, but did not explain the 
basis for its concern. Thomas Built requested that 
mirror systems should only have to meet the test 
requirements from any one of the allowable cam- 



PART571; Slll-PRE-45 



era locations instead of all locations, claiming that 
the time and cost of conducting photographic tests 
at multiple locations would be unreasonable. In 
support of its request, Thomas Built stated that 
the proposed requirement would require it to 
evaluate 140 bus/driver seat combinations for any 
given mirror system since certification testing 
would have to be conducted on each type of bus 
with each type of driver seat offered. Since 
Thomas Built estimated that evaluating one seat 
in one bus with one mirror system required about 
80 man hours and $125 of photographic materials, 
it viewed the testing necessary to evaluate 140 
combinations as being overly burdensome. 

Blue Bird criticized using a camera to measure 
compliance, citing such concerns as the camera's 
monocular vision, the burden to customers of 
many photographs and their duplication for docu- 
mentation purposes, the camera's inability to 
define correctly the direct field of view, and its 
inability to consider adjustments made by humans 
in mirror visibility. 

Transport Canada requested that video cameras 
be allowed, claiming that their use would permit 
viewing of images superior to those seen by cam- 
eras. It also requested that the requirements pro- 
vide more detail on the focal length of the camera 
lens. 

After reviewing the comments, NHTSA agrees 
with Thomas Built that requiring testing at mul- 
tiple points would be overly burdensome and 
would not yield significantly more worthwhile 
information. Upon reexamination, the agency now 
believes that a more appropriate procedure would 
be to allow testing to be done at any point within 
a specified area around the 25th percentile adult 
female driver's eye location. Such a procedure 
more accurately accounts for real-world situations 
in which drivers typically move their heads while 
they view mirror systems. Based on the above, 
the agency is changing SI 3.4 in this final rule to 
allow compliance with the standard at any one of 
the four points specified in Figure 3 (point "A," 
"B," "C," or "D") or at any single point within 
a semicircular area established by a 15.24 centi- 
meter (6 inch) radius parallel to and forward of 
the center point. This viewing zone is illustrated 
in Figure 3. The agency anticipates that this 
modification will provide meaningful information 
about the driver's view of critical areas around 
the bus, while reducing the photographic time and 



cost factors mentioned by Thomas Built by 75 
percent. The agency believes that if a vehicle 
manufacturer can establish compliance at one of 
the four testing points or any point in the semi- 
circle, then that mirror system on that school bus 
should provide an adequate field-of view given 
the small size of the semicircle. 

NHTSA believes that Blue Bird's concerns 
about a camera's monocular vision and its inabil- 
ity to define the direct field of view are philo- 
sophical in nature and relate to the inherent 
limitations of current technology. Given the avail- 
able means to demonstrate objectively compliance 
with this standard, NHTSA is unaware of any 
other means that would be as effective, as prac- 
ticable, and as easy to demonstrate as the use of 
a camera. 

As for Mirror Lite's claim that the camera 
location specifications were ambiguous, the 
agency disagrees. NHTSA believes that difficul- 
ties in interpretation are unlikely, because the 
camera location specifications are well defined 
and easily achieved in actual testing situations. 

As for Transport Canada's comment about 
video cameras, NHTSA has determined that this 
testing method is appropriate and should be per- 
mitted. Accordingly, the final rule at SI 3.4 has 
been modified. While video technology as a 
means for demonstrating compliance with this 
standard may currently be less practicable than 
still photography, the agency believes that techno- 
logical improvements may make video cameras a 
more viable option in the future. The agency 
therefore has decided not to preclude their use. To 
accommodate this modification, the term '"film 
plane" has been changed to "image plane." 

As for a lens focal length, the agency does not 
believe specifications about the focal length of 
lens are necessary. During the agency's mirror 
evaluations, lenses of various focal lengths were 
used to photograph the mirror images, including 
50 mm to 250 mm lenses. While the ability to 
analyze the results was acceptable with all lenses, 
the agency noted that less enlargement was nec- 
essary when using a lens with a longer focal 
length. The agency believes it is reasonable to 
allow the entity conducting the test to select the 
type of camera and lens best suited to its pur- 
poses. 



PART 571; Slli-PRE-16 



F. Miscellaneous Considerations 

1. Certification 

Thomas Built requested that the mirror manu- 
facturer be responsible for certifying the image's 
quality and the bus manufacturer be responsible 
for certifying the field-of-view. It stated that this 
division of responsibility would simplify the test- 
ing and development process between mirror and 
bus manufacturer. 

NHTSA notes that Thomas Built's suggested 
certification scheme would be inconsistent with 
the scheme set forth in Standard No. 111. That 
standard is a "vehicle" standard under which the 
vehicle manufacturer, and not the mirror manufac- 
turer, is responsible for ensuring that a mirror 
complies with the standard. This ensures that 
vehicles equipped with noncomplying mirrors will 
be quickly remedied, without the need for a spe- 
cific determination of whether the noncompliance 
arose because of an innate problem with the mir- 
ror or because of its installation on these particu- 
lar vehicles. The agency does not believe there is 
any reason to change this scheme for school 
buses under Standard No. 111. Notwithstanding 
this conclusion, the agency notes that a vehicle 
manufacturer can establish in its purchase speci- 
fications whatever level of requirements it 
chooses for its suppliers and take appropriate 
actions if the supplier's products fail to conform 
to those specifications. 

2. Retrofitting 

Several commenters, including the National 
PTA and the National Education Association 
(NEA), advocated that NHTSA require existing 
school buses to be retrofitted to comply with the 
new requirements. The National PTA stated that 
the agency's decision not to retrofit existing 
school buses was "based more on a lack of regu- 
latory courage than legal restrictions." 

The agency's statutory authority under the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
(the Safety Act; 15 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.) is to 
issue safety standards applicable to new motor 
vehicles and new items of motor vehicle equip- 
ment before their first consumer purchase. The 
Safety Act expressly provides that vehicles and 
items of equipment are not required to continue 
to comply with all applicable safety standards 
after their first purchase for purposes other than 
resale. See section 108(b)(1) of the Safety Act (15 



U.S.C. 1397(b)(1)). Thus, NHTSA's safety stand- 
ards regulate the manufacture and sale of new 
vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment. 
Regardless of the agency's "regulatory courage," 
amendments to the safety standards do not and 
cannot require vehicles in service to comply with 
the requirements adopted in final rules. 

However, the individual States do have the 
authority to regulate vehicles in service. Notwith- 
standing the lack of Federal authority to order 
school buses already in service to meet these 
amended requirements, the agency anticipates that 
many in-use school buses already comply with or 
will be retrofitted by State and local authorities to 
comply with these amended requirements. 

3. Applying Requirements to Buses Other Than 
School Buses 

New York State recommended the agency 
apply the new field-of-view requirements to all 
transit-type vehicles that transport the public. 

NHTSA notes that New York's recommenda- 
tion to apply the field-of-view requirements to 
non-school buses is beyond the scope of this rule- 
making action, since the NPRM only proposed 
new requirements for school buses. The agency 
notes that the benefits of applying these require- 
ments to transit buses appear questionable since 
most school bus-related incidents involve children 
under the age of seven. Notwithstanding the 
above discussion, the agency does not prohibit 
using "school bus" mirror systems on other types 
of buses. 

4. Heated Mirrors 

New York State and Moto Mirror requested 
that the agency require school buses to be 
equipped with heated mirrors, at least for those 
areas that experience cold weather. 

NHTSA recognizes that some northern portions 
of the country experience weather conditions 
where min^or systems can become covered with 
ice and snow. While these conditions affect the 
potential effectiveness of the mirror systems, 
NHTSA believes that the responsibility for 
maintaining the mirror systems, and any part of 
the vehicle which affects the performance of the 
mirror systems, is best left with the State and 
local school districts. The agency further notes 
that since school buses are manufactured for use 
in all parts of the country, they must comply with 
all applicable standards. Therefore, it would be 



PART 571; SlIl-PRE-47 



unreasonable to promulgate a national standard 
that would have little or no benefit for a signifi- 
cant part of the country. 

5. Maximum Permissible Number of Mirrors 

Several commenters addressed the number of 
mirrors with which a school bus should be 
equipped. R & R Research believed that the new 
standard should address the number of mirrors 
allowed on a school bus and the size of the mir- 
rors. While the number of mirrors affect the time 
a driver needs to search visually the area around 
the bus, mirror size affects the blind spots created 
by the mirrors themselves. Transport Canada 
believed that the number of rear-view mirrors 
should be limited to one per side to avoid pos- 
sible confusion produced by multiple images and 
reduce the total time drivers must divert their 
attention from the road ahead. 

While NHTSA is aware of the situation men- 
tioned by R & R Research and Transport Canada, 
no provision limiting the number of mirrors on 
school buses has been included in this final rule 
because the agency does not believe that there 
would be a safety benefit from such a limitation. 
The agency further notes that a major purpose for 
this rulemaking's field-of-view approach is to 
allow school bus users and manufacturers to 
determine the best mirror system for their particu- 
lar operating environment. 

6. Blind Spots 

The NPRM requested comments about whether 
the mirrors would create dangerous blind spots in 
the driver's direct field-of-view, given the size 
and location of some convex cross view mirrors. 

Several commenters believed that the agency 
should address the potential problems of blind 
spots created by mirrors. R & R Research 
believed that any new standard should address the 
mirror size, since this affects the blind spots cre- 
ated by the mirrors themselves. Transport Canada 
suggested that mirrors be located in areas that do 
not obstruct the driver's direct view of traffic and 
pedestrians. Thomas Built and a bus driver com- 
mented that while convex cross view mirrors do 
not create significant blind spots, side mounted 
driving mirrors may decrease visibility. 

Other commenters believed that blind spots 
were not a significant safety problem. Arizona 
DOT stated that the increased field-of-view pro- 
vided by mirrors offsets the corresponding blind 



spots. Blue Bird stated that blind spots created by 
a cross view mirror on one side of the bus can 
be viewed in the cross view mirror system on the i 
other side of the bus. 

NHTSA agrees with Arizona DOT that blind 
spots in the direct field-of-view created by mir- 
rors themselves are offset by the larger indirect 
field-of-view provided by the mirror system. 
Although NHTSA does not believe it is appro- 
priate to establish requirements for mirror loca- 
tions, the agency does believe that mirror and 
school bus manufacturers should strive to develop 
mirror locations which limit the amount of 
obstruction to the driver's direct field of view. 

7. Glare from Mirrors 

The NPRM asked whether glare from some 
cross view mirror designs, caused by turn signals 
and other school bus lights, would reflect light 
from flashing turn signals into the driver's eye. 

Of those who commented on this issue 
(Thomas Built, Blue Bird, Arizona, Mirror Lite, 
Tennessee), no commenter believed that glare 
caused a significant safety problem. Based on the 
comments, the agency does not believe that 
reflected light or glare from convex mirrors pre- 
sents an unreasonable safety risk to school bus 
drivers. 

8. Noil-Mirror Systems 

The NPRM discussed the docket comments 
received about mechanical and electronic devices 
which could be used either to keep students away 
from critical areas around the school bus or to 
alert school bus drivers to the presence of some- 
one in a critical area around the bus. The agency 
explained that mirrors offer the most effective 
means of providing the school bus driver with a 
complete view in front of and along both sides of 
the bus. The agency believed that requiring these 
additional non-mirror devices "would substan- 
tially increase compliance costs without signifi- 
cantly increasing safety benefits." 

The Arizona DOT agreed that instead of requir- 
ing such devices, it would be more cost effective 
to evaluate their effectiveness through pilot pro- 
grams. SCAN, the manufacturer of an electronic 
detection system, requested that the agency mod- 
ify the field-of-view requirements to allow 
compliance through mirrors or sensing/detection 
devices. SCAN believed that the NPRM was 
unduly negative toward its type of product and 



PART 571: S111-PRE^8 



requested that critical comments from Blue Bird 
and Thomas Built about non-mirror systems be 
stricken from the docket. 

The agency continues to believe that, in terms 
of performance, reliability, and cost, mirrors offer 
the best means for school bus drivers to become 
aware of pedestrians in front of and along both 
sides of the bus. Accordingly, the agency does 
not agree with the SCAN's belief that sensing/ 
detection devices should be allowed as a means 
of meeting the standard's field-of-view require- 
ments. Notwithstanding this decision, sensing/ 
detection devices may be used as supplementary 
devices on school buses. 

G. Costs 

In previous notices, NHTSA considered the 
rulemaking's expected cost. The ANPRM esti- 
mated that the unit cost for a System B convex 
cross view mirror with a bracket plus installation 
would range from $52 to $107. The NPRM 
explained that the costs of an additional convex 
cross view mirror would range from $58 for a 
four 8" (17" ROC) convex mirror system to $121 
for an 8"xl2" quadrispheric "Bus Boy" mirror 
system. The proposal noted that, since school bus 
manufacturers and users were free to choose what 
convex cross view mirror system they would use 
to comply with the performance requirements, 
those parties' choices would greatly affect the 
ultimate costs. However, the agency anticipated 
that the cost of complying with the proposed 
changes would be minimal because of the current 
State mirror specifications. For example. States 
that currently specify four 8" (17" ROC) convex 
mirrors on cross view tripods, at a cost of $58.00, 
could switch to a pair of elliptical mirrors which 
cost nearly the same — $58.10. 

The NPRM requested comments about this 
proposal's cost to school bus users and informa- 
tion about current State requirements for school 
bus mirrors. 

Several commenters, including States and 
school bus manufacturers, generally agreed with 
the NPRM's cost estimates. The Arizona DOT 
and Tennessee DOE commented that the NPRM's 
cost estimates were accurate. Mirror Lite com- 
mented that the parts cost (i.e., mirrors and 
mounting arms) of four currently used standard 8" 
mirrors on a conventional bus is $44; while, the 
cost of two Bus Boy mirrors and brackets would 
be $51, a $7 difference. While Mirror Lite did not 



provide a cost for installation, the agency believes 
that the installation cost for two Bus Boy mirrors 
would be approximately the same as four 8" con- 
vex mirrors, if two such mirrors are mounted on 
the same bracket. 

A few commenters believed the rulemaking 
would result in significant additional costs. Moto 
Mirror, a mirror manufacturer, stated that the 
aftermarket cost of a dual set of motorized and 
heated mirrors would be $362.05. The agency 
notes that these mirrors include motorized and 
heated features that the standard does not require. 
Blue Bird commented that available mirror sys- 
tems that will meet the proposals have an addi- 
tional cost of approximately $115.00 per bus 
above the cost of the standard mirror system it 
currently uses. R&R Research believed that the 
cost of installation and adjustment may exceed 
the cost of the hardware for some mirror systems, 
but provided no details to support the statement. 

After reviewing the available information, 
NHTSA believes that the NPRM's initial cost 
estimates are generally reasonable. With respect 
to System A costs, the agency notes that all buses 
are typically equipped with supplemental convex 
driving mirrors as part of their System A mirrors. 
Thus, no real change in these mirrors would be 
necessary for school bus users to meet System A 
requirements. As for R&R Research's concern 
about installation, the agency has discussed mirror 
installation with bus manufacturers and State and 
local school district officials at various school 
transportation trade shows and has not found any 
supporting information for R&R's claim. 

As to Blue Bird's comment on the $115 dif- 
ference in the cost for a compliant mirror system, 
they were referring to a quadrispheric mirror sys- 
tem. They also inadvertently included the cost of 
the right and left side flat, rearview mirrors as 
part of the cost increase; this was not appropriate. 
Blue Bird resubmitted a cost increase of $30 per 
bus, to the consumer, when equipped with a 
quadrispheric mirror system rather than the stand- 
ard four 8" convex cross view mirror system. 
They further stated that as such mirror systems 
gain popularity among the users, that cost will 
drop. 

With regard to Thomas Built's estimate of 80 
man hours needed to complete a compliance test 
of a single bus-seat-mirror combination, it has 
been the agency's experience, through VRTC, 
that about ten man hours are necessary to do this 



PART 571: S111-PRE^9 



type of test. Included in the agency's time esti- 
mate are such tasks as locating the cyhnders 
around the bus, adjusting the mirrors, mounting a 
camera tripod in the driver's seat area, taking 
sHdes. processing film, and analyzing slides. The 
agency's estimate does not include one-time tasks 
such as setting up a grid of one foot by one foot 
squares and the constructing the test cylinders. 
Although many bus-seat-mirror configurations 
will need to be tested, once a particular configura- 
tion has been certified to meet the standard, that 
configuration will not need to be retested in sub- 
sequent years. Therefore, such one-time test costs 
would be distributed over the years that such a 
configuration is in use. Also, the agency believes 
that a limited number of design changes in bus 
exteriors and/or drivers' seats occur from year to 
year and any differences in the location of the 
25th percentile adult female's eye location that do 
occur would be small and should not greatly 
affect the driver's direct or indirect field of view. 
These eye location differences among seats 
would. however, establish a compliance 
"envelope" spanning the eye locations that allow 
compliance with the standard. Thus, further 
reductions in time and cost would occur by not 
having to test any new configurations that would 
have minute eye location differences between pre- 
viously tested configurations. Finally, the agency 
expects that further time savings will occur as 
more and more tests are performed. 

H. Leadtime Requirements 

The NPRM explained that many mirror systems 
are now available which would comply with the 
proposed field-of-view requirements, and thus 
would not create leadtime constraints from that 
perspective. Nevertheless, the agency believed 
that school bus manufacturers and users should be 
afforded time to investigate and select how they 
wish to comply with the new field-of-view 
requirements. Accordingly, the agency proposed 
an effective date of one year after publication of 
the final rule. 

Several commenters addressed the leadtime 
necessary for this rulemaking. The NEA favored 
having the final rule become effective as soon as 
possible. The Arizona DOT stated that there cur- 
rently are mirrors that could be used to comply 
with the one year leadtime requirements. NSTA 
requested a leadtime of 18 months after publica- 
tion of the final rule for the effective date, claim- 



ing that additional time was necessary to allow 
school districts to budget for the additional costs 
associated with the rulemaking. 

After reviewing the comments, the agency 
continues to believe that a one-year leadtime after 
the final rule's publication provides adequate time 
for school bus manufacturers and users to deter- 
mine how to comply with the new field-of-view 
requirements. The agency notes that most school 
bus manufacturers are already familiar with all of 
the brands of mirrors. The extra six months 
requested by NSTA is not warranted on the basis 
of other comments. 

This final rule does not have any retroactive 
effect. Under section 103(d) of the National Traf- 
fic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 
1392(d)), whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety 
standard is in effect, a State may not adopt or 
maintain a safety standard applicable to the same 
aspect of performance which is not identical to 
the Federal standard. Section 105 of the Act (15 
U.S.C. 1394) sets forth a procedure for judicial 
review of final rules establishing, amending or 
revoking Federal motor vehicle safety standards. 
That section does not require submission of a 
petition for reconsideration or other administrative 
proceedings before parties may file suit in court. 

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices 

Executive Order 12291 {Federal Regulation) and 
DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures 

NHTSA has considered the costs and other 
impacts of this rulemaking, and a Final Regu- 
latory Evaluation (FRE) has been prepared and 
placed in the docket. Based on this evaluation, the 
agency has determined that the rulemaking is not 
"major" within the meaning of Executive Order 
12291. However, it is "significant" within the 
meaning of the Department of Transportation's 
regulatory policies and procedures. 

As explained in the FRE, the additional cost of 
installing a pair of compliant convex cross view 
mirrors on a new school bus could range from no 
cost to as much as $30 per school bus. depending 
on the type of mirror system selected by the 
school district. About 38.000 new school buses 
are sold each year, and according to Blue Bird 
about 12 percent of all their buses are equipped 
with a compliant mirror system. Therefore, 
assuming Blue Bird's sales breakdown is rep- 
resentative of the overall bus manufacturing 



PART 571: Slll-PRE-50 



industry, about 33,440 buses (38,000 x 88 per- 
cent) will have to be equipped with a compliant 
system. Therefore, the aggregate annual cost to 
consumers would range from no cost to about 
$1,003,200. (33.400 x $30 per bus). 

NHTSA anticipates that the actual costs will 
likely be nearer the lower end of the estimated 
cost range for the following reasons. Buyers will 
probably select lower cost mirrors since they are 
quite sensitive to cost. At the same time, econo- 
mies of scale and competition will lower the costs 
of the more expensive mirrors. The agency further 
notes that since nearly all States now require 
school buses to have more mirrors than required 
by FMVSS No. Ill, the costs of complying with 
this rulemaking could even result in a cost sav- 
ings for those school buses being sold in jurisdic- 
tions where buses are currently equipped with 
more expensive mirrors than a mirror system that 
will now be allowed under the amendments. 

As mentioned in this notice's "background" 
section, an average of 26 students are fatally 
injured and another 283 are injured when struck 
by their own school bus. While the effectiveness 
of upgrading the requirements for school bus mir- 
rors cannot be conclusively established, accounts 
in the NAS report and docket comments indicate 
that some injuries and fatalities will be avoided. 

Regulatory Flexibility Act 

NHTSA has considered the effects of this 
action under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I 
hereby certify that it will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. School bus manufacturers are generally 
not small businesses within the meaning of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act. Small governmental 
units and small organizations are generally 
affected by amendments to the Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards as purchasers of new 
school buses. However, as discussed above, such 
entities that purchase school buses should see lit- 
tle change with regard to the price of new buses 
that are equipped with compliant mirrors. In addi- 
tion, the agency notes that less than six mirror 
manufacturers provide nearly all of the school bus 
mirrors in use today. Although they are small 
companies, each has a full product line, including 
mirrors that can meet the amended standard. 
Thus, the likely impact should only be a shift in 
sales of particular mirror types. Accordingly, the 



agency has determined that preparation of a regu- 
latory flexibility analysis is unnecessary. 

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism) 

This rulemaking has been analyzed in accord- 
ance with the principles and criteria contained in 
Executive Order 12612, and NHTSA has deter- 
mined that it does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant preparation of a Federal- 
ism Assessment. 

In its analysis, the agency considered the 
amendment's likely effect on the States and pos- 
sible alternatives to the rulemaking. The agency 
has determined that virtually all States require 
school buses to be equipped with more mirrors 
than current Standard No. 1 1 1 requires. As this 
preamble explained earlier, the amendment pro- 
vides general performance-oriented requirements 
that the States may exceed. Although the amend- 
ments will supersede the current school bus mir- 
ror requirements of a large number of States, any 
required State regulatory changes will only 
involve a relatively minor administrative or legis- 
lative action that should not require extensive 
discussion or debate, since the change will 
improve the level of driver visibility. In addition, 
because the amendment eliminates current spe- 
cific requirements which serve to prohibit certain 
mirror designs, the rulemaking provides additional 
flexibility to the States. The agency further notes 
that the amended requirements are similar to the 
recommendation approved by 86 percent of the 
State representatives at the 11th National Con- 
ference on School Transportation. In addition. 
State commenters to the NPRM favored the field- 
of-view requirements. NHTSA accordingly does 
not expect any significant adverse effect on the 
States as a result of this rulemaking. 

National Environmental Policy Act 

NHTSA has also analyzed this rulemaking 
action for purposes of the National Environmental 
Policy Act. The agency has determined that 
implementation of this action will not have any 
significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment. Although there will likely be an 
increase in production of certain mirror types, this 
increase will not introduce any new or particu- 
larly harmful effects to the environment. 



PART 571: Slll-PRE-51 



Part 571 — Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 
571 is amended, as follows: 

1 . The authority citation for part 57 1 of title 49 
continues to read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392. 1401. 1403, 
1407; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 

§571.111 [Amended] 

2. In §571.111, S4 is amended by adding the 
following definition in alphabetical order. 

Effective mirror surface means the portions of 
a mirror that reflect images, excluding the mirror 
rim or mounting brackets. 

3. In §571.111, S9 through S9.2(b) is revised 
and a new S9.3 through S9.4(b)(2) is added, to 
read as follows: 

S9. Requirements for School Buses. When a 
school bus is tested in accordance with the proce- 
dures of SI 3, it shall meet the requirements of 
S9. 1 through S9.4. 

59. 1 Outside Rearview Mirrors. Each school 
bus shall have two outside rearview mirror sys- 
tems: System A and System B. 

59.2 System A shall be located with stable 
supports so that the portion of the system on the 
bus's left side, and the portion on its right side, 
each: 

(a) Includes at least one mirror of unit mag- 
nification with not less than 322.60 square centi- 
meters (50 square inches) of reflective surface; 
and 

(b) Includes one or more mirrors which 
together provide, at the driver's eye location, a 
view of: 

(1) For the mirror system on the right side 
of the bus, the entire top surface of cylinder N 
in Figure 2, and of that area of the ground 
which extends rearward from the mirror surface 
not less than 60.93 meters (200 feet). 

(2) For the mirror system on the left side of 
the bus, the entire top surface of cylinder M in 
Figure 2, and of that area of the ground which 
extends rearward from the mirror surface not 
less than 60.93 meters (200 feet). 

S9.3(a) For each of the cylinders A through P 
whose entire top surface is not directly visible 



from the driver's eye location. System B shall 
provide, at that location: 

(1) A view of the entire top surface of that 
cylinder. 

(2) A view of the ground that overlaps with 
the view of the ground provided by system A. 

(b) Each mirror installed in compliance with 
S9.3(a) shall meet the following requirements: 

(1) Each mirror shall have a projected area 
of at least 258.08 square centimeters (40 square 
inches), as measured on a plane at a right angle 
to the mirror's axis. 

(2) Each mirror shall be located such that the 
distance from the center point of the eye loca- 
tion of a 25th percentile adult female seated in 
the driver's seat to the center of the mirror 
shall be at least 95.25 centimeters (37.5 
inches). 

(3) Each mirror shall have no discontinuities 
in the slope of the surface of the mirror. 

(4) Each mirror system shall be installed 
with a stable support designed to dampen 
vibration. 

(c) Each school bus which has a mirror 
installed in compliance with S9.3(a) that has an 
average radius of curvature of less than 88.90 
centimeters (35 inches), as determined under SI 2, 
shall have a label visible to the seated driver. The 
label shall be printed in a type face and color that 
are clear and conspicuous. The label shall state 
the following: 

"USE CROSS VIEW MIRRORS TO VIEW 
PEDESTRIANS WHILE BUS IS STOPPED. DO 
NOT USE THESE MIRRORS TO VIEW TRAF- 
FIC WHILE BUS IS MOVING. IMAGES IN 
SUCH MIRRORS DO NOT ACCURATELY 
SHOW ANOTHER VEHICLE'S LOCATION." 

S9.4(a) Each image required by S9.3(a)(l) to 
be visible at the driver's eye location shall be 
separated from the edge of the effective mirror 
surface of the mirror providing that image by a 
distance of not less than 3 minutes of arc. 

(b) The image required by S9.3(a)(l) of cyl- 
inder P shall meet the following requirements: 

(1) The angular size of the shortest dimen- 
sion of that cylinder's image shall be not less 
than 3 minutes of arc; and 

(2) The angular size of the longest dimension 
of that cylinder's image shall be not less than 
9 minutes of arc. 



PART .'S71: SllI-PRE-52 



4. Section 571.111 is amended by adding a 
new S13 through SI 3.6, to read as follows: 

S13. School bus mirror test procedures. The 
requirements of S9.1 through S9.4 shall be met 
when the vehicle is tested in accordance with the 
following conditions. 

51 3.1 The cylinders shall be a color which 
provides a high contrast with the surface on 
which the bus is parked. 

51 3.2 The cylinders are 0.3048 meters (1 
foot) high and 0.3048 meters (1 foot) in diameter, 
except for cylinder P which is 0.9114 meters (3 
feet) high and 0.3048 meters (1 foot) in diameter. 

51 3.3 Place cylinders at locations as specified 
in SI 3.3(a) through SI 3.3(g) and illustrated in 
Figure 2. Measure the distances shown in Figure 
2 from a cylinder to another object from the cen- 
ter of the cylinder as viewed from above. 

(a) Place cylinders G, H, and I so that they are 
tangent to a transverse vertical plane tangent to 
the forward-most surface of the bus's front 
bumper. Place cylinders D, E, F so that their cen- 
ters are located in a transverse vertical plane that 
is 1.8288 meters (6 feet) forward of a transverse 
vertical plane passing through the centers of cyl- 
inders G, H, and I. Place cylinders A, B, and C 
so that their centers are located in a transverse 
vertical plane that is 3.6576 meters (12 feet) for- 
ward of the transverse vertical plane passing 
through the centers of cylinders G, H, and I. 

(b) Place cylinders B, E, and H so that their 
centers are in a longitudinal vertical plane that 
passes through the bus's longitudinal centerline. 

(c) Place cylinders A, D, and G so that their 
centers are in a longitudinal vertical plane that is 
tangent to the most outboard edge of the left side 
of the bus's front bumper. 

(d) Place cylinders C, F, and I so that their cen- 
ters are in a longitudinal vertical plane that is tan- 



gent to the most outboard edge of the right side 
of the bus's front bumper. 

(e) Place cylinder J so that its center is in a 
longitudinal vertical plane 0.3048 meters (1 foot) 
to the left of the longitudinal vertical plane pass- 
ing through the centers of cylinders A, D, and G, 
and is in the transverse vertical plane that passes 
through the centerline of the bus's front axle. 

(f) Place cylinder K so that its center is in a 
longitudinal vertical plane 0.3048 meters (1 foot) 
to the right of the longitudinal vertical plane pass- 
ing through the centers of cylinders C, F, and I, 
and is in the transverse vertical plane that passes 
through the centerline of the bus's front axle. 

(g) Place cylinders L, M, N, O, and P so that 
their centers are in the transverse vertical plane 
that passes through the centerline of the bus's rear 
axle. Place cylinder L so that its center is in a 
longitudinal vertical plane that is 1.8288 meters (6 
feet) to the left of the longitudinal vertical plane 
tangent to the bus's most outboard left surface 
(excluding the mirror system). Place cylinder M 
so that its center is in a longitudinal vertical plane 
that is 0.3048 meters (1 foot) to the left of the 
longitudinal vertical plane tangent to the left side 
of the bus. Place cylinder N so that its center is 
in a longitudinal vertical plane that is 0.3048 
meters (1 foot) to the right of the longitudinal 
vertical plane tangent to the right side of the bus. 
Place cylinder O so that its center is in a longitu- 
dinal vertical plane that is 1.8288 meters (6 feet) 
to the right of the longitudinal vertical plane tan- 
gent to the right side of the bus. Place cylinder 
P so that its center is in a longitudinal vertical 
plane that is 3.6576 meters (12 feet) to the right 
of the longitudinal vertical plane tangent to the 
right side of the bus. 



PART 571: Slll-PRE-53 



3.6576 m (12 ft) 

1.6288 m (6 ft) 




= Test Cylinder 



L M 




CenterLine of 
Front Axle 



N O 



Centerline of 
Rear Axle 



A V / A > 

I 0.3048 ma ft) I 3.6576 m (12 ft) 

1.6288 m (6 ft) 1.6288 m (6 ft) 



Figure 2 
Location of Test Cylinders for School Bus Field-of-View Test 



PART 371: Slll-PRE-54 




§ 



B 



15.24 cm (6 in) 



15.24 cm (6 in) 



Figure 3 
Camera Locations for School Bus Field-of-View Test 



PART 571: Slll-PRE-55 



51 3.2 The driver's eye location is the eye 
location of a 25th percentile adult female, when 
seated in the driver's seat as follows: 

(a) The center point of the driver's eye location 
is the point located 63.58 centimeters (27 inches) 
vertically above the intersection of the seat cush- 
ion and the seat back at the longitudinal center- 
line of the seat. 

(b) Adjust the driver's seat to the midway point 
between the forward-most and rear-most posi- 
tions, and if separately adjustable in the vertical 
direction, adjust to the lowest position. If an 
adjustment position does not exist at the midway 
point, use the closest adjustment position to the 
rear of the midpoint. If a seat back is adjustable, 
adjust the seat back angle to the manufacturer's 
nominal design riding position in accordance with 
the manufacturer's recommendations. 

51 3.3 Adjustable mirrors are adjusted before 
the test in accordance with the manufacturer's 



recommendations. Such mirrors are not moved or 
readjusted at any time during the test. 

51 3.4 Place a 35 mm or larger format cam- 
era, or video camera, so that its image plane is 
located at the center point of the driver's eye 
location or at any single point within a semi- 
circular area established by a 15.24 centimeter (6 
inch) radius parallel to and forward of the center 
point (see figure 3). With the camera at any sin- 
gle location on or within that semicircle look 
through the camera and the windows of the bus 
and determine whether the entire top surface of 
each cylinder is directly visible. 

51 3.5 For each cylinder whose entire top sur- 
face is determined under paragraph 13.4 of this 
section not to be directly visible at the driver's 
eye location, 

(a) Place a comparison chart (see figure 4) 
above the mirror that provides the fullest view of 
the cylinder in situations where a cylinder is par- 
tially visible through more than one mirror. 























3in 
of 


nu 
ai 


tes 9 
x: 

Not Actual Size 


minutes 
of arc 


•^ 



Figure 4. 
Comparison Cliart for Indirect Field-of-View Measurements 



The width of the bars in Figure 4 indicating 
three minutes of arc and nine minutes of arc are 
derived from the following formula: 

For 3 minutes of arc: 
X=Dx0.000873, 



Where: 

X=the width of a line, in the unit of measure- 
ment D, representing 3 minutes of arc; 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-56 



D=distance from center point of driver's eye 
location to the center of the mirror's sur- 
face; and 

0.000873=tangent of 3 minutes of arc. 

For 9 minutes of arc: 

X=Dx0.002618, 

Where: 

X=the width of a line, in the unit of measure- 
ment D, representing 9 minutes of arc; 

D=distance from center point of driver's eye 
location to the center of the mirror's sur- 
face; and 

0.0026 18=tangent of 9 minutes of arc. 

(b) Photograph each cylinder through the 
mirror(s) that provides a view of the cylinder. 
Photograph each cylinder with the camera located 



so that the view through its film or image plane 
is located at any single location within the semi- 
circle established under 13.4, [POINT A,B,C, OR 
D] ensuring that the image of the mirror and 
comparison chart fill the camera's view finder to 
the extent possible. 

SI 3.6 Make all observations and take all 
photographs with the service/entry door in the 
closed position and the stop signal arm(s) in the 
fully retracted position. 

Issued on: November 24, 1992. 

Marion C. Blakey 
Administrator. 

57 F.R. 57000 
December 2, 1992 



PART 571; Slll-PRE-57 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 111 
Rearview Mirrors 



51. Scope. This standard specifies requirements 
for the performance and location of rearview 
mirrors. 

52. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to 
reduce the number of deaths and injuries that 
occur when the driver of a motor vehicle does not 
have a clear and reasonably unobstructed view to 
the rear. 

53. Application. This standard applies to pas- 
senger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks, buses, school buses and motorcycles. 

54. Definition. Convex mirror means a mirror 
having a curved reflective surface whose shape is 
the same as that of the exterior surface of a sec- 
tion of a sphere. 

[Ejfective mirror surface means the portions of 
a mirror that reflect images, excluding the mirror 
rim or mounting brackets. (57 F.R. 57000 — Decem- 
ber 2, 1992. Effective: December 2, 1993)] 

Unit magnification mirror means a plane or flat 
mirror with a reflective surface through which the 
angular height and width of the image of an 
object is equal to the angular height and width of 
the object when viewed directly at the same dis- 
tance except for flaws that do not exceed normal 
manufacturing tolerances. For the purposes of this 
regulation a prismatic day-night adjustment rear- 
view mirror one of whose positions provides unit 
magnification is considered a unit magnification 
mirror. 

55. Requirements for passenger cars. 

S5.1. Inside rearview mirror. Each passenger 
car shall have an inside rearview mirror of unit 
magnification. 

S5.1.1. Field of view. Except as provided in 
S5.3, the mirror shall provide a field of view with 
an included horizontal angle measured from the 
projected eye point of at least 20 degrees, and 
sufficient vertical angle to provide a view of a 



level road surface extending to the horizon begin- 
ning at a point not greater than 200 feet to the rear 
of the vehicle when the vehicle is occupied by the 
driver and four passengers or the designed occu- 
pant capacity, if less, based on an average occu- 
pant weight of 150 pounds. The line of sight may 
be partially obscured by seated occupants or by 
head restraints. The location of the driver's eye 
reference points shall be those established in 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 104 
(§571.104) or a nominal location appropriate for 
any 95th percentile male driver. 

S5.1.2. Mounting. The mirror mounting shall 
provide a stable support for the mirror, and shall 
provide for mirror adjustment by tilting in both the 
horizontal and vertical directions. If the mirror is 
in the head impact area, the mounting shall 
deflect, collapse or break away without leaving 
sharp edges when the reflective surface of the mir- 
ror is subjected to a force of 90 pounds in any for- 
ward direction that is not more than 45° from the 
forward longitudinal direction. 

S5.2. Outside rearview mirror — driver's side. 

55.2.1. Field of view. Each passenger car shall 
have an outside mirror of unit magnification. The 
mirror shall provide the driver a view of a level 
road surface extending to the horizon from a line, 
perpendicular to a longitudinal plane tangent to 
the driver's side of the vehicle at the widest point, 
extending 8 feet out from the tangent plane 35 feet 
behind the driver's eyes, with the seat in the rear- 
most position. The line of sight may be partially 
obscured by the rear body or fender contours. The 
location of the driver's eye reference points shall 
be those established in Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 104 (§571.104) or a nominal loca- 
tion appropriate for any 95th percentile male 
driver. 

55.2.2. Mounting. The mirror mounting shall 
provide a stable support for the mirror, and neither 
the mirror nor the mounting shall protrude farther 



PART 571; S 111-1 



(Rev. 12/2/92) 



than the widest part of the vehicle body except to 
the extent necessary to produce a field of view 
meeting or exceeding the requirements of S5.2.1. 
The mirror shall not be obscured by the unwiped 
portion of the windshield, and shall be adjustable 
by tilting in both horizontal and vertical directions 
from the driver's seated position. The mirror and 
mounting shall be free of sharp points or edges 
that could contribute to pedestrian injury. 

55.3. Outside rearview mirror passenger's 
side. Each passenger car whose inside rearview 
mirror does not meet the field of view require- 
ments of S5.1.1 shall have an outside mirror of 
unit magnification or a convex minor installed on 
the passenger's side. The mirror mounting shall 
provide a stable support and be free of sharp 
points or edges that could contribute to pedestrian 
injury. The mirror need not be capable of adjust- 
ment by tilting in both horizontal and vertical 
directions. 

55.4. Convex mirror requirements. Each motor 
vehicle using a convex minor to meet the require- 
ments of S5.3 shall comply with the following 
requirements: 

55.4.1. When each convex mirror is tested in 
accordance with the procedures specified in S12 
of this standard, none of the radii of curvature 
readings shall deviate from the average radius of 
curvature by more than plus or minus 12.5 per- 
cent. 

55.4.2. Each convex mirror shall have perma- 
nently and indelibly marked at the lower edge of 
the mirror's reflective surface, in letters not less 
than ¥16 inch or more than V4 inch high, the 
words '"Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They 
Appear." (48 F.R. 38842— August 26, 1983. Effec- 
tive: August 26, 1983) 

55.4.3. The average radius of curvature of each 
such mirror, as determined by using the procedure 
in S12, shall be not less than 35 inches and not 
more than 65 inches. 



56. Requirements for multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles, trucks, and buses, other than 
school buses, with GVWR of 10,000 pounds or 
less. 

S6.1. Each multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck 
and bus. other than a school bus, with a GVWR 
of 10,000 pounds or less shall have either — 

(a) Mirrors that conform to the requirements of 
S5; or 

(b) Outside mirrors of unit magnification, each 
with not less than 19.5 in- of reflective surface, 
installed with stable supports on both sides of the 
vehicle, located so as to provide the driver a view 
to the rear along both sides of the vehicle, and 
adjustable in both the horizontal and vertical 
directions to view the rearward scene. 

57. Requirements for multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR of 
more than 10,000 and less than 25,000 pounds 
and buses, other than school buses, with a 
GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds. 

S7.1. Each multipurpose passenger vehicle and 
trucks with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds 
and less than 25,000 pounds and each bus, other 
than a school bus, with a GVWR of more than 
10,000 pounds shall have outside mirrors of unit 
magnification, each with not less than 50 in- of 
reflective surface, installed with stable supports on 
both sides of the vehicle. The mirrors shall be 
located so as to provide the driver a view to the 
rear along both sides of the vehicle and shall be 
adjustable both in the horizontal and vertical 
directions to view the rearward scene. 

58. Requirements for multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR of 
25,000 pounds or more. 

S8.1. Each multipurpose passenger vehicle and 
truck with a GVWR of 25,000 pounds or more 
shall have outside mirrors of unit magnification, 
each with not less than 50 in- of reflective surface, 
installed with stable supports on both sides of the 
vehicle. The mirrors shall be located so as to pro- 
vide the driver a view to the rear along both sides 
of the vehicle and shall be adjustable both in the 



(Rev. 8/26/83) 



PART 571; S 111-2 



horizontal and vertical directions to view the rear- 
ward scene. 

[S9. Requirements for School Buses. When a 
school bus is tested in accordance with the proce- 
dures of SI 3, it shall meet the requirements of 
S9.1 through S9.4. 

59.1 Outside Rearview lUlirrors. Each school 
bus shall have two outside rearview mirror sys- 
tems: System A and System B. 

59.2 System A shall be located with stable sup- 
ports so that the portion of the system on the bus's 
left side, and the portion on its right side, each: 

(a) Includes at least one mirror of unit mag- 
nification with not less than 322.60 square centi- 
meters (50 square inches) of reflective surface; 
and 

(b) Includes one or more mirrors which 
together provide, at the driver's eye location, a 
view of: 

(1) For the mirror system on the right side 
of the bus, the entire top surface of cylinder N 
in Figure 2, and of that area of the ground 
which extends rearward from the mirror surface 
not less than 60.93 meters (200 feet). 

(2) For the mirror system on the left side of 
the bus, the entire top surface of cylinder M in 
Figure 2, and of that area of the ground which 
extends rearward from the mirror surface not 
less than 60.93 meters (200 feet). 

59.3 (a) For each of the cylinders A through P 
whose entire top surface is not directly visible 
from the driver's eye location. System B shall pro- 
vide, at that location: 

(1) A view of the entire top surface of that 
cylinder. 

(2) A view of the ground that overlaps with 
the view of the ground provided by system A. 
(b) Each mirror installed in compliance with 

S9.3(a) shall meet the following requirements: 

(1) Each mirror shall have a projected area 
of at least 258.08 square centimeters (40 square 
inches), as measured on a plane at a right angle 
to the mirror's axis. 

(2) Each mirror shall be located such that the 
distance from the center point of the eye loca- 
tion of a 25th percentile adult female seated in 
the driver's seat to the center of the mirror 
shall be at least 95.25 centimeters (37.5 
inches). 



(3) Each mirror shall have no discontinuities 
in the slope of the surface of the mirror. 

(4) Each mirror system shall be installed 
with a stable support designed to dampen 
vibration. 

(c) Each school bus which has a mirror 
installed in compliance with S9.3(a) that has an 
average radius of curvature of less than 88.90 
centimeters (35 inches), as determined under SI 2, 
shall have a label visible to the seated driver. The 
label shall be printed in a type face and color that 
are clear and conspicuous. The label shall state 
the following: 

"USE CROSS VIEW MIRRORS TO VIEW 
PEDESTRIANS WHILE BUS IS STOPPED. DO 
NOT USE THESE MIRRORS TO VIEW TRAF- 
FIC WHILE BUS IS MOVING. IMAGES IN 
SUCH MIRRORS DO NOT ACCURATELY 
SHOW ANOTHER VEHICLE'S LOCATION." 

S9.4 (a) Each image required by S9. 3(a)(1) to be 
visible at the driver's eye location shall be sepa- 
rated from the edge of the effective mirror surface 
of the mirror providing that image by a distance 
of not less than 3 minutes of arc. 

(b) The image required by S9.3(a)(l) of cyl- 
inder P shall meet the following requirements: 

(1) The angular size of the shortest dimen- 
sion of that cylinder's image shall be not less 
than 3 minutes of arc; and 

(2) The angular size of the longest dimension 
of that cylinder's image shall be not less than 
9 minutes of arc. (57 F.R. 57000 — December 2, 

1992. Effective: December 2, 1993)] 

510. Requirenfients for motorcycles. 

SI 0.1. Each motorcycle shall have either a mirror 
of unit magnification with not less than 12.5 in- 
of reflective surface, or a convex mirror with not 
less than 10 in- of reflective surface and an aver- 
age radius of curvature not less than 20 inches and 
not greater than 60 inches, installed with a stable 
support, and mounted so that the horizontal center 
of the reflective surface is at least 1 1 inches out- 
ward of the longitudinal centerline of the motor- 
cycle. The mirror shall be adjustable by tilting in 
both the horizontal and vertical directions. 

511. Mirror construction. The average reflec- 
tance of any mirror required by this standard shall 
be determined in accordance with SAE Rec- 



PART571: S 111-3 



(Rev. 12/2/92) 



ommended Practice J964, October 1984. All sin- 
gle reflectance mirrors shall have an average 
reflectance of at least 35 percent. If a mirror is 
capable of multiple reflectance levels, the mini- 
mum reflectance level in the day mode shall be at 
least 35 percent and the minimum reflectance 
level in the night mode shall be at least 4 percent. 
A multiple reflectance mirror shall either be 
equipped with a means for the driver to adjust the 
mirror to a reflectance level of at least 35 percent 
in the event of electrical failure, or achieve such 
reflectance level automatically in the event of 
electrical failure. 

S12. Determination of Radius of Curvature. 

S12.1. To determine the average radius of cur- 
vature of a convex mirror, use a 3-point linear 
spherometer, which meets the requirements of 
S12.2., at the 10 test positions shown in Figure 1 
and record the readings for each position. 




Figure 1. — Location of Ten Convex Mirror 
Testing Positions 

512.2. The 3-point linear spherometer has two 
outer fixed legs 1.5 inches apart and one inner 
movable leg at the midpoint. The spherometer has 
a dial indicator with a scale that can be read 
accurately to 0.0001 inches, with the zero reading 
being a flat surface. 

512.3. The 10 test positions on the image display 
consist of two positions at right angles to each 
other at each of five locations as shown in Figure 
1. The locations are at the center of the mirror, at 
the left and right ends of a horizontal line that 
bisects the mirror and at the top and bottom ends 
of a vertical line that bisects the mirror. None of 
the readings are within 0.25-inch border on the 
edge of the image display. 

512.4. At each test position, the spherometer is 
held perpendicular to the convex mirror-surface 



and a record is made of the reading on the dial 
indicator to the nearest 0.0001 inch. 

S12.5. Convert the dial reading data for each of 
the 10 test positions to radius of curvature calcula- 
tions using Table I. Consider the change as linear 
for dial readings that fall between two numbers in 
Table I. 

Table 1 — Conversion Table From Spherometer 
Dial Reading To Radius of Curvature 





Radius of curvature 


Dial reading 


(in inches) 


.00330 


85.2 


.003.^0 


80.4 


.00374 


75.2 


.00402 


70.0 


.00416 


67.6 


.00432 


65.1 


.00450 


62.5 


.00468 


60.1 


.00476 


59.1 


.00484 


58.1 


.00492 


.57.2 


.00502 


56.0 


.00512 


54.9 


.00522 


53.9 


.00536 


52.5 


.00544 


51.7 


.00554 


50.8 


.00566 


49.7 


.00580 


48.5 


.00592 


47.5 


.00606 


46.4 


.00622 


45.2 


.00636 


44.2 


.00654 


43.0 


.00668 


42.1 


.00686 


41.0 


.00694 


40.5 


.00720 


39.1 


.00740 


38.0 


.00760 


37.0 


.00780 


36.1 


.00802 


35.1 


.00822 


34.2 


.00850 


33.1 


.00878 


32.0 


.00906 


31.0 


.00922 


30.5 


.00938 


30.0 


.00960 


29.3 


.00980 


28.7 


.01004 


28.0 


.01022 


27.5 


.01042 


27.0 


.01060 


26.5 


.01080 


26.0 


.01110 


25.3 


.01130 


24.9 


.01170 


24.0 


.01200 


23.4 


.01240 


22.7 


.01280 


22.0 


.01310 


21.5 


.01360 


20.7 


.01400 


20.1 


.014.30 


19.7 


.01480 


19.0 


.01.S40 


18.3 


.01570 


17.9 


.01610 


17.5 


.016.50 


17.1 


.01700 


16.6 


.01750 


16.1 


.01800 


15.6 


.01860 


15.1 



(Rev. 12/2/92) 



PART 571; S 111^ 



Table I — Conversion Table From Spherometer 
Dial Reading To Radius of Curvature — 
Continued 



Dial reading 


Radius of curvature 
(in inches) 


.01910 


14.7 


.01980 


14.2 


.02040 


13.8 


.02100 


13.4 


.02160 


13.0 


.02250 


12.5 


.02340 


12.0 


.02450 


11.5 


.02560 


11.0 


.02680 


10.5 


.02810 


10.0 


.02960 


9.5 


.03130 


9.0 


.03310 


8.5 



512.6. Calculate the average radius of curvature 
by adding all 10 radius of curvature calculations 
and dividing by ten. 

512.7. Determine the numerical difference 
between the average radius of curvature and each 
of the 10 individual radius of curvature calcula- 
tions determined in S12.5. 

512.8. Calculate the greatest percentage deviation 
by dividing the greatest numerical difference 
determined in SI 2.7 by the average radius of cur- 
vature and multiply by 100. 

[S13. School bus mirror test procedures. The 

requirements of S9.1 through S9.4 shall be met 
when the vehicle is tested in accordance with the 
following conditions. 

513.1 The cylinders shall be a color which pro- 
vides a high contrast with the surface on which 
the bus is parked. 

513.2 The cylinders are 0.3048 meters (1 foot) 
high and 0.3048 meters (1 foot) in diameter, 
except for cylinder P which is 0.9114 meters (3 
feet) high and 0.3048 meters (1 foot) in diameter. 

513.3 Place cylinders at locations as specified in 
S13.3(a) through S13.3(g) and illustrated in Figure 
2. Measure the distances shown in Figure 2 from 
a cylinder to another object from the center of the 
cylinder as viewed from above. 

(a) Place cylinders G, H, and I so that they are 
tangent to a transverse vertical plane tangent to 
the forward-most surface of the bus's front 
bumper. Place cylinders D, E, F so that their cen- 
ters are located in a transverse vertical plane that 



is 1.8288 meters (6 feet) forward of a transverse 
vertical plane passing through the centers of cyl- 
inders G, H, and I. Place cylinders A, B, and C 
so that their centers are located in a transverse 
vertical plane that is 3.6576 meters (12 feet) for- 
ward of the transverse vertical plane passing 
through the centers of cylinders G, H, and I. 

(b) Place cylinders B, E, and H so that their 
centers are in a longitudinal vertical plane that 
passes through the bus's longitudinal centerline. 

(c) Place cylinders A, D, and G so that their 
centers are in a longitudinal vertical plane that is 
tangent to the most outboard edge of the left side 
of the bus's front bumper. 

(d) Place cylinders C, F, and I so that their cen- 
ters are in a longitudinal vertical plane that is tan- 
gent to the most outboard edge of the right side 
of the bus's front bumper. 

(e) Place cylinder J so that its center is in a 
longitudinal vertical plane 0.3048 meters (1 foot) 
to the left of the longitudinal vertical plane pass- 
ing through the centers of cylinders A, D, and G, 
and is in the transverse vertical plane that passes 
through the centerline of the bus's front axle. 

(f) Place cylinder K so that its center is in a 
longitudinal vertical plane 0.3048 meters (1 foot) 
to the right of the longitudinal vertical plane pass- 
ing through the centers of cylinders C, F, and I, 
and is in the transverse vertical plane that passes 
through the centerline of the bus's front axle. 

(g) Place cylinders L, M, N, O, and P so that 
their centers are in the transverse vertical plane 
that passes through the centerline of the bus's rear 
axle. Place cylinder L so that its center is in a 
longitudinal vertical plane that is 1.8288 meters (6 
feet) to the left of the longitudinal vertical plane 
tangent to the bus's most outboard left surface 
(excluding the mirror system). Place cylinder M 
so that its center is in a longitudinal vertical plane 
that is 0.3048 meters (1 foot) to the left of the 
longitudinal vertical plane tangent to the left side 
of the bus. Place cylinder N so that its center is 
in a longitudinal vertical plane that is 0.3048 
meters (1 foot) to the right of the longitudinal 
vertical plane tangent to the right side of the bus. 
Place cylinder O so that its center is in a longitu- 
dinal vertical plane that is 1.8288 meters (6 feet) 
to the right of the longitudinal vertical plane tan- 
gent to the right side of the bus. Place cylinder 
P so that its center is in a longitudinal vertical 
plane that is 3.6576 meters (12 feet) to the right 
of the longitudinal vertical plane tangent to the 



PART 571: S 111-5 



(Rev. 12/2/92) 



right side of the bus. (57 F.R. 57000— December 2, 
1992. Effective: December 2, 1993)] 



3.6S76ma2ft) 
\.S2am(,Stei 



• = Test Cybnder 



DBF 

• • • 
G H I 



J 


• • 


• 




I M 

• • 





Cenleriine of 
Front Axle 



N O 



Cenieriinc of 
Rear Axle 



i V / i V 

I OJ048m(lfl) I 3.65: 



,6576 m (12 ft) 



1.6:88 m (6 ft) 



1.6288 m (6 ft) 



INTERPRETATION 

(1) When a supplemental mirror is furnished in 
addition to the inside rearview mirror and the 
driver's side outside rearview mirror, the supple- 
mental mirror need not be adjustable from the 
driver's seat. 

(2) The location of the driver's eye reference 
point may be that established in Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 104, or it may be a nominal 
location appropriate for any 95th percentile male 
driver. 

(3) The horizontal angle is measured from the 
projected eye point, rather than the plane of the 
mirror. 



32 F.R. 2413 
February 3, 1967 



Figure 2. — Location of Test Cylinders for 
School Bus Field-of-View Test 








15.24 cm (6 in) 


15.24 cm (6 in) 



Figure 3. — Camera Locations for School Bus 
Field-of-View Test 



PART 571; S 111-6 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO 112 

Headlamp Concealment Devices — Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, 

Buses, and Motorcycles 

(Docket No. 1-16) 



A proposal to amend Part 371 by adding Fed- 
eral motor vehicle safety standard No. 112, Head- 
lamp Concealment Devices — Passenger Cars, 
Multipurpose Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Pas- 
senger Vehicles, Trucks, Buses, and Motorcycles, 
was published as an advance notice of proposed 
rule making on October 14, 1967 (32 F.R. 14280) 
and as a notice of proposed rule making on De- 
cember 28, 1967 ( 32 F.R. 20865 ) . 

Interested persons have been given the oppor- 
tunity to participate in the making of this amend- 
ment, and careful consideration has been given 
to all relevant matter presented. 

Inadvertent actuation of a headlamp conceal- 
ment devices, due to a defective condition thereby 
causing headlamps to be blacked out, has com- 
promised the safety of occupants of the vehicle 
concerned and other highway users. There have 
been reports of several accidents and incidents 
caused by such inadvertent blacking out of head- 
lamps. In addition, the Administrator considers 
headlamp concealment devices present a contin- 
uing hazard to motor vehicle safety in that they 
may inadvertently black out headlamps while 
headlamps are in use. This standard requires 
that fully opened headlamp concealment devices 
must remain fully opened whenever there is a 
loss of power to or within the device and when- 
ever any malfunction occurs in components that 
control or conduct power for the operation of a 
concealment device. These requirements provide 
a fail-safe operation which serves to prevent fur- 
ther incidents of inadvertent blacking out of 
headlamps by headlamp concealment devices. 

In addition, other safety performance criteria 
\, are established. Thus, whenever any malfunc- 
tion occurs in components that control or conduct 
power for the actuation of the concealment de- 



vice, additional means for fully opening each 
headlamp concealment device must be provided. 
A single mechanism must be provided for actu- 
ating the headlamp concealment device and il- 
luminating the lights. The installation of each 
headlamp concealment device must be such that 
no component of the device, other than compo- 
nents of the headlamp assembly, need be removed 
when mounting, aiming and adjusting the head- 
lamps. Headlamp beams that illuminate during 
opening and closing of the headlamp conceal- 
ment device may not project to the left of or 
above the position of the beam in the fully 
opened position. Finally, within the tempersi- 
ture ranges specified, headlamp concealment de- 
vices must be fully opened in three seconds after 
actuation of the appropriate mechanism, except 
in the event of a power loss. These additional 
performance criteria meet the needs of motor 
vehicle safety by increasing the safe and reliable 
operation of headlamp concealment devices. 

Several comments stated that a requirement 
for fail-safe operation under any combination 
of unforeseeable circumstances is unreasonable. 
The requirements expressed in S4.1 are not in- 
tended to impose responsibility for failures 
caused by abuse, poor maintenance practices or 
other conditions not encompassed by S4.1. 
Whether or not failure of a headlamp conceal- 
ment device to remain in an open position once 
fully opened is a violation of the standard 
would, of course, depend upon whether the device 
failed under the conditions encompassed by the 
standard. Some comments requested that the 
conditions expressed in S4.1 be made test condi- 
tions and one commentator submitted a suggested 
test procedure to demonstrate compliance. Be- 
cause of the wide variety of designs and types of 



PART 671; S 112— PRE 1 



HmMv*: January I, 19«9 



headlamp concealment devices currently in use, 
no single demonstration procedure is appropriate 
for all. C!onsequently, prescription of a standard 
demonstration procedure is neither practicable 
nor feasible under the circumstances. The Ad- 
ministrator concludes that the needs of motor 
safety require that headlamp concealment devices 
be fail-safe. The Administrator further con- 
cludes that the most appropriate method of 
meeting those needs and of preventing further 
hazard from obstructed headlamps caused by 
headlamp concealment device failures is by the 
prescription of fail-safe operational criteria, as 
specified in S4.1. Accordingly, the requests are 
denied. 

A number of comments stated that the 3-second 
operating time requirement and the aiming re- 
quirements for rotating headlamps would impose 
unreasonable burdens in retooling and redesign- 
ing if the January 1, 1969, effective date is to be 
met. Based upon the data presented, the Ad- 
ministrator agrees with these comments. Ac- 
cordingly, S4.5 and S4.6 are made effective Jan- 
uary 1, 1970. 

Several comments recommended additional 
provisions expressly permitting headlamp con- 
cealment devices that are automatically actuated 
by light sensing mechanisms. This standard is 
not intended to prevent the use of light sensing 
mechanisms. Consequently, language has been 
added to clarify this intention if the light sensing 
mechanism meets the same operational require- 
ments prescribed for switch operated headlamp 
concealmcint devices. 

Several comments requested inclusion of a pro- 
vision in S4.3 permitting an additional separate 
control that actuates only the headlamp ccmceal- 
ment device. The Administrator considers per- 
mitting this additional control would not be in 
the best interests of motor vehicle safety. The 
requests are, therefore, denied. 



Other comments suggested that rotating head- 
lamps be required to return to the correctly 
aimed position after a specified minimum num- 
ber of opening and closing cycles that power be 
provided for at least one opening cycle after the 
vehicle engine has been stopped for a specified 
length of time; that a warning device be re- 
quired to indicate to the driver that the conceal- 
ment devices are malfunctioning; that require- 
ments for aiming and adjusting of headlamps 
be expanded to insure that vehicle body struc- 
ture and lamp ornaments will not interfere with 
these operations; that the standard prohibit de- 
signs which permit snow and ice to accumulate 
over the sealed beam headlamp units; that re- 
quirements be included to assure capability for 
opening concealment devices that are frozen 
shut; and that a standard be established to pro- 
hiljit the use of headlamp concealment devices. 
Although some of these suggestions appear to 
have merit, they are all beyond the scope of the 
notice and will, therefore, be considered for future 
rule making action. 

In consideration of the foregoing, ■§ 371.21 of 
Part 371 of the Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards is amended by adding Standard No. 
112, Headlamp Concealment Devices — Passenger 
Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, 
Buses, and Motorcycles . . . effective January 1, 
1969. 

This rule-making action is taken under the 
authority of sections 108 and 119 of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 
(Public Law 89-563, 16 U.S.C. sections 1892 and 
1407) and the delegation of authority of April 
24, 1968. 

Issued in Washington, D.C, on April 24, 1968. 

Lowell K. Bridwell, 

Federal Highway Administrator 
33 P.I. 6469 
April 27, 1963 



PART 671; S 112— PRE 2 



Eff*ct<v«: January 2S, 19*9 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD 112 

Heodlamp Concealment Devices — Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, 

Buses and Motorcycles 



Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 112, pub- 
lished in the Federal Register on April 27, 1968 
(33 F.R. 6469), specifies requirements for head- 
lamp concealment devices for passenger cars, 
multipurpose passenger vehicle, trucks, buses and 
motorcycles manufactured after December 31, 
1968. 

Paragraph S4.1 requires that each fully opened 
headlamp concealment device remain fully opened 
whenever either or both of the following occur — 

a. Any loss of power to or within the head- 
lamp concealment device ; 

b. Any disconnection, restriction, short-circuit, 
circuit time delay, or other similar malfunction 
in any wiring, tubing, hose, solenoid or other 
component that controls or conducts power for 
operating the concealment device. 

The purpose of S4.1 is to prevent a malfunc- 
tioning headlamp concealment device from inad- 
vertently covering an iUuminated headlamp. 
However, the Administrator has concluded that 
this paragraph may be construed to prohibit the 
closing of headlamp concealment devices while 
the headlamps are not illuminated. Consequently, 
paragraph S4.1 is being amended to clarify that 
its requirements apply only while the headlamps 
are illuminated. 



Since this amendment provides clarification 
and imposes no additional burden on any person, 
notice and public procedure hereon are unneces- 
sary. It is therefore found, for good cause 
shown, that an effective date earlier than 180 
days after issuance is in the public interest and 
in the interest of motor vehicle safety. 

In consideration of the foregoing, § 371.21 of 
Part 371, Federal Motor "Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 112 
(33 F.R. 6469), paragraph S4.1 is amended ef- 
fective January 25, 1969. . . . 

This amendment is issued under the authority 
of sections 103 and 119 of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 
1392, 1407) and pursuant to the delegation of 
authority from the Secretary of Transportation, 
Part 1 of the regulations of the Office of the 
Secretary (49 CFR 1.4(c)). 

Issued on January 22, 1969. 

John R. Jamieson, Deputy 
Federal Highway Administrator 

34 F.R. 1246 
January 25, 1969 



PART 571 ; S 112— PRE 3-4 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 112 

Headlamp Concealment Devices 
(Docket No. 87-03; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Motor -Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 112, in response to -Chrysler 
Corporation's petition for rulemaking. The amend- 
ment deletes the requirement that during the 
opening of a concealed headlamp the headlamp 
beam may not project to the left of or above the 
position of the beam when the concealed headlamp 
device is fully open. 

DATES: Effective date October 23, 1987. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Paragraph 
S4.5 of Safety Standard No. 112, Headlamp 
Concealment Devices states that "After December 
31, 1969, the headlamp beam of headlamps that 
illuminate during opening and closing of the head- 
lamp concealment device may not project to the left 
of or above the position of the beam when the device 
is fully opened." In the view of Chrysler Corpora- 
tion, this requirement imposes a design restriction 
on those types of rotating headlamp systems "which, 
although they project a beam of light very slightly 
to the left during opening and closing do so at a 
point in their travel that does not produce glare in 
the eyes of oncoming drivers." 

Chrysler specifically references its 1987 Dodge 
Daytona model which is equipped with a retracting 
headlamp system. In order to adapt the system to 
the car's front end sheet metal, it was necessary to 
design the system so that in opening and closing it 
moves through "a laterally outboard 7 mm trun- 
cated arc." As a result, the right headlamp 
momentarily projects a beam of light to the left of 
center, which, however, is not above the position of 
the beam when the device is fully opened. Chrysler 
can meet the requirement through "incorporating 
a complex and costly electronic switching system 
to illuminate the headlamps only when they are 
fully opened and to turn out the light during 
opening and closing." Because it does not believe 
that the low candela of the lamp during its arc are 
sufficient to cause glare, Chrysler petitioned for 
rulemaking to amend paragraph S4.5 to establish 
an exception to the prohibition of beam projection 
to the left. The exception would be "when the 



maximum allowable photometric values at the 
points at or above V = 0.5 (glare test points) are not 
exceeded during any portion of the headlamp's 
travel." That exception, if adopted, would allow 
light intensities permitted by Standard No. 108, 
rather than limit the glare intensity to that achieved 
by the specific lamp under present positional 
constraints. 

In the agency's opinion, however, Chrysler's 
proposed amendment is problematic. Regardless 
of the motion of the beam during movement to the 
final position of the lamp, headlamp beams do not 
uniformly decrease in intensity from their hot 
spots (i.e., brightest part of beam) radially outward. 
Because small higher intensity areas can randomly 
occur in larger areas of lower intensity, any 
concealed headlamp could produce higher in- 
tensities at various test points during its travel 
than when fully open. Therefore, even concealed 
headlamps whose motion complies with Standard 
No. 112 could become noncompliant with a pro- 
cedure that uses performance relative to the 
photometry in Standard No. 108 as the criterion. 

The safety problem that paragraph S4.5 is 
intended to address is the effect of transitory glare 
upon drivers of other motor vehicles. The agency 
believes that such effects are minimal in comparison 
with the incidence of transitory glare that motorists 
already experience, such as created by oncoming 
upper beams, or by lower beams during changes in 
vehicle position (rounding corners) or attitude 
(coming over the brow of a hill). Although undue 
glare in any form is undesirable, and manufacturers 
should design their headlighting systems so that 
glare in any form is reduced, the agency has 
concluded that S4.5 represents a design restriction 
that is not required to serve the interests of motor 
vehicle safety. 

Therefore, on February 27, 1987, the agency 
proposed the deletion of S4.5, and proposed that 
S4.6 be renumbered, and that reference to its 
effective date ("after December 31, 1969") be 
removed. (52 FR 5975) 

Nine comments were received on the proposal. 
Seven of the commenters supported it. The States 
of California and Minnesota did not support deletion 
of the requirement but favored retaining it in a 



PART 571; S112-PRE 5 



more performance oriented form. In Minnesota's 
opinion, even though the transient effect may be 
minimal, there was nothing to prevent the beam 
from remaining in a left and up position should 
there be a malfunction of the concealment device 
during the transition from closed to open, or vice 
versa. Such a failure could cause significant glare 
to other drivers until the malfunction was corrected. 
The agency considered Minnesota's argument a 
plausible one. However, NHTSA's Office of Defects 
Investigation reported that its files from June 1981 
to date contained no complaints about a malfunction 
in which a device failed in a semi-open position. Of 
the 15 complaints received, 8 reported failure to 
open, and 4 a failure to close from the fully open 
position. Therefore the problem presented by the 
Minnesota comment appeared theoretical rather 
than actual, and NHTSA is amending Standard 
No. 112 as proposed. 



In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 
571 and 571.112. Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
No. 112, Headlamp Concealment Devices, are 
amended as follows: 

Paragraph S4.5 of § 571.112 is removed. 

Paragraph S4.6 of § 571. 1 12 is redesignated S4.5 
and the phrase "after December 31, 1969" is 
removed. 

Issued on: September 17, 1987 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

52 F.R. 35709 
September 23, 1987 



( 



PART571;S112-PRE6 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 112 



Headlamp Concealment Devices— Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, 

Buses and Motorcycles 



51. Scope. This standard specifies require- 
ments for headlamp concealment devices. 

52. Application. This standard applies to 
passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks, buses, and motorcycles. 

53. Definitions. "Fully opened" means the 
position of the headlamp concealment device in 
which the headlamp is in the design open operating 
position. 

"Headlamp concealment device" means a 
device, with its operating system and components, 
that provides concealment of the headlamp when it 
is not in use, including a movable headlamp cover 
and a headlamp that displaces for concealment 
purposes. 

"Power" means any source of energy that 
operates the headlamp concealment device. 

54. Requirements. 

S4.1 While the headlamp is illuminated, its 
fully opened headlamp concealment device shall 
remain fully opened whenever either or both of 
the following occur— 

(a) Any loss of power to or within the headlamp 
concealment device; 

(b) Any disconnection, restriction, short-circuit, 
circuit time delay, or other similar malfunction in 
any wiring, tubing, hose, solenoid or other compo- 
nent that controls or conducts power for operating 
the concealment device, 

84.2 Whenever any malfunction occurs in a 
component that controls or conducts power for 
the actuation of the concealment device, each 
closed headlamp concealment device shall be 
capable of being fully opened— 



(a) By automatic means; 

(b) By actuation of a switch, lever or other 
similar mechanism; or 

(c) By other means not requiring the use of any 
tools. Thereafter, the headlamp concealment 
device must remain fully opened until intentionally 
closed. 

54.3 Except for cases of malfunction covered 
by S4.2, each headlamp concealment device shall 
be capable of being fully opened and the head- 
lamps illuminated by actuation of a single switch, 
lever, or similar mechanism, including a mech- 
anism that is automatically actuated by a change 
in ambient light conditions. 

54.4 Each headlamp concealment device shall 
be installed so that the headlamp may be mounted, 
aimed, and adjusted without removing any com- 
ponent of the device, other than components of 
the headlamp assembly. 

IS4.51 Except for cases of malfunction covered 
by S4.2, 1969, each headlamp concealment device 
shall, within an ambient temperature range of - 20 
to + 120 degrees F., be capable of being fully opened 
in not more than three seconds after actuation of 
the mechanism described in S4.3. (52 FR 35709— 
September 23, 1987.— Effective: October 23, 
1987) 



34 F.R. 1246 
January 25, 1969 



(Rev. 9/23/87) 



PART 571; S 112-1-2 



IfhcHv*: January 1, 1M* 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 113 
Hood Latch Systems — Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and 

Buses (Docket No. 1-17) 



A proposal to amend Part 371 by adding Fed- 
eral motor vehicle safety Standard No. 113, Hood 
Latch Systems — Passenger Cars, Multipurpose 
Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses, was pub- 
lished as an advance notice of proposed rule 
making on October 14, 1967 (32 F.R. 14280), 
and as a notice of proposed rule making on 
December 28, 1967 (32 F.R. 20866). 

Interested persons have been given the oppor- 
tunity to participate in the making of this amend- 
ment, and careful consideration has been given 
to all relevant matter presented. 

This new standard requires that all motor ve- 
hicles to which it is applicable be equipped with 
a hood latch system. Additionally, in those in- 
stances where a vehicle is equipped with a front 
opening hood, which in any open position par- 
tially or completely obstructs a driver's forward 
view through the windshield, a second latch po- 
sition on the hood latch system or a second hood 
latch system must be provided. 

Available data reveals that inadvertent hood 
openings pose a serious hazard to the safe oper- 
ation of motor vehicles, particularly in the case 
of front opening hoods. By requiring a hood 
latch system for all hoods, and under certain 
circumstances, a second position on that system 
or an independent second system, this standard 
will help to reduce incidents of inadvertent hood 
openings. 

All the comments support the need for a hood 
latch system or hood latch systems, as the case 
may be. Several commentators requested inclu- 
sion of a definition of "hood" and "front opening 
hood." The Administrator agrees that "hood" 
should be defined and has defined it as any ex- 
terior movable body panel forward of the wind- 
shield used to cover an engine, luggage, storage, 



or battery compartment. However, the Admin- 
istration concludes that a definition of "front 
opening hood" is unnecessary; that phrase is 
sufficiently definite and is clearly distinguishable 
from a "side opening" or "rear opening" hood. 

Several commentators conditioned their sup- 
port upon the understanding that the requirement 
for front opening hoods could be met by a single 
latch system with two positions, by two separate 
primary latch systems, or separate primary and 
secondary latches. Language changes have been 
made to S4.2 to clarify that all of these types of 
installations are acceptable. 

Several commentators expressed concern over 
the lack of quantitative performance criteria for 
hood latch systems. The Administrator finds 
that additional research and study are necessary 
before meaningful quantitative performance cri- 
teria can be appropriately specified. 

In consideration of the foregoing, § 371.21 of 
Part 371 of the Federal motor vehicle safety 
standards is amended by adding Standard No. 
113, Hood Latch Systems— Passenger Cars, Mul- 
tipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, and Buses 
. . . effective January 1, 1969. 

This rule making action is taken under the 
authority of sections 103 and 119 of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 
(Public Law 89-563, 15 U.S.C. sections 1392 and 
1407), and the delegation of authority of April 
24, 1968. 

Issued in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 1968. 

Lowell K. Bridwell, 

Federal Highway Administrator 

33 F.t. 6470 
April 27, 1968 



PART 571; S 113— PRE 1-2 



i 



i 



I 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 113 

Hood Latch Systems— Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, 

and Buses 



51. Purpose and scope. This standard estab- 
lishes the requirement for providing a hood 
latch system or hood latch systems. 

52. Application. This standard applies to pas- 
senger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, 
trucks and buses. 

53. Definitions. "Hood" means any exterior 
movable body panel forward of the windshield 
that is used to cover an engine, luggage, storage, 
or battery compartment. 



S4. Requirements. 

54.1 Each hood must be provided with a hood 
latch system. 

54.2 A front opening hood which, in any open 
position, partially or completely obstructs a 
driver's forward view through the windshield 
must be provided with a second latch position 
on the hood latch system or with a second hood 
latch system. 

33 F.R. 6471 
April 27, 1968 



PART 571; S 113-1 



IfhcHvt: Jonjary 1, 1970 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114 
Th«fl Protection — Passenger Cars 
(Docket No. 1>21) 



A proposal to amend §371.21 of Part 371, 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards bv 
adding a new standard, Theft Protection — Pas- 
senger Cars, was published in the Federal Reg- 
ister on December 28, 1967 (32 F.R. 20866). 

Interested persons have been afforded an op- 
portunity to participate in the making of the 
standard. Their comments and other available 
information have been carefully considered. 

Responses to the notice and other information 
have demonstrated that stolen cars constitute a 
major hazard to life and limb on the highways. 
The evidence shows that cars operated by un- 
authorized persons are far more likely to cause 
unreasonable risk of accident, personal injury, 
and death than those which are driven by author- 
ized individuals. Further, the incidence of theft, 
and hence the risk of accidents attributable 
thereto, is increasing. According to a recent 
study by the Department of Justice there were 
an estimated 94,000 stolen cars involved in acci- 
dents in 1966, and more than 18,000 of these 
accident resulted in injury to one or more people. 
On a proportionate basis, 18.2 percent of the 
stolen cars became involved in accidents, and 
19.6 percent of the stolen-car accidents resulted 
in personal injury. The same study predicted 
that automobile thefts in 1967 total about 
650,000; about 100,000 of these stolen cars could 
be expected to become involved in highway acci- 
dents. Comparing these figures with statistics 
for vehicles which are not stolen, the approxi- 
mate rate for stolen cars would be some 200 
times the normal accident rate for othw vehicl&<3. 
Thus, a reduction in the incidence of auto theft 
would make a substantial contribution to motor 
vehicle safety. It would not only reduce the 
ntunber of injuries and deaths among those who 
steal cars, it would also protect the many inno- 



cent members of the public who are killed and 
injured by stolen cars each year. 

The President's Commission on Law Enforce- 
ment and Administration of Justice, in its report 
"The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society," 
noted the rising cost in lives and dollars as a 
result of auto theft, highlighted the need for 
measures to reduce auto thefts and suggested 
that "The responsibility could well be assigned 
to the National Highway Safety Agency as part 
of its program to establish safety standards for 
automobiles." (pp. 260-261). * 

The Administrator has concluded that a 
standard that would reduce the incidence of un- 
authorized use of cars meets the needs for motor 
vehicle safety. Consequently, ho rejects those 
comments on the proposed standard which ques- 
tioned its validity on the ground that it is not 
related to improving motor vehicle safety. As 
indicated below, amateur car thieves make up 
the majority of those unauthorized drivers who 
become involved in motor vehicle accidents. 
Many of these thieves make use of keys left in 
the ignition locks to start the cars they steal. 
Hence, the standard requires each car to be 
equipped with a device to remind drivers to re- 
move the key when leaving the car. The number 
of car thieves who start cars with so-called 
"master keys" and devices which bypass the lock 
is also large enough to produce a significant 
safety hazard. Therefore, the standard also re- 
quires devices which tend to defeat this category 
of thief : A large number of locking-system com- 
binations and a steering or self-mobility lock. 

Several conmients urged that the warning- 
device requirement be eliminated from the stand- 
ard upon the ground that the removal of the key 
is the driver's responsibility. It was also said 
that, since any locking system, no matter how 



PART 671; S 114— PRE 1 



M*<Hv«: January I, 1970 



it is constructed, can be defeated by persons 
possessing sufficient skill, equipment, and ten- 
acity, provisions for ensuring removal of ignition 
keys would be futile because a thief need not 
make use of a key. 

As the Department of Justice survey men- 
tioned above demonstrates, however, the large 
majority of car thieves are amateurs, almocit 
half of whom are engaged in so-called "joy- 
riding." The evidence shows that a high pro- 
portion of these thieves, most of whom are 
juveniles, start the cars' engines simply by using 
the key which has been left in the ignition lock. 
It is, of course, the operator's responsibility to- 
remove the key when the car is left unattended 
and drivers should continue to be exhorted or 
required to take this elementary precaution. 
Nevertheless, many do not, and the interest of 
safety would be promoted by the existence of a 
visible or audible warning device on the car, 
reminding the driver when he has neglected his 
responsibility. This is an instance in which 
engineering of vehicles is more likely to have an 
immediate beneficial impact than a long-range 
process of mass education. 

The requirement of a warning when the key 
is left in the lock was also the subject of several 
comments which asked that the warning be re- 
quired when the front-seat passenger's door, as 
well as the driver's door, is opened. There is 
considerable validity in the contention that the 
device should operate upon the opening of either 
door, particularly because, in some jurisdictions, 
exiting from a car on the left side is prohibited 
in certain circumstances. However, the notice 
of proposed rule making stated that the standard 
under consideration made the warning-device 
requirement applicable only when the driver's 
door is opened. Information available to the 
Administrator shows that development of such 
warning devices has concentrated on warnings 
that are activated only in the event the driver's 
door is opened while the key remains in the lock. 
To extend this requirement to the opening of 
either door might necessitate both the initiation 
of new rulemaking proceedings and an extension 
of the standard's effective date. For these rea- 
sons, the requirement is, with minor exceptions 
discussed below, in substance unchanged from 
the one which appeared in the notice of proposed 



rulemaking. Extension of the requirement to 
passenger-door warning devices will be kept 
under consideration. 

The January 1, 1970, effective date also re- 
mains unchanged. Most of the comments which 
focused on the proposed effective date stated that 
the standard could be complied with by that 
date. One manufacturer sought a 1-year exten- 
sion on the ground that it could not produce a 
steering or mobility lock in sufficient time to 
equip its automobiles with such a device by 
January 1, 1970. Although this comment al- 
leged that data in the possession of its author 
showed that the cost of purchasing and installing 
a device to comply with the standard would im- 
pose an unreasonable economic burden, neither 
those data nor the basis foi the company's con- 
clusion have been supplied to the Administration. 
In short, nothing supported the request except 
the broad generalization that the proposed effec- 
tive date would cause some undefined hardship. 
Balancing this unsubstantiated generalization 
against the increase in deaths and injuries that 
postponing the effective date for a year would 
probably cause, the Administrator has concluded 
that a change in the effective date to January 1, 
1971, would not be in the interest of safety, that 
the January 1, 1970, effective date is a prac- 
ticable one, and that the request to extend it for 
1 year is denied. 

Many persons who responded to the notice 
asked that specific theft protection devices be 
prescribed. These specific devices included brake 
locks and so-called "pop-out" keys which auto- 
matically eject from the locking system, to de- 
vices which purportedly make by-passing the 
ignition switch impossible. The Administrator 
concludes that it would be unwise to establish a 
standard in terms so restrictive as to discourage 
technological innovation in the field of theft in- 
hibition. Consequently, the standard has been 
framed to permit as many specific devices as 
possible to meet its requirements. In addition, 
the standard does not preclude the use of supple- 
mentary theft protection measures, such as the 
"pop-out" key, so long as automobiles comply 
with the standard's minimum requirement. 

In drafting the standard, a number of revi- 
sions were made in the language employed in 
the notice of proposed rulemaking. Many of 



PART 571; S 114— PRE 2 



EffccNv*: Janoary 1, 1970 



these revisions clarify definitional problems that 
were raised in responses to the notice. The term 
"key" is defined so as to include methods of 
activating the looking system other than the 
commonly accepted concept of a key. The term 
"combination" was defined to clarify its meaning, 
and the 1,000-combinations requirement has been 
changed to make it clear that, after the stand- 
ard's effective date, each manufacturer must 
produce at least 1,000 different locking system 
combinations, unless he manufactures less tha]i 
1,000 passenger cars. In response to comments 
which pointed out the impossibility of construct- 
ing a system which, upon removal of the key, 
would prevent operation of the powerplant ab- 
solutely and in all events, the provisions of 
paragraph S3 (a) of the notice were revised to 
require only that removal of the key must pre- 
vent normal activation of the powerplant. Para- 
graph S4.2 represents a clarification of the re- 
quirement contained in paragraph S3.3 of the 
notice. It is intended to permit the driver of a 
car to turn off the engine in emergency situations 
while the car is in motion without also activating 
the steering or self-mobility lock. Other minor 
changes were made for amplification or clarifi- 
cation. 

Shortly after the issuance of this standard, 
the Administrator will issue a notice of proposed 
rulemaking to determine the practicability of 



improving the standard by adding a requirement 
that key locking systems be designed and con- 
structed to preclude accidental or inadvertent 
activation of the deterrent required by S4.1(b) 
while the car is in motion. The notice will pro- 
pose an effective date for the additional require- 
ment identical to that of the present standard: 
January 1, 1970. 

In consideration of the foregoing, § 371.21 of 
Part 371, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards, is amended by adding Standard No. 114, 
. . . , effective January 1, 1970. 

In accordance with section 103(c) of the Na- 
tional Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 
1966, I find that it would be impractical to re- 
quire compliance with this standard within 1 
year and therefore it is in the public interest to 
adopt a later effective date. 

This amendment is made under the authority 
of sections 103 and 119 of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 
1407) and the delegation of authority of April 
24, 1968. 

Issued in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 1968. 

Lowell K. Bridwell, 

Federal Highway Administrator 

33 F.R. 6471 
April 27, 1968 



PART 571; S 114— PRE 3-4 



Effacriva: January I, 1*70 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114 

Theft Protection — Passenger Cars 
(Docket No. 1-21) 



The Administrator is amending Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 114, Theft Protection— Pas- 
senger Cars, for the purpose of making several 
clarifying changes to it. The standard was issued 
on April 24, 1968 (33 F.R. 6471) and becomes 
effective on January 1, 1970. After the stand- 
ard was issued, the Administrator received a 
number of requests for interpretations or clarify- 
ing amendments. While each of the requests dis- 
cussed below could have been disposed of by 
interpretation of the present standard, the Ad- 
ministrator has chosen to change the text of the 
standard in order to ensure that it is clear on its 
face. 

Paragraph S4.1 (b) of the standard, as adopted, 
requires each passenger car to have a key lock- 
ing system that, with the key removed, will pre- 
vent "either steering or self-mobility of the car 
or both." Several persons pointed out that a 
literal interpretation of this provision would re- 
quire a manufacturer who seeks to comply with 
the self -mobility requirement to install a system 
that prevents both forward and rearward self- 
mobility. In view of the improbability of a suc- 
cessful theft of a car capable only of rearward 
self -mobility, the Administrator agrees that such 
a literal interpretation would not be consistent 
with the general purpose of the standard. There- 
fore, paragraph S4.1(b) is being clarified by in- 
serting the word "forward'" before the word 
"self -mobility". 

Several persons sought clarification of para- 
graph S4.4, which requires activation of a warn- 
ing to the driver whenever the key has been left 
in the locking system and the driver's door is 
opened. The puqxtse of this provision is to pre- 
vent, as far as possible, drivers from inadvertently 
leaving the key in the ignition lock when the car 
is unoccupied. As stated in the preamble to the 



standard when it was adopted, "the standard 
requires each car to be equipped with a device to 
remind drivers to remove the key when leaving 
the car" (emphasis added). 

It was pointed out that a literal reading of the 
phrase "left in the locking system" (emphasis 
added) would require activation of the warning 
regardless of the extent to which the key is in- 
serted in the lock, even if the driver deliberately 
chooses to withdraw it partially from the lock. 
These comments argued that it was practically 
imix}8sible to design a warning system that would 
function if, for example, the key is so far re- 
moved as to be dangling from the locking mecha- 
nism. It was the purpose of this provision to re- 
quire activation of the warning device whenever 
the key is left in the lock in a position from 
which the lock can be turned. Once the driver 
has withdrawn the key beyond the position, he is 
presumably aware of the location of the key, and 
no warning need be given to him. Paragraph 
S4.4 is being amended to clarify this intent. 

Paragraph S4.4 is also being amended to avoid 
the possibility of an interpretation that would 
prohibit use of a type of locking system and steer- 
ing lock that has, in the past, been a successful 
deterrent against theft. In this system, the warn- 
ing to the driver works in conjunction with the 
activation of the steering lock device. The steer- 
ing lock is not activated when the key, after hav- 
ing been withdrawn from the ignition lock, is 
simply reinserted in the locking system. Nor is 
the warning to the driver actuated imtil the key 
is turned so that the steering lock is deactivated. 
As noted above, the purpose of paragraph S4.4 
is not to guarantee that drivers will remove the 
key upon leaving the car; rather, it seeks to en- 
sure that drivers do not inadvertently leave their 
keys in ignition locks. In all but a very small 



(R*v. 6/l3/«9l 



PART 671; S H4^PRE 6 



iffMHv*: January 1, 1970 

number of cases, a driver who has withdrawn 
and then reinserted the key cannot be said to have 
inadvertently left it in the locking system when 
he thereafter exits from the car. Therefore, para- 
graph S4.4 is being amended to make it clear that 
the warning device need not operate after the 
key has been removed and reinserted in the lock- 
ing system without turning the key. 

Finally, several persons pointed out that the 
language of paragraph S4.4 would require acti- 
vation of the warning device even if the locking 
system is in the "on" or "start" position. A posi- 
tive physical act is usually required to bring the 
system to the "on" position or the "start" posi- 
tion. Moreover, a forgetful driver would not 
normally leave the key in the "on" position if he 
opened his door with the intent of leaving the 
car unattended. In most cases, it is impossible 
■for him to leave the key in the "start" position 
without physically holding it in that position. 
Hence, no valid purpose would be served by re- 
quiring the warning to be activated when the 
locking system is in either of those positions, and 



the standard is being amended to omit any impli- 
cation that such a requirement is imposed. 

Since these changes are clarifying and inter- 
pretive in nature, and since they impose no addi- 
tional burden on any person, I find that notice 
and public procedure thereon is unnecessary. 

In consideration of the foregoing, section 371.21 
of Part 371, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114 
(33 F.R. 6741) is amended, effective January 1, 
1970, as set forth below. 

(Sees. 103 and 119, National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) 
and the delegation of authority at 49 C.F.R. 
1.4(c)) 

Issued on June 9, 1969. 

F. C. Turner 

Federal Highway Administrator 

June 13, 1969 
34 F.R. 9342 



»«v. «/ 13/69) 



PART 671; S 114^PRE 6 



fffM«v«: April I, 1970 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114 

Theft Protection — Passenger Cars 
(Docket No. 1-21) 



Driver-Warning Requirement — Denial of Petition 
for Amendment ; Extension of Effective Date 
General Motors Corporation has filed a peti- 
tion for amendment of paragraph S4.4 of Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114. That para- 
graph requires each passenger car manufactured 
after December 31, 1969 to have a warning to a 
driver who neglects to remove his key from the 
ignition lock before he leaves the car. As amended 
(34 F.R. 9.342), the standard provides that the 
warning need not operate "after the key has been 
mai. j.lI'v withdrawn to a position from which it 
may not be turned." 

The basis of the petition is that, in the current- 
model General Motors system, manufacturing 
tolerances may be such as to permit a driver to 
manipulate the ignition key into a position at 
which the warning buzzer will be deactivated 
while the ignition lock remains operative. Gen- 
eral Motors seeks an amendment to permit the 
warning to be inoperative "after the key has been 
manually withdrawn from the normal operating 
position." 

Upon consideration of the petition and other 
evidence, the Administrator has concluded that it 
would not be in the public interest to grant the 
relief General Motors has requested. The pur- 
pose of paragraph S4.4 is to make it virtually 
impossible for a driver inadvertently to leave his 
key in the ignition lock when he exits and thereby 
to reduce car thefts along with the high potential 
for accidental injury and death tliat stolen cars 
have. If it were possible for a drivjer to manipu- 
late the key sc as to render the warning inopera- 
tive while, at the same time, to continue to 
operate the vehicle with the key in the lock, the 
salutary purpose of the warning requirement 
would be defeated. Therefore, the petition for 
amendment is denied. 



However, the Administrator recognizes that the 
tolerance problem General Motors has raised is 
a genuine one. It may be related to the fact that 
General Motors attempted, in good faith, to 
manufacture cars that complied with Standard 
No. 114 well before the standard's effective date. 
This is a laudable action for which Greneral 
Motors should not be penalized. Furthermore, 
the Administrator realizes that the Greneral Mo- 
tors system is installed not only on its own pro- 
ductoin but also in passengers car produced by 
other high-volume manufacturers. 

Therefore, the Administrator has concluded 
that the effective date of paragraph S4.4 of 
Standard No. 114 should be extended to allow 
additional time to overcome the tolerance prob- 
lem. According to the best information avail- 
able at this time, it appears that a 90-day 
extension of the January 1, 1970 effective date 
will provide sufficient time for redesigning and 
retooling the Greneral Motors system so that it 
fully conforms to the standard's requirements 
and to put the new system into production. This 
conclusion is based on the expectation that the 
problems involved will be attacked on an urgent, 
high priority basis, as they should be in view 
of the safety need that paragraph S4.4 meets. 
The Administrator may consider a further exten- 
sion at a later date if additional evidence to 
justify such an extension is adduced at that time. 

Because of the shortness of time before the 
effective date of Standard No. 114 and because 
extension of that effective date for compliance 
with paragraph S4.4 of the standard will impose 
no additional burden on any person, notice and 
public procedure hereon are found to be unneces- 
sary and impracticable. 

In consideration of the foregoing, the effective 
date of paragraph S4.4 of Motor Vehicle Safety 



(R*v. 12/11/69) 



PART 571; S 114— PRE 7 



IffKtivai April 1, 1970 

Standard No. 114, in § 371.21 of Part 371 is ex- Issued on December 3, 1969. 

tended to April 1, 1970. F r T 

(Sees 103 and 119, National Traffic and Motor Federal" Highway Administrator 

Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) * ^ 

and the delegation of authority at 49 CFR 34 F.R. 19547 

1.4(c)). D«c*mb*r 11, 1969 



ii... u/u/*») PART 571; S 114^PRE 8 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD N0.114 

Theft Protection 
(Docket No. 1-21; Notice 3) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice extends the performance 
requirements of Standard No. 114, Theft Protec- 
tion, to light trucks and vans. At present, the 
standard only applies to passenger cars. The 
effect of the extension will be to reduce the inci- 
dence of light truck and van thefts and subse- 
quent disproportionate involvement of those 
stolen vehicles in injury-producing accidents. The 
notice also upgrades the performance require- 
ments of the standard to prevent the driver from 
inadvertently locking up the steering wheel of a 
moving vehicle by removing the ignition key or 
shutting off the engine. 

DATES: The effective date for passenger cars is 
September 1, 1982. The final rule is effective for 
multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks hav- 
ing a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds 
or less on September 1, 1983. 

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration should 
refer to the docket number and be submitted to: 
Docket Section, Room 5108, National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh 
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590 (Docket 
hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 

Nelson Erickson, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202-426-2720) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 1, 1978, 
the NHTSA published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking to extend the applicability of Stand- 
ard No. 114, Theft Protection (49 CFR 571.114), to 
trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 



of 10,000 pounds or less and all multipurpose 
passenger vehicles (43 FR 18577). The standard 
currently only applies to passenger cars. The pro- 
posal would have also upgraded some of the per- 
formance requirements of the standard and 
clarified others. 

Consumers, safety organizations, insurance 
companies, police departments, locksmiths, vehi- 
cle manufacturers, and others submitted com- 
ments on the proposed standard. The final rule is 
based on a thorough evaluation of the data 
obtained in NHTSA research, data and views sub- 
mitted in the comments and data obtained from 
other pertinent documents and reports. The most 
significant comments are discussed below. 

Extending the Applicability 

In recent years, the sale and use of light trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPV's), 
such as passenger vans and on-off road vehicles, 
has substantially increased. The rise in sales and 
use has been accompanied by an increase in the 
number of thefts of those vehicles. To reduce the 
incidence of light truck and MPV thefts and 
subsequent disproportionate involvement of 
those stolen vehicles in injury-producing acci- 
dents, the May 1978 notice proposed extending 
the requirements of Standard No. 114 to light 
trucks and MPV's. The extension was supported 
by such organizations as Allstate Insurance Com- 
pany, American Automobile Association (AAA), 
Center for Auto Safety (CAS) and Chrysler Cor- 
poration. Several other motor vehicle manufac- 
turers and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers 
Association did not oppose the extension of the 
standard, but did object to some of the newly- 
proposed performance requirements. GM said 
that while more data were needed to justify the 
extension, it had voluntarily applied some anti- 
theft features to some of its light trucks and was 



PART 571; S114-PRE 9 



considering using theft protection equipment on 
all its light trucks and vans. American Motors 
Corporation (AMC) also argued that a safety 
need had not been established. AMC and others 
also requested that if the extension were 
adopted, then open-body vehicles, such as some 
on-off road vehicles, should be exempt from the 
standard. 

The agency is adopting the extension as pro- 
posed. The data cited by the agency in the May 
1978 notice clearly establish that there is a safety 
need for reducing the number of motor vehicle 
thefts. That data showed that stolen cars are 
from 47 to 200 times more likely than non-stolen 
cars to be involved in accidents. Stolen cars are 
involved in one out of every 350 accidents and ac- 
count for approximately 5,600 disabling injuries 
and 150 fatalities annually. Data available from 
the States and the Federal Bureau of Investiga- 
tion indicate that the theft rate for light trucks 
and MVP's, especially vans, is increasing and is 
similar to the rate for passenger cars. At pres- 
ent, many light trucks and MPV's use the type of 
anti-theft devices that were unsuccessfully used 
on pre-1970 passenger cars, i.e., before adoption 
of Standard No. 114. Because of the dispropor- 
tionate association of stolen vehicles with ac- 
cidents, injuries and fatalities, the agency con- 
cludes the number of light truck and MPV thefts 
should be reduced by requiring those vehicles to 
have certain minimum anti-theft features cur- 
rently found on passenger cars. 

The agency is not adopting the exemption for 
open body-type vehicles sought by some manu- 
facturers. This action by the agency will not pose 
any problems for those manufacturers. The con- 
cerns that they expressed about those vehicles' 
ability to comply with the proposed standard 
dealt with performance requirements that, as ex- 
plained below, the agency has decided not to 
adopt. However, because of the accessibility of 
these vehicles' interiors, it is important to reduce 
their vulnerability to theft by requiring them to 
comply with the rest of the proposed require- 
ments. 

The notice proposed to extend the applicability 
of Standard No. 114 to all MPV's. The agency has 
decided, hov/ever, that the rule should apply only 
to MPV's whose GVWR is 10,000 pounds or less. 
NHTSA has decided not to extend the standard 
to MPV's with a GVWR greater than 10,000 



pounds because these vehicles are generally not 
subject to joyrider theft. 

Inadvertent Locking 

To prevent the accidental locking of the steer- 
ing system while the vehicle is in motion, the 
May 1978 notice proposed that the steering and 
the forward mobility of the vehicle not be imped- 
ed when the key is removed from the ignition or 
when the key is moved from one position to 
another in the steering wheel lock, such as from 
"on" to "off." The proposed requirements would 
have allowed the driver to shut off the engine in 
an emergency situation, such as when the vehicle 
suddenly accelerated due to a stuck throttle 
cable, without activating the vehicle's steering 
lock and losing control of the vehicle's steering or 
forward mobility. The proposal would have also 
prevented the steering lock from activating if the 
driver removed the ignition key from the steer- 
ing lock while the vehicle was in motion. NHTSA 
proposed the requirements in response to a peti- 
tion from R.L. Bean. 

Almost all manufacturers supported the intent 
of the proposal to prevent inadvertent actuation 
of the steering lock. The manufacturers argued, 
however, that they currently have steering lock 
systems that would prevent inadvertent actua- 
tion. Many manufacturers have a system which 
requires the driver to stop the vehicle's forward 
motion and take a separate physical action in 
order to turn the key to the "lock" position and 
engage the steering wheel lock. For example, in 
vehicles that have a column-mounted transmis- 
sion shifter and a steering column lock, the 
shifter must be moved into "park" or "reverse" 
before the key can be turned to "lock" and the 
steering lock engaged. The agency agrees that 
such systems effectively prevent a driver from 
activating the steering wheel lock while the 
vehicle is in forward motion. 

The agency is concerned about other current 
systems which allow the driver to activate the 
steering lock while the vehicle is still in forward 
motion. For example, some manufacturers use a 
system which allows a driver to push a key 
release button or lever and move the key to the 
"lock" position, which engages the steering lock, 
while the vehicle is moving forward. The purpose 
of the key release system is to require the driver 
to perform a sequence of acts before locking the 



PART 571; S114-PRE 10 



steering to reduce the possibility of activating 
the lock while the vehicle is in motion. However, 
some of those systems are designed in such a way 
that the driver can push the key release lever or 
button, hold it in place and then simultaneously 
turn the key to the "lock" position with the same 
hand. Thus, rather than requiring the driver to 
perform a sequence of separate and distinct acts 
before the steering wheel lock can be engaged, 
those systems allow the driver to simultaneously 
perform the two actions (pushing the key release 
device and turning the key to the "lock" position) 
necessary to engage the steering wheel lock. 

To prevent the danger of activating the steer- 
ing lock while the vehicle is in motion, the agency 
is prohibiting the use of systems which allow 
drivers to activate the key release device and 
simultaneously turn the key to the "lock" position 
with one hand. Manufacturers will still be per- 
mitted to use key release devices which are posi- 
tioned in such a way that two hands must be used 
to activate the key release and then turn the key 
(e.g., a system where the key release device is on 
one side of the steering column and the ignition 
lock is on the other side) since those systems 
minimize the possibility of locking the steering 
while the vehicle is in motion by requiring a 
distinct sequence of separate acts that must be 
performed by two hands. 

Several commenters, such as Mercedes-Benz 
and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Asso- 
ciation (JAMA), requested the agency to pattern 
its requirement on inadvertent activation of lock- 
ing systems on the Economic Commission for 
Europe (ECE) regulation. The ECE regulation 
specifies that anti-theft devices which impede the 
steering or forward mobility of the vehicle cannot 
activate until the engine is off and the driver has 
performed another separate action other than 
turning the engine off, such as withdrawing the 
key. The agency has decided not to adopt the 
ECE regulation. The NHTSA believes that this 
rule does not effectively minimize the possibility 
of accidental lock-up, because it does not require 
the driver to perform a sequence of separate and 
distinct acts in order to activate the steering 
wheel lock. 

Stronger Ignition Locking System 

Manufacturers, such as GM, Ford, Mercedes 
and VW, supported a requirement that the 



ignition lock be designed to resist removal. 
However, they criticized the agency's proposal 
that the ignition system become inoperative if 
any part of the lock were removed. For example, 
Ford argued that the proposal would require the 
ignition to be inoperative even if only a small por- 
tion of the lock were removed and the remaining 
portion of the lock still performed satisfactorily. 
The manufacturers argued that the agency needs 
to more specifically define the proposed perform- 
ance requirements and establish an objective test 
procedure before issuing a final rule. 

Requiring stronger ignition and steering lock- 
ing systems is potentially one of the most promis- 
ing ways to effectively reduce vehicle thefts. 
Even if a thief gains entry to a vehicle, the igni- 
tion and steering lock must be circumvented in 
order to drive the vehicle. Although some manu- 
facturers voluntarily have taken steps to 
strengthen their ignition locks, it is too easy to 
remove the ignition lock and start the engine in 
many vehicles. 

To develop an improved ignition lock require- 
ment, NHTSA contracted with the National Bu- 
reau of Standards to do tensile, torque and ex- 
traction testing on current ignition lock systems 
(NHTSA Contract HS-9-02150). The report was 
completed this fall and is presently being 
evaluated by the agency. Upon completion of this 
evaluation, NHTSA will consider new rulemaking 
to propose specific performance requirements for 
ignition lock retention and ignition system opera- 
tion. 

Audible Warning 

Passenger cars are currently equipped with a 
warning device to remind the driver to remove 
the key. The device activates when the key is left 
in the ignition lock and the car door is opened. 
The agency's proposal to require an audible warn- 
ing and to require the warning device to sound for 
so long as the key is not removed after the door 
had been opened met with substantial opposition 
from consumers and vehicle manufacturers. They 
argued that the proposed sound level required for 
the warning device would be too loud and there- 
fore irritating to vehicle occupants. MVMA 
and others also argued that the proposals would 
require a continual warning in many situations, 
such as parking lots, services areas and car 
washes, where keys are legitimately left in the 



PART 575; S114-PRE 11 



ignition after the driver has left the vehicle. In ad- 
dition, they argxied that the power necessary to 
continually operate the warning device could 
cause battery failure. 

Based on its evaluation of the comments, the 
agency has decided to retain the current warning 
requirement and not adopt the proposed require- 
ment for a continuous, louder audible warning. 
The current requirement, which has reduced the 
incidence of theft due to keys left in the vehicle, 
will continue to have the beneficial effect of alert- 
ing the driver that he or she has left the key in 
the ignition lock. 

Door Locking Systems 

To make it more difficult for a thief to break in- 
to a vehicle, the May 1978 notice proposed that 
the door lock be shielded so that it cannot be 
released by external manipulative devices. The 
notice also proposed that the door lock buttons be 
tapered or of uniform thickness to prevent them 
from being easily opened by manipulative devices 
and that keys which operate an exterior lock not 
be able to operate the ignition lock. Vehicle 
manufacturers, AAA, locksmiths and others 
criticized these proposals because of the incon- 
venience and expense they would pose to drivers 
who inadvertently locked their keys in their 
vehicles and needed a locksmith to get into their 
vehicles. AAA noted that 340,000 out of the 17.2 
million emergency road calls it responded to in 
1977 involved drivers inadvertently locking their 
keys in their vehicles, argued that the proposed 
requirements would prevent legitimate service 
personnel from entering locked vehicles without 
breaking the windows or otherwise damaging the 
vehicle. 

The Arthritic Society and some consumers 
were particularly critical of the proposal to re- 
quire tapered or uniform size door lock buttons. 
They argued that such buttons would present 
problems to drivers and passengers with im- 
paired movement of their fingers. 

Some consumers and manufacturers also criti- 
cized the agency's two-key proposal, i.e., the one 
that would prevent a key which operates any 
exterior vehicle lock from operating the ignition 
lock. (GM currently uses a two-key system.) The 
commenters argued that using two keys to enter 
and start the vehicle would be inconvenient. In 
addition, manufacturers argued that the require- 



ment was design restrictive and might impede 
the development of other innovative means of 
locking the door and ignition. 

The agency has decided not to adopt these 
rulemaking proposals. As mentioned previously, 
using improved ignition/steering locks rather 
than increasing the amount of time needed to gain 
entry to the vehicle appears to be the best poten- 
tial way to reduce vehicle thefts without incon- 
veniencing vehicle users. Further, even in the 
absence of rulemaking, improvements are an- 
ticipated. Manufacturers are currently develop- 
ing and using new door locking systems to im- 
prove vehicle security. The agency will continue 
to monitor the different door locking systems 
used by manufacturers to determine if rulemak- 
ing is needed. 

Interior Hood Release and Shielded Wires 

To delay the theft of a vehicle, the May 1978 
notice proposed that the hood release be located 
inside the vehicle. Delaying access to the engine 
compartment would potentially make it more dif- 
ficult to "hot wire" the ignition and start the vehi- 
cle. The notice also proposed that the ignition 
wires within the vehicle's interior be shielded so 
that it would be difficult to "hot wire" the ignition 
once the thief got inside the vehicle. 

Manufacturers, such as GM and Volkswagen, 
opposed the interior hood release requirement, 
arguing that since a thief has to gain access to the 
interior of the vehicle to steal the car, the thief 
would then have access to the hood release. 
JAMA, AMC, Chrysler and other manufacturers 
objected to the shielding requirement, arguing it 
would make it more difficult to perform legiti- 
mate repair work on the ignition wires. 

After re-evaluating these proposals, the agency 
has decided not to adopt them. As explained 
previously, the agency plans to concentrate its 
future rulemaking on the more effective route of 
improving ignition steering column locks. So long 
as the steering column lock has not been cir- 
cumvented, a thief cannot steal a vehicle even if 
he or she has gained access to the engine com- 
partment or the interior ignition wires to "hot 
wire" the ignition. 

Clarification of Requirements 

In several of the proposed changes to the text 
of the standard, the May 1978 notice used the 



PART 571; S114-PRE 12 



term "ignition system lock" instead of "key lock- 
ing system" to refer to the system used to ac- 
tivate the engine. Lucas Industries and others 
pointed out that diesel, turbine and electrical 
engines do not have electric ignition systems. The 
agency will continue using the term "key locking 
system." 

Ford recommended that the agency reword the 
performance requirement that the steering or 
forward mobility of the vehicle be impaired when 
the key is removed to make clear that it only ap- 
plies when the vehicle is not in motion. The 
agency has adopted Ford's recommendation and 
has made the necessary clarifying changes to the 
standard. 

Costs and Benefits 

The agency has considered the economic and 
other impacts of this final rule and determined 
that this rule is not significant within the mean- 
ing of Executive Order 12221 and the Department 
of Transportation's policies and procedures im- 
plementing that order. The agency's assessment 
of the benefits and economic consequences of this 
final rule are contained in a final regulatory 
evaluation, which has been placed in the docket. 
Copies of that final regulatory evaluation can be 
obtained by writing NHTSA's docket section at 
the address given in the beginning of this notice. 

As discussed in the evaluation, the agency 
estimates that the final rule will add $1.51 to the 
cost of a passenger car and $2.06 to the cost of a 
truck or multipurpose passenger vehicle. The ag- 
gregate consumer cost of the final rule is $3.26 
million annually for passenger cars and approx- 
imately $6.57 million annually for trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles. 

NHTSA has received complaints from con- 
sumers and businesses about vehicles in which 
the steering system inadvertently locked while 
the vehicle was in motion. Accidents occurred in 
several of these cases. The agency expects that 
the final rule will prevent such inadvertent lock- 
up, and thus will prevent the deaths and injuries 
that can result. 



The provisions of the final rule should also 
deter the joyrider thief who accounts for the ma- 
jority of accidents involving stolen vehicles. 
Stolen vehicles are involved in approximately one 
out of every 350 accidents and account for an 
estimated 5,600 disabling injuries and 150 
fatalities annually. The cost to the public from 
stolen vehicles is enormous, ranging from $1.8 
billion to $2.8 billion annually. The agency 
estimates that the final rule may result in as 
many as 25 lives saved and 1,120 less injuries an- 
nually. 

Leadtime Requirements 

The final rule is effective on September 1, 1982, 
for passenger cars, and on September 1, 1983, for 
light trucks and vans. The agency believes that a 
two-year lead time is adequate for passenger car 
manufacturers because many automobiles al- 
ready comply with the final rule. Other manufac- 
turers have systems that permit activation of the 
steering wheel lock by simultaneously perform- 
ing two actions, and thus these manufacturers 
need only make minor modifications to bring 
these systems into compliance. Manufacturers of 
light trucks and vans are being given three years 
to comply with the standard because moderate 
design changes are involved and such manufac- 
turers have generally not voluntarily complied 
with the rule in the past. 

The principal authors of this notice are Nelson 
Erickson, Office of Vehicle Safety Standards, and 
Stephen Oesch, Office of Chief Counsel. 

Issued on December 22, 1980. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 

45 FR 85450 
December 29, 1980 



PART 571; S114-PRE 13-14 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 



114 



Theft Protection 



(Docket No. 1-21; Notice No. 6) 



ACTION: Final rule; response to petitions 
for reconsideration. 

SUiVIMARY: This notice responds to ten 
petitions for reconsideration concerning 
Safety Standard No. 114, Theft Protection. In 
response to the petitions, the agency is (1) 
exempting walk-in vans from the requirements 
of the standard; (2) exempting open-body type 
vehicles with readily removable or no doors 
from the key-in-ignition warning requirement; 
(3) clarifying the provision which requires a 
manufacturer to have 1,000 different key 
combinations for each type of vehicle; and (4) 
deleting the provision, adopted in the last 
notice, that is designed to prevent the driver 
from inadvertently locking the steering 
column while his or her vehicle is in motion. 
This notice also makes a technical 
amendment to the standard. 

DATES: The effective date of the 
amendment extending the applicability of 
Standard No. 114 to trucks and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles (MPV's) having a gross 
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less 
is September 1, 1983. This is the effective 
date previously established in the final rule 
published on December 29, 1980 (45 F.R. 
85450). 

SUPPLEIV1ENTARY INFORMATION: On 
December 29, 1980, NHTSA published in the 
Federal Register (45 F.R. 85450) a final rule 
making certain amendments to Safety 
Standard No. 114, Theft Protection (49 CFR 
§ 571.114). These amendments extended the 



applicability of the standard to trucks and 
multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPV's) 
with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 
10,000 pounds or less. The amendments also 
upgraded the performance requirements of 
the standard to prevent the driver from 
inadvertently locking the steering wheel 
while his or her vehicle is in motion. 

Petitions for reconsideration were 
subsequently filed within the prescribed time 
limits by the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers 
Association (MVMA), BMW of North 
America, Inc. (BMW), American Motors 
Corporation (AMC), Alfa Romeo, General 
Motors Corporation (GM), Volkswagen of 
America, Inc. (VW), Fiat Motors of North 
America, Inc. (Fiat), Chrysler Corporation 
(Chrysler), Automobile Importers of 
America, Inc. (AIA), and Mercedes-Benz of 
North America, Inc. (Mercedes). In addition, 
Renault U.S.A., Inc., filed a comment with the 
agency in which it concurred in the petitions 
filed by VW and AIA. After evaluating these 
petitions, the agency has decided to modify, 
as fully detailed below, some of the 
requirements of the standard. The agency is 
also making a technical amendment to the 
standard in this notice. To the extent set 
forth below, the petitions are granted. 
Otherwise, they are denied. 

Exemption for Walk-in Vans and 
Open-Body Type Vehicles 

In general, the reaction of the petitioners 
to the amendments extending the standard to 
light trucks and vans was positive. Chrysler 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 15 



stated that Standard No. 114 has been 
effective in deterring motor vehicle theft by 
amateur thieves and joyriders and thus it 
approves of the extension. However, several 
petitioners asked for an exemption from all or 
parts of the rule for specific types of vehicles. 

GM requested that walk-in vans be exempted 
from all of the standard's requirements. (A 
walk-in van is a "step-van" city delivery type 
of vehicle that permits a driver to enter the 
vehicle without stooping. Such vans are 
typically used to deliver lightweight, bulky 
merchandise such as bakery products or dry 
cleaning. GM describes a walk-in van as a 
forward control chassis which it designates 
as a "P truck.") GM argues that such vehicles 
should be exempted from the standard because 
there are no data to indicate a significant 
theft problem with these vans. Walk-in vans 
are exempted from the requirements of 
Safety Standards Nos. 203, 204, 212, and 219 
because compliance with these standards 
"would not accomplish the safety benefits 
projected for passenger cars" and because 
these vehicles are used for low-speed city 
delivery service and thus are not exposed to 
the risk of high-speed accidents. According to 
GM, the lack of data indicating a theft 
problem provides a similar reason for 
exempting walk-in vans from Standard No. 
114. GM notes that without the exemption, a 
new steering column might have to be 
designed, tested, tooled and manufactured 
for this vehicle. The petitioner suggests that 
the cost of such a column to purchasers could 
be "significant" since a low number of walk-in 
vans are produced. 

The fact that GM might have to redesign 
the steering column used in these vehicles if 
it is forced to comply with the rule is not 
dispositive by itself. Compliance with any 
new standard or amendment to an existing 
rule typically requires a vehicle or equipment 
manufacturer to make design or tooling 
changes. This fact is considered by the agency 
in deciding whether to adopt a proposed rule 
or amendment. 

However, the agency has decided to exempt 
walk-in vans from the requirements of 
Standard No. 114. Walk-in vans are generally 
commercial vehicles that have minimal 



capacity to accelerate and thus are not 
attractive to the youthful joyrider. NHTSA 
expects that as a result the theft rate of these 
vehicles is considerably less than the theft 
rate of other light trucks and vans. The theft 
rate of walk-in vans manufactured by 
Chevrolet and GMC supports this. The 1979 
nationwide theft rate of all registered model 
years 1972-1980 walk-in vans manufactured 
by Chevrolet and GMC was one-third of the 

1979 nationwide theft rate of all registered 
model years 1972-1980 light trucks that were 
built by these companies. NHTSA derived 
this statistic from information supplied by 
R.L. Polk, Inc. and National Automobile 
Theft Bureau. Thus NHTSA has decided to 
grant GM's petition and exempt walk-in vans 
from the requirements of the standard. 
However, the agency will continue to monitor 
the theft and accident rates of these vehicles, 
and will initiate rulemaking should the data 
indicate that application of the standard's 
requirements would yield a significant safety 
benefit. 

AMC and MVMA requested that open- 
body type vehicles which lack a driver's door 
or have one that can be readily removed be 
exempted from the standard's key-warning 
requirements (paragraph S4.7 of the December 

1980 final rule, renumbered S4.5 in today's 
rule). (An open-body type vehicle is a vehicle 
that has no occupant compartment top or one 
that can be installed or removed by the user 
at his or her convenience.) The petitioners 
argued that it is impracticable and 
unreasonable to require a key-warning 
system that is activated when the driver's 
door is open on a vehicle whose driver's door 
has been removed or on a vehicle which was 
produced without a driver's door. NHTSA 
agrees with this argument and so is 
amending the standard to exempt open-body 
type vehicles from the warning requirements. 
Only vehicles without doors or with readily 
removable ones are so exempted. 

The agency notes that a seat sensor could 
be used to signal the presence of the key in 
the ignition after the driver has left the 
vehicle. A requirement for such a system was 
not within the scope of the proposal and thus 
could not be adopted here. NHTSA encourages 



PART 571; S 114 -PRE 16 



manufacturers of open-body type vehicles 
that are exempted from the standard's 
warning requirements to voluntarily employ 
a system such as this. 



Number of Key Combinations 

Paragraph S4.6 of Standard No. 114 as 
amended in the December 1980 notice 
(paragraph S4.4 in today's rule) specifies the 
minimum number of different combinations 
of the key-locking systems required of a 
manufacturer for each vehicle type. The 
provision requires that manufacturers have 
1,000 combinations for a type of vehicle or a 
number equal to the number of vehicles of 
that type, whichever is less. The purpose of 
the requirement is to ensure that each 
manufacturer has a sufficiently large number 
of key combinations so that thieves are not 
readily able to unlock and start vehicles 
through the use of master keys. 

VW in its petition requested that this 
provision be modified. Although the petitioner 
does not state its position directly, it appears 
that VW has misinterpreted the 
requirement. VW implies that the provision 
requires a manufacturer to have, for each 
vehicle type, 1,000 key combinations that are 
not only different from each other, but also 
different from the key combinations used for 
other types of vehicles built by that 
manufacturer. This is not the case. Paragraph 
S4.6 of the standard as amended in the last 
notice only requires that a manufacturer who 
builds 1,000 or more vehicles of a particular 
type have at least 1,000 different key 
combinations. If a manufacturer builds more 
than one type of vehicle, it is free to use the 
same key combinations for two or more types 
of vehicles. Thus a manufacturer who builds 
2,000 passenger cars and 1,100 trucks need 
only have 1,000 key combinations, which may 
be used for both the trucks and the passenger 
cars. The standard has been amended to 
clarify this point. 

It is not necessary for a manufacturer to 
have more than 1,000 key combinations in 
order to achieve the objectives of the 
requirement. The agency finds that 1,000 
different key combinations is a sufficiently 



high number to discourage thieves. Speed in 
entering and starting a vehicle is critical to 
successful vehicle theft. The agency finds 
that the key-combinations requirement will 
do much to slow down the efforts of thieves 
using master keys. 

In its petition, VW complains that the 
phrases "for a type of vehicle" and "vehicles 
of that type" as they are used in paragraph 
S4.6 are unclear. "Vehicle type" and similar 
phrases have long been used by the agency 
typically to refer to groups of vehicles such as 
passenger cars and trucks. To ensure that 
there is no confusion in the future as to the 
meaning of "vehicle type," the agency is 
defining this phrase in the definitions 
paragraph (S3) of today's rule. 

Inadvertent Activation 

The amendments regarding inadvertent 
activation of the steering column lock were 
the most controversial of all the amendments 
adopted in the December 1980 final rule. 
These provisions (S4.3 and S4.5 of the 
standard as amended by that rule) were 
intended to prevent the driver from 
accidentally locking the steering system 
while the vehicle is in motion. For example, a 
panicked driver might accidentally lock the 
steering column in an emergency situation in 
which he or she turns off the engine in an 
attempt to stop the vehicle (such as when the 
vehicle suddenly accelerates due to a stuck 
throttle cable). The inadvertent activation 
provisions were intended to prevent the driver 
from locking the steering column in a situation 
such as this by requiring him or her to perform 
a series of separate and distinct acts in order to 
activate the locking system. 

In the preamble to the December 1980 final 
rule, the agency described two currently 
used locking systems that meet the agency's 
objectives. In one system, found in many 
vehicles equipped with an automatic 
transmission and a column-mounted 
transmission shifter, the shifter must be moved 
into "park" or "reverse" before the steering 
lock is engaged. The other system requires 
the driver to push a key release lever or 
button and move the key into the "lock" 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 17 



position in order to activate the lock. This 
system is effective only if the button is 
located in a position such that the driver 
must use both hands to operate the system 
(henceforth referred to as the two-hand 
button system). The system does not comply 
with the agency's intent if the button or lever 
is positioned such that the driver can push 
the key-release mechanism and simultaneously 
turn the key to "lock" using only one hand 
(henceforth referred to as the one-hand 
button system). 

Mercedes, VW and Chrysler agreed that 
there is a need to prevent drivers from 
accidentally locking up the steering column of 
a moving vehicle. However, these and many 
other petitioners objected to the particular 
provisions regarding inadvertent activation 
that were finally adopted by the agency. The 
petitioners saw various problems with the 
amendments. 

One basic problem raised by many 
petitioners was an inconsistency between 
S4.5 and the intent of the agency as 
expressed in the preamble to the December 
1980 final rule. In the preamble, NHTSA 
rejected the Economic Commission for 
Europe (ECE) anti-theft regulation. The 
agency thereby implicitly rejected those 
locking systems which are activated by the 
removal of the key and which permit the key 
to be removed without the driver's first 
having to operate a button or lever 
(henceforth referred to as buttonless 
systems). However, paragraph S4.5 of the 
final rule can be interpreted to permit the use 
of these systems. 

Virtually all the petitioners complained 
that the agency failed to demonstrate a safety 
need for the inadvertent activation 
requirements as described in the December 
1980 preamble. Alfa Romeo, BMW, VW, and 
Mercedes all stated that they have employed 
locking systems that comply with the ECE 
regulation for many years and have never 
received any report of an accident or fatality 
resulting from the inadvertent activation of a 
lock on a moving vehicle. GM similarly stated 
that it knows of only five incidents of 
accidental lock-up among the more than five 
million vehicles sold in the past 10 years that 



are equipped with a one-hand button system. 

Many petitioners argued that even if there 
were a safety need for the new requirements, 
these requirements as proposed in the 
preamble to the final rule may fail to achieve 
the benefits anticipated by the agency. They 
suggested that some people might find a two- 
hand button system (the cheapest available 
alternative that complies with the new 
requirements) so inconvenient that they will 
leave their keys in the vehicle when making 
short stops and thus leave their cars more 
vulnerable to theft. A two-hand button 
system may be difficult, painful, or 
impossible for handicapped or arthritis- 
ridden people to use. These individuals might 
be similarly inclined to leave their keys in the 
ignition. Finally, some drivers might develop 
a reflex action with a two-hand button 
system, just as they have done so with 
buttonless and one-hand button systems. 

Several manufacturers alleged that 
compliance with the inadvertent activation 
requirements as described in the December 
1980 preamble will necessitate major design 
and tooling changes. Mercedes and VW 
stated that they will have to modify not only 
the steering column but also the instrument 
panel if they are forced to comply with the 
new provisions. Three foreign manufacturers 
suggested that the agency's rejection of the 
ECE regulation is not in line with current 
attempts to harmonize Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards with automotive standards 
of other countries. 

AMC and A lA complained of lack of notice. 
They argued that although the general issue 
of inadvertent activation of the steering 
column lock was discussed in the NPRM, the 
notice did not mention the idea of requiring 
drivers to perform an additional mechanical 
action in order to activate the steering 
column lock. 

After careful consideration of all 
arguments raised by the petitioners and 
further study of the consumer complaints 
received about inadvertent activation of the 
steering column lock in moving vehicles, 
NHTSA has decided to delete the amendments 
regarding inadvertent activation that were 
adopted in the December 1980 notice. The 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 18 



agency disagrees with those petitioners who 
contend that inadvertent activation is not a 
safety problem in those vehicles equipped 
with buttonless or one-hand button systems. 
Consumer complaints received by NHTSA 
illustrate that drivers may accidentally lock 
the steering column in attempting to stop the 
vehicle in an emergency situation. These 
complaints have been placed in the public 
docket and are available for public inspection. 
However, upon further study the agency has 
determined that the problem of inadvertent 
activation is not significant enough to require 
vehicles to be equipped with key-locking 
systems that provide better protection 
against inadvertent activation. As a result, 
NHTSA has decided to delete paragraphs 
S4.3 and S4.5 from the final rule as amended 
in the last notice. 

The agency will continue to monitor 
complaints on inadvertent activation of the 
steering column lock while the vehicle is in 
motion and will initiate rulemaking should 
the data so warrant. NHTSA encourages 
manufacturers to voluntarily install key- 
locking systems that provide improved 
protection against inadvertent activation on 
their vehicles. 

All the petitioners who expressed 
dissatisfaction with the new requirements 
regarding inadvertent activation requested 
that the effective date be delayed for one 
year or more. Since the provisions on 
inadvertent activation were the only new 
requirements for passenger cars, this issue is 
now moot. BMW also requested that 
manufacturers of trucks and MPV's be given 
an additional year of leadtime to comply not 
only with the new provisions on inadvertent 
activation but also with the rest of the 
standard's requirements. BMW never stated 
that it could not comply with the earlier 
effective date. More importantly, BMW's 
request was premised on the assumption that 
the agency would not rescind the new 
requirements on inadvertent activation. As 
noted above, NHTSA has decided to delete 
those requirements. Accordingly, BMW's 
request is denied. 



Technical Amendment 

In the preamble to the final rule, NHTSA 
stated that it was limiting the extension of 
Standard No. 114 to MPV's having a GVWR 
of 10,000 pounds or less. MVMA pointed out 
in its petition that the application section, S2, 
of the rule does not make this limitation clear. 
The agency agrees and is modifying the 
section accordingly. 

Costs and Benefits 

NHTSA has considered the economic and 
other impacts of these amendments and has 
determined that the rule is not a major rule 
within the meaning of Executive Order No. 
12291. The agency has further determined 
that the amendments are not significant 
within the meaning of the Department of 
Transportation regulatory procedures. In 
issuing the final rule of December 29, 1980, 
NHTSA prepared a Final Regulatory 
Evaluation, which contains the agency's 
assessment of the benefits and economic 
consequences of that rule. Copies of the 
evaluation can be obtained by writing 
NHTSA's Docket Section at the address 
given at the beginning of this notice. 

The agency believes that additional 
analysis of the costs and benefits of today's 
amendments is not necessary in light of the 
estimates made in the December 1980 
Regulatory Evaluation. In that evaluation, 
NHTSA estimated that compliance with 
Standard No. 114 would add $2.06 to the cost 
of a truck or MPV. The aggregate consumer 
cost would be approximately $6.57 million 
each year. These figures assumed that truck 
and MPV manufacturers would use a two- 
hand button system to comply with the new 
provisions on inadvertent activation. The 
agency anticipated that such a system would 
be the cheapest way for manufacturers to 
comply with the standard. The new 
provisions regarding inadvertent activation 
are rescinded in today's amendments. 
However, the agency believes that these 
figures are still a reasonable estimate of the 
cost of extending Standard No. 114 to light 
trucks and vans. This is because NHTSA 
anticipates that some trucks and MPV 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 19 



manufacturers will choose to comply with the 
locking provisions by installing a two- or one- 
hand button system, even though a 
buttonless system would suffice and v/ould 
appear to be cheaper. A manufacturer that 
already uses one- or two-hand button systems 
in its passenger cars and can easily install the 
same systems in its light trucks and vans 
might find this alternative to be the cheapest 
way to comply with Standard No. 114. Thus 
NHTSA estimates that extension of 
Standard No. 114 to light trucks and vans will 
cost the consumer $2.06 per vehicle. The cost 
to the consumer will be less to the extent that 
truck and MPV manufacturers comply with 
the rule's requirements by using buttonless 
systems. 

The agency has also analyzed these 
amendments for purposes of the National 
Environmental Policy Act and has determined 



that it will not have a significant effect on the 
human environment. 

Although NHTSA has considered the effects 
of these amendments on small businesses, the 
agency has not prepared a regulatory 
flexibility analysis. Such an analysis is not 
necessary in this case, since the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act applies 6nly to rules for which 
an NPRM is issued on or after January 1, 
1981. The notice proposing the changes in 
Standard No. 114 that culminated in the 
amendments adopted today was issued on 
April 26, 1978 (43 F.R. 18577, May 1, 1978). 

Issued on June 17, 1981. 



Raymond A. Peck, Jr. 
Administrator 
46 F.R. 32251 
June 22, 1981 



PART 571; S 114- PRE 20 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114 

Theft Protection 
(Docket No. 1-21; Notice 9) 



ACTION: Final rule. 



SUMMARY: This rule amends requirements related 
to key-locking systems to ensure theft protection. 
The amendment is intended to reduce the potential 
for accidents caused by shifting the transmission 
lever on parked vehicles with automatic transmis- 
sions. The amendment requires that an automatic 
transmission vehicle with a "park" position must 
have a key-locking system that prevents removal of 
the key unless the transmission is locked in "park" 
or becomes locked in "park" as the direct result of 
removing the key. The rule is applicable to passen- 
ger cars, and trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 
10,000 pounds or less. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The changes made in this rule 
become effective for vehicles manufactured on or 
after September 1, 1992. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

General Background 
Standard No. 114, Theft Protection, (49 CFR 
§571.114) specifies requirements for theft protection 
to reduce the incidence of accidents resulting from 
the unauthorized use of passenger cars, and trucks 
and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross 
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. In 
particular, section S4.2(b) requires that a vehicle 
have a key locking system that prevents the vehicle's 
steering or forward self-mobility, or both, when the 
key is removed. 

A. Steering Lock-Up 
On December 29, 1980, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) amended 
Standard 114 to include performance requirements 
to prevent a vehicle occupant from inadvertently 
locking up the steering column of a moving vehicle 
by removing the ignition key or shutting off the 
engine (45 FR 85450). However, in response to peti- 
I tions for reconsideration, the agency determined 
that inadvertent steering lock-up was not a signifi- 
cant enough problem, at the time, to require addi- 



tional steps to prevent the possibility of inadvertent 
steering column lock-up, and therefore rescinded the 
requirement. The agency noted that it would con- 
tinue to monitor complaints related to inadvertent 
steering column lock-up and would initiate rulemak- 
ing, if new data warranted an amendment. The 
agency also encouraged manufacturers to install 
voluntarily key locking systems that provide im- 
proved protection against inadvertent steering col- 
umn lock-up on their vehicles (46 FR 32251, June 22, 
1981). 

Since the 1981 notice, callers to NHTSA's Auto 
Safety Hotline have reported a small number of 
complaints related to steering lock-ups, both in 
automatic and manual transmission vehicles. These 
lock-ups occur most frequently when an occupant 
removes the key from a moving vehicle's ignition. 
Key removal typically occurs as a result of 
"horseplay" within a vehicle or by the driver in 
panic situations. If the key is removed, the steering 
will lock in the direction that the driving wheel was 
last turned. 

B. Transmission Lever Shifting 
NHTSA has also received complaints concerning 
serious injuries and deaths caused by shifting trans- 
mission levers in automatic transmission vehicles 
parked on an incline. This problem typically occurs 
when children shift the transmission lever from 
"park" to "neutral" in a stationary automatic trans- 
mission vehicle with the ignition turned off As a 
result, the vehicle rolls down the incline. NHTSA is 
aware of several reported cases in which people, 
usually children, were seriously injured or killed. 

Although the current Standard 114 does not pro- 
hibit systems which permit the transmission lever to 
be shifted when the vehicle is parked with the 
ignition locked, some manufacturers have voluntar- 
ily used a transmission shift lever lock to overcome 
this safety problem. These transmission shift lever 
lock designs typically have two critical elements. For 
automatic transmission vehicles, the transmission 
shift lever lock requires the transmission shift lever 
to be in "park" before a person can remove the 



PART571;S114-PRE21 



ignition key. This device also prevents shifting the 
transmission lever from "park" to another position 
once the key is removed. For manual transmission 
vehicles, the transmission shift lever lock requires 
the transmission shift lever to be in "reverse" before 
a person can remove the ignition key. These trans- 
mission shift lever locking systems are designed to 
decrease transmission lever shifting accidents. 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
On April 5, 1988, NHTSA issued a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in response to the 
problems of inadvertent steering column lock-up and 
inadvertent transmission lever shifting (53 FR 
11105). The existing Standard 114 requires that the 
key-locking system prevent, whenever the key is 
removed, normal activation of the vehicle's engine or 
other main source of motive power, and prevent 
either steering or forward self-mobility, or both. To 
prevent steering, manufacturers typically have in- 
cluded steering column locks, and to prevent forward 
self-mobility manufacturers typically have included 
transmission lever locks. 

NHTSA proposed several amendments to para- 
graph S4.2 of Standard 114. For automatic transmis- 
sion vehicles, the notice proposed to require the 
following: 1) an ignition-key locking system that 
would prevent the shifting of the transmission when- 
ever the key is removed, 2) an ignition-key locking 
system that would prevent the removal of the key 
except when the transmission is locked in "park," 
and 3) for vehicles with a steering column lock, a 
system that would permit the steering column lock 
to be engageable only when the transmission was in 
"park," and the ignition key had deactivated the 
vehicle's engine or other main source of motive 
power. 

For manual transmission vehicles with a steering 
column lock, the notice proposed to require that that 
lock would be engageable only when the ignition key 
had deactivated the vehicle's engine or other main 
source of motive power and the operator had per- 
formed an additional manual action involving a 
device other than the ignition key. 

NHTSA also requested comments about several 
issues. First, the agency sought comments on 
whether the incidence of inadvertent steering col- 
umn lock-up posed a significant safety problem. 
Second, the agency asked whether inadvertent 
transmission lever shifting posed a significant safety 
problem, especially for manual ti-ansmission vehi- 
cles. Third, the notice explained the anticipated 
costs of the proposals and sought additional informa- 
tion to help the agency develop more particularized 
cost estimates (e.g., unit costs for key locking and 
ignition systems, production volumes of different 
types of transmission levers, types of column and 



transmission lever locking systems). Fourth, NHTSA 
requested comments concerning alternative lower 
cost approaches and devices that might be able to 
reduce the problems of inadvertent steering column || 
lock-up and inadvertent transmission lever shifting. ^ 
Fifth, the agency sought general observations about 
whether anticipated designs associated with the 
proposed standard would be detrimental to theft 
protection or improperly restrict design flexibility. 

The Comments and NHTSA's Response 
In the NPRM, NHTSA requested comments by 
May 20, 1988; however, the agency extended the 
comment period until July 5, 1988, in response to a 
petition by the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Associ- 
ation (MVMA) (53 FR 17732, May 18, 1988). 

Forty comments were submitted to Docket 01- 
21-Notice 7 by motor vehicle manufacturers, insur- 
ance companies, police organizations, trade associa- 
tions, and the public. In addition, in response to 
their requests, the agency met with several manu- 
facturers (e.g., Mazda, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen) to 
analyze potential system designs. After reviewing 
the comments, NHTSA has decided to amend section 
S4.2(b) related to transmission lever shifting. How- 
ever, the agency has decided not to amend Standard 
114 in relation to steering lock-up. This notice ad- 
dresses the most significant issues raised in the 
comments along with the agency's response to the 
comments. 

Safety Need 
NHTSA tentatively concluded in the NPRM and 
the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation (PRE) that 
there was a safety problem related to both steering 
lock-up and transmission lever shifting. The PRE 
identified a relatively small number of complaints 
received by the agency related to these safety prob- 
lems. For instance, the review of incidents of steer- 
ing column lock-up produced a listing of 13 acci- 
dents, 6 injuries, and 2 fatalities. The review of 
accidents related to transmission lever shifting pro- 
duced a listing of 23 accidents, 5 injuries, and 4 
fatalities related to the engine being turned off and 
the ignition key removed. In addition, there were 
another 17 roUaway crashes causing 5 injuries, (but 
in these cases it was not known whether the ignition 
key had been removed.) While NHTSA was aware 
that there was a relatively low level of reported 
accidents, the agency explained that it continued to 
receive complaints about these problems, particu- 
larly rollaways, resulting in serious injuries. The 
agency tentatively concluded that the proposed 
amendments would prevent some fatalities and seri- 
ous injuries, especially involving children. | 

In the NPRM, the agency requested comments ^ 
about whether steering lock-up or transmission le- 



PART 571; S114-PRE 22 



ver shifting were significant safety problems for both 
manual and automatic transmission vehicles. As for 
key removal and subsequent steering lock-up while a 
vehicle is in motion, one commenter, who brought a 
lawsuit based on a fatal accident reportedly caused 
by such a situation, stated that there was a signifi- 
cant safety need for the proposed amendments. How- 
ever, Nissan, the defendant in that lawsuit, stated 
that the jury rejected his allegations pertaining to 
key removal and subsequent steering lock-up. More 
generally, Nissan stated that it was unaware of any 
accidents that have resulted from steering column 
lock-up as a result of key removal. 

The Automobile Importers Association (AIA), 
BMW, Chrysler, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, 
Volkswagen, and Winnebago commented that there 
was no safety need for measures that would protect 
against either steering lock-up or transmission lever 
shifting. For instance, Chrysler stated that the lim- 
ited number of accidents cited in the PRE out of 
"billions of vehicle years of exposure" do not indicate 
that either problem is significant. BMW further 
stated that the benefits are far less than the costs 
even if some "accidents have gone unreported." The 
AIA stated that six fatalities (over 15 years) do not 
constitute a safety need, especially since the propos- 
als may not be able to guard against accidents 
caused by "horseplay." In addition, AIA and Honda 
commented that accidents due to transmission lever 
shifting could be prevented by activating the park- 
ing brake. Suzuki stated that the agency failed to 
provide evidence that the proposed design changes 
would reduce the number of these accidents. 

In response to these comments, NHTSA has reex- 
amined its proposal to introduce requirements in- 
tended to reduce the dangers of steering lock-up and 
transmission lever shifting. The agency emphasizes 
that these two problems are distinct and must be 
analyzed separately. The first, steering lock-up, is 
associated with removing the key while the vehicle 
is in motion, thus creating a potential for loss of 
control due to locking the steering column. The few 
instances of steering lock-up identified by the agency 
appear to be associated with adults engaged in 
horseplay, purposely removing the key, or removing 
it in an emergency situation. The second, rollaway 
after the transmission shift lever has been moved to 
neutral, appears to be associated with children play- 
ing with the transmission shift lever. 

The agency has searched its accident files and 
consumer complaint files to identify both types of 
accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities. 
The results of that review are summarized in the 
Final Regulatory Evaluation (FRE), which has been 
placed in the docket. As for steering lock-up, the 
FRE identified three accidents with three injuries 
and two fatalities that were reported to have re- 



sulted from steering lock-up on moving vehicles that 
occurred after the ignition key was removed. Based 
on the extremely low number of injuries and fatali- 
ties over the course of approximately ten years, 
NHTSA has decided not to require additional meas- 
ures designed to prevent the possibility of steering 
lock-up while the vehicle is in motion. Therefore, the 
proposals set forth in S4.2(bX3) and S4.2(cK2XB) of 
the NPRM to prevent steering lock-up in automatic 
and manual transmission vehicles have not been 
adopted in this final rule. Nevertheless, as discussed 
later in this notice, the amendment to prevent 
transmission lever shifting accidents in automatic 
transmission vehicles will also serve to prevent the 
removal of a key while that type of vehicle is in 
motion, because the amendment permits key re- 
moval only when the transmission is in "park." 

As for transmission lever shifting, the FRE con- 
cluded that 46 accidents, 8 injuries, and 5 fatalities 
resulted from rollaway situations that the proposed 
amendments would address. An additional 27 rolla- 
way crashes involving 6 injuries had less informa- 
tion about the status of the engine and the ignition 
key position, but may be potentially relevant. There 
were 325 additional accidents resulting when the 
vehicle "rolled away" or was "rolling." While not 
enough information was provided to categorize con- 
clusively the accident as preventable by the 
amended standard, it is likely that some of them 
could have been prevented. The data indicate that 
children are the principal victims of transmission 
lever shifting accidents. The agency has also re- 
ceived several letters outlining similar injuries. 

A study focusing on child-injuring rollaway acci- 
dents in Orange County, California confirms 
NHTSA's tentative determination that injuries 
caused by rolling vehicles pose a significant safety 
problem. (Agran, Phyllis; Winn, Diane; Castillo, 
Dawn. "Unsupervised Children in Vehicles: A Risk 
for Pediatric Trauma," accepted for publication in 
Pediatrics, 1990). That study, which was funded by 
the Center for Disease Control, was conducted under 
the hospital monitoring program at the University 
of California, Irvine. Between April 1987 and March 
1989, the study uncovered nine cases of children 
releasing the brake or moving the transmission shift 
lever, or both, causing a parked vehicle to roll and 
injure the child operating the controls or children 
near the vehicle. Even though two of the cases could 
be discounted for the purposes of this rulemaking 
because the vehicle's engine was running and there 
was insufficient information to draw conclusions 
about some other situations, the study does estab- 
lish that the type of accident at issue in this rule- 
making, i.e., a motor vehicle being set in motion by 
an unsupervised child, is occurring. Based on this 
study, the agency has estimated that there are 



PART 571; S114-PRE 23 



roughly 400 to 800 relevant injury producing trans- 
mission lever shifting accidents each year nation- 
wide. As the Final Regulatory Evaluation explains 
in detail, installation of the required technology in 
the cars and light trucks not voluntarily equipped by 
the rule's effective date, will prevent an estimated 50 
to 100 child-injuring rollaway accidents annually. 

Based on the above information, NHTSA has de- 
termined that injuries caused in transmission lever 
shifting situations pose a significant risk to safety. 
The agency further notes it has a special obligation 
to reduce injuries involving children and believes 
this action is consistent with that obligation. In 
addition, NHTSA believes that these injuries can be 
prevented at a relatively low cost to manufacturers 
since most current systems would already comply 
with the amendments. The agency therefore con- 
cludes that there is a safety need which can be 
effectively met by amending Standard 114 to require 
automatic transmission vehicles to have key locking 
systems that prevent transmission lever shifting. 

Voluntary Compliance 
Chrysler and Ford commented that because they 
and other manufacturers voluntarily plan to place 
interlock systems on their vehicles, they did not 
believe the amendments to Standard 114 were war- 
ranted. While the agency welcomes these manufac- 
turers' actions, it finds this argument unpersuasive, 
because without a mandatory requirement, some 
manufacturers might not adopt the more safety- 
oriented key locking systems to prevent accidents 
and their associated injuries and fatalities, due to 
transmission lever shifting. In addition, by specify- 
ing a requirement, the agency ensures that all 
manufacturers will introduce systems that will pre- 
vent accidents from transmission lever shifting. 

Purpose of the Amendment 
NHTSA's goal in amending the standard is to 
provide adequate protection against injuries caused 
by shifting the automatic transmission lever with- 
out compromising the theft protection features of the 
standard. The agency emphasizes that Standard 114 
remains primarily a theft protection standai'd and 
that this amendment is not intended to decrease the 
level of theft protection. 

Ford and NATB commented that the term "inad- 
vertent" inaccurately describes some of the acci- 
dents because the vehicle occupant's intent is irrel- 
evant to the resulting harm. For instance, a child 
may intentionally shift an automatic transmission 
vehicle's lever unaware that these actions will result 
in a crash. The problem centers on the fact that 
young children are often unaware of the conse- 
quences of their actions. The agency agrees with the 
commenters that the term "inadvertent" does not 



« 



appropriately describe many of the situations at 
issue and further notes that no descriptive term 
sufficiently describes these situations. Accordingly, 
NHTSA has decided against including any adjective 
in the rule to describe the accidents addressed in 
this rulemaking. 

Impact of Amendment on Theft Protection 
Allstate Insurance Co., Farmers Insurance Group, 
NATB, Illinois and Ohio State Police, State Farm 
Mutual Insurance Co., and United Services Automo- 
bile Association commented that the proposal indi- 
cates that the agency is less concerned about protect- 
ing against vehicle thefts than under the existing 
standard. For instance, Allstate and the Travelers 
Companies commented that requiring the transmis- 
sion lever locking device, which they viewed as a less 
effective theft protection device than the steering 
lock-up device, would adversely affect theft protec- 
tion by encouraging manufacturers to eliminate the 
steering column lock. 

NHTSA notes that all manufacturers commenting 
on the proposal stated that they plan to retain the 
current steering column locking mechanism. In ad- 
dition, an agency review of the plans of non- 
commenting manufacturers indicated that most of 
them will include both the steering lock and the 
transmission lever shift lock. For instance, General 
Motors (GM) has been providing both devices for | 
several years. This is consistent with Chrysler's 
prediction that it and other manufacturers would 
continue to use the steering column lock, because it 
allows a single generic column design across a 
product line and because it has been developed and 
perfected over the past twenty years. Ford noted that 
if it decided to comply with Standard 114 with only 
a transmission lever interlock, it would need an 
anti-theft shield to protect the cable running from 
the console to the ignition on the steering column. 

After considering its proposal in light of the man- 
ufacturers' plans to produce vehicles that have both 
the steering locking devices and transmission shift 
interlocks, NHTSA concludes that there will not be a 
reduction in theft protection. In fact, the agency 
anticipates that the practical effect of these amend- 
ments will be to increase the degi-ee of theft protec- 
tion, since most manufacturers indicated that they 
will manufacture vehicles with both theft protection 
devices. 

NHTSA is sympathetic to AUstate's and NATB's 
concern that the NPRM's scope and purpose section 
(SI) might create the false impression that the 
standard's focus was shifting away from theft protec- 
tion. Therefore, section SI of this final rule deletes | 
the proposed language which would have expanded^ 
the "scope and purpose" of the standard beyond theft 



PART 571; S114-PRE 24 



i 



protection. The agency notes that this final rule 
merely specifies requirements for a theft protection 
device that is already being provided to effectuate 
the existing standard. 

BMW, NATB, the Ohio State Police, and Travelers 
commented that the transmission lever proposal 
would be better addressed outside Standard 114, 
contending that the transmission lever locking de- 
vice is a safety related mechanism that would erode 
the theft protection aspects of this standard. NHTSA 
disagrees with these comments based on the inter- 
relationship between Standard 114's theft protection 
requirements and a vehicle's transmission. In partic- 
ular, the agency notes that a transmission lever that 
locks in the "park" position upon key removal helps 
prevent an unauthorized person from moving the 
vehicle. Therefore, NHTSA concludes that the best 
place for this requirement is in Standard 1 14, rather 
than in a different safety standard. 

Alternative Designs Related to Automatic 
Transmissions 

Section S4.2(bXl) and (2) of the NPRM proposed to 
require that automatic transmission vehicles have 
an ignition-key locking system that would prevent 
the shifting of the transmission whenever the key is 
removed and would prevent the removal of the key 
except when the transmission is locked in "park." In 
addition, S4.2(bX3) proposed to require that if an 
automatic transmission vehicle had a steering col- 
umn lock, that lock would be engageable only when 
the transmission was in "park" and the ignition key 
had deactivated the vehicle's engine or other main 
source of motive power. The NPRM also requested 
comments on alternative approaches and devices 
that might be able to reduce the problems of steering 
lock-up and gear shifting. Fiat, Honda, Nissan, Rolls 
Royce, Subaru, and Toyota commented about these 
proposed requirements and suggested some alterna- 
tive types of key locking/transmission lever shifting 
systems on automatic transmission vehicles. 

Fiat and Nissan commented that the proposals 
established overly precise requirements, which 
would limit new designs and innovations. Fiat sug- 
gested that the agency specify more general require- 
ments and leave the specific choice of design to the 
manufacturer In response to Fiat's suggestion, the 
agency has broadened the proposed requirements 
specified in the NPRM, wherever such changes 
would not adversely affect theft protection or safety. 
Nevertheless, NHTSA cannot agree with Fiat's sug- 
gestion to eliminate the proposed subparagraphs of 
S4.2(b), because specific performance requirements 
are necessary to promote safety. This notice will 
address the specific modifications below. 

NHTSA notes that section S4.2(bXl) in the NPRM 
proposed that "the ignition key-locking system shall 



also prevent shifting the transmission whenever the 
key is removed." After closer review, the agency 
concludes that section S4.2(bXl) is not necessary 
because the requirements in S4.2G3X2) automati- 
cally prevent the situation in S4.2(bXl). Therefore, 
the final rule does not include the proposed section 
S4.2(bXl). 

NHTSA notes that section S4.2(bX2) in the NPRM 
proposed that "The key-locking system shall not 
permit removal of the key except when the transmis- 
sion is locked in "park. " (emphasis added). This 
provision was intended to lock either the transmis- 
sion directly or the transmission shift lever and not 
just the transmission per se. Based on discussions 
with manufacturers indicating that this phrase was 
typically interpreted as referring to the transmis- 
sion lever and the fact that most anti-shift locks act 
to lock the transmission by preventing the shifting of 
the transmission lever, NHTSA is satisfied that the 
phrase "transmission is locked in 'park' " was inter- 
preted as a shorthand for "transmission or transmis- 
sion lever is locked in 'park.' " The agency has 
therefore added a reference to the transmission lever 
in section S4.2(b) of the final rule and is confident 
that this clarification will not adversely affect any 
party. 

Rolls Royce's Electrical Transmission Lock 
Rolls Royce commented that its electrically acti- 
vated transmission parking lock would meet the 
proposal's intent but not the proposed language 
specified in S4.2(bX2). It explained that an electric 
gear range selector lever controls an electrically 
powered mechanical gear range actuator, which pro- 
duces the mechanical energy needed to select a 
transmission range on all its automatic transmis- 
sion vehicles. When the key is removed from the 
dashboard-mounted key and lock system, an electric 
switch automatically causes the electrically powered 
gear range actuator to lock the transmission in 
"park," in-espective of the gear selector lever's posi- 
tion. As a result, forward self mobility is prevented 
in compliance with the existing Standard 114. In 
addition, this design adheres to the proposal's in- 
tent, because once the key is removed, moving the 
lever will not disengage the transmission lock, so the 
vehicle cannot roll away. However, it would not 
comply with the proposal's wording because the 
system is not "locked" instantaneously when the 
key is removed, but locks momentarily afterward 
when the electric motor engages the lock. Rolls 
Royce requested that the agency modify the wording 
of section S4.2(bX2) to allow their type of locking 
system. 

After reviewing Rolls Royce's comments, NHTSA 
has decided to issue a final rule that will permit a 
design such as the one proposed by Rolls Royce. The 



PART 571; S114-PRE 25 



agency believes that Rolls Royce's system will pre- 
vent the rolling of a vehicle as effectively as the 
other systems designed to comply with the language 
proposed in S4.2rbX2). In the final rule, this provi- 
sion is now designated S4.2(b) to reflect the changes 
in the final rule compared to the proposal. In addi- 
tion, the agency notes that neither it nor Rolls Royce 
is aware of any accidents involving the roll away of 
these vehicles, which have been equipped with this 
system for over twenty years. Accordingly, the final 
rule permits a key locking system in which key 
removal directly causes the transmission or trans- 
mission lever to become locked in "park." In partic 
ular, this provision permits the Rolls Royce's key 
locking system in which there is a momentary 
shifting of the transmission before the automatic 
action locks the transmission in "park." The agency 
is confident that the time interval related to the 
momentary shifting will not pose any danger in 
rollaway situations. Therefore, a manufacturer may 
comply with section S4.2(b) in the final rule either 
by a key locking system similar to Rolls Royce's 
system or by a key locking system that prevents key 
removal unless the transmission or transmission 
shift lever is locked in "park." 

Electrical Transmission Shift Lock Systems: 
Emergency Overrides and Key Release Systems 
The proposal to require a transmission shift lock 
on vehicles with automatic transmission creates a 
potential compliance problem for a few manufactur- 
ers which have been planning to install electrical 
transmission shift lock systems. Honda, Mazda, Nis- 
san, Subaru, and Toyota stated that electrical trans- 
mission shift lock systems could result in safety 
problems if the battery or electrical system failed. In 
such a situation, it would be impossible to move 
these vehicles unless there was an override device 
which would permit shifting the lever out of the 
"park" position. 

The commenters stated that their electrical trans- 
mission shift lock systems would not comply with 
the requirements proposed in S4.2fbKl) and 
S4.2(bX2). Honda, Nissan, and Toyota requested that 
S4.2(bXl) be modified to allow for an emergency 
override device so that a disabled vehicle could be 
moved. In addition, Nissan, Toyota, and Subaru 
requested that S4.2(bX2) be modified to permit key 
removal, even if the transmission was not in "park." 
Subaru requested that the agency issue a supple- 
mental notice to explore the problems related with a 
mechanical override. 

Toyota explained that it was developing an electri- 
cally operated interlock override function to allow 
the transmission to be shifted from "park" to allow 
a disabled vehicle to be moved. This emergency 



override would engage only when the driver de- 
presses and holds down the override button. Accord- 
ingly, Toyota requested that the agency amend 
S4.2(bXl) to include the phrase ". . . except that an J 
emergency override may be provided to enable move- v 
ment of a disabled vehicle." Toyota further explained 
that the electrical interlock system is designed to 
automatically shut off, if the key is left in the "ACC" 
position for an hour. Therefore, it requested an 
emergency system to allow key release even if the 
transmission were not placed in "park." 

Honda stated that if its electrical system failed, it 
would be impossible to shift the transmission lever 
out of "park" without a mechanical emergency over- 
ride. Therefore, it requested the agency to allow such 
an override provided such a system would prevent 
inadvertent operation. From Honda's comments, it 
was not clear whether the override could be acti- 
vated without the key in the ignition. 

Nissan explained that it is developing a system 
which would prevent shifting the transmission lever 
out of the "park" position, unless the key is at the 
"on" position and the brake pedal is depressed. 
Nissan commented that along with an emergency 
override, the standard should allow for an emer- 
gency key release system by which a key could be 
removed even if the vehicle was not in "park." The 
commenter stated that this system was necessary in 
case the battery failed. Nissan concluded that Stan- . 
dard 114 should allow for an emergency gear shift ( 
release system that could be released only by a 
"manual action other than normal gear shift lever 
manipulation." 

Mazda demonstrated to NHTSA staff a prototype 
gear shift mechanism with an emergency release 
button. In this system, a spring-loaded emergency 
release button located on the console near the base of 
the shifter allows the driver to disengage the gear 
shifter manually by pushing back and holding the 
emergency release button at the same time he or she 
moves the shifter out of park. The location and 
design of this device requires a two-handed operation 
to release the lock. This override device could be 
activated without the key being in the key locking 
system. 

Subaru also stated that a release button should be 
required to permit moving the transmission lever 
out of "park" in the case of a dead battery. Subaru 
did not explain whether the key was necessary to 
operate this override. It also requested an emergency 
key release button to allow removing a key from the 
ignition switch if the transmission were not in 
"park." Because some of these systems might be 
inconsistent with the proposals in the NPRM, Sub- 
aru requested that the agency issue a supplemental i 
notice. 

After evaluating these comments, NHTSA con- 



PART 571; S114-PRE 26 



► 



eludes that a mechanical override system can be 
installed consistent with the NPRM, provided the 
override is only activated by the key used to control 
the vehicle. This permits the manufacturer to install 
a manual override system that is tied to either the 
ignition part of the key-locking system or an auxil- 
iary part of the key-locking system that may be 
located near and/or is part of the manual override 
device. As a result, a vehicle could be moved if it 
experiences an electrical failure. The agency empha- 
sizes that an override that could be operated without 
requiring a key might be detrimental to theft pro- 
tection since an unauthorized person could operate 
that type of manual override. The agency has de- 
cided that a superior approach is to permit a manual 
override to the electrical shift system, but only if 
such an override has to be operated by the key used 
to control the vehicle. This appears consistent with 
Nissan's manual override system. The agency believes 
that this will permit a person to move a disabled 
vehicle without jeopardizing theft protection. 

The agency acknowledges that this requirement 
may differ slightly from the override systems ini- 
tially anticipated by some manufacturers, which 
could be activated regardless of the key being in the 
key locking system. However, the agency does not 
anticipate that compliance will be overly burden- 
some, especially since the rule permits a manufac- 
turer to install a manual override system tied to 
either the ignition part of the key locking system or 
an auxiliary part of the key locking system near the 
manual override device. 

As noted above, Toyota, Nissan and Subaru de- 
scribed systems that would permit key removal, even 
if the vehicle's transmission was not in "park." This 
would permit an individual to remove the key even 
though the battery or electrical system had failed. 
The commenters requested that S4.2(bX2) be modi- 
fied to allow key removal even if the transmission 
was not in "park." 

In response to this concern about an electrical 
failure or a dead battery, the agency notes that this 
typically occurs when the vehicle is parked and the 
lights or another auxiliary system are left on for 
long periods of time. In such situations, the vehicle 
would usually be in the "park" position. In the 
unusual situation of electrical failure when the 
vehicle's transmission is not in "park," a transmis- 
sion with an electrical shift lock system could simply 
be mechanically shifted to "park," where the system 
could be designed to mechanically lock in "park" 
even without the electrical power so that the key 
could be removed. Therefore, the agency does not 
foresee the need to remove a key while the transmis- 
|sion is in a position other than "park." NHTSA 
concludes that changing the requirements to permit 
key removal while the transmission is in a position 



other than "park" is not necessary and would be 
detrimental to theft protection since an unautho- 
rized person could operate that type of key release. 
Accordingly, NHTSA has decided not to modify the 
section, which is now S4.2(b), to allow for key re- 
moval when the transmission is in a position other 
than "park." 

Miscellaneous Comments Related to Automatic 
TYansmission Vehicles 

Sections S4.2(bX2) and (3) of the proposed amend- 
ment included references to the "park" position in 
automatic transmission vehicles. BMW commented 
that, while no safety standard requires the "park" 
position in automatic transmission vehicles, this 
proposal might be misinterpreted as requiring the 
"park" position for transmissions in such vehicles. 
The agency agrees with BMW that no safety stan- 
dard requires the "park" position and takes this 
opportunity to clarify this understanding in S4.2(b). 
NHTSA further notes that requiring a "park" posi- 
tion would necessitate a rulemaking beyond the 
scope of this notice. 

In sections S4.2(a), (b), and (c) of the proposed 
amendment, the agency specified that each vehicle 
subject to the standard must have an "ignition 
key-locking system" (emphasis supplied). BMW com- 
mented that requiring an "ignition key-locking sys- 
tem" rather than the more general "key-locking 
system," was overly specific and might wrongly 
imply that the ignition is the component that must 
be interrupted in order to prevent normal activation 
of the engine. NHTSA agrees with BMW that includ- 
ing the term "ignition" is unnecessarily specific and 
thus has omitted this term in the final rule. 

NHTSA notes that both the current Standard 114 
at S4.(2Xa) and the NPRM at S4.2(a) and S4.2{bX3) 
include the phrase "other main source of motive 
power." The agency interprets this phrase as being 
synonymous with the term "motor," since any 
known means of mechanical propulsion other than 
an engine requires some type of motor. Accordingly, 
in the interests of eliminating superfluous words, 
this final rule substitutes the term "motor" in place 
of the phrase "other main source of motive power." 

Manual Transmission Vehicles 
The NPRM asked whether inadvertent gear shift- 
ing presented a significant safety problem for man- 
ual transmission vehicles. The commenters indi- 
cated that there was no safety need related to the 
roll away of manual transmission vehicles, and the 
agency's independent review of the accident statis- 
tics confirmed this view. Accordingly, the agency has 
decided not to require manual transmission vehicles 
to contain an interlock. 

With respect to the technology proposed for man- 



PART 571; S114-PRE 27 



ual transmissions to protect against steering lockup, 
several commenters suggested changes that would 
be less design restrictive and nxore practical than 
proposed in the NPRM. While these comments may 
have merit, the agency's conclusion that steering 
lockup as the result of key removal is not a signifi- 
cant enough safety problem to justify additional 
requirements makes the issue moot. 

Harmonization 
The European Economic Community (ECE's) Reg- 
ulation No. 18 provides comprehensive requirements 
related to theft protection. That regulation requires 
a manufacturer to install a protective device whose 
activation prevents one of three events: a vehicle 
being steered, its being driven, or its being moved 
forward under its own power. In other words, a 
manufacturer has the option of complying with ECE 
Regulation No. 18 in one of three ways. In contrast, 
the amended Standard 114 requires an anti-shift 
device for any automatic transmission vehicle with a 
"park" position. In the PRE, NHTSA tentatively 
concluded that vehicles complying with the proposed 
amendments to Standard 114 also would comply 
with ECE Regulation No. 18. However, the agency 
noted that some designs that comply with ECE 
Regulation No. 18 would have to be modified to 
comply with the new U.S. requirements. For in- 
stance, if a manufacturer wished to comply with 
ECE Regulation No. 18 with a steering lock, it would 
be possible to remove the key from the ignition of an 
automatic transmission vehicle conforming to Regu- 
lation No. 18 without locking up the transmission 
lever or gearshift control as required by this 
rulemaking. 

Volkswagen, Mercedes, and Range Rover com- 
mented that the amendments present problems re- 
lated to harmonization. Volkswagen stated that 
most manufacturers would not remove the steering 
column lock, because it was required by ECE Regu- 
lation No. 18. As a result, cost savings were not 
likely. (As noted above, the steering lock is an option 
and not a requirement of ECE Regulation No. 18.) 
Range Rover commented that while the amend- 
ments would comply with international standards, 
the amendments would cause conflicts with current 
designs used to meet these international standards 
and would result in additional costs, especially if the 
leadtime were unreasonably short. Mercedes stated 
that the amendments would be contrary to harmo- 
nization because they add requirements for locking 
systems that go beyond protection against theft. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA con- 
cludes that even though the amendment introduces 
a requirement that ECE Regulation No. 18 does not 
specifically contain, this change will not signifi- 
cantly hinder harmonization. Because the new re- 



quirement does not significantly differ from ECE 
Regulation No. 18 and most manufacturers already 
comply or voluntarily plan to comply with this 
amendment, the agency believes that the practical M 
effect of this rule will be minimal. In addition, ^ 
NHTSA believes that the amendments provide the 
additional benefit of enhancing theft protection and 
safety since most manufacturers plan to use both a 
transmission lever interlock and a steering column 
lock. In addition, the agency has minimized any 
hardships related to harmonization by providing 
adequate leadtime. The agency believes that this 
will mitigate the problems associated with Volkswa- 
gen's and Range Rover's concerns and provide ade- 
quate time to allow manufacturers to modify any 
designs. 

Leadtime 
The NPRM proposed to give two years of leadtime 
between the publication of the final rule and the 
effective date of the amendments. AIA, BMW, 
Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes, and Jaguar noted that a 
three-year leadtime, with an effective date of Sep- 
tember 1, 1992 (model year 1993) was necessary to 
allow for the redesign, retooling, and product testing 
of vehicles. In the alternative, if the agency specified 
a two-year leadtime, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and 
Honda stated that a phase-in would be necessary to 
accommodate vehicle lines that were being phased- a 
out. For instance. Ford requested that if the agency f 
published a final rule with an effective date before 
model year 1993, then the agency should implement 
a phase-in process that would require no more than 
90 percent of a manufacturer's production of auto- 
matic transmission vehicles to be in compliance by 
model year 1992 (with 100 percent compliance by 
model year 1993). Ford explained that it is voluntar- 
ily equipping all of its vehicles with floor-mounted 
automatic transmission shift controls with an 
ignition/shift control interlock system by the 1993 
model year. Ford requested a phase-in to accommo- 
date those vehicle lines that are being redesigned 
over that time period. Chrysler also requested an 
effective date no earlier than September 1, 1992 
(model year 1993), or in the alternative a two-year 
phase-in beginning no earlier than September 1, 

1991. 

Volkswagen stated that a leadtime of two model 
years would be sufficient to allow compliance with 
the amendments. It emphasized that the effective 
date should refer to model year rather than "two 
years after the date on which the final rule is 
published" to avoid requiring mid-model year modi- 
fications. Range Rover stated that the proposed 
leadtime was unduly burdensome, especially on dj 
small manufacturer such as itself, but did not spec^ 
ify a leadtime it viewed as adequate. Mitsubishi 



PART 571; S114-PRE 28 



explained that a leadtime before model year 1992 
would restrict unreasonably its plans for model year 
1991 in which it plans to change four car lines and 
drop one line. Honda noted that at a minimum, a two- 
year leadtime would be necessary. In the alternative, 
Honda stated that a phase-in program would ease 
the burdens of cost and leadtime. 

After reviewing this issue, NHTSA has concluded 
that the proposed two-year leadtime is proper given 
that it would not unreasonably increase the costs 
associated with adopting these amendments. The 
agency believes that phasing in by a percentage of 
production is unnecessary given the provided lead- 
time. Accordingly, the agency has determined that 
an effective date of September 1, 1992 is appropriate 
for this final rule. 

Costs 

In the NPRM, NHTSA estimated that the pro- 
posed amendments would cost the consumer approx- 
imately $6.25 for each automatic transmission vehi- 
cle. This was attributable primarily to adding a gear 
shift lever locking mechanism to vehicles with a 
console-mounted automatic transmission. NHTSA 
estimated that the proposed amendments would 
affect 3.3 million cars and light trucks. The agency 
believed that there would be a cost savings of $2.50 
per vehicle if the manufacturers decided to delete the 
steering column locks from all 11.2 million automatic 
transmission vehicles. This led the agency to conclude 
that there would be a net cost savings of $7.4 million 
annually if the manufacturers eliminated the steering 
column lock. In addition, the NPRM estimated that 
the proposal would affect 1.5 million manual transmis- 
sion cars and light trucks at a consumer cost of about 
$2.50 per vehicle, or a total annual cost of $3.75 
million. The NPRM sought additional data about the 
production volumes of different types of transmission 
shifts and column and gear shift lever locking systems 
to better estimate the costs associated with these 
amendments. 

BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Range Rover, Sub- 
aru, Volkswagen, and Winnebago commented that 
the cost analysis understated the costs of the pro- 
posed amendment. Commenters' estimates of the 
cost of technologies that would meet the proposed 
requirements ranged from $7 to $70 dollars. In 
addition, BMW, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, and 
Honda noted that they did not intend to eliminate 
the steering column lock. Therefore, there would be 
no cost savings related to the final rule. Ford noted 
that it had cost $11 to modify the key locking 
systems on its 1988 Ttempo and Topaz vehicles to 
comply with a design similar to the proposal. 
Chrysler estimated that the retail price equivalent 
of compliance for automatic transmission vehicles 
would be approximately $14 for most of its vehicles. 



but for some vehicles with shorter life cycles the 
price could be as high as $29 per vehicle. Winnebago 
stated that the costs are unreasonable, especially for 
small manufacturers like itself. Volkswagen stated 
that the modifications would be more expensive for 
it than other manufacturers because it currently 
does not provide a transmission lever lock which is 
operational when the ignition is turned off. Subaru 
stated that changes on automatic transmission ve- 
hicles would cost 10,000 yen (or approximately $70) 
for a system that includes an interlock with the 
brake. That company also estimated that changes on 
manual transmission vehicles would cost 1,000 to 
5,000 yen (approximately $7 to $35), the higher cost 
being for a system that interconnects the ignition 
key lock to another safety system, such as the 
parking brake. Such systems go beyond what is 
being required; therefore, the agency did not use 
these higher unit costs in estimating the cost of the 
amendment. Range Rover disputed the NPRM's cost 
analysis, especially in relation to the agency's initial 
view of a cost savings. Rolls Royce estimated that it 
would cost $14.50, $19.50, or $29.50 per vehicle 
depending on the design it adopted. The agency 
notes that Rolls Royce's cost estimates may not be 
relevant because its current system will most likely 
comply with the final rule. 

After reviewing these comments, NHTSA has de- 
termined that it should modify some of its cost 
estimates. For instance, the agency agrees with the 
commenters that there will be no cost savings re- 
lated to the removal of the steering column lock. The 
agency emphasizes that an important consideration 
is that many vehicles already comply or will be 
brought voluntarily into compliance with the 
amendments. For automatic transmission vehicles, 
the agency determined that 7,702,000 1987 MY cars 
and light trucks currently comply with the new 
requirements and that 3,536,000 do not. Of those not 
currently in compliance, 3,066,000 will be brought 
voluntarily into compliance by September 1, 1992. 
Therefore, the agency anticipates that an additional 
470,000 vehicles will be modified as a result of the 
amendments. 

In estimating the consumer cost of this amend- 
ment, NHTSA believes that its unit cost estimate in 
the PRE of between $5.75 and $6.75 is reasonably 
accurate for a system to meet the requirements for 
automatic transmission vehicles. However, the 
agency acknowledges the cost data provided by com- 
menters and will use the PRE's value of $6.75 as the 
lower end of the cost estimate range and Chrysler's 
estimate of $14 as the upper end of the cost estimate 
range. The agency has decided not to use Subaru's 
estimate of $70 per vehicle, because this system is 
also intended to protect against "unintended accel- 
eration," and thus is more costly than technologies 



PART571;S114-PRE29 



necessary to comply with the subject regulation. 
Accordingly, NHTSA estimates that the annual con- 
sumer cost of complying with the automatic trans- 
mission requirement as follows: $6.75 to $14.00 (cost 
per vehicle) x 470,000 vehicles (vehicles modified 
because of the standard) = $3,173,000 to $6,580,000. 

In summary, NHTSA believes that the cost of this 
rulemaking is the cost of compliance for those man- 
ufacturers who would not have voluntarily modified 
their vehicles in order to meet the new requirement. 
Based on the above estimates, the agency antici- 
pates the total annual cost for these amendments 
will range from $3.2 million and $6.6 million. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 571.114 
is amended as follows: 

§ 571.114 Standard No. 114 Theft Protection 

1. Section SI of Standard 114 is revised to read as 
follows: 

SI Purpose and Scope This standard specifies 
requirements for theft protection to reduce the inci- 
dence of accidents resulting from the unauthorized 
operation of a vehicle. 

2. S4.2 is revised to read as follows: 



54.2 Each vehicle shall have a key-locking system 
that, whenever the key is removed, prevents: 

(a) the normal activation of the vehicle's engine or 
motor; and 

(b) either steering or forward self-mobility of the 
vehicle or both. For a vehicle equipped with an 
automatic transmission with a "park" position, the 
key-locking system shall prevent removal of the key 
unless the transmission or transmission shift lever 
is locked in "park" or becomes locked in "park" as 
the direct result of removing the key. 

3. S4.3 is revised to read as follows: 

54.3 The prime means for deactivating the vehi- 
cle's engine or motor shall not activate the key- 
locking system described in S4.2(b). 



Issued on: May 22, 1990. 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Deputy Administrator 

55 FR 21868 
May 30, 1990 



PART 571; S114-PRE 30 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114 



Theft Protection 
(Docket No. 1-21; Notice 10) 



ACTION: Final rule; response to petitions for reconr 
sideration. 

SUMMARY: In mid-1990, this agency published a final 
rule amending certain provisions in Standard No. 114, 
Theft Protection, to protect against injuries caused by 
vehicle rollaway in vehicles with automatic transmis- 
sions. In response to petitions for reconsideration, this 
notice amends these requirements to provide manufac- 
turers with greater flexibility in designing key-locking 
and transmission shift locking systems while ensuring 
that theft protection is provided and vehicle rollaway 
is prevented. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The changes made by this rule 
become effective for vehicles manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1992. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

On April 5, 1988, NHTSA published a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) intended to address the 
problems of steering lock-up and transmission lever 
shifting. (53 FR 11105) For automatic transmission 
vehicles, the notice proposed to require an ignition-key 
locking system that would prevent the shifting of the 
transmission whenever the key was removed and 
prevent the removal of the key except when the trans- 
mission was locked in "park." It also proposed to 
require that automatic transmission vehicles with a 
steering column lock have a system that would permit 
engagement of that lock only when the transmission 
was in "park" and the ignition key had deactivated the 
vehicle's engine. For manual transmission vehicles with 
a steering column lock, the notice proposed to require 
that that lock would be engageable only when the 
ignition key had deactivated the vehicle's engine and 
the operator had performed an additional manual 
action involving a device other than the ignition key. 

Forty comments were submitted to Docket 
01-21-Notice 7 by motor vehicle manufacturers, insur- 



ance companies, police organizations, trade associa- 
tions, and the public. In response to requests, the 
agency also met with several manufacturers which 
demonstrated potential system designs. 

On May 30, 1990, NHTSA published a final rule 
addressing the issues raised in the NPRM (55 F.R. 
21868). The agency decided to amend section S4.2(b) 
to prevent vehicle rollaway caused by shifting the 
transmission lever in automatic transmission vehicles. 
As amended, section S4.2(b) requires automatic trans- 
mission vehicles with a "park" position to have a key- 
locking system that prevents the removal of the key 
unless the transmission is locked in "park" or becomes 
locked in "park" as the direct result of removing the 
key. The agency did not adopt its proposal regarding 
steering lockup on automatic transmission vehicles, 
explaining that the purpose of that proposal would be 
essentially met as a result of the amendment it adopted 
regarding the removal of the key. Further, the agen- 
cy decided not to adopt additional requirements in re- 
lation to steering lock-up on manual transmission 
vehicles. 

NHTSA received petitions for reconsideration of 
this rule from Nissan, Rover Group, and Mr. Wilson 
Sherman of the Automobile Safety Foundation (ASF). 
In addition, several manufacturers including Mazda, 
Toyota, Subaru, Jaguar, and Honda expressed interest 
in the final rule but either did not request reconsider- 
ation or did not do so in a timely fashion in accordance 
with 49 CFR 553.35. Jaguar and Toyota submitted 
documents which they apparently viewed as petitions 
for reconsideration However, because they were 
submitted after section 553.35's filing deadline, they 
cannot be treated as petitions for reconsideration. 
Instead, the agency has treated these submissions as 
petitions for rulemaking. This notice responds to the 
petitions for reconsideration. 

In responding to the petitions for reconsideration, 
the agency has been able to respond to the significant 
issues raised in the rulemaking petitions submitted by 



PART 571; S114-PRE 31 



the other manufacturers because the late petitions ad- 
dressed identical concerns about transmission shift lock 
overrides, emergency key release systems, and the 
application of S4.3 to park lock systems. 

For the convenience of the reader, this notice 
follows the May 30 final rule's organization and for- 
mat. When a section heading used in the final rule does 
not appear in this preamble, it means that no petitions 
for reconsideration requested changes to the rule's pro- 
visions discussed in that section. 



Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) distribute the final 
rule and a warning from the California driver's hand- 
book about steering lock-up to the appropriate State 
officials to assist them in deciding if such a warning { 
is necessary in their State. NHTSA has determined 
that for vehicles in use, it is more appropriate for the 
States to address this matter than NHTSA, which is 
authorized to issue Safety standards for new vehicles. 
In a letter to NHTSA dated June 22, 1990, AAMVA 
indicated that it had complied with the agency's 
request. 



Safety Need About Steering Lock-up 

In its petition for reconsideration, the ASF stated 
that "inadvertent lock-up poses a nationwide emer- 
gency, and therefore a comprehensive warning must 
be issued." (emphasis in original). The agency notes 
that Mr. Sherman and the ASF submitted numerous 
comments to Docket 1-21-No. 7, which the agency con- 
sidered in developing the final rule. In its petition for 
reconsideration, the ASF similarly states that steer- 
ing lock-up is a widespread safety problem, but 
presents no supporting data. 

The agency concluded in its final rule that there 
is no safety need to justify adopting additional require- 
ments to protect against steering lock-up on moving 
vehicles after removal of the ignition key. The agency's 
Final Regulatory Evaluation (FRE) identified only 
three crashes with three injuries and two fatalities that 
apparently resulted from steering lock-up over the 
course of approximately ten years. Based on the 
extremely low number of injuries and fatalities, 
NHTSA decided not to require additional measures 
designed to prevent the possibility of steering lock-up 
for moving vehicles. Even though the agency decided 
not to adopt new requirements expressly designed to 
prevent steering lock-up on moving vehicles, the final 
rule explained that the amendment to prevent trans- 
mission lever shifting accidents in automatic trans- 
mission vehicles will also prevent key removal while 
that type of vehicle is in motion. The amendment per- 
mits key removal only when the transmission is in 
"park." 

Based on its analysis in developing the final rule, 
the agency concludes that there are insufficient 
documented instances of steering lock-up to warrant 
adopting additional requirements. As explained above, 
this decision is further supported by the fact that the 
final rule's amendments to prevent rollaway of 
automatic transmission vehicles also serve to prevent 
key-removal in those vehicles while they are moving. 

As for ASF's request that the agency warn motor 
vehicle owners about steering lock-up, the agency has 
requested that the American Association of Motor 



Purpose of the Amendment 

The NPRM proposed modifying Standard No. 
114's purpose and scope section (Si) to reflect the pur- 
pose of the amendments in the proposal. Thus, that sec- 
tion would have indicated that along with theft 
protection, the standard address vehicle rollaway. In 
response to comments critical of this proposal, the 
agency decided in the May 30 final rule not to add refer- 
ence to the rulemaking's rollaway prevention aspects 
in the regulatory text. The preamble explained that the 
agency wanted to avoid creating the impression that 
the standard's focus was shifting away from theft pro- 
tection. The preamble further noted that even though 
"NHTSA's goal in amending the standard is to pro- 
vide adequate protection against injuries caused by 
shifting the automatic transmission lever. Standard 114 
remains primarily a theft protection standard." 

In its petition for reconsideration, Rover Group 
stated that the amendment in S4.2(b) to prevent vehi- 
cle rollaway did not contribute to meeting the safety 
needs and theft protection purpose of Standard No. 
114, as explained in SI, and was, therefore, "un- 
necessary." 

Instead of rescinding the amendment to S4.2(b) 
concerning rollaway, the agency has decided to in- 
crease manufacturer flexibility in complying with the 
rollaway provisions, as discussed later in this notice, 
and to make a conforming amendment to SI so that 
it reflects the rollaway prevention aspects of the stand- 
ard. Accordingly, section SI is amended to indicate that 
while the primary purpose of the standard is to pro- 
tect against theft, the standard also seeks to reduce 
the incidence of crashes resulting from rollaway of 
parked vehicles. 

Emergency Overrides and Key Release Systems 

In the NPRM, the agency proposed to require that 
automatic transmission vehicles have an ignition-key 
locking system that would prevent the shifting of the 
transmission whenever the key was removed and would 
prevent the removal of the key except when the trans- 



PART 571; S114-PRE 32 



mission was locked in "park." In addition, the notice 
proposed to require that if an automatic transmission 
vehicle had a steering column lock, that lock would be 
engageable only when the transmission was in "park" 
and the ignition key had deactivated the vehicle's 
engine. The NPRM also posed questions about alter- 
native approaches and devices that might be able to 
reduce the problems of steering lock-up and gear 
shifting. 

Several manufacturers, including Honda, Nissan, 
Subaru, Mazda, and Toyota, commented that their elec- 
trical transmission shift lock systems might have 
problems complying with the proposal to require a 
transmission shift lock on vehicles with automatic 
transmissions. These systems appeared to comply with 
the proposal during normal operation. However, cer- 
tain systems might not comply if the battery or elec- 
trical system failed and the vehicle was equipped with 
an override device to allow it to be moved by shifting 
the lever out of "park." Honda, Nissan, and Toyota 
requested that the proposal be modified to allow for 
an emergency device to override the transmission lock 
so that a disabled vehicle could be moved. In addition, 
Nissan, Toyota, and Subaru requested that the proposal 
be further modified to permit key removal, even if the 
transmission was not in "park." 

After analyzing its proposal in response to these 
comments, the agency adopted a requirement in S4.2(b) 
which did not include exceptions for emergency over- 
rides. That amendment specifies that each automatic 
transmission vehicle with a "park" position must have 
a key -locking system that prevents removal of the key 
unless the transmission or transmission shift lever is 
locked in "park" or becomes locked in "park" as the 
direct result of removing the key. 

Transmission Shift Override 

In the final rule, NHTSA concluded that to enable 
a vehicle to be moved in case of electrical failure, an 
override to the transmission shift lock could be installed 
consistent with the NPRM and the final rule, provided 
the override could only be activated by the key used 
to control the vehicle. The preamble to the final rule 
explained that a manufacturer could install a manual 
override system that is tied to either the ignition part 
of the key-locking system or an auxiliary part of the 
key-locking system located near or as part of the manu- 
al override device. The agency explained that an over- 
ride that could be operated without requiring a key 
might be detrimental to theft protection since an 
unauthorized person could operate that type of manual 
override. While the final rule acknowledged that this 
requirement would result in overrides differing from 
those initially anticipated by some manufacturers, the 
agency did not anticipate that compliance would be 
overly burdensome for the manufacturers. 



In its petition. Rover Group asserted that the 
NPRM did not give the public adequate notice or 
opportunity to comment about permitting key-based 
overrides. After reviewing the NPRM and comments 
to it, the agency has concluded that pei mitting a key- 
based override was a logical outgrowth of its proposal 
and the public comments. Therefore, the agency be- 
lieves that adequate notice was provided for the amend- 
ments to the final rule. In the NPRM, the agency asked 
a series of questions about types of key-locking and 
transmission shift locking systems currently in use and 
whether these systems would comply with the proposal. 
Although the proposal did not explicitly mention over- 
ride devices, it put them at issue since it would have 
had the effect of prohibiting them. In response, several 
manufactiirers, including Rover Group, commented 
about their systems. Several manufacturers noted that 
their systems had override devices and requested that 
the agency permit those devices Accordingly, the 
agency believes that adequate notice was provided. 

In their petitions for reconsideration, Nissan and 
Rover Group requested that Standard No. 114 be 
amended to permit overrides to the transmission shift 
lock other than ones tied to the vehicle's key. Nissan 
explained that it has designed a shift lock emergency 
override system that is operable by depressing an 
exposed button on the shift lever console, independent 
of the key. In other contacts with the agency, Toyota, 
Mazda, Subaru, Honda, and Jaguar explained the work- 
ings of their key-less transmission lock overrides. These 
overrides typically are activated by pushing an exposed 
device located on the transmission shift console. As an 
alternative, Nissan and Honda suggested that the 
agency permit unexposed overrides that are operable 
only after using a tool to remove a surface covering 
the device. 

In their petitions, Nissan and Rover Group stated 
that they did not believe that permitting a key-less 
override would be detrimental to theft protection if a 
vehicle were equipped with a steering lock. Other 
manufacturers, including Toyota and Jaguar voiced 
similar views. This situation led Nissan and Jaguar to 
suggest the standard's theft protection aspects could 
be ensured by permitting vehicles to have non-key 
override systems if they also have a steering column 
lock. 

Upon reconsideration, NHTSA first wishes to clar- 
ify its rationale for not permitting exposed override 
devices, as described in the docket comments. As 
explained in the final rule, the principal purpose for the 
requirements in Standard No. 114 is to protect against 
theft and thereby reduce the incidence of injuries 
resulting from unauthorized use by, among other 
things, having the key-locking system prevent steer- 
ing or forward self-mobility, or both. Thus, any vehi- 
cle design must prohibit the vehicle's operation by an 



PART 571; S114-PRE 33 



unauthorized user, i.e., anyone who does not have the 
vehicle's key. In describing vehicles that are equipped 
with steering locks, several manufacturers have cor- 
rectly pointed out that, by preventing steering, such 
designs comply with the theft protection aspects of 
S4.2(b). Nevertheless, the agency notes that even 
though vehicles with steering locks protect against 
theft, they do not protect against the safety risk posed 
by vehicle rollaway, which was discussed at length in 
the NPRM and the final rule. These notices indicated 
that children playing in unattended vehicles have been 
injured when the vehicle rolls down an incline after they 
shift the transmission lever out of "park." 

After reviewing various designs, the agency con- 
tinues to believe that to prevent vehicle rollaway, 
young children should not be able to move the trans- 
mission shift lever. K a vehicle is equipped with a trans- 
mission shift override, it should be designed to ensure 
that young children cannot see or easily gain access to 
the override. 

One way to prevent access by children and thus ve- 
hicle rollaway is to permit an override that is operable 
only by the vehicle's key because this typically ensures 
that the override is being activated by an authorized 
user. The preamble to the final rule explained that such 
a key-activated override was permissible. Based on the 
apparent confusion caused by not expressly stating this 
in the regulatory text, upon reconsideration, the 
agency has modified Standard No. 114 so that section 
S4. 2.2(b) now states that the means for activating the 
override device may be operable by the key, as defined 
in S3 of the standard. 

A second way to prevent access by children and 
thus vehicle rollaway is to permit key-less overrides 
that are not visible and are "child-proof." After review- 
ing suggested designs, the agency has determined that 
a key-less override could prevent activation by a child 
if it is covered by a surface that, when installed, pre- 
vents activation of the device and which is removable 
only by use of a tool such as a screwdriver. An emer- 
gency override that is visible and accessible to children 
such as an uncovered one located on the transmission 
console would not be child-proof and thus would not 
comply with section S4.2.2(b). To ensure further that 
young children cannot easily gain access to the over- 
ride, a surface that could be removed with a person's 
hands alone would not be permissible. While the agency 
understands that prohibiting certain override designs 
such as exposed ones may require some manufacturers 
to modify their override designs, the agency has deter- 
mined that such requirements are necessary to ensure 
that children cannot easily override the transmission 
shift lock and thus shift the transmission lever. The 
agency has determined that these amendments to the 
final rule will protect against theft and vehicle rolla- 
way while providing manufacturers with greater design 
flexibility. The agency emphasizes that the amendment 



permits a key-less emergency override only if theft 
protection is ensured by a steering lock. 

Emergency Key Release I 

As for the second type of exception to the require- 
ments, Toyota, Nissan, and Subaru requested in their 
comments on the proposal that the proposed require- 
ments be amended to permit key removal in any trans- 
mission position because their systems permit key 
removal in case of battery or electrical system failure. 
In the final rule, NHTSA decided not to adopt this 
approach, explaining that such emergency situations 
typically occur when the vehicle is in "park" and the 
lights are left on for long periods of time. The final rule 
further explained that even in the unusual situation of 
electrical failure when the vehicle's transmission is not 
in "park," a transmission with an electrical shift lock 
system could be mechanically shifted to "park" so that 
the key could be removed. Therefore, the agency did 
not anticipate a need to remove a key while the trans- 
mission is in a position other than "park." 

In their petitions for reconsideration, Nissan and 
Rover Group asked that Standard No. 114 be amend- 
ed to permit the operator to remove the key if the 
transmission is in a position other than "park." While 
Nissan conceded that electrical failure in this situation 
rarely occurs, it still believed that it happens often 
enough to necessitate permitting an emergency key 
release so that the key is not left in an unattended ve- | 
hide while the driver seeks help. Nissan explained that 
its key-locking system includes a mechanical emergen- 
cy key release to permit key removal because its elec- 
trical key-locking system includes a solenoid that 
prevents key removal upon electrical failure. Nissan 
demonstrated that to gain access to the emergency key 
release, the driver must use a screwdriver to remove 
a surface covering the release. This led Nissan to state 
that the key release could not be activated unintention- 
ally or be inadvertently removed while the vehicle was 
in motion. Range Rover believed that an expensive 
mechanical link between the transmission lever and the 
key -locking system would be necessary to comply with 
the final rule. Toyota demonstrated a key-locking sys- 
tem similar to Nissan's except that when electrical 
power fails, Toyota's solenoid acts differently than 
Nissan's, i.e., Toyota's solenoid releases the key instead 
of holding it in the key cylinder. Thus, with Toyota's 
key-locking system, upon electrical failure, the key 
could be removed in any transmission lever position. 

Upon reconsideration, NHTSA has decided to per- 
mit a device which permits key removal while the trans- 
mission is in any position, provided that the following 
conditions are met. First, steering must be prevented . 
upon key removal to ensure that Standard No. 114's i 
theft protection aspects are not jeopardized. Second, * 
the emergency device permitting key removal while the 



PART 571; S114-PRE 34 



transmission is in a position other than "park" should 
not be accessible during normal operation or else 
roUaway might occur. Third, to limit access to the emer- 
gency key release, it must be covered by a surface that 
prevents access to it except by use of a tool, such as 
a screwdriver. The agency has determined that limit- 
ing the access to the emergency key release is neces- 
sary to make it likely that key removal occurs only 
during unusual situations such as electrical failure. In 
addition, while NHTSA still believes that it is rare to 
have power failure when the transmission is in a 
position other than "park," it wOl still be beneficial for 
the owner of a disabled vehicle to be able to remove 
the key and lock the vehicle if he or she must leave the 
vehicle to seek help. The agency therefore has deter- 
mined that providing manufacturers this additional 
design flexibility for their newly developed electrical 
transmission systems is warranted and will not harm 
Standard No. 114's safety or theft protection concerns. 

As for Rover Group's concern that the final rule 
was a design-based requirement that would require use 
of an expensive and impracticable mechanical linkage, 
the agency disagrees. The variety of existing systems 
and prototypes demonstrated by several other 
manufacturers provide a measure of the performance- 
orientedness of the requirement. Further, while some 
manufacturers may have to modify their system 
designs, the agency believes that compliance with 
Standard No. 114, as amended, will not be overly 
burdensome. 

Application ofSJf.3 to Park Lock Systems 

In the final rule, the agency modified the provision 
in S4.3 to state that "The prime means for deactivat- 
ing the vehicle's engine or motor shall not activate the 
key-locking system described in S4.2(b)." The principal 
purpose of this provision has been to prohibit locking 
the steering column while the vehicle is in motion. In 
its comments to the proposal, Nissan requested that 
for automatic transmission vehicles, a gear shift lock 
activated while the transmission is already in "park" 
should be exempted. The final rule inadvertently did 
not address this comment. 

In its petition for reconsideration, Nissan explained 
that its park lock system did not appear to comply with 
S4.3, as adopted, since when the vehicle is not in 
motion, the shift lever locks in "park" at the moment 
the ignition key is turned to the "OFF" position. In 
both its docket comment and its petition for reconsider- 
ation, Nissan requested that S4.3 be amended by 
applying the provision only "while the vehicle is in 
motion." 

Toyota voiced similar concerns about potential 
compliance problems of its shift lock system with S4.3. 
It explained that for some of its vehicles, if the trans- 
mission shift lever has already been placed in "park" 



before the engine is shut off, turning off the ignition 
does activate the shift lock. Since Toyota believed that 
locking the transmission only poses a potential safety 
concern while the vehicle is in motion, it suggested that 
S4.3 be amended to include the phrase "unless an 
automatic transmission shift lever is in 'park'." 

Upon reconsideration, NHTSA has decided that 
the provision in the final rule was overly broad because 
there are no safety benefits obtained by applying S4.3 
to stationary vehicles. Further, prohibiting transmis- 
sion lock systems in which the lock is activated while 
the transmission is in park might pose potentially 
burdensome compliance problems on some manufac- 
turers. Accordingly, the agency has decided to modify 
Standard No. 114 so that S4.3 does not apply when 
automatic transmission vehicles are in "park." 

Leadtime 

The final rule provided over two years of leadtime 
to comply with the amendments. In its petition for 
reconsideration, Nissan asked for another year of lead- 
time before the amendments became effective, claim- 
ing that it would have to redesign substantially its 
systems if the agency rejected its requested amend- 
ments. After reviewing this issue in light of this notice's 
amendments giving manufacturers greater design flex- 
ibility, NHTSA concludes that the existing two-year 
leadtime is appropriate. The agency believes that 
manufacturers will not have to undertake extensive 
revisions to their systems to comply with Standard No. 
114. For the most part, the agency anticipates that, 
at most, manufacturers of electrical transmission shift 
systems will typically only have to modify the electri- 
cal solenoid's circuitry or redesign the transmission 
console and area near the ignition key to include a 
plastic cover over the emergency devices. The agency 
thus does not anticipate the need for any extensive 
retoolings or redesigns. Accordingly, the agency has 
determined that the effective date of September 1, 
1992 continues to be appropriate for this rulemaking. 

Costs 

In its petition for reconsideration. Rover Group 
stated that NHTSA did not consider the cost impact 
of the rulemaking, especially in terms of requiring a 
mechanical linkage system to vehicles with a console 
mounted key-locking system. The agency disagrees 
that the agency failed to consider the rulemaking's cost 
impact given the Final Regulatory Evaluation's 
detailed analysis of the rulemaking's cost implications. 
The agency further notes that Rover Group was under 
the apparent misconception that the amendments 
would necessitate a mechanical linkage. As evidenced 
by systems developed by other manufacturers, there 
are other, less costly ways to comply with Standard No. 
114, as amended. 



PART 571; S114-PRE 35 



Rulemaking Analyses and Notices 
Executive Order 12291 (Federal Regulation) and 
DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures 

NHTSA has analyzed this notice responding to the 
petitions for reconsideration to the amendments to 
Standard No. 114 and determined that it is not "major" 
within the meaning of Executive Order 12291 nor 
"significant" within the meaning of the Department 
of Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures. 
For the final rule, the agency prepared a Final Regula- 
tory Evaluation (FRE) which provides the details of 
the cost and benefit estimates, and a copy of the FRE 
was placed in the docket. Those estimates are essen- 
tially unchanged by these amendments. As explained 
in the final rule, the agency anticipated the costs of this 
rulemaking to be between $3.2 million and $6.6 mil- 
lion. The amendments adopted in this notice should not 
increase these costs and may result in minor cost sav- 
ings because potential compliance problems should be 
reduced. As explained in this notice's section on safe- 
ty need, the agency has estimated that there are rough- 
ly 400 to 800 relevant injury-producing transmission 
lever shifting accidents each year nationwide. Instal- 
lation of the required technology in the cars and light 
trucks not volimtarily equipped by the rule's effective 
date, will prevent an estimated 50 to 100 child-injuring 
rollaway accidents annually. 

SI is revised to read as follows: 

SI Purpose and Scope. This standard specifies 
requirements primarily for theft protection to reduce 
the incidence of crashes resulting from unauthorized 
operation of a motor vehicle. It also specifies require- 
ments to reduce the incidence of crashes resulting from 
rollaway of parked vehicles. 

S4.2 is revised to read as follows: 
S4.2 Each vehicle shall have a key-locking system 
which, whenever the key is removed, prevents: 

(a) the normal activation of the vehicle's engine or 
motor; and 

(b) either steering or forward self-mobility of the 
vehicle or both. 



54.2.1 Except as provided in S4.2.2(a) and (b), the 
key-locking system required by S4.2 in each vehicle 
which has an automatic transmission with a "park" po- 
sition shall prevent removal of the key unless the trans- 
mission or transmission shift lever is locked in "park" 
or becomes locked in "park" as the direct result of 
removing the key. 

54.2.2 (a) Notwithstanding S4.2.1, each vehicle 
specified therein may have a device which, when acti- 
vated, permits key removal provided that steering is 
prevented upon the key's removal. The means for ac- 
tivating the device shall be covered by a non- 
transparent surface which, when installed, prevents 
sight of and activation of the device and which is remov- 
able only by use of a screwdriver or other tool. 

(b) Notwithstanding S4.2.1, each vehicle specified 
therein may have a device which, when activated, per- 
mits moving the transmission shift lever from "park" 
after the removal of the key provided that steering is 
prevented when the key is removed. The means for 
activating the device may be operable by the key, as 
defined in S3. The device may be operable by another 
means which is covered by a non-transparent surface 
which, when installed, prevents sight of and activation 
of the device and which is removable only by use of a 
screwdriver or other similar tool. 

S4.3 is revised to read as follows: 
S4.3 Except when an automatic transmission vehicle 
is in "park," the means for deactivating the vehicle's 
engine or motor shall not activate any device installed 
pursuant to S4.2(b) to prevent the vehicle's steering 
or forward self-mobility or both. 



Issued on March 20, 1991 



Jerry Ralph Curry 
Administrator 

56 F.R. 12464 
IVIarch 26, 1991 



PART 571; S114-PRE 36 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 

Theft Protection 

(Docket No. 1-21; Notice 11) 
RIN 2127-AE13 



114 



ACTION: Final rule; response to petitions for 
reconsideration. 

SUMMARY: In mid- 1990, this agency published a 
final rule amending certain provisions in Standard 
No. 1 14, Theft Protection, to protect against 
injuries caused by vehicle rollaway in vehicles 
with automatic transmissions. In March 1991, in 
response to petitions for reconsideration, the 
agency published a final rule amending certain of 
the requirements to provide manufacturers with 
greater flexibility in designing key-locking and 
transmission shift locking systems while ensuring 
that theft protection is provided and vehicle 
rollaway is prevented. This notice responds to 
petitions for reconsideration of the March 1991 
final rule submitted by Toyota and Honda. In 
response to those petitions, the notice further 
amends the requirements to provide manufacturers 
appropriate flexibility while continuing to meet 
the need for safety. In addition, the notice denies 
some portions of Toyota's petition, but provides 
an extra year's leadtime to comply with the 
requirement for inaccessibility for the emergency 
release button on the transmission shift override 
device. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: This final rule is effective 
September 1. 1992, except for S4.2.2(b)(2) which 
is effective September 1, 1993. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 

On May 30, 1990, NHTSA published in the 
Federal Register (55 FR 21868) a final rule 
amending certain provisions of Standard No. 1 14, 
Theft Protection, to protect against injuries caused 
by vehicle rollaway in vehicles with automatic 
transmissions. The amendments specified that 
each automatic transmission vehicle with a 
"park" position must have a key-locking system 



that prevents removal of the key unless the trans- 
mission or transmission shift lever is locked in 
"park" or becomes locked in "park" as the 
direct result of removing the key. 

In response to petitions for reconsideration, on 
March 26, 1991, NHTSA published in the Fed- 
eral Register (56 FR 12464) a final rule amend- 
ing those requirements to provide manufacturers 
with greater flexibility in designing key-locking 
and transmission shift locking systems while 
ensuring that theft protection is provided and 
vehicle rollaway is prevented. 

Among other things, the notice responded to 
petitioners' arguments that certain exceptions to 
the May 1990 requirements were necessary in 
light of electrical designs. First, petitioners stated 
that certain electrical transmission shift lock sys- 
tems might have problems complying with the 
requirement for a transmission shift lock. While 
these systems include a transmission shift lock, 
they also include an override device to enable a 
vehicle to be moved in the case of electrical fail- 
ure, such as a run-down battery. In the absence of 
an override device, it would not be possible to 
shift the transmission of such a vehicle out of 
park. 

The May 1990 final rule permitted only key- 
based override systems. In response to petitions 
for reconsideration, NHTSA also decided to per- 
mit key-less overrides that are not visible and are 
"child-proof." The agency rejected requests to 
permit exposed override devices. NHTSA 
acknowledged that vehicles with steering locks 
would protect against theft, even with an exposed 
transmission shift override device. However, the 
agency emphasized that such systems would not 
protect against the safety risks posed by vehicle 
rollaway, which can occur when children playing 
in an unattended vehicle shift the transmission 
lever out of park. Accordingly, the agency 
decided to permit key-less override devices only 



PART 571: S 1 14-PRE 37 



if they are covered by a non-transparent surface 
which, when in place, prevents sight of and 
activation of the device and which is removable 
only by use of a screwdriver or other tool. 

Petitioners also stated that certain electrical key 
locking systems might have difficulty complying 
with the requirements concerning key removal. 
Some such systems include a solenoid that pre- 
vents key removal upon electrical failure, such as 
that caused by a run-down battery. The petitioners 
indicated that a mechanical emergency key 
release is needed so that the driver of a disabled 
vehicle can remove the key and lock the vehicle 
before leaving it unattended. 

In light of this concern, NHTSA decided to 
permit a device which permits key removal while 
the transmission is in any position, provided that 
the following conditions are met. First, steering 
must be prevented upon key removal to ensure 
that Standard No. 114's theft protection aspects 
are not jeopardized. Second, the emergency 
device permitting key removal while the trans- 
mission is in a position other than "park" should 
not be accessible during nonnal operation or else 
rollaway might occur. Third, to limit access to the 
emergency key release, the device must be cov- 
ered by a surface that prevents access to it except 
by use of a tool, such as a screwdriver. The 
agency determined that limiting access to the 
emergency key release was necessary to make it 
likely that such key removal occurs only during 
unusual situations such as electrical failure. In 
addition, while NHTSA noted that it is rare to 
have power failure when the transmission is in a 
position other than "park," it believed that it 
would be beneficial for the owner of a disabled 
vehicle to be able to remove the key and lock the 
vehicle if he or she must leave the vehicle to seek 
help. Accordingly, in the final rule of March 26, 
1991, an exception to S4.2.1 was created to allow 
the key release device. 

Petitions for Reconsideration of March 1991 
Final Rule NHTSA received petitions for 
reconsideration of the March 1991 final rule from 
Toyota and Honda. Both companies requested that 
the agency expand the exception to the require- 
ments concerning key removal by allowing an 
automatic key release feature upon electrical fail- 
ure, regardless of transmission position. Toyota 
also requested that the agency expand the excep- 
tions to the requirements concerning transmission 
shift lock to permit a visible override device if it 



requires simultaneous two-handed operation. Toy- 
ota also stated that it cannot modify its current 
design by the September 1, 1992 effective date 
and stated that an additional year of leadtime 
would be required. 

As discussed below, after considering Toyota's 
and Honda's petitions, NHTSA has decided to 
amend the text of Standard No. 114 to make it 
clear that an automatic key release feature upon 
electrical failure is permitted, regardless of trans- 
mission position. The agency believes that this 
provides manufacturers appropriate flexibility 
while continuing to meet the need for safety. 
NHTSA is denying Toyota's petition with respect 
to permitting a visible override device to the 
transmission shift lock, but is providing an extra 
year's leadtime for the emergency release button 
inaccessibility requirement. 

Key RemovaiRequirements 

Toyota indicated in its petition for reconsider- 
ation that its key lock system employs the use of 
a solenoid to prevent removal of the key unless 
the transmission is locked in "park." Since elec- 
trical power is required to activate the solenoid to 
prevent key removal, if the vehicle's battery 
should become completely discharged, the 
solenoid would release, allowing removal of the 
key regardless of the transmission shift lever posi- 
tion. Similarly, Honda's system uses an electrical 
solenoid to activate the key/steering column inter- 
lock. The interrelationship between the shift lever 
and the key interlock solenoid is such that if an 
electrical malfunction occurs or the battery dies, 
the key can be removed from the ignition regard- 
less of the shift lever position. 

Honda stated in its petition that the March 
1991 final rule was ambiguous with respect to 
whether its system was pemiitted. It requested 
that the standard be amended to make it clear that 
key removal is permitted in the unusual cir- 
cumstance of electrical failure when the vehicle's 
transmission is not in park. Toyota expressed con- 
cern that the March 1991 final rule would result 
in a system in which the driver would have to 
leave the key in the ignition of a vehicle whose 
battery had gone dead, or require an additional 
key lock override to avoid this circumstance. It 
requested that the standard be amended to 
indicate that key removal prevention is not 
required after battery discharge. 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 38 



NHTSA believes that there is an interpretation 
issue concerning whether the March 1991 amend- 
ments permit key removal after battery discharge. 
For example, the Honda system ordinarily pre- 
vents key removal unless the transmission is 
locked in park, as required by the amendments. 
Only under a failure condition, battery failure, is 
it possible to remove the key when the vehicle's 
transmission is not in park. It could be argued 
that a non-failed battery is an assumed test condi- 
tion for the requirement and that Honda's system 
therefore meets the requirement as written. 

The agency notes that this is a different situa- 
tion than that addressed by the March 1991 
amendment permitting override devices. That 
amendment was issued in light of designs that 
have a solenoid which prevents key removal upon 
battery failure. As discussed above, the purpose 
of the override device is to enable the driver to 
remove the key when a battery failure occurs. 
However, it is possible for a driver to use the 
override device in the absence of a failure condi- 
tion. Therefore, there was no ambiguity concern- 
ing whether such a device was permitted, absent 
the March 1991 amendment. Further, the agency 
had to consider the safety consequences that 
might result if the device was used under non- 
failure conditions, and therefore established 
requirements to make it likely that key removal 
occurs only during unusual situations such as 
electrical failure. See 56 FR 12467. 

The agency has decided to resolve the issue 
raised by Honda and Toyota by making it clear 
in the text of the standard that key removal is per- 
mitted in the circumstance of electrical failure 
when the vehicle's transmission is not in park. 
NHTSA is adopting an amendment similar to that 
suggested by Honda. This decision is consistent 
with NHTSA's March 1991 final rule which per- 
mitted a device which permits key removal while 
the transmission shift lever is in any position. 
NHTSA's position in the March 1991 final rule 
was that while it is rare to have power failure 
when the transmission is in a position other than 
"park," it is beneficial for the owner of a dis- 
abled vehicle to be able to remove the key and 
lock the vehicle if he or she must leave the 
vehicle to seek help. Consistent with NHTSA's 
March 1991 position, the Honda and Toyota sys- 
tems facilitate key removal by owners, in the 
event of electrical failure. Since the exception 
established by the amendment is specifically lim- 



ited to the situation of electrical failure, it is 
unnecessary to adopt additional requirements to 
ensure that key removal occurs only during such 
unusual situations. The agency therefore has 
determined that providing manufacturers this 
additional design flexibility for their electrical 
transmission systems is warranted and will not 
harm Standard No. 1 14's safety or theft protection 
concerns. 

NHTSA notes that, in a submission dated Sep- 
tember 5, 1990, Toyota described an additional 
feature of its use of a key ignition solenoid. That 
company stated that since the solenoid would be 
active were the engine shut off and the trans- 
mission shift lever not moved to park, eventually 
depleting the battery, a timer is employed to 
release power to the solenoid after 60 minutes 
under such circumstances. Thus, after 60 minutes, 
the key would automatically be released regard- 
less of transmission shift lever position. The 
vehicle would then be in noncompliance with 
Standard No. 1 14 because the transmission would 
not be locked in "PARK". When this condition 
exists, roUaway of the parked vehicle is possible. 
A major purpose of this revised rule is to prevent 
rollaway from occurring. 

While automatic key release upon electrical 
failure would be permitted, the above described 
timing system utilized by Toyota that allows key 
removal regardless of transmission shift lever 
position would not be permitted. The agency does 
not believe it is necessary to create an additional 
exception to permit such a timing device. Drivers 
rarely leave the keys in the ignition when the 
transmission is not in park, and a buzzer can be 
used by manufacturers to warn drivers of current 
draw on the battery. Should a driver leave the 
keys, then return more than an hour later, after 
realizing that the keys were missing, the keys 
could be removed without placing the trans- 
mission in "PARK". It would remain this way 
until the next driver used the vehicle. During that 
period the vehicle could roll away and as a result 
small children who may be inside are at risk of 
being involved in a rollaway accident. Standard 
No. 114 already requires that a warning to the 
driver be activated when the key is left in the 
locking system and the driver's door is opened, 
and this system could be used to warn the driver 
about current draw of the key lock solenoid when 
the engine is turned off. 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 39 



Transmission Shift Lock Requirements 

In its petition for reconsideration of the March 
1991 final rule. Toyota asked for the following 
additional amendment to Standard No. 1 14. 

As indicated above, the March 1991 final rule 
requires, for automatic transmission vehicles, any 
manual override of the transmission shift lock to 
be '"covered by a non-transparent surface which, 
when installed, prevents sight of and activation of 
the device and which is removable only by use of 
a screwdriver or other similar tool." Toyota peti- 
tioned for an amendment that would, in addition 
to covered devices, allow noncovered override 
devices which must be operated while shifting. In 
its September 5, 1990 submission, Toyota had 
described its manual override of the transmission 
shift lever lock as having an override button 
located on the floor console. In order for the 
device to be activated, the override button must 
be released with one hand while the other hand 
simultaneously depresses the transmission button 
and moves the lever from the "park" position. 

For the following reasons, the agency denies 
the portion of Toyota's petition that requests 
allowing the uncovered transmission shift override 
device that is operated simultaneously with two 
hands. In the preamble to the March 1991 final 
rule, the agency reiterated its rationale for not 
permitting exposed override devices. As indicated 
above, NHTSA acknowledged that vehicles with 
steering locks would protect against theft, even 
with an exposed transmission shift override 
device. However, the agency emphasized that 
such systems would not protect against the safety 
risks posed by vehicle rollaway, which can occur 
when children playing in an unattended vehicle 
shift the transmission lever out of park. In its pre- 
vious rulemaking notices of May 1990 and March 
1991 on Standard No. 114, the agency has dis- 
cussed the problem of children being injured 
when they shift the transmission lever out of 
"park" and the vehicle rolls down an incline. 

NHTSA reaffirms its previous position that if a 
vehicle is equipped with a transmission shift over- 
ride, it should be designed to ensure that children 
cannot see or easily gain access to the override, 
thus limiting the possibility of rollaway. Toyota 
addressed the rollaway prevention issue by stating 
that with Toyota's manual override control, two 
actions would have to be accomplished simulta- 
neously, and with two hands, since the override 



release must be held down with one hand while 
releasing the transmission shift lever with the 
other. 

However, Toyota acknowledged that its uncov- 
ered override button is on the floor console, 
immediately next to the transmission shift lever. 
The agency believes that a cover over the over- 
ride button is necessary because, without a cover 
over the button, a child left alone in a vehicle 
may have time to play with an exposed override 
button, especially when in such close proximity, 
and discover that it works in conjunction with the 
transmission shift lever. The proximity of the 
override button to the transmission shift lever 
makes it easier for a child to either unintention- 
ally or intentionally operate them simultaneously, 
resulting in a shifting of the transmission, and 
rollaway. 

Leadtime 

The final rule of May 1990 provided over two 
years of leadtime to comply with the amend- 
ments, until September 1, 1992. In the March 
1991 final rule, the agency denied the portion of 
Nissan's petition for reconsideration that 
requested an additional year of leadtime before 
the amendments became effective. NHTSA's 
rationale for this denial was that the agency 
believed that manufacturers will not have to 
undertake extensive revisions to their systems to 
comply with Standard No. 114, and thus did not 
anticipate the need for any extensive retoolings or 
redesigns. 

In its petition for reconsideration of the March ^ 
1991 final rule, Toyota also requested an addi- 
tional year of leadtime, until September 1, 1993, 
before the amendments became effective. This 
request for additional leadtime by Toyota was in 
the part of Toyota's petition that requested the 
agency allow, on automatic transmission vehicles, 
automatic release of the key upon electrical fail- 
ure. Toyota stated that the additional time was 
necessary since Toyota could not modify its lock 
and solenoid by the amendment's effective date. 
As was earlier discussed, the agency has decided 
to allow automatic release of the key upon elec- 
trical failure. There should, therefore, be no need 
for Toyota to modify its lock and solenoid from 
its existing system. As for the timer connected to 
the solenoid, Toyota can either remove it or 
render it inoperative. Neither action should 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 40 



require an additional year before the amendments 
to Standard No. 1 14 become effective. 

The agency is, however, interested in reason- 
ably accommodating manufacturers' concerns 
regarding compliance with child-proof emergency 
override buttons for transmission lock systems. 
Many manufacturers have recently redesigned 
their transmission lock systems voluntarily, to 
prevent "unintended acceleration" incidents. This 
is a commendable effort on their part to prevent 
unexplained incidents of "unintended" accelera- 
tion. The agency understands their concern, i.e., 
that they must again, modify the redesignated 
transmission lock in such a short time frame, to 
accommodate rollaway prevention features. After 
reconsideration of the design changes needed, 
NHTSA has decided to provide an additional 
year's lead time. This will lessen the impacts 
associated with such redesign of the emergency 
override buttons of these systems on many car 
lines. A September 1, 1993 effective date will 
now be required for compliance with the emer- 
gency release button inaccessibility requirement. 

NHTSA believes this is a reasonable response 
to Toyota's petition for reconsideration of this 
override button cover requirement. The agency 
does not believe it appropriate, in the long run, to 
permit exposed transmission lock emergency 
release buttons because children can push exposed 
buttons located in the vicinity of the transmission 
shift lever and shift the vehicle's gears. Thus, 
while the agency believes a "childproof" system 
is important to reduce "rollaway accidents," it 
also believes an additional year's leadtime for the 
transmission lock system override button cover is 
appropriate. 

Consequently, the agency has determined that 
the effective date of September 1, 1992 continues 
to be appropriate for this rulemaking, except that 
a September 1, 1993 effective date is now in 



effect for the requirement of inaccessibility of the 
override button pursuant to S4.2.2(b). 

In consideration of the foregoing, Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 114 is amend- 
ed as set forth below: 

The first sentence of S4.2.2(a) is revised to 
read as follows: 

S4.2.2(a) Notwithstanding S4.2.1, provided that 
steering is prevented upon the key's removal, 
each vehicle specified therein may permit key 
removal when electrical failure of this system 
(including battery discharge) occurs, or may have 
a device which, when activated, permits key 
removal. * * * 

S4. 2.2(b) is revised to read as follows: 

(b)(1) Notwithstanding S4.2.1, each vehicle 
specified therein may have a device which, when 
activated, permits moving the transmission shift 
lever from "park" after the removal of the key 
provided that steering is prevented when the key 
is removed. 

(2) For vehicles manufactured on or after Sep- 
tember 1, 1993, the means for activating the 
device shall either be operable by the key, as 
defined in S3, or by another means which is cov- 
ered by a non-transparent surface which, when 
installed, prevents sight of and activation of the 
device and which is removable only by use of a 
screwdriver or other similar tool. 



Issued on: January 14, 1991. 



Jerry Ralph Curry 
Administrator 

57 F.R. 2039 
January 17, 1992 



PART 571; S 114-PRE 41 



FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114 
Theft Protection — Passenger Cars 

(Docket 1-21; Notices) 



51 . Purpose and scope. 

This standard specifies requirements for theft 
protection to reduce the incidence of accidents 
resulting from unauthorized operation of a 
vehicle. It also specifies requirements to reduce 
the incidence of crashes resulting from rollaway 
of parked vehicles. 

52. Application. 

This standard applies to passenger cars and to 
trucks and multipurpose passenger vehicles hav- 
ing a GVWR of 10.000 pounds or less. 

53. Definitions. 

"Combination" means one of the specifically 
planned and constructed variatipns of a locking 
system which, when properly actuated, permits 
operation of the locking system. 

"Key" includes any other device designed and 
constructed to provide a method for operating a 
locking system which is designed and constructed 
to be operated by that device. 

"Vehicle type" refers to "passenger car," 
"truck," or "multipurpose passenger vehicle," as 
those terms are defined in 49 CFR S571.3. 

54. Requirements. 

54.1. Each truck and multipurpose passenger 
vehicle having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less 
manufactured on or after September 1, 1983 and 
each passenger car shall meet the requirements of 

54.2, S4.3, S4.4, and S4.5. However, open-body 
type vehicles that are manufactured for operation 
without doors and that either have no doors or 
have doors that are designed to be easily attached 
to and removed from the vehicle by the vehicle 
owner are not required to comply with S4.5. 

84.1.1 Passenger cars manufactured before Sep- 
tember 1, 1982, shall meet the requirements of 
S4.2, S4.4, S4.6, and S4.7 or the requirements 
listed in S4.1.2. 



54.1.2 Passenger cars manufactured on or after 
September 1, 1982, shall meet the requirements of 
S4.3, S4.5, S4.6, and S4.7. 

54.1.3 Trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles having a GR of 10,000 pounds or less 
manufactured on or after September 1, 1983, shall 
meet requirements of S4.3, S4.5, S4.6, and S4.7. 

S4.2 Each vehicle shall have a key-locking system 
which whenever the key is removed, prevents: 

(a) The normal activation of the vehicle's 
engine or motor; and 

(b) either steering or forward self-mobility of 
the vehicle, or both. 

S4.2.1. Except as provided in S4. 2.2(a) and (b), 
the key-locking system required by S4.2 in each 
vehicle which has an automatic transmission with 
a "park" position shall prevent removal of the 
key unless the transmission or transmission shift 
lever is locked in "park" or becomes locked in 
"park" as the direct result of removing the key. 

S4.2.2(a) [Notwithstanding S4.2.1, provided that 
steering is prevented upon the key's removal, each 
vehicle specified therein may permit key removal 
when electrical failure of this system (including 
battery discharge) occurs, or may have a device 
which, when activated, permits key removal. (57 
F.R. 2039— Janaury 17, 1992. Effective: September 
2, 1992)] 

(b)(1) Notwithstanding S4.2.1, each vehicle 
specified therein may have a device which, when 
activated, permits moving the transmission shift 
lever from "park" after the removal of the key 
provided that steering is prevented when the key 
is removed. 

[(2) For vehicles manufactured on or after Sep- 
tember 1, 1993, the means for activating the 
device shall either be operable by the key, as 
defined in S3, or by another means which is cov- 
ered by a non-transparent surface which, when 
installed, prevents sight of and activation of the 



PART 114-1 



(Rev. 1/17/92) 



device and which is removable only by use of a 
screwdriver or other similar tool. (57 F.R. 2039 — 
January 17, 1992. Effective: September 1, 1993)] 

54.3 Except when an automatic transmission 
vehicle is in "park," the means for deactivating 
the vehicle's engine or motor shall not activate 
any device installed pursuant to S4.2(b) to prevent 
the vehicle's steering or forward self-mobility or 
both. 

54.4 For each vehicle type manufactured by a 
manufacturer, the number of different com- 
binations of the key-locking systems required by 
S4.2 shall be at least 1,000, or a number equal to 
the number of vehicles of that type manufactured 
by such manufacturer, whichever is less. The same 
combinations may be used for more than one 
vehicle type. 

54.5 A warning to the driver shall be activated 
whenever the key required by S4.2 has been left 
in the locking system and the driver's door is 
opened. The warning to the driver need not 
operate — 

(a) After the key has been manually withdrawn 
to a position from which it may not be turned; 

(b) When the key-locking system is in the 
"on" or "start" position; or 



(c) After the key has been inserted in the lock- 
ing system and before it has been turned on. 

54.6 The number of different combinations of the 
key-locking systems required of each manufac- 
turer for a type of vehicle shall be at least 1 ,000, 
or a, number equal to the number of vehicles of 
that type manufactured by such manufacturer, 
whichever is less. 

54.7 A warning to the driver shall be activated 
whenever the key required by S4.2 or S4.3 has 
been left in the locking system and the driver's 
door is opened. The warning to the driver need not 
operate— 

(a) After the key has been manually withdrawn 
to a position from which it may not be turned; 

(b) When the key-locking system is in the 
"on" or "start" position; or 

(c) After the key has been inserted in the lock- 
ing system and before it has been turned. 

Issued on December 22, 1980. 

45 F.R. 85450 
December 28, 1980 



PART 114-2 



(Rev. 1/17/92) 



Eff»ctivt: January 1, 1969 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 
Vehicle Identification Number — Passenger Cars 
(Docket No. 1-22) 



A proposal to amend section 371.21 of Part 
371, Federal Motor "Vehicle Safety Standards, 
by adding a new standard, Vehicle Identification 
Number — Passenger Cars, was published in the 
Federal Register on December 28, 19^7 (32 F.R. 
20886). 

Interested persons have been afforded an op- 
portunity to participate in the making of the 
standard. Their comments and other available 
information have been carefully considered. 

The Administrator has concluded that preven- 
tion and deterrence of passenger car thefts would 
substantially reduce the number and seriousness 
of motor vehicle accidents. Available evidence 
shows that cars operated by unauthorized persons 
are far more likely to cause unreasonable risk of 
accidents, personal injuries and deaths than those 
which are driven by, or with the permission of, 
their owners. The incidence of theft and the 
risk of accidents attributable thereto is increas- 
ing. According to a recent study by the Depart- 
ment of Justice, an estimated 94,000 stolen cai-s 
were involved in accidents in 1966, and more 
than 18,000 of these accidents resulted in injury 
to one or more people. 18.2 percent of the stolen 
cars became involved in accidents, and 19.6 per- 
cent of the stolen-car accidents caused personal 
injury. The same study predicted that automo- 
bile thefts in 1967 would total about 650,000; 
about 100,000 of these stolen cars would be ex- 
pected to become involved in accidents. Com- 
paring these figures with statistics for cars which 
are not stolen, the approximate accident rate for 
stolen cars would be some 200 times the rate for 
other cars. Thus, a reduction in the invidence 
of auto theft would meet the need for motor 
vehicle safety. It would not only redue the 
number of injuries and deaths among those who 
steal cars, it would also protect the many inno- 



cent members of the public who are killed and 
injured by stolen cars each year. 

In its report, "The Challenge of Crime in a 
Free Society," the President's Commission on 
Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice 
noted the rising cost of auto thefts in lives and 
dollars, highlighted the need for measures to re- 
duce auto thefts and suggested that "The respon- 
sibility could well be assigned to the National 
Highway Safety Agency as part of its program 
to establish safety standards for automobiles." 
(pp. 260-261). 

The Administrator has decided that the prob- 
lem of reducing the incidence of automobile 
thefts should be attacked on a two-pronged basis. 
On one hand, physical impediments should be 
placed in the path of potential thieves; to ac- 
complish this, a Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
on Theft Protection — Passenger Cars has been 
promulgated. That standard prescribes automo- 
bile equipment which tends physically to defeat 
an attempted theft. It is equally important to 
interpose psychological deterrents to automobile 
theft. A unique identification number affixed to 
each car in a uniform location and readable from 
outside the car would serve as such a deterrent. 
The present standard requires manufacturers to 
install such a number in each passenger car. 
When so installed, it will enable law enforcement 
agencies to find stolen cars and apprehend car 
thieves with much greater facility than now 
exists. By confronting a potential thief with 
the promise of swift and sure apprehension, com- 
pliance with the standard will deter him from 
making off with someone else's automobile. All 
law enforcement agencies, as well as many other 
organizations concerned with the rising incidence 
of car thefts, that responded to the Notice of 
Proposed Rule Making endorsed the concept of 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 1 



Eff*ctiv«: jQnuary 1, 1969 



a visible identification number embodied in the 
standard. Many of these groups said that the 
standard would promote efforts to curb un- 
authorized use of passenger cars. The Admin- 
istrator has therefore concluded that issuance of 
the standard will protect the public against the 
unreasonable risk of accidents stemming from 
widespread automobile theft. 

The Administrator has carefully considered the 
contention, which some manufacturers advanced, 
that the standard might actually increase the 
risk of automobile theft because a thief, armed 
with ready access to the car's identification num- 
ber, might thereby obtain a key for its ignition 
lock. The acquisition of master or identical keys 
procured through knowledge of a vehicle's iden- 
tification number is a lengthy and arduous pro- 
cess. Hence, it is a technique that is rarely, if 
ever, used by amateur thieves whose activities 
create the greatest risk of stolen-car accidents. 
Furthermore, as a practical matter, it is possible 
to utilize this technique only with respect to a 
relatively small number of cars. The Theft Pro- 
tection standard, effective January 1, 1970, will 
result in a larger number of combinations for 
ignition locks, and this should substantially re- 
duce the effectiveness of master keys. In addi- 
tion, improved key-control measures can prevent 
thieves from acquiring duplicate keys simply by 
knowing the vehicle identification number. On 
balance, therefore, the Administrator does not 
agree with those who argue that the standard 
will not result in an overall reduction in the 
number of automobile thefts. 

The Administrator also rejects the contention 
that the standard is unnecessary because of the 
almost universal requirement that all automobiles 
must bear at least one license plate. Experience 
has shown that ordinary license plates, located 
on the outside of a car and installed with screws, 
are often removed and replaced with other plates. 
Knowing only the number of the license plates 
sold to the owner of the stolen car, the police 
have no sure way of identifying the car when 
other plates have been attached to it. The stand- 
ard attempts to overcome this problem by re- 
quiring that the car's identification number be 
affixed with relative permanency. 

In addition to license-plate requirements, the 
laws of many states contain provisions lelating 



to identifying numbers on motor vehicles. The 
primary purpose of these state-law requirements 
is to facilitate the issuance and transfer of titles 
to motor vehicles. So far as the Administrator 
is aware, no state provides for a number which 
is readable from outside a vehicle without open- 
ing a door, hood or other part of the vehicle. 
These state requirements are neither safety 
standards, nor do they relate directly to the pre- 
vention of motor vehicle thefts or the apprehen- 
sion of thieves. Consequently, the Administrator 
has concluded that the standard will have no 
preemptive effect upon such state laws. 

Several changes have been made in the form 
of the standard as it appeared in the Notice of 
Proposed Rule Making. A number of comments 
objected to the requirement, as stated in the No- 
tice, that the vehicle identification number must 
"provide permanent legibility" on the ground 
that it was unrealistic and unattainable. In re- 
sponse to these comments, the requirement was 
deleted. The term "permanent structure" was 
defined to clarify its meaning, in the light of a 
number of submissions which indicated that 
some manufacturers were confused about the 
parts of the automobile that were included within 
the meaning of the term. 

Some comments questioned the requirement 
that the number must be affixed in such a manner 
that "removal, replacement, or alteration of the 
number will show evidence of tampering." The 
requirement has been deleted. The standard now 
provides that the number must either be sunk 
into or embossed upon each car's permanent 
structure or upon a separate plate that is perma- 
nently affixed to the permanent structure. The 
term "permanently affixed" is used in section 114 
of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act, and it was retained in the standard notwith- 
standing contentions that it was not sufficiently 
definitive. 

The portion of the Notice pertaining to read- 
ability of the number (paragraph S4.4) was 
amended to include the conditions under which 
the number must be readable. This provision 
was also redrafted to make it clear that the 
number must be readable from a position outside 
the vehicle without moving any part of the ve- 
hicle. This precludes placing the number in a 
location such that, in order to read it, a door, 



PART 571; S 11&— PRE 2 



■ff«<Mv«i January 1, 19*9 

trunk lid or other portion of the car's body must 1392, 1407) and the delegation of authority of 

be opened. April 24, 1968. 

In consideration of the foregoing, section 371.21 Issued in Washington, D.C., on July 3, 1968. 
of Part 371, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards, is amended by adding Standard No. 

115 .. . effective January 1, 1969. Lowell K. Bridwell, 

This amendment is made under the authority federal Highway Administrator 

of sections 103 and 119 of the National Traffic 33 F.». 10207 

and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. July 17, 1968 



PART 571 ; S 115— PRE 3-4 



EfFedive: January 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 
(Docket No. 1-22; Notice 5) 



This notice amends Standard No. 115, Vehicle 
Identification Number (VIN), to extend its ap- 
plicability to additional classes of motor vehicles 
and to specify its content and format. The action 
was undertaken because of the increased use of 
vehicle identification numbers by the safety com- 
munity, and is intended to extend and simplify 
VIN use. 

Effective date: January 1, 1980, for passenger 
cars; September 1, 1980, for other vehicles. 
For further information contact : 

Mr. Nelson Erickson, Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202/426-0854). 

Supplementary information : 

On January 16, 1978, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) pub- 
lished a notice of proposed rulemaking (43 F.R. 
2189) which proposed extending the applicability 
of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 
115 dealing with vehicle identification numbers 
(49 CFR 571.115) to additional classes of vehicles 
and specifying VIN format and content for spe- 
cific classes of vehicles. 

The uses and users of the vehicle identifica- 
tion number were discussed in detail in the 
previous notice. In summary, the VIN is used 
as the key identifier of a vehicle by motor vehicle 
administrators, manufacturers, insurance com- 
panies, law enforcement agencies, and the 
NHTSA, and is the cornerstone of the safety 
defect recall program. Also discussed in the pre- 
vious notice were the long-standing efforts by sev- 
eral groups in the United States and abroad to 
standardize the VIN format and content and the 
two major and incompatible VIN systems pre- 
viously proposed by the International Standards 
Organization and the Vehicle Equipment Safety 
Commission. 



The system developed by the International 
Standards Organization (ISO), with the partici- 
pation of United States representatives from in- 
dustry and government, consists of 17 characters 
and is flexible in terms of content. A second 
system developed by the Vehicle Equipment 
Safety' Commission (VESC), working in con- 
junction with the American Association of Motor 
Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), consists of 
16 characters whose characteristics are rigidly 
defined. "Wliile the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers 
Association (MVMA) attempted to establish a 
compromise position between the ISO and VESC- 
AAMVA systems by letter to Commissioner C. B. 
Craig of California (a copy of which was sub- 
mitted to the docket), neither party appears to 
have been persuaded to alter their system and 
both continue to urge that the jurisdictions they 
serve and the NHTSA adopt their system. 

By issuing a proposal which the NHTSA be- 
lieved was a first step in establishing a better- 
engineered, more flexible system serving all users 
to the greatest degree possible, the agency hoped 
to elicit comments which would aid it in this 
endeavor. "Wliile some comments merely recited 
their belief that either the ISO or the VESC- 
AAMVA system should be adopted in toto, most 
were helpful in their analysis of the NHTSA 
proposal. All comments were carefully consid- 
ered. 

The NHTSA concludes it should not change 
its previous position that neither the ISO nor the 
VESC-AAMVA systems are sufficient to satisfy 
the broadest group of potential users of the VIN 
in the most efficient fashion. In the case of the 
ISO system, the legitimate needs of the motor 
vehicle administrators for descriptive information 
concerning the vehicle identified were not met. 
It should be pointed out the ISO system was 
never meant to serve this need, but merely to 



PAET 571; S 115— PRE 5 



Effective: Janupry 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 

identify the vehicle. The VESC-AAMVA sys- 
tems, on the other hand, while admirably suited 
to the needs of the States did not take into ac- 
count fully the needs of the manufacturers and 
of NHTSA. The most significant comments 
concerning the XHT8A proposal are discussed 
below. 

Preemption 

A threshold question discussed in the notice of 
proposed rulemaking (XPRM), but raised again 
by the comments, related to the preemptive effect 
of the NHTSA standard on non-identical State 
standards relating to the same aspect of perform- 
ance (see § 103(d) of the National Highway 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 
1392(d)). This issue was most comprehensively 
discussed by the Mainland Department of Trans- 
portation, which raised two basic points. 

First, Maryland called the attention of the 
agency to the preamble of the notice, which orig- 
inally established Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 115 (33 F.R. 10207). As originally 
established in 1968, the standard did not specify 
requirements regarding either the content or the 
format of the VIN. In that notice, the Adminis- 
trator stated that State laws relating to identify- 
ing numbers used for titling purposes did not 
conflict with the standard as then drafted and 
therefore were not preempted. 

The question, however, is not whether Standard 
No. 115 as originally issued 10 years ago pre- 
empted State standards, but whether the ex- 
panded standard regarding VIN format and 
content being promulgated today preempts the 
States in regulating this aspect of the VIN. As 
stated in the Advance Notice of Proposed Rule- 
making (41 F.R. 38189) and the NPRM, and as 
reiterated here, it is the agency's view that Stand- 
ard No. 115 as promulgated by this notice fully 
occupies the area of VIN format and content and 
preempts State and local requirements relating to 
the same matter. 

The second legal argument raised by Maryland 
is that by establishing the format and content of 
the VIN, the NHTSA is "unabashedly violating 
fundamental constitutional principles of federal- 
ism." The gist of Maryland's argument, as we 
imderstand it, is that establishing the content and 



format of the VIN makes it necessary for the 
States to purchase computers and record keeping 
equipment and thereby makes them "quasi- 
departments and instrumentalities'' of the 
NHTSA. In support of their position, they cite 
National League of Cities v. Usei-y, 426 U.S. 833, 
96 S.Ct. 2465, 49 L. Ed. 2d. 245 (1976). 

The NHTSA finds no merit in this argument. 
National League of Cities v. Vsery concerned the 
direct imposition of Federal minimum wage 
standards by Congress on the States with an 
additional cost of millions of dollars in State 
employee salaries and an effect which curtailed 
the ability of the States to carry on a number of 
their essential functions. The result of the im- 
plementation of Standard No. 115 has no greater 
effect on the States than do any of the other 
Federal safety standards which prescribe mini- 
nuun performance standards for and affect the 
cost of vehicles which the States purchase. Fur- 
ther, there is no indication in the docket that the 
VIN format and content established by this no- 
tice, as compared to that contained in the VESC- 
AAMVA system, will have a substantial effect on 
the States or, as put in Fry v. United States, 421 
U.S. 542, 95 S.Ct. 1792, 44 L. Ed. 2d 363 (1975), 
impair their "ability to function effectively in a 
federal system." 

A final argument relating to the preemption 
issue which was raised in some comments is that 
the NHTSA has failed to consult with the VESC, 
as required by § 103(f) (2) of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 
1392(f)(2)) and therefore the issuance of a re- 
vised Standard No. 115 is invalid. The plain 
words of the statute and the legislative history of 
the Act show clearly that the process contem- 
plated was advising the VESC of NHTSA pro- 
posals by issuing them and receiving the VESC 
comments. In this instance, comments were re- 
ceived from the VESC and carefully considered. 

International Harmonization 

An important issue raised by most foreign 
manufacturer, the U.S. Department of Com- 
merce, and the President's Special Representative 
for Trade Negotiations, Ambassador Robert S. 
Strauss, was the incompatibility of the NHTSA 
proposal with the international standard adopted 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 6 



by the International Standards Organization and, 
subsequently, by the European Economic Com- 
munity. This issue was raised not only in rela- 
tion to the goal of international harmonization of 
national standards, but also to the need to avoid 
the creation of unnecessary international obstacles 
to trade. In this regard, Mr. Strauss noted that a 
proposed Code of Conduct on Preventing Techni- 
cal Barriers to Trade was under negotiation in 
the multilateral trade negotiations. This code 
would encourage adherents to use relevant inter- 
national standards as the basis for national stand- 
ards, except where their use would be inappro- 
priate. 

The NHTSA, as a rule, establishes its motor 
vehicle safety standards outside the channels of 
multilateral negotiations. XHTSA does recog- 
nize, however, the desirability and importance of 
fostering international cooperation wherever fea- 
sible and unfailingly regulates all manufacturers, 
be they domestic or foreign, in the same equitable 
fashion. Indeed, it was in this spirit that the 
NHTSA participated in the meetings which led 
to the creation of a number of ISO standards and 
proposals, including the one for the ISO VIN 
system. 

However, through comments received during 
the rulemaking process, the NHTSA has become 
aware of the significantly greater potential of the 
VIN than is realized under the ISO system, both 
in terms of the amount of information which it 
can contain and its utility to various usei's. The 
efforts of the parties creating the VESC-AAMVA 
system and the ISO system, as well as their frank 
and forthright comments concerning the NHTSA 
proposals, have established clearly the parameters 
of VIN usefulness and the needs of the users. 

Consequently, in developing a VIN format and 
content wliich allows it to be used in the most 
efficient fashion — a goal which all parties agree 
to — the agency believes it is establishing a VIN 
system whose merit can and will be i-ecognized 
by all. Of key importance to the agency in this 
belief are two facts. First, the VIN format as 
adopted by the ISO. Further, it is in almost all 
ways compatible with the VESC-AAMVA sys- 
tem. 



Effective: January 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 

The first section of the NHTSA VIN which 
serves as a maker identifier is fully compatible 
with the systems proposed by the VESC- 
AAMVA and the ISO. Likewise the third sec- 
tion of the NHTSA VIN which serves as a 
vehicle indicator is fully compatible with the sys- 
tems proposed by the VESC-AAMVA and the 
ISO. The second section of the NHTSA VIN, 
which serves as a vehicle description, is somewhat 
different in structure than that contained in the 
other two systems. However, it meets the infor- 
mational needs of the VESC-AAMVA, while 
allowing the manufacturers the flexibility af- 
forded by the ISO system coupled with the for- 
mat which the ISO adopted. 

Secondly, the ISO system, while adopted in 
Europe, has yet to be implemented by the manu- 
facturers. The NHTSA sincerely hopes that the 
ISO, after considering the slight variations to its 
systems adopted by the agency, will modify its 
system to make it consistent with the NHTSA 
rule. In this way, international harmonization 
can be assured. 

Information Coding and Retrieval Techniques 

A short discussion of information coding and 
retrieval techniques will be helpful in under- 
standing the VIN standard. 

Information may be directly obtained from a 
series of alpha and numeric characters. For 
example, "FORD" indicates the name of an auto- 
mobile manufacturer without further translation. 
The same manufacturer may also be represented 
by a single character, such as "F," but that char- 
acter must be deciphered to determine whether it 
represents Ford, Fiat, or some other manufac- 
turer. This process is called coding and de- 
coding. 

To decode a character, a "table look up" process 
is used. The dictionary may be either a reference 
document or a computer. In both instances, the 
character "F" will be assigned a meaning in the 
table, such as "F" means Ford, and looking up 
either "F" or Ford will allow its meaning to be 
determined. 

The character "F" may represent more than 
one piece of information, liowever, even though 
it is a single character. It can represent the 
name of a manufacturer, e.g.. Ford, the model of 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 7 



Effective: January 1 , 1 980 

September 1, 1980 



a vehicle produced by Ford, e.g., Pinto, and any 
other characteristics which the vehicle coded "F" 
has. This process is similar to a social security 
number which can be used as a key to a consid- 
erable amount of information about the indi- 
vidual to whom that number is assigned. 

As a practical matter, this means that a manu- 
facturer can encode more than five pieces of in- 
formation in a five-character code word. For 
example, if all 1980 Chevrolet Chevelle, Malibu, 
Estate Station Wagons were in the same weight 
class and contained the same restraint system, 
there would be no need to directly encode this 
information. 

If a one-character alpha/numeric coding system 
is used, there can only be 35 different unique 
codes (A-Z, 1-9). For example, if the social 
security number consisted of only one character, 
only 35 individuals could be identified. There- 
fore, to increase the number of possible codes, 
more than one-character is used. If two-char- 
acters are used, there are 1225 possible codes; if 
three-characters are used, there are 42,875 pos- 
sible codes; if four-characters are used, there are 
1,500,625 possible codes; and if five-characters 
are used, there are 52,521,875 possible codes. The 
number of possible code increases exponentially 
as the number of characters within the code 
increases. 

Purpose and Scope 

Several comments to the docket questioned 
whether the standard would be helpful in simpli- 
fying vehicle certification. "\^liile the presence of 
a VIN on the certification label uniquely identi- 
fies the vehicle being certified and avoids the need 
for considerable additional identifying informa- 
tion concerning that vehicle, it is a secondary 
purpose and has therefore been eliminated as a 
rationale for promulgation of the standard from 
the Purpose and Scope section. 

Application 

The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association 
and a number of individual trailer manufacturers 
strongly opposed the inclusion of truck trailers 
within the requirements of Standard No. 115. 
In support of their position, they pointed to the 
small size of many trailer manufacturers and 
their lack of access to sophisticated computer 



equipment. They also pointed to the lack of data 
relating to a serious safety problem involving 
trailer theft. Finally, they pointed to the overall 
government desire to reduce the regulatory bur- 
den on businesses. 

The XHTSA considered carefully the issues 
raised by the trailer manufacturers. It concluded 
that the need for a unified VIN system out- 
weighed the argument of these manufacturers. 
If States and other users, as well as recall cam- 
paigns, are going to establish computer capacity 
based on a 16-character plus check digit VIN 
system, allowing a different system will create 
substantial confusion and perhaps the loss of 
trailer VINs within the data base because of 
their aberrant format. Further, the use of a 
standardized VIN format will allow for the ef- 
fective tracing of trailers for accident investiga- 
tion purposes and the use of hidden partial VINs 
as a law enforcement tool. 

In order to deal with the real problems facing 
the small manufacturer, however, much of the 
data proposed to be recjuired of the trailer manu- 
facturers has been eliminated. To the extent a 
limited number of models are produced, the nec- 
essary information can be simply represented. 
The first three characters would represent the 
maker identifier. The next five characters indi- 
cates the model in whatever fashion the manu- 
facturer chooses. Thus, four of these characters 
could be standardized and only the fifth would be 
variable if only a limited number of models are 
n^ade. The derivation of the next character, the 
check digit, is easily dealt with by the use of an 
inexpensive, hand-held calculator. The repre- 
sentation of the plant and model year could also 
be standardized. The determination of the trail- 
er's production sequence, particularly with a small 
annual output, should not be difficult. The infor- 
mation which is unicjue to a vehicle can be added 
to its VIN when the certification label is pre- 
pared. 

A definition of "manufacturer" has been added 
to make clear that the final stage manufacturer 
is responsible for assigning and affixing the VIN. 

Based on the suggestion of the Motor Vehicle 
Manufacturers Association, the tenn "type" has 
been substituted for the term "class," but the defi- 
nition remains the same. 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 8 



Effective: January 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 



The definition of "model year" is altered to 
limit the actual period of a model year to just 
under two calendar years. The XHTSA con- 
cludes this will deal with the problem of multi- 
yea" model years raised by the AAMVA 
comment; 

Requirements 

Several of the commenters expressed the view 
that affixing a tamperproof label which could not 
be removed intact was a better method of dis- 
playing the VIX than stamping it on a separate 
plate which was affixed to the vehicle. The lan- 
guage of S4.3 is amended to indicate this is per- 
missible. Volvo commented that the phrase 
'"sunk into or embossed" was technically limiting, 
and the language is therefore broadened to read 
"appear clearly and indelibly." The agency also 
wishes to call to the attention of the manufactur- 
ers selecting the option providing for a separate 
plate that whether or not a plate is "permanently 
affixed" is a matter which the agency intends to 
examine carefully. 

Legibility Requirements 

Many manufacturers commented unfavorably 
on the comprehensive legibility and positioning 
requirements of the VIX, stating they were de- 
sign restrictive and unnecessary. In support of 
their position, thej' also pointed to increased re- 
tooling expenses and an increase in the size of the 
VIX"^ plate if the requirements were adopted. 

Consequently, the XHTSA concludes that it 
will limit its legibility requirements to the mini- 
mum necessary to ensure an accurate reading of 
the VIX. These specify a minimum character 
lieight of -1 mm and that only capital, sans serif 
characters appearing on a contrasting background 
shall be used. If future data indicates these re- 
quirements are not sufficient, they will be 
strengthened. S4.3.1 and S-i..5 ai'e therefore sub- 
stantially' amended and S4.4.1 is deleted. 

Secti(m I— MAKER IDENTIFIER 

The use of the first three characters of the VIX 
to uniquely identify the manufacturer, make and 
type (previously designated "class") of the motor 
vehicle if the manufacturer produces 500 or more 



vehicles of its class annually is retained as pro- 
posed. The use of the first three characters of the 
VIX and the first three characters of the segment 
of the VIX which indicates the production se- 
quence of the vehicle to identify manufacturers 
of less than 500 vehicles in a class annually is 
also retained. 

The AAMVA comment in relation to the maker 
identifier requirement was that motor vehicle 
administrators register vehicles by make, never 
by manufacturer. Consequently, the requirement 
was said to be "totally redundant." Foreign 
manufacturers, on the other hand, point out that 
a make classification is essentially a United States 
phenomenon, and is therefore not important. 
However, under the X'HTSA proposal neither 
manufacturer nor make is directly represented in 
the identifier. If State motor vehicle adminis- 
trators are concerned only with a vehicle make, 
they need only program their data processing 
equipment to derive the make from the three- 
character identifier code. If foreign manufactur- 
ers do not utilize the make designation, then they 
need only advise the XHTSA of this fact when 
they submit information to the agency relating 
to the meaning of their identifier. 

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 
pointed out its work in the area of manufacturer 
identification and volunteered to be the repository 
and assignor of maker identifiers. The XHTSA 
must accept, of course, the ultimate responsibility 
concerning maker identifiers. Tlie standard pro- 
vides, however, that an agent of a manufacturer 
can submit the maker identifier. The XHTSA 
would welcome the SAE carrying out these re- 
sponsibilities as the agent of manufacturers, thus 
avoiding the potential confusion and initial 
duplication forecasted by many comments. 

Section 1 1 —VEHICLE ATTRIBUTES 

Section II of the VIX, relating to vehicle at- 
tributes, caused the most confusion among those 
commenting. The AAMVA and VESC strongly 
opposed the XHTSA veliicle attributes section 
proposal, although the differences between the 
VESC-AAMVA system and the XHTSA system 
were minimal. 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 9 



Effective: January 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 



Under the VESC system, there would be five 
characters in the vehicle attribute section. The 
first four characters would be a "code word" 
from whicli a vehicle's line, series, and body type 
could be deciphered and the fifth would be a 
second "code word" decipherable into the engine 
type. Under the XHTSA proposal, the vehicle 
attribute section would have consisted of six 
characters representing a "code word" from which 
the information required by the VESC as well as 
additional infomaation the NHTSA believed was 
important could he deciphered. Thus, the differ- 
ence between the VESC and NHTSA resolved 
itself into the amount of information contained 
and the use of two code words versus one code 
word. 

Wliile many commenters recommended the use 
of the VESC system because of its fixed-leng:th, 
fixed-field format, in the second section, both 
systems were of a fixed length and, except for 
a specific position to represent engine type, both 
had the .same degree of a fixed field. 

After a review of the comments, the NHTSA 
has determined that all of the information pro- 
posed to be required is not necessary at this time 
as discussed below. Consequently, only five char- 
acters are needed in the vehicle attributes section 
to allow for an adequate number of code words to 
represent the required information. Because of 
this change the designation of the plant of manu- 
facture has been moved to the third section as is 
discussed below. Further, the sixth character of 
this section has been replaced by the check digit 
as is also discussed below. 

It would be useful at this time to review the 
NHTSA requirements for the vehicle attribute 
section promulgated in this notice as compared 
with the VESC-AAMVA and ISO systems. 

A typical NHTSA vehicle attribute section for 
a passenger car would appear as follows: 
RX6302 

The first five characters would be a code word 
from which is deciphered the line, series, body 
type, engine type, weight class, and restraint type. 
The sixth character would be the check digit. It 
should be noted that the check digit need not be 
stored in a computer memory bank, as it can be 
regenerated during printout. 



A typical VESC-AAMVA vehicle attribute 
section for a passenger car would appear as fol- 
lows: RX63D 

The first four characters would be a code word 
from which is deciphered the line, series and 
body type. The fifth character would be a code 
word decipherable into the engine type. 

A typical ISO vehicle attribute section for a 
passenger car would appear as follows : RX63D2 

All six characters would be decipherable into a 
series of discretionai-y vehicle attributes. 

Informational Requirements 

Many commenters indicated that they believed 
much of the information required by the agency 
to be decipherable from the vehicle attribute sec- 
tion was not necessary. After a review of the 
comments, the NHTSA has determined to require 
for passenger cars only that information required 
by the VESC-AAMVA system and information 
relating to weight class and occupant restraint 
type. Information requirements for the other 
type of vehicles are also reduced. 

Several comments pointed out that only the 
final stage manufacturer would be able to assign 
the VIN as the vehicle's characteristics would not 
be known until that time. The comments also 
pointed out this raised a problem when a defect 
campaign was I'equired of a first and second stage 
manufacturer. To ease this problem, the NHTSA 
has concluded that the identity of any previous 
manufacturers should be decipherable from the 
vehicle attribute section. This procedure has 
been developed by the Society of Automotive 
Engineers for their recommended practice for 
motor home vehicle identification numbers. The 
agency also assumes that manufacturers will keep 
sufficient records pursuant to their responsibilities 
under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act to trace incompleted vehicles sold to 
final stage manufactui-ers. 

Because of the flexibility afforded by the five- 
character vehicle attribute section, further infor- 
mation could be required in the future without 
any change in the VIN format as established by \ 
this rule. 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 10 



Effective: January 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 



Section HI—VEHICLE IDENTIFIER 

Model Year 

The NPRM proposed that either a vehicle's 
model year or the calendar year of manufacture 
be encoded in the first character of the vehicle 
identifier section. Many comments suggested this 
would be confusing, and that only model year 
should be encoded as this is the most representa- 
tive category. The XHTSA concurs in this view, 
and S4.5.3.1 is amended accordingly. While one 
comment suggested including a direct two-digit 
code representing the last two numbers of the 
year, the XHTSA concludes that there is not 
sufficient space in the VIX to include two char- 
acters as a year identifier. 

Plant of Manufacture 

Numerous comments were made relating to 
what was perceived as optional identification of 
the plant of manufacture in the XHTSA pro- 
posal. As the proposal stated, however, the plant 
of manufacture was required to be identifiable 
either directly from the last character of the ve- 
hicle attribute section or indirectly from the 
entire VIX. At no time was the inclusion of the 
plant of manufacture made optional. 

After reviewing the comments to the docket 
from the manufacturers, however, the XHTSA 
has concluded that the added flexibility of allow- 
ing the plant to be derived from the entire VIX 
rather than a specific character is not necessary, 
and that the more traditional approach as em- 
bodied in the VESC-AAMVA and the ISO sys- 
tems should be established. Consequently, plant 
of manufacture is not required to be designated 
in the second character of the third section (ve- 
hicle attribute section). 

Production Sequence Number 

The XPRM proposed that the last six char- 
acters represent the sequential number of a ve- 
hicle when the manufacturer produced more than 
500 vehicles annually of that tj'pe. The Ti-uck 
Trailer Manufacturers Association stated that 
some of their members might desire to keep secret 
for competitive purposes the number of vehicles 
I they produce annually. Since a manufacturer 
may begin his sequence at any number, however, 



so long as the order thereafter is maintained in 
sequence, the actual number of vehicles produced 
can be kept secret. 

A number of comments pointed out that for 
various reasons a vehicle might be taken from a 
production line, thereby having an actual sequen- 
tial number which differs from the production 
sequence number originally assigned by the manu- 
facturer. Tlie proposal is amended to indicate 
that the production sequence number is required. 
Other comments questioned how the system could 
deal with manufacturers who produced less than 
500 vehicles in a class one year and more than 500 
in the next. It should be noted that occasional 
overruns can be accommodated up to a total of 
999 vehicles annually without the assignment of a 
different manufacturer identifier. 

Check Digit 

The requirement for a check digit is retained 
as proposed, but the check digit itself is reposi- 
tioned within the VIX. Many commenters stated 
that the system proposed by the VESC-AAMVA, 
utilizing a computer "edit routine" as well, desig- 
nating many characters as either alpha or nu- 
meric, would be more efficient in reducing errors. 

Both the check digit and the edit routine pro- 
cedures are designed to reduce errors. The edit 
routine process analyzes the VIX in two areas. 
First, it considers the basic format utilized by a 
manufacturer, thereby discovering format errors. 
Secondly, it considers whether characters which 
should be either alpha or numeric meet these re- 
quirements. Thus, the edit routine can pinpoint 
with some accui'acy where certain errors occur in 
a VIX. 

The check digit routine, however, is able to 
discover errors missed by the edit routine process, 
such as mistaken characters of the same type 
(alpha or numeric). The check digit when used 
in conjunction with an edit routine can find a 
greater proportion of errors than can be found 
using the basic edit routine proposed by some 
commentere. Further, the che«k digit, unlike the 
edit routine which needs substantial data process- 
ing capability to be utilized, can be utilized by 
policemen or clerks equipped with an inexpensive 
hand-held calculator. 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 11 



Effective: January 1, 1980 

September 1, 1980 

As a practical matter, the XHTSA expects that 
many users of VIXs will utilize a combination of 
the two routines to minimize VIN error. Thus, 
the format of a VIN will be checked against that 
expected for a particular manufacturer and the 
check digit will be utilized to ensure that VINs 
which are properly formatted also contain the 
proper alpha and numeric characters. 

Given the fact that both apj^roaches would re- 
duce the error rate, the XHTSA concluded that 
it would utilize the check digit since its use did 
not limit the flexibility of the system. The fixed 
format proposed by VESC-AAMVA did provide 
information they sought. However, other users 
of the VIX, notably the manufacturers and the 
research community, were not provided the flexi- 
bility to make use of the potential capacity in the 
VIN to provide additional information. 

Several of the commenters, particularly those 
from the insurance industry, raised the questions 
of whether the check digit would be utilized by 
all users and the inability to determine the cor- 
rectness of the VIX if the check digit was not 
used. While the authority of the XHTSA ex- 
tends only to motor vehicle manufacturers, the 
agency fully expects all users interested in main- 
taining the integrity of their records to utilize 
the VIX with the check digit. 

Some commenters also stated their fear that 
when the VIX was reported from the field, some 
observers might neglect to include the check digit. 
Consequently, the check digit has been reposi- 
tioned from the end of the VIX to the end of the 
second section to make it an integral part of the 
VIX. 

Several commenters questioned the need for the 
check digit, pointing to the experience of the 
State of Xorth Carolina in reducing its VIX 
transcription error rate to less than 1 per cent 
without the benefit of either a check digit or 
alpha/numeric designation requirements. The 



XHTSA would seriously consider any petitions 
for reconsideration which clearly demonstrate 
that neither a check digit nor alpha/numeric des- 
ignation requirements is necessary to substantially 
leduce error in transcribing the VIN. 

Keporting Requirements 

Some commenters questioned the XHTSA pro- 
posal in that it allows manufacturers to display 
information in a unique format and to change 
that format within 60 days notice to XHTSA. 
They felt this would create confusion and the 
added expense of continual reprogramming. 

However, it should be noted that the VESC- 
AAMVA system also allows manufacturers that 
same right, i.e., the right to change the code 
which represents various informational elements, 
but makes no provision for advance warning. 
Indeed, the VESC-AAMVA system is silent as to 
how the users of the VIX will be informed of the 
meaning of the characters adopted by manufac- 
turers. Consequently, no change is made to the 
reporting requirements as proposed by the agency. 
It should be noted that the XHTSA does not 
anticipate that manufacturers will have any need 
to change codes within model years. 

The principal authors of this notice are Xelson 
Erickson of the Office of Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards, Crash Avoidance Division, and Frederic 
Schwartz, Jr., of the Office of Chief Counsel. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Standard 
Xo. 115, 49 CFR 571.115 is amended. . . . 

(Sec. 103, 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407) ; delegation of au- 
thority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on August 11, 1978. 

Joan CI ay brook 

Administrator 

43 F.R. 36448-36452 

August 17, 1978 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 12 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 



Vehicle identification Number 

(Docket No. 1-22; Notice 8) 



Action: Final rule and response to petitions for 
reconsideration. 

Sunvmary: This notice amends Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115, Vehicle iden- 
tification number. It establishes a fixed format 
for vehicle identification numbers (VINs) as- 
signed to passenger cars, multipurpose passenger 
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 
10,000 pounds or less and trucks with a gross 
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. 
This amendment is made to meet the needs of 
State motor vehicle administrators, insurance 
companies and other users who desire a means 
of discovering certain types of transcription er- 
rors in VINs at the earliest possible stage. To 
facilitate manufacturer compliance with this 
amendment, the requirement that gross vehicle 
weight rating (GW^Tl) be decipherable from 
the VIN of passenger cars is deleted. 

The notice also positions the check digit, a 
means for detecting errors in the VIN, imme- 
diately following the eighth character of the 
VIN. This amendment is made to facilitate 
manufacturers encoding the VIN. 

The date of September 1, 1980, for compliance 
with the standard is retained but specific authori- 
zation of an earlier optional compliance date is 
deleted. 

The requirement that the three sections of the 
VIN be separated by spaces is also deleted in the 
interest of lessening the cost burden to manufac- 
turers and promoting international harmoniza- 
tion. The requirement that VIN characters have 
a minimum height of 4 mm is limited to the VIN 
displayed in the vehicle passenger compartment, 
as only that VIN needs to be read from a 
distance. 



In response to petitions, the responsibility of 
assigning the VIN to motor homes is shifted 
from the final stage manufacturer to the incom- 
plete vehicle manufacturer. 

The standard is also amended to simplify 
GVWR encodement requirements for vehicles. 
Petitions to delete the requirement that engine 
type and net brake horsepower be encoded in the 
VIN of certain vehicles are denied, but petitions 
are granted to delete engine make and model 
from the information required for vehicles with 
a GVWR of over 10,000 pounds. 

Effective date: September 1, 1980. 

For further information contact : 

Frederic Schwartz, Jr., Office of the Chief 
Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20590 (202^26-1834). 

SupplementaT^ information : 

On November 9, 1978, the National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration published in the 
Federal Register two notices relating to Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115, Vehicle 
identification number (49 CFR 571.115). These 
notices, which were issued in response to petitions 
for reconsideration, amended the standard (43 
FR 52246) and proposed additional amendments 
to the standard (43 FR 52268). Several petitions 
for reconsideration of the amended standard were 
received, as were a number of comments concern- 
ing the proposal. 

The establishment of an acceptable VIN stand- 
ard has been a long and arduous process. As 
was pointed out in the advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking published in the Federal Register on 
September 9, 1976 (41 FR 38189), NHTSA activ- 
ity in this area was preceded by the development 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 13 



of a number of competing, incompatible VIN 
schemes. The two major VIN schemes were that 
of the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission 
(VESC) (supported by the American Associa- 
tion of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the 
States) and that of the International Standards 
Organization (ISO) (supported by the European 
Economic Community and most domestic and 
foreign vehicle manufacturers). These scliemes 
were the ones on which the NHTSA focused as a 
starting point in its effort, to establish a standard 
that would meet the need for motor vehicle safety 
and serve the needs of all VIN users. As the 
rulemaking progressed (43 FR 2189. 43 FR 
36448, 43 FR 52246, 43 FR 52268), both the ISO 
and VESC schemes came closer together. How- 
ever, both schemes remain incompatible in a 
number of respects. 

The uses and users of the VIN have been dis- 
cussed in detail in previous notices. In summary, 
the VIN is used as the key vehicle identifier by 
motor vehicle administrators, manufacturers, in- 
surance companies, law enforcement agencies, and 
tlie NHTSA. It is the cornerstone of the safety 
defe<?t and standard noncompliance recall pro- 
gram, and an important element in manufacturer 
quality control and in vehicle theft recovery. Its 
use as an information tool in the analysis of 
accident reports is of great importance to safety 
research and rulemaking. 

The NHTSA standard adopts the most efficient 
and effective aspects of both the VESC and ISO 
standards, while broadening those standards' in- 
formation function to include matters of specific 
importance to this agency's safety responsibility. 
Further, the NHTSA standard includes features 
which result in more data storage accuracy than 
is possible under the VESC standard, while re- 
maining harmonious with the ISO scheme now 
adopted by the European Economic Community. 

Engine Type Information 

Several manufacturers petitioned to remove the 
requirement that engine net brake horsepower be 
decipherable from the second section of the VIN. 
The basis for this request was that the definition 
of "Engine Type" includes net brake horsepower 
among the characteristics to be considered in 
differentiating one engine type from another. 



These petitions are denied. While net brake 
horsepower is among the characteristics to be 
considered in establishing an engine type, there 
is no requirement that it be encoded in the engine 
type cotle. In some instances, such as with hea\'y 
truck engines, encodement would not be prac- 
ticable. However, if net brake horsepower is. 
actually decipherable from the engine type, then 
the requirement that it be decipherable from the 
second section of the VIN is met and it need not 
be encoded a second time. 

Several petitioners requested a clarification of 
the meaning of "make and model" in relation to 
engine type and a definition of "net brake horse- 
power." International Harvester (IH) also pe- 
titioned to eliminate engine make and model 
information encoding requirements for trucks 
since they utilize more makes and models than 
can be represented by one position in the VIN. 
Further, IH stated that in its view this informa- 
tion has no safety relationship. 

To clarify the requirements for "make and 
model" information, the phrase "manufacturer 
and make" is substituted in the definition of en- 
gine type. The term "manufacturer" has its cur- 
rent meaning within Part 571, and the term 
"make" as defined in S3 is expanded to include 
engines. Thus, engine "make" is defined as the 
name which the manufacturer applies to a group 
of engines (e.g.. General Motors Oldsmobile 
engine). 

The specific reference to engine make and 
model was added to the definition of engine type 
at the request of the States. They were concerned 
primarily about the problem of engine switching 
between the divisions of passenger car manufac- 
turers. The NHTSA is also concerned that tliis 
information be available to ensure the accuracy 
of its safety and fuel efficiency research, since the 
performance of two different engines classified as 
the same "type" may differ. The NHTSA con- 
cludes it can resolve these concerns while not 
placing an unnecessary burden on truck and other 
heavy duty vehicle manufacturers where engines 
are used interchangeably. Therefore, the require- 
ment that engine make and model l>e reflected in 
the VIN is amended to require only that engine ^ 
manufacturer and make be reflected for passenger ^ 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles with a 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 14 



GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, and trucks with 
a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. It is in these 
categories of vehicles that engine types are stand- 
ardized and consumers are less knowledgeable 
about the specifications of the vehicles they 
purchase. 

Harley-Davidson Motor Co.. Inc. also asked 
the agency to define the temi "net brake horse- 
power" and to indicate whether SAE Standard 
J245 was the intended meaning. Because several 
definitions of net brake horsepower exist, the 
agency has concluded not to specify the precise 
definition to be used, thereby allowing manufac- 
turers to continue using their current method of 
evaluating the net brake horsepower of their ve- 
hicles. In submitting the net brake horsepower 
of these vehicles, however, manufacturer should 
submit the definition of the term they are 
utilizing. 

VIN Legibility 

In the final rule published on August 17, 1978 
(43 FR 36448), S4.5 provided that the three sec- 
tions of the VIN should be grouped, i.e., appear 
as a full section without being split, but inad- 
vertently omitted the provision that had been 
proposed for requiring spacing between the sec- 
tions. This omission was corrected in the 
amendment to the nile published on November 9, 
1978 (43 FR 52246), which specified that the 
space between sections shall be twice that of the 
space between characters. 

A number of manufacturers petitioned for re- 
consideration of this provision, claiming lack of 
notice for it. These manufacturers indicated 
what they considered to be serious lead time 
problems and substantial cost increases if the 
spacing requirement was not deleted. They also 
cited section 5.7 of ISO 3779, which provides that 
spaces should not appear in the VIN, although a 
symbol or character may be used between sec- 
tions. AVliile the agency still believes that sepa- 
rating the three sections of the VIN would 
improve the accuracy of its transcription, the 
added cost burden to the manufacturers and the 
interests of international harmonization argue in 
favor of deleting the spacing requirement. The 
requirement is therefore eliminated. The agency 
points out, however, that the legibility of the 



VIN is of concern and will be carefully reviewed 
after the standard takes effect. 

Ford Motor Co. points out that S4.3.1 requires 
that all characters in the VIN must have a mini- 
mum height of 4 mm regardless of where the 
VIN appears on a vehicle. The intent of the 
agency, as Ford correctly perceives, was to limit 
the requirement to the VIN as it appears in the 
passenger compartment, since only in that loca- 
tion need the characters be read from a distance. 
The standard is amended to make this limitation 
clear. 

Incomplete Vehicle Attributes 
Table I in the standard categorizes vehicles by 
type and specifies the vehicle attributes that must 
l)e decipherable from the VIN for each type. In 
the amended standard published on November 9. 
1978, the agency added a type designated "incom- 
plete vehicle." The attributes required to be de- 
cipherable from the VIN for this type were those 
attributes common to both trucks and buses. This 
type was established because incomplete vehicles 
often may be completed as either a truck or a bus, 
and the incomplete vehicle manufacturer would 
have little way of knowing the final configura- 
tion. 

American Motors Co. petitioned the agency to 
delete the requirements for incomplete vehicles 
and require instead that the second section of the 
VIN of incomplete vehicles reflect those attributes 
which the incomplete vehicle manufacturer an- 
ticipates the vehicle will have when completed. 
As this would place a more onerous burden on 
the manufacturers by requiring additional infor- 
mation to 1)6 encoded than the current require- 
ment, as well as call for considerably more 
prescience tlian the manufacturers have suggested 
they usually possess, the petition is denied. 

In this regard, it should be noted that the 
language of S4.5.2 and the "incomplete vehicle" 
type category in Table I contained in the amend- 
ment to the rule published November 9. 1978, 
were inadvertently omitted from the notice of 
proposed rulemaking issued the same day. The 
amended rule issued today corrects that error. 
The definition of the term "type" is also amended 
to include "incomplete vehicle" as a separate type. 
Assignment of the VIN to Motor Homes 
Manufactured in More Than One Stage 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 15 



The amendment published on Xoveniber 9, 
1978, provided that in the case of vehicles other 
than motor homes, manufactured in more than 
one stage, the VIN would be assigned by the in- 
complete vehicle manufacturer. In the case of 
motor homes, the final stage manufacturer would 
make the assignment. The rationale of the agency 
for requiring the final stage manufacturer of 
motor homes to assign the VIX rested on two 
grounds. First, the comments to the docket sub- 
mitted by the Recreational Vehicle Industry 
Association (RVIA) in response to the notice of 
proposed rulemaking (Docket entry 1-22-N04- 
048) appeared to support motor home manufac- 
turers assigning the VIN for their vehicles, and 
the RVIA did not petition to change the require- 
ment after the publication of the final rule on 
August 17, 1978. Secondly, a number of States 
and State organizations pointed out the law en- 
forcement problems inherent in identifying a 
vehicle whose outward appearance was, for 
example, a Winnebago while the manufacturer 
identifier indicated the vehicle was a Ford. 

In response to the November response to peti- 
tions, petitions for reconsideration were received 
from the RVIA, jointly from the VESC and the 
AAMVA (VESC/AAMVA) and from the State 
of Maryland. The RVIA, in its petition, ap- 
pears to have reversed its previous position, and 
cites a number of practical and economic reasons 
why the incomplete vehicle manufacturer should 
assign the VIN to motor homes. These include 
the need for uniform VIN assignment by the 
incomplete vehicle manufacturer, unavailability 
to the final stage motor home manufacturer of 
necessary data concerning the incomplete vehicle, 
the need of incomplete vehicle manufacturers to 
carry out recall campaigns, and the economic 
burden on lower volume motor home manufac- 
turers. The VESC/AAMVA and State of 
Maryland in their petitions appear to believe that 
law enforcement officers will be able to identify 
motor homes by the manufacturers of their 
underlying chassis. Further, it appears that the 
States adopted a procedure on September 14, 
1978, by which the final stage motor home manu- 
facturers would add an additional three character 
identifier to the incomplete vehicle manufacturer's 
VIN. The States would then add that identifier 
to their VIN files. 



It is not clear to the agency how the States can 
include this additional information in their data 
storage systems based on their stated capacity in 
other comments to the dockets. Nonetheless, the 
exception to the rule in the case of motor homes 
was created in response to the initial comments 
of the manufacturers and the States. They now 
conclude such a provision will he a hindrance. 
For that reason and because either the incomplete 
vehicle manufacturer or the final stage manufac- 
turer is capable of providing a VIN, the agency 
believes it appropriate to remove the exception. 
Therefore, sections S'2, S3, and S4 are amended 
accordingly. 

Mack Truck also petitioned to eliminate re- 
quirements for encoding those truck attributes 
which can be easily altered by purchasers. A\Tiile 
it is true that several of the attributes required 
might occasionally be subsequently altered, such 
as altering gross vehicle weight rating by chang- 
ing tires, the agency concludes that this informa- 
tion is still important as a basic classifier of 
vehicle type for safety research and should be 
required. In most instances, the agency believes 
this information will not become invalid. 

Check Digit Highlighting 
The November 1978 notice of proposed rule- 
making requested comments on the effectiveness 
and advisability of highlighting the check digit 
as an aid in locating it on the VIN plate. All 
commenters, whether manufacturer or VIN user, 
recommended that the check digit not be high- 
lighted. The comments suggested that highlight- 
ing the check digit would increase cost to 
manufacturers and confusion among users with- 
out comparable advantages in check digit recog- 
nition. Consequently, the NHTSA has concluded 
that the check digit is sufficiently recognizable 
by its physical position in the VIN without being 
further highlighted. 

Weight Increments For Vehicles With a Gross 
Vehicle Weight Rating Greater Than 
10,000 Pounds 
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued 
November 9, 1978, the Administration proposed 
that the weight rating data for vehicles with a M 
gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 " 
pounds be delineated in 5,000 pound increments. 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 16 



The Freightliner Corporation supported the 
amendment, stating that gross vehicle weight 
rating was an important statistical consideration. 
The Motor Veliicle Manufacturers Association 
and General Motors recommended that the 
G\^VR not be required for vehicles witli a 
GVWR over 10,000 pounds, as this infonnation 
is contained on the certification label. The 
MVMA also questioned why this information is 
required for trucks with a GVWR of less than 
10,000 pounds, but not for passenger cai-s. Ford 
Motor Co. commented similarly. 

International Harvester (IH) also opposed the 
amendment because it would restrict IH"s current 
VIN scheme and because the GVWR of incom- 
plete vehicles is easily modified. Freightliner 
reached the opposite conclusion in its comment, 
stating that it is not economically feasible for 
drastic changes to be made in GVWR after ini- 
tial manufacture. Paccar, Inc. did not oppose 
the proposal, but recommended instead that the 
classification system currently being used in the 
industry, which consists of eight weight rating 
classifications, be substituted. In this way, 
Paccar argues, G\^VR information would be 
more relevant to manufacturers and easier for 
the manufacturer to encode. 

As the agency pointed out in previous notices, 
highway safety research can be carried out utiliz- 
ing the VIN appearing on accident reports even 
though the vehicle itself is not available. Conse- 
quently, the appearance of the GVWR on a ve- 
hicle's certification label is not a substitute for 
encoding the GVAVR in the VIN. While GVWR 
does not indicate the actual load being carried 
by the vehicle, it is extremely useful in classify- 
ing the vehicle itself, particularly its size. After 
reviewing the comments received on this proposal, 
the agency has concluded GVWR information 
for trucks should be retained, since it facilitates 
analyzing differences in performance and acci- 
dent experience of different size vehicles. 

The agency is also persuaded by the argument 
of Paccar that institutionalizing the weight rat- 
ing classification system currently being used in 
the industry would be equally useful and consid- 
erably less disruptive. For example, certain ve- 
hicle models fall within one weight rating class 
although they may fall within two GVIVR cate- 



gories utilizing the proposed system. The stand- 
ard is, therefore, amended accordingly. 

The requirement that G^'AYR he supplied for 
passenger cars was deleted because there were not 
enough codes to include that information in a 
fixed format system along with the other pas- 
senger car information considered more impor- 
tant by the agency. Information relating to the 
GVWR for light trucks was considered more 
important, as it represents not only a way of 
identifying and monitoring the vans and light 
trucks which are bex-oming an important element 
of the vehicle population as distinguished from 
heavy trucks, but also the weight makeup of that 
class. The NHTSA denies, therefore, petitions 
to eliminate the requirement for encoding the 
G^^VR of trucks and multipurpose passenger 
vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. 
However, to take account of the fact that there 
are fewer models of light trucks and to ease the 
burden on manufacturers, the number of GVWR 
weight categories is reduced to eight for ve- 
hicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. 

Also with respect to light trucks, the agency 
wishes to note that while it has not included a 
requirement that restraint type information be 
supplied for light trucks, it does intend to pro- 
pose this requirement when it proposes passive 
restraint systems for those vehicles. 

VIN Fixed Format 
In the notice of proposed rulemaking published 
on November 9, 1978, the agency proposed fur- 
ther fixing the VIN format by specifying the 
alphabetic or numeric nature of the 4th, .5th, 6th, 
7th, 11th, and 12th characters of the VIN for 
passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles 
with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less, and 
trucks with a GV1\T? of 10,000 pounds or less. 
In making the proposal, the agency explored in 
detail the advantages and disadvantages of fixing 
the format. In summary, fixing the format will 
allow some types of VIN errors to be corrected 
when initially transcribed by clerks and others 
who can quickly become familiar with the estab- 
lished format. In addition, forms on which the 
VIN is transcribed can be designed to indicate 
whether a character should be alphabetic or 
numeric. However, fixing the VIN format will 
not eliminate the need for the check digit, will 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 17 



lead to a reduction in the information-cari-yin<i 
capacity of the VIN, and will result in alterations 
to the VIN schemes which manufacturers now 
utilize. 

Comments in response to the notice confirmed 
the NHT8A analysis of the matter. Specifically 
States supported the conclusions about the effect 
of expanding the fixed format on transcription 
error rate and the manufacturers supported the 
conclusions about the effect of the expansion on 
the information capacity of the VIX. Manufac- 
turers commenting on the proposal were unani- 
mous in their opposition. Chrysler predicted 
more costly and complex decoding. Toyo Kogyo 
concluded that a fixed format would end any 
hopes of continuing their system of specific in- 
formation being encoded in specific positions. 
Volkswagen pointed to a major disruption in 
their current system, and questioned why further 
fixing the format was necessai-y as German clerks 
have achieved an error rate of approximately 1 
percent without the format fixing. 

Similar objections to those cited above were 
made by other manufacturers commenting. 

In addition, Rolls-Royce Motors requested that 
if a format is to be fixed, all characters should 
be specified as alphabetic. In this way, Rolls- 
Royce, as a low volume manufacturer, could re- 
flect changes in a vehicle without also having to 
change the actual model code. British Leyland 
Motors, Inc. also requested that the first four 
characters of the second section be alphabetic to 
provide for additional informational capacity. 
Toyota proposed that the fourth as well as the 
fifth characters of the second section not be fixed 
for the same reason. 

The Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. 
Ford Motor Co., and International Harvester 
specifically objected to specifying for cars, light 
trucks, and light multipurpose vehicles that the 
3rd character of the 3rd section (i.e., the 11th 
character of the VIN) of the VIX must be nu- 
meric. Their objections were based on the re- 
sulting substantial reduction in the number of 
unique manufacturer identifiers for manufactur- 
ers producing less than 500 vehicles per year 
which would be available in the third section. 
Also, several truck manufacturers pointed out 
that they utilized the 11th character of the VIN 



to represent the assembly line on which the truck 
was produced, and that they maintained more 
assembly lines than the number of numerical 
characters available. 

The VESC/AAMVA, the States, and the insur- 
ance industry all supported the fixed foniiat 
scheme, pointing to an anticipated lessening in 
the number of transcription errors as described 
by the agency in the NPRM. 

The petitions requesting a flexible format or 
changes in the character specifications are denied 
except for those requesting that the 3rd character 
of the 3rd section be pennitted to be either alpha- 
betic or numeric. The agency recognizes that the 
use of a fixed format will result in a substantial 
I'eduction in the information carrying capacity 
of the VIN. However, the avoidance of tran- 
scription error remains the paramount concern. 
Nothing in the docket suggests that the adminis- 
tration was incorrect in its assiuxiption that 
transcription errors will be reduced by the use of 
the fixed format system. 

Fixing the format of the 3rd character of the 
3rd section presents a more diffioilt choice. On 
one hand, fixing the format of this character as 
numeric will identify an error if an alphabetic 
character is substituted. However, since the pre- 
ceding character is not specified as either nu- 
meric or alphabetic and the character following 
it is numeric, the opportunity to identify trans- 
positions of these characters is limited. On the 
other hand, it seems possible that the numlier of 
manufacturers producing less than 500 passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles or trucks 
with a GVWR of 10,000 poimds or less a year 
over the next 30 years will exceed the capacity 
of the VIN with the third character of the third 
section fixed. This is particularly true as the 
recreational use of these veliicles increases. 

Further, the ability to locate the assembly line 
on which a defective vehicle is manufactured will 
iiave an important safety benefit. In cases in- 
volving manufacturing defects, this information 
will enable a determination of which of similar 
vehicles produced on different assembly lines need 
to be recalled. Consequently, the agency has de- 
termined not to adopt the proposed requirement 
that the 3rd character of the 3rd section of the 
VIN be numeric. In this way, a sufficient number 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 18 



of manufacturer identifiers can be assured with 
the least disruption to the existing system used 
to identify trucks. 

The VESC/AAMVA and several other com- 
menters suggested that the NHTSA VIN system 
could be further improved by fixing the specific 
information required to be decoded from each 
position of the second section of the VIN. These 
petitions are denied. Fixing the information 
contained in each position of the second section 
of the VIN would have no effect on the accuracy 
of transcription of the VIN, since clerks and 
others could not easily memorize the myriad of 
characters manufacturers use to represent data 
contained in these positions. Wliile the informa- 
tion contained in the second section would be 
more easily decipherable by thase using a table 
if each position were specified, the amount of 
information which could be represented would 
be substantially decreased and the disruption to 
manufacturers substantially increased. 

These problems were resolved by the VESC. 
after discussions with the manufacturers, by 
specifying the content of only one character of 
the second section in establishing the VESC VIN. 
With the NHTSA requirement for encodement 
of additional information beyond that required 
by the VESC, the agency concludes that specify- 
ing the informational content of each character 
in the second section is not practicable. 

Although discussed comprehensively in pre- 
■vious notices, it should be noted again tliat the 
adoption of a fixed format only eliminates a 
particular class of VIN errors and in no way 
eliminates the need for the check digit. "WTiile 
the fixed format is able to identify those errors 
which result in an alphabetic character being 
substituted for a numeric character or vice versa, 
the check digit process will detect most erroneous 
characters regardless of type. Because vehicle 
owners are notified of recalls through their ve- 
hicle's VIN, it is essential that this infonnation 
be retained in the most accurate fashion possible. 

Check Digit Position 
In the notice of proposed rulemaking issued 
on November 9, 1978, the agency proposed posi- 
tioning the check digit immediately preceding 
the fourth position of the VIN in the interest of 
international harmonization and manufacturer 



ease of compliance. As the agency pointed out 
in the notice, the second section of the VIN sys- 
tem adopted by the ISO contains 6 characters. 
By having the check digit immediately precede 
or follow the second section, the five characters 
of the second section plus the check digit become 
the 6 characters necessary to assure compatibility 
with the ISO standard. If the check digit is 
positioned at either end of the VIN, the second 
section contains only 5 characters and the VIN 
is incompatible with the ISO system. However, 
specific comments were also requested concerning 
the advantages of placing the check digit at 
either end of the VIN. 

Several States and the VESC/AAMVA sub- 
mitted comments which supported placing the 
check digit at the beginning of the VIN. 

In its comments, Maryland did not object to 
the check digit. It felt that the combination of 
fixed length, improved format, and the check 
digit routine will reduce transcription errors and 
provide an edit routine to ensure file integrity. 
Howev^er, Maryland also anticipated that some 
States would not be able to store a 16 character 
VIN. (For the purposes of comparison, it bears 
emphasis that the NHTSA VIN has 16 characters 
plus a check digit, the VESC VIN has 16 char- 
acters, and the ISO VIN has 17 characters.) 
These states would, in Maryland's view, eliminate 
prior to computer storage the check digit and 
perhaps a second character after producing a 
certificate of title. If the certificate of title were 
subsequently lost, there would be no record in the 
State files of a complete VIN, and the owner 
would have a great deal of trouble when trans- 
ferring title to the vehicle. 

In a similar situation, Maryland believes some 
States will choose to eliminate the check digit and 
a character of the VIN prior to producing the 
certificate of title, thereby creating a defective 
title which another State could refuse to honor. 
Indeed, Maryland considers this problem so se- 
rious that it believes a uniform system of drop- 
ping charactei-s from the VIN is a certainty if 
additional Federal funds are not available to pay 
for additional State VIN storage capacity. 

From this state of affairs, Maryland concludes 
that placing the check digit to the left or right 
of the VIN would encourage the check digit to 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 19 



be dropped in the inevitable uniform system of 
dropping VIX characters. 

The XHTSA does not concur in this analysis. 
Since the States have supported in their com- 
ments to the docket the 16 character VESC VIX. 
the agency assumes they are willing to store this 
number of characters and that they would have 
developed the capacity necessary for that purpose 
even in the absence of the XHTSA VIX. If a 
State desires to drop the check digit, rather than 
store it, the State can do so irrespective of its 
position in the VIX either by appropriate data 
processing techniques or by simple and proper 
design of the forms on which the VIX is tran- 
scribed. 

As Maryland points out in its comment, and as 
the agency has pointed out in previous notices, 
the XHTSA does not regulate the States in re- 
gard to the VIX. Thus, the XHTSA cannot 
require the State to store or use the check digit. 
The agency is confident, however, that States will 
seek to facilitate their citizens being made aware 
of potential safety defects and noncompliances 
in their vehicles and to simply their task in trans- 
ferring their vehicles. Consequently, the agency 
believes they will utilize the simple data process- 
ing procedure for eliminating the check digit if 
they chose not to store it. The State comments 
to the docket would indicate, however, that all 
six are planning to store the 16 character VIX 
and the check digit. 

The Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission 
and the American Association of Motor Vehicle 
Administrators (VESC/AAMVA) also re- 
sponded jointly on December 11, 1978 to the no- 
tice of proposed rulemaking. In addition, certain 
aspects of their submission were supplemented 
by the VESC on December 29, 1978, as the result 
of XHTSA questions about the basis for their 
submission, and this supplement has also been 
placed in the docket (01-22-XPRM-Xo. 7^1). 

The VESC/AAMVA comment of December 11. 
1978, maintained that from 35-37 States are cur- 
rently incapable of "inputting" 17 charactei-s 
into their vehicle identification files. In its sup- 
plementary docket submissions, the VESC stated 
that it was unable at that time to submit a list 
identify those States which could not input 17 
characters. The VESC also explained that while 



in most instances State capability could be ex- 
panded by reprogi'amming and the purchase of 
additional equipment, this would be ver>' expen- 
sive. 

Like Maryland, the VESC/AAMVA concluded 
that those States which are unable to currently 
input 17 characters for lack of equipment and 
appropriate programming will choose to drop at 
a minimum the check digit. This will create, in 
the view of the VESC/AAMVA, lack of uni- 
formity', confusion, and a regenerated check digit 
based on the State's computation which will differ 
from the manufacturer-assigned cheeck digit. 
To place the check digit anywhere but the be- 
ginning or the end of the VIX, in the view of 
the VESC/AAMVA, would create "unacceptable 
data handling and data regeneration problems." 
Therefore, the VESC/AAMVA concluded that 
the check digit must be dropped entirely or 
moved to the left of the VIX. 

In its supplement, the VESC/AAMVA ex- 
plained that the data handling problems referred 
to were "incorrect inputs" into the computer be- 
cause State personnel would drop by mistake a 
character which was not the check digit while 
transmitting the VIX. Further, problems would 
occur due to the inconsistency between States 
which have a 16 character VIX capacity and 
States which have a 17 character VIX capacity. 

The VESC/AAMVA also maintained that the 
cost burden to the States to comply with the 
XHTSA standard would be substantial. Ver- 
mont, the only State whose cost VESC cited with 
confidence, projected a cost of $250,000 to imple- 
ment the XHTSA VIX system and a 2 to 3 year 
completion date. The VESC/AAMVA reported 
that Vermont has only 380,000 vehicles and lim- 
ited on-line computer time. Consequently, the 
cost for a State with more sophisticated computer 
equipment would l)e considerably higher in the 
VESC/AAMA^A view. Vermont also advised 
the VESC/AAMVA that only a negligible 
amount of Federal funds would be available to 
carry out the changeover. 

The VESC/AAMVA stated that specific cost 
data from the other States was not available, but 
the cost to the States of Illinois, Michigan, and i 
Xew York would be materially higher than Ver- v 
mont, and that Massachusetts was projecting a 



PAET 571; S 115— PRE 20 



VIN changeover cost of from $300,000 to 
$400,000. In the case of Massachusetts, it is not 
clear whether this represents the changeover cost 
to convert to the VESC VIN or NHTSA VIN. 

In its supplement, the VESC/AAMVA was 
imable to provide at that time further data on 
these cost figures for the NHTSA VIN. 

The VESC/AAMVA also attacked the ration- 
ale of the agency in placing the check digit 
within the VIN structure. In the view of the 
VESC/AAMVA, the practical effect of that 
placement is mandating the recording and stor- 
age of a 17 character VIN. The VESC/AAMVA 
concludes that the NHTSA must either drop the 
check digit or place it outside the VIN stinicture. 

Of particular concern to the VESC/AAMVA 
is the difficulty they suggest will be encountered 
in instructing a title clerk or police officer to 
drop the check digit in an internal position 
rather than in the first or last position. In its 
supplement, the VESC/AAMVA agreed with 
the agency that a computer can be programmed 
to drop any character in the VIN or the check 
digit and forms can be designed to indicate the 
check digit just as easily as they can be desigiied 
to show whether a character should be alphabetic 
or numeric. However, the VESC/AAMVA still 
l3elieves strongly that a serious problem would 
exist if State personnel drop the check digit 
prior to transcription on a form or entry into a 
computer. Further, the VESC/AAMVA believes 
it impossible to design a form which signified 
the check digit for every intended use of the 
VIN. 

The key question raised by the VESC/ 
AAMVA relates to the ability of the States to 
deal with a 16 character VIN with an internal 
check digit. This issue was also of concern to the 
NHTSA. A review of the comments to the docket 
from the six States directly responding suggests 
that the problem is not as severe as the VESC/ 
AAMVA believes, however. 

Unfortunately, only three of these States sub- 
mitted cost data to the docket, and the VESC/ 
AAMVA was unable to submit data relating to 
their conclusions. Further, as noted above, the 
agency has not received information from the 
VESC/AAMVA concerning the additional cost 
of implementing the NHTSA VIN system as 



compared to the cost of implementing the 16 
character VIN system proposed by the VESC. 

Oregon estimated its cost to implement the 
NHTSA VIN system at $17,650 for reprogi-am- 
ming. Vermont estimated its costs at $250,000, 
of which $180,000 would be for systems analysis 
and programming and $70,000 would be for pub- 
lic relations, training, and redesigning forms. 
Washington State estimated its costs for imple- 
menting the NHTSA VIN system at $36,000 the 
first year for repi'ogramming, equipment, and 
key punching, and $25,000 each subsequent year 
for equipment and key punching. 

The agency does not understand why the 
cliangeover costs of Vermont are approximately 
10 times higher than the two other States sub- 
mitting cost data. The agency notes, too. that 
the motor vehicle population of Vermont is ap- 
proximately one-eighth that of Washington and 
one-fifth that of Oregon. The cost of adopting 
either the NHTSA VIN system or VESC VIN 
system should be approximately equivalent and 
should consist primarily in reprogramming and 
procuring additional computer data storage units, 
and these costs should be in some degree propor- 
tional to tlie vehicle population. The agency 
does note, however, that Vermont's highway 
safety annual work program for tliis fiscal year 
includes spending $280,000 to implement a R. L. 
Polk computer program to check for valid VIN's. 
Since this R. L. Polk program will be outdated 
with the promulgation of the NHTSA standard, 
the agency hopes that Vermont's implementation 
of the NHTSA VIN system can be consolidated 
with the implementation of a revised VIN edit 
routine, thus achieving some savings for Vermont. 

Based on the agency's assessment of implemen- 
tation costs and on the actual cost data submitted 
to the docket, the NHTSA concludes that the 
cost to be incurred by the States to implement 
the NHTSA VIN system will not be so signifi- 
cant as the VESC/AAMVA comments suggested. 
As explained previously, the primary costs to the 
States of implementing the NHTSA system 
would be those of reprogramming and of pur- 
chasing additional data storage equipment. 

The agency's conclusion about lack of substan- 
tial cost is further supported when one considers 
that the members of the VESC adopted and the 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 21 



States supported the VESC 16 character VI\ 
system. Presumably, the States were prepared 
to adopt it. Thus, the cost burden which the 
NHTSA regarded as particularly important to 
the States is the incremental cost of the \HTSA 
VIN system over the VESC VIN scheme. In 
the case of Oregon, the cost differential between 
the NHTSA and VESC VIN systems would be 
negligible, as only reprogramming is required 
and the effort needed to reprogram for 17 char- 
acters, either stored or dropped prior to storage 
and then regenerated, would not be substantially 
more than it would be for 16 characters. In the 
case of Washington, the State itself estimates the 
added cost of the NHTSA system over the VESC 
system would be $2,500 annually for keypunching 
the added character. 

The agency remains convinced that the States 
will seek methods of simplifying and standard- 
izing titling and other procedures involving the 
VIN. All parties appear to agree that by proper 
design of forms and relatively simple program- 
ming of computers, the check digit may be elimi- 
nated from any location within the VIN should 
a State choose to do so. It appears all agree, 
also, that the appropriate check digit may be re- 
generated when the VIN is removed from data 
storage and printed. What the VESC/AAMVA 
and Maryland appear to fear, however, is that 
police officers, clerks, and others will attempt to 
locate and eliminate the check digit in the pro- 
cess of transcribing the VIN. Why persons 
would be instructed to drop the check digit has 
not been suggested, however. Further, simple 
instructions should prevent that from occurring. 
Accordingly, premature dropping of the check 
digit is clearly avoidable. The agency is im- 
pressed that none of the States directly submit- 
ting comments to the docket have suggested that 
it does not intend to store the check digit along 
with the VIN. 

The VESC/AAMVA has incorrectly eval- 
uated the practical effect of placing the check 
digit within the VIN. The placement of the 
check digit within the VIN does not necessitate 
the storage of the check digit. Further, as the 
agency expressly explained in the previous notice 
and above, the choice was made to allow the VIN 
mandated by the NHTSA to be compatible with 



the VIN mandated by the ISO. In this way, 
manufacturers could use the same VIN structure 
on vehicles marketed in the United States and 
those marketed outside the country. The inter- 
national harmonization of the NHTSA VIN 
Standard is not only consistent with United 
States policy in this area as articulated by the 
President (14 Weekly Comp. of Pres. Doc. 1630), 
but eases substantially the regidatory burden on 
manufacturers producing vehicles for both the 
United States and foreign markets since they 
need not maintain two separate VIN systems. 
If the VESC VIN scheme was adopted, manu- 
facturers would face the added cost of maintain- 
ing one VIN system for the United States and 
another VIN system for the re^st of the world. 

Comments were also received on the question 
of the check digit position from a number of 
insurance companies and insurance industry 
groups. Nationwide Insurance stated that the 
location of the check digit within the VIN should 
not present any problem to VIN users since so- 
phisticated procedures were not necessary to 
manage the check digit regardless of its position. 
Further, the use of the check digit caused Nation- 
wide no great concern. The Alliance of Ameri- 
can Insurei"S believed some users would prefer 
the check digit be placed outside the VIN, but 
stated that "ideally" the check digit should be 
retained as an integral part of the VIN. State 
Farm Insurance Co. stated that it intended to 
store the check digit, but suggested it should be 
positioned at the beginning or end of the VIN in 
the interest of allowing it to be dropped more 
easily by users who did not intend to store it. 
State Farm did not explain how the ease of drop- 
ping the check digit varied with its position. 
Allstate Insurance Co. supported the use of the 
check digit, and recommended that it be made an 
internal part of the VIN. Finally, the Insurance 
Institute for Highway Safety strongly supported 
making the check digit an internal part of the 
VIN. 

No manufacturer supported moving the check 
digit to the first or last position of the VIN, but 
there was a difference of opinion among the 
manufacturei-s whether the check digit should 
precede or follow the second section of the VIN. 

Volkswagen and British Leyland supported 



PART 571 ; S 115— PRE 22 



placing the check digit immediately preceding 
the second section of the VIX, as this would 
make the VIN more compatible with the Euro- 
pean VIN system. General Motors and Ameri- 
can Motors supported the check digit in this 
same position, as this seemed to foster interna- 
tional hannonization. International Harvester 
supported the check digit in this position, as this 
would be least disruptive to its current system. 
While not commenting to this docket on the 
issue, Mercedes-Benz and BMW supported in 
their petitions for reconsideration of the August 
18, 1978 rule placing the check digit immediately 
preceding the second section. Mercedes supported 
this position because it would cause the least 
disruption to its current system. BMW sup- 
ported this position because the check digit would 
then not separate the two flexible sections of the 
VIX, thus allowing the establishment of a VIX 
"management system". 

Harley-Davidson, Toyo-Kogyo, Chrysler, and 
Peugeot-Renault supported the check digit im- 
mediately following the second section, as this 
separated the fixed section of the VIX from the 
variable section of the VIX. Rolls-Royce sup- 
ported the check digit in this position, as it has 
already begun work on a system which would 
position it there. 

Ford and the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers 
Association took no position on whether the check 
digit should precede or follow the second section 
so long as it was in one of those two positions. 

In its notice of proposed rulemaking published 
on Xovember 9, 1978, the agency relocated the 
check digit to a position preceding the second 
section of the VIX in the interest of ease of 
compliance for those manufacturers who desired 
to use a difl'erent system in Europe than they did 
in the U.S. It seems, however, that the manu- 
facturers are unable to agree upon which position 
actually is preferable. The agency must there- 
fore determine which position makes moi-e prac- 
tical sense. 

The agency concludes that the check digit 
should be placed in immediate proximity to char- 
acters which are variable. While only some 
manufacturers may have to change manufacturer 
identifiers if they produce more than one type of 
vehicle, all must change the final eight characters 



of the VIX. Consequently, the agency concludes 
that the check digit should precede these final 
eight characters since it too is variable. Thus, 
many manufacturers will be able to prepare their 
VIX plates with the first part of the VIX"^ pre- 
stamped. This will lower costs and aid in pre- 
venting alterations since these characters can be 
molded as part of the plate. 

Some manufacturers and manufacturer associa- 
tions also petitioned to eliminate the check digit 
entirely. The agency's rationale for the check 
digit and its utility in eliminating error have 
been comprehensively reviewed in previous no- 
tices. In summary, the check digit offers the 
most effective way known to the agency to deter- 
mine erroneously recorded VIXs prior to storage 
in motor vehicle files. 

Peugeot-Renault raised in their comment a new 
issue of international harmonization. In the 
view of Peugeot-Renault, the ISO standard re- 
quires that the middle section of the VIX remain 
the same for all vehicles of the same description. 
After a review of the ISO standard, the XHTSA 
cannot agree with tliis view. ISO Standard 3779 
specifically provides that if not all the characters 
in the second section of the VIX are used for 
descriptive purposes, the manufacturer may fill 
the section with another character for which 
there are no restrictions. 

Optional Early Compliance 
The XPRM proposed that compliance witl^ all 
aspects of the amended standard be permitted 
beginning September 1, 1979, for passenger cars 
and be required for all vehicles beginning Sep- 
tember 1, 1980. Optional early compliance was 
proposed because the agency concluded tliat some 
manufacturers could fully implement the 
amended standard before September 1, 1980, and 
because the agency was concerned that imple- 
mentation of the amended standard might be 
complicated b}^ the State of Maryland's proposal 
to implement an inconsistent VIX system on 
Januaiy 1, 1980. Express authorization of early 
compliance would have put the amended standard 
into effect on September 1, 1979, and removed 
any question about the preemption of State 
standards governing VIX format and content. 

The agency has since learned that the State of 
Maryland has formally proposed to change its 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 23 



implementation date to September 1, 1980. If 
that new proposal is adopted, the need for ex- 
press authorization for early compliance with the 
amended NHTSA standard will be eliminated. 
Based on indications that the proposal will be 
adopted, the agency has decided to delete the 
express provision for early compliance. It should 
be clearly understood, however, that this deletion 
does not preclude early compliance with most 
aspects of the amended standard. Except to the 
extent that it is not possible for a manufacturer 
to comply simultaneously with an existing and 
future version of a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard, early compliance is always permissible. 

Effective Date 
A number of commenters requested that the 
effective date be postponed to allow for acquiring 
equipment and for system development. Mack 
Truck requested that the effective date be post- 
poned until two years from the issuance of the 
final rule. Volkswagen requested that the effec- 
tive date be 18 months from the publication of 
the final rule. International Harvester opposed 
the September 1, 1980 effective date as not prac- 
ticable, but did not suggest an alternative effec- 
tive date. BMW recommended an effexitive date 
3 years after the standard is issued. The VESC/ 
AAMVA suggested an effective date two to three 
years after the standard is finalized. The State 
of Vermont proposes an effective date of Septem- 
ber 1, 1981, or September 1, 1982, because its 
computer programming effort is committed for 
the next li/^ years. 

The agency is unconvinced that the effective 
date of the standard should be changed. AVhile 
the final details of the proposal were not known 
until today, the necessity of implementing a new 
VIN system and most of its essential features 
have been known at least since the August 1978 
final rule. 

With an effective date eighteen months in the 
future, the desires of Volkswagen have been met 
and the stated needs of Mack substantially met. 
While BMW and International Harvester believe 
they need more time to comply, they have pre- 
sented no evidence in their comments that their 
systems development, reprogramming, and mark- 
ing equipment installation cannot be accom- 
plished within the specified time frame. Further, 



BMW nmst comply prior to September 1, 1980 
with the compatible ISO standard, and presum- 
ably can comply with the NHTSA standard 
shortly thereafter. IH has stated that its in- 
ability to comply comes from the need to derive 
a new coding system. The agency believes 18 
months will be sufficient for this purpose, as it is 
for the other manufacturers. 

From the comments, it appeal's that California, 
Oregon, and AVashington can comply witli a 
January 1, 1980 effective date, and Maryland 
can prior to that date comply with a 16 character 
\'IX requirement. 

Of the States commenting, only Vermont be- 
lieves it can not comply by September 1, 1980. 
Since Vemiont's time problem rests with a prior 
114 year programming commitment rather than 
the 6-18 months the State considers necessary to 
implement the XHTSA VIN system, it is hoped 
that Vermont's revision of the now outdated 
R. L. Polk VIN verification program planned 
for this fiscal year can be combined with the re- 
programming necessarv to i m p 1 e m e n t the 
NHTSA VIN system. ' 

The VESC/ AAMVA objected to the effective 
date on behalf of the States. The agency notes, 
however, that a 16 character VIN was adopted 
by the VESC in July 1977. Thus, the States 
were aware on that date that a 16 character VIN 
would be implemented shortly. Further, Mary- 
land, by requiring passenger cars sold in that 
State after January 1, 1980, to have a 16 char- 
acter VIN made it highly likely that manufac- 
turers would adopt a 16 character VIN system 
by that date. (It should be noted that Maryland 
on February 9, 1979, proposed that its standard 
should take effect on September 1, 1980. This is 
the proposed effective date for the NHTSA 
standard). Manufacturers in all probability 
would not utilize one system for Maryland and 
another for the other States. The intent of 
Maryland to require manufacturer to comply 
with its VIN standard on September 1, 1980, 
whether or not the NHTSA extended the effective 
date of its standard, was confirmed on February 
22, 1979 (Docket 01-22-No. 7-042). Conse- 
quently, any action of NHTSA to extend its 
effective date would not aid the States in view of 
Maryland's position. 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 24 



The XHTSA concludes, therefore, that all 
States should have been prepared to deal with a 
16 character VIN six months prior to the effective 
date of the XHTSA standard. This view is 
further supported by the comments of the States 
throughout this rulemaking effort which strongly 
supported the adoption of the VESC 16 character 
VIN scheme. Since the elimination of the check 
digit prior to storage is a reasonably simple task, 
the agency concludes the States will be able to 
deal with NHTSA-mandated VINs by the time 
the standard takes effect. The agency is also 
certain that the coordinative efforts of the 
AAMVA will aid the States in dealing with the 
NHTSA VIN system by the time the manufac- 
turers comply with the standard. The agency 
too stands ready to provide technical assistance 
if any should be needed. 

Therefore, petitions to change the effective date 
of the standard are denied. 

Notice of Change in Encoded Data 
The VESC/AAMVA and several States once 
again raised the issue of S6 of the standard which 
requires manufacturers to notify the NHTSA 60 
days before changing the information decipher- 
able from a particular VIN. It is the view of 
the VESC/AAMVA that requiring the manufac- 
turers to submit this information to NHTSA 
will indirectly result in their not submitting it to 
the States. 

This issue was discussed in the amendments to 
the rule published on November 9, 1978. The 
NHTSA is unable to understand why the manu- 
facturers who voluntarily have been submitting 
material to the States since 1901 would suddenly 
cease doing so. The subsequent VESC submis- 
sion to the docket does not explain the basis for 
its concern. In the unlikely event that the manu- 
facturers cease to supply this data to the States, 
the NHTSA will entertain a petition for rule- 
making from the States to institutionalize a 
requirement for the submission of that data to 
the States. Section S6.3 is amended, however, to 
require that all the information required to be 
submitted to the NHTSA shall be submitted at 
least 60 days before affixing the VIN utilizing 
the encoded information. This amendment is 
made to remedy an ambiguity in the standard as 
presently written. 



Use of a Hand Held Calculator 
In the final rule issued August 17, 1978, (43 
FR 36-148) the agency stated its belief that check 
digits could be calculated by using inexpensive, 
hand held calculators. Tlie agency was not re- 
ferring to the type of calculator currently avail- 
able over the counter, but a calculator prepro- 
grammed to carrj' out the check digit procedure 
when the VIN itself was keyed in. With the 
adoption of the fixed format as an aid in avoid- 
ing transcription errors, however, check digit 
calculations in the field are unlikely. Therefore, 
the availability of a preprogrammed calculator 
is no longer of concern to the agency. 

The VESC/AAMVA also points out that the 
check digit system is not infallible since the same 
numerical value is assigned to three or four char- 
acters. For example, "D", "M", "U", and "4" are 
all assigned the numerical value "4" in tlie check 
digit procedure. The odds that one of these 
characters will be erroneously substituted for the 
other resulting in the coiTect check digit is only 
one in eleven, however. Consequently, the check 
digit procedure will reduce the number of incor- 
rect VINs in computer files by more than 90 
percent. 

Manufacturer Identifier for Manufacturers 

Producing Less Than 500 Vehicles of 

Any One Type Annually 

S4.5.1 of the standard provides a special proce- 
dure for assigning the manufacturer identifier to 
manufacturers who produce less than 500 motor 
vehicles of a type annually. In this procedure, 
the third character of the VIN is the number 9 
and the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth charac- 
ters of the VIN along with the first three char- 
acters represent the manufacturer identifier. The 
VESC/AAMVA objects to this provision as 
complicated to process by computer and suggests 
it should be eliminated. 

This provision was adopted because the agency 
was unable to ascertain with certainty that there 
is a sufficient number of three character identi- 
fiers to uniquely represent all vehicle manufac- 
turers, makes, and types over the next thirty 
years, the cycle of the amended standard. In 
addition, this method of identification is identical 
with the method adopted by the ISO, and its 
inclusion in the NHTSA standard would he a 



PAKT 571; S 115— PEE 25 



further step in the direction of international 
harmonization. 

The agency is unconvinced that the problems 
expressed by the VESC/AAMVA are substan- 
tial. The occurrence of a VIN from a manufac- 
turer of less than 500 vehicles of a type in any 
State's vehicle population will be rare. As the 
VTN format for a manufacturer of less than 500 
vehicles of a type is the same as that for all other 
manufacturers, there should be no impediment to 
entering it into storage. The need to generate 
the name of the manufacturer from the data 
base, the situation where specific programming 
will be called for, will be even rarer. Against 
the arguments of the VESC/AAMVA, the in- 
tegrity of the VIN system over thirty years and 
the interests of reducing compliance costs through 
international harmonization must prevail. 

Reconstructed Vehicle VIN 
The VESC/AAMVA and the State of Ver- 
mont again raise the issue of assigning a VIN to 
reconstructed vehicles. As was pointed out in 
the amendment to the rule published on Novem- 
ber 9, 1978, amended Standard No. 115 only ap- 
plies to reconstructed vehicles if the chassis is 
new. Evidently, the VESC/AAMVA and Ver- 
mont interpreted this to mean that the VIN of 
the original chassis should be assigned to the 
reconstructed vehicle. This is only true if the 
chassis is new, in which case the vehicle would 
be one manufactured in more than one stage and 
the incomplete vehicle manufacturer would as- 
sign the VIN. 

The VIN for the homemade vehicles which 
Vermont apparently refers to would be assigned 
by Vermont, as it sees fit. Presumably, a recon- 
structed vehicle VIN scheme which was com- 
patible with the NHTSA VIN system could be 
created, but such a scheme would not be within 
the ambit of Standard No. 115. 

Assignment of Manufacturer Identifiers 
Saab-Scania has requested further information 
concerning the assignment of manufacturer iden- 
tifiers. When the final rule was issued, the So- 
ciety of Automotive Engineers (SAE) imme- 
diately submitted on behalf of many domestic 
and foreign manufacturers a list of approxi- 
mately five hundred identifiers. They have been 



registered to the manufacturers to whom they 
were assigned. Because the SAE has progressed 
so far in its assignment process, the agency is 
discussing with the SAE its assigning manufac- 
turer identifiers on behalf of and under the au- 
thority of the NHTSA. A notice will appear in 
the Federal Register when this matter is resolved. 

Public Meeting 
The VESC/AAMVA stated that the agency 
had not followed through on its announcement 
in the advance notice of proposed rulemaking 
that it anticipated a public meeting for oral sub- 
mission of comments concerning VINs. At the 
outset, the agency did contemplate the possibility 
of a public meeting to supplement the oppor- 
tunity for written comment. Holding a meeting 
proved unnecessary, however. Substantial writ- 
ten public comments have been received in re- 
sponse to the agency's five notices. Comments 
received from the AAMVA and VESC are a 
good example of the comments received and their 
completeness in responding to the involved issues. 
For example, in response to the advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking, the AAMVA submitted not 
only staff comments, but also supplementary ma- 
terial from 50 States and the District of Colum- 
bia. Similarly, extensive comments were also 
submitted in response to the notice of proposed 
rulemaking. 

The agency also notes that a public meeting 
concerning the VIN was held under the aegis of 
NHTSA's National Highway Safety Advisory 
Committee on March 21, 1978, in which the 
VESC and AAMVA participated. This meeting 
resulted in 61 pages of testimony and 110 pages 
of supplementary material. Further, meetings 
were held between the NHTSA and VESC and 
AAMVA personnel on September 21, 1977 
(Docket 01-22-No. 3-92), November 4, 1977 
(Docket 01-22-No. 3-93), and November 18, 
1977 (Docket 01-22-No. 3-94). 

Plant of Manufacture 
BMW petitioned the agency to delete the re- 
quirement for encoding plant of manufacture, 
since it currently utilizes a seven digit production 
sequence number, the first character of which 
would occupy the space required to be occupied 
by the character designating the plant of manu- 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 26 



facture. A system which would have allowed 
BMW to maintain a seven character sequential 
number was proposed in the notice of proposed 
rulemaking published on Januarv' 16. 1978 (43 
FR 2189), but withdrawn in the face of criti- 
cism that it was too complex. BMW suggests 
no reason which would cause the agency to re- 
open the issue, and its petition is denied. The 
agency notes, however, that the rule does not 
restrict a manufacturer from submitting more 
than one character to represent a single plant. 
Consequently, a sophisticated allotment of se- 
quential blocks might be sufficient to allow BMAV 
to maintain its seven digit production sequence 
numbering system. 

Meaning of Definition of "Chassis" 
In the amendment issued on November 9, 1978 
the agency clarified the meaning of the term 
"chassis" to at least discriminate between a truck 
and a truck-tractor. Ford has requested that this 
clarification be rescinded, as the 2 percent of its 
heavy truck chassis which are not sold as incom- 
plete vehicles are completed at a later date under 
contract to Ford. A\lien Ford assigns the VIN, 
it states it does not know the final form of the 
vehicle. To the extent Ford does not know the 
final form of the vehicle when it assigns the 
VIX, the chassis information need not discrim- 
inate between truck and truck-tractor. 

Trailer VIN's 
The Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association 
(TTMA) petitioned to delete the requirement 
that descriptive information concerning trailere 
be encoded in the second section of the VIN. 
The TTMA believes that this information will 
be of little use in defect and noncompliance re- 
call campaigns. Further, the TTMA asked for 
specific examples of how this information would 
be useful in accident investigation. By deleting 
this requirement, the TTMA argues, the second 
section of a trailer VIN could consist of "0" or 
some other "neutral" character, thus reducing 
paperwork requirements and easing compliance 
for the smaller manufacturers. 

The TTMA petition is denied. Trailers can 
be as diiferent as a five foot, single axle, 500 
pound GA^ATR platform trailer and a forty foot, 



multi-axle, refrigerated van of -10,000 pounds 
GVWR. The need to discriminate between these 
vehicles in accident investigation and research is 
apparent. 

However, it should also be noted that the 
standard does not require that each character of 
the second section of the VIX reflect information, 
only that the second section as a whole reflect the 
required information. For example, if a small 
manufacturer produces 33 or less models which 
can be differentiated on the basis of the descrip- 
tive characteristics set forth in the standard, only 
one position in the second section of the VIN is 
needed to carry this information and the other 
four positions can be "0". 

VIN Litigation 

On January 8, 1979, the VESC and the State 
of Maryland filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals 
for the Fourth Circuit a petition for review of 
Standard No. 115. As required under Section 
105 of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act of 1966 (15 U.S.C. 1394), the agency 
has filed with the Court the record of the rule- 
making proceeding prior to this amendment. To 
facilitate public review of the material which the 
agency included in the record, publicly available 
documents not previously submitted to the docket 
but cited in the rulemaking notices have been 
placed in a general reference section for this 
notice. 

The principal authors of this notice are X'^elson 
Erickson of the Office of Vehicle Safety Stand- 
ards, Crash Avoidance Division and Frederic 
Schwartz, Jr., of the Office of Chief Counsel. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Standard 
No. 115, 49 CFR 571.115, is revised .... 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119 Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 
718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407) ; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.50.) 



Issued on March 15. 1979. 



Joan Claybrook 
Administrator 



44 F.R. 17489-17498 
March 22, 1979 



PART 571; S 115— PRE 27-28 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 

Vehicle Identification Number 

(Docket No. 1-22; Notice 10) 



ACTION: Response to petitions for reconsidera- 
tion and rulemaking. 



SUMMARY: This notice responds to a petition for 
reconsideration of the March 22, 1979, notice 
amending Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
No. 115, Vehicle Identification Number and to 
several petitions for rulemaking to amend the 
standard. The requests in the reconsideration 
petition to eliminate the fixed format required of 
vehicle identification numbers (VINs) for certain 
vehicle types and to place the check digit after the 
3rd character of the VIN are denied. A rulemaking 
petition request to extend the date by which unique 
manufacturer identifiers must be reported to the 
agency is granted. Rulemaking petitions to post- 
pone the standard's effective date for vehicles 
whose model year changeover date is subsequent 
to September 1, 1980, are granted in part. Re- 
quests for an interpretation permitting slight 
variations between actual engine horsepower and 
that encoded in the VIN are also answered. The ef- 
fect of these amendments is to facilitate in various 
minor ways the manufacturer's implementation of 
the revised VIN. 



DATES: The effective date of the standard is 
revised as follows: September 1, 1980, for manu- 
facturers whose 1981 model year changeover date 
falls prior to September 2, 1980, or subsequent to 
January 1, 1981. 

The manufacturer's 1981 model year changeover 
date for manufacturers whose changeover date for 
that year occurs between September 1, 1980, and 
January 2, 1981. 



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On March 22, 
1979, the National Highway Traffic Safety Ad- 
ministration published a notice amending Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115, Vehicle 
Identification Number (44 FR 17489). One petition 
for reconsideration of the amended rule and 
several petitions for rulemaking to amend the rule 
further were received. 

The vehicle identification number (VIN) is a 
series of 16 letters and numbers which serves as 
the unique identifier for motor vehicles manufac- 
tured in or imported into the United States. Along 
with its ability to uniquely identify a vehicle, the 
VIN can be decoded to provide substantial infor- 
mation about the vehicle such as its manufacturer, 
model, and gross vehicle weight rating. The VIN is 
assigned in conjunction with a check digit, which 
follows its 8th character. The check digit is the 
result of a mathematical process utUizing the 
characters of the VIN, and is used to detect errors 
in the transcription of the VIN from a vehicle to a 
written record or from record to record. 

The many uses and users of the VIN have been 
described in detail in previous notices. In sum- 
mary, the VIN is used as the key vehicle identifier 
by the NHTSA, manufacturers, insurance com- 
panies, and agencies of State governments. It is 
the keystone of vehicle recall campaigns, and is of 
great importance in safety research. It also has 
many other uses such as vehicle titling and 
recovery of stolen vehicles. 

VIN Fixed Format 

Sections 4.5.2 and 4.5.3 of Standard No. 115 
specify the alphabetic or numeric nature of the 
characters occupying six positions in the VIN af- 
fixed to passenger cars and to multipurpose 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 29 



passenger vehicles and trucks with a GVWR of 
10,000 pounds or less. The 4th and 5th characters 
are required to be alphabetic and the 6th, 7th, 11th 
and 12th characters are required to be numeric. 
The process of specifying the alphabetic or 
numeric nature of certain characters is called fix- 
ing the format, and is utilized to facilitate the 
recognition by clerks and others of errors in 
transcribed VINs at the earliest possible moment. 
For example, the appearance of an alphabetic 
character in the 7th position of a VIN with a fixed 
format would be a clear indication of a transcrip- 
tion error. 

Volkswagen of America (Volkswagen) submitted 
a petition for reconsideration requesting the 
agency to delete the fixed format requirements for 
the VIN. In support of its position, Volkswagen 
points out, as it has in response to previous notices, 
that a fixed format is only useful when the error in 
transcription involves the substitution of the 
wrong type of character, i.e., alphabetic for 
numeric or vice versa. Substitution of erroneous 
characters of the same type, e.g., a "7" for a "9", 
would not be discovered. Likewise, Volkswagen 
points out that fixing the format for only light- 
weight trucks and lightweight multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicles results in confusion unless the 
weight of the vehicle is known. Volkswagen be- 
lieves this occurs because some trucks and multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles will have a fixed for- 
mat (10,000 pounds GVWR or less) and others will 
not have a fixed format (more than 10,000 pounds 
GVWR). Thus, a "4" in the 4th position of a truck 
of 8,000 pounds GVWR would indicate an error, 
but the same number in the same position for a 
truck of 18,000 pounds GVWR might not represent 
an error. Finally, Volkswagen states that placing 
the check digit following the 8th character rather 
than the 3rd character as proposed in Notice 7 (43 
FR 52268) limits the use of the 2nd and 3rd sec- 
tions of the VIN as one informational unit, further 
restricting its utility. Volkswagen requested, 
therefore, that the check digit be placed after the 
3rd character. 

As the NHTSA explained in Notice 7 (43 FR 
52258) and Notice 8 (44 FR 17489), the use of the 
check digit process identifies almost all VIN 
transcription errors. Nonetheless, the use of the 
check digit also requires a mechanical processor of 
some kind; the mathematical steps cannot be car- 



ried out in an individual's head. An important seg- 
ment of VIN users, particularly motor vehicle ad- 
ministrators and the insurance industry, believe it 
important that some process exist which will allow 
clerks and others at the time of entry of the VIN 
into the data processing system to check with the 
individual providing the VIN if an error has been 
made in transcription. Without this ability, a State 
agency receiving an erroneous VIN would be faced 
with having to take the time and trouble to locate 
and contact the individual who provided the VIN 
instead of being able to consult with the individual 
on the spot and correct the error. The Agency 
adopted the fixed format to meet this need, 
although it acknowledges that few errors will be 
discovered which could not be discovered at a later 
stage by utilizing the check digit procedure. 
Volkswagen has presented no information which 
would alter the agency's determination in this 
regard. 

The Agency has concluded that the usefulness of 
the fixed format system will not be compromised 
by mandating its use only for those trucks and 
miltipurpose passenger vehicles whose GVWR is 
10,000 pounds GVWR or less. The number of er- 
roneous transcriptions for trucks and multipurpose 
passenger vehicles of more than 10,000 pounds 
GVWR should be small, as these vehicles do not 
make up a substantial portion of the vehicle popula- 
tion. Should any confusion arise, either the sup- 
plementary information submitted on the form 
along with the VIN or a direct question to the still- 
available transcriber would resolve the matter. 

The NHTSA has also denied Volkswagen's peti- 
tion concerning check digit location. While placing 
the check digit after the 8th character does 
separate the second and third sections of the VIN, 
it is clear that the third section changes with each 
vehicle since this section contains the vehicle's se- 
quential number. The first and second sections, 
however, remain constant among large numbers of 
vehicles since they reflect general characteristics. 
Consequently, the agency reaffirms its conclusions 
that the check digit should follow the 8th character 
to maintain the integrity of the first and second 
sections of the VIN and to allow for the prestamp- 
ing of those sections when appropriate. 

Effective Date 

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association 
(RVIA) submitted a petition for rulemaking on 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 30 



August 16, 1979, requesting a 3-month extension 
of the date by which manufacturers must submit 
unique identifiers to the agency. The date estab- 
Hshed by the March 22, 1979, notice for submission 
of the identifiers was September 1, 1979. RVIA 
based its petition on the reported confusion of 
some of its members concerning the unique iden- 
tifiers and on its then recent learning that NHTSA 
had awarded a contract to the Society of Automo- 
tive Engineers to act as the agency's agent in 
acknowledging and /or assigning unique identifiers 
to manufacturers. 

To ensure widespread public knowledge and 
understanding of the SAE contract and the SAE's 
role in the assigning of manufacturer identifiers, 
the agency published a notice announcing the con- 
tract in the Federal Register (44 FR 52783; 
September 10, 1979). In particular, the notice 
stated that: 

The SAE is the assigner of World Manufacturer 
Identifiers on behalf of the International Stand- 
ards Organization. As such, it has assigned more 
than 700 three character identifiers to motor vehi- 
cle manufacturers. These identifiers have been 
submitted to the NHTSA pursuant to S4.5.1 and 
S6.1. In assigning these identifiers, the SAE has 
gained considerable experience in the process of 
manufacturer identification. For this reason, the 
agency has determined that it would be more effi- 
cient and effective to contract with the SAE to act 
as its agent in acknowledging and /or assigning 
manufacturer identifiers to the remaining vehicle 
manufacturers. 

All requests for the manufacturer identifiers 
should be forwarded directly to: Society of 
Automotive Engineers, 400 Commonwealth 
Avenue, Warrendale, Pennsylvania 15096, Atten- 
tion: Leo Ziegler. 

Manufacturer identifiers will be supplied at no 
charge. Manufacturers need not request a par- 
ticular identifier. Requests for the assignment of 
specific identifiers can be forwarded to the SAE, 
however, and these identifiers will be assigned by 
SAE if they do not conflict with an identifier 
already reserved. Identifiers supplied directly to 
the agency by manufacturers have been forwarded 
to the SAE. 

Manufacturer identifiers assigned by the SAE 
need not be submitted to the NHTSA. The 
NHTSA, of course, retains final authority over the 



assignment process, and any questions should be 
referred to the agency. 

The agency has decided to change the deadline 
for submission of the manufacturer identifiers 
from September 1, 1979, to February 24, 1980, to 
ensure that all manufacturers have sufficient time 
to work with the SAE in the selection and submis- 
sion of their identifiers. In making this change, a 
major consideration of the agency is that the 
change has no effect on the implementation of the 
revised VIN for the 1981 model year. Since this 
change relieves a restriction and does not ad- 
versely affect parties which will utilize the revised 
VIN, the agency has determined that notice and 
comment are not necessary. 

Fruehauf Corporation (Fruehauf) and Rolls- 
Royce Motors International (Rolls-Royce) have 
submitted petitions for rulemaking to amend 
Standard No. 115 by extending the effective date. 
Rolls-Royce has requested that it not be required 
to affix the VIN mandated by the standard until its 
model year changeover date which will occur prior 
to January 1, 1981, and subsequent to the current 
effective date of September 1, 1980. Fruehauf has 
requested that the effective date be made January 
1, 1981, as that is its model year changeover date. 

Both manufacturers present a number of finan- 
cial and technical arguments in support of their 
petition. Fruehauf faces a particular problem in 
this regard, as the firm is currently installing a 
new computer " system. Since orders for heavy 
trucks are now being accepted for delivery after 
Septemb'fer 1, 1980, the company will be obligated 
to assign to each of these vehicles the current 9 
character VIN and the 16 character plus check 
digit VIN required by Standard No. 115. This will 
also require either programming the new com- 
puter to manipulate both a 9 and 17 character VIN, 
or maintaining the old computer system in parallel 
with the new system for three additional months. 
Regardless of the technical method chosen to solve 
this problem, Fruehauf will also incur the cost of 
training its personnel to deal with the dual system. 
Fruehauf estimates its cost associated with this 
problem to be $231,000. 

Fruehauf also argues that use of two VIN 
systems during the same model year gives rise to a 
number of physical and logistical problems. If two 
systems are to be used, it must determine if a vehi- 
cle when ordered is to be produced prior to 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 31 



September 1, 1980 (in which case it would be 
assigned a 9 character VIN), between September 
1, 1980 and January 1, 1981 (in which case it would 
be assigned both a 9 character VIN and a 17 
character VIN), or after January 1, 1981 (in which 
case it would be assigned a 17 character VIN). 
Delays or alterations in the manufacturing se- 
quence could cause substantial complications. 
Since the VIN is used for a number of purposes 
during the manufacturing process, intracompany 
forms would also have to be redesigned to indicate 
both VINs. Further, customer invoices and 
manufacturing documentations would have to 
utilize the 17 character VIN, but internal cost, ac- 
counting and recordkeeping would have to utilize 
the 9 character VIN. 

The petition of Rolls-Royce articulated similar 
problems. Of particular concern to Rolls-Royce 
were problems involving recordkeeping, service 
reporting, production and general confusion aris- 
ing from the need to alert personnel to the changes 
and use of the two different VIN systems for the 
same model year. 

The agency has concluded that these petitions 
should be granted, to the extent described below. 
The initial effective date of September 1, 1980, for 
Standard No. 115 was chosen by the agency 
because this is the model year changeover date for 
most vehicles manufactured in the United States. 
The agency considers it extremely important that 
this date not be delayed to avoid the problems in- 
herent in effecting a new VIN system in the midst 
of a model year. 

For this very reason, however, the agency is con- 
cerned that the use of two entirely different VIN 
systems by some manufacturers for the same 
model year will result not only in the problems sug- 
gested in the Fruehauf and Rolls-Royce petitions, 
but also will give rise to confusion in recall cam- 
paigns and other areas. Likewise, the agency is 
concerned about the added costs necessitated by 
VIN users having to maintain two separate VIN 
systems, and the means to decode these systems, 
for the same model year. Further, additional costs 
to implement the standard will result from the in- 
ability of these manufacturers and others similarly 
situated to coordinate the changes required by the 
standard with other changes normally made to 
their vehicles on the model year changeover date. 



The agency has also concluded that any adverse 
effect on safety of a modified effective date for 
manufacturers whose model year changeover date 
falls between September 1, 1980, and January 1, 
1981, will be negligible, and outweighed by the 
safety benefits. The number of vehicles which will 
be affected is small, and the VIN currently used by 
the manufacturers will be continued in place for 
the several months involved in the amendment. 
For these reasons, the agency has concluded that 
the effective date for Standard No. 115 for 
manufacturers whose model year changeover date 
falls between September 1, 1980 and January 2, 
1981, should be that model year changeover date. 
The effective date for all other manufacturers re- 
mains September 1, 1980. 

Engine Horsepower Rating 

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (Honda) and 
Volkswagen have asked the agency to interpret 
the requirement that engine net horsepower be 
decipherable from the VIN to allow for a slight 
variation in the actual horsepower from that 
reported to the agency. 

Table 1 of S4.5.2 of Standard No. 115 sets forth 
the information for each type of vehicle which must 
be decipherable from the VIN. Except for trailers, 
the VIN for all types of vehicles must encode 
"engine type". "Engine type" is defined in S3 of 
the standard as "a power source with defined 
characteristics such as fuel utilized, number of 
cylinders, displacement, and net brake horse- 
power." In addition, the VIN for motorcycles must 
reflect net brake horsepower. 

Honda and Volkswagen have pointed out to the 
agency that a particular engine's horsepower may 
vary slightly from others of the same manufac- 
turer and model depending upon its method of in- 
stallation. The agency has also been informed in 
comments to the docket that engines which are 
essentially the same, particularly in trucks, may 
have slightly differing horsepower ratings depend- 
ing on the requirements of the ultimate purchaser 
of the vehicle. Further, in the case of Honda, the 
difference may be as great as 20 percent because of 
engine modifications to meet necessary require- 
ments of the State of California. To encode in the 
VIN slight differences in horsepower ratings 
would be an inefficient use of its information carry- 
ing capacity, the manufacturers argue. 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 32 



The NHTSA concurs in this evaluation. The pur- 
pose of the horsepower rating requirement is to ob- 
tain information for accident and fuel economy 
research, and it is not necessary to have precise 
horsepower ratings for these purposes. Conse- 
quently, the agency is amending the standard to 
provide that the value for engine net brake horse- 
power encoded in the VIN may differ, with one ex- 
ception, by 10 percent from the actual net brake 
horsepower. Motorcycles whose horsepower rating 
is 2 brake horsepower or less may not be indicated 
as being above that rating and motorcycles whose 
horsepower rating is above 2 brake horsepower 
must so indicate. The purpose of this exception is 
to preserve the distinction in the VIN between 
motorcycles and mopeds. It should also be noted 
that the permissible deviation margin cited above 
is only authorized for Standard No. 115, and does 
not apply to other standards. 

The agency has considered the economic impact 
of this final rule and determined that it is not 
significant within the meaning of Executive Order 
12044 and the Department of Transportation's 
policies and procedures for implementing that 
order. The agency has determined further that the 
impact is so minor as not to require preparation of 
a written evaluation of it. This is because the 
amendments impose no new costs upon manufac- 
turers and seeks to lessen the difficulties of com- 
pliance with the Standard. 

The principal authors of this notice are Frederic 
Schwartz, Jr. of the Office of Chief Counsel and 
Nelson Erickson of the Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standards. 

In consideration of the foregoing, Standard No. 
115, 49 CFR 571.115, is amended as follows: 



1. Table I in S4.5.2 is amended to read as 
follows: 

Table I — Type of Vehicle and Information 
Decipherable 

Passenger car: Line, series, body type, engine 

type,i and restraint system type. 
Multipurpose passenger vehicle: Line, series, body 

type, engine type,i and gross vehicle weight 

rating. 
Truck: Model or line, series, chassis, cab type, 

engine type,^ brake system and gross vehicle 

weight rating. 
Bus: Model or line, series, body type, engine type,i 

and brake system. 
Trailer: Type of trailer, series, body type, length, 

and axle configuration. 
Motorcycle: Type of motorcycle, line, engine type,' 

and net brake horsepower. ^ 
Incomplete vehicle: Model or line, series, cab type, 

engine type,i and brake system. 



' Engine net brake horsepower encoded in the vehicle iden- 
tification number shall differ by not more than 10 percent from 
the actual net brake horsepower; shall, in the case of a motorcy- 
cle with an actual net brake horsepower of 2 or less, not be more 
than 2; and shall, in the case of a motorcycle with an actual 
brake horsepower greater than 2, be greater than 2. 

2. S6.1 is revised to read as follows: S6.1 
Manufacturers of motor vehicles subject to this 
standard shall submit, either directly or through an 
agent, the unique identifier for each make and type 
of vehicle it manufactures by February 24, 1980. 
Issued on February 19, 1980. 

Joan Claybrook, 
Administrator 
45 F.R. 12255 
February 25, 1980 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 33-34 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 

FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 

Vehicle Identification Number 
(Docket No. 1-22; Notice 12) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115, Vehicle Iden- 
tification Number, by deleting portions of that 
standard and reissuing those portions as a general 
agency regulation. This is being taken in response 
to a petition from the Motor Vehicle Manufac- 
turers Association (MVMA). It is intended to 
assure that the recall and remedy provisions of the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
("the Act") do not apply to certain errors in vehicle 
identification numbers (VIN's) which are minor 
and have no safety consequences. The basic 
substantive requirements of Standard 115 are un- 
changed by this action. 

DATES: This action is effective 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The VIN is 

that unique number assigned each vehicle during 
production by the manufacturer for purposes of 
identification and inventory control. The VIN has 
other users. A variety of other organizations use 
the VIN for such purposes as vehicle registration, 
insurance rating, and theft investigation. NHTSA 
uses the VIN in its safety research and investiga- 
tion activities. 

In 1968, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) 115 was adopted, specifying that each 
passenger ca- must be assigned a unique VIN. In 
1979, FMVSS 115 was extended to cover motor 
vehicles other than passenger cars. Also, a 
uniform, 17-character format for VIN's was then 
established, specifying coded information such as 
the identity of the manufacturer, vehicle make, 
type of vehicle, various vehicle attributes, model 



year, plant of manufacture, and production se- 
quence. The VIN also contains a check digit which 
aids in the detection of errors in the transcription 
of VIN's by the users of the numbers. 

On June 13, 1980, MVMA petitioned this agency 
to withdraw FMVSS 115 and reissue its provisions 
in the form of a general agency regulation. The 
significance of this change stems from section 152 
of the Act (15 U.S.C. 1412), which provides that 
whenever the Secretary of Transportation deter- 
mines that a vehicle does not comply with a 
FMVSS, the Secretary must require the vehicle's 
manufacturer to notify the owners, purchasers, 
and dealers of the vehicle of that noncompliance 
and to remedy the noncompliance. However, in the 
case of a noncompliance with a regulation other 
than a FMVSS, the notification and remedy 
requirements of the Act do not apply. For those 
noncompliances, more flexible methods of enforce- 
ment are permitted. 

MVMA sought to assure through its requested 
amendment that errors in the assignment of VIN's 
would not trigger the recall and remedy provisions 
of the Act. Requiring that errors in assigned VIN's 
must be physically corrected would be undesirable 
in most cases for two reasons. First, correcting the 
errors would be an expensive and burdensome 
process, whose possible benefits would be greatly 
outweighed by the costs. These burdens and costs 
are discussed in the NPRM. In most cases, simply 
providing information on the nature of the error to 
users of the VIN's would solve any problems 
caused by the incorrect VIN. Second, changing a 
previously assigned VIN could create antitheft 
problems. Law enforcement authorities consider 
the presence of an altered VIN in a vehicle to be an 
indication that the vehicle has been stolen. If VIN's 
were frequently altered lawfully, it would be more 
difficult for the police to detect stolen vehicles. 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 35 



Further, if the equipment necessary to alter VIN's 
were widely available (such as at all auto dealers, 
as might be necessary to conduct a recall and 
remedy campaign), thieves' access to such equip- 
ment would be greatly increased. Law enforce- 
ment authorities have consistently recommended 
to NHTSA that VIN numbers, once assigned, 
should not be altered for any reason, even if the 
original number was incorrect. 

The only exception to the recall requirement is 
contained in section 157 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 
1417) which authorizes exemptions from these re- 
quirements based on a demonstration that the 
noncompliance is inconsequential as it relates to 
safety. This authority could be used to relieve a 
manufacturer of the necessity of conducting a 
recall and remedy campaign to correct minor VIN 
errors. Minor labeling errors were among the ex- 
amples given in the legislative history of the provi- 
sion for the sorts of errors that are inconsequen- 
tial. While exemptions might well be given under 
section 157 for minor VIN errors, the necessity of 
conducting the exemption proceedings for such er- 
rors imposes an excessive administrative burden. 
The amendments made by this notice eliminate 
that burden. 

MVMA suggested that one possible consequence 
of a change in the status of the VIN provisions 
might be a loss or narrowing of Federal preemp- 
tion. Under section 103(d) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 
1392(d)), whenever a FMVSS is in effect,- no State 
may establish or maintain a requirement applicable 
to the same aspect of performance unless the State 
requirement is identical to the FMVSS. The 
removal of various VIN requirements from 
FMVSS 115 removes them also from the operation 
of section 103(d). Recognizing this and the clear 
imdesirability of having differing VIN require- 
ments established by the States, MVMA modified 
its petition on April 18, 1982. In its modified peti- 
tion, MVMA requested that only certain VIN pro- 
visions be shifted from the standard to the regula- 
tion. Requirements establishing the fundamental 
characteristics of the VIN, such as its length, loca- 
tion, and readability, would remain in the stand- 
ard. Under the amended petition, the content of 
the VIN would be specified in the VIN regulation. 
The combined standard /regulation scheme is in- 
tended to remove the threats of potentially costly 
recall campaigns to correct minor VIN errors or of 
inconsequentiality proceedings, while ensuring 
that the preemptive effect of the FMVSS is still 
maintained for the more significant requirements. 



After reviewing the MVMA petition, the agency 
tentatively concluded that MVMA's suggested 
regulatory changes have merit, and proposed to 
adopt those changes. See 47 FR 42004, September 
23, 1982. (The agency believes that general prin- 
ciples of Federal preemption are sufficient to 
assure that the VIN regulation will preempt any in- 
consistent State requirements.) Based on further 
review of that petition and the comments received 
on the September notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM), the agency is herein adopting these 
changes in final form. 

Comments on the NPRM 

Virtually all the comments received on the 
September NPRM supported the proposed 
changes to FMVSS 115. However, several com- 
menters suggested slight changes or clarifications 
to the proposed regulatory language. The most 
controversial aspect of the proposal was the provi- 
sion which would exempt from certain VIN re- 
quirements vehicles imported into the United 
States under bond, which do not meet U.S. stand- 
ards, but which will subsequently be modified to 
meet those standards. As a practical matter, this 
provision applies to individuals or organizations 
which import small numbers of vehicles. Several 
commenters expressed the fear that this provision 
could result in the importation of large numbers of 
vehicles (such as by a foreign manufacturer) with 
nonconforming VIN's. These commenters sug- 
gested that the exemption be limited to a max- 
imum of 5 vehicles per year per individual. While 
the agency agrees that the exemption should not 
be applied to an actual manufacturer, it cannot 
justify selecting any particular arbitrary limit, 
such as five vehicles, to exclude larger commercial 
organizations. However, in response to these com- 
ments, the agency is amending this provision to ex- 
clude actual manufacturers of vehicles and their 
subsidiaries. 

Several commenters also suggested that infor- 
mation on VIN errors should be provided to the 
National Crime Information Center (NCIC, part of 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the Na- 
tional Automobile Theft Bureau (NATB, a private 
organization affiliated with the insurance 
industry). These organizations could enter the in- 
formation in their computer systems, thereby mak- 
ing it available to State motor vehicle administra- 
tions, law enforcement organizations, and other 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 36 



VIN users. The agency agrees that taking this step 
would help assure that VIN users would have com- 
plete and accurate information on the VIN's which 
are actually assigned by the vehicle manufac- 
turers. Accordingly, NHTSA will establish an in- 
ternal procedure for routinely transmitting VIN 
error information to NCIC and NATB. 

Most commenters also suggested that the 
agency define the term "trailer kit" and specify in 
the regulation the agency's previously established 
policy, i.e., that trailer kits are subject to the same 
VIN requirements as trailers. The agency believes 
that making these changes is appropriate, and is 
adopting a definition of trailer kits based on 
language in 49 CFR 567.4(g). "Trailer kits" are 
defined as a trailer which is dehvered in complete 
but unassembled form, and which can be as- 
sembled without special machinery or tools. 

MVMA suggested that the "trailer kit" defini- 
tion should be added to the definitions in the begin- 
ning of Part 571. Taking that action would not 
serve any present purpose, since the term is ap- 
parently not used in any other FMVSS. MVMA 
also suggested incorporating all the definitions in 
Part 571 into FMVSS 115. The agency sees no 
need for this change, and making the change could 
have unintended effects, such as where a term's 
definition in one standard is inappropriate for use 
in FMVSS 115. Therefore, these recommendations 
were not adopted. 

The International Association of Chiefs of Police 
and the NATB also suggested that the agency 
define the term "glider kit" and specify that VIN 
requirements are applicable to glider kits. Typi- 
cally, a glider kit is a new truck cab, frame rails, 
and front suspension without drive train (engine, 
transmission, and rear axle). The treatment of 
combinations of new and used components in a 
single vehicle is currently specified in 49 CFR 
571.7. Under that provision, the addition of a new 
cab, frame raO, and front suspension is deemed to 
create a new vehicle subject to all applicable safety 
standards in effect as of the date of remanufac- 
ture, unless the engine, transmission, and drive 
axle (as a minimum) of the assembled vehicle are 
not new and at least two of those listed com- 
ponents were taken from the same vehicle. Thus, 
in many situations, the use of a new glider kit 
would not require that a new VIN be affixed to the 
assembled vehicle. Further, it would be difficult for 
the glider kit manufacturer to assign a VIN, as 



suggested by the two commenters, since a truck 
VIN must contain coded information regarding the 
engine type, and the glider kit manufacturer would 
not generally know what type of engine would be 
used with a particular kit. "Therefore, the agency is 
not adopting the provisions suggested by these two 
commenters, and will instead rely on the existing 
regulations for dealing with glider kits. 

The Iowa Department of Transportation ob- 
jected to the practice of some motorcycle manufac- 
turers of stamping a portion of the VIN on motor- 
cycle frames. The Iowa agency points out that this 
practice could cause confusion as to which number 
is the actual VIN. NHTSA has taken the position 
that, so long as the vehicle manufacturer complies 
with all requirements in FMVSS 115 with regard 
to the specified 17 character number, these 
manufacturers may affix other numbers to the 
motorcycles for their own purposes. Currently, 
NHTSA cannot justify altering this policy. 
However, should we become aware of substantial 
numbers of incidents where the use of this sup- 
plementary number has undermined the Federal 
VIN system, we may consider prohibiting these 
supplementary numbers, requiring that sup- 
plementary numbers must be the same 17 
character number as the VIN, or some clarifying 
labeling where other than the VIN is used. The 
NCIC objected to the exemption of farm equip- 
ment from VIN requirements. The VIN re- 
quirements, like all of the FMVSS, apply only to 
"motor vehicles", i.e., vehicles which are manufac- 
tured primarily for use on the public roads, consist- 
ent with the scope of the agency's regulatory 
authority under the Act. See section 102(3) of the 
Act. The agency lacks the authority to regulate 
vehicles which are principally used off the public 
roads, such as the vehicles cited by these two com- 
menters. Should the States decide to apply VIN re- 
quirements to such vehicles as a matter of State 
law, NHTSA would have no objection. 

Ford Motor Company and the MVMA pointed 
out that the requirement that VIN's affixed to 
vehicles must have a letter height of at least 4 
millimeters should only apply to passenger cars 
and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 
10,000 pounds or less as the requirement has ever 
since it was established. In the NPRM, this re- 
quirement was inadvertently applied to all motor 
vehicles. The error is corrected in the final rule. 

MVMA also requested that the new VIN regula- 
tion maintain the requirement that, for manufac- 
turers of under 500 vehicles per year, the third 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 37 



character of the VIN must be the number 9. The 
agency deleted this provision, since prior to its 
amendment today, FMVSS 115 gave the erroneous 
impression that vehicle manufacturers selected the 
world manufacturer identifier (WMI) portion of 
their VIN's. In fact, the Society of Automotive 
Engineers assigns those characters for U.S. 
manufacturers. The deletion of the phrase specify- 
ing the third character of the VIN for small 
manufacturers in no way changes the intended 
numbering system— SAE will continue to assign 
WMI's as it has in the past. 

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Ad- 
ministrators has requested that NHTSA re- 
emphasize that vehicle manufacturers must submit 
and update deciphering information on their VIN 
systems. This final rule continues to provide that 
at least 60 days prior to affixing any VIN, or, when 
information is unavaOable at that time, within one 
week after it becomes available, each manufac- 
turer must submit information necessary to 
decipher its VIN system. This requirement, which 
has been in effect since January 1981, applies to 
both the original submission of deciphering infor- 
mation and to updates of that information as new 
products are offered by the manufacturer. It is the 
manufacturer's responsibility to assure that 
deciphering information provided to NHTSA is 
current. 

Ford Motor Company argued that sections 108 
and 152 of the Act, which the agency listed as part 
of the legal authority for the new VIN regulation, 
are not appropriate authority for this action. Sec- 
tion 108 was cited as authority merely to point out 
that, in conjimction with the reference to section 
112 as authority for the action, failure to comply 
with the VIN regulation would be enforceable as a 
violation of section 108(a) (1) (E) of the Act. The 
reference to section 152 is included to point out the 
regulation is issued to facilitate carrying out the 
recall provisions of section 152 of the Act. The 
NPRM should also have included (and this final 
rule includes) a reference to the safety research 
authority of section 106 of the Act, a major use of 
the VIN information. 

This action is being made effective 30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register. This relatively 
expedited effective date is in the public interest 
since it will quickly remove the potential problem 
of unwarranted VIN-related recalls. 



The principal impact of this action is to remove 
this threat of an unduly burdensome recall require- 
ment to correct VIN errors. The new Part 565 
would not have any requirements not in FMVSS 
115 prior to today. The agency anticipates that the 
manufacturers will continue to assign VIN's in the 
same manner regardless of whether VIN require- 
ments take the form of a safety standard or a 
regulation. Further, the agency anticipates that 
the corrective action required in case of erroneous 
VIN's would not essentially differ as a result of this 
proposed change, since only in extreme cases can 
the agency envision having to order a vehicle 
recall. 

This action should have a small positive impact 
on foreign trade, since it removes the threat to 
foreign manufacturers of a potentially burdensome 
recall campaign to correct minor VIN errors. Also, 
the exemption of vehicles imported under bond will 
have a small positive impact on foreign trade. 

The agency has concluded that the environmen- 
tal consequences of this action will be of such 
limited scope that they clearly will not have a 
significant effect on the quality of the human en- 
vironment; that this proposal does not qualify as a 
"major rule" within the meaning of Executive 
Order 12291; and that due to its minimal cost im- 
pacts, this rule is not "significant" within the 
meaning of the Department's regulatory pro- 
cedures. Therefore, preparation of neither a 
regulatory analysis nor full regulatory evaluation 
is necessary for this action. The agency notes this 
rulemaking action should have a small, positive im- 
pact on small firms— particularly small manufac- 
turers and small importers. This regulation pro- 
vides relief to small manufacturers from the 
generally applicable 60-day VIN prenotification re- 
quirements in the case of orders for unique vehicle 
configurations. The agency is also exempting small 
importers (principally individuals importing one 
vehicle for their own use) from certain VIN format 
and content requirements. Given the relatively 
minor economic consequences of these changes, I 
certify that this action will have no significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, including small organizations or govern- 
mental units. These changes should have no impact 
on vehicle prices. For this reason and because 
VIN's will continue to be assigned to new vehicles 
as before, the agency does not anticipate any im- 
pacts on small organizations or governmental 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 38 



units. Accordingly, no Regulatory Flexibility Issued May 13, 1983. 

Analysis has been prepared. Raymond A. Peck, Jr., 

For the reasons stated above, the agency is Administrator 

amending Chapter V of Title 49 of the Code of 48 F.R. 22567 

Federal Regulations by adding a new Part 565. May 19, 1983 



PART 571; S 115-PRE 39-40 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 

Vehicle Identification Number 
[Docket No. 1-22; Notice 13] 



ACTION: Correction. 

SUMMARY: On May 19, 1983. the agency pub- 
lished an amendment to Standard No. 115, Vehicle 
Identification Number. The amendment exempted 
from certain of the vehicle identification number 
(VIN) requirements vehicles imported into the 
United States under bond which do not meet U.S. 
standards at the time of importation, but which 
subsequently will be modified to meet those stan- 
dards. This notice corrects a typographical eror in 
that amendment, in order to clarify the specific 
provisions from which such importers are 
exempted. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 30, 1985. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 19, 
1983 (48 FR 22567), NHTSA published a rule 
amending Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 115, Vehicle Identification Number. 
That amendment, made in response to a petition 
filed by the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Associa- 
tion, took certain portions of the existing FMVSS 
and placed those provisions in a separate agency 
regulation. This change was intended to remove 
the possibility that certain minor VIN errors 
regarding the format and content of the number 
would trigger the recall and remedy provisions of 
the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
(which apply to violations of an FMVSS but not to 
violations of a general regulation). While the May 
amendment left the basic substantive VIN require- 
ments unchanged, one substantive amendment 
was implemented in that notice. That amendment 
exempted from most VIN requirements vehicles 
which do not meet U.S. standards imported into 



the United States under bond (except by the actual 
manufacturer of the vehicle or a subsidiary there- 
of), but which will subsequently be modified to 
meet those standards. (These vehicles will be 
referred to herein as "bonded imports.") Bonded 
imports are still required to have a vehicle iden- 
tification number assigned by the manufacturer 
and affixed to the vehicle in a specified location. 
(Volkswagen has filed a petition for reconsidera- 
tion of the amendment, which is being reviewed by 
the agency.) 

Due to a typographical error involving the omis- 
sion of a clause and section numbering changes 
that occurred in the period between the agency's 
proposal and issuance of the final rule, there has 
been some confusion with regard to the precise 
scope of the bonded-import exemption. This notice 
amends FMVSS 115 to make clear that bonded im- 
ports are exempt only from the standard's require- 
ment that each VIN have 17 characters in a 
specified format and check digit. Bonded imports 
must still have a unique VIN assigned by the 
assembling manufacturer which is permanently af- 
fixed to the vehicle, and is clearly legible. This 
notice also corrects the standard to specify that 
the exemption does not apply to an assembling 
manufacturer or its subsidiary. The preamble to 
the final rule explained that change, but it was not 
incorporated into the text of the standard. 

The corrections to FMVSS 115 made in this 
notice will be effective immediately on publication 
in the Federal Register. The agency finds good 
cause for determining that notice and comment on 
this amendment are not necessary. Likewise, the 
agency finds good cause for an immediate effective 
date within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 553(d) and 
finds that such an effective date is in the public 



PART 571; S115-PRE 41 



interest within the meaning of 15 U.S.C. 1392(e). 
The basis for the findings of good cause is that the 
amendment corrects an obvious error in the rule 
as originally promulgated and should not ad- 
versely affect the ability of importers to comply 
with the standard. 

For the reasons stated above, the agency is 
amending Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regula- 
tions, by revising Part 571.115, Vehicle Identifica- 
tion number, as follows: 



Vehicles imported into the United States under 19 
CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii), other than by a corporation 
which was responsible for the assembly of that 
vehicle or a subsidiary of such a corporation, are 
exempt from the requirements of S4.2, S4.3, and 
S4.7 of this standard. 

Issued on January 22, 1985. 



Standard 115: Vehicle identification number — 
basic requirements. 

1. Paragraph SI is amended by removing the 
second sentence of that paragraph, which reads as 
follows: "Vehicles * * * standard." 

2. Paragraph S2 is amended by adding a new 
second sentence to read as follows: 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

50 FR 4221 
January 30, 1985 



PART 571; S115 -PRE 42 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR 
VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 

Vehicle Identification Number — Basic Requirements 
(Docket No. None Issued) 



ACTION: Final Rule 

SUMMARY: This notice amends the applicability 
section of Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115 to 
substitute a reference to Part 591 of this title for a 
reference to 19 CFR 12.80. This amendment conforms 
Standard No. 115 with the requirements of amend- 
ments made to the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act by P.L. 100-562. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 31, 1990 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was amended by 
the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988 
(P.L. 100-562). Those amendments were enacted on 
October 31, 1988, and will become effective January 31, 
1990. The amendments revoke the joint authority 
previously provided by 15 U.S.C. 1397(b)(3) under 
which motor vehicles subject to the Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards are admitted into the United 
States pursuant to joint regulations issued by the 
Departments of Treasury and Transportation. Instead, 
the Vehicle Safety Act, as amended, vests the primary 
importation regulatory authority in the Department of 
Transportation. 

The existing joint vehicle importation regulation is 
19 CFR 12.80. The forthcoming importation regulation 
of this agency is 49 CFR Part 591. Paragraph S2, 



Application of 49 CFR Part 571.115 Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 115, Vehicle Identification 
Number— Content Requirements exempts from certain 
of its requirements "Vehicles imported into the United 
States under 19 CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii), other than by a 
corporation which was responsible for assembly of 
that vehicle or a subsidiary of such a corporation. . . ." 
This relates to the importation of vehicles not originally 
manufactured to conform to the Federal motor vehicle 
safety standards. The section of the new importation 
regulation that corresponds to 12.80(b)(l)(iii) is 49 CFR 
591 .5(f). This notice amends Standard No. 1 15 to delete 
reference to the old authority and to add reference to 
the new one. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 571.115 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 115 is amended to 
read as follows: 

In paragraph S2, thecitation "19 CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii)" 
is changed to read "paragraph 591.5(f) of this chapter". 

Issued on: October 5, 1989 



Jeffrey R. Miller 
Acting Administrator 

54 PR. 41844 
October 12, 1989 



PART 571; S115-PRE 43-44 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR 
VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 



Vehicle Identification Number; Basic Requirements 

(Docket No. 88-08; Notice 2) 

RIN:2127-AC65 



ACTION: Final Rule. 



SUMMARY: In this final rule, NHTSA changes vehicle 
identification number and certification requirements 
for motor vehicles that were not originally man- 
ufactured for sale in this country, do not comply with 
the Federal motor vehicle safety standards, and are 
imported into the United States by businesses un- 
affiliated with the original manufacturer. This final 
rule would make it clear that the importer of such 
vehicles would be required to use one of the unique 
coding identifiers that the original manufacturer as- 
signed to the vehicle, in lieu of using the 17-character 
U.S. vehicle identification number (VIN) required to be 
placed on vehicles originally manufactured for sale in 
this country. The direct importer must place the 
original manufacturer's identifier on a plate that 
would appear inside the passenger compartment of the 
motor vehicle, so that the number may be observed 
through the glazing, and adjacent to the left windshield 
pillar. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 4, 1989. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under section 
108(b)(3) of the National Traffic and Motor vehicle 
not conform with applicable safety standards may 
nonethe less enter the United States under "such 
terms and conditions" as the Secretaries of Transporta- 
tion and Treasury prescribe. Title 19 CFR 12.80 is a 
joint Transportation/Treasury regulation setting forth 
those terms and conidtions. Subparagraph (b)(l)(iii) of 
that regulation requires that a person seeking to bring 
a nonconforming import (direct import vehicle) into 
the United States file a declaration that the vehicle 
will be modified so as to conform with applicable 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Among 
those Standards is 1 15, Vehicle Identification Number— Basic 
requirements. 

In order to comply with Standard 1 15 requirements, 
many direct importers have been applying a "home- 
made" VIN plate to their imported vehicles. The VINs 
(added by direct importers are so different in appearance 
from VINs on similar vehicles manufactured for sale in 



the United States that law enforcement officials have 
mistaken them for altered VINs. Other concerns 
presented by these "homemade" VIN plates are 
identification problems that have been created for 
insurance investigators and encoding errors that 
compromise the integrity of the VIN system. 

This rulemaking arose when the agency granted a 
petition submitted by the National Automobile Theft 
Bureau (N ATB or petitioner) to amend Standard 1 15 to 
address problems arising when direct importers create 
a VIN and a VIN plate using an identification number 
and plate production process other than the ones 
which the original vehicle manufacturer uses. Among 
problems noted by the NATB were an increased 
prospect of encoding errors in a homemade VIN, law 
enforcement officials mistaking homemade VIN plates 
for altered plates, and the resulting risk that individuals 
lawfully possessing direct import vehicles may be 
subjected to criminal charges. 

The petitioner recommended that NHTSA take 
action to prevent the direct importer from creating its 
own VIN. In place of its own VIN, the importer would 
be required to follow one of two alternative means of 
identifying a vehicle. First , if the original manufacturer 
had placed any kind of identification number plate in 
the passenger compartment where Standard 1 15 would 
otherwise require a 17-character VIN plate, the 
importer would retain the original manufacturer's 
plate as the vehicle's VIN plate. Among the original 
manufacturer identification numbers that one might 
use in place of the United States VIN are the European 
vehicle identification number (EuroVIN), the World 
Market vehicle identification number (WorldVIN), the 
chassis number, or the vehicle serial number. 

Second, if the original manufacturer had not affixed 
a plate of the type and in the location described at S4.6 
of Standard 115 (49 CFR 571.115), then the importer 
would be required to affix a plate in that location 
stating that the vehicle is "partially exempt" from 
Standard 115. This plate would refer a person to the 
driver's door post, where the importer would be 
required to affix a label with information that cited the 
Joint Transportation/Treasury regulation under which 
a person directly imports a noncomplying vehicle, 
identified the location on the vehicle of the original 



PART 571; S115-PRE-45 



manufacturer's number to be used in lieu of the 17 
character VIN, gave the name and address of those 
bringing the vehicle into compliance with Standard 
1 15, stated the date of importation and of certification, 
and gave the name and address of the person who 
made the certification. 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. In the notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published May 13, 1988 
(53 Federal Register 17088), the agency acknowledged 
the problems with VINs on direct import vehicles and 
proposed to amend Standard 115 so that a direct 
importer need not create a VIN or VIN plate in order to 
comply with United States vehicle identification 
requirements under Standard 115. NHTSA could not 
agree that any extant original manufacturer identifier 
in the S4.6 location would obviate the need for some 
notice that the vehicle is partially exempt from 
Standard 115. 

The agency believed it would be a relatively simple 
matter to affix a plate informing an interested person 
that a vehicle is partially exempt, and refer the person 
to another label on the door post that would specify the 
unique identifying number for the vehicle. The agency 
therefore proposed to require such a plate on any 
vehicle that did not have the 17-character United 
States VIN. Because of this proposed approach, the 
agency believed it was unnecessary to consider NATB's 
suggestion that a EuroVIN, WorldVIN, chassis, or 
serial number be exempted from the readability and 
location requirements in S4.6. 

A second way in which NHTSA's proposal varied 
from the NATE petition was that the agency did not 
propose to require a lengthy label with a citation to 19 
CFR 12.80, and information about the person per- 
forming work to bring the vehicle into compliance with 
Standard 115. The agency proposed instead to require 
a simplified label that stated where an interested 
person could find the unique manufacturer identifying 
number that would be used in lieu of the United States 
VIN. Further, for consistency, the agency proposed to 
include labeling requirements under Part 567. It was 
proposed that paragraph (k) of section 567.4 be deleted 
and that sections 567.5, 567.6 and 567.7 be redesignated 
as sections 567.6, 567.7, and 567.8, respectively. Under 
a new section 567.5 (for the most part former section 
567.4(k)), the language regarding labeling requirements 
for high theft lines imported into the United States 
would be retained, with minor changes, as section 
567.5(a). The proposed section 567.5(b) outlined a 
requirement for a label for direct import vehicles that 
would be affixed in one of three locations. This label 
would state: "Original Manufacturer's Identification 
Number Substituting for U.S. VIN is located," and 
direct the reader to the location on the vehicle where 
the original manufacturer's identification number, 
placed by the original manufacturer, could be found. 



NHTSA also sought comment, particularly from law 
enforcement officials, on two issues: 

(1) Whether the proposed changes could, in some 
circumstances, increase the fraudulent use of VINs or ,-• 
impede law enforcement actions. As an example, the ^ 
agency noted that in certain circumstances, vehicles 
with the proposed FMVSS 115 exemption label would 
no longer have a VIN visible through the glazing. 
NHTSA requested comment on whether this situation 
would create a law enforcement problem by precluding 
the inspection of VINs on parked and locked vehicles. 

(2) Whether the proposal could lead to improper use 
of VIN exemption plates (e.g., replacing a legitimate 
VIN), since, under certain circumstances, it would 
allow an exemption plate where the VIN would be if it 
had been a passenger car built for the U.S. market. 

The Comments and the Agency Response. The 
agency received eight responses to the NPRM. Four 
commenters addressed the first question presented in 
the NPRM, concerning using an exemption plate in 
lieu of a VIN or other identification number in the S4.6 
location. The Automobile Importers of America, Inc. 
(AIA), Porsche, the International Association of Auto 
Theft Investigators (lAATI), and the National Auto- 
motive Theft Bureau (NATB) recommended that 
NHTSA require each vehicle to have an identification 
number visible from the outside of the vehicle. In 
response to these comments, the agency has adopted a 
requirement for a plate or label containing the original 
manufacturer's identification number in the S4.6 
location, with a reference to Standard 115. ' 

The agency believes that this solution addresses the 
agency's initial concern about the possibility of 
transcription errors while at the same time main- 
taining an identification number in the place where 
law enforcement officials are accustomed to see it. In 
cases where the original manufacturer's identification 
number is in the S4.6 location and does not conform to 
Part 565, the presence of the identifying notice along- 
side it will serve to inform law enforcement personnel 
that the vehicle is a direct import vehicle that has been 
modified to conform to U.S. safety standards. Any 
transcription errors would be immediately evident, 
since the number on the identifying notice should be 
identical to the original number alongside it. Where 
the original manufacturer's identification is located 
elsewhere, the identifying notice will provide the 
number and also alert an investigating officer that the 
number is a substitute for the number ordinarily 
required by FMVSS 115. 

Further investigation by the agency has not found 
any evidence indicating that direct importers have 
been using a 17-character VIN that they have created 
themselves; conformity bonds are not released if they 
do. However, they do create another plate using the 
original manufacturer's identification number thatj^ 



PART 571; S115-PRE-46 



they install behind the windshield, in the S4.6 location. 
In the interest of clarity and to the extent direct 
imports have been a problem to theft investigators and 
other interested parties, the requirement is being 
amended. Also, in the NPRM, the notice in the S4.6 
location was proposed to read: "FMVSS 115 EXEMPT 
VEHICLE. SEE DRIVER'S SIDE DOOR POST." After 
reevaluation, the agency had determined that the 
wording "FMVSS 115 EXEMPT VEHICLE" may 
imply that direct importers are being exempted from 
all aspects of FMVSS 1 15. It is more accurate to state 
that the original manufacturer's identification number 
is used as a substitute for a VIN, required by FMVSS 
115. 

The following language will therefore be required in 
the final rule: 



SUBSTITUTE FOR U.S. VIN: 
SEE FMVSS 115. 

With this alternative, law enforcement officials would 
also know that the passenger car in question does not 
have a U.S. VIN. 

The second question raised in the NPRM, whether 
the proposal would lead to improper use of VIN 
exemption plates, was addressed by one commenter. 
The NATB expressed a belief that it would be very 
important to prevent any VIN exemption plate from 
being overlaid on the original manufacturer's identifier 
in the S4.6 position. NATB commented: "Unless there 
is a specific anti-overlayment provision included in 
FMVSS 115 it is a virtual certainty that organized 
theft perpetrators will take advantage of the situation 
and affix the VIN exemption notice over the location of 
the legitimate VIN plate." NATB suggested that the 
notice be required to be affixed in a location other than 
the location used by the vehicle's original manufacturer 
for affixing VIN plates in the same or similar vehicle 
lines. The agency agrees, and has accordingly adopted 
the following language in the final rule as Paragraph 
S4.9(c) to ensure the original manufacturer's identi- 
fication number will not be covered, obscured, or 
overlaid: 

(c) The plate or label by (b) shall be permanently 
affixed in a location that conforms to S4.6, in such 
manner as not to cover, obscure, or overlay any part of 
any identification number affixed by the original 
manufacturer, and shall conform to S4.7 and S4.8. 

Two commenters expressed concern about the lack 
of a check digit in the original manufacturer's 
identification number. Besides noting that lack of a 
check digit could be a problem, AIA cited errors in 
transcription which are not caught despite a check 
digit system, resulting in vehicles with incorrect VINs. 
AIA suggested that the solution to this problem is to 
ensure that all entries are transcribed correctly, and 
that all other regulations are complied with. 



In noting that original manufacturer's identification 
numbers from various makes would not have the 
benefit of a check digit, Porsche asserted that "[t]his 
lack of a check-digit negates another of the prime 
features of the current VIN — the ability to rapidly 
check for transcription mistakes." Although the agency 
believes that a check-digit is useful in preventing 
transcription errors, it regards the risk of error from 
"homemade" VINs as significantly greater. It has 
therefore concluded that the original manufacturer's 
identification number should be retained by the direct 
importer. 

Besides the comments summarized above, AIA 
pointed out to the agency that there is no concept of 
"model year" in Europe. AIA believed that for this 
reason, "gray market importers cannot possibly discern 
a model year to put on the label." NHTSA has accepted 
this comment from AIA. Accordingly, § 567.4(k)(4)(i) 
has been amended to read: "Model year (if applicable) 
or year of manufacture, and line of the vehicle as 
reported by the manufacturer that produced or as- 
sembled the vehicle." Also included is a statement that 
" 'Model year' is used as defined in § 565.3(h) of this 
chapter." 

lAATI also recommended a separate label that 
would provide information on the person who per- 
formed the work bringing the vehicle into compliance 
with Standard 115. The rationale for this recom- 
mendation is that it would give an investigator a 
starting point to trace the vehicle through the person 
performing the compliance work and back to the 
original manufacturer. The agency believes it is already 
requiring enough information, on as many as three 
labels at the door post or alternate positions, without 
requiring this information also. In the few instances 
where law enforcement officers or other investigators 
need this information, they would obtain information 
about who did the compliance work by contacting the 
direct importer or NHTSA. 

In addition to the comments recommending specific 
changes in the final rule, the agency also received 
several comments from Allstate Insurance Company 
and the Highway Loss Data Institute in general 
support of the rulemaking. The National Automobile 
Dealers Association supported the NHTSA proposal 
and urged NHTSA "to consider the need to readily and 
clearly identify these vehicles as beingdirect imports." 
They believed that the proposed amendments to the 
VIN standards would "serve to establish a nationally 
recognized gray market identifier on each vehicle." 

Volkswagen of America, Inc. encouraged NHTSA to 
"promote enforcement of the safety standards for all 
vehicles regardless of who the manufacturer or im- 
porter may be." They noted that although the proposal 
would eliminate encoding errors in "homemade" VINs, 
the same result could be had by enforcement of the 
existing regulation requiring display of the correct 
VIN on all vehicles. 



PART 571; S115-PRE-47 



The agency is aware that this rule will be more 
effectual for original manufacturer identifiers utilizing 
Roman letters or Arabic numerals than for man- 
ufacturer identifiers which may be used in countries 
with non-Roman letters. If the use of non-Roman 
letters becomes a source of confusion, the agency may 
undertake further remedial action. 
Other Changes In the Final Rule. 
Redesignation of Sections in Part 567. 
The NPRM proposed that Section 557.4(k) be dropped, 
that Sections 567.5, 567.6, and 567.7 be redesignated as 
Sections 567.6, 567.7, and 567.8, respectively, and that 
a new Section 567.5 Special requirements for motor 
vehicles admitted under 19 CFR 12.80 be added. Upon 
reevaluation, the agency has decided that rather than 
redesignating existing provisions in Part 567, and 
adding new sections with whole paragraphs that are 
identical to old paragraphs, the same end would be 
accomplished more simply by adding a new 
567.4(1) (that would require identification on the 
vehicle of the original manufacturer's number) after 
§567.4(k). This new §567.4(1) is the same in sub- 
stance as §567. 5(b) in the notice of proposed rule- 
making. 

High Theft Lines. 

49 CFR Part 541 requires that 14 major parts of 
designated passenger motor vehicle lines be marked 
with Vehicle Identification Numbers, even if the vehicle 
was not originally manufactured for the U.S. market. 
FMVSS 115 does not exempt importers of vehicles not 
manufactured for sale in the U.S. from complying with 
the parts-marking requirements of 49 CFR Part 541 for 
the car lines listed in Appendix A to Part 541. As a 
result of the agency's decision to require retention of 
the original manufacturer's VIN, the fourteen desig- 
nated major parts (Section 541.5(a)) must be marked 
with the original VIN assigned to the car by its original 
manufacturer. The subject vehicle must be in com- 
pliance with the theft prevention standard before it is 
imported into the United States. The markings must 
be affixed or inscribed in accordance with the target 
area requirements designated by the manufacturer 
that is the original producer who installs or assembles 
the covered major parts on a line. 

Section 567.5(k) applies to direct import high theft 
lines. §567.5(1) refers to the direct import vehicles 
without 17-character U.S. VINs. Therefore, if there 
should be high theft lines that are brought to the U.S. 
by direct importers, they would have to have three 
labels in the positions in the passenger car designated 
in §567. 4(c), namely, the certification label required 
by §567. 4(a), the compliance with Federal motor 
vehcile theft prevention standard label required by 
§567. 4(k), and the label designating where the orig- 
inal manufacturer's identification number may be 
found, as required by §567.4(1). 



In consideration of the foregoing. Title 49 CFR 567, 
Cer/2/jcfl/20«,and49CFR571.115, Vehicle Identification 
Number— Basic Requirements, are amended as follows: 

1. The authority citation for Part 567 is revised to ^^ 
read as follows: ^ 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1397, 1401, 1403, and 
1407; 15 U.S.C. 1912 and 1915; 15 U.S.C. 2021, 2022, 
and 2026; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 
567.4 [Amended] 

2. Subparagraph (k)(4)(i) of 567.4 is revised to 
read as follows: 

5F T^ 'r 'P "t* 

/i,\ ***** 
/^\ ***** 

(i) Model year (if applicable) or year of manufacture 
and line of the vehicle, as reported by the manufacturer 
that produced or assembled the vehicle. "Model year" 
is used as defined in 565.3(h) of this chapter. 

"Line" is used as defined in 541.4 of this chapter. 

3. A new paragraph (1) is added to 567.4 as 
follows: 

(1)( 1) In the case of a passenger car imported into the 
United States under 19 CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii) or 49 CFR 
Part 591 which does not have an identification number 
that complies with paragraph S4.2, S4.3, and S4.7 of 49 
CFR 571.115 at the time of importation, the importer 
shall permanently affix a label to the vehicle in such a 
manner that, unless the label is riveted, it cannot be 
removed without being destroyed or defaced. The label 
shall be in addition to the label required by subsection g 
(a) of this section, and shall be affixed to the vehicle in a " 
location specified in subsection (c) of this section. 

(2) The label shall contain the following statement, 
in the English language, lettered in block capitals and 
numerals not less than three thirty-seconds of an inch 
high, with the location on the vehicle of the original 
manufacturer's identification number provided in the 
blank: ORIGINAL MANUFACTURER'S IDENTIF- 
ICATION NUMBER SUBSTITUTING FOR U.S. VIN 

IS LOCATED 

PART 571 [AMENDED] 

4. The authority citation for Part 571 would continue 
to read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407; delega- 
tion of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. 
571.115 [AMENDED] 

5. S.2 is revised by adding the words "or 49 CFR 
591" after the words "19 CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii)." 

6. A new paragraph S4.9 is added to 571.115 to 
read as follows: 

S4.9(a) A passenger car imported into the United 
States under 19 CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii) or 49 CFR Part 591 
shall retain any identification number affixed by the 
original manufacturer. 

(b) A vehicle described in (a) shall have a plate or 
label that contains the following statement in char P 



PART 571; S115-PRE-48 



(c) The plate or label required by (b) shall be oer- r, c- i • 

manently affixed ma location that conforms to si 6. n A ' f7." 

such manner as not to cover, obscure, or overlay any ^TT /^^'"'"'^^'•^^^^ f«^ 

part of any .dentificafon number affixed by the Rulemaking 

original manufacturer, and shall conform to S4 7 and 

S4.8. 

Issued on: October 26, 1989 ^^ ^■^- ''6253 

November 2, 1989. 



PART 571; S115-PRE 49-50 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 115 
Vehicle Identification Number— Basic Requirements 



51. Purpose and Scope. 

This standard specifies general physical 
requirements for a vehicle identification number 
(VIN) and its installation to simplify vehicle infor- 
mation retrieval and to reduce the incidence of 
accidents by increasing the accuracy and efficiency 
of vehicle recall campaigns. 

52. Application. 

This standard applies to passenger cars, 
multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses, 
trailers, (including trailer kits), incomplete vehicles 
and motorcycles. Vehicles imported into the 
United States under 19 CFR 12.80(bXlXiii), [or 49 
CFR 591] other than by a corporation which was 
responsible for the assembly of that vehicle or a 
subsidiary of such a corporation, are exempt from 
the requirements of S4.2, S4.3, and S4.7 of this 
standard. (54 F.R. 46253 -November 2, 1989. Effec- 
tive: December 4, 1989)] 

53. Definitions. 

"Check digit" means a single number or the 
letter X used to verify the accuracy of the 
transcription of the vehicle identification number. 

"Incomplete vehicle" means an assemblage con- 
sisting, as a minimum, of frame and chassis struc- 
ture, power train, steering system, suspension 
system, and braking system, to the extent that 
those systems are to be part of the completed vehi- 
cle, that requires further manufacturing operations, 
other than the addition of readily attachable com- 
ponents, such as mirrors or tire and rim assemblies, 
or minor finishing operations such as painting, to 
become a completed vehicle. 

"Manufacturer" means the entity responsibility 
for affixing the vehicle's certification label. 

"Trailer kit" means a trailer which is fabricated 
and delivered in completed and delivered in com- 
plete but unassembled form and which is designed 
to be assembled without special machinery or tools. 



"Vehicle identification number" means a series 
of arabic numbers and roman letters which is 
assigned to a motor vehicle for identification 
purposes. 

S4. Requirements. 

54.1 Each vehicle manufactured in one stage 
shall have a VIN that is assigned by the manufac- 
turer. Each vehicle manufactured in more than one 
stage shall have a VIN assigned by the incomplete 
vehicle manufacturer. Vehicle alterers, as specified 
in 49 CFR 567.7, shall utilize the VIN assigned by 
the original manufacturer of the vehicle. 

54.2 Each VIN shall consist of seventeen (17) 
characters. 

54.3 A check digit shall be part of each VIN. 
The check digit shall appear in position nine (9) of 
the VIN on the vehicle and on any transfer 
documents containing the VIN and prepared by 
the manufacturer to be given to the first owner for 
purposes other than resale. 

54.4 The VIN's of any two vehicles manufac- 
tured within a 30-year period shall not be identical. 

54.5 The VIN of each vehicle shall appear 
clearly and indelibly upon either a part of the 
vehicle other than the glazing that is not designed 
to be removed except for repair or upon a separate 
plate or label which is permanently affixed to such 
a part. 

54.6 The VIN for passenger cars, multipurpose 
passenger vehicles, and trucks of 10,000 pounds or 
less GVWR shall be located inside the passenger 
compartment. It shall be readable, without moving 
any part of the vehicle, through the vehicle glazing 
under daylight lighting conditions by an observer 
having 20/20 vision (Snellen) whose eye-point is 
located outside the vehicle adjacent to the left 
windshield pillar. Each character in the VIN sub- 
ject to this paragraph shall have a minimum height 
of 4 mm. 



(Rev. 11/2/89) 



PART 571; S 115-1 



54.7 Each character in each VIN shall be one of 
the Arabic or Roman letters set forth in Table 1. 

Table 1 

Numbers: 
1234567890 

Letters: 
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNPRSTUVWXYZ 

All spaces provided for in the VIN must be 
occupied by a character specified in Table 1. 

54.8 The type face utilized for each VIN shall 
consist of capital, san serif characters. 

[S4.9 (a) A passenger car imported into the 
United States under 19 CFR 12.80(b)(l)(iii) or 49 
CFR Part 591 shall retain any identification 
number affixed by the original manufacturer. 



(b) A vehicle described in (a) shall have a plate or 
label that contains the following statement in 
characters with a minimum height of 4 mm, with 
the identification number assisgned by the original 
manufacturer provided in the blank: SUB- 
STITUTE FOR U.S. VIN: 

SEE FMSS 115. 

(c) The plate or label required by (b) shall be per- 
manently affixed in a location that conforms to 
S4.6, in such manner as not to cover, obscure, or 
overlay any part of any identification number 
affixed by the original manufacturer, and shall con- 
form to S4.7 and S4.8. (54 F.R. 46253— November 2, 
1989. Effective:December 4, 1989)1 



43 F.R. 36452 
August 17, 1978 



(Rev. 11/2/89) 



PART 571; S 115-2 



EffMMva: March I, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 70-23; Notice 3) 



This notice amends § 571.21 of Title 49, Code 
of Federal Eegulations, Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 
to establish new performance requirements for 
brake fluid, and to extend its application to all 
motor vehicles equipped with hydraulic brake 
systems, and to all brake fluid for use in hy- 
draulic brake systems of motor vehicles. The 
amendment also establishes requirements for 
brake fluid containers and labeling of containers. 

A notice of proposed amendment to Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116 was pub; 
lished on September 30, 1970 (35 F.R. 15229)! 
Interested persons have been afforded an oppor- 
tunity to participate in the rulemaking process 
and their comments have been carefully con- 
sidered. 

The amendment adopts requirements that were 
proposed for grades DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake 
fluid, eliminates SAE Type 70R1 brake fluid, 
specifies more stringent requirements for physical 
and chemical properties, specifies the use of SAE 
SBR wheel cylinder cups in testing, and sets 
forth requirements for brake fluid containers and 
brake fluid container labeling. 

Comments and available data indicated that 
the proposed DOT 2 type brake fluid is not a 
commercially available fluid but is manufactured 
primarily for military use in Arctic regions and 
that there is no current need for this additional 
grade of brake fluid. DOT 2 brake fluid has 
therefore been excluded from the amendment. 

Requirements for DOT 3 and DOT 4 grade 
fluids are adopted as proposed, with a minor 
modification in the wet boiling point of the DOT 
4 grade fluid. The NHTSA has determined that 
there is a need for two grades of brake fluid 
until an all-weather fluid is developed with 
viscosity and boiling point characteristics suit- 



able for use in all braking systems. In order to 
provide an added margin of protection against 
\'apor locking in severe braking service, some car 
manufacturers may wish to recommend use of 
a DOT 4 fluid for certain severe conditions. 
Such recommendations should point out that use 
of the DOT 4 fluid for improved resistance to 
vapor locking may result in poorer system per- 
formance in very cold weather. 

The wet equilibrium reflux boiling point test 
procedure has been adopted as it represents a 
measure of the capability of the fluid in service. 
Tests have been run and data accumulated which 
demonstrate that this test is sufficiently repeat- 
able to justify its inclusion. However, when 
sufficient data become available on methods of 
measuring resistance to vapor lock, this agency 
may consider proposing a new test procedure. 

The proposed low temperature viscosity re- 
quirements for the DOT 3 and DOT 4 grade 
fluids have been adopted unchanged. Adequate 
data exist to support the need for the specified 
kinematic viscosities at low temperatures to as- 
sure adequate brake system performance in cold 
weather. Since high boiling points are sacrificed 
for low viscosities at low temperatures, the dif- 
ferences in kinematic viscosities between DOT 
3 and DOT 4 grade fluids are justifiable- 

The flash point test proposal has not been 
adopted because comments indicated that the 
test is not pertinent to in-use performance char- 
acteristics. The NHTSA, however, may re- 
examine the potential flammability hazard pofied 
by motor vehicle brake fluids at a later date, par- 
ticularly in the event that central hydraulic sys- 
tems are introduced. 

Brake fluid containers with a capacity of six 
ounces or more must be provided with a reseal- 



PART 571; S 116— PRE ^ 



Effaciivt: March 1, 1972 



able closure to reduce the likelihood of contami- 
nation after the initial opening. 

The labeling requirements as adopted do not 
require, in all instances, that the manufacturer's 
name be placed upon the container. Many com- 
ments indicated that the manufacturer cannot 
be held resposible for the quality of a fluid once 
it has been transferred to a packager who may 
contaminate or alter the fluid, and the NHTSA 
concurs. However, the manufacturer, when he is 
not the packager, will be required to certify com- 
piance to the packager. The packager will be 
required to state the name of the manufacturer 
and the distributor on the container label, either 
directly or in code. He wil be required also to 
affix a number identifying the packaged lot and 
date of packaging. It is expected that pack- 
agers will keep records sufficient to provide the 
NHTSA with all identifying information when 
such is requested. The safety warnings have 
been reworded to avoid misinterpretations. 

Several comments indicated that the proposed 
effective date of October 1, 1971 would place a 
hardship on packagers who deal solely in the 
aftermarket, alleging that lithographed cans 
must be purchased in quantity. Accordingly, 
an effective date of March 1, 1972, has been 
adopted to offer sufficient lead time to insure that 
all motor vehicle brake fluids manufactured on 
and after that date will be packaged in containers 
which meet requirements also effective March 1, 
1972. 

Petroleum-based fluids are no longer exempted 
from meeting the requirement of this standard. 
However, the NHTSA realizes that some manu- 
facturers wish to use these fluids in central power 
systems and is issuing today an advance notice 
of proposed rulemaking requesting comments for 
a suitable performance standard for petroleum- 
based fluids (Docket No. 71-13; 36 F.R. 12032). 

Test procedures adopted are, in general, 
similar to current ASTM Methods, with SAE 



Standards Jl702b and Jl703b as reference 
sources. ASTM Methods consulted in develop- 
ing the test procedures include : E 298-68 "As- 
say of Organic Peroxides," D 1120-65 "Boiling 
Point of Engine Antifreezes,'' D 1121-67 "Re- 
serve Alkalinity of Engine Antifreezes and 
Antitj'usts," D 2240-68 "Indentation Hardness of 
Rubber and Plastics by Means of a Durometer," 
D 344-39 "Relative Dry Hiding Power of 
Paints," D 97-66 "Pour Point," D 1415-68 "In- 
ternational Hardness of Vulcanized Natural and 
Synthetic Rubbers," E 1-68 "ASTM Thermom- 
eters," E 77-66 "Verification and Calibration of 
Liquid-In-Glass Thermometers," D 2515-66 
"Kinematic Glass Viscometers," E 70-68 "pH 
of Aqueous Solutions with the Glass Electrode," 
E 29-67 "Indicating Which Places of Figures 
are to be Considered Significant in Specified 
Limiting Values," D 1123-59 "Water in Con- 
centrated Engine Antifreezes by the Iodine Rea- 
gent Method," D 445-65 "Viscosity of Trans- 
parent and Opaque Liquids (Kinematic and Dy- 
namic Viscosities)," D 91-61 "Precipitation 
Number of Lubricating Oils," and E 96-66 
"Water Vapor Transmission of Materials in 
Sheet Form." SAE Referee Materials (SAE 
RM) used in testing may be obtained from the 
Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., Two 
Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, N.Y. 10001. 

Effective date: March 1, 1972. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
571.21, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
No. 116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, is amended. 



Issued on June 16, 1971. 



Douglas W. Toms 
Acting Administrator 

36 F.R. 11987 
June 24, 1971 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 2 



E«kHv«: McTh I, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 70-23; Notice 4) 



Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, estab- 
lishing requirements for motor vehicle brake 
fluids and containers was amended on June 24, 
1971 (36 F.R. 11987). Corrections were pub- 
lished on August 11, 1971 (36 F.R. 14742) and 
August 17, 1971 (36 F.R. 15534). Pursuant to 
49 CFR 553.35 (35 F.R. 5119) petitions for re- 
consideration of the amendment were filed by 
Automotive Parts and Accessories Association, 
Inc., Citroen S.A., General Motors Cohporation, 
R. M. Hollingshead Corporation, Union Carbide 
Corporation, and Wagner Electric Corporation. 
Subsequently, requests for rulemaking were re- 
ceived from Gold Eagle Products Co., and Union 
Carbide. 

In response to information contained in several 
of the petitions, and to data recently available to 
the Administrator, the standard is being amended. 
The Administrator has declined to grant re- 
qested relief from other requirements of the 
standard. 

1. Deletion of grade DOT ^ fAiid. Wagner 
Electric petitioned for the deletion of grade 
DOT 4 fluid, and the adoption of a single mini- 
mum standard with the viscosity requirements of 
grade DOT 4 and the boiling point character- 
istics of grade DOT 3. 

As the Administration noted in the June 24 
amendment to Standard No. 116, "there is a need 
for two grades of brake fluid until an all-weather 
fluid is developed with viscosity and boiling 
point characteristics suitable for use in all brak- 
ing systems." Temperatures of fluids in use in 
Western mountain driving have reached 295''F., 
and the Administration deems it essential to retain 
the DOT 4 fluid, with its minimum wet equi- 
librium reflux boiling point (ERBP) of 311°F. 
Accordingly, Wagner's petition is denied. 



2. Deletion or modification of wet ERBP re- 
quirements. Wagner, Union Carbide, and Holl- 
ingshead petitioned for the deletion of the wet 
ERBP requirements on the grounds that the test 
procedure is not sufficiently reproducible, and 
that vapor lock temperature is a more appro- 
priate factor to use for determination of opera- 
tional characteristics of a brake fluid. 

The wet ERBP test is based primarily upon 
the SAE test for determination of the as re- 
ceived boiling point of brake fluid, a test that has 
been used by industry for years. The major 
problems in determining water content have been 
resolved. While the wet ERBP test pi-ocedure 
does not measure actual vapor lock temperature, 
which is often substantially below that of the wet 
boiling point, it provides a basis for measuring 
the in-service capacity of the fluid to resist vapor 
lock. The petitions are denied. 

3. Petroleum-hased and silicone-based f/uidt. 
Standard No. 116 as in effect until March 1, 1972, 
specifically excludes petroleum-based fluids from 
its applicability. The amendment of Jime 24, 
liowever, applies to "all brake fluid for use in 
hydraulic brake systems of motor vehicles," and 
effectively prohibits the manufacture of petro- 
leum-based and silicone-based fluids whose per- 
formance characteristics differ from conventional 
brake fluids. Although we have asked for com- 
ments on appropriate performance requirements 
for non-hygroscopic fluids (Docket No. 71-13, 
Notice 1, 36 F.R. 12032), to be incorporated into 
a standard with a proposed effective date of Jan- 
uary 1, 1973, there will be, at a minimiun, a 
10-month period during which manufacture of 
these fluids is effectivey prohibited. General 
Motors and Citreon have asked us to reconsider 
this point, the latter stating that all its vehicles 



PART 571 ; S 116— PRE 3 



EffMHvtt Marth I, 1972 



use a petroleum-based fluid, and that its sales in 
the U.S. will be effectively curtained during the 
hiatus between the two standards. 

In the absence of a demonstrable safety prob- 
lem concerning the use of petroleum-based and 
silicone-based fluids, the petitions are deemed to 
have merit and Standard No. 116 is being 
amended to exclude these fluids from its ambit. 
We urge manufacturers, however, to take pre- 
cautions to assure that adverse cross-contamina- 
tion with hygroscopic fluids does not occur in 
the absence of appropriate regulations intended 
to eliminate this hazard. 

4. Labeling requirements. Automotive Parts 
and Accessories, General Motors, Hollingshead, 
Union Carbide, and Wagner Electric petitioned 
for reconsideration of various portions of the 
lat)eling requirements. Gold Eagle also apprised 
us of problems with labeling requirements. 

The petitioners have brought to our attention 
that packagers may use more than one manu- 
facturer as a source for brake fluid packaged 
under a single brand name, and that imder the 
present regulation requiring manufacturer iden- 
tification on the can, packagers will either have 
to stock dupicate cans or purchase from one 
source. We initially considered manufacturer 
identification to be necessary in the event of 
brake fluid defect notification campaigns. How- 
ever, it has been determined that the serial num- 
ber identifying the packaged lot and date of 
packaging will be sufficient for the packager to 
identify the manufacturer of any defective fluid, 
and paragraph S5.2.2.2(b) is being amended to 
delete manufacturer identification. In response 
to requests for alternate location of the serial 
number, S5.2.2.2(d) is being amended to allow 
the number to be placed below the information by 
S5.2.2.2(c). An alternate location has also 
been specified for the information required by 
S5.2.2.2(b) if it is in code form. 

Two petitioners voiced the fear that the safety 
warning of paragraph S5.2.2.2(g) (1), to follow 
the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations in 
adding brake fluid, might result in the promotion 
by automobile dealers of specified brand names, 
possibly creating an unfair trade practice. The 
agency views this possibility as unrelated to 
motor vehicle safety since presumably all brake 



fluid will conform to Standard No. 116. In any 
event, a change of wording cannot eliminate this 
possibility, and the petitions are denied. 

Petitions were also received requesting that 
the safety warnings against refilling containers 
(S5.2.2.2(g) (4)) not apply to storage containers 
with a capacity in excess of 5 gallons, since con- 
tainers (30 and 50 gallon sizes, tank cars, etc.) 
differ from retail sale size cans and are reused 
for shipping purposes after cleaning. These 
petitions are granted and S5.2.2.2(g) (4) is being 
amended accordingly. 

5. Applicability to motor vehicles. Union Car- 
bide asked whether brake fluid in a vehicle must 
meet the requirements of Standard No. 116 when 
the vehicle is sold, pointing out that in extreme 
cases as long as a year may pass between its 
manufacture and sale. The NHTSA recognizes 
that original dry boiling points and viscosity of 
brake fluid may degrade due to the permeability 
of the brake system when a vehicle is exposed to 
the atmosphere over a period of time prior to its 
first sale for purposes other than resale, and that 
it is impracticable to require that brake fluid 
meet Standard No. 116 at time of sale when the 
"container" is a motor vehicle. Therefore, the 
standard is being amended so that the main por- 
tion applies only to brake fluid, with an added 
requirement applicable to motor vehicles, that 
they be equipped either with brake fluid manu- 
factured and packaged in conformity with Stand- 
ard No. 116, or with petroleum-based or silicone- 
based brake fluid (new paragraph S5.3). 

6. Resistance to oxidation: preparation. An 
amendment to paragraph S6.1 1.4(b) specifies 
that the oxidation resistance test is to be con- 
ducted not later than 24 hours after the test mix- 
ture has been removed from the oven. 

7. Effect on SBR cups : procedure and calcvZa- 
tion. The SAE has also proposed a reduction 
of the time that the cups and fluid are exposed 
to oven heat at TO'C. The NHTSA is amending 
S6.12.4 to reduce exposure time to 70±2 hours, as 
it has been found that virtually all rubber swell 
occurs at this temperature during the first 48 
hours. 

The SAE has also concluded that cups should 
be retested and remeasured when the base diam- 
eters of the tested cups differ by more than 



PART 671; S 116— PRE 4 



EffMMv*: March 1, 1972 



0.10 mm. This agency has determined that aver- 
aging four vahies as the change in base diameter, 
when a spread greater than 0.10 mm occurs, will 
result in a more precise determination of whether 
the requirements of paragraph S5.1. 12(a) have 
been met, and is amending paragraph S6.12.5(a) 
appropriately. 

8. Tyipographical errors. An erroneous stand- 
ard barometric pressure figure of 750 mm ap- 
peared in the subscript of Table III and is being 
corrected to 760 mm. SAE Standard Jl703a, 
referred to in S7.6, is corrected to read "J]703b." 

9. Interpretations. Several petitions evidenced 
confusion over whether sale of fluids manufac- 
tured prior to March 1, 1972, will be allowed 
after that date. Sale of such fluids is permissible 
on and after March 1, 1972, until supplies are 
exhausted, with the legal requirement that they 
conform at time of sale to Standard No. 116 as in 
effect prior to March 1, 1972. 

The agency was also asked whether name of 
city and zip code is acceptable as the complete 
mailing address of the distributor, required by 
paragraph S5.2.2.2(c). A mailing address is con- 
sidered complete only if it is sufficient for the 
delivery of mail by the U.S. Postal Service, and 
containers must be marked accordingly. 



Several petitioners asked for a delay to July 1, 
1972, of various portions of the labeling require- 
ments of paragraph S5.2.2.2 because of the logis- 
tics involved in modifying, in one instance, as 
many as ninety different labels. A delay in the 
effective date has not been found to be in the 
public interest, and the petitions on this point are 
denied. Gummed labels meeting the require- 
ments of S5.2.2.2, however, may be affixed to 
these cans imtil new cans are available. 

Finally, several petitioners requested clarifica- 
tion of the container sealing terminology in para- 
graph S5.2.1. The "inner seal" is the cap liner. 
Examples of "tamper-proof features" are de- 
vices such as a metal insert in the neck of the 
container, a plastic over-wrap, or a twist-off 
aluminum cap with a breakaway portion. 

In consideration of the foregoing. Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Standard No. 116 in 49 CFR 571.21 
is revised. . . . 

Elective date: March 1, 1972. 

Issued on November 8, 1971. 

Charles H. Hartman 
Acting Administrator 

36 F.R. 21594 
November 11, 1971 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 5-6 



EffMtiv*: AuguU 29, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Doclc«l No. 70-23; Notica 5) 



The purpose of this notice is to amend 49 CFR 
§571.116, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 
116, Hydraulic Brake Fluids, to permit certain 
required information to be placed on any perma- 
nent part of brake fluid containers. 

Paragraphs S5.2.2.2(b) and S5.2.2.2(d) specify 
respectively that the name of the packager of the 
brake fluid, if in code form, and a serial number 
identifying the packaged lot and date of packag- 
ing shall be placed either beneath the distributor's 
name and mailing address, or on the bottom of 
the container. Gold Eagle Products Co. has 
asked if it is permissible to place the information 
required by S5.2.2.2(b) on the top of square 
gallon brake fluid containers. Such location is 
not presently allowed. The Administration, 
however, has concluded that manufacturers 
should not be restricted in their choice of loca- 
tion and that if it is more convenient for them 
to place the required information on the side or 
top of a container they should be allowed to do 
80, provided that the information is on a perma- 
nent part of the container. Accordingly, the 



NHTSA is amending the requirements to allow 
all required certification, marking and labeling 
information to be placed in sny location except 
on a removable part such as a lid. 

In consideration of the foregoing, paragraph 
S5.2.2.2 of 49 CFR §571.116, Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 116, is revised in part .... 

Effective date: August 29, 1972. Because the 
amendment relaxes an existing requirement and 
creates no additional burden, it is found for 
good cause shown that an effective date earlier 
than 180 days after issuance is in public interest. 

This notice is issued under the authority of 
sections 103, 112, and 119 of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Traffic Safety Act of 1966 
(15 use 1392, 1401, and 1407) and the delega- 
tion of authority at 49 CFR 1.51. 

Issued on August 22, 1972. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

37 F.R. 17474 
August 29, 1972 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 7-8 



MmNvci July 1, ItrS 



PREAAABLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Dock«t No. 71-13; Notic* 3) 



This notice amends Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, 
49 CFR § 571.116, to establish container labeling 
requirements for those fluids that are currently 
imregulated by the standard. The requirements 
are effective July 1, 1973. 

The amendment is based upon a notice pub- 
lished March 22, 1972, (37 F.R. 5825). The 
NHTSA proposed labeling requirements for "cen- 
tral hydraulic system oil" and "silicone-based 
brake fluid", similar to requirements already in 
existence for conventional hydraulic brake fluids. 
The packager would be required to place his 
name on the container. His name could appear 
in code form. The packager would also be re- 
quired to provide the complete name and mailing 
address of the distributor, a serial number iden- 
tifying the packaged lot and date of packaging 
of the fluid, description of the contents, and cer- 
tain safety warnings. 

The comments received generally supported 
the proposal, and Standard No. 116 is being 
amended accordingly. The term "central hy- 
draulic system oil" has not been adopted as some 
central hydraulic systems are designed for use 
of DOT brake fluids. Instead, the term "hy- 
draulic system mineral oil" is adopted. It is 
defined as "a mineral-oil-based fluid designed 
primarily for use in motor vehicle brake systems 
in which none of the components contacting the 
fluid are SBR, EPDM, Neoprene, or natural 
rubber". Paragraphs S3, S5, S6.1, S5.2.2.1, and 
S5.2.2.2 are being amended in a manner that 
more clearly evidences the NHTSA's intent that 
Standard No. 116 applies to all fluid used as 
brake fluids, but that silicone-based brake fluids 
and hydraulic system mineral oil are currently 



excepted from performance, container, and label- 
ing requirements applicable to DOT fluids. A 
new S5.2.2.3 specifies the labeling requirements 
for packagers of silicone-based brake fluids and 
hydraulic system mineral oil, and these generally 
parallel those required of packagers of DOT 
fluids. Packagers of hydraulic system mineral 
oil must furnish the additional warning that the 
fluid is not compatible with the rubber com- 
ponents of brake systems designed for use with 
DOT brake fluids. 

The amendment also differs from the proposal 
in reflecting the revision of Standard No. 116 of 
August 29, 1972 (37 F.R. 17474) that allows in- 
formation to be placed on a container "in any 
location except on a removable part such as a 
lid." Minor changes have been made in the text 
of the warning on fluid storage so that it is iden- 
tical with the warning required for DOT fluids. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§571.116, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 
116, is amended. . . . 

Effective date: July 1, 1973. Because these 
amendments relate to labeling requirements that 
do not entail product redesign, an effective date 
less than 180 days after the issue date is found 
to be in the public interest. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 
718, 16 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407 ; delegation of au- 
thority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on : January 4, 1978. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

38 F.R. 2981 
January 31, 1973 



PART 671; S 116— PRE 9-10 



EffKHv* July 1, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 71-13; Notice 4) 



This notice responds to a petition for recon- 
sideration of brake fluid container labeling re- 
quirements by amending 49 CFR § 571.116 in 
minor respects. 

Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, Motor 
Vehicle Brake Fluids, was amended on January 
31, 1973, (33 F.R. 2981) to establish container 
labeling requirements for those fluids that are 
currently unregulated by the standard. There- 
after, a petition for reconsideration of the amend- 
ment was filed by General Motors Corporation 
pursuant to 49 CFR § 553.35. In response to the 
petition minor amendments are made to the 
standard. 

General Motors believes that the NHTSA has 
not clearly indicated which mineral oil used in 
vehicle hydraulic systems must meet Standard 
No. 116. Hydraulic system mineral oil has been 
defined in part as a fluid "designed primarily 
for use in motor vehicle brake systems ..." GM 
asserts that it is not clear whether a fluid "for 
use in a central hydraulic system composed of 
the power brake boost and the power steering 
systems must be considered primarily as a brake 
system application or pnmarily as a power steer- 
ing system application." GM believes that since 
the power brake system is an auxiliary system 
whose fluids operate in a different environment 
than those in the primary system the standard 
should not include hydraulic boost system mineral 
oUs. 

The NHTSA intends the definition of hy- 
draulic system mineral oil to include fluids used 
in any type of brake system regardless of the 
configuration. This definition must include fluids 
used in any hydraulic brake boost unit whose 
design is such that when a component fails, the 
boost unit fluid enters the master cylinder reser- 



voir, hence contaminating the entire brake system. 
Such fluid must meet the applicable require- 
ments of Standard No. 116. Fluids for use in 
systems where a failure will not introduce them 
into the master cylinder reservoir are not covered 
by Standard No. 116. The word "primarily" 
is being deleted from the definition of hydraulic 
system mineral oil to remove any doubt on this 
point. 

GM points out that the warning a mineral oil 
manufacturer is currently required to provide 
refers to the oil as "brake fluid," in the container 
warning statements specified by the standard. 
Since mineral oil is not compatible with conven- 
tional or silicone-based brake fluid, GM believes 
it essential that it not be referred to as "brake 
fluid". The NHTSA concurs and is granting 
GM"s petition by amending the labeling require- 
ments concerned. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
§ 571.116 Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116 
is amended. . . . 

Effective Date: July 1, 1973. Because these 
amendments relate to labeling requirements that 
do not entail product redesign, an effective date 
less than 180 days after the issue date is foimd 
to be in the public interest. 

(Sec. 103, 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat 718, 
15 use 1392, 1401, 1407; Delegation of Authority 
at 38 F.R. 12147). 

Issued on: May 11, 1973. 

James E. Wilson 
Associate Administrator 
Traffic Safety Programs 

38 F.R. 12922 
May 17, 1973 



PART 571 ; S 116— PRE 11-12 



Effecfive: October 1, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 71-13; Notice 6) 



This notice amends 49 CFK 571.116, Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, Motoi- Vehicle 
Brake Fluids, to specify performance require- 
ments for a low- water-tolerance (DOT 5) grade 
brake fluid, effective October 1, 1974, and to re- 
quire a color coding system for all brake fluids 
and hydraulic system mineral oils, effective 
May 1, 1975, to safeguard against intermixing 
of incompatible fluids. 

A notice of proposed rulemaking on this sub- 
ject was published on November 21, 1973 (38 
F.R. 32142), and an opportunity afforded for 
comment. The notice proposed performance re- 
quirements for brake fluids of low water toler- 
ance, which would include but not be limited to 
silicone-based brake fluids. The notice also pro- 
posed a minor revision in the test procedures for 
determining cloudiness and lack of clarity in all 
brake fluids. Finally, the NHTSA proposed 
color coding for brake fluids and their containers 
as an appropriate method to prevent any brake 
system contamination. As the amendments 
adopted are substantially similar to those pro- 
posed, interested persons may refer to the notice 
which contains a full discussion of the proposals 
and the NHTSA's rationale for them. 

A substantial number of comments submitted 
in response objected to either the idea of requir- 
ing a color coding system or the actual colors 
proposed for the different grades of fluid. The 
NHTSA considers that a properly implemented 
color coding system of fluids, containers, and 
reservoirs is an appropriate method of prevent- 
ing brake system contamination. However, it 
realizes that sufficient time must be allotted to 
effect an orderly changeover and, therefore, these 
requirements have a delayed effective date. Sev- 
eral commenters requested modifications to spe- 



cific color coding requirements. Citroen asked 
that the color green be permitted as an optional 
alternative to red for identifying mineral oils, 
based on its established use of this color in cen- 
tral hydraulic systems since 1965. This request 
has been denied in the interest of uniformity to 
minimize the possibility of inadvertent mixing 
of incompatible fluids. Several manufacturers 
of conventional glycol-type fluids stated that 
corrosion inhibitors and antioxidants often im- 
part a reddish brown or straw color to the com- 
pleted fluid prohibiting compliance with the 
proposed color ranges. In view of this informa- 
tion, the color range for DOT 3 and DOT 4 
fluids has been broadened to allow variations 
from clear to amber, except for the container 
border which must be yellow. Further, it has 
been determined that visual inspection for color 
compliance is adequate, and the proposed wave- 
length bands have been deleted. 

The other main issue raised was the use of the 
term "low water tolerance"' when referring to 
silicone based brake fluids. Many commenters 
felt that the plirase "water intolerant" would 
more accurately describe the silicone fluids in 
light of the fact that the water tolerance test for 
DOT 5 fluids does not demand the absorption or 
retention of a specified percentage of water. 
DOT 5 grade fluid, however, is not limited to 
silicone based brake fluids. The term "low water 
tolerance" is found to be the most satisfactory 
description for a range of fluids potentially 
meeting the DOT 5 requirements and which may 
vary in water tolerance from 0.01% to 3.0%. 

Several commenters pointed out that the chem- 
ical stability test of S6.5.4 is not applicable to 
DOT 5 fluids. The NHTSA concurs, and finds 
that the elimination of a chemical stability re- 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 13 



Effectiva: October 1, 1974 



quirement for DOT 5 fluids will not significantly 
compromise safety. The standard has been 
amended accordingly. 

The U.S. Army Chemical and Coating Lab- 
oratory and Bendix Corporation both submitted 
comments which requested that the low tempera- 
ture viscosity requirement be established at a 
lower temperature, for instance —67° F., or that 
the maximum viscosity at —40° F. be set at 
600 cSt. Both comments were constructive, one 
relating the operational characteristics of silicone 
fluids at temperatures of —67° F. and below and 
the other relating the necessary operational 
properties for the proper functioning of anti- 
lock systems at low temperatures. They are out- 
side the scope of the proposal, however, and the 
NHTSA will consider these matters in future 
rulemaking. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
571.116, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, 
Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, is amended. . . . 



Effective date: October 1, 1974, with certain 
requirements effective May 1, 1975, as noted 
therein. Brake fluid of the type regulated by 
this standard is presently prohibited by the 
regulations of several States, and evidently is 
not being produced and sold for commercial 
purposes. The effect of this amendment, there- 
fore, is to permit what was previously prohib- 
ited, and an effective date earlier than 180 days 
from the date of issuance is found for good 
cause shown to be in the public interest. 

(Sees. 103, 11'2, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 
718; 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1427; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.51.) 



Issued on August 16, 1974. 



James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 30353 
August 22, 1974 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 14 



EffMMva: March IS, 1975 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 



Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 71-13; NoNco 8) 



This notice partially responds to petitions for 
reconsideration of amendments to 49 CFR 
571.116 Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, 
Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids^ that were published 
in the Federal Register on August 22, 1974 (39 
FR 30353, as corrected at 32759). The standard 
is further amended to delete tiic rcciuirements 
that were to have become effective May 1, 1975 
for brake fluid color and for a color border 
ai-ound safety warnings on brake fluid container 
labels. 

Standard No. 116 requires effective May 1, 
1975, that DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids be clear to 
amber in color, DOT 5 be blue, and hydraulic 
system mineral oil be red. For Motor Company 
petitioned for a reconsideration of the color re- 
qiiirements, asking that DOT 5 be clear or silver. 
Officine Alfieri Maserati, S.A. Automobiles Cit- 
roen, and U.S. Technical Research Corporation 
have asked that the color of hydraulic system 
mineral oil be changed from red to green. Other 
l)etitioners requested a delay in the effective date 
for color coding. Ob\iously a cliange in the color 
of the fluid would require a corresponding change 
in the color of the borders on container labels. 

Consideration of these and other arguments by 
[)etitioners have delayed a formal response to the 
amendments of August 22, 1974. If the NHTSA 
determines that a petition for change of fluid 
color has merit, it will propose the change, in 



order to have the benefit of public comment, 
ratlier than amending the standard without 
notice. In the meantime, to alleviate the prob- 
lems of man\ifacturers faced with the immediate 
need to order container labels, the NHTSA is 
amending the standard to delete the color re- 
quirements for fluid and container labeling. The 
deletion is only intended to be a temporary one, 
until the response to the petitions for recon- 
sideration of the amendments of August 22, 1974 
is published. A new effective date creating a 
leadtime of not less than 180 days will then be 
proposed. 

In consideration of the foregoing 49 CFR 
571.116 Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116 
is amended. . . . 

Eifective. date: March 25, 1975. Because the 
amendment relieves a restriction and creates no 
additional btirden, it is found for good cause 
shown that an effective date earlier than 180 
days after issuance is in the public interest. 

(Sec. 103, 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 
718 (15 U.S.C. 1.392, 1401, 1427); delegation of 
authority at49 CFR 1.51). 

Issued on March 19, 1975. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

40 F.R. 13219 
March 25, 1975 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 15-16 



Eff*c«v*: May 16, 1975 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 71-13; Notice 9) 



This notice further responds to petitions for 
reconsideration of amendments to 49 CFR 
571.116, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, 
Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids^ that were published 
in the Federal Register on August 22, 1974 (39 
FR 30353, as corrected at 39 FR 32739). A 
partial response deleting color coding require- 
ments was published on March 25, 1975 (40 FR 
13219). This notice amends the standard in 
minor respects. 

Petitions were received from Greneral Motors 
Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Wagner 
Electric Corporation, Officine Alfieri Maserati, 
S.A. Automobiles Citroen, and U.S. Technical 
Research Corporation. Late-filed petitions were 
received from EIS Automotive and the Bell 
Company and in accordance with 49 CFR 553.31 
they have been treated as petitions for rulemak- 
ing. The issues raised by the petitions and their 
disposition are set forth below. 

Revocatwn. Ford petitioned to revoke the 
amendments adding DOT 5 brake fluids, because 
"it has reason to believe that they are incom- 
patible with at least some of the brake systems 
currently used on Ford vehicles." Specifically 
Ford argues that the fluids "may cause hazardous 
deterioration of brake systems or their com- 
ponents." In support Ford referenced a recent 
letter from Bendix to the Non-Conventional 
Brake Fluid Task Group of the Society of Auto- 
motive Engineers, describing a series of tests con- 
ducted with silicone brake fluid "in a hydrovac 
brake system typical of the system used in some 
Ford products." NHTSA has learned that Ben- 
dix subsequently informed SAE that the tests 
were erroneously reported and recommended fur- 
ther testing. This agency finds that good cause 



has not been shown for the revocation, and Ford's 
petition is denied. 

Ford also commented that DOT 5 fluid would 
not have sufficient electrical conductivity to per- 
mit the operation of its intended brake fluid level 
sensor to meet a requirement of Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 105-75 Hydraulic Brake 
Systems. The NHTSA regards this as a design 
problem, peculiar to Ford, that is outweighed by 
the safety advantages of allowing motor vehicle 
manufacturers and motorists the option of choos- 
ing a low-water-tolerant brake fluid. Ford's peti- 
tion is denied. 

Fluid color. A discussion of issues raised by 
the petitions for reconsideration of fluid color 
and labeling will be contained in a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking on this subject to be published 
shortly. (Docket No. 71-13; Notice 10). 

Minor amendments. An editorial error in the 
amendment to paragraph S5.1.5.2 published on 
September 11, 1974 (39 FR 32739) is corrected. 
Paragraph S5.2.2.3 is amended to remove super- 
fluous references to "brake fluid." Paragraph 
S6.7.3(a) is amended to include a reference to 
isopropanol. Finally, to agree with a change 
made in S6.12.4 (39 FR 21599) S6.12.1 is cor- 
rected by changing a reference to "120 hours" to 
"70 hours." 

In consideration of the foregoing 49 CFR 
571.116 Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116 
is amended. . . . 

Ejfective date: May 16, 1975. Because the 
amendments correct errors and create no addi- 
tional burden on any person it is found for good 
cause shown that an immediate effective date is 
in the public interest. 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 17 



Effccllv*: May 16, 1975 



(Sec. 103, 112, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. James B. Gregory 

718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1407) ; delegation of Administrator 

authority at 49 CFR 1.51). 4q pn 21474 

Issued on May 12, 1975. May 16, 1975 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 18 



Effective: September 1, 1978 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 



Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 71-13; Notice 12) 



This notice amends Standard No. 116, Motor 
Vehicle Brake Fluids, to specify color coding 
requirements for hydraulic brake system fluids, 
to alter the warnings required on labels, to in- 
clude a definition for "brake fluid," and to revise 
the definition of "hydraulic system mineral oil." 

These amendments are based on a proposal to 
amend Standard Xo. 116 (49 CFR 571.116) is- 
sued by the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) on December 5, 1975 
(40 FR 56928). Interested persons were afforded 
an opportunity to submit comments on the pro- 
posal by February 5, 1976, and due consideration 
has been given to the 15 comments received. The 
National Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council 
did not take a position on the proposed amend- 
ments. 

As proposed, paragraphs SI and S2 of Stand- 
ard No. 116 are amended to substitute the word 
"fluid" for the term "brake fluid," since the 
standard now includes requirements for hydraulic 
system mineral oils which are not normally called 
"brake fluids." A definition of the term "brake 
fluid" is added to the standard in order to clarify 
the distinction between it and hydraulic system 
mineral oil. 

With regard to the proposed definition of 
hydraulic system mineral oil, Citroen requested 
that polychloroprene rubber (CR) be deleted 
from the list of components designated as incom- 
patible with the mineral oil. The XHTSA has 
determined that Citroen's comments have merit, 
since the type of CR used in brake hoses is com- 
patible with hydraulic system mineral oils, un- 
like the SBR, EPR, and NR materials also 
listed in the proposed definition. This final rule 
reflects revision of the definition accordingly. 

In addition to changes in the labeling require- 
ments, the notice proposed color coding require- 



ments for both fluids and their containers and 
closures. After reviewing the comments sub- 
mitted in response to the proposed amendments, 
the NHTSA has decided not to adopt the pro- 
posed changes in labeling (with one exception) 
or the proposed color coding of containers and 
their closures. The NHTSA has concluded that 
color coding of the fluids, combined with the 
existing warnings on container labels, is a suf- 
ficient safeguard against failures in hydraulic 
braking systems that may result from the use of 
improper or contaminated fluids. 

The proposed color coding of fluids was gen- 
erally supported by the commenters, although 
there were requests for colors different than those 
specified in the proposal. Burma-Castrol re- 
quested that the XHTSA defer color coding of 
fluids until the International Standards Organi- 
zation (ISO) establishes standard colors for all 
motor vehicle fluids. This request is denied since 
the ISO is not actively developing a color code, 
and there is no indication that it will issue such 
a code at any time in the near future. The 
NHTSA can act immediately to reduce the po- 
tential safety hazards created by the use of im- 
proper fluids in hydraulic braking systems. 

Alfred Teves GMBH requested that the color 
requirement for DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids 
be blue instead of the proposed "colorless to 
amber," in order to distinguish these fluids from 
inotor oil and antifreeze. Tliis request is denied 
since there are many windshield cleaning solu- 
tions and some antifreeze fluids that are blue, 
and because most domestic brake fluids are cur- 
rently "colorless to amber." 

Volkswagen also requested that DOT 3 and 
DOT 4 brake fluids be blue in order to assure 
visibility of the fluids in translucent master 
cylinder reservoirs. The NHTSA does not con- 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 19 



Effective: September 1, 1978 



sider visibility in master cylinders to be a prob- 
lem since clear or amber fluids would be visible 
initially in most cases, or would soon become so, 
because brake fluids generally darken rapidly 
with use. The major purpose of the color coding 
requirements is to permit easy identification of 
fluids before they are placed in the vehicle, in 
order to prevent the mixing of an incompatible 
fluid in a braking system. Volkswagen pointed 
out that if amber or yellow fluids are mixed with 
the blue fluids that are currently in many master 
cylinder reservoirs, the resulting green colored 
fluid might be mistaken for a hydraulic system 
mineral oil (by this amendment, hydraulic sys- 
tem mineral oils are required to be green). The 
NHTSA does not consider this concern justifica- 
tion for a change in the proposed color because, 
as stated earlier, most brake fluids tend to become 
darker after they are in use for a short period. 

Volkswagen suggested that hydraulic system 
mineral oils be required to be red in color instead 
of green to avoid any confusion with mixtures of 
existing brake fluids that would be green. The 
NHTSA rejects this suggestion in order to avoid 
confusion with the synthetic red fluids that must 
be used in some older brake .systems. The addi- 
tion of the wrong fluid to such vehicles could 
result in substantial damage to the brake system 
and potential brake failure. 

The U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research 
and Dev-elopment Center requested that hydraulic 
system mineral oils be required to be colored red, 
consistent with the Army color code. The Cen- 
ter's comment cited examples of brake failure 
caused by the inadvertent mixing of incompatible 
fluids in hydromechanical systems. The NHTSA 
has determined, however, that inconsistency be- 
tween the Army color code and the proposed 
color coding requirements for oils sold commer- 
cially should not create a safety problem. Only 
mineral oils procured specifically for use by the 
military would be colored red, because § 571.7(c) 
of NHTSA regulations (49 CFR 571.7(c)) pro- 
vide that no standard applies to a vehicle or item 
of equipment manufactured for, and sold directly 
to, the Armed Forces of the United States in 
conformity with contractual specifications. If a 
situation arose in which it was necessary to buy 
commercial oil for a military vehicle, the oil 



would be purchased according to label informa- 
tion. 

The Brake System Parts Manufacturers Coun- 
cil (BSPMC) reitei-ated its previous comments 
to Docket No. 71-13, Notice 5, stating that re- 
quirements for color coding of fluids and con- 
tainers would not enhance safety but would only 
increase cost. They commented that the match- 
ing of a fluid in a master cylinder reservoir by 
its color would be impossible after a few months 
since DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids tend to darken 
rapidly and thereafter might not be distinguish- 
able from incompatible green hydraulic system 
mineral oils. They further commented that be- 
cause master cylinder reservoirs are not required 
to be color coded with the appropriate fluid, the 
inadvertent mixing of incompatible fluids would 
still continue to occur. 

The NHTSA agrees that the matching of color 
coded fluids is difficult under certain conditions. 
However, the main purpose of the fluid color 
coding requirements is to enable users to dis- 
tinguish among various unused brake fluids, 
rather than to match fluid in a master cylinder 
with additional fluid. It is particularly im- 
portant to be able to distinguish fluids when they 
are in unmarked drums or pressure dispensing 
containers in garages. 

Volkswagen requested that the NHTSA regu- 
late the marketing of DOT 5 brake fluids to 
prevent their use in vehicles unsuited to DOT 5. 
Volkswagen takes issue with advertisements stat- 
ing that DOT 5 fluids are suitable for all vehicles 
and that they can be mixed with all other types 
of brake fluids. It contended that DOT 5 fluids 
cause severe corrosion when added to brake sys- 
tems containing DOT 3 fluids, and submitted a 
report of laboratory tests to substantiate this 
claim. Volkswagen recommended that DOT 5 
fluids be excluded from regulation by Standard 
No. 116. 

The request by Volkswagen is repetitious of a 
petition for reconsideration submitted by Ford 
Motor Company that was denied by a notice 
published May 16, 1975 (40 FR 21474). Ford 
petitioned to revoke the amendments that added 
DOT 5 brake fluids to the standard, because the 
fluids "may cause hazardous deterioration of 
brake systems or their components." The NHTSA 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 20 



Effective: September 1, 1978 



rejected Ford's petition on the basis that the 
information submitted did not substantiate the 
claim that DOT 5 fluids are deleterious to some 
brake systems. Likewise, the NHTSA does not 
consider the test reports submitted by Volks- 
wagen adequate to simulate actual field use, and 
field testing in the United States and Panama 
has demonstrated that mixtures of DOT 5 and 
DOT 3 fluids do not accelerate corrosion. 

It should be understood that the NHTSA con- 
siders the question of the compatibility of DOT 
5 fluids with brake systems and other brake 
fluids to be a separate issue from the question 
whether DOT 5 fluids should be regulated by 
Standard No. 116. The fact that DOT 5 fluids 
might cause corrosion in certain systems does not 
mean that there should not be specified perform- 
ance requirements for DOT 5 fluids in Standard 
116. By its terms Standard No. 116 applies "to 
all fluid for use in hydraulic brake systems of 
motor vehicles.'' 

Concerning Volkswagen's alternative request 
that the NHTSA regulate the marketing and 
use of DOT fluids, we assume that Volkswagen 
intended this to be accomplished by the use of 
additional warnings on the labels of DOT 5 brake 
fluid containers. Any such labeling changes will 
have to be dealt with in future rulemaking. 
Interested persons should submit additional data 
concerning the compatibility of DOT 5 with 
various brake systems and other brake fluids, 
along with any recommended label changes. 

The notice proposing these amendments also 
specified requirements for the color coding of 
brake fluid containers. Bell Chemical Company, 
Brake System Parts Manufacturers Council, 
Gold Eagle and Wagner Corporation opposed 
the proposed color coded border around the 
printed warnings on brake fluid containers, on 
the basis that the color of the border would have 
no significance to the typical consumer. They 
commented that the proposed borders would cost 
approximately one million dollars for printing 
and that no tangible benefit would be realized. 
After considering these comments, the NHTSA 
has decided that the color coded borders should 
not be required on brake fluid containers. Like- 
wise, the color coded cap requirement is not in- 
cluded in paragraph S5.2.2.4 as was proposed, 
although the proposed labeling requirement of 



S5.2.2.5 is made final as S5.2.2.4:. It specifies 
that the labeling requirements of the standard 
shall be placed on the protective outer container 
or carton of brake fluids whose inner container 
is not normally visible during use. Since the 
color-coded-border requirement is not adopted, 
the proposed paragraph S5.2.2.6 regarding color 
tolerance requirements is unnecessary and, there- 
fore, is not included in tlie amendments. 

Eight commenters opposed the proposed color 
coding requirements for container caps and 
closure devices. The commenters pointed out 
that consumers would not be cognizant of the 
significance of the colored caps, and that procure- 
ment of colored caps would result in liigh costs 
and require long lead times. It was also noted 
that the wrong color of cap coidd easily be in- 
advertently applied by packagers or switched by 
users of the brake fluids. Further, they stated 
that since service stations and shops often mount 
dispenser pumps on one gallon brake fluid cans 
in place of their original caps, the purpose of 
color coded caps would be thwarted in many 
instances. The NHTSA has concluded that these 
arguments have merit. The proposed require- 
ments for color coded caps and closures are not 
included in the amendments. 

The proposed labeling changes included speci- 
fication of the minimum wet boiling point in 
degrees Celsius as well as Fahrenheit, container 
capacity in liters as well as gallons, and colored 
border width in millimeters as well as inches. 
Classic Chemical supported these proposed label- 
ing changes. Wagner Electric and Bell Chemical 
opposed them on the basis that metric equiv- 
alents do not serve a safety need and should be 
left to the jurisdiction of the Federal agencies 
responsible for the "metrication" program. 

The agency's authority extends to labeling with 
safety information, and all available methods to 
increase the comprehensibility of labeling, in- 
cluding metric equivalents, is justified. None- 
theless, the NHTSA has concluded that the cost 
of the proposed metric labeling does not justify 
a change at this time. The proposed changes in 
S5.2.2.1(c), So.2.2.2(f) and S5.2.2.2(g) (4) are 
not adopted. 

Classic Chemical objected to the proposed 
change in the last sentence of paragraph S5.2.1 
regarding requirements for container sealing. 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 21 



Effective: September 1, 1978 



The rewording was proposed for the purpose of 
clarifying the requirement that the container 
closure be tamper-proof to the extent that it 
would be obvious to a user that the closure had 
been previously opened. Classic Chemical com- 
mented that the present wording which refers to 
inclusion of a "tamper proof feature" is prefer- 
able to the proposed wording. After reconsid- 
eration, the NHTSA has decided that the 
proposed rewording could result in confusion 
rather than clarification. Therefore, paragraph 
S5.2.1 is not amended as was proposed. 

Dow Corning Corporation, a manufacturer of 
DOT 5, a low-water-tolerance silicone brake 
fluid, earlier suggested that the admonition in 
S5.2.2.2(g) (3) to keep containers "tightly closed 
to prevent absorption of moisture"' is unnecessary 
and redundant when applied to water intolerant 
brake fluids such as DOT 5 fluids. Based on this 
suggestion, the notice proposing these amend- 
ments sjiecified the amendment of S5.2.2.2(g) (3) 
to read, ". . . to prevent entry of water and other 
contaminants." Wagner Electric commented that 
the So.2.2.2 (g)(3) warning label on DOT 3 and 
DOT 4 containers should not be required to be 
changed simply because the label does not apply, 
as worded, to DOT T) brake fluids. They noted 
that consumer cost could be greatly reduced if 
only the labels on DOT .5 fluids are changed. 
The XHTSA agi-ees with this suggestion. Para- 
graph S5.2.2.2(g) (3) is therefore modified to 
add the following parenthetical : " (The last five 
words of the second sentence may be omitted 
from the labeling on DOT 5 containers.)" 

Bowes Seal Fast commented that the third 
warning listed in S5.2.2.2(g) ("Store Brake 
Fluid Only In Its Original Container . . .") is 
contrary to the general garage practice of using 
dispensing containers that are continuously re- 
filled from bulk containers. Bell suggested that 
warning number (3) be eliminated on the basis 
that warning number (2) is adequate. The 
NHTSA considers the dispensing containers to 
be devices for use rather than for storage, so 
warning number (3) is not contrary to normal 
garage practices. The XHTSA disagrees with 
Bell since warning number (2) concei-ns con- 
tamination of fluids in master cylinders, while 
warning number (3) pertains to the storage of 
fluids. 



The notice proposing these amendments speci- 
fied a new consumer warning against accepting 
containers whose "tamper proof" seals have been 
broken. Wagner opposed the proposed warning. 
They noted that metal screw caps on fluid con- 
tainers are often very tightly fastened, and that 
consumers could not remove them without pliers 
to inspect the inner "tamper proof" seal. The 
tendency would be, according to Wagner, to not 
inspect the inner seal at the place of purchase. 
The XHTSA has considered these comments and 
further evaluated the possible problems of the 
sale of brake fluid or hydraulic system mineral 
oil containers refilled with other than approved 
fluid. It has been determined that the potential 
safety problem does not warrant the expense of 
adding another warning of this type to either 
the container or its outer closure. The proposed 
new warning, S5.2.2.2(g) (5), is not adopted. 

The notice preceding these amendments pro- 
posed the amendment of paragraph S6.7.3(a) to 
specify the phrase "suitable solvent" rather than 
the solvents presently listed, to be used to inhibit 
frosting of the exterior surfaces of specimen con- 
tainers in the test for fluidity and appearance at 
low tempei'ature. After reconsideration, the 
XHTSA has decided that this pi'oposed change 
might only create confusion and should, there- 
fore, not be adopted. This does not mean that 
manufacturers are restricted to the use of ethanol, 
isopropanol, or acetone. The obligation of a 
manufacturer is to ensure that its certification 
of compliance is not false or misleading in a 
material respect, and that it has exercised due 
care in manufacturing to conform to the require- 
ments of Standard Xo. 116 (15 U.S.C. §1397 
(b)(2)). A manufacturer is not required to 
follow specifically the test procedures for the 
standards, but only to ascertain, in the exercise 
of due care, that its product will conform to the 
standard's requirements when it is tested by the 
stated methods. 

The XHTSA has detei-mined that these amend- 
ments will have a negligible economic impact. 
It is estimated that the color coding requirements 
will have an annual cost of approximately 
$10,000. Because of residual inventories it should 
take several years before all brake fluids are i 
color coded. After this phasing-in period it is 
estimated that the amendments will result in the 



PART 671; S 116— PEE 22 



reducing of aproximately 400 accidents per year, 
with an annual consumer cost savings of $512,000. 
The NHTSA has determined that the amend- 
ments will have a negligible effect on the en- 
vironment. 

It has been determined that an effective date 
later than the normal statutory limit of one year 
is justified for these amendments in order to give 
manufacturers and packagers sufficient time to 
exhaust existing supplies of brake system fluids 
destined for new motor vehicles. 



Effective: September 1, 1978 

In consideration of the foregoing. Standard 
No. 116 (49 CFR 571.116) is amended. . . . 

Effective date : September 1, 1978. 

(Sec. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407) ; delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.50.) 

Issued on December 6, 1976. 

John W. Snow 
Administrator 

41 F.R. 54942 
December 16, 1976 



PART 571; S 116— PRE 23-24 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 
(Docket No. 85-02; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMMARY: The purpose of this notice is to amend 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 
No. 116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, and FMVSS 
No. 106, Brake Hoses, to revise the referee 
materials and test procedures referenced in por- 
tions of those standards. FMVSS No. 116 and 
FMVSS No. 106 currently reference the referee 
material (RM) identified as RM-1 fluid by the 
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). However, 
RM-1 fluid is now commercially unavailable, and is 
less representative of brake fluids used in vehicles 
on the road today. The SAE in its January 1980 
revision of Standard J 1703, "Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid," substituted a new referee material, 
RM-66-03, in place of RM-1 for use in the J1703 
compatibility test. This final rule adopts this 
revision and references RM-66-03 for use in the 
compatibility test of Standard No. 106, and the 
compatibility and fluid chemical stability tests of 
Standard No. 116. This notice also references a 
new referee material, TEGME, in the humidifica- 
tion procedure of Standard No. 116, adjusts the 
water content level and test temperature refer- 
enced in the test procedures, and amends the 
number of sets of stroking test materials in the 
stroking test procedures. This notice also makes 
procedural modifications to Standard No. 116's 
humidification procedure adopted from the SAE, 
and corrects the description of test procedures 
used to evaluate brake fluid stroking properties. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: Due to the commercial 
unavailability of RM-1 fluid, this rule is effective 
May 6, 1986. However, because the agency is con- 
cerned that manufacturers who might still be using 
RM-1 fluid to test their products should be able to 
use their existing supplies, use of RM-1 fluid may 
continue until November 3, 1986. 



SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 116, Motor 
Vehicle Brake Fluids, and FMVSS No. 106, Brake 
Hoses, specify performance requirements for 
motor vehicle brake fluids and brake hoses. 
Included in the performance requirements of 
Standard No. 106 is a brake fluid compatibility 
test, and included in Standard No. 116 are com- 
patibility, chemical stability, and humidification 
tests. Referee materials are used to test specimens 
of brake hose and brake fluid for compliance with 
the standards' requirements. These materials pro- 
vide a basis of comparison between the results of 
the tests and the specifications of the standards. 
The procedures for the compatibility, chemical sta- 
bility, and humidification tests currently reference 
the referee material brake fluid specified by the 
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in the 
April 1968 version of SAE Standard J1703b. Stan- 
dard J1703b, in turn, references a referee material 
(RM) identified as RM-1. (Standard No. 116's 
description of SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor 
Vehicle Brake Fluid," April 1968, is incorrect in 
that the correct reference should be to J 1703b, Ju- 
ly 1970. In 1970, the agency proposed to reference 
test procedures of J1703a, April 1968, in Standard 
No. 116. Subsequently, NHTSA changed reference 
from J1703a to J1703b. The effort to make this 
change inadvertently resulted in showing April 
1968, the date of J1703a, as the date of J1703b. 
This notice corrects the error by referencing 
J1703b, July 1970.) 

This rule amends FMVSS Nos. 116 and 106 to 
revise the referee materials and test procedures 
referenced in portions of those standards. The 
SAE, in its January 1980 and November 1983 revi- 
sions of Standard J1703, "Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid," substituted a new referee material, 
RM-66-03, in place of RM-1 for use in the J1703 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 25 



compatibility test. This notice adopts this revision 
and references RM-66-03 for use in the compati- 
bihty test of Standard No. 106, and the compatibil- 
ity and fluid chemical stability tests of Standard 
No. 116. This notice also references a new referee 
material, TEGME, in the humidification pro- 
cedures of Standard No. 116, adjusts the water 
content level and test temperature referenced in 
the test procedures, and amends the number of 
sets of stroking test materials in the stroking test 
of Standard No. 116. This notice also adopts SAE 
revisions to FMVSS No. 116's humidification test 
which had been inadvertently omitted from the 
amendatory language of the proposed rule, and 
corrects the description of test procedures used to 
evaluate brake fluid stroking properties. 

Testing Brake Hose/Fluid Characteristics 

Brake fluid compatibility is an important factor 
in establishing brake hose life and strength 
characterisitcs. The compatibility test of FMVSS 
No. 106 measures hydraulic brake hose com- 
patibility with brake fluid. The brake hose test 
specimen is filled with the SAE Compatibility 
Fluid for a required number of hours at specified 
temperatures, and is then subjected to constriction 
and burst strength tests. Currently, RM-1 fluid is 
referenced in the test procedures for the 
standard's brake fluid compatibility test. 

Under the compatibility requirements of FMVSS 
No. 116, the compatibiltiy of a brake fluid with an 
RM fluid is determined. The compatibility fluid 
that is used in these tests as a referee material 
should be representative of the fluids found in a 
braking system in service. The tests measure the 
compatibility of fluids of different chemical bases 
by checking whether there are undesirable 
chemical interactions resulting from the mixture of 
fluids. Paragraph S6.10 sets out the procedures for 
evaluating the compatibility of a brake fluid with 
other liquids used in a hydraulic brake system (i.e., 
other brake fluids). This section currently 
references RM-1 fluid as the referee material used 
in that test procedure. 

The humidification tests of FMVSS No. 116 
measure the amount of water absorbed by a brake 
fluid as compared to a reference fluid. The 
presence of water in a brake system degrades 
braking performance and safety by lowering the 
boiUng point of brake fluid, increasing the possi- 



bility of vapor lock and the corroding of system 
components, and the depositing of sediment in 
wheel cylinders that could cause a system malfunc- 
tion. 

Standard No. 116 establishes minimum wet 
equilibrium reflux boiling points (ERBP's) for dif- 
ferent grades of brake fluid, and the test pro- 
cedures of S6.2 determine the water content and 
wet ERBP of brake fluid specimens. The current 
test procedure specifies that sample fluids of RM-1 
and the test specimen are to be humidified 
simultaneously under controlled conditions. The 
SAE RM-1 fluid is used as the reference fluid that 
estabhshes the "endpoint" for humidification. 
When the water content of the RM-1 fluid is 
measured to be 3.50 ± 0.05 percent by weight, the 
test fluid sample is removed from the humidifica- 
tion apparatus. After humidification, the water 
and ERBP of the sample are determined. 

Section 7.2 of FMVSS No. 116 also refers to 
RM-1 fluid as a reference for measuring the water 
content of brake fluids. 

RM-66-03 Fluid 

A notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on this 
rulemaking action was published on March 7, 1985 
(50 FR 9294). The NPRM explained that FMVSS 
Nos. 106 and 116 currently reference SAE RM-1 
CompatibOity Fluid in their test procedures. In 
that notice, the agency announced its tentative 
finding that the inclusion of RM-1 fluid is no longer 
desirable for the following reasons. 

The agency stated its belief that reference to 
RM-1 fluid should be changed because manufac- 
ture of the fluid has ceased. A new fluid, identified 
as RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, has replaced the 
RM-1 fluid in test procedures described in the 
January 1980 and November 1983 revisions of 
SAE Standard J1703. This new fluid is described 
by the SAE as a blend of four proprietary 
polyglycol brake fluids of fixed composition, in 
equal parts by volume. The four fluids selected 
comprise three factory-fill and one after-market 
fluid as follows: DOW HD50-4, DOW 455, Delco 
Supreme II, and Olin HDS-79. 

While RM-1 fluid is not readily available, 
RM-66-03 fluid is available from the SAE in the 
blend and formulation developed by the SAE for 
J 1703. The indiviual manufacturers of the four pro- 
prietary fluids have indicated to the SAE Brake 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 26 



Fluids Subcommittee and Reference Materials 
Subcommittee that the proprietary formulation 
might be changed in the commercial market, but 
that the formulations developed for the RM-66-03 
fluid would be guaranteed to be available for a 
minimum five-year period commencing May 1983, 
i.e., at least until May 1988. 

The updated reference to RM-66-03 fluid by the 
SAE is a result of the termination of the manufac- 
turing of the RM-1 fluid. Several of the ingredients 
contained in the RM-1 fluid are not available to 
fluid manufacturers since the materials are no 
longer used in today's fluids, or have become pro- 
hibitively costly to obtain. As a result, manufac- 
turers are unwilling to produce more RM-1 fluid. 

In addition, RM-1 fluid is not representative of 
fluids in service today. The agency stated its belief 
that revising the referee material used in the com- 
patibility test is warranted since the purposes of 
that test would be better served by a referee 
material more representative of today's fluids. In- 
clusion of RM-1 fluid in FMVSS Nos. 116 and 106 
is also undesirable because RM-1 fluid contains tox- 
ic materials which require elaborate protective 
procedures and special handling and manufactur- 
ing processes. 

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA pro- 
posed an amendment to FMVSS Nos. 106 and 116 
to substitute new referee materials for the com- 
patibility and humidification tests. For Standard 
No. 106's compatibility requirement and test pro- 
cedures (S5.3.9 and S6.7), and Standard No. 116's 
compatibility (6.10), fluid chemical stability (6.5), 
and water content (7.2) tests, the new referee 
material was proposed to be RM-66-03 fluid as 
described in the January 1980 version of SAE 
Standard J1703. 

Seven commenters responded to the NPRM. 
Each commenter agreed with the proposal to 
reference RM-66-03 fluid in FMVSS Nos. 106 and 
116. General Motors Corporation (GM) and 
Chrysler Corporation agreed with the agency's 
tentative conclusion that the new referee material 
would be more available and compatible with cur- 
rent brake fluids than RM-1 fluid. Other com- 
menters believed that the change would be 
practical and reasonable. 

NHTSA has considered the comments to the 
NPRM and has decided to amend FMVSS Nos. 106 
and 116 to reference RM-66-03 compatibility fluid. 



One slight change has been made to the NPRM's 
proposal. The NPRM proposed to reference the 
RM-66-03 fluid as described in the January 1980 
revision of SAE Standard J1703. This rule will 
reference RM-66-03 fluid as described in the 
November 1983 revision of J1703. The two SAE 
revisions of J1703 are identical in their descrip- 
tions of RM-66-03; the agency is making this 
change in order to keep FMVSS Nos. 106 and 116 
current by referencing the more recent SAE 
standard. 

Use of the RM-66-03 fluid in the test procedures 
of Standards Nos. 116 and 106 should have a 
beneficial impact on safety. Since the RM-1 com- 
patibility fluid currently referenced in FMVSS 
Nos. 106 and 116 is not commercially available, 
ascertaining whether hoses and fluids comply with 
certain requirements related to compatibility and 
boiling points is difficult. Amending the standards 
to allow the use of RM-66-03 fluid in place of RM-1 
provides a readily available compatibility fluid for 
the compliance tests which is more representative 
of fluids used in today's vehicles. 

TEGME, Brake Fluid Grade 

In humidification test procedures under FMVSS 
No. 116, the referee material fluid is used as a 
reference to determine when to terminate the 
humidification procedure. Currently, RM-1 fluid is 
used as this referee material. NHTSA proposed to 
amend Standard No. 116 to reference a new 
referee fluid, triethylene glycol monomethyl ether 
(TEGME), brake fluid grade, as the referee 
material noted in Standard No. 116's procedures 
for a brake fluid's wet equilibrium reflux boiling 
point (S6.2). TEGME has been referenced by the 
SAE in J1703, January 1980, and J1703, 
November 1983, as the referee material used in the 
humidification test procedure. 

In addition to referencing the TEGME material, 
the agency also proposed to amend S6.2 of FMVSS 
No. 116 to adjust the final water content of the 
referee material fluid to 3.70% water (instead of 
the current requirement of 3.5%), change the test 
temperature to 50°C. (from 23°C.), and add a cool- 
ing period for the sealed jar sample. As explained 
in the NPRM, those changes (use of TEGME fluid, 
change in water pickup and test temperature, and 
the cool-down to room temperature) were pro- 
posed as part of the overall changes adopted from 
SAE J1703 procedures. 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 27 



All but one of the commenters to the notice sup- 
ported the changes to the TEGME fluid. Com- 
menters believed that the changes would simplify 
the test procedures and make them more cost 
effective. 

In its comment on the NPRM, Union Carbide 
questioned whether there are adequate data to 
show that the new humidification test procedure 
will produce comparable test results when applied 
to DOT-4 and DOT-5 brake fluids. That commenter 
suggested that NHTSA reconsider adopting the 
SAE J1703, January 1980 humidification test 
method or adopt it as an alternative to the current 
method that uses RM-1 fluid until complete com- 
parative testing could be performed. 

The agency does not agree with Union Carbide 
that the humidification test method of SAE J1703, 
January 1980 should not be adopted as the new 
Standard No. 116 test procedure. The TEGME 
fluid is capable of absorbing a measurable amount 
of water in a given time and is only used as a 
reference to determine when to terminate the 
humidification process. Under the humidification 
test procedure, samples of brake fluid and TEGME 
are humidified simultaneously until a measured 
quantity of fluid is picked up in the TEGME. When 
the water content of the TEGME fluid reaches 3.7 
percent, the brake fluid test specimens are re- 
moved from the test apparatus and their water 
contents and ERBP's are measured. TEGME, the 
referee material used in the humidification pro- 
cedure, thus serves only to establish the end point 
of a test procedure. 

The 3.7 percent TEGME water pickup (at 50°C) 
corresponds to the 3.5 percent water pickup (at 
23°C) of the referee fluid (RM-1) used previously to 
determine the end point of the humidification pro- 
cedure. The agency has determined that DOT-3 
fluid picks up the same amount of water when 
humidified under procedures which use TEGME as 
the referee material as it does when humidified 
under procedures using RM-1. Therefore, the 
agency believes that the water pickup of test 
fluids, including DOT-4 and DOT-5 fluids, would 
not be affected by the change to TEGME. Ac- 
cordingly, NHTSA is amending FMVSS No. 116 to 
reference the TEGME referee material. 

The NPRM proposed to reference the TEGME 
fluid as described in the January 1980 revision of 
Standard J1703. This rule will instead reference 



TEGME as described in the November 1983 
revision of J1703. The two SAE revisions of J1703 
are identical in their descriptions of TEGME; the 
agency is making this change in order to keep 
FMVSS No. 116 current by referencing the more 
recent SAE standard. 

Humidification Test Procedures 

All commenters supported the additional 
changes to the humidification procedure of S6.2 
adopted from SAE Standard J 1703. This rule 
adopts the proposed changes to S6.2 and adjusts 
the final water content of the referee material fluid 
to 3.70%, changes the test temperature to 50°C, 
and adds a cooling period for the sealed jar sample. 

Other changes to the humidification procedure 
were suggested in the comments to the NPRM. 
GM and Union Carbide Corporation pointed out 
that while NHTSA proposed to adopt the 
humidification test procedures from SAE J1703, 
the procedural modifications proposed in the 
amendatory language differed slightly from the 
SAE standard. GM suggested changing FMVSS 
No. 116's humidification procedure to agree with 
that of SAE J1703, January 1980 in order to 
facilitate testing. The following changes were sug- 
gested: S6.2.1 should be revised to require 150 ml. 
samples of brake fluid and TEGME instead of the 
proposed 100 ml. samples; S6.2.3 should be revised 
to eliminate ammonium sulfate from the list of 
reagents and materials and to specify distilled 
water and TEGME; S6.2.4 should be revised to 
load the dessicators with 450 ml. of distilled water 
instead of the ammonium sulfate /distilled water 
slurry; and S6.2.5 should be revised to use 150 ml. 
samples of the brake fluid and TEGME instead of 
the proposed 100 ml. samples. 

As evidenced by the GM and Union Carbide com- 
ments, it was clear that the agency intended to 
facilitate testing by adopting the overall changes 
to the humidification test from SAE J 1703. 
Therefore, NHTSA agrees that those additional 
changes should be incorporated into this final rule. 
This rule amends S6.2.1, S6.2.3, S6.2.4 and S6.2.5 
to correct the minor omissions noted above. Fur- 
ther, S6.2.2 is revised to clarify that distilled water 
would be substituted for the salt slurry in Figure 3 i 
of FMVSS No. 116, Humidification Apparatus, 
when TEGME is used as the referee material. 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 28 



stroking Test 

The stroking test in FMVSS No. 116 checks the 
lubricity effect of a brake fluid on rubber com- 
ponents. The NPRM explained that the SAE had 
determined, in its revision of J1703, January 1980, 
that three sets of test material are sufficient to 
analyze the adequacy of test results. The notice an- 
nounced that, based on NHTSA's tentative agree- 
ment with that SAE conclusion and its belief that 
compliance testing costs would be reduced by that 
change without an adverse affect on safety, the 
agency was proposing to amend the requirements 
of S5.1.13 and S6.13 to require testing of only 
three sets of test material (consisting of wheel 
cylinders, drums, shoe assemblies, etc.) instead of 
four sets, and eight new brake cups instead of 10. 
Since NHTSA proposed to reduce the number of 
cups tested, a reduction in the number of cups 
checked for unsatisfactory operating condition was 
also proposed. 

All comments supported the agency's proposal 
to revise the stroking test procedures. The com- 
menters believed that the changes proposed in the 
NPRM would simplify the test procedures and 
make them more cost effective. NHTSA agrees, 
and has revised S5.1.13 and S6.13 as proposed in 
the NPRM. 

In addition, this rule makes several changes to 
the stroking test procedures in FMVSS No. 116 
which directly relate to the agency's adoption of 
the SAE stroking test revision. Currently, S6.13.2 
describes the apparatus and equipment used for 
the stroking test and refers to figures in SAE 
Standard J1703b which depict stroking ap- 
paratuses. Figure 1 of J1703b depicts four sets of 
drum and shoe assemblies. Since NHTSA has 
reduced the number of sets of test materials to 
three, the agency believes that the description of 
the test apparatuses and arrangement of test 
materials should also be revised to reflect this 
change. The description of the apparatuses used in 
the stroking test is changed only to clarify that 
three sets of materials are used, instead of four. 

The following related revisions to the stroking 
test procedure are necessary to facilitate the 
change to three sets of materials. Paragraph 
S6. 13.4(c) describes the preparation and assembly 
of test apparatuses. When a shoe and drum type 
apparatus is used, S6. 13.4(c) specifies a 23 mm. 
stroke length, based on output piston movement of 



four sets of wheel cylinders. Stroke length refers 
to the distance traveled by the master cylinder 
piston to displace a certain volume of fluid in the 
test system which, in turn, forces the wheel 
cylinder pistons to travel a specified distance. 
Since the stroking test is revised to require only 
three sets of materials, the stroke length of the 
master cylinder would no longer be 23 mm. 

This rule deletes reference in S6. 13.4(c) to exact 
piston displacement measurements and a 23 mm. 
stroke length. The agency has determined that it is 
not necessary to specify master cylinder and wheel 
cylinder piston travel since those values are deter- 
mined by the characteristics of the system which 
are specified in the standard (i.e., dimensions of 
the master cylinder and wheel cylinders, and 
pressure). The stroking test apparatus is a closed 
hydraulic system; pressure of 1000 pounds per 
square inch (psi) is generated at the outlet port of 
the master cylinder, and all pistons have the same 
diameters of VI g inch. Given the above, displace- 
ment of the wheel cylinders is directly proportional 
to the displacement of the master cyhnder, and in 
the given test apparatus the stroke length of the 
master cyUnder is dependent on system pressure. 
Stroke length would therefore be adjusted by the 
characteristics of the system from the former 
value of 23 mm. to a value proportioned for three 
wheel cylinders. 

Since the agency is eliminating exact wheel 
cylinder piston travel measurements and is speci- 
fying that only three sets of test materials are re- 
quired in the stroking test, this rule also deletes 
reference in S6. 13.4(c) to Figure 4 of SAE 
Standard J1703b. That figure illustrated the ap- 
proximate pressure buildup versus the master 
cylinder piston movement, and was based on the 
use of four sets of materials. S6. 13.4(c) would con- 
tinue, however, to specify that the pressure 
buildup is relatively low during the first part of the 
stroke, in order to avoid damage of the master 
cylinder's primary cup by ensuring that the 
primary cup passes the compensating port at a 
relatively low pressure. 

Typographical Errors 

This notice corrects the typographical errors in 
S5.1.9(a), S5.1.9(b) and S5.1.12 of Standard No. 
116, as proposed in the NPRM. 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 29 



Effective Date 

This rule is effective May 6, 1986. As explained 
in the NPRM, the agency finds good cause for this 
expedited effective date because the RM-1 fluid 
used in the testing procedures of FMVSS Nos. 116 
and 106 is commercially unavailable. Use of the 
RM-66-03 fluid will facilitate compliance testing by 
utilizing a referee material that is currently 
available and more representative of fluids in 
service. However, because the agency is concerned 
that manufacturers who might still be using RM-1 
fluid to test their products should be able to use 
their existing supplies, use of RM-1 fluid may con- 
tinue until November 3, 1986, i.e., 180 days after 
publication of this rule. 

In accordance with the above provision permit- 
ting the use of RM-1 during the interim period, this 
rule describes separate test procedures ap- 
propriate for use with RM-1 and for the new 
referee materials (i.e., RM-6603 and TEGME). 
Test procedures for RM-1 usage are specified for 
those manufacturers who choose to use that fluid 
during the 180-day period. 

Economic Effects 

NHTSA has concluded that this final rule does 
not qualify as a "major rule" within the meaning of 
Executive Order 12291, and that it is not "signifi- 
cant" within the meaning of the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory procedures. Prepara- 
tion of a regulatory impact analysis is not 
necessary for this rulemaking. The agency has 
determined further that the effects of this 
rulemaking are minor and that a full regulatory 
evaluation is not warranted. The rule references 
referee materials in Standards Nos. 116 and 106 
that are readily available to manufacturers of 
brake fluids and brake hoses. 

The agency believes that manufacturers will 
benefit by the change to RM-66-03 fluid and 
TEGME fluid in FMVSS No. 116 and RM-66-03 
fluid in FMVSS No. 106. The fluids are readily 
available whereas RM-1 is not, and are more 
representative of fluids in service today. The 
agency knows of no problems resulting from tests 
onducted with the RM-66-03 and TEGME fluids. 

Some cost savings would be realized with this 
amendment. The utilization of RM-66-03 fluid will 
reduce the costs of fluids used in compliance 
testing without sacrificing adequate test results. 
For example, as cited in the NPRM, when last 



available, RM-1 fluid cost approximately $27.00 
per quart. The cost of RM-66-03 fluid is approx- 
imately $8.00 per quart. 

Cost savings will be realized by the use of the 
TEGME fluid in the humidification tests of 
FMVSS No. 116. The TEGME fluid costs approx- 
imately $3.30 per quart. Further, using the 
TEGME fluid in compliance testing would con- 
serve the more expensive supply of RM-66-03 
brake fluid material. 

The change in the stroking test procedures will 
also result in some cost savings. The costs related 
to the quantities of materials tested will be reduced 
about 25 percent. 

Any changes to Standard Nos. 106 and 116 
referencing the RM-66-03 and TEGME fluids and 
reducing the number of test materials used in the 
stroking test will not significantly affect manufac- 
turers of brake hoses and referee materials. These 
manufacturers may benefit from some cost savings 
resulting from the changes to the standards, but 
will not otherwise be significantly affected by this 
amendment. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
571.06, Brake Hoses, is amended as follows: 

1. S5.3.9 is revised to read as follows: 

S5.3.9 Brake Fluid Compatibility, Construe- 
tion, and Burst Stength. Except for brake hose 
assemblies designed for use with mineral or 
petroleum-based brake fluids, a hydraulic brake 
hose assembly shall meet the constriction require- 
ment of S5.3.1 after having been subjected to a 
temperature of 200 °F for 70 hours while filled with 
SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, as described in 
Appendix A of SAE Standard J1703, November 
1983, "Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 
1983 (S6.7). It shall then withstand water pressure 
of 4,000 psi for 2 minutes and thereafter shall not 
rupture at less than 5,000 psi (S6.2). (SAE RM-1 
Compatibility Fluid, as described in Appendix A of 
SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid," July 1970, may be used in place of SAE 
RM-66-03 until November 3, 1986. 

2. Paragraph S6.7.1(a) is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6.7.1 Preparation. 

(a) Attach a hose assembly below a 1-pint reser- 
voir filled with 100 ml of SAE RM-66-03 Com- 
patibility Fluid as shown in Figure 2. (SAE RM-1 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 30 



Compatibility Fluid, as described in Appendix A of 
SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid," July 1970, may be used in place of SAE 
RM-66-03 until November 3, 1986. 

****** 

§571.116 [Amended] 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
571.116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, is amended 
as follows: 

1. S5.1.9 is revised to read as follows: 
S5.1.9 Water Tolerance. 

(a) At low temperature. When brake fluid is 
tested according to S6.9.3(a)— 

(1) * * * 

(b) At 60°C (140°F). When brake fluid is tested 
according to S6.9.3(b)— 

(1) * * * 

2. S5.1.12 is revised to read as follows: 

55.1.12 Effects on cups. When brake cups are 
subjected to brake fluid in accordance with 86.12— 

****** 

3. S5.1.13 is revised to read as follows: 

55.1.13 Stroking properties. When brake fluid is 
tested according to S6.13— 

****** 

(c) The average decrease in hardness of seven of 
the eight cups tested (six wheel cylinder and one 
master cylinder primary) shall not exceed 15 
IRHD. Not more than one of the seven cups shall 
have a decrease in hardness greater than 17 IRHD; 

(d) None of the eight cups shall be in an un- 
satisfactory operating condition as evidenced by 
stickiness, scuffing, blisters, cracking, chipping, or 
other change in shape from its original 
appearance; 

(e) None of the eight cups shall show an increase 
in base diameter greater than 0.90 mm (0.035 
inch): 

(f) The average lip diameter set of the eight cups 
shall not be greater than 65 percent: 

****** 

4. S6 is revised to read as follows: 

S6. Test procedures. Until November 3, 1986, 
SAE RM-1 Compatibility Fluid, as described in 
Appendix A of SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor 
Vehicle Brake Fluid," July 1970, may be used in 
place of TEGME and SAE RM-66-03 in the 
humidification (S6.2), chemical stability (S6.5.4), 
and compatibility (S6.10) test procedures, and as a 
referee material in S7.2. 



5. S6.2.1 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.1 Summary of the procedure. 

(a) With TEGME: Except as provided in 
paragraph S6.2.1(b), a 150 ml sample of the brake 
fluid is humidified under controlled conditions; 150 
ml of SAE triethylene glycol monoethyl ether, brake 
fluid grade, referee material (TEGME) as described 
in Appendix E of SAE Standard J1703, November 
1983, "Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 1983, 
is used to establish the end point for humidification. 
After humidification the water content and ERBP of 
the brake fluid are determined. 

(b) With RM-1: Until November 3, 1986, SAE 
RM-1 Compatibility Fluid, as described in Appen- 
dix A of SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor Vehicle 
Brake Fluid," July 1970, may be used with the 
following procedures. See S6. A 100-ml. sample of 
the brake fluid is humidified under controlled con- 
ditions: 100 ml of SAE RM-1 Compatibility Fluid is 
used to establish the end point for humidification. 
After humidification the water content and ERBP 
of the brake fluid are detemined. 

6. S6.2.2 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.2 Apparatus for humidification. (See 
Figure 3. Until November 3, 1986, a manufacturer 
may use either TEGME or RM-1 Compatibility 
Fluid. If TEGME is used, substitute 450 ml. of 
distilled water in place of the salt slurry and 
disregard the "45 ± 7mm" dimension.) 

Test apparatus shall consist of— 

****** 

7. S6.2.3 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.3 Reagents and Materials. 

(a) Distilled water, see S7.1. 

(b) Except as provided in S6.2.3(c), SAE 
TEGME referee material. 

(c) Until November 3, 1986, a manufacturer may 
use either TEGME or SAE RM-1 Compatibility 
Fluid. See S6. 

(d) If RM-1 is used, also use ammonium sulfate 
(NH4) 2SO4, Reagent or A.C.S. grade. 

8. S6.2.4 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.4 Preparation of Apparatus. 

(a) With TEGME: Except as provided in 
S6.2.4(b), lubricate the ground-glass joint of the 
desiccator. Pour 450 ± 10 ml of distilled water into 
each desiccator and insert perforated porcelain 
desiccator plates. Place the desiccators in an oven 
with temperature controlled at 50±1°C 
(122±1.8°F) throughout the humidification pro- 
cedure. 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 31 



(b) With RM-1: Until November 3,1986, a 
manufacturer may use either TEGME or SAE 
RM-1 Compatibility Fluid. See S6. Lubricate the 
ground-glass joint of the desiccator. Load each 
desiccator with 450 ±25 grams of the ammonium 
sulfate and add 125 ± 10 ml. of distilled water. The 
surface of the salt slurry shall lie within 45 ± 7 mm. 
of the top surface of the desiccator plate. Place the 
desiccators in an area with temperature controlled 
at 23 ±2° C (73.4±3.6°F) throughout the 
humidification procedure. Condition the loaded 
desiccator with the covers on and stoppers in place 
at least 12 hours before use. Use a fresh charge of 
salt slurry for each test. 

9. S6.2.5 is revised to read as follows: 

S6.2.5 Procedure. 

(a) With TEGME: Except as provided by 
S6.2.5(b), pour 150 ±5 ml of the brake fluid into an 
open corrosion test jar. Place the jar into a desic- 
cator. Prepare in the same manner a duplicate test 
fluid sample and two duplicate specimens of the 
SAE TEGME referee material (150 ±5 ml of 
TEGME in each jar). The water content of the 
SAE TEGME fluid is adjusted to 0.50 ±0.05 per- 
cent by weight at the start of the test in accordance 
with S7.2. Place these samples in the dessicators in 
the 50°C (122°F) controlled oven and replace desic- 
cator covers. At intervals, during oven humidifica- 
tion, remove the rubber stopper in the top of each 
desiccator containing SAE TEGME fluid. Using a 
long needled hypodermic syringe, take a sample of 
not more than 2 ml from each jar and determine its 
water content. Remove no more than 10 ml of fluid 
from each SAE TEGME sample during the 
humidification procedure. When the water content 
of the SAE fluid reaches 3.70 ± 0.05 percent by 
weight (average of the duplicates), remove the two 
test fluid specimens from their desiccators and 
promptly cap each jar tightly. Allow the sealed jars 
to cool for 60-90 minutes at 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F). 
Measure the water contents of the test fluid 
specimens in accordance with S7.2 and determine 
their ERBP's in accordance with S6.1. If the two 
ERBP's agree within 4°C (8°F), average them to 
determine the wet ERBP: otherwise repeat and 
average the four individual ERBP's as the wet 
ERBP of the brake fluid. 

(b) With RM-1: Until November 3, 1986, a 
manufacturer may use either TEGME or SAE 
RM-1 Compatibility Fluid. See S6. Pour 100 ±1 ml 
of the brake fluid into a corrosion test jar. Promptly 
place the jar into a desiccator. Prepare duplicate 



test sample, and two duplicate specimens of the SAE 
RM-1 Compatibililty Fluid. Adjust water content of 
the SAE RM-1 fluid to 0.50 ±0.05 percent by weight 
at the start of the test in accordance with S7.2. At in- 
tervals remove the rubber stopper in the top of each 
desiccator containing SAE RM-1 fluid. Using a long 
needled hypodermic syringe, take a sample of not 
more than, 2 ml from each jar and determine its 
water content. Remove no more than 10 ml of fluid 
from each SAE RM-1 sample during the humidifica- 
tion procedure. When the water content of the RM-1 
fluid reaches 3.50 ± 0.05 percent by weight (average 
of the duplicates), remove the two test fluid 
specimens from their desiccators and promptly cap 
each jar tightly. Measure the water contents of the 
test fluid specimens in accordance with S7.2 and 
determine their ERBP's in accordance with S6.1 
through S6.1.5. If the two ERPB's agree within 4°C. 
(8°F.), average them to determine the wet ERBP; 
otherwise repeat and average the four individual 
ERBP's as the wet ERBP of the brake fluid.) 

10. S6.5.4.1 is revised to read as follows: 

86. 5. 4.1 Materials. 

(a) Except as provided in S6. 5. 4. 1(b), SAE 
RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, as described in 
Appendix A of SAE Standard J1703, November 
1983, "Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 
1983. 

(b) Until November 3, 1986, a manufacturer may 
use either SAE RM-66-03, or SAE RM-1 Com- 
patibility Fluid as described in Appendix A 6f SAE 
Standard J1703b, "Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," 
July 1970. See S6. 

11. Paragraph S6.5.4.2 is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.5.4.2 Procedure. 

(a) With RM-66-03: Except as provided in 
S6.5.4.2(b), mix 30 ±1 ml of the brake fluid with 
30±1 ml of SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid in a 
boiling point flask (S6. 1.2(a)). Determine the initial 
ERBP of the mixture by applying heat to the flask 
so that the fluid is refluxing in 10 ±2 minutes at a 
rate of excess of 1 drop per second, but not more 
than 5 drops per second. Note the maximum fluid 
temperature observed during the first minute after 
the fluid begins refluxing at a rate in excess of 1 
drop per second. Over the next 15 ±1 minutes, 
adjust and maintain the reflux rate at 1 to 2 drops 
per second. Maintain this rate for an additional 2 
minutes, recording the average value of four 
temperature readings taken at 30-second intervals 
as the final ERBP. 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 32 



(b) With RM-1: Until November 3, 1986, a 
manufacturer may use either RM-66-03, or SAE 
RM-1 Compatibility Fluid as described in Appendix 
A of SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid, " July 1970. See S6. 

(c) Thermometer and barometic corrections are 
not required. 

12. S6.10.1 is revised to read as follows: 

56.10.1 Summary of the procedure. 

(a) With RM-66-03: Except as provided in 
S6. 10. 1(b), brake fluid is mixed with an equal 
volume of SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, 
then tested in the same way as for water tolerance 
(S6.9) except that the bubble flow time is not 
measured. This test is an indication of the com- 
patibility of the test fluid with other motor vehicle 
brake fluids at both high and low temperatures. 

(b) With RM-1: Until November 3, 1986, a 
manufacturer may use either RM-66-03, or SAE 
RM-1 Compatibility Fluid as described in Appendix A 
of SAE Standard J1703b,"Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid," July 1970. See S6. This test is an indication of 
the compatibility of the test fluid with other motor 
vehicle brake fluids at both high and low 
temperatures. 

13. Paragraph S6. 10..2(e) is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.10.2 Apparatus and materials. 

****** 

(e) Except as provided in S6.10.2(f), SAE 
RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid. As described in Ap- 
pendbc A of SAE Standard J1703, November 1983, 
"Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 1983. 

(f) Until November 3, 1986, a manufacturer may 
use either RM-66-03, or SAE RM-1 Compatibility 
Fluid as described in Appendix A of SAE Standard 
J1703b, "Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," July 1970. See 
S6. 

14. Paragraph S6. 10.3(a) is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.10.3 Procedure. 

(a) At low temperature. 

(1) With RM-66-03: Except as provided in 
S6. 10.3(a)(2), mix 50 ±0.5 ml of brake fluid with 
50 ±0.5 ml of SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid. 
Pour this mixture into a centrifuge tube and stop- 
per with a clean dry cork. Place tube in the cold 
chamber maintained at minus 40±2°C (minus 
40°±3.6°F). After 24 ±2 hours, remove tube, 
quickly wipe with a clean lint-free cloth saturated 
with ethanol (isopropanol when testing DOT 5 



fluids) or acetone. Examine the test specimen for 
evidence of sludging, sedimentation, or crystalliza- 
tion. DOT 3 and DOT 4 test fluids shall also be 
examined for stratification. 

(2) With RM-1. Until November 3, 1986, a 
manufacturer may use either RM-66-03, or SAE 
RM-1 Compatibility Fluid as described in Appendix 
A of SAE Standard J1703b, "Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluid," July 1970. See S6. 

****** 

15. S6.13.1 is revised to read as follows: 

56. 13. 1 Summary of the procedure. Brake fluid 
is stroked under controlled conditions at an 
elevated temperature in a simulated motor vehicle 
hydraulic braking system consisting of three slave 
wheel cylinders and an actuating master cylinder 
connected by steel tubing. Referee standard parts 
are used. All parts are carefully cleaned, 
examined, and certain measurements made im- 
mediately prior to assembly for test. During the 
test, temperature, rate of pressure rise, maximum 
pressure, and rate of stroking are specified and 
controlled. The system is examined periodically 
during stroking to assure that excessive leakage of 
fluid is not occurring. Afterwards, the system is 
torn down. Metal parts and SBR cups are 
examined and remeasured. The brake fluid and any 
resultant sludge and debris are collected, examined, 
and tested. 

16. S6.13.2 is revised to read as follows: 

56.13.2 Apparatus and equipment. 

Either the drum and shoe type of stroking 
apparatus (see Figure 1 of SAE Standard J 1703b) 
except using only three sets of drum and shoe 
assemblies, or the stroking fixture type apparatus 
as shown in Figure 2 of SAE J 1703, November 
1983, with the components arranged as shown in 
Figure 1 of SAE J1703, November 1983. The 
following components are required. 

(a) Brake assemblies. With the drum and shoe 
apparatus: three drum and shoe assembly units 
(SAE RM-29a) consisting of three forward brake 
shoes and three reverse brake shoes with linings 
and three front wheel brake drum assemblies with 
assembly component parts. With stroking fixture 
type apparatus: three fixture units including 
appropriate adapter mounting plates to hold brake 
wheel cylinder assemblies. 

****** 

(c) Heated air bath cabinet. An insulated cabinet 
or oven having sufficient capacity to house the 
three mounted brake assemblies or stroking fix- 
ture assemblies, master cylinder, and necessary 
connections. A thermostatically controlled heating 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 33 



system is required to maintain a temperature of 
70°±5°C (158°±9°F) or 120°±5°C (248°±9°F). 
Heaters shall be shielded to prevent direct radia- 
tion to wheel or master cylinder. 

****** 

(f) Wheel cylinder (WC) assemblies (SAE RM- 
lUa). Three unused cast iron housing straight bore 
hydraulic brake WC assemblies having diameters 
of approximately 28 mm (IVg inch) for each test. 
Pistons shall be made from unanodized SAE AA 
2024 aluminum alloy. 



(b) Calculate the average decrease in hardness 
of the seven cups tested, as well as the individual 
values (see S5. 1.13(c)). 

(c) Calculate the increases in base diameters of 
the eight cups (see S5. 1.13(e)). 

20. The first sentence of Paragraph S6. 13. 6(d) is 
revised to read as follows: 

(d) Calculate the lip diameter interference set 
for each of the eight cups by the following formula 
and average the eight values (see S5. 1.13(f)). 



17. Paragraph S6. 13.3(a) is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.13.3 Materials. 

(a) Standard SBP brake cups. Six standard SAE 
SBR wheel cylinder test cups, one primary test 
cup, and one secondary MC test cup, all as de- 
scribed in S7.6, for each test. 

****** 

18. Paragraph S6. 13.4(c) is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.13.4 Preparation of test apparatus. 

****** 

(c) Assembly and adjustment of test apparatus. 

When using a shoe and drum type apparatus, 
adjust the brake shoe toe clearances to 1.0 ± 0.1 
mm (0.040 ± 0.004 inch). Fill the system with brake 
fluid, bleeding all wheel cylinders and the pressure 
gage to remove entrapped air. Operate the actuator 
manually to apply a pressure greater than the re- 
quired operating pressure and inspect the system 
for leaks. Adjust the actuator and /or pressure relief 
valve to obtain a pressure of 70 ± 3.5 kg./sq. cm. 
(1,000 ± 50 psi). A smooth pressure-stroke pattern 
is required when using a shoe and drum type ap- 
paratus. The pressure is relatively low during the 
first part of the stroke and then builds up smoothly 
to the maximum stroking pressure at the end of the 
stroke, to permit the primary cup to pass the com- 
pensating hole at a relatively low pressure. Using 
stroking fixtures, adjust the actuator and/or 
pressure relief valve to obtain a pressure of 70 ± 3.5 
kg./sq. cm. (1,000 ±50 psi). 

Adjust the stroking rate to 1,000 ±100 strokes 
per hour. Record the fluid level in the master 
cylinder standpipe. 

19. S6.13.6(b) and S6.13.6(c) are revised to read 
as follows: 

S6.13.6 Calculation. 



21. S7.2 is revised to read as follows: 

S7.2 Water content of motor vehicle brake fluids. 
Use analytical methods based on ASTM Dl 123-59, 
"Standard Method of Test for Water in Concen- 
trated Engine Antifreezes by the Iodine Reagent 
Method," for determining the water content of 
brake fluids, or other methods of analysis yielding 
comparable results. To be acceptable for use, such 
other method must measure the weight of water 
added to samples of the SAE RM-66-03 and 
TEGME Compatibility Fluids within ±15 percent 
of the water added for additions up to 0.8 percent 
by weight, and within ± 5 percent of the water added 
for additions greater than 0.8 percent by weight 
The SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid used to 
prepare the samples must have an original ERBP 
of not less than 205°C (401 °F) when tested in ac- 
cordance with S6.1. The SAE TEGME fluid used 
to prepare the samples must have an original 
ERBP of not less than 240°C (464°F) when tested 
in accordance with S6.1. 

Until November 3, 1986, a manufacturer may use 
either RM-66-03 and TEGME or SAE RM-1 Com- 
patibility Fluid. See S6. To be acceptable for use, 
such other method must measure the weight of 
water added to samples of the SAE RM-1 Com- 
patibility Fluid within ±15 percent of the water 
added for additions up to 0.8 percent by weight, and 
within ± 5 percent of the water added for additions 
greater than 0.8 percent by weight. The SAE RM-1 
Compatibility Fluid used to prepare the samples 
must have an original ERBP of not less than 182°C 
(360°F) when tested in accordance with S6.1. 

Issued on April 29, 1986. 

Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

51 F.R. 16694 
May 6, 1986 



PART 571; S 116-PRE 34 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

(Docket No. 87-07; Notice 3) 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This final rule amends Standard No. 
116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, to permit the use 
of permanently affixed labels (e.g., paper or plastic 
labels) on containers of brake fluid and hydraulic sys- 
tem mineral oil to satisfy the container information 
requirements of the standard. This rule also estab- 
lishes procedures for testing the methods used to 
mark or label all such containers to ensiu-e that the 
required information remains legible and present on 
the container after being soaked with the fluid or oil. 

DATES: The effective date of this final rule is 
December 27, 1988. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 3, 
1987, the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- 
tration (NHTSA) published a notice of proposed rule- 
making (NPRM) relating to Standard No. 116's infor- 
mation requirements for containers of brake fluid and 
hydraulic system mineral oil (52 FR 10775). That 
notice proposed to revise those requirements to per- 
mit the use of permanently affixed labels (e.g., paper 
or plastic labels) on such containers and set conditions 
and procedures for testing the labeling or marking 
of all containers with the information required by the 
standard. This action was commenced in response to 
two related petitions for rulemaking submitted sep- 
arately by the Chemical Specialties Manufacturers 
Association (CSMA) and the firm of Arent, Fox, Kint- 
ner, Plotkin & Kahn (Arent), on behalf of companies 
engaged in the manufacture and sale of motor vehi- 
cle brake fluid. 

This rule amends FMVSS No. 116 as proposed in 
the NPRM. A new paragraph S6.14 is added to the 
standard setting forth the test conditions and pro- 
cedures under which the permanency and legibility 
of the information is evaluated. Paragraphs S5.2.2.2 
and S5.2.2.3 of the standard are amended to permit 
packagers the option of affixing a label to their con- 
tainers which would be legible and incapable of be- 
ing removed without its destruction after exposure 
to the test conditions of S6.14. 



Background 

Standard No. 116 currently requires certain infor- 
mation to be clearly and indelibly marked on all con- 
tainers of brake fluid and hydraulic system mineral 
oil. Under paragraph S5.2.2.2 of the standard, persons 
who fill containers with brake fluid that are subse- 
quently distributed for retail sale (whom the standard 
refers to as "packagers" (S4)) must furnish the infor- 
mation "clearly and indelibly marked" on each con- 
tainer. The required information includes a certifica- 
tion that the fluid conforms to Standard No. 116, the 
name of the packager and name and complete mail- 
ing address of the distributor, information (a serial 
number) identifying the packaged lot and date of 
packaging and the type of brake fluid contained in 
the package, the minimum wet boiling point of the 
fluid, and a series of safety warnings. The safety 
warnings concern use and proper storage of the fluid 
and the safety consequences of using contaminated 
fluid. Comparable information requirements are set 
forth in S5.2.2.3 for packagers of hydraulic system 
mineral oil. 

The safety warnings required on brake fluid and 
hydraulic system mineral oil containers warn against 
certain practices in using hydraulic fluid for braking 
systems that might result in the use of improper or 
contaminated fluids. The warnings also help to pre- 
vent improper storage of the brake fluid which could 
contaminate the fluid or cause it to absorb moisture. 
Avoiding the absorption of moisture is extremely im- 
portant since moisture in a brake system degrades 
braking performance and safety by lowering the 
brake fluid's boiling point, increasing the fluid's 
viscosity at low atmospheric temperatures and in- 
creasing the risk of brake system component corro- 
sion. Lower boiling points increase the risk of brake 
system failure and increase the possibilities of vapor 
lock. The safety warnings also alert users of brake 
fluid containers with capacities less than five gallons 
that the containers should not be refilled. 

In April 1984, the agency issued an interpretation 
of Standard No. 116 which stated that the standard 
prohibits the use of labels, whether paper or of some 
other material, to meet the "marked on each . . . con- 



PART 571; S116-PRE 35 



tainer" requirements of S5.2.2.2 NHTSA interpreted 
S5.2.2.2 as requiring the relevant information to be 
marked directly on the brake fluid container and as 
not permitting the information to be placed on a la- 
bel and affixed to the container. This interpretation 
was received with concern by some members of the 
brake fluid marketing industry who apparently were 
unaware that their use of permanently affixed labels 
on their products did not meet the requirements of 
S5.2.2.2. The industry's concern gave rise to the peti- 
tions for rulemaking from the CSMA and Arent re- 
questing that NHTSA amend Standard No. 116 to 
permit the affixing of labels as an alternative to direct 
marking, to comply with the information require- 
ments for brake fluid containers. 

The two petitioners submitted virtually identical 
arguments in their rulemaking petitions. Arent, peti- 
tioning the agency on behalf of client companies 
engaged in the marketing of brake fluid products, 
believed that an amendment permitting the attach- 
ment of separate labels on containers would be "pro- 
competitive, pro-consumer and achieve the intended 
purpose (label permanency) of NHTSA," without an 
adverse effect on safety. According to Arent, the re- 
quested amendment would result in consumer bene- 
fits by avoiding the costs associated with directly 
marking brake fluid containers. (The petitioners also 
raised various legal arguments regarding the use of 
labeling under the Vehicle Safety Act. The agency af- 
firms its response to those arguments in the NPRM 
preceding this rule and will not further discuss them 
here. See, 52 FR at 10777.) 

The CSMA believed that Standard No. 116 should 
permit brake fluid packagers to use permanently af- 
fixed labels because that would reduce costs with no 
negative effect on safety. According to CSMA, permit- 
ting the use of permanently affixed labels would per- 
mit a private brand name brake fluid packager to at- 
tach preprinted, low cost labels on readily available 
containers and avoid the expense of readjusting 
packaging lines each time a different brake fluid 
brand is packaged. CSMA stated that it is not eco- 
nomically feasible for independent packagers, typi- 
cally small businesses, to directly mark the containers 
for each brand of brake fluid and store them in ad- 
vance of packaging. It believed that the requirement 
for directly marking brake fluid containers entails the 
purchase of expensive machinery and increases other 
production costs, and "will serve only to eliminate 
from the marketplace those companies which con- 
tract-package brake fluid under private labels." 

CSMA believed that the labeling requirements 
should refer neither to an "indelibly marked" require- 
ment nor focus on the method of application of the 
required labeling. The petitioner suggested instead 
that the requirements address the performance of the 
label, i.e., its ability to adhere to the container dur- 
ing the life of the product and convey its information. 



The CSMA stated that the state-of-the-art printing 
and labeling technologies are such that adhesive 
labels can be made not to smear, run or become un- 
attached from the container when exposed to brake 
fluid. In support of its argument to permit perman- 
ently affixed labels, the CSMA suggested a test 
method for determining the durability and indelibil- 
ity of labels on brake fluid containers. That method 
included procedures for immersing a container in 
brake fluid and then determining whether an affixed 
label is destroyed or defaced when the attempt is 
made to remove it. 

Since the agency tentatively concluded that an 
amendment permitting the use of permanently affixed 
labels would enhance manufacturer flexibility in the 
packaging of brake fluid while ensuring that safety 
needs are met, it issued an NPRM to amend Standard 
No. 116 to provide for the use of such labels on brake 
fluid containers. The NPRM went beyond the petition 
in making the same proposal for hydraulic system 
mineral oil containers, as NHTSA tentatively saw no 
reason not to allow packagers of hydraulic system 
mineral oil the same flexibility in packaging their 
product as proposed for brake fluid packagers. More 
specifically, the agency proposed to amend S5.2.2.2 
and S5.2.2.3 of the standard to permit packagers of 
brake fluid and hydraulic system mineral oil the op- 
tion of affixing a label to their containers which would 
be legible and incapable of being removed without its 
destruction after exposure to specified test conditions 
set forth in a new paragraph S6.14. The agency pro- 
posed that these new requirements for labeling indel- 
ibility and permanency apply to all containers of 
brake fluid and hydraulic system mineral oil con- 
tainers, whether their information was marked di- 
rectly on them or printed on an affixed label. 

Comments on NPRM 

The agency received six comments on its proposal. All 
but one of these commenters supported an amend- 
ment permitting the use of permanently affixed labels 
to satisfy the labeling requirements of Standard No. 
116. 

The Delco Moraine Division of General Motors (GM) 
supported each of the proposed amendments to the 
standard. The commenter believed the proposed 
amendment to S5.2.2.2 and S5.2.2.3 would, as the 
agency had stated in its proposal, "afford the manu- 
facturers flexibility in the packaging of brake fluid 
and hydraulic system mineral oil while ensuring that 
safety needs are met." GM said that it manufactures, 
distributes and packages brake fluids and currently 
directly marks its containers as required by Standard 
No. 116. According to the commenter, GM has deter- 
mined that the methods it uses for placing the re- 
quired information on brake fluid containers will 
meet the performance requirements for legibility. 



i 



i 



PART 571; S116-PRE 36 



permanency and indelibility proposed in the NPRM. 
GM agreed with petitioner CSMA's statement regard- 
ing the feasibility of producing adhesive labels which 
would not smear, run or separate from the container 
when exposed to brake fluid. 

Penray Company and Gold Eagle, two companies 
represented by petitioner Arent and engaged in the 
manufacture and packaging of motor vehicle brake 
fluid, supported the proposed amendments as pro- 
moting competition between packagers without neg- 
atively affecting safety. The GSMA also supported 
each of the proposed amendments to Standard No. 
116, including those for hydraulic system mineral oil 
containers. In its comment, CSMA reiterated the 
point made earlier in its petition for rulemaking that 
current printing and labeling technologies are able 
to produce adhesive labels that are capable of remain- 
ing legible ad affixed to containers after exposure to 
brake fluid. CSMA also said packagers' efforts to meet 
the current requirements for directly marking their 
containers would unnecessarily increase consumer 
costs for brake fluid products by 26 to 32 cents per 
container. 

American Motors Corporation (AMC) supported 
generally the agency's proposal permitting affixed 
labels to meet the marking requirements of Stand- 
ard No. 116. The commenter said that labeling tech- 
nology has progressed tremendously since the issu- 
ance of the current marking requirements and that 
there should be no technological impediments to 
creating "appropriate and durable labels." However, 
AMC emphasized that manufacturers should have 
the option of satisfying Standard No. 116's labeling 
requirements by either using permanently affixed 
labels or continuing current practices for directly 
marking containers. AMC questioned the need for 
and recommended NHTSA not adopt the legibility 
and permanency performance requirements proposed 
in the NPRM since other NHTSA regulations that 
call for permanently affixed labels (e.g.. Part 567) 
have no such requirements. 

As explained in the NPRM, the agency believes that 
the test procedures and performance criteria for con- 
tainer information are necessary to ensure that the 
safety warnings and other information required by 
Standard No. 116 will be present on brake fluid and 
hydraulic system mineral oil containers throughout 
the time the fluid container will be used. The NPRM 
explained the importance of the additional test re- 
quirements in the following manner: 

The agency has tentatively concluded that test 
procedures for label indelibility and durabil- 
ity, such as those suggested by [petitioner] 
CSMA, are needed to make labeling require- 
ments more objective and to meet the need for 
motor vehicle safety. NHTSA is therefore pro- 
posing that labels meet the "destroyed or 
defaced" requirement after having been ex- 



posed to the test conditions of S6.14. * * * 
While both Part 567 and Standard No. 116 are 
intended Vo ensure that the required labeling 
remains in place and legible, there are several 
specific, identifiable problems, like brake fluid 
spills, against which the brake fluid labels 
should be protected. Thus, the agency believes 
that the general "destroyed or defaced" cri- 
terion in Part 567 is not sufficient for ensur- 
ing that the brake fluid label will be perma- 
nent. To ensure the permanency of brake fluid 
container labeling, additional criteria are ap- 
propriate in Standard No. 116 to address the 
specific hazards likely to interfere with the 
permanency of the labeling. The requirements 
must be directed at ensuring that the required 
labeling remains permanent notwithstanding 
contact with the elements and conditions of a 
garage-type environment. NHTSA believes it 
is appropriate to pattern test conditions for the 
labeling after real-world conditions likely to 
affect the adhesiveness and legibility of the 
labeling and set performance requirements 
ensuring that the information is present 
throughout the time the fluid will be used. 

(52 FR at 10778, 10779) 

The agency continues to believe that the perman- 
ence and legibility of the labeling is of utmost impor- 
tance to ensuring that consumers will be provided the 
information necessary for the proper storage and use 
of the brake fluids. Fluids that are improperly stored 
or used can adversely affect the proper operation of 
brake systems in motor vehicles. Moreover, commen- 
ters on the NPRM indicated that the performance 
criteria proposed by the agency can be met by cur- 
rent methods of container marking and labeling. The 
agency does not know of any reason for excluding the 
performance criteria from the standard that out- 
weighs the safety benefits resulting from require- 
ments ensuring the legibility and availability of the 
requisite safety information. Accordingly, the agency 
declines to adopt AMC's suggestion and includes the 
performance requirements in this final rule. 

The Wagner Division of Cooper Industries 
(Wagner), a manufacturer and packager of DOT 3 
brake fluid, objected to the agency's proposed amend- 
ment of Standard No. 116. Wagner's objections were 
based on three arguments, all of which were safety- 
related, with the third relating indirectly to equitable 
considerations. 

Wagner believed that amending the standard as 
proposed would permit the use of "inferior labeling 
methods" that would adversely affect safety in two 
respects. First, Wagner believed the use of paper 
labels could result in increased brake system failures 
due to the use of mislabeled products. Second, Wag- 



PART 571; S116-PRE 37 



ner felt that Standard No. 116 should require the 
"same level of [label] permanency" as that requh'ed 
by Standard No. 105 [(49 CFR §571.105)] for the 
marking of hydraulic system brake fluid reservoirs. 
Standard No. 105 requires a warning statement on 
the reservoir that is "permanently affixed, engraved, 
or embossed." (S5.4.3) Wagner stated that it directly 
marks its brake fluid containers in accordance with 
the current requirements of Standard No. 116. 

Wagner cautioned that one of the dangers involved 
with the misuse of brake fluids is that a brake sys- 
tem's elastomeric seals can develop excessive swell- 
ing when contaminated with non-DOT fluids, which 
could result in catastrophic brake system failure. The 
commenter indicated that a direct marking require- 
ment is the only way to avoid the risk of possible con- 
sumer misuse of unidentified fluids found in con- 
tainers whose labels have become detached. Wagner 
argued that since more motor vehicle brake fluid is 
sold for replacement purposes than is sold as original 
equipment, "It is incumbent on the National High- 
way Traffic Safety Administration to encourage every 
brake system repair person, professionals or private 
individuals, to use a safe product in rebuilding the 
brake system." 

NHTSA concurs with Wagner's assertions that 
proper storage and use of brake fluid are very impor- 
tant to motor vehicle safety and that consumer aware- 
ness of the information provided on brake fluid 
containers significantly reduces the likelihood of 
brake system failure due to improper or contaminated 
fluids. However, the agency does not agree that a 
direct marking requirement is the only way of ensur- 
ing that the information on a brake fluid container 
will be present and legible to the consumer until its 
contents are used. The agency has determined that 
the test conditions proposed for container labeling— 
viz., that the container is soaked in brake fluid or 
hydraulic system mineral oil for 15 minutes— are 
representative of the real-world conditions to which 
the container is likely to be exposed. A label that 
remains affixed and legible in the laboratory test will 
therefore remain legible and affixed to the container 
in satisfaction of the need to have the information con- 
veyed by its markings available to the consumer un- 
til the container's contents are used. 

As stated above, commenters have indicated that 
the performance criteria proposed by the agency can 
be met by current methods of container labeling. 
Given the technological advances made in the print- 
ing and labeling fields that now make it possible to 
affix a smear-resistant label that is capable of remain- 
ing attached to a container after exposure to condi- 
tions encountered in a garage-type environment, 
NHTSA believes it is appropriate to amend Standard 
No. 116 to permit the use of the new technology. In 
regard to Wagner's concern that the new labeling re- 
quirements will result in mislabeled products and an 



attendant reduction in safety, NHTSA does not agree 
that these amendments will increase the risk that 
packagers of brake fluid will inadvertently produce 
and market containers that misidentify their con- 
tents. Such misidentification can occur regardless of i 
whether the identification is directly marked or on ' 
an affixed label. The agency believes current safe- 
guards adopted by packagers preventing product mis- 
identification will continue to ensure that brake fluid 
containers are properly identified. 

In any event, the agency will carefully monitor 
compliance with the standard. If it becomes apparent 
that safety needs are not met by labeling practices, 
the agency will take appropriate action which may 
include further amendment to Standard No. 116. 

Wagner argued that it is inconsistent for NHTSA 
to require " 'permanently affixed, engraved or em- 
bossed' labeling on vehicle brake fluid reservoirs and 
not demand the same level of permanency for the 
labeling on replacement brake fluid containers." The 
agency does not believe that the labeling require- 
ments for the two standards are inconsistent. The re- 
quirements made final in this notice are intended to 
ensure the permanency of the information on brake 
fluid and hydraulic system mineral oil containers— 
i.e., that it remain present and legible until the con- 
tainer's contents are used. A packager may meet 
those requirements by affixing a permanent label on 
the container or by marking the container directly. 
In any case, the standard's requirement that the in- 
formation be permanently and indelibly marked or 
labeled on the container is essentially the same as 
Standard No. 105's option for compliance by means 
of permanently affixing the required information. 

Wagner's third objection to the proposed amend- 
ment involved equitable considerations. Wagner 
argued that an amendment that would compromise 
safety "for the convenience of companies not willing 
to invest in safety is an unfair and inconsistent ac- 
tion by NHTSA" to the detriment of brake fluid 
manufacturers who have invested resources to com- 
ply with Standard No. 116. Wagner expressed disap- 
pointment that the NPRM seemed to develop "a ra- 
tionale intended to legitimize an inferior method of 
labeling." 

The agency has carefully considered Wagner's con- 
cerns that this amendment to Standard No. 116 in ef- 
fect penalizes parties who have complied with the stand- 
ard by legitimizing an "inferior method of labeling." 
As NHTSA understands Wagner's equity argument, it 
is premised on that commenter's view that compliance 
by means of a permanently affixed label is inferior from 
the standpoint of vehicle safety to compliance by means 
of direct marking on the containers. The agency's 
response to Wagner's safety concerns has been dis- 
cussed above and will not be repeated here. Because / 
the agency has determined that safety will not be ^ 
negatively affected by the proposed amendments to 



PART 571; S116-PRE 38 



Standard No. 116 and that the rule will provide 
packagers increased flexibility in labeling brake fluid 
and hydraulic system mineral oil containers, the 
amendments are hereby adopted by this final rule. 

As described in the NPRM, the first step in the pro- 
cedures for testing container information involves labels 
only. It requires that labels be cut vertically fi*om top 
to bottom. Cutting the label is intended to preclude the 
use of various "slip-on" labels, which typically consist 
of a sleeve of paper or plastic which wraps around the 
container. They do not use any type of adhesive 
material to hold them in place on the container. 
NHTSA has determined that this type of labeling 
should be prohibited due to the ease with which it can 
be removed fi-om the container and to the likelihood 
that containers will become completely immarked 
before their fluid is used. Since no adhesive is used with 
these labels, the cutting of the label will allow the 
removal of the label, without defacing or destroying the 
label, even before the label is soaked with brake fluid 
or hydraulic system mineral oil. The use of that type 
of label would therefore constitute a noncompliance. 

In its comment to the NPRM, Gold Eagle asked 
whether a paper or "poly" sleeve label that has been 
affixed to the container with adhesive will be deemed 
to comply with the new requirements of Standard No. 
116 if it remains affixed to the container after the ver- 
tical cut has been made. Compliance of such a label 
could be determined only after it and its container 
have been soaked in the container's contents and then 
an attempt is made to remove the label. 

During the next stage of determining compliance, 
the container of brake fluid or hydraulic system 
mineral oil (i.e., the test specimen) is soaked for 15 
minutes at room temperature in the type of fluid 
found in the container. NHTSA believes that the 15 
minute period is adequate to determine the effect of 
the fluid on the container markings. Because it is 
foreseeable that fluid labels moistened by excess fluid 
dripping down the container will be wiped by con- 
sumers, the next step in the compliance procedure is 
to wipe the labeling by hand with a clean dry cloth. 
A container would be determined to be in compliance 
if, after the wiping, the required markings are legi- 
ble to an observer having corrected visual acuity of 
20/40 (Snellen ratio) at a distance of one foot and, in 
the case of a container with an affixed label, the label 
cannot be removed without destroying or defacing it. 

Effective date 

No commenter objected to the proposal that com- 
pliance with the proposed amendments be required 
within 180 days after issuance of a final rule. Accord- 
ingly, the effective date of this final rule is December 
27, 1988. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR Part 
571.116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, is amended to 
read as follows: 



§571.116 [Amended] 

2. S5.2.2.2 of §571.116 is amended to read as follows: 

55.2.2.2 Each packager of brake fluid shall furnish 
the information specified in paragraphs (a) through 
(g) of this section by clearly marking it on each brake 
fluid container or on a label (labels) permanently af- 
fixed to the container, in any location except a remov- 
able part such as a lid. After being subjected to the 
operations and conditions specified in S6.14, the in- 
formation required by this section shall be legible to 
an observer having corrected visual acuity of 20/40 
(Snellen ratio) at a distance of one foot, and any label 
affixed to the container in compliance with this sec- 
tion shall not be removable without its being 
destroyed or defaced. 

3. S5.2.2.3 is amended to read as follows: 

55.2.2.3 Each packager of hydraulic system mineral 
oil shall furnish the information specified in para- 
graphs (a) through (e) of this section by clearly mark- 
ing it on each brake fluid container or on a label 
(labels) permanently affixed to the container, in any 
location except a removable part such as a lid. After 
being subjected to the operations and conditions spe- 
cified in S6.14, the information required by this sec- 
tion shall be legible to an observer having corrected 
visual acuity of 20/40 (Snellen ratio) at a distance of 
one foot, and any label affixed to the container in com- 
pliance with this section shall not be removable with- 
out its being destroyed or defaced. 

^ ^ *fC 't^ ^ 

4. A new S6.14 is added after the formula set forth 
in S6. 13.6(d) and before S7, Auxiliary test methods and 
reagent standards, to read as follows: 

S6.14 Container information Each container with in- 
formation marked directly on the container surface or 
on a label Gabels) affixed to the container pursuant to 
S5.2.2.2 or S5.2.2.3 is subjected to the following 
procedure: 

(a) If the container has a label affixed to it, make 
a single vertical cut all the way through the label 
with the container in the vertical position. 

(b) Immerse the container in the same brake fluid 
or hydraulic system mineral oil contained therein for 
15 minutes at room temperature (23±5°C; 73.4+9 °F). 

(c) Within 5 minutes after removing the container 
from the fluid or oil, remove excess liquid fi-om the sur- 
face of the container by wiping with a clean dry cloth. 

Issued on June 23, 1988 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 



53 F.R. 24272 
June 28, 1988 



PART 571; S116-PRE 39-40 



i 



(5 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids 

(Docket No. 87-07; Notice 4) 
RIN 2127-AC26 



ACTION: Technical amendment. 

SUMMARY: This notice corrects the labeHng require- 
ments of Standard No. 116, Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluids, to reinstate portions of the standard that has 
been inadvertently removed through administrative 
error. Standard No. 116 had set forth detailed safety 
information that had to be labeled on brake fluid and 
hydraulic system mineral oil containers. When the 
method of placing this information on these containers 
was amended in 1988 (to allow the use of permanently 
affixed labels), the notice making the amendment 
inadvertently removed the portions of the standard 
which described the required information. This notice 
replaces those descriptive paragraphs. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 11, 1990. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 28, 
1988, the agency published a final rule, effective 
December 27, 1988, amending Standard No. 116 to per- 
mit the use of permanently-affixed labels (e.g., paper 
or plastic labels) on brake fluid containers to satisfy the 
container information requirements of the standard. 
(53 FR 24272) The amendatory language NHTSA 
chose to identify the portions of the standard that were 
changed was interpreted by the Federal Register as 
removing paragraphs in the standard that described 
the safety information that had to be placed on the con- 
tainers (i.e., S5.2.2.2(a) through (g) and S5.2.2.3(a) 
through (e)). The agency wished to retain those 
paragraphs. 

NHTSA's intent to retain the paragraphs is appar- 
ent in the preamble to the final rule. There the agency 
explained at length that the safety information placed 
on brake fluid containers is important for the proper 
storage and use of fluids. NHTSA stated: 

The safety warning required on brake fluid and 
hydraulic system mineral oil containers warn 
against certain -practices in using hydraulic fluid 
for braking systems that might result in the use 
of improper or contaminated fluids. The warnings 
also help to prevent improper storage of the brake 
fluid which could contaminate the fluid or cause 
it to absorb moisture. Avoiding the absorption of 
moisture is extremely important since moisture 
in a brake system degrades braking performance 



and safety by lowering the brake fluid's boiling 
point, increasing the fluid's viscosity at low at- 
mospheric temperature and increasing the risk of 
brake system component corrosion. Lower boiling 
points increase the risk of brake system failure 
and increase the possibilities of vapor lock. The 
safety warnings also alert users of brake fluid con- 
tainers with capacities less than five gallons that 
the containers should not be refilled. (53 FR at 
24273). 

The preamble to the final rule only discussed amend- 
ments to the method of labeling the safety information 
on brake fluid containers (i.e., the introductory text to 
S5. 2.2.2 and S5.2.2.3) and not changes in the agency's 
position regarding the benefits of labeling containers 
or the contents of that labeling. 

The agency's intent to retain paragraphs S5. 2. 2. 2(a) 
through (g) and 85. 2. 2.3(a) through (e) is further evi- 
denced by the agency's referencing those paragraphs 
in S5.2.2.2 and S5.2.2.3 when NHTSA amended these 
sections in the June 1988 final rule. For example, the 
introductory text to S5.2.2.2 requires brake fluid pack- 
agers to "furnish the information specified in para- 
graph (a) through (g) of this section..." 

Nevertheless, Standard No. 116 has been published 
without paragraphs S5. 2. 2. 2(a) through (g) and 
S5. 2.2. 3(a) and through (e). This notice corrects that 
error by reinstating those paragraphs. 

Because the amendment is corrective in nature and 
the public has already had notice and an opportunity 
to comment on the standard's labeling requirements, 
NHTSA, has determined that a second notice and op- 
portunity to comment thereon are not necessary, and 
that for good cause shown that an effective date earlier 
than 180 days after issuance of the rule is in the public 
interest. The amendment is effective 30 days after pub- 
lication in he Federal Register 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 571 
is amended as follows: 

PART 571 — FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARDS 

1. The authority citation for part 571 continues to 
read as follows: 

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407; deje- 
gation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50. ' ' 



PART 571; S116-PRE 41 



2. Section 571.116 is amended by revising S5.2.2.2 
and S5.2.2.3 to read as follows: 

§ 571 .1 1 6 Standard No. 11 6; Motor vehicle brake fluids. 

* * * * 
S5.2.2.2 Each packager of brake fluid shall furnish the 
information specified in paragraphs (a) through (g) of 
this S5.2.2.2 by clearly marking it on each brake fluid 
container or on a label (labels) permanently affixed to 
the container, in any location except a removable part 
such as a lid. After being subjected to the operations 
and conditions specified in S6.14, the information re- 
quired by this section shall be legible to an observer 
having corrected visual acuity of 20/40 (Snellen ration) 
at a distance of one foot, and any label affixed to the 
container in compliance with this section shall not be 
removable without its being destroyed or defaced. 

(a) Certification that the brake fluid conforms to 
§571.116. 

(b) The name of the packager of the brake fluid, 
which may be in code form. 

(c) The name and complete mailing address of the 
distributor. 

(d) A serial number identifying the packaged lot and 
date of packaging. 

(e) Designation of the contents as "DOT 

MOTOR VEHICLE BRAKE FLUID" (FUl in "3," "4," 
or "5" as applicable). 

(f) The minimum wet boiling point in Fahrenheit of 
the DOT brake fluid in the container. 

(g) The following safety warning in capital and lower 
case letters as indicated: 

(1) FOLLOW VEHICLE MANUFACTURER'S 
RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN ADDING BRAKE 
FLUID. 

(2) KEEP BRAKE FLUID CLEAN AND DRY. 
Contamination with dirt, water, petroleum products or 
other materials may result in brake failure or costly 
repairs. 

(3) STORE BRAKE FLUID ONLY IN ITS 
ORIGINAL CONTAINER. KEEP CONTAINER 
CLEAN AND TIGHTLY CLOSED TO PREVENT 
ABSORPTION OF MOISTURE. (The last five words 
of the second sentence may be omitted from the label- 
ing on DOT 5 containers.) 

(4) CAUTION: DO NOT REFILL CONTAINER, 
AND DO NOT USE FOR OTHER LIQUIDS. (Not 
required for containers with a capacity in excess of 5 
gallons.) 



S5.2.2.3 Each packager of hydraulic system mineral 
oil shall furnish the information specified in paragraphs i 
(a) through (e) of this S5.2.2.3 by clearly marking it on ' 
each brake fluid container or on a label (labels) perma- 
nently affixed to the container, in any location except 
a removable part such as a lid. After being subjected 
to the operations and conditions specified in 86.14, the 
information required by this section shall be legible to 
an observer having corrected visual acuity of 20/40 
(Snellen ration) at a distance of one foot, and any label 
affixed to the container in compliance with this section 
shall not be removable without its being destroyed or 
defaced. 

(a) The name of the packager of the hydraulic sys- 
tem mineral oil, which may be in code form. 

(b) The name and complete mailing address of the 
distributor. 

(c) A serial number identifying the packaged lot and 
date of packaging. 

(d) Designation of the contents as "HYDRAULIC 
SYSTEM MINERAL OIL" in capital letters at least 
Vs of an inch high. 

(e) The following safety warnings in capital and 
lower case letters as indicated: 

(1) FOLLOW VEHICLE MANUFACTURER'S 
RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN ADDING HYDRAU- 
LIC SYSTEM MINERAL OIL. 

(2) Hydraulic System Mineral Oil is NOT COM- 
PATIBLE with the rubber components of brake sys- 
tems designed for use with DOT brake fluids. 

(3) KEEP HYDRAULIC SYSTEM MINERAL 
OIL CLEAN. Contamination with dust or other mate- 
rials may result in brake failure or costly repair. 

(4) CAUTION: STORE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM 
MINERAL OIL ONLY IN ITS ORIGINAL CON- 
TAINER. KEEP CONTAINER CLEAN AND 
TIGHTLY CLOSED. DO NOT REFILL CONTAINER 
OR USE OTHER LIQUIDS. (The last sentence is on 
in excess of 5 gallons.) 

* * * * 

Issued on September 5, 1990. 



55 F.R. 37328 
September 11, 1990 



PART 571; S116-PRE 42 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 

SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids— Color Coding 

(Docket No. 90-06; Notice 2) 
RN 2127-AD05 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: In response to a petition from Bendix 
France, this notice amends Standard No. 116's color 
coding requirements to require that a newly developed 
type of brake fluid, which is of a non-silicone base that 
meets the characteristics of DOT 5 fluids, be colorless 
to amber. All brake fluids that have these characteris- 
tics and that are manufactured before the effective date 
of these amendments are required by the standard to 
be purple. NHTSA has determined that requiring the 
newly developed DOT 5 non-silicone base brake fluids 
(non-SBBFs) to be colorless to amber will help distin- 
guish them from traditional silicone base brake fluids 
(SBBFs), which continue to be required to be purple 
in color. To further distinguish the new fluids, they will 
henceforth have to be labeled "DOT 5.1 non-silicone 
base." In addition, the amendments require DOT 5.1 
non-SBBFs to comply with the test procedures for pH 
value, chemical stability, and compatibility. DOT 5 
SBBFs continue to be excluded from these require- 
ments, since silicone base fluids are inherently stable 
in terms of pH and chemical stability. This notice also 
amends certain test procedures to ensure the repeata- 
bility of test results and deletes extraneous language 
that is no longer in effect. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The rule is effective on Sept- 
ember 11, 1991. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116, Motor Vehicle Brake 
Fluids, (49 CFR 571.116) sets forth requirements for 
the fluids used in hydraulic brake systems of motor 
vehicles, the containers for these fluids, and the labels 
for these containers. This standard is intended to 
reduce failures in the hydraulic braking systems of 
motor vehicles which may occur because of the 
manufacture or use of improper or contaminated fluid. 

Section S5.1 specifies three grades of motor vehicle 
brake fluids (DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5) and sets forth 
performance requirements for, among other things, the 
equilibrium reflux boiling point (ERBP), the wet 



ERBP, and the kinematic viscosities. DOT 5 brake 
fluids are required to have higher boiling points and 
superior low temperature kinematic viscosities than 
DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids. As a result, DOT 5 
brake fluids are associated with higher performance 
levels than the DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids. DOT 
5 brake fluids have traditionally been of a silicone base, 
while DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids have been of a 
non-silicone base. A silicone base brake fluid (SBBF) 
is immiscible (i.e., incapable of mixing or attaining 
homogeneity) with a non-silicone base brake fluide 
(non-SBBF). 

In recent years, manufacturers have developed DOT 
5 non-SBBFs which are fully miscible with DOT 3 and 
DOT 4 fluids, but immiscible with traditional DOT 5 
SBBFs. The DOT 5 non-SBBFs may provide a low cost 
alternative to the traditional high performance DOT 
5 SBBFs. 

Unlike the non-SBBFs, SBBFs (i.e., these traditional 
DOT 5 fluids) have corrosion inhibiting properties 
resulting from their "low moisture avidity," i.e., they 
do not absorb water. While some consumers purchase 
the DOT 5 SBBFs for this characteristic. Standard No. 
116's performance requirements do not address the 
corrosion inhibiting characteristics directly related to 
a brake fluid's field performance. 

Section S5.1.14 of Standard No. 116 has for some- 
time required DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluid to be color- 
less to amber, DOT 5 to be purple, and hydraulic system 
mineral oil to be green. In establishing color code 
requirements, the agency explained their purpose "is 
to permit easy identification of fluids before they are 
placed in the vehicle, in order to prevent the mixing 
of an incompatible fluid in a braking system" and "to 
enable users to distinguish among various unused brake 
fluids, rather than to match fluid in a master cylinder 
with additional fluid." (41 FR 54942, December 16, 
1976). 

Petition for Rulemaking 

On January 18, 1989, Bendix France, a division of 
Allied Signal (Bendix), petitioned the agency to amend 
Standard No. 116's color coding requirements, claiming 



PART 571; S116-PRE 43 



that the DOT 5 non-SBBFs would provide a cost 
effective means of improving consumer safety. The 
petitioner stated that requiring DOT 5 non-SBBFs to 
be purple would mislead consumers, since they are 
immiscible with traditional DOT 5 SBBFs but miscible 
with traditional DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids. Accordingly, 
Bendix requested the agency to require the new DOT 
5 non-SBBFs to be colorless to amber to distinguish 
them from the traditional purple DOT 5 SBBFs. In 
addition, the petitioner requested the new DOT 5 
non-SBBFs be required to comply with certain re- 
quirements from which DOT 5 SBBFs are currently 
excluded (i.e., the pH requirements in S5.1.4, the 
chemical stability requirements in S5. 1.5.2, and the 
compatibility requirements for stratification in 
S5.1.10). The DOT 5 fluids have been excluded from 
pH and chemical stability requirements because DOT 
5 SBBFs are inherently stable. Thus, such testing is 
unnecessary. The petitioner did not request that DOT 
5 SBBFs be required to comply with any different 
performance requirements. 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRIM) 

On March 2, 1990, NHTSA proposed amending 
Standard No. 116 to require DOT 5 non-SBBFs to be 
colorless to amber, reasoning that such color coding 
would help consumers distinguish among brake fluids 
with differing characteristics. (55 FR 7510) In partic- 
ular, the agency tentatively determined that the newly 
developed DOT 5 non-SBBFs, with their differing mis- 
cibility and corrosion inhibiting properties, should be 
distinguished from traditional DOT 5 SBBFs. To 
further distinguish the new fluids, the notice proposed 
that DOT 5 fluids be labeled either "DOT 5 non-silicone 
base" or "DOT 5 silicone base," as appropriate. The 
notice also proposed requiring DOT 5 non-SBBFs to 
comply with the performance requirements for pH 
value, chemical stability, and compatibility. 

The Agency Response to the Comments 

NHTSA received nine comments in response to the 
NPRM. The agency has considered the points raised 
in the comments in developing this final rule. The 
significant points raised by the commenters are 
addressed below, along with the agency's response to 
them. For the convenience of the reader, this notice 
follows the NPRM's order. 

A. Color Coding Requirements 

At the time that Bendix petitioned the agency, 
section S5.1.14 required that DOT 3 and DOT 4 fluids 
be colorless to amber, DOT 5 be purple, and hydraulic 
system mineral oil be green. These requirements, along 
with section S5.2.2.1's requirement that the label 



include the DOT grade, are intended to assist users in 
distinguishing among brake fluids. In the interest of ^ 
promoting the proper use of its newly developed non- " 
SBBF DOT 5 fluid, the petitioner requested the agency 
use color coding to distinguish further between those 
fluids and DOT 5 SBBFs. The petitioner recommended 
the distinction be based on whether the fluid showed 
stratification during compatibility tests. 

The notice proposed that DOT 5 non-SBBFs be color- 
less to amber and traditional DOT 5 SBBFs remain 
purple. The agency based its original color coding 
proposal on existing requirements of independent 
standardization organizations including the Society of 
Automotive Engineers (SAE); FAKRA. the German 
equivalent to the SAE., and the International Stand- 
ardization Organisation (ISO). The agency s goal was 
to develop a system for distinguishing among brake 
fluids that would not be.overly complex or misleading. 

Chrysler, GM, and Wagner agreed that the DOT 5 
non-SBBFs should be colorless to amber, stating that 
color coding of fluids alerts consumers against mixing 
incompatible fluids. No commenters addressing this 
issue opposed the color coding proposal. 

Based on the reasons set forth in the NPRM and the 
agreement of those manufacturers commenting on the 
issue, the agency has decided to adopt the color coding 
requirements in S5.1.14, as proposed. i 

B. DOT Grade Category 

As mentioned above, section S5.2.2.1 requires brake 
fluid labels to include the DOT grade. In response to 
the petition, NHTSA proposed that labels on DOT 5 
fluids would have to indicate whether the fluid is a 
"silicone base" or "non-silicone base." The agency 
tentatively concluded that this additional information 
was necessary to facilitate consumer comprehension 
about the immiscibility of the Bendix fluid with tradi- 
tional DOT 5 SBBFs. The proposal discussed other 
designations, e.g., "high temperature DOT 4" and DOT 
6, but rejected these because they had the potential to 
be confusing and were inconsistent with the actions of 
the standardization organizations. 

Commenters offered differing views about the best 
way to designate the new non-silicone base DOT 5 
brake fluid. Dow favored the labeling designation as 
proposed, claiming that the other designations would 
be misleading. Mico and Wagner, manufacturers of 
brake components, and GM believed that designating 
both silicone base and non-silicone base fluids as "DOT 
5" was not sufficient to prevent misapplications 
because some consumers might rely solely on the 
marking "DOT 5" and would not know the difference l- 
between SBBFs and non-SBBFs. These commenters \ 
were concerned that manuals instructing consumers 



PART 571; S116-PRE 44 



to "use DOT 5 fluids" in their vehicles would contribute 
to the damaging of the braking systems of aftermarket 
vehicles if those systems were exposed to DOT 5 non- 
SBBFs. FAKRA recommended that the non-SBBFs be 
designated DOT 5 "conventional" fluids because of 
their similarities to DOT 3 and 4 fluids. Stating that 
further differentiation could be attained without violat- 
ing the concerns in the NPRM, Chrysler recommended 
that DOT 5 non-SBBFs be designated "DOT 5.1 non- 
sUicone base brake fluid." Chrysler continued that such 
a designation would indicate that the new fluid had 
DOT 5 performance characteristics and yet implied 
something different. 

After reviewing the proposal in light of the com- 
ments, the agency has decided to require non-SBBFs 
with DOT 5 performance characteristics to be labeled 
"DOT 5.1 non-silicone base" and traditional SBBFs 
with DOT 5 performance characteristics will be labeled 
"DOT 5 silicone base." The agency has decided that 
such labeling requirements are necessary to help 
further distinguish the newly developed fluid, thus 
reducing the risk of mixing incompatible fluids. The 
agency believes that this designation will avoid an 
overly complex labeling system, be consistent with 
labeling specifications in other coimtries (International 
Harmonization), and adequately alert consumers not 
to use the new non-SBBF fluid in systems marked "Use 
with DOT 5 only." 



C. Chemical Composition 

In proposing requirements distinguishing between 
SBBFs and non-SBBFS, the agency recognized that 
Standard No. 116 traditionally has focused broadly on 
performance rather than chemical composition and has 
never required the label to state the fluid's composi- 
tion. However, the NPRM explained that the basis for 
the proposal is the immiscibility of SBBFs and non- 
SBBFs, a factor relevant to the standard's test proce- 
dure for compatibility. As for differentiating DOT 5 
fluids, the petitioner suggested that it be based on 
stratification (i.e., the separation into definite layers 
of different non-homogenous materials in a mixture) 
when tested according to the standard's compatibility 
test. The NPRM rejected this method of differentia- 
tion because stratification would be difficult to deter- 
mine in practice and thus difficult to enforce. The 
agency tentatively concluded that the best way to 
differentiate DOT 5 fluids would be through using an 
existing definition specifying that a fluid is either a 
SBBF or a non-SBBF. The notice stated that this would 
enable SBBFs to be differentiated from other DOT 5 
fluids, while avoiding potential ambiguities caused by 
incomplete stratification during testing. The notice 
thus proposed adopting the definition for silicone base 



brake fluid in the military specification, "Brake Fluid, 
Silicone, Automotive, All Weather, Operational and 
Preservative, Metric," MIL-B-46176A, (29 April 1986, 
amended 5 August 1988). That provision states that 
"The material covered by this specification shall con- 
tain not less than 70 percent by weight of a diorgano 
polysiloxane. . ." The agency did not anticipate that 
this proposal would pose a significant problem for cur- 
rent users because the principal users of silicone base 
brake fluid, the military and the Postal Service, cur- 
rently use this definition. 

Union Carbide opposed this distinction stating that 
it is difficult to justify distinguishing between one fluid 
containing 69 percent diorgano polysiloxane and one 
with 71 percent. Wagner was concerned that such a 
designation would delay future product development 
because then other rulemakings to amend the the DOT 
5 category might be required. Union Carbide was also 
concerned that differences in miscibility properties by 
fluid composition may Hmit the selection of other types 
of raw materials. 

In response to Union Carbide's first concern, the 
agency notes that as with all Federal safety standards 
issued imder the Vehicle Safety Act, Standard No. 116 
must use definitions that are clear and objective. As 
such, there will always be situations at which a line 
must be drawn. As for delaying future development, 
the agency disagrees with the commenter's belief that 
distinguishing between silicone base and non-silicone 
base fluids will restrict the development of additional 
fluids, because the two categories— silicone base fluids 
and non-silicone base fluids (i.e., fluids with any com- 
position other than of a silicone base)— are all inclusive. 

D. Test Procedures 

Bendix requested that any DOT 5 non-SBBF be re- 
quired to comply with all performance requirements 
in Standard No. 116, even requirements from which 
DOT 5 fluids have previously been excluded. As initially 
promulgated. Standard No. 116 excluded the DOT 5 
fluids from the pH value requirements in S5.1.4 and 
the chemical stability requirements in S5.1.5.2. These 
requirements were deemed unnecessary for DOT 5 
fluids which, at the time, were typically SBBFs. The 
agency agreed with the petitioner and proposed that, 
except for DOT 5 SBBFs, all fluids, including DOT 5 
non-SBBFs, must comply with the requirements for pH 
value, chemical stability, and compatibility in relation 
to compatibility. In addition, the notice proposed that 
to test DOT 5 non-SBBFs more accurately, those fluids 
should be subject to the procedure evaluating water 
tolerance in S6.9. The notice also proposed requiring 
DOT 5 non-SBBFs to be mixed with 3.5 percent water 
rather than be humidified, and be tested for its pH 



PART 571; S116-PRE 45 



value. As for the humidtfication test procedure, the 
notice proposed increasing the test's duration through 
the use of larger samples and requiring the test fluid 
and the TEGME sample to be placed in the same desic- 
cator. The agency tentatively concluded that these 
modifications would better ensure test result repeata- 
bility and thus the standard's enforceability. The notice 
also proposed deleting outdated provisions, such as 
references to tests with RM-1 fluid, which were in 
effect until November 3, 1986. 

GM agreed with the proposal that the non-SBBFs 
with DOT 5 performance characteristics should com- 
ply with the pH value, chemical stabOity, and stratifi- 
cation portion of the compatibility requirements. 
Wagner believed that both the non-SBBF and SBBF 
should be tested identically. No commenters opposed 
this proposal to require full compliance of non-SBBFs. 

Based on the discussion in the proposal and the 
comments about it, the agency has decided to test the 
new DOT 5.1 non-SBBF, as proposed. However, it 
disagrees with Wagner's recommendation to subject 
SBBFs to the pH, chemical stability, and no-stratif- 
ication requirements of the water tolerance test. Given 
the inherent stability of SBBFs, such testing would 
only add extra cost and time to the tests, without 
producing any corresponding safety benefits. 

E. Miscellaneous issues 

Several commenters raised other issues in their 
comments. Wagner was concerned about DOT 5 per- 
formance characteristics not currently addressed in 
Standard No. 116, including vapor lock, lubricity, the 
effect on rubber, mixed fluid corrosion, and air solu- 
bility. Wagner also recommended additional require- 
ments to address fluid compressibility and related 
brake pedal travel. Union Carbide suggested that the 
agency establish two separate safety standards for 
brake fluids: one for low water tolerant, e.g. silicone 
base, brake fluids, and one for water tolerant brake 
fluids. Union Carbide also recommended using differ- 
ent referee materials for the different grade fluids. 

The agency notes that the issues addressed in these 
comments are beyond the scope of the proposal. The 
agency may consider proposing such amendments in 
the future if it determines that there is a need for them. 

In consideration of the foregoing, it is proposed that 
49 CFR 571.116, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids, be 
amended as follows: 

In § 571.116, S4 is amended by adding the following 
definition "silicone base brake fluid" (SBBF) in alpha- 
betical order to read as follows: 

A "silicone base brake fluid" (SBBF) is a brake fluid 
which consists of not less than 70 percent by weight 
of a diorgano polysiloxane. 



3. In § 571.116, S5 is revised to read as follows: 

S5. Requirements: This section specifies perfor- ' 
mance requirements for DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5 
brake fluids; requirements for brake fluid certification; 
and requirements for container sealing, labeling, and 
color coding for brake fluids and hydraulic system 
mineral oils. Where a range of tolerances is specified, 
the brake fluid shall meet the requirements at all points 
within the range. 

4. In § 571.116, S5.1.4 is revised to read as follows: 

S5.1.4 pH value. When brake fluid, except DOT 5 
SBBF, is tested according to S6.4, the pH value shall 
not be less than 7.0 nor more than than 11.5. 5. 

In § 571.116, S5. 1.5.2 is revised to read as follows: 

S51.5.2 Chemical stability. When brake fluid, 
except DOT 5 SBBF, is tested according to S6.5.4, the 
change in temperature of the refluxing fluid mixture 
shall not exceed 3.0° C. (5.4° F.) plus 0.05° for each 
degree that the ERBP of the fluid exceeds 225° C. 
(437°. F.). 

6. In § 571.116, S5.1.6(f) is revised to read as follows: 

(f) The pH value of water-wet brake fluid, except 
DOT 5 SBBF, at the end of the test shall not be less 
than 7.0 nor more than 11.5.; 

7. In 571.116, S5.5.1.10 is revised to read as follows: | 
S.5.1.10 Compatibility. 

(a) At low temperature. When brake fluid is tested 
according to S6. 10.3(a), the test specimen shall show 
no sludging, sedimentation, or crystallization. In addi- 
tion, fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, shall show no stratifi- 
cation. 

(b) At 60° C. (140° F.). When brake fluid is tested 
according to S6. 10.3(b)- 

(1) Sedimentation shall not exceed 0.05 percent by 
volume after centrifuging; and 

(2) Fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, shaU show no 
stratification. 

8. In § 571.116, S5.1.14 is revised to read as follows: 

S5.1.14 Fluid color. Brake fluid and hydraulic sys- 
tem mineral oil shall be of the color indicated: 

DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1 non-SBBF-colorless 
to amber. 
DOT 5 SBBF-purple. 
Hydraulic system mineral oil— green. 

9. In § 571.116, S5.2.2.1(b) is revised to read as 
follows: 

(b) The grade (DOT 3, DOT 4, DOT 5) of the brake 
fluid. If DOT 5 grade brake fluid, it shall be further ( 
distinguished as "DOT 5 SILICONE BASE" or "DOT 
5.1 NON-SILICONE BASE." 



PART 571; S116-PRE 46 



10. In § 571.116, S5.2.2.2(e) is revised to read as 
follows: 

(e) Designation of the contents as "DOT MOTOR 
VEHICLE BRAKE FLUID" (Fill in DOT 3, DOT 4, 
DOT 5 SILICONE BASE, or DOT 5.1 NON- 
SILICONE BASE, as applicable). 

11. In § 571.116, S5.2.2.2(g)3 is revised to read as 
follows: 

3. STORE BRAKE FLUID ONLY IN ITS ORIGI- 
NAL CONTAINER. KEEP CONTAINER CLEAN 
AND TIGHTLY CLOSED TO PREVENT ABSORP- 
TION OF MOISTURE. 

12. In § 571.116, the sentence following the head- 
ing of S6. Test Procedures, is deleted. 

13. In § 571.116, S6.2.1 is revised to read as follows: 

S6.2.1. Summary of procedure. A 350 ml. sample 
of the brake fluid is humidified under controlled con- 
ditions; 350 ml. of SAE triethylene glycol monomethyl 
ether, brake fluid grade, referee material (TEGME) as 
described in Appendix E of SAE Standard J1703 Nov. 
83, "Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 1983, is 
used to establish the end point for humidification. After 
humidification, the water content and ERBP of the 
brake fluid are determined. 

14. In § 571.116, S6.2.2 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.2 Apparatus for humidification. (See Figure 3) 
Test apparatus shall consist of— 

(a) Glass jars. Four SAE RM-49 corrosion test jars 
or equivalent screwtop, straight-sided, round glass jars 
each having a capacity of about 475 ml. and approxi- 
mate inner dimensions of 100 mm. in height by 75 mm. 
in diameter, with matching lids having new, clean 
inserts providing water-vapor-proof seals; 

(b) Desiccator and cover. Two bowl-form glass desic- 
cators, 250-mm. inside diameter, having matching 
tubulated covers fitted with No. 8 rubber stoppers; and 

(c) Desiccator plate. Two 230-mm. diameter, per- 
forated porcelain desiccator plates, without feet, glazed 
on one side. 

15. Paragraph S6.2.3 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.3 Reagents and materials. 

(a) Distilled water, see S7.1. 

(b) SAE TEGME referee material. 

16. In § 571.116, S6.2.4 is revised to read as follows: 

56.2.4 Preparation of apparatus. 

Lubricate the ground-glass joint of the desiccator. 
Pour 450 + 10 ml of distilled water into each desic- 
cator and insert perforated porcelain desiccator plates. 



Place the desiccators in an oven with temperature con- 
trolled at 50 ± 1° C. (122 ± 1.8° F.) throughout the 
humidification procedure. 

17. In § 571.116, S6.2.5 is revised to read as follows: 

S6.2.5 Procedure. 

Pour 350 ± 5 ml of brake fluid into an open corro- 
sion test jar. Prepare in the same manner a duplicate 
test fluid sample and two duplicate specimens of the 
SAE TEGME referee material (350 ± 5 ml of TEGME 
in each jar). The water content of the SAE TEGME 
fluid is adjusted to 0.50 ± 0.05 percent by weight at 
the start of the test in accordance with S7.2. Place one 
sample each of the test brake fluid and the prepared 
TEGME sample into the same desiccator. Repeat for 
the second sample of test brake fluid and TEGME in 
a second desiccator. Place the desiccators in the 50° C. 
(122° F.) controlled oven and replace desiccator covers. 
At intervals, during oven humidification, remove the 
rubber stoppers in the tops of desiccators. Using a long 
needled hypodermic syringe, take a sample of not more 
than 2 ml from each TEGME sample and determine 
its water content. Remove no more than 10 ml of fluid 
from each SAE TEGME sample during the humidifi- 
cation procedure. When the water content of the SAE 
fluid reaches 3.70 ± 0.05 percent by weight (average 
of the duplicates), remove the two test fluid specimens 
from their desiccators and promptly cap each jar 
tightly. Allow the sealed jars to cool for 60 to 90 
minutes at 23° ± 5° C. (73.4° ± 9° F.). Measure the 
water contents of the test fluid specimens in accor- 
dance with S7.2 and determine their ERBP's in accor- 
dance with S6.1. If the two ERBPs agree within 4° C. 
(8° F.), average them to determine the wet ERBP; 
otherwise repeat-and average the four individual 
ERBPs as the wet ERBP of the brake fluid. 

18. In § 571.116. Figure 3, "Humidification Appara- 
tus" is revised by substituting the term "distilled 
water" in place of "salt slurry." In addition, it is re- 
vised by deleting "45 ± 7 mm." 

19. In § 571.116, S6.5.4.1 is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.5.4.1 IVIaierials. 

SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid as described in 
Appendix A of SAE Standard J1703 Nov83, "Motor 
Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 1983. 

20. In § 571.116, S6.5.4.2 is revised to read as 
follows: 

56.5.4.2 Procedure. 

(a) Mix 30 ± 1 ml of the brake fluid with 30 ± 1 ml 
of SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid in a boiling point 
flask (S6. 1.2(a)). Determine the initial ERBP of the 



PART 571; S116-PRE 47 



mixture by applying heat to the flask so that the fluid 
is refluxing in 10 ± 2 minutes at a rate in excess of 
1 drop per second, but not more than 5 drops per se- 
cond. Note the maximum fluid temperature observed 
during the first minute after the fluid begins reflux- 
ing at a rate in excess of 1 drop per second. Over the 
next 15 ± 1 minutes, adjust and maintain the reflux 
rate at 1 to 2 drops per second. Maintain this rate for 
an additional 2 minutes, recording the average value 
of four temperature readings taken at 30 second inter- 
vals as the final ERBP. 

(b) Thermometer and barometric corrections are not 
required. 

21. In § 571.116. S6.6.4 is revised by replacing the 
reference to "DOT 5 fluids" with "DOT 5 SBBF 
fluids." 

22. In § 571.116, S6.6.5 is revised by replacing the 
first sentence with the following sentence: 

S6.6.5 Procedure. Rinse the cups in ethanol 
(isopropanol when testing DOT 5 SBBF fluids) for not 
more than 30 seconds and wipe dry with a clean lint- 
free cloth. 

23. In § 571.116. S6.6.5 is further revised by replac- 
ing the fifth sentence, which begins "When testing 
DOT 3 and DOT 4 brake fluids. . ." with the following 
sentence: 

***** 

When testing brake fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, mix 
760 ml. of brake fluid with 40 ml. of distilled water. 
When testing DOT 5 SBBFs, humidify 800 ml. of brake 
fluid in accordance with S6.2, eliminating determina- 
tion of the ERBP. Using this water-wet mixture, cover 
each strip assembly to a minimum depth of 10 mm. 
above the tops of the strips. 

***** 

24. In § 571.116, S6.6.5 is further revised to have 
the second to last and last sentences to read as follows: 

***** 

Measure the pH value of the corrosion test fluid ac- 
cording to S6.4.6. Measure the pH value of the test mix- 
ture according to S6.4.6. 

25. In § 571.116, S6.9.1 is revised to read as follows: 
S6.9.1 Summary of the procedure. 

Brake fluid, except DOT 5 SBBF, is diluted with 3.5 
percent water (DOT 5 SBBF is humidified), then stored 
at minus 40° C. (minus 40° F.) for 120 hours. The cold, 
water-wet fluid is first examined for clarity, stratifi- 
cation, and sedimentation, then placed in an oven at 
60° C. (140° F.) for 24 hours. On removal, it is again 
examined for stratification, and the volume percent of 
sediment determined by centrifuging. 



26. In § 571.116, 6.9.3(a) is revised by adding 
"SBBF" after "DOT 5" in the first sentence. In the g 
second sentence, the words "DOT 3 and DOT 4" before " 
the words "brake fluids" are deleted and "except DOT 

5 SBBF" is added after the words "brake fluids." 

27. In § 571.116, S6.10.1 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6.10.1 Summary of tfie procedure. 

Brake fluid is mixed with an equal volume of SAE 
RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, then tested in the same 
way as for water tolerance (S6.9) except that the bub- 
ble flow time is not measured. This test is an indica- 
tion of the compatibOity of the test fluid with other 
motor vehicle brake fluids at both high and low tem- 
peratures. 

28. In§ 571.116, S6.10.2(e) is revised to read as fol- 
lows: SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid. As described 
in Appendix A of SAE Standard J1703 Nov83, "Mo- 
tor Vehicle Brake Fluid," November 1983. 

29. In § 571.116, S6.10.2(f) is deleted. 

30. In § 571.116, S6.10.3 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6.10.3 Procedure. 

(a) At low temperature. Mix 50 + 0.5 ml. of brake 
fluid with 50 ± 0.5 ml. of SAE RM-66-03 Compatibil- , 
ity Fluid. Pour this mixture into a centrifuge tube and ' 
stopper with a clean dry cork. Place tube in the cold 
chamber maintained at minus 40° ± 2° C. (minus 40° 

+ 3.6° F.) After 24 + 2 hours, remove tube, quickly 
wipe with a clean lint-free cloth saturated with ethanol 
(isopropanol when testing DOT 5 fluids) or acetone. Ex- 
amine the test specimen for evidence of sludging, 
sedimentation, or crystallization. Test fluids, except 
DOT 5 SBBF, shall be examined for stratification. 

(b) At 60.C. (140° F.) 

Place tube and test fluid from S6. 10.3(a) for 24 + 
2 hours in an oven maintained at 60° ± 2° C. (140° ± 
3.6° F.). Remove the tube and immediately examine 
the contents of the test mixtures, except DOT 5 
SBBFs, for evidence of stratification. Determine per- 
cent sediment by centrifuging as described in S7.5. 

31. In § 571.116, S6.11.1 is revised to read as 
follows: 

S6.11.1 Summary of procedure. 

Brake fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, are activated with 
a mixture of ately 0.2 percent benzoyl peroxide and 5 
percent water. DOT 5 SBBF is humidified in accor- 
dance with S6.2 eliminating determination of the 
ERBP, and then approximately 0.2 percent benzoyl / 
peroxide is added. A corrosion test strip assembly con- ' I 
sisting of cast iron and an aluminum strip separated 



PART 571; S116-PRE 48 



by tinfoil squares at each end is then rested on a piece Issued on February 1, 1991. 

of SBR WC cup positioned so that the test strip is half 

immersed in the fluid and oven-aged at 70° C. (158° F.) 

for 168 hours. At the end of this period, the metal strips Jerry Ralph Curry 

are examined for pitting, etching, and of Standard No. Administrator 

208 does not have to meet the elongation requirements 

of S4.2(c), S4.4(aX2), S4.4(bX4), and S4.4(bX5) of this 56 F.R. 11107 

standard. March 15, 1991 



i 



PART 571; S116-PRE 49-50 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 116 

Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids— Passenger Cars, Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles, Trucks, 
Buses, and Motorcycles, and Brake Fluid and Brake Fluid Containers 

(Docket No. 70-23; Notice 3) 



51. Scope. This standard specifies require- 
ments for fluids for use in hydraulic brake systems 
of motor vehicles, containers for these fluids, and 
labeling of the containers. 

52. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to 
reduce failures in the hydraulic braking systems of 
motor vehicles which may occur because of the man- 
ufacture or use of improper or contaminated fluid. 

53. Application. This standard applies to all 
fluid for use in hydraulic brake systems of motor 
vehicles. In addition, S5.3 applies to passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, 
buses, trailers, and motorcycles. 

54. Definitions. 

Blister means a cavity or sac on the surface of a 
brake cup. 

Brake fluid means a liquid designed for use in a 
motor vehicle hydraulic brake system in which it 
will contact elastomeric components made of 
styrene and butadiene rubber (SBR), ethylene and 
propylene rubber (EPR), polychloroprene (CR) 
brake hose inner tube stock or natural rubber (NR). 

Chipping means a condition in which small pieces 
are missing from the outer surface of a brake cup. 

Duplicate samples means two samples of brake 
fluid taken from a single packaged lot and tested 
simultaneously. 

Hydraulic system mineral oil means a mineral-oil- 
based fluid designed for use in motor vehicle 
hydraulic brake systems in which the fluid is not in 
contact with components made of SBR, EPR or NR. 

Packager means any person who fills containers 
with brake fluid that are subsequently distributed 
for retail sale. 

Packaged lot is that quantity of brake fluid ship- 
ped by the manufacturer to the packager in a 
single container, or that quantity of brake fluid 
manufactured by a single plant run of 24 hours or 
less, through the same processing equipment and 
with no change in ingredients. 

Scuffing means a visible erosion of a portion of 
the outer surface of a brake cup. 

{Silicone base brake fluid (SERF) is a brake fluid 
which consists of not less than 70 percent by 
weight of a diorgano polysiloxane. (56 F.R. 11107 
—March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 



Sloughing means degradation of a brake cup as 
evidenced by the presence of carbon black loosely 
held on the brake cup surface, such that a visible 
black streak is produced when the cup, with a 
500 ±10 gram dead weight on it, is drawn base 
down over a sheet of white bond paper placed on a 
firm flat surface. 

Stickiness means a condition on the surface of a 
brake cup such that fibers will be pulled from a wad 
of U.S. P. absorbent cotton when it is drawn across 
the surface. 

S5. Requirements. This section specifies per- 
formance requirements for DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 
5 brake fluids, requirements for brake fluid cer- 
tification, and requirements for container sealing, 
labeling and color coding for both brake fluids and 
hydraulic system mineral oils. Where a range of 
tolerances is specified, the brake fluid shall meet the 
requirements at all points within the range. 

S5.1 Bralte fluid. When tested in accordance 
with S6, brake fluids shall meet the following 
requirements. 

55.1.1 Equilibrium reflux boiling point (ERBP). 

When brake fluid is tested according to S6.1, the 
ERBP shall not be less than the following value for 
the grade indicated: 

(a) DOT 3: 205°C (401°F) 

(b) DOT 4: 230°C (446°F) 

(c) DOT 5: 260°C (500°F) 

55.1.2 Wet ERBP. When brake fluid is tested 
according to S6.2, the wet ERBP shall not be less 
than the following value for the grade indicated: 

(a) DOT 3: 140°C (284°F) 

(b) DOT 4: 155°C (311°F) 

(c) DOT 5: 180°C (356°F) 

55.1.3 Kinematic viscosities. When brake fluid 
is tested according to S6.3, the kinematic 
viscosities in centistokes (cSt) at stated 
temperatures shall be neither less than 1.5 cSt at 
100° C. (212° F.) nor more than the following 
maximum value for the grade indicated: 

(a) DOT 3: 1500 cSt at minus 40°C (minus 40° F) 

(b) DOT 4: 1800 cSt at minus 40°C (minus 40° F) 

(c) DOT 5: 900 cSt at minus 40°C (minus 40° F) 

55.1 .4 pH value. I When brake fluid, except DOT 
5 SBBF, is tested according to S6.5.4, the pH value 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-1 



shall not be less than 7.0 nor more than 11.5. (56 
F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11. 
1991)1 

55.1.5 Brake fluid stability. 

55. 1.5.1 High-temperature stability. When 
brake fluid is tested according to S.6.5.3 the ERBP 
shall not change by more than 3.0°C (5.4°F) plus 
0.05 degree for each degree that the ERBP of the 
fluid exceeds 225°C (437°F). 

55.1.5.2 Chemical stability. (When brake fluid, 
except DOT 5 SERF, is tested according to S6.5.4, 
the change in temperature of the refluxing fluid 
mixture shall not exceed 3.0°C (5.4°F) plus 0.05° 
for each degree that the ERBP of the fluid exceeds 
225°C (437°F). (56 F.R. 11107— March 15. 1991. 
Effective: September 11, 1991)1 

55.1.6 Corrosion. When brake fluid is tested 
according to S.6.6— 

(a) The metal test strips shall not show weight 
changes exceeding the limits stated in Table I. 

(b) Excluding the area of contact (13 ±1 mm. 
{y2±%2 inch) measured from the bolt hole end of 
the test strip), the metal test strips shall not show 
pitting or etching to an extent discernible without 
magnification; 

(c) The water-wet brake fluid at the end of the 
test shall show no jelling at 23±5°C (73.4 + 9°F); 

(d) No crystalline deposit shall form and adhere 
to either the glass jar walls or the surface of the 
metal strips; 

(e) At the end of the test, sedimentation of the 
water- wet brake fluid shall not exceed 0.10 percent 
by volume; 

(f ) [The pH value of water-wet brake fluid, ex- 
cept DOT 5 SBBF, at the end of the test shall not 
be less than 7.0 nor more than 11.5; (56 F.R. 
11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 

(g) The cups at the end of the test shall show no 
disintegration, as evidenced by blisters or 
sloughing; 

(h) The hardness of the cup shall not decrease by 
more than 15 International Rubber Hardness 
Degrees (IRHD); and 



Table i 




Test strip material 


Max. permissible 

weight change, mg/ 

sq cm of surface 


Steel, Tinned Iron, Cast Iron 

Aluminum 

Brass, Copper 


0.2 

0.1 
0.4 



(i) The base diameter of the cups shall not in- 
crease by more than 1.4 mm. (0.055 inch). 

55.1.7 Fluidity and appearance at low 
temperature. \Mien brake fluid is tested according 
to S6.7, at the storage temperature and for the 
storage times given in Table II— 

(a) The fluid shall show no sludging, sedimenta- 
tion, crj'stallization, or stratification; 

(b) Upon inversion of the sample bottle, the time 
required for the air bubble to travel to the top of 
the fluid shall not exceed the bubble flow times 
showTi in Table II; and 

(c) On warming to room temperature, the fluid 
shall resume the appearance and fluiditj' that it 
had before chilling. 

TABLE II— Fludity and Appearance at Low Temperatures 

Storage Max. bubble 
Storage temperature time flow time 

(hours) (seconds) 

minus 40±2°C (minus 

40±3.6°F) 144 ±4.0 10 

minus 50 + 2°C (minus 

58±3.6°F) 6±0.2 35 

55.1.8 Evaporation. When brake fluid is tested 
according to S6.8— 

(a) The loss by evaporation shall not exceed 80 
percent by weight; 

(b) The residue from the brake fluid after evapora- 
tion shall contain no precipitate that remains gritty 
or abrasive when rubbed with the fingertip; and 

(c) The residue shall have a pour point below 
minus5°C(-i-23°F). 

55.1.9 Water tolerance. 

(a) At low temperature. When brake fluid is 
tested according to [S6.9.3(a)— J 

(1) The fluid shall show no sludging, sedimen- 
tation, crystallization, or stratification; 

(2) Upon inversion of the centrifuge tube, the 
air bubble shall travel to the top of the fluid in not 
more than 10 seconds; 

(3) If cloudiness has developed, the wet fluid 
shall regain its original clarity and fluidity when 
warmed to room temperature; and 

(b) At 60° C (U0° F). When brake fluid is 
tested according to [S6.9.3(b)— J 

(1) The fluid shall show no stratification; and 

(2) Sedimentation shall not exceed 0.15 per- 
cent by volume after centrifuging. 



(R«v. 3/1S/91) 



PART 571; S 116-2 



55.1.10 Compatibility. 

1(a) At low temperature. When brake fluid is 
tested according to S6. 10.3(a), the test specimen 
shall show no sludging, sedimentation, or 
crystallization. In addition, fluids, except DOT 5 
SBBF, shall show no stratification. 

(b) At 60° C (U0° F). When brake fluid is 
tested according to S6. 10. 3(b)— 

(1) Sedimentation shall not exceed 0.05 per- 
cent by volume after centrifuging; and 

(2) Fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, shall show no 
stratification. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. 
Effective: September 11, 1991)] 

55.1.11 Resistance to oxidation. When brake 
fluid is tested according to S6.ll— 

(a) The metal test strips outside the areas in con- 
tact with the tinfoil shall not show pitting or etch- 
ing to an extent discernible without magnification; 

(b) No more than a trace of gum shall be 
deposited on the test strips outside the areas in 
contact with the tinfoil; 

(c) The aluminum strips shall not change in 
weight by more than 0.05 mg/sq cm; and 

(d) The cast iron strips shall not change in 
weight by more than 0.3 mg/sq cm. 

55.1.12 Effects on cups. When brake cups are 
subjected to brake fluid in accordance with S6.12— 

(a) The increase in the diameter of the base of 
the cups shall be not less than 0.15 mm (0.006 inch) 
or more than 1.40 mm (0.055 inch); 

(b) The decrease in hardness of the cups shall be 
not more than 10 IRHD at 70°C (158°F) or more 
than 15 IRHD at 120°C (248°F), and there shall be 
no increase in hardness of the cups; and 

(c) The cups shall show no disintegration as 
evidenced by stickiness, blisters, or sloughing. 

55.1.13 Stroking properties. When brake fluid 
is tested according to 86.13- 

(a) Metal parts of the test system shall show no 
pitting or etching to an extent discernible without 
magnification; 

(b) The change in diameter of any cylinder or 
piston shall not exceed 0.13 mm (0.005 inch); 

(c) The average decrease in hardness of seven of 
the eight cups tested (six wheel cylinder and one 
master cylinder primary) shall not exceed 15 
IRHD. Not more than one of the seven cups shall 
have a decrease in hardness greater than 17 IRHD; 



(d) None of the eight cups shall be in an 
unsatisfactory operating condition as evidenced by 
stickiness, scuffing, blisters, cracking, chipping, 
or other change in shape from its original 
appearance; 

(e) None of the eight cups shall show an increase 
in base diameter greater than 0.90 mm (0.035 
inch); 

(f ) The average lip diameter set of the eight cups 
shall not be greater than 65 percent; 

(g) During any period of 24,000 strokes, the 
volume loss of fluid shall not exceed 36 milliliters; 

(h) The cylinder pistons shall not freeze or func- 
tion improperly throughout the test; 

(i) The total loss of fluid during the 100 strokes 
at the end of the test shall not exceed 36 milliliters; 

( j) The fluid at the end of the test shall show no 
formation of gels; 

(k) At the end of the test the amount of sediment 
shall not exceed 1.5 percent by volume; and 

(1) Brake cylinders shall be free of deposits that 
are abrasive or that cannot be removed when 
rubbed moderately with a nonabrasive cloth wet- 
ted with ethanol. 

S5.1.14 Fluid color. IBrake fluid and hydraulic 
system mineral oil shall be of the color indicated: 

DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 non-SBBF-color- 
less to amber. 

DOT 5 SBBF-purple. 

Hydraulic system mineral oil— green. (56 F.R. 
11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 
1991)1 

S5.2 Packaging and labeling requirements for 
motor vehicle brake fluids. 

55.2.1 Container sealing. Each brake fluid or 
hydraulic system mineral oil container with a 
capacity of 6 fluid ounces or more shall be provided 
with a resealable closure that has an inner seal 
impervious to the packaged brake fluid. The con- 
tainer closure shall include a tamper-proof feature 
that will either be destroyed or substantially 
altered when the container closure is initially opened. 

55.2.2 Certification, marking, and labeling. 

S5.2.2.1 Each manufacturer of a DOT grade 
brake fluid shall furnish to each packager, 
distributor, or dealer to whom he delivers brake 
fluid, the following information: 

(a) A serial number identifying the production 
lot and the date of manufacture of the brake fluid. 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-3 



(b) The grade (DOT 3, DOT 4, or DOT 5) of the 
brake fluid. |If DOT 5 grade brake fluid, it shall be 
further distinguished as "DOT 5 SILICONE 
BASE" or "DOT 5.1 NON-SILICONE BASE." (56 
F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 
1991)1 

(c) The minimum wet boiling point in Fahrenheit 
of the brake fluid. 

(d) Certification that the brake fluid conforms to 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 116. 

S5.2.2.2 Each packager of a brake fluid shall 
furnish the information specified in paragraphs (a) 
through (g) of S5.2.2.2 by clearly marking it on 
each brake fluid container or on a label (labels) per- 
manently affixed to the container, in any location 
except a removable part such as a lid. After being 
subjected to the operations and conditions specified 
in S6.14, the information required by this section 
shall be legible to an observer having corrected 
visual acuity of 20/40 (Snellen ratio) at a distance of 
one foot, and any label affixed to the container in 
compliance with this section shall not be removable 
without its being destroyed or defaced. 

(a) Certification that the brake fluid conforms to 
§ 571.116. 

(b) The name of the packager of the brake fluid, 
which may be in code form. 

(c) The name and complete mailing address of 
the distributor. 

(d) A serial number identifying the packaged lot 
and date of packaging. 

(e) Designation of the contents as 

"DOT MOTOR VEHICLE BRAKE FLUID" 

(Fill "3," "4," or "5" as applicable). 

(f) The minimum wet boiling point in Fahrenheit 
of the DOT brake fluid in the container. 

(g) The following safety warnings in capital and 
lower case letters as indicated: 

(1) FOLLOW VEHICLE MANUFAC- 
TURERS RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN AD- 
DING BRAKE FLUID. 

(2) KEEP BRAKE FLUID CLEAN AND 
DRY. Contamination with dirt, water, petroleum 
products or other materials may result in brake 
failure or costly repairs. 

(3) STORE BRAKE FLUID ONLY IN ITS 
ORGINAL CONTAINER. KEEP CONTAINER 
CLEAN AND TIGHTLY CLOSED TO PRE- 
VENT ABSORPTION OF MOISTURE. (The 
last five words of the second sentence may be 
omitted from the labeling on DOT 5 containers.) 



(4) CAUTION: DO NOT REFILL CON- 
TAINER, AND DO NOT USE FOR OTHER 
LIQUIDS. (Not required for containers with a 
capacity in excess of 5 gallons.) 

55.2.2.3 Each packager of hydraulic system 
mineral oil shall furnish the information specified 
in paragraphs (a) through (e) of S5.2.2.3 by clearly 
marking it on each brake fluid container or on a 
label (labels) permanently affixed to the container, 
in any location except a removable part such as a 
lid. After being subjected to the operations and 
conditions specified in S6.14, the information re- 
quired by this section shall be legible to an observer 
having corrected visual acuity of 20/40 (Snellen 
ratio) at a distance of one foot, and any label 
affixed to the container in compliance with this 
section shall not be removable without its being 
destroyed or defaced. 

(a) The name of the packager of the hydraulic 
system mineral oil, which may be in code form. 

(b) The name of complete mailing address of the 
distributor. 

(c) A serial number identifying the packaged lot 
and date of packaging. 

(d) Designation of the contents as "HYDRAU- 
LIC SYSTEM MINERAL OIL" in capital letters 
at least Ys of an inch high. 

(e) The following safety warnings in capital and 
lower case letters as indicated: 

(1) FOLLOW VEHICLE MANUFAC- 
TURER'S RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN AD- 
DING HYDRAULIC SYSTEM MINERAL OIL. 

(2) Hydraulic System Mineral Oil is NOT 
COMPATIBLE with the rubber components of 
brake systems designed for use with DOT brake 
fluids. 

(3) KEEP HYDRAULIC SYSTEM MIN- 
ERAL OIL CLEAN. Contamination with dust or 
other materials may result in brake failure or 
costly repair. 

(4) CAUTION: STORE HYDRAULIC SYS- 
TEM MINERAL OIL ONLY IN ITS ORIGINAL 
CONTAINER. KEEP CONTAINER CLEAN 
AND TIGHTLY CLOSED. DO NOT REFILL 
CONTAINER OR USE OTHER LIQUIDS. (The 
last sentence is not required for containers with 
a capacity in excess of 5 gallons.) 

55.2.2.4 If a container for brake fluid or 
hydraulic system mineral oil is not normally visible 
but designed to be protected by an outer container 
or carton during use, the outer container or carton 
rather than the inner container shall meet the i 
labeling requirements of S5.2.2.2 or S5.2.2.3, as " 
appropriate. 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-4 



S5.3 Motor vehicle requirement. Each pas- 
senger car, multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, 
bus, trailer, and motorcycle that has a hydraulic 
brake system shall be equipped with fluid that has 
been manufactured and packaged in conformity 
with the requirements of this standard. 

S6. Test procedures. 

{Text deleted. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991)1 



S6.1 Equilibrium reflux boiling point. Deter- 
mine the ERBP of a brake fluid by running 
duplicate samples according to the following 
procedure and averaging the results. 

S6.1.1 Summary of procedure. Sixty milliliters 
(ml) of brake fluid are boiled under specified 
equilibrium conditions (reflux) at atmospheric 
pressure in a 100-ml flask. The average 
temperature of the boiling fluid at the end of the 
reflux period, corrected for variations in baro- 
metric pressure if necessary, is the ERBP. 




ASTM 
THERMOMETER 



RUBBER SLEEVE 



BOILING STONES 
REFRACTORY 



S6.1.2 Apparatus. (See Figure 1) The test ap- 
paratus shall consist of— 

(a) Flask. (See Figure 2) A 100-ml roundbot- 
tom, short-neck heat-resistant glass flask having a 
neck with a 19/38 standard taper, female ground- 
glass joint and a side-entering tube, with an out- 
side diameter of 10 millimeters (mm), which 
centers the thermometer bulb in the flask 6.5 mm 
from the bottom; 



■f^JOINT 



ll0±5mm 



32-38 mm 




FIRE POLISHED 



14mm CD. 
BEAD 

-9mm I.D. 



t^-60±2mm O.D. SPHERE 



FIG. I 
BOILING POINT TEST APPARATUS 



FIG. 2 
DETAIL OF lOOml SHORT-NECK FLASK 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-5 



(b) Condenser. A water-cooled, reflux, glass- 
tube-type condenser having a jacket 200 mm in 
length, the bottom end of which has a 19/38 
standard-taper, drip-tip, male ground-glass joint; 

(c) Boiling stones. Three clean, unused silicon 
carbide grains (approximately 2 mm (0.08 inch) in 
diameter, grit No. 8); 

(d) Thermometer. Standardized calibrated par- 
tial immersion (76 mm), solid stem, thermometers 
conforming to the requirements for an ASTM 2C 
or 2F, and an ASTM 3C or 3F thermometer; and 

(e) Heat source. Variable autotransformer- 
controlled heating mantle designed to fit the flask, 
or an electric heater with rheostat heat control. 



S6.1.3 Preparation of apparatus. 

(a) Thoroughly clean and dry all glassware. 

(b) Insert thermometer through the side tube 
until the tip of the bulb is 6.5 mm (V4 inch) from the 
bottom center of the flask. Seal with a short piece 
of natural rubber, EPDM, SBR or butyl tubing. 

(c) Place 60 ± 1 ml of brake fluid and the silicon 
carbide grains into the flask. 

(d) Attach the flask to the condenser. When 
using a heating mantle, place the mantle under the 
flask and support it with a ring-clamp and 
laboratory-type stand, holding the entire assembly 
in place by a clamp. When using a rheostat- 
controlled heater, center a standard porcelain or 
hard asbestos refractory, having a diameter open- 
ing 32 to 38 mm, over the heating element and 
mount the flask so that direct heat is applied only 
through the opening in the refractory. Place the 
assembly in an area free from drafts or other types 
of sudden temperature changes. Connect the cool- 
ing water inlet and outlet tubes to the condenser. 
Turn on the cooling water. The water supply 
temperature shall not exceed 28°C (82.4°F) and 
the temperature rise through the condenser shall 
not exceed 2°C (3.6°F). 



S6.1.4 Procedure for preparation of apparatus. 

Apply heat to the flask so that within 10 ±2 
minutes the fluid is refluxing in excess of 1 drop 
per second. The reflux rate shall not exceed 5 
drops per second at any time. Immediately adjust 
the heating rate to obtain an equilibrium reflux 
rate of 1 to 2 drops per second over the next 5 ± 2 



minutes. Maintain this rate for an additional 2 
minutes, taking four temperature readings at 
30-second intervals. Record the average of these as 
the observed ERBP. If no reflux is evident when 
the fluid temperature reaches 260°C (500°F), 
discontinue heating and report ERBP as in excess 
of 260°C (500°F). 



S6.1.5 Calculation. 

(a) Thermometer inaccuracy. Correct the 
observed ERBP by applying any correction factor 
obtained in standardizing the thermometer. 

(b) Variation from standard barometric 
pressure. Apply the factor shown in Table III to 
calculate the barometric pressure correction to the 
ERBP. 

(c) If the two corrected observed ERBP's agree 
within 2.0°C (4.0°C for brake fluids having an 
ERBP over 230°C/446°F) average the duplicate 
runs as the ERBP; otherwise, repeat the entire 
test, averaging the four corrected observed values 
to determine the original ERBP. 

Table ill.— Correction for Barometric Pressure 

Observed ERBP corrected Correction per 2 mm 

for th^rmormter inaccuracy difference m pressure- 



"C. 



CF.) 



100°C (212°F) to 
190°C (374°F) 

Over 190°C (374°F) 



0.039 (0.07) 
0.04 (0.08) 



a To be added in case barometric pressure is below 760 mm; to 
be subtracted in case barometric pressure is above 760 mm. 



S6.2 Wet ERBP. Determine the wet ERBP of 

a brake fluid by running duplicate samples 
according to the following procedure. 

S6.2.1 Summary of procedure. [A 350 ml sam- 
ple of the brake fluid is humidified under controlled 
conditions; 350 ml of SAE triethylene glycol 
monomethyl ether, brake fluid grade, referee 
material (TEGME) as described in Appendix E of 
SAE Standard J1703 November 1983, Motor Vehi- 
cle Brake Fluid, November 1983, is used to 
establish the end point for humidification. After 
humidification, the water content and ERBP of the 
brake fluid are determined. (56 F.R. 11107— March 
15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-6 



S6.2.2 Apparatus for humldlflcatlon. (See Figure 
3.) 

Test apparatus shall consist of— 

(a) Glass jars. Four SAE RM-49 corrosion test 
jars or equivalent screw-top, straight-sided, round 
glass jars each having a capacity of about 475 ml 
and approximate inner dimensions of 100 mm in 
height by 75 mm in diameter, with matching lids 
having new, clean inserts providing water- vapor- 
proof seals; 

(b) Desiccator and cover. Two bowl-form glass 
desiccators, 250 mm inside diameter, having mat- 
ching tubulated covers fitted with No. 8 rubber 
stoppers; and 



(c) Desiccator plate. Four 230-mm diameter, per- 
forated porcelain desiccator plates, without feet, 
glazed on one side. 

56.2.3 Reagents and Materials. 

(a) Distilled water, see S7.1. 

(b) SAE TEGME referee material. 

56.2.4 Preparation of Apparatus. 

ILubricate the ground-glass joint of the desic- 
cator. Pour 450 ± 10 ml of distilled water into each 
desiccator and insert perforated porcelain desic- 
cator plates. Place the desiccators in an oven with 
temperature controlled at 50 ± 1° C (122 ± 1.8° F) 
throughout the humidification procedure. (56 F.R. 
11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 



250 + ,^ mm I.D. 




No.8 RUBBER STOPPER 

GLASS DESICCATOR WITH 
TUBULATED COVER 



:^— LUBRICATED 
GROUND JOINT 



\^^^,^pi STILL ED WATER 



2IO±IOmm|.D. 



GLASS JAR 



PORCELAIN 

DESICCATOR 

PLATE 



FIG. 3 
HUMIDIFICATION APPARATUS 



(Rev. 3M5/91) 



PART 571; S 116-7 



S6.2.5 Procedure. 

[Pour 3.50 ± 0.05ml of brake fluid into an open 
corrosion test jar. Prepare in the same manner a 
duplicate test fluid sample and two duplicate 
specimens of the SAE TEGME referee material 
(350 ± 5 ml of TEGME in each jar). The water con- 
tent of the SAE TEGME fluid is adjusted to 0.50 ± 
0.05 percent by weight at the start of the test in ac- 
cordance with S7.2. Place one sample each of the 
test brake fluid and the prepared TEGME sample 
into the same desiccator. Repeat for the second 
sample of test brake fluid and TEGME in a second 
desiccator. Place the desiccators in the 50°C (122 
°F) controlled oven and replace desiccator covers. 
At intervals, during oven humidification, remove 
the rubber stoppers in the tops of desiccators. 
Using a long needled hj^odermic syringe, take a 
sample of not more than 2 ml from each TEGME 
sample and determine its water content. Remove 
no more than 10 ml of fluid from each SAE 
TEGME sample during the humidification pro- 
cedure. When the water content of the SAE fluid 
reaches 3.70 ± 0.05 percent by weight (average of 
the duplicates), remove the two test fluid 
specimens from their desiccators and promptly cap 
each jar tightly. Allow the sealed jars to cool for 60 
to 90 minutes at 23° ± 5° C (73.4° ± 9° F). 
Measure the water contents of the test fluid 
specimens in accordance with S7.2 and determine 
their ERBP's in accordance with S6.1. If the two 
ERBPs agree within 4° C (8° F), average them to 
determine the wet ERBP; otherwise repeat and 
average the four individual ERBPs as the wet 
ERBP of the brake fluid. (56 F.R. 11107— March 
15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 



S6.3 Kinematic viscosity. Determine the 
kinematic viscosity of a brake fluid in centistokes 
(cSt) by the following procedure. Run duplicate 
samples at each of the specified temperatures, 
making two timed runs on each sample. 

S6.3.1 Summary of the procedure. The time is 
measured for a fixed volume of the brake fluid to 
flow through a calibrated glass capillary 
viscometer under an accurately reproducible head 
and at a closely controlled temperature. The 
kinematic viscosity is then calculated from the 
measured flow time and the cahbration constant of 
the viscometer. 



56.3.2 Apparatus. 

(a) Viscometers. Calibrated glass capillary- 
type viscometers, ASTM D2515-66, Standard 
Specification for Kinematic Glass Viscometers, 
measuring viscosity within the precision limits of 
S6.4.7. Use suspended level viscometers for 
viscosity measurements at low temperatures. Use 
Cannon-Fenske Routine or other modified Ostwald 
viscometers at ambient temperatures and above. 

(b) Viscometer holders and frames. Mount a 
viscometer in the constant-temperature bath so 
that the mounting tube is held within 1 degree of 
the vertical. 

(c) Viscometer bath. A transparent liquid bath of 
sufficient depth such that at no time during the 
measurement will any portion of the sample in the 
viscometer be less than 2 cm below the surface or 
less than 2 cm above the bottom. The bath shall be 
cylindrical in shape, with turbulent agitation suffi- 
cient to meet the temperature control re- 
quirements. For measurements within 15 to 100° 
C (60 to 212°F) the temperature of the bath 
medium shall not vary by more than 0.01 °C 
(0.02°F) over the length of the viscometers, or be- 
tween the positions of the viscometers, or at the 
locations of the thermometers. Outside this range, 
the variation shall not exceed 0.03°C (0.05°F). 

(d) Thermometers. Liquid-in-glass Kinematic 
Viscosity Test Thermometers, covering the range 
of test temperatures indicated in Table IV and 
conforming to ASTM El-68, Specifications for 
ASTM Thermometers, and in the IP requirements 
for IP Standard Thermometers. Standardize 
before use (see S6.3.3(b)). Use two standardized 
thermometers in the bath. 

(e) Timing device. Stop watch or other timing 
device graduated in divisions representing not 
more than 0.2 second, with an accuracy of at least 
±0.05 percent when tested over intervals of 15 
minutes. Electrical timing devices may be used 
when the current frequency is controlled to an 
accuracy of 0.01 percent or better. 

56.3.3 Standardization. 

(a) Viscometers. Use viscometers calibrated in 
accordance with Appendix 1 of ASTM D445-65, 
Viscosity of Transparent and Opaqve Liquids 
(Kinematic and Dynamic Viscosities.) The calibra- 
tion constant, C, is dependent upon the gravita- 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-8 



Table IV 
Kinematic Viscosity Thermometers 



Temperature range 




For tests at 


Subdivisions 


Thermometer number 


degC. 


degF. 


degC. 


degF. 


degC. 


degF. 


ASTM 


IP 


minus 55.3 to 
minus 52.5 


minus 67.5 to 
minus 62.5 


minus 55 


minus 67 


0.05 


0.1 


74 F. 


69 F. or C. 


minus 41.4 to 
minus 38.6 


minus 42.5 to 
minus 37.5 


minus 40 


minus 40 


0.05 


0.1 


73 F. 


68 F. or C. 


98.6 to 
101.4 


207.5 to 
212.5 


100 


212 


0.05 


0.1 


30 F. 


32 F. or C. 



tional acceleration at the place of calibration. This 
must, therefore, be supplied by the standardization 
laboratory together with the instrument 
constant. Where the acceleration of gravity, g, in 
the two locations differs by more than 0.1 percent, 
correct the calibration constant as follows: 



C2 = 



92_ 

9i 



xCi 



where the subscripts 1 and 2 indicate respectively 
the standardization laboratory and the testing 
laboratory. 

(b) Thermometers. Check liquid-in-glass ther- 
mometers to the nearest 0.01 °C (0.02°F) by direct 
comparison with a standardized thermometer. 
Kinematic Viscosity Test Thermometers shall be 
standardized at "total immersion." The ice point of 
standardized thermometers shall be determined 
before use and the official corrections shall be ad- 
justed to conform to the changes in ice 
points. (See ASTM E 77-66, Verification and 
Calibration of Liquid-in-Glass Thermometers.) 

(c) Timers. Time signals are broadcast by the 
National Bureau of Standards, Station WWV, 
Washington, D.C., at 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 
35 Mc/sec (MH^ ). Time signals are also broadcast 
by Station CHU from Ottawa, Canada, at 3.330, 
7.335 and 14.670 Mc/sec, and Station MSF at 
Rugby, United Kingdom, at 2.5, 5 and 10 Mc/sec. 



S6.3.4 Procedure. 

(a) Set and maintain the bath at the appropriate 
test temperature (see S5.1.3) within the limits 
specified in S6.3.2(c). (Apply the necessary cor- 
rections, if any, to all thermometer readings. 

(b) Select a clean, dry, calibrated viscometer giv- 
ing a flow time not less than its specified minimum, 
or 200 seconds, whichever is the greater. 



(c) Charge the viscometer in the manner used 
when the instrument was calibrated. Do not filter 
or dry the brake fluid, but protect it from con- 
tamination by dirt and moisture during filling and 
measurements. 

(1) Charge the suspended level viscometers 
by tilting about 30 degrees from the vertical and 
pouring sufficient brake fluid through the fill 
tube into the lower reservoir so that when the 
viscometer is returned to vertical position the 
meniscus is between the fill marks. For 
measurements below 0°C (32°F), before placing 
the filled viscometer into the constant 
temperature bath, draw the sample into the 
working capillary and timing bulb and insert 
small rubber stoppers to suspend the fluid in this 
position, to prevent accumulation of water con- 
densate on the walls of the critical portions of the 
viscometer. Alternatively, fit loosely packed 
drying tubes onto the open ends of the 
viscometer to prevent water condensation, but 
do not restrict the flow of the sample under test 
by the pressures created in the instrument. 

(2) If a Cannon-Fenske Routine viscometer is 
used, charge by inverting and immersing the 
smaller arm into the brake fluid and applying 
vacuum to the larger arm. Fill the tube to the 
upper timing mark, and return the viscometer to 
an upright position. 

(d) Mount the viscometer in the bath in a true 
vertical position (See S6. 3.2(b)). 

(e) The viscometer shall remain in the bath until 
it reaches the test temperature. 

(f) At temperature below 0°C (32°F) conduct an 
untimed preliminary run by allowing the brake 
fluid to drain through the capillary into the lower 
reservoir after the test temperature has been 
established. 



PART 571; S 116-9 



(g) Adjust the head level of the brake fluid to a 
position in the capillary arm about 5 mm above the 
first timing mark. 

(h) With brake fluid flowing freely measure to 
within 0.2 second the time required for the 
meniscus to pass from the first timing mark to the 
second. If this flow time is less than the minimum 
specified for the viscometer, or 200 seconds, 
whichever is greater, repeat using a viscometer 
with a capillary of smaller diameter. 

(i) Repeat S6.3.4(g) and (h). If the two timed 
runs do not agree within 0.2 percent, reject and 
repeat using a fresh sample of brake fluid. 

56.3.5 Cleaning of viscometers. 

(a) Periodically clean the instrument with 
chromic acid to remove organic deposits. Rinse 
thoroughly with distilled water and acetone, and 
dry wath clean dry air. 

(b) Between successive samples rinse the 
viscometer with ethanol (isopropanol when testing 
DOT 5 fluids) followed by an acetone or ether 
rinse. Pass a slow stream of filtered dry air 
through the viscometer until the last trace of 
solvent is removed. 

56.3.6 Calculation. 

(a) The following viscometers have a fixed 
volume charged at ambient temperature, and as a 
consequence C varies with test temperature: 
Cannon-Fenske Routine, Pinkevitch, Cannon 
Manning Semi-Micro, and Cannon Fenske Opaque. 
To calculate C at test temperatiu-es other than the 
calibration temperature for these viscometers, see 
ASTM D25 15-66, Kinematic Glass Viscometers, or 
follow instructions given on the manufacturer's 
certificate of calibration. 

(b) Average the four timed runs on the duplicate 
samples to determine the kinematic viscosities. 

56.3.7 Precision (at 95 percent confidence level). 

(a) Repeatability. If results on duplicate 
samples by the same operator differ by more than 
1.0 percent of their mean, repeat the tests. 

S6.4 pH value. Determine the pH value of a 
brake fluid by running one sample according to the 
following procedure. 

S6.4.1 Summary of the procedure. Brake fluid 
is diluted with an equal volume of an ethanolwater 
solution. The pH of the resultant mixture is 



measured with a prescribed pH meter assembly at 
23°C (73.4°F). 

56.4.2 Apparatus. The pH assembly consists of 
the pH meter, glass electrode, and calomel elec- 
trode, as specified in Appendices Al.l, A 1.2 and 
A1.3 of ASTM D1121-67, Standard Method of Test 
for Reserve Alkalinity of Engine Antifreezes and 
Antirasts. The glass electrode is a full range type 
(pH 0-14), with low sodium error. 

56.4.3 Reagents. Reagent grade chemicals 
conforming to the specifications of the Committee 
on Analytical Reagents of the American Chemical 
Society. 

(a) Distilled water. Distilled water (S7.1) shall 
be boiled for about 15 minutes to remove carbon 
dioxide, and protected with a soda-lime tube or its 
equivalent while cooling and in storage. (Take 
precautions to prevent contamination by the 
materials used for protection against carbon 
dioxide.) The pH of the boiled distilled water shall 
be between 6.2 and 7.2 at 25°C (77°F). 

(b) Standard buffer soutions. Prepare buffer 
solutions for calibrating the pH meter and elec- 
trode pair from salts sold specifically for use, 
either singly or in combination, as pH standards. 
Dry salts for 1 hour at 110°C (230°F) before use 
except for borax which shall be used as the 
decahydrate. Store solutions with pH less than 9.5 
in bottles of chemically resistant glass or 
polyethylene. Store the alkaline phosphate solution 
in a glass bottle coated inside with paraffin. Do not 
use a standard with an age exceeding three 
months. 

(1) Potassium hydrogen phthalate buffer solu- 
tion (0.05 M, pH = 4.01 at 25°C (77°F)). Dissolve 
10.21g of potassium hydrogen phthalate 
(KHCg H4 O4 ) in distilled water. Dilute to 1 liter. 

(2) Neutral phosphate buffer solution (0.025 M 
with respect to each phosphate salt, pH = 6.86 at 
25°C (77°F)). Dissolve 3.40g of potassium 
dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4) and 3.55g of 
anhydrous disodium hydrogen phosphate 
(NA2 HPO4 ) in distilled water. 

(3) Borax buffer solution (0.01 M, pH = 9.18 at 
25°C (77°F)). Dissolve 3.81g of disodium 
tetraborate decahydrate (Na2B4 07 10 H2O) in 
distilled water, and dilute to 1 liter. Stopper the 
bottle except when actually in use. 

(4) Alkaline phosphate buffer solution (0.01 M 
trisodium phosphate, pH = 11.72 at 25°C 



PART 571; S 116-10 



(77°F)). Dissolve 1.42g of anhydrous disodium 
hydrogen phosphate (Na2HP04) in 100 ml of a 
0.1 M carbonate-free solution of sodium hydrox- 
ide. Dilute to 1 liter with distilled water. 

(5) Potassium chloride electrolyte. Prepare a 
saturated solution of potassium chloride (KCl) in 
distilled water. 

(c) Ethanol-water mixture. To 80 parts by 
volume of ethanol (S7.3) add 20 parts by volume of 
distilled water. Adjust the pH of the mixture to 
7.0 ±0.1 using 0.1 N sodium hydroxide (NaOH) 
solution. If more than 4.0 ml of NaOH solution 
per liter of mixture is required for neutralization, 
discard the mixture. 

56.4.4 Preparation of electrode system. 

(a) Maintenance of electrodes. Clean the glass 
electrode before using by immersing in cold 
chromic-acid cleaning solution. Drain the calomel 
electrode and fill with KCl electrolyte, keeping 
level above that of the mixture at all times. When 
not in use, immerse the lower halves of the elec- 
trodes in distilled water, and do not immerse in the 
mixture for any appreciable period of time between 
determinations. 

(b) Preparation of electrodes. Condition new 
glass electrodes and those that have been stored 
dry as recommended by the manufacturer. Before 
and after using, wipe the glass electrode 
thoroughly with a clean cloth, or a soft absorbent 
tissue, and rinse with distilled water. Before each 
pH determination, soak the prepared electrode in 
distilled water for at least 2 minutes. Immediately 
before use, remove any excess water from the tips 
of the electrode. 

56.4.5 Standardization of the pH assembly and 
testing of the electrodes. 

(a) Immediately before use, standardize the pH 
assembly with a standard buffer solution. Then use 
a second standard buffer solution to check the 
linearity of the response of the electrodes at 
different pH values, and to detect a faulty glass 
electrode or incorrect temperature compensation. 
The two buffer solutions bracket the anticipated 
pH value of the test brake fluid. 

(b) Allow instrument to warm up, and adjust 
according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
Immerse the tips of the electrodes in a standard 
buffer solution and allow the temperature of the 
buffer solution and the electrodes to equalize. Set 
the temperature knob at the temperature of the 



buffer solution. Adjust the standardization or 
asymmetry potential control until the meter 
registers a scale reading, in pH units, equal to the 
known pH of the standardizing buffer solution. 

(c) Rinse the electrodes with distilled water and 
remove excess water from the tips. Immerse the 
electrodes in a second standard buffer solution. The 
reading of the meter shall agree with the known pH 
of the second standard buffer solution within ± 0.05 
unit without changing the setting of the standardiza- 
tion of asymmetry potential control. 

(d) A faulty electrode is indicated by failure to 
obtain a correct value for the pH of the second 
standard buffer solution after the meter has been 
standardized with the first. 

S6.4.6 Procedure. To 50 ±1 ml of the test 
brake fluid add 50 ±1 ml of the ethanol-water 
(S6. 4.3(c)) and mix thoroughly. Immerse the elec- 
trodes in the mixture. Allow the system to come to 
equilibrium, readjust the temperature compensa- 
tion if necessary, and take the pH reading. 

S6.5 Fluid stability. Evaluate the heat and 
chemical stability of a brake fluid by the following 
procedure, running duplicate samples for each test 
and averaging the results. 

56.5.1 Summary of the procedure. The degradation 
of the brake fluid at elevated temperature, alone or in 
a mixture with a reference fluid, is evaluated by 
determining the change in boiling point after a period 
of heating under reflux conditions. 

56.5.2 Apparatus. Use the apparatus and 
preparation specified in S6.1.2 and S6.1.3. 

56.5.3 High temperature stability. 
36.5.3.1 Procedure. 

(a) Heat a new 60 ±1 ml sample of the brake 
fluid to 185±2°C (365±3.6°F). Hold at this 
temperature for 120 ± 5 minutes. Bring to a reflux 
rate in excess of 1 drop per second within 5 
minutes. The reflux rate should not exceed 5 drops 
per second at any time. Over the next 5 ± 2 minutes 
adjust the heating rate to obtain an equilibrium 
reflux rate of 1 to 2 drops per second. Maintain this 
rate for an additional 2 minutes, taking 4 
temperature readings at 30-second intervals. 
Average these as the observed ERBP. If no reflux 
is evident when the fluid temperature reaches 
260° C (500°F), discontinue heating and report 
ERBP as in excess of 260°C (500°F). 



PART 571; S 116-11 



S6.5.3.2 Calculation. Correct the observed 
ERBP for thermometer and barometric pressure 
factors according to S6.1.5(a) and (b). Average the 
corrected ERBP's of the duplicate samples. The 
difference between this average and the original 
ERBP obtained in S6.1 is the change in ERBP of 
the fluid. 



S6.5.4 Chemical stability. 

56.5.4.1 Materials. 

SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, as de- 
scribed in Appendix A of SAE Standard J1703 
Nov83, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid, November 
1983. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: 
September 11, 1991)] 

56.5.4.2 Procedure. 

1(a) Mix 30 ±1 ml of the brake fluid with 30 ±1 
ml of SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid in a boil- 
ing point flask (S6. 1.2(a)). Determine the initial 
ERBP of the mixture by applying heat to the flask 
so that the fluid is refluxing in 10 ±2 minutes at a 
rate in excess of 1 drop per second, but not more 
than 5 drops per second. Note the maximum fluid 
temperature observed during the first minute after 
the fluid begins refluxing at a rate in excess of 1 
drop per second. Over the next 15 ±1 minutes, 
adjust and maintain the reflux rate at 1 to 2 drops 
per second. Maintain this rate for an additional 2 
minutes, recording the average value of four 
temperature readings taken at 30-second intervals 
as the final ERBP. 

(b) Thermometer and barometric corrections 
are not required. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. 
Effective: September 11, 1991)1 

56.5.4.3 Calculation. The difference between 
the initial ERBP and the final average 
temperature is the change in temperature of the 
refluxing mixture. Average the results of the 
duplicates to the nearest 0.5°C (1°F). 



S6.6 Corrosion. Evaluate the corrosiveness of a 
brake fluid by running duplicate samples according 
to the following procedure. 



S6.6.1 Summary of the procedure. Six specified 
metal corrosion test strips are polished, cleaned, 
and weighed, then assembled as described. 
Assembly is placed on a standard wheel cylinder 
cup in a corrosion test jar, immersed in the water- 
wet brake fluid, capped and placed in an oven at 
100°C (212°F) for 120 hours. Upon removal and 
cooling, the strips, fluid, and cups are examined 
and tested. 



S6.6.2 Equipment. 

(a) Balance. An analytical balance having a 
minimum capacity of 50 grams and capable of 
weighing to the nearest 0.1 mg. 

(b) Desiccators. Desiccators containing silica 
gel or other suitable desiccant. 

(c) Oven. Gravity convection oven capable of 
maintaining the desired set point within 2°C 
(3.6°F). 

(d) Micrometer. A machinist's micrometer 25 
to 50 mm (1 to 2 inches) capacity, or an optical com- 
parator, capable of measuring the diameter of the 
SBR wheel cyHnder (WC) cups to the nearest 0.02 
mm (0.001 inch). 

S6.6.3 IVIaterials. 

(a) Corrosion test strips. Two sets of strips 
from each of the metals listed in Appendix C of 
SAE Standard J1703b. Each strip shall be ap- 
proximately 8 cm long, 1.3 cm wide, not more than 
0.6 cm thick, and have a surface area of 25 ±5 sq 
cm and a hole 4 to 5 mm (0.16 to 0.20 inch) in 
diameter on the centerline about 6 mm from one 
end. The hole shall be clean and free from 
burrs. Tinned iron strips shall be unused. Other 
strips, if used, shall not be employed if they cannot 
be polished to a high finish. 

(b) SBR cups. Two unused standard SAE SBR 
wheel cylinder (WC) cups, as specified in S7.6. 

(c) Corrosion test jars and lids. Two screw-top 
straight-sided round glass jars, each having a 
capacity of approximately 475 ml and inner dimen- 
sions of approximately 100 mm in height and 75 
mm in diameter, and a tinned steel lid (no insert or 
organic coating) vented with a hole 0.8 ±0.1 mm 
(0.031 ±0.004 inch) in diameter (No. 68 drill). 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-12 



(d) Machine screws and nuts. Clean, rust and oil- 
free, uncoated mild steel round or fillister head 
machine screws, size 6 or 8-32 UNC-Class 2A, % or 
% inch long (or equivalent metric sizes), and 
matching uncoated nuts. 

(e) Supplies for polishing strips. Waterproof 
silicon carbide paper, grit No. 320 A; grade 00 steel 
wool, lint-free polishing cloth. 

(f) Distilled water as specified in S7.1. 

(g) Ethanol as specified in S7.3. 

(h) Isopropanol as specified in S7.7. 

S6.6.4 Preparation. 

(a) Corrosion test strips. Except for the tinned 
iron strips, abrade corrosion test strips on all sur- 
face areas with silicon carbide paper wet with 
ethanol (isopropanol when testing [DOT 5 SBBF] 
fluids) until all surface scratches, cuts and pits are 
removed. Use a new piece of paper for each dif- 
ferent type of metal. Polish the strips with the 00 
grade steel wool. Wash all strips, including the 
tinned iron and the assembly hardware, with 
ethanol; dry the strips and assembly hardware 
with a clean lint-free cloth or use filtered com- 
pressed air and place the strips and hardware in a 
desiccator containing silica gel or other suitable 
desiccant and maintained at 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F), 
for at least one hour. Handle the strips with 
forceps after polishing. Weigh and record the 
weight of each strip to the nearest 0.1 mg. Assem- 
ble the strips on a clean dry machine screw, with 
matching plain nut, in the order of tinned iron, 
steel, aluminum, cast iron, brass, and copper. Bend 
the strips, other than the cast iron, so that there is 
a separation of 3 ± J4 nim (Vs ± Yei inch) between ad- 
jacent strips for a distance of about 5 cm (2 inches) 
from the free end of the strips. (See Figure 4.) 
Tighten the screw on each test strip assembly so 
that the strips are in electrolytic contact, and can 
be lifted by either of the outer strips (tinned iron or 
copper) without any of the strips moving relative 
to the others when held horizontally. Immerse the 
strip assemblies in 90 percent ethyl alcohol. Dry 
with dried filtered compressed air, then desiccate 
at least one hour before use. 

(b) SBR WC cups. Measure the base diameters of 
the 2 standard SBR cups, using an optical com- 
parator or micrometer, to the nearest 0.02 mm 
(0.001 inch) along the centerline of the SAE and 
rubber-type identifications and at right angles to 
this centerline. Take the measurements at least 0.4 
mm (0.015 inch) above the bottom edge and 
parallel to the base of the cup. Discard any cup if 



t»- 3 mm (TYPICAL SPACING 
CAST BETWEEN STRIPS) 



TINNED 
RON 




6or8-32x5/8 UNCOATED —f 
MILD STEEL RD HD ^ 

MACH SCREW & NUT 



CORROSIO^J 



FIG. 4 

STRIP ASSEMBLY 



the two measured diameters differ by more than 
0.08 mm (0.003 inch). Average the two readings on 
each cup. Determine the hardness of the cups 
according to S7.4. 

S6.6.5 Procedure. Rinse the cups in ethanol 
(isopropanol when testing (DOT 5 SBBFJ fluids) 
for not more than 30 seconds and wipe dry with a 
clean lint-free cloth. Place one cup with lip edge 
facing up in each jar. Insert a metal strip assembly 
inside each cup with the fastened end down and the 
free end extending upward. (See Figure 5.) [When 
testing brake fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, mix 760 
ml of brake fluid with 40 ml of distilled water. 
When testing DOT 5 SBBFs, humidify 800 ml of 
brake fluid in accordance with S6.2, eliminating 
determination of the ERBP. Using this water-wet 
mixture, cover each strip assembly to a minimum 
depth of 10 mm above the tops of the strips. (56 
F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 
1991)1 Tighten the lids and place the jars for 
120 ±2 hours in an oven maintained at 100±2°C 
(212±3.6°F). Allow the jars to cool at 23±5°C 
(73.4 ±9°F) for 60 to 90 minutes. Immediately 
remove the strips from the jars using forceps, 
agitating the strip assembly in the fluid to remove 
adhering sediment. Examine the test strips and 
jars for adhering crystalline deposits. Disassemble 
the metal strips, and remove adhering fluid by 
flushing with water; clean each strip by wiping 
with a clean cloth wetted with ethanol. Examine 
the strips for evidence of corrosion and pitting. 
Disregard staining or discoloration. Place the 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-13 



0.8 ±01 mm DIA VENT 




C- 



COLD \ JLUID LEVEL 

10 mm 

MIN IMMERSION 





-TINNED 
STEEL LID 



•475ml 

GLASS JAR 



75mm MIN DIA 



FIG. 5 

CORROSION TEST 
APPARATUS 



strips in a desiccator containing silica gel or other 
suitable desiccant, maintained at 23±5°C 
(73.4 ± 9°F), for at least 1 hour. Weigh each strip to 
the nearest 0.1 mg. Determine the change in 
weight of each metal strip. Average the results for 
the two strips of each type of metal. Immediately 
following the cooling period, remove the cups from 
the jars with forceps. Remove loose adhering sedi- 
ment by agitation of the cups in the mixture. Rinse 
the cups in ethanol and air-dry. Examine the cups 
for evidence of sloughing, blisters, and other forms 
of disintegration. Measure the base diameter and 
hardness of each cup within 15 minutes after 
removal from the mixture. Examine the mixture 
for gelling. Agitate the mixture to suspend and 
uniformly disperse sediment. From each jar, 
transfer a 100 ml portion of the mixture to an 
ASTM cone-shaped centrifuge tube. [Measure the 
pH value of the corrosion test fluid according to 
S6.4.6. Measure the pH value of the test mixture 
according to S6.4.6. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 
1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 

S6.6.6 Calculation. 

(a) Measure the area of each type of test strip to 
the nearest square centimeter. Divide the average 
change in weight for each type by the area of that 
type. 



(b) Note other data and evaluations indicating 
compliance with S5.1.6. In the event of a marginal 
pass on inspection by attributes, or of a failure in 
one of the duplicates, run another set of duplicate 
samples. Both repeat samples shall meet all 
requirements of S5.1.6. 

S6.7 Fluidity and appearance at low temperatures. 

Determine the fluidity and appearance of a sample 
of brake fluid at each of two selected temperatures 
by the following procedure. 

56.7.1 Summary of procedure. Brake fluid is 
chilled to expected minimum exposure 
temperatures and observed for clarity, gellation, 
sediment, separation of components, excessive 
viscosity or thixotropy. 

56.7.2 Apparatus. 

(a) Oil sample bottle. Two clear flint glass 
4-ounce bottles made especially for sampling oil 
and other liquids, with a capacity of approximately 
125 ml, an outside diameter of 37.0 ±0.05 mm and 
an overall height of 165 ±2.5 mm. 

(b) Cold chamber. An air bath cold chamber 
capable of maintaining storage temperatures down 
to minus 55°C (minus 67°F) with an accuracy 
of±2°C(3.6°F). 

(c) Timing device. A timing device in accordance 
with S6.3.2(e). 

56.7.3 Procedure. 

(a) Place 100 ±1 ml of brake fluid at room 
temperature in an oil sample bottle. Stopper the 
bottle with an unused cork and place in the cold 
chamber at the higher storage temperature 
specified in Table II (S5.1.7(c)). After 144 ±4 hours 
remove the bottle from the chamber, quickly wipe 
it vdth a clean, lint-free cloth, saturated with 
ethanol (isopropanol when testing DOT 5 fluids) or 
acetone. Examine the fluid for evidence of sludg- 
ing, sedimentation, crystallization, or stratifica- 
tion. Invert the bottle and determine the number 
of seconds required for the air bubble to travel to 
the top of the fluid. Let sample warm to room 
temperature and examine. 

(b) Repeat S6. 7.3(a), substituting the lower cold 
chamber temperature specified in Table II, and a 
storage period of 6 hours ± 12 minutes. Note: Test 
specimens from either storage temperature may 
be used for the other only after warming up to 
room temperature. 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-14 



S6.8 Evaporation. The evaporation residue, and 
pour point of the evaporation residue of brake 
fluid, are determined by the following procedure. 
Four replicate samples are run. 

56.8.1 Summary of the procedure. The volatile 
diluent portion of a brake fluid is evaporated in an 
oven at 100°C (212°F). The non-volatile lubricant 
portion (evaporation residue) is measured and 
examined for grittiness; the residues are then com- 
bined and checked to assure fluidity at minus 5°C 
(23°F). 

56.8.2 Apparatus. 

(a) Petri dishes. Four covered glass petri dishes 
approximately 100 mm in diameter and 15 mm in 
height. 

(b) Oven. A top-vented gravity-convection oven 
capable of maintaining a temperature of 100±2°C 
(212±3.6°F). 

(c) Balance. A balance having a capacity of at 
least 100 grams, capable of weighing to the nearest 
0.01 gram, and suitable for weighing the petri 
dishes. 

(d) Oil sample bottle. A glass sample bottle as 
described in S6.7.2(a). 

(e) Cold chamber. Air bath cold chamber capable 
of maintaining an oil sample bottle at minus 5± 1° 
C(23±2°F). 

(f ) Timing device. A timing device as described 
in S6.3.2(e). 

56.8.3 Procedure. Obtain the tare weight of 
each of the four covered petri dishes to the nearest 
0.01 gram. Place 25 ±1 ml of brake fluid in each 
dish, replace proper covers and reweigh. Deter- 
mine the weight of each brake fluid test specimen 
by the difference. Place the four dishes, each inside 
its inverted cover, in the oven at 100±2°C 
(212±3.6°F) for 46 ±2 hours. (Note: Do not 
simultaneously heat more than one fluid in the 
same oven.) Remove the dishes from the oven, 
allow to cool to 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F), and weigh. 
Return to the oven for an additional 24 ± 2 hours. If 
at the end of 72 ±4 hours the average loss by 
evaporation is less than 60 percent, discontinue the 
evaporation procedure and proceed with examina- 
tion of the residue. Otherwise, continue this pro- 
cedure either until equilibrium is reached as 
evidenced by an incremental weight loss of less 
than 0.25 gram in 24 hours on all individual dishes 
or for a maximum of 7 days. During the heating 



and weighing operation, if it is necessary to 
remove the dishes from the oven for s. period of 
longer than 1 hour, the dishes shall be stored in a 
desiccator as soon as cooled to room temperature. 
Calculate the percentage of fluid evaporated from 
each dish. Examine the residue in the dishes at the 
end of 1 hour at 23 ± 5°C (73.4 ± 9°F). Rub any sedi- 
ment with the fingertip to determine grittiness or 
abrasiveness. Combine the residues from all four 
dishes in a 4-ounce oil sample bottle and store ver- 
tically in a cold chamber at minus 5 ± 1 °C (23 ± 2°F) 
for 60± 10 minutes. Quickly remove the bottle and 
place in the horizontal position. The residue must 
flow at least 5 mm (0.2 inch) along the tube within 
5 seconds. 

S6.8.4 Calculation. The average of the percen- 
tage evaporated from all four dishes is the loss by 
evaporation. 

S6.9 Water tolerance. Evaluate the water 
tolerance characteristics of a brake fluid by run- 
ning one test specimen according to the following 
procedure. 

56.9.1 Summary of the procedure. 

[Brake fluid, except DOT 5 SBBF, is diluted with 
3.5 percent water (DOT 5 SBBF is humidified), 
then stored at minus 40°C (minus 40°F) for 120 
hours. The cold, water-wet fluid is first examined 
for clarity, stratification, and sedimentation, then 
placed in an oven at 60°C (140°F) for 24 hours. On 
removal, it is again examined for stratification, 
and the volume percent of sediment determined by 
centrifuging. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. Ef- 
fective: September 11, 1991)1 

56.9.2 Apparatus. 

(a) Centrifuge tube. See S7.5.1(a). 

(b) Centrifuge. See S7.5.1(b). 

(c) Cold chamber. See S6.7.2(b). 

(d) Oven. Gravity or forced convection oven. 

(e) Timing device. See S6.3.2(e). 

56.9.3 Procedure. 

(a) At low temperature. Humidify 100 ±1 ml of 
DOT 5 ISBBFJ brake fluid in accordance with S6.2 
eliminating determination of the ERBP. When 
testing brake fluids [except DOT 5 SBBFl, mix 
3.5 ± 0.1 ml. of distilled water with 100 ± 1 ml of the 
brake fluid; pour into a centrifuge tube. Stopper 
the tube with a clean cork and place in the cold 
chamber maintained at minus 40±2°C (minus 
40±3.6°F). After 120 ±2 hours remove the tube 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-15 



quickly wipe with clean lint-free cloth saturated 
with ethanol or acetone and examine the fluid, for 
evidence of sludging, sedimentation, crystalliza- 
tion, or stratification. Invert the tube and deter- 
mine the number of seconds required for the air 
bubble to travel to the top of the fluid. (The air bub- 
ble is considered to have reached the top of the 
fluid when the top of the bubble reaches the 2 ml 
graduation of the centrifuge tube.) If the wet fluid 
has become cloudy, warm to 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F) 
and note appearance and fluidity. 

(b) At 60°C (UO°F). Place tube and brake fluid 
from S6.9.3(a) in an oven maintained at 60±2°C 
(140 ± 2.6°F) for 24 ± 2 hours. Remove the tube and 
immediately examine the contents for evidence of 
stratification. Determine the percent sediment by 
centrifuging as described in S7.5. 

S6.10 Compatibility. The compatibility of a 
brake fluid with other brake fluids shall be 
evaluated by running one test sample according to 
the following procedure. 

56.10.1 Summary of the procedure. 

[Brake fluid is mixed with an equal volume of 
SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid, then tested in 
the same way as for water tolerance (S6.9) except 
that the bubble flow time is not measured. This test 
is an indication of the compatibility of the test fluid 
with other motor vehicle brake fluids at both high 
and low temperatures. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 
1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 

56.10.2 Apparatus and materials. 

(a) Centrifuge tube. See S7.5.1(a). 

(b) CentHfuge. See S7.5.1(b). 

(c) Cold chamber. See S6.7.2(b). 

(d) Oven. See S6.9.2(d). 

(e) SAB RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid. [As 
described in Appendix A of SAE Standard J 1703 
Nov83, Motor Vehicle Brake Fluid, November 
1983. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. Effective: 
September 11, 1991)] 

56.10.3 Procedure. 

(a) At low temperature. 

[Mix 50 ±0.5 ml of brake fluid with 50 ±0.5 ml of 
SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid. Pour this 
mixture into a centrifuge tube and stopper with a 



clean dry cork. Place tube in the cold chamber 
maintained at minus 40±2°C (minus 40±3.6°F). 
After 24 ±2 hours, remove tube, quickly wipe with 
a clean lint-free cloth saturated with ethanol 
(isopropanol when testing DOT 5 fluids) or 
acetone. Examine the test specimen for evidence 
of sludging, sedimentation, or crystallization. Test 
fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, shall be examined for 
stratification. 

(b) At 60°C (UO°F). 
Place tube and test fluid from S6. 10.3(a) for 24 ±2 
hours in an oven maintained at 60±2°C 
(140±3.6°F). Remove the tube and immediately 
examine the contents of the test mixtures, except 
DOT 5 SBBFs, for evidence of stratification. 
Determine percent sediment by centrifuging as 
described in S7.5. (56 F.R. 11107— March 15, 1991. 
Effective: September 11, 1991)1 



S6.11 Resistance to oxidation. The stability of a 
brake fluid under oxidative conditions shall be 
evaluated by running duplicate samples according 
to the following procedure. 

56.11.1 Summary of the procedure. 

[Brake fluids, except DOT 5 SBBF, are activated 
with a mixture of approximately 0.2 percent ben- 
zoyl peroxide and 5 percent water. DOT 5 SBBF is 
humidified in accordance with S6.2 eliminating 
determination of the ERBP, and then approx- 
imately 0.2 percent benzoyl peroxide is added. A 
corrosion test strip assembly consisting of cast 
iron and an aluminum strip separated by tinfoil 
squares at each end is then rested on a piece of 
SBR WC cup positioned so that the test strip is half 
immersed in the fluid and oven-aged at 70°C 
(158°F) for 168 hours. At the end of this period, the 
metal strips are examined for pitting, etching, and 
weight loss. (56 F.R. 11107- March 15, 1991. Effec- 
tive: September 11, 1991)1 

56.11.2 Equipment. 

(a) Balance. See S6.6.2(a). 

(b) Desiccators. See S6.6.2(b). 

(c) Oven. See S6.6.2(c). 

(d) Three glass test tubes approximately 22 
mm outside diameter by 175 mm in length. 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-16 



56.11.3 Reagents and materials. 

(a) Benzoyl peroxide, reagent grade, 96 percent. 
(Benzoyl peroxide that is brownish, or dusty, or 
has less than 90 percent purity, must be discarded.) 
Reagent strength may be evaluated by ASTM 

' E298-68, Standard Methods for Assay of Organic 
Peroxides. 

(b) Corrosion test strips. Two sets of cast iron 
and aluminum metal test strips as described in 
Appendix C of SAE Standard J1703b. 

(c) Tinfoil. Four unused pieces of tinfoil ap- 
proximately 12 mm (V2 inch) square and between 
0.02 and 0.06 mm (0.0008 and 0.0024 inch) in 
thickness. The foil shall be at least 99.9 percent tin 
and contain not more than 0.024 percent lead. 

(d) SBR cups. Two unused, approximately one- 
eight sections of a standard SAE SBR WC cup (as 
described in S7.6). 

(e) Machine screw and nut. Two clean oilfree, 
No. 6 or 8-32 x % or V2 inch long (or equivalent 
metric size), round or fillister head, uncoated mild 
steel machine screws, with matching plain nuts. 

56.11.4 Preparation. 

(a) Corrosion test strips. Prepare two sets of 
aluminum and cast iron tests strips according to 
S6.6.4(a) except for assembly. Weigh each strip to 
the nearest 0.1 mg and assemble a strip of each 
metal on a machine screw, separating the strips at 
each end with a piece of tinfoil. Tighten the nut 
enough to hold both pieces of foil firmly in place. 

(b) Test mixture. (Place 30 ±1 ml of the brake 
fluid under test in a 22 by 175 mm test tube. For all 
fluids except DOT 5 SBBF, add 0.060 ± .002 grams 
of benzoyl peroxide, and 1.50 ±0.05 ml of distilled 
water. For DOT 5 SBBF, use test fluid humidified 
in accordance with S6.2, and add only the benzoyl 
peroxide. Stopper the tube loosely with a clean dry 
cork, shake, and place in an oven for 2 hours at 
70±2°C (158±3.6°F). Shake every 15 minutes to 
effect solution of the peroxide, but do not wet cork. 
Remove the tube from the oven and allow to cool to 
23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F). Begin testing according to 
paragraph S6.11.5 not later than 24 hours after 
removal of tube from oven. (56 F.R. 11107— March 
15, 1991. Effective: September 11, 1991)1 

56.11.5 Procedure. Place a one-eighth SBR 
cup section in the bottom of each tube. Add 10 ml 
of prepared test mixture to each test tube. Place a 
metal-strip assembly in each, the end of the strip 
without the screw resting on the rubber, and the 



solution covering about one-half the length of the 
strips. Stopper the tubes with clean diy corks and 
store upright for 70 ±2 hours at 23±5°C 
(73.4 ±9°F). Loosen the corks and place the tubes 
for 168 ±2 hours in an oven maintained at 70±2°C 
(158±3.6°F). Afterwards remove and disassemble 
strips. Examine the strips and note any gum 
deposits. Wipe the strips with a clean cloth wet 
with ethanol (isopropanol when testing DOT 5 
fluids) and note any pitting, etching or roughening 
of surface, disregarding stain or discoloration. 
Place the strips in a desiccator over silica gel or 
other suitable desiccant, at 23 ± 5°C (73.4 ± 9°F) for 
at least 1 hour. Again weigh each strip to the 
nearest 0.1 mg. 

S6.11.6 Calculation. Determine corrosion loss 
by dividing the change in weight of each metal 
strip by the total surface area of each strip 
measured in square centimeters, to the nearest 
square centimeter. Average the results for the two 
strips of each type of metal, rounding to the 
nearest 0.05 mg per square centimeter. If only one 
of the duplicates fails for any reason, run a second 
set of duplicate samples. Both repeat samples shall 
meet all requirements of S5. 1.11. 

S6.12 Effect on SBR cups. The effects of a 
brake fluid in swelling, softening, and otherwise af- 
fecting standard SBR WC cups shall be evaluated 
by the following procedure. 

56.12.1 Summary of the procedure. Four stand- 
ard SAE SBR WC cups are measured and their 
hardnesses determined. The cups, two to a jar, are 
immersed in the test brake fluid. One jar is heated 
for 70 hours at 70°C (158°F), and the other for 70 
hours at 120°C (248°F). Afterwards, the cups are 
washed, examined for disintegration, remeasured, 
and their hardnesses redetermined. 

56.12.2 Equipment and supplies. 

(a) Ovm. See S6.6.2(c). 

(b) Glass jars and lids. Two screw-top, 
straight-sided round glass jars, each having a 
capacity of approximately 250 ml and inner dimen- 
sions of approximately 125 mm in height and 50 
mm in diameter, and a tinned steel lid (no insert or 
organic coating). 

(c) SBR cups. See S7.6. 

56.12.3 Preparation. Measure the base diam- 
eters of the SBR cups as described in S6.6.4(b), and 
the hardness of each as described in S7.4. 



(Rev. 3/1S/91) 



PART 571; S 116-17 



56.12.4 Procedure. Wash the cups in 90 percent 
ethanol (isopropanol when testing DOT 5 fluids) 
(see S7.3), for not longer than 30 seconds and 
quickly dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. Using 
forceps, place two cups into each of the two jars; 
add 75 ml of brake fluid to each jar and cap tightly. 
Place one jar in an oven held at 70°±2°C 
(158 ± 3.6°F) for 70 ± 2 hours. Place the other jar in 
an oven held at 120±2°C (248±3.6°F) for 70 ±2 
hours. Allow each jar to cool for 60 to 90 minutes at 
23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F). Remove cups, wash with 
ethanol for not longer than 30 seconds, and quickly 
dry. Examine the cups for disintegration as 
evidenced by stickiness, blisters, or sloughing. 
Measure the base diameter and hardness of each 
cup wdthin 15 minutes after removal from the 
fluid. 

56.12.5 Calculation. 

(a) Calculate the change in base diameter for 
each cup. If the two values, at each temperature, 
do not differ by more than 0.10 mm (0.004 inch) 
average them to the nearest 0.02 mm (0.001 inch). 
If the two values differ by more than 0.10 mm, 
repeat the test at the appropriate temperature and 
average the four values as the change in base 
diameter. 

(b) Calculate the change in hardness for each 
cup. The average of the two values for each pair is 
the change in hardness. 

(c) Note disintegration as evidenced by 
stickiness, blisters, or sloughing. 

S6.13 Stroking properties. Evaluate the 
lubricating properties, component compatibility, 
resistance to leakage, and related qualities of a 
brake fluid by running one sample according to the 
following procedures. 

IS6.13.1 Summary of the procedure. Brake fluid is 
stroked under controlled conditions at an elevated 
temperature in a simulated motor vehicle hydraulic 
braking system consisting of three slave wheel 
cylinders and an actuating master cylinder con- 
nected by steel tubing. Referee standard parts are 
used. All parts are carefully cleaned, examined, 
and certain measurements made immediately prior 
to assembly for test. During the test, temperature, 
rate of pressure rise, maximum pressure, and rate 
of stroking are specified and controlled. The 
system is examined periodically during stroking to 



assure that excessive leakage of fluid is not occur- 
ring. Afterwards, the system is torn down. Metal 
parts and SBR cups are examined and remeasured. 
The brake fluid and any resultant sludge and debris 
are collected, examined, and tested. 

S6.13.2 Apparatus and equipment. 

Either the drum and shoe type of stroking 
apparatus (see Figure 1 of SAE Standard J1703b) 
except using only three sets of drum and shoe 
assemblies, or the stroking fixture type apparatus 
as shown in Figure 2 of SAE J1703, November 
1983, with the components arranged as shown in 
Figure 1 of SAE J1703, November 1983. The 
following components are required. 

(a) Brake assemblies. With the drum and shoe 
apparatus: three drum and shoe assembly units 
(SAE RM-29a) consisting of three forward brake 
shoes and three reverse brake shoes with linings 
and three front wheel brake drum assemblies with 
assembly component parts. With stroking fixture 
type apparatus: three fixture units including 
appropriate adapter mounting plates to hold brake 
wheel cylinder assemblies. (51 F.R. 16699— May 6, 
1986. Effective: May 6, 1986)1 

(b) Braking -pressure actuation mechanism. An 
actuating mechanism for applying a force to the 
master cylinder pushrod without side thrust. The 
amount of force applied by the actuating 
mechanism shall be adjustable and capable of 
applying sufficient thrust to the master cylinder to 
create a pressure of at least 70 kg/sq cm (1,000 psi) 
in the simulated brake system. A hydraulic gauge 
or pressure recorder, having a range of at least 
to 70 kg/sq cm (0 to 1,000 psi), shall be installed 
between the master cylinder and the brake 
assemblies and shall be provided with a shut-off 
valve and with a bleeding valve for removing air 
from the connecting tubing. The actuating 
mechanism shall be designed to permit adjustable 
stroking rates of approximately 1,000 strokes per 
hour. Use a mechanical or electrical counter to 
record the total number of strokes. 

[(c) Heated air bath cabinet. An insulated 
cabinet or oven having sufficient capacity to house 
the three mounted brake assemblies or stroking 
fixture assemblies, master cylinder, and necessary 
connections. A thermostatically controlled heating 
system is required to maintain a temperature of 
70±5°C (158±9°F) or 120±5°C (248±9°F). 
Heaters shall be shielded to prevent direct radia- 
tion to wheel or master cylinder. (51 F.R. 
16699— May 6, 1986. Effective: May 6, 1986)1 



PART 571; S 116-18 



(d) Master cylinder (MC) assembly (SAE 
RM-15a). One cast iron housing hydraulic brake 
system cylinder having a diameter of approximately 
28 mm (1% inch) and fitted for a filler cap and 
standpipe (see S6. 13. 2(e)). The MC piston shall be 
made from SAE CA360 copperbase alloy (half 
hard). A new MC assembly is required for each 
test. 

(e) Filler cap and standpipe. MC filler cap 
provided with a glass or uncoated steel standpipe. 
Standpipe must provide adequate volume for 
thermal expansion, yet permit measurement and 
adjustment of the fluid level in the system to ± 3 ml 
Cap and standpipe may be cleaned and reused. 

[(f) Wheel cylinder (WC) assemblies (SAE 
RM-l^a). Three unused cast iron housing straight 
bore hydraulic brake WC assemblies having 
diameters of approximately 28 mm (1% inch) for 
each test. Pistons shall be made from unanodized 
SAE AA2024 aluminum alloy. (51 F.R. 16699— May 
6, 1986. Effective: May 6, 1986)1 

(g) Micrometer. Same as S6. 6.2(d). 

56.13.3 Materials. 

[(a) Standard SBR brake cups. Six standard SAE 
SBR wheel cylinder test cups, one primary test cup, 
and one secondary MC test cup, all as described in 
S7.6, for each test. (51 F.R. 16699— May 6, 1986. 
Effective: May 6, 1986)1 

(b) Steel tubing. Double wall steel tubing 
meeting SAE specification J527. A complete 
replacement of tubing is essential when visual 
inspection indicates any corrosion or deposits on 
inner surface of tubing. Tubing from master 
cylinder to one wheel cylinder shall be replaced for 
each test (minimum length 3 feet). Uniformity in 
tubing size is required between master cylinder 
and wheel cylinder. The standard master cylinder 
has two outlets for tubing, both of which must be 
used. 

56.13.4 Preparation of test apparatus. 

(a) Wheel cylinder assemblies. Use unused wheel 
cylinder assemblies. Disassemble cylinders and 
discard cups. Clean all metal parts with ethanol 
(ispropanol when testing DOT 5 fluids). Inspect 
the working surfaces of all metal parts for 
scoring, galling, or pitting and cylinder bore 
roughness, and discard all defective parts. Remove 
any stains on cylinder walls with crocus cloth and 
ethanol. If stains cannot be removed, discard the 
cylinder. Measure the internal diameter of each 



cylinder at a location approximately 19mm (0.75 
inch) from each end of the cylinder bore, taking 
measurements in line with the hydraulic inlet open- 
ing and at right angles to this centerline. Discard 
the cylinder if any of these four readings exceeds 
the maximum or minimum limits of 28.66 to 28.60 
mm (1.128 to 1.126 inches). Measure the outside 
diameter of each piston at two points approximately 
90 degrees apart. Discard any piston if either 
reading exceeds the maximum or minimum limits 
of 28.55 to 28.52 mm (1.124 to 1.123 inches). Select 
parts to insure that the clearance between each 
piston and matching cylinder is within 0.08 to 0.13 
mm (0.003 to 0.005 inch). Use unused SBR cups. 
To remove dirt and debris, rinse the cups in 90 per- 
cent ethyl alcohol for not more than 30 seconds and 
wipe dry with a clean lint-free cloth. Discard any 
cups showing defects such as cuts, molding flaws, 
or blisters. Measure the lip and base diameters of 
all cups with an optical comparator or micrometer 
to the nearest 0.02 mm (0.001 inch) along the 
centerline of the SAE and rubber-type indentifica- 
tions and at right angles to this centerline. Deter- 
mine base diameter measurements at least 0.4 mm 
(0.015 inch) above the bottom edge and parallel to 
the base of the cup. Discard any cup if the two 
measured lip or base diameters differ by more than 
0.08 mm (0.003 inch). Average the lip and base 
diameters of each cup. Determine the hardness of 
all cups according to S7.4. Dip the rubber and 
metal parts of wheel cylinders, except housing and 
rubber boots, in the fluid to be tested and install 
them in accordance with the manufacturer's in- 
structions. Manually stroke the cylinders to insure 
that they operate easily. Install cylinders in the 
simulated brake system. 

(b) Master cylinder assembly. Use an unused 
master cylinder and unused standard SBR primary 
and secondary MC cups which have been in- 
spected, measured and cleaned in the manner 
specified in S6. 13.4(a), omitting hardness of the 
secondary MC cup. However, prior to determining 
the lip and base diameters of the secondary cup, 
dip the cup in test brake fluid, assemble on the MC 
piston, and maintain the assembly in a vertical 
position at 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F) for at least 12 
hours. Inspect the relief and supply ports of the 
master cylinder; discard the cylinder if ports have 
burrs or wire edges. Measure the internal diameter 
of the cylinder at two locations (approximately 
midway between the relief and supply ports and 
approximately 19 mm (0.75 inch) beyond the relief 
port toward the bottom or discharge end of the 



(Rev. 5/6/86) 



PART 571; S 116-19 



bore), taking measurements at each location on the 
vertical and horizontal centerline of the bore. 
Discard the cylinder if any reading exceeds the 
maximum or minimum limits of 28.65 to 28.57 mm 
(1.128 to 1.125 inches). Measure the outside 
diameter of each end of the master cylinder piston 
at two points approximately 90 degrees apart. 
Discard the piston if any of these four readings ex- 
ceeds the maximum or minimum limits of 28.55 to 
28.52 mm (1.124 to 1.123 inches). Dip the rubber 
and metal parts of the master cylinder, except the 
housing and push rod-boot assembly, in the brake 
fluid and install in accordance with manufacturer's 
instructions. Manually stroke the master cylinder 
to insure that it operates easily. Install the master 
cylinder in the simulated brake system. 

[(c) Assembly and adjustment of test apparatus. 

When using a shoe and drum type apparatus, 
adjust the brake shoe toe clearances to 1.0±0.1 
mm (0.040 ± 0.004 inch). Fill the system with brake 
fluid, bleeding all wheel cylinders and the pressure 
gage to remove entrapped air. Operate the ac- 
tuator manually to apply a pressure greater than 
the required operating pressure and inspect the 
system for leaks. Adjust the actuator and /or 
pressure relief valve to obtain a pressure of 70 ± 
3.5 kg/sq cm (1,000 + 50 psi). A smooth pressure- 
stroke pattern is required when using a shoe and 
drum type apparatus. The pressure is relatively 
low during the first part of the stroke and then 
builds up smoothly to the maximum stroking 
pressure at the end of the stroke, to permit the 
primary cup to pass the compensating hole at a 
relatively low pressure. Using stroking fixtures, 
sdjust the actuator and /or pressure relief valve to 
obtain a pressure of 70 ±3.5 kg/sq cm (1,000 ±50 
psi). 

Adjust the stroking rate to 1,000 ±100 strokes 
per hour. Record the fluid level in the master 
cylinder standpipe. (51 F.R. 16699— May 6, 1986. 
Effective: May 6, 1986)1 

S6.13.5 Procedure. Operate the system for 
16,000 ±1,000 cycles at 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F). 
Repair any leakage, readjust the brake shoe 
clearances, and add fluid to the master cylinder 
standpipe to bring to the level originally recorded, 
if necessary. Start the test again and raise the 
temperature of the cabinet within 6±2 hours to 
120±5°C (248±9°F). During the test observe 
operation of wheel cylinders for improper function- 



ing and record the amount of fluid required to 
replenish any loss, at intervals of 24,000 strokes. 
Stop the test at the end of 85,000 total recorded 
strokes. These totals shall include the number of 
strokes during operation at 23±5°C (73.4 ±9°F) 
and the number of strokes required to bring the 
system to the operating temperature. Allow equip- 
ment to cool to room temperature. Examine the 
wheel cylinders for leakage. Stroke the assembly 
an additional 100 strokes, examine wheel cylinders 
for leakage and record volume loss of fluid. Within 
16 hours after stopping the test, remove the 
master and wheel cylinders from the system, re- 
taining the fluid in the cylinders by immediately 
capping or plugging the ports. Disassemble the 
cylinders, collecting the fluid from the master 
cylinder and wheel cylinders in a glass jar. When 
collecting the stroked fluid, remove all residue 
which has deposited on rubber and metal internal 
parts by rinsing and agitating such parts in the 
stroked fluid and using a soft brush to assure that 
all loose adhering sediment is collected. Clean SBR 
cups in ethanol (isopropanol when testing DOT 5 
fluids) and dry. Inspect the cups for stickiness, 
scuffing, blistering, cracking, chipping, and 
change in shape from original appearance. 
Within 1 hour after disassembly, measure the lip 
and base diameters of each cylinder cup by the pro- 
cedures specified in S6. 13.4(a) and (b) with the 
exception that lip or base diameters of cups may 
now differ by more than 0.08 mm (0.003 inch). 
Determine the hardness of each cup according to 
S7.4. Note any sludge or gel present in the test 
fluid. Within 1 hour after draining the cylinders, 
agitate the fluid in a glass jar to suspend and 
uniformly disperse sediment and transfer a 100 ml 
portion of this fluid to a centrifuge tube and deter- 
mine percent sediment as described in S7.5. Allow 
the tube and fluid to stand for 24 hours, recen- 
trifuge and record any additional sediment 
recovered. Inspect cylinder parts, note any gum- 
ming or any pitting on pistons and cylinder walls. 
Disregard staining or discoloration. Rub any 
deposits adhering to cylinder walls with a clean 
soft cloth wetted with ethanol to determine 
abrasiveness and removability. Clean cylinder 
parts in ethanol and dry. Measure and record 
diameters of pistons and cylinders according to 
S6. 13.4(a) and (b). Repeat the test if mechanical 
failure occurs that may affect the evaluation of the 
brake fluid. 



(Rev. 5/6/86) 



PART 571; S 116-20 



S6.13.6 Calculation. 

(a) Calculate the changes in diameters of 
cylinders and pistons (see S5.1.13 (b)). 

(b) Calculate the average decrease in hardness 
of the seven cups tested, as well as the individual 
values (see S5. 1.13(c)). 

(c) Calculate the increases in base diameters of 
the eight cups (see S5. 1.13(e)). 

(d) Calculate the lip diameter interference set 
for each of the eight cups by the following formula 
and average the eight values (see S5. 1.13(f)). 

D1-D2 X 100 = percentage Lip Diameter 
^i"^3 Interference Set 

Where: 

Di = Original lip diameter 

D2 = Final lip diameter 

D3 = Original cylinder bore diameter 

S6.14 Container information. Each container 
with information marked directly on the container 
surface or on a label (labels) affixed to the con- 
tainer persuant to S5.2.2.2 or S5.2.2.3 is subjected 
to the following procedure: 

(a) If the container has a label affixed to it, make 
a single vertical cut all the way through the label 
with the container in the vertical position. 

(b) Immerse the container in the same brake 
fluid or hydraulic system mineral oil contained 
therin for 15 minutes at room temperature (23 ± 
5°C; 73.4 ± 9°F). 

(c) Within 5 minutes after removing the con- 
tainer from the fluid or oil, remove excess liquid 
from the surface of the container by wiping with a 
clean dry cloth. 

S7. Auxiliary test methods and reagent standards. 

57.1 Distilled water. Non-referee reagent water 
as specified in ASTM Dl 193-70, "Standard 
Specifications for Reagent Water," or water of 
equal purity. 

57.2 Water content of motor vehicle brake fluids. 

Use analytical methods based on ASTM Dl 123-59, 
Standard Method of Test for Water in Concentrated 
Engine Antifreezes by the Iodine Reagent Method, 
for determining the water content of brake fluids, 
or other methods of analysis yielding comparable 
results. To be acceptable for use, such other 



method must measure the weight of water added 
to samples of the SAE RM-66-03 and TEGME 
Compatibility Fluids within ±5 percent of the 
water added for additions up to 0.8 percent by 
weight, and within ± 5 percent of the water added 
for additions greater than 0.8 percent by weight. 
The SAE RM-66-03 Compatibility Fluid used to 
prepare the samples must have an original ERBP 
of not less than 205°C (401 °F) when tested in 
accordance with S6.1. The SAE TEGME fluid used 
to prepare the samples must have an original 
ERBP of not less than 240°C (464°F) when tested 
in accordance with S6.1. 

57.3 Ethanol. 95 percent (190 proof) ethyl 
alcohol, US? or ACS, or Formula 3-A Specially 
Denatured Alcohol of the same concentration (as 
specified at 27 CFR § 21.35). For pre-test 
washings of equipment use approximately 90 per- 
cent ethyl alcohol, obtained by adding 5 parts of 
distilled water to 95 parts of ethanol. 

57.4 Measuring the hardness of SBR brake cups. 

Hardness measurements of SBR wheel cylinder 
cups and master cylinder primary cups shall be 
made by using the following apparatus and the 
following procedure. 

57.4.1 Apparatus. 

(a) Anvil. A rubber anvil having a flat circular 
top 20 ±1 mm (^yie + Vie inch) in diameter, a 
thickness of at least 9 mm (^/g inch) and a hardness 
within 5 IRHD,s of the SBR test cup. 

(b) Hardness tester. A hardness tester meeting 
the requirements for the standard instrument as 
described in ASTM D1415-68, Standard Method of 
Test for International Hardness of Vulcanized 
Natural and Synthetic Rubbers, and graduated 
directly in IRHD units. 

57.4.2 Procedure. Make hardness measure- 
ments at 23±2°C (73.4±3.6°F). Equilibrate the 
tester and anvils at this temperature prior to use. 
Center brake cups lip side down on an anvil of ap- 
propriate hardness. Following the manufacturer's 
operating instructions for the hardness tester, 
make one measurement at each of four points one- 
fourth inch from the center of the cup and spaced 
90 degrees apart. Average the four values, and 
round off to the nearest IRHD. 



(Rev. 3/15/91) 



PART 571; S 116-21 



S7.5 Sediment by centrifuglng. The amount of 
sediment in the test fluid shall be determined by 
the following procedure. 

S7.5.1 Apparatus. 

(a) Centrifuge tube. Cone-shaped centrifuge 
tubes conforming to the dimensions given in 
Figure 6, and made of thoroughly annealed glass. 
The graduations shall be numbered as shown in 
Figure 6, and shall be clear and distinct. Scale- 
error tolerances and smallest graduations between 
various calibrations made with air-free water at 
20°C (68°F). 



£ 
E 



n r 



f— 36.00-37.75mm 0.0. 
-I7±mm 1.0. 



■ 100 ml 



CONICAL TAPER MUST 
BE STRAIGHT 




FIG. 6 
ASTM 8-in CENTRIFUGE TUBE 

TABLE V-Calibration Tolerances 
for 8-inch Centrifuge Tube 



INSIDE SURFACE 
OF CONICAL TIP 



Above 1.0 to 2.0 


0.10 


±0.10 


Above 2.0 to 3.0 


0.20 


±0.10 


Above 3.0 to 5.0 


0.5 


±0.20 


Above 5.0 to 10.0 


1.0 


±0.50 


Above 10. to 25. 


5.0 


±1.00 


Above 25. to 100. 


25. 


±1.00 



(b) Centrifuge. A centrifuge capable of whirling 
two or more filled centrifuge tubes at a speed 
which can be controlled to give a relative cen- 
trifugal force (rcf) between 600 and 700 at the tip 
of the tubes. The revolving head, trunnion rings, 
and trunnion cups, including the rubber cushion, 
shall withstand the maximum centrifugal force 
capable of being delivered by the power source. 
The trunnion cups and cushions shall firmly sup- 
port the tubes when the. centrifuge is in motion. 
Calculate the speed of the rotating head using this 
equation: 



rpm^ 
where: 



= 265 



^- 



rcf 



rcf = relative centrifugal force, and 
d = diameter of swing, in inches, 
measured between tips of opposite 
tubes when in rotating position. 

Table VI shows the relationship between diameter, 
swing, relative centrifugal force (rcf), and revolu- 
tions per minute. 

S7.5.2 Procedure. Balance the corked centri- 
fuge tubes with their respective trunnion caps in 
pairs by eight on a scale, according to the cen- 
trifuge manufacturer's instructions, and place 
them on opposite sides of the centrifuge head. Use 
a dummy assembly when one sample is tested. 
Then whirl them for 10 minutes, at a rate sufficient 
to produce a rcf between 600 and 700 at the tips of 
the whirling tubes. Repeat until the volume of sedi- 
ment in each tube remains constant for three 
consecutive readings. 



TABLE VI 

Rotation Speeds for Centrifuges 

of Various Diameters 



Diameter of swing, 
inches^ 



Rpm at 600 rcf 



Rpm at 700 rcf 







Volume 


19 1490 


1610 


Range, ml 


Subdivision, 


Tolerance, 


20 1450 


1570 




ml 


ml 


21 1420 


1530 


to 0.1 


0.05 


±0.02 


22 1390 


1500 


Above 1 to 3 


05 


±0.03 
±0.05 






Above 0.3 to 0.5 


0.05 


» Measured in inches between tips of opposite 


tubes when in 


Above 0.5 to 1.0 


0.10 


±0.05 


rotating position. 





PART 571; S 116-22 



S7.5.3 Calculation. Read the volume of the solid 
sediment at the bottom of the centrifuge tube and 
report the percent sediment by volume. Where 
replicate determinations are specified, report the 
average value. 



NOTE: The ingredients labeled (NBS ) must have pro- 
perties identical with those supplied by the National 
Bureau of Standards 
* Philprene 1503 has been found suitable. 
*> Use only within 90 days of manufacture and 
store at temperature below 27 °C (80 °F). 



S7.6 Standard styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) 
brake cups. SBR brake cups for testing motor 
vehicle brake fluids shall be manufactured using 
the following formulation: 

Formulation of Rubber Compound 



Ingredient 


Parts by 




Weight 


SBR type 150^ 


100 


Oil furnace black (NBS 378) 


40 


Zinc oxide (NBS 370) 


5 


Sulfur (NBS 371) 


0.25 


Stearic Acid (NBS 372) 


1 


n-tertiary butyl-2-benzothiazole 




sulfanamide (NBS 384) 


1 


Symmetrical-dibetanaphthyl - p - 




phenylenediamine 


1.5 


Dicumyl peroxide (40 percent on 




precipitated CaCOst 


4.5 



Compounding, vulcanization, physical properties, 
size of the finished cups, and other details shall be 
as specified in Appendix B of SAE J1703b. The 
cups shall be used in testing brake fluids either 
within 6 months from date of manufacture when 
stored at room temperature below 30° (86°F) or 
within 36 months from date of manufacture when 
stored at temperatures below minus 15°C 
( + 5°F). After removal of cups from refrigeration 
they shall be conditioned base down on a flat 
surface for at least 12 hours at room temperature 
in order to allow cups to reach their true configura- 
tion before measurement. 

S7.7 Isopropanol. ACS or reagent grade. 



TOTAL 



153.25 



36 F.R. 11987 
June 24, 1971 



(Rev. 5/6/86) 



PART 571; S 116-23 



Efftcriv*: January 1, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreaded Pneumatic Tires — Passenger Girs 
(Docket No. 1-8) 



Proposals to amend § 571.21 of Title 49, "Fed- 
eral Motor Vehicle Safety Standards," to add a 
new standard on retreaded tires for use on pas- 
senger cars, were published October 14, 1967 (32 
F.R. 14280), and March 5, 1970 (35 F.R. 4136). 
Prior to the latter notice, on April 10, 1969, a 
technical conference was held at which a discus- 
sion paper was offered for comments. Based 
uix)n this prior rulemaking activity, and after 
considering those comments received, a new motor 
vehicle safety standard is hereby issued that re- 
quires manufacturers of retreaded tires for pas- 
senger cars to comply with specified requirements. 

The standard requires retreaded pneumatic 
tires for passenger cars to meet requirements for 
bead unseating, strength, endurance, and high 
speed performance identical to those specified for 
new pneumatic passenger car tires in Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109, and to meet 
physical dimension and labeling requirements 
similar to the requirements of Standard No. 109. 
Many comments received in response to the notice 
of proposed rulemaking raised objections to 
these requirements. One objection was that the 
requirements make the retreader responsible for 
the performance of the casing as well as for his 
own retreading process. The casing is, however, 
one of the raw materials used in the retreading 
process. As such, the responsibility for the 
soundness of the casing can lie only with the 
retreader, as it is he who will determine that the 
casing is suitable for retreading purposes. 

Some comments objected to the requirements 
because they believed them to be inappropriate 
for the retreaded tires. Their position was that 
Standard No. 109, in specifying requirements for 
new tires, took into account that new tires are 
designed to be used for more than one tread life. 



Consequently, it is argued, it is unreasonable to 
subject a retreaded tire, whose casing has al- 
ready undergone use through at least one tread 
life, to the same performance criteria as a new 
tire. The purpose of Standard No. 109, however, 
is to provide the public with passenger car tires 
that will perform safely under modem driving 
conditions. These conditions are the same 
whether a new tire or a retreaded tire is involved, 
and call for the same performance requirements, 
as far as is practicable. In agreement with this 
result is the position of certain parties who rec- 
ommended that requirements for new and re- 
treaded tires be identical. Their position was 
that retreaded tires must meet the same minimum 
performance requirements as new tires in order 
to prevent them from being considered as unsafe,' 
or as less safe, than new tires. 

Many comments particularly objected to the 
proposed requirement that retreaded tires must 
meet the same physical dimension requirements 
as new tires. It is recognized that tires may 
shrink during the retreading process. A dimen- 
sional requirement for retreaded tires is neces- 
sary, however, to ensure that retreaded tires 
labeled a certain size are within a specified maxi- 
mum tolerance of the size. Consequently, as 
there may be difficulty in requiring retreaded 
tires to meet the same physical dimension re- 
quirements as new tires, the standard as issued 
requires that the section width and the overall 
width of retreaded tires not exceed by more tlian 
10 percent the figure provided as the section 
width in Appendix A of Standard No. 109. This 
is a slight relaxation of the proposed require- 
ment, which specified a 7-percent tolerance. 

Several objections were also raised to the pro- 
posed requirements for tire casings. These pro- 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 1 



Effactiv*: January 1, 1972 



posals were that casings used in retreaded tires 
not ha\e bead wire or cord fabric exposed either 
before or during the retreading jjrocess, that they 
not have a belt or ply removed during retreading, 
and that casings contain the labels on them by 
the original tire manufacturer pursuant to Stand- 
ard No. 109. Many comments objected to the 
prohibition of retreading on casings having ex- 
posed cord fabric either before or during pro- 
cessing. The argument was presented that cord 
fabric exposed during the buffing part of the 
retreading process can be and often is repaired 
without affecting the service life or safety of the 
retreaded tire. As an alternative, some comments 
suggested that this requirement be changed to 
require that cord fabric not be "damaged." Once 
cord fabric has been eicposed, however, it is far 
more likely to have been worn, exposed to mois- 
ture, or damaged in some other way. Further- 
more, the suggested language would be nearly 
imiwssible to enforce, as any determination of 
"damage" would be largely subjective. Requir- 
ing that the fabric not be exposed, however, is a 
far less subjective test, and is consequently less 
subject to error. The proposed requirement has 
accordingly been retained. 

Objections were also raised to the requirement 
that would prohibit the removal of a belt from a 
tire casing during processing. The argument 
presented was that belt removal, and the addition 
or replacement of a belt as well, should be al- 
lowed if the finished tire can meet the specified 
requirements. The agency has concluded, how- 
ever, that belt removal, addition, and replacement 
raise questions concerning compatibility of ma- 
terials and tire performance for which no data 
is presently available. Until suoh time as infor- 
mation is available on the effects on tire perform- 
ance of belt removal, addition, or replacement, 
these practices will be prohibited in the manu- 
facture of retreaded tires. 

The proposed rule would have required re- 
treaded tires to be labeled with the same informa- 
tion required on new pneumatic tires by Standard 
No. 109. The preamble to the notice indicated 
that this provision, requiring all original labeling 
to be on the casing and to be retained through 
the retreading process, would be accompanied by 



changes in the labeling requirements of Standard 
No. 109 that would require the original label to 
be placed in an area of the new tire sidewall 
where it would not be subject to destruction 
either during use or during retreading. As this 
amendment has not been made to Standard No. 
109, the proposed labeling requirements are being 
modified. They require that each casing be one 
that has been labeled pursuant to S4.3 of Stand- 
ard No. 109, but that the completed retreaded 
tire need only retain enough of the original label 
to display each item of required information in 
at least one location. The labeling requirements 
also provide that the retreaded tire be certified 
by labeling the tire with the symbol DOT, lo- 
cated on the tire as specified in Part 674, "Tire 
Identification and Record Keeping." 

The notice of proposed rule making would 
have required retreaders to submit certain infor- 
mation to the agency, including a statement that 
records would be maintained by the retreader for 
a period of at least 3 years. These record keep- 
ing requirements involved records of materials 
used in the retreading process, records of process 
control, and records of performance tests and 
reported defects and failures. The purpose of 
these proposed requirements would have been to 
provide information to assist retreaders in ascer- 
taining which tires might be suspect in the event 
of a finding of nonconformity or a safety-related 
defect. In consideration of comments received, 
the standard as now issued does not contain 
record keeping requirements, and record keeping 
by retreaders will be on a voluntary basis, con- 
sistently with the other standards. The NHTSA 
strongly recommends, however, that retreaders 
retain information on the materials and processes 
that they use, so that in the event of a defect or 
noncompliance they will be able to determine 
which tires are involved. 

Similarly, the standard does not require re- 
treaders to maintain records of performance tests 
or of reported defects and failures. Retreaders 
should be aware, however, that they are required 
to exercise due care in manufacturing retreaded 
tires to comply with this standard, and that in- 
formation of this type is likely to be an important 
step in proving due care. 



PART 571; S 117~PRE 2 



Effactlva: January 1, 1972 

Effective date : January 1, 1972. Issued on April 14, 1971. 

In consideration of the foregoing, § 571.21 of Douglas W. Toms, 

Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, is amended ^^.^ing Administrator 
by adding a new motor vehicle safety standard, 

No. 117, "Retreaded Pneumatic Tires: Passenger 36 F.R. 7315 

Cars" as set forth below. April 17, 1971 



PART 571; S 117— PRE a-4 



Eff«<tiv*: January 1, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreaded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket No. 1-8) 



This notice is issued in response to petitions 
for reconsideration received concerning Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 117, "Retreated 
Pneumatic Tires," 49 CFR §571.21, published 
April 17, 1971 (36 F.R. 7315). 

Timely petitions were received from 8 parties; 
Bandag Incorporated, National Tire Dealers and 
Retreaders Association (by the firm of Sellers, 
Conner & Cuneo), The Mississippi Independent 
Tire Dealers Association, Alabama Tire Dealers 
and Retreaders Association, and The Louisiana 
Independent Tire Dealers Association, Owens- 
Coming Fiberglas Corp., American Retreaders 
Association, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Com- 
pany, the Rubber Manufacturers Association, 
and the B.F. Goodrich Tire Company. Certain 
other petitions were received more than thirty 
days after publication of the standard, and while 
they are petitions for rulemaking under the 
agency's procedural rules (49 CFR § 553.35) 
they have been considered in the issuance of this 
notice. 

1. Availability of casings. Paragraph S5.2.3 
of the standard requires that each retreaded tire 
be manufactured with a casing that has been 
labeled pursuant to S4.3 of Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard Xo. 109. In effect, only casings from 
tires manufactured on or after August 1, 1968, 
have been required to have this information 
permanently labeled on the tire. According to 
many i)etitions, the period between August 1, 
1968 and January 1, 1972, the standard's effective 
date, has been too short to allow the accumula- 
tion of a sufficient supply of casings that bear the 
required labeling. Many petitioners therefore 
requested that casings labeled pursuant to Stand- 
ard No. 109 not be required until 1974 or 1975. 
These requests are denied. However, in order to 
make additional casings available the standard 



has been amended to allow, between January 1, 
1972 and January 1, 1974, the use of some casings 
labeled with specific fractional markings that 
were first introduced in 1965. These casings are 
those for use on wheels having diameters of 14 
or 15 inches, marked with the size designations 
6.45, 6.85, 6.95, 7.35, 7.75, 8.15, 8.25, 8.45, 8.55, 
8.85, 8.90, 9.00, or 915, and labeled with certain 
information as a result of the "Tire Advertising 
and Labeling Guides" which were adopted by 
the Federal Trade Commission on July 5, 1966. 
In situations where these casings are used, the 
retreader is required to label them further, in a 
liermanent manner, with a maximum load rating 
and maximum permissible inflation pressure ob- 
tained from a table incorporated into the stand- 
ard. Casings that contain the specified informa- 
tion, together with the maximimi load rating and 
maximum i)ermissible inflation pressure added 
by retreaders, will be labeled with most of the 
information required on new tires by Standard 
No. 109, and in accordane with Section 201 of 
the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety 
Act (15 U.S.C. 1421). Manufacturers who use 
these older casings should be aware, however, 
that retreaded tires manufactured with them 
must meet the same perormance requirements as 
tires manufactured with casings that have been 
certified tobe in compliance with Standard No. 
109. 

2. Application of the DOT certification mark. 
Paragraph S6 of the standard requires the man- 
ufacturer to certify each retreaded tire by af- 
fixing to the tire the symbol DOT, as pro^aded 
in section 574.5 of the Tire Identification and 
Recordkeeping regulations. The Administration 
takes the position that affixing the DOT before 
the effective date of the standard is inconsistent 
with the intent of the National Traffic and Motor 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 5 



EffKtiv*: January 1, 1972 



Vehicle Safety Act, as it is only with respect to 
tires manufactured after the effective date that 
certification lias legal significance. At the same 
time, under the Act all retreaded tires manu- 
factured on or after January 1, 1972, must con- 
tain the DOT mark. Certain petitioners have in- 
dicated that it would be impossible, without a 
substantial disruption of business, for no tire to 
have a permanently affixed DOT symbol on or 
before December 31, 1971, and for all tires manu- 
factured on January 1, 1972, and thereafter to 
have such a symbol. To remedy this problem the 
standard is being amended to allow the use of 
a pai>er label containing prescribed language to 
serve as a valid certification from January 1, 
1972, through February 29, 1972. 

3. Retention of labeling. Certain petitions re- 
quested that paragraph S6.2, which requires cer- 
tain labeling on the casing to be retained, be 
amended because the labeling information some- 
times appears in an area on the tire that is sub- 
ject to buffing. Consequently, it is argued, it is 
imossible to retain the information through the 
retreading process. These requests are denied. 
The required labeling is essential to the appro- 
priate use of the tire and varies from casing to 
casing. It has been determined that the most 
satisfactory way to ensure that correct informa- 
tion of this type apjiears on the completed tire 
is for the casing manufacturer's labeling to be 
retained. Casings that cannot be retreaded with- 
out destruction of the labeling will consequently 
be unsatisfactory for use. 

4. Casing with exposed cord. Many peti- 
tioners objected to the requirements of paragraph 
S5.2.1 that prohibit the retreading of casings 
that have cord fabric exposed before or during 
processing. The argiunent preented is that sxich 
tires can be retreaded as effectively and will 
provide the same level of jierformance as tires 
manufactured from casings on which cord fabric 
is not exix)sed, as long as cords that are exjwsed 
are not damaged. These requests are denied. 

The NHTSA recognizes that under optimum 
conditions, careful buffing that barely exposes, 
but does not touch, the tire cords can i>roduce 
satisfactory results. In practice, however, tire 
buffing is often not done by precision methods or 
highly trained personnel, especially in the case 



of smaller tire retraders. Any buffing that dam- 
ages or removes part of the tire cords reduces 
the strength of the carcass at that point. Thus, 
buffing to the cord materially increases the pos- 
sibility of producing unsafe tires. 

Furthermore, exposing tire cords in the re- 
treading process can cause the retreaded tire to 
be unsafe even if the cord is not damaged. In 
the manufacture of new tires, the cords that 
eventually make up the carcass are passed 
through complex adhesive solutions of resin and 
latex, before being dried and coated with rubber. 
Exposed cords in buffed retread carcasses gen- 
erally do not receive comparable treatment to 
bond them to the overlaid rubber. Also, ex- 
posed carcass cords that are not promptly cov- 
ered can absorb moisture from the air, which 
substantially weakens them. 

Since the exposure of belts in belted tires does 
not carry with it the danger of impairment of 
carcass strength as does the exposure of ply 
cords, the standard is amended to make it clear 
that exposure of belt material during processing 
is allowed. Belt material may not, however, as 
specified in S5.2.1, be removed, added, or replaced. 
The i>etitions in this regard are denied for the 
reasons si^ecified in the preamble to the standard 
published April 17, 1971. 

J). Physical dimension tolerances. Several pe- 
titions noted that although retreaded tires may 
shrink during the retreading process, the physical 
dimension requirements of S5.1.2 allow only for 
a 10% tolerance over the maximum width to 
allow for service growth. An amendment to 
allow some shrinkage was requested. It has been 
determined that a minus 3% deviation from the 
si^cified section width is jvistified, and the stand- 
ard is amended accordingly. 

Effective date : January 1, 1972. 

In the light of the above. Federal Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Standard No. 117 in § 571.21 of Title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations, is hereby 
amended. . . . 

Issued on October 22, 1971. 

Douglas ^V. Toms 
Administrator 

36 F.R. 20877 
October 30, 1971 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 6 



EffccMva: January 1, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreaded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket 1-8: Notice 5) 



The purpose of this notice is to amend Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 117, "Retreaded 
Pneumatic Tires" to increase the number of al- 
lowable casings that may be retreaded, to allow 
ply cord to be exposed in a limited, sijecified 
manner durinp the retreading process, and to 
modify the labeling requirements. Motor Ve- 
hicle Safety Standard No. 117 was issued 
April 17, 1971 (36 F.R. 7315), and amended, in 
response to petitions for reconsideration, on 
October 30, 1971 (36 F.R. 20877). Since that 
time certain segments of the industry have re- 
quested additional changes to the standard. This 
amendment is based on those requests. 

1. One major objection that was raised con- 
cerns the prohibition against exposing cord in the 
ply area of the tire during processing. The 
issuance of April 17, 1971, prohibited any tire 
from being retreaded on which cord had been 
exposed either before or during the retreading 
process. The standard was further amended in 
the issuance of October 30, to allow belt material, 
but not ply cords, to be exposed during the re- 
treading process. 

The prohibition against retreading a casing 
that has exposed cord is based primarily on the 
fact that cord that has been exposed may have 
been damaged, thereby weakening the casing and 
increasing the chance that the completed tire will 
be unsafe. This is especiall)' true where cord is 
exposed during the life of the original tire, as 
exposure of cord in this case will generally have 
been caused by excessive wear. However, cord 
has heretofore been exposed during the buffing 
part of many retreading processes, as a method 
of determining whether a sufficient amount of 
old tread rubber has been removed before the 
application of the new tread. The NHTSA 
recognizes the importance of removing a sufficient 



amount of old tread, and that, as stated in the 
October 30 notice, "careful buffing that barely 
exposes, but does not touch, the tire cords can 
produce satisfactory results." The Administra- 
tion retained the prohibition against buffing to 
the cord, except for belt material, on the basis 
of the finding that it could result in damage to 
the cord and create unsafe tires. 

After reviewing additional information and 
arguments that have been presented by interested 
parties, the NHTSA has now determined that 
buffing to the ply cord in very limited circum- 
stances can be allowed without incurring the 
risk that cords will be damaged during buffing. 
The amendment issued herewith allows buffing 
during the retreading process only at a splice, 
that is, where two segments of the same ply over- 
lap. Exposure of cord at this point will not 
materially affect casing strength, as there still 
will be one layer of unexposed cord at the splice 
due to the ply overlap. Exposure of ply cord 
at a location other than a splice remains 
prohibited. 

2. The standard as issued April 17, 1971, al- 
lowed only casings that had been labeled pursu- 
ant to Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 109 
(49 CFR § 571.109) to be used in the manufacture 
of retreaded tires. The categories of casings that 
could be retreaded under the standard were ex- 
panded in the amendment of October 30, 1971. 
Certain other additions, namely, the inclusion 
of certain 13-inch and 15-inch tire sizes and 
series 70 tires, each of which must contain certain 
labeling, are incorporated by this amendment. 

3. In the preamble to the amendment of 
October 30, 1971, the NHTSA denied requests to 
amend the requirement that the original labeling 
on casings be retained on the completed re- 
treaded tire, and that casings without retainable 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 7 



Efftctiv*: January 1, 1972 



labeling be discarded. Tlie NHTSA's position 
was that retention of tl\e ori<:;inal labeling was 
the most satisfactory way to ensure that each 
retreaded tire would be labeled with the appro- 
priate safety information, and it was recognized 
that some casings would have to be rejected be- 
cause of this requirement. Information which 
the agency has recently received, however, in- 
dicates that this requirement may reduce the 
number of retreadable casings to a degree not 
anticipated. The shortage of casings will re- 
sult because the labeling on many casings lies in 
an area where it would be removed during the 
retreading process. Although the problem had 
been described in comments at previous stages 
of rulemaking, specific data as to the number 
of available casings was presented to the agency 
after the October 30 amendment. 

The agency has concluded after review of this 
data that to require the discarding of casings 
without retainable labeling could substantially 
impair the industry due to a shortage of casings. 
The NHTSA has accordingly decided to revoke 
these requirements of the standard and to pro- 
pose an alternate labeling scheme. A notice of 
proposed rulemaking to that effect is published 
in this issue of the Federal Register. Much of 
the difficulty experienced by retreaders in finding 
casings that bear labeling not subject to destruc- 
tion results from the fact that many new tires 
carry their required information in locations 
such that it is removed during the retreading 
process. The XHTSA is therefore issuing an 



additional notice of proposed rulemaking which 
would amend Standard No. 109 to require the 
labeling in question to be placed in an area where 
it will not be subject to destruction during the 
retreading process. 

This amendment to Standard No. 117 does not 
change the requirement that only certain casings 
containing original labeling information be used 
in the manufacture of i-etreaded tires, but 
specifies that, at present, this labeling need not 
be retained on the completed tire. 

In light of the above, section 571.117 of Title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations (Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 117) is hereby amended. . . . 

Effective date: January 1, 1972. The amend- 
ments . issued herein relieve restrictions and im- 
pose no additional burdens on any person. Ac- 
cordingly, it is found, for good cause shown, 
that an effective date less than 180 days, and less 
than 30 days, from the day of issuance is in the 
public interest. 

This notice is issued pursuant to sections 103, 
112, 113. 114, 119, and 201 of the National Traffic 
and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1392, 
1401, 1402, 1403, 1407, 1421) and the delegation 
of authority at 49 CFR 1.51. 

Issued on December 21, 1971. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

36 F.R. 24814 
December 23, 1971 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 8 



Effcctiv*: January 1, 1972 
KalitiMd: March 23, 1972 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreoded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket No. 1-8; Notice 7) 



The purpose of this notice is to reissue, with 
certain amendments, Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 117, "Retreaded Pneumatic Tires." 
Standard No. 117 was published April 17, 1971 
(36 F.R. 7315). In response to petitions for re- 
consideration, the standard was amended October 
30, 1971 (36 F.R. 20877). As a result of addi- 
tional evidence which was presented to the 
agency regarding the requirements for labeling 
of retreaded tires and other issues, the standard 
was amended again on December 23, 1971 (36 
F.R. 24814). On the same day a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking was also published proposing 
new labeling requirements (36 F.R. 24825). 
This notice is issued both in response to two 
petitions for reconsideration concerning the 
amendment of December 23, and to incorporate 
amendments based on the notice of proposed 
rulemaking of December 23. 

The issues raised by the two petitions, one 
from the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders 
Association and the other from the Rubber 
Manufacturers Association, concern the avail- 
ability of casings, casing labeling, and the physi- 
cal dimension requirements of the standard. 
Requirements for labeling retreaded tires, which 
are related to the requirements for casing label- 
ing, are dealt with below in the discussion of the 
amendments that are based on the notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking. 

Availability of Casings. The petitions re- 
quested that additional casing sizes, namely 5.20, 
6.40, 7.50, 8.00, 8.20, 8.50, 8.85, 9.50, 145, 155, 165, 
175, 185, 195, and 205 be added to the list of 
usable casings. The request that sizes 5.20, 6.40, 
7.50, 8.00, 8.20, 8.50, and 9.50 be added is denied. 
One purpose of Standard No. 117 is to limit 
usable casings to those manufactured within a 
limited period before the effective date of the 



standard. While these sizes were in fact manu- 
factured during the period 1965-1967, unlike 
sizes presently allowed they were also manufac- 
tured in large numbers well before this period. 
It has not been demonstrated that these par- 
ticular casing sizes are needed in order to ensure 
an adequate casing supply, and consequently 
they are not added to the list of usable casings. 
However, the remaining requested casing sizes, 
8.85, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, and 205 are 
permitted to be used by this amendment as it 
appears that they were not in widespread use 
before the other sizes permitted to be used under 
the standard. In addition, the NHTSA has de- 
termined that some additional sizes, mostly 
radial sizes, may also be retreaded, and the pro- 
posed Table I has been amended accordingly and 
made part of the standard. 

Casing labeling. As amended December 23, 
1971, paragraph S5.2.4 of the standard required 
retreaded tires to be manufactured using casings 
that were either labeled in accordance with S4.3 
of Standard No. 109, or until January 1, 1974, 
of certain enumerated sizes manufactured before 
the effective date of Standard 109. They were 
to be labeled with: (1) the generic name of the 
cord material used in the plies of the tire, (2) 
the actual number of plies, (3) the size of the 
tire, and (4) whether the tire is tubeless or tube 
type. The petitions have requested that casings 
not be required to contain this information. 

The reason for requiring the casing, whether 
manufactured before or after the effective date 
of Standard 109, to contain the specified infor- 
mation is to provide information that retreaders 
can retain or carry over for the purpose of label- 
ing retreaded tires. The only reliable source for 
much of this information is the casing. 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 9 



Eff«<tiv*: January 1, 1972 
ttlfiuMi: March 23, 1972 



The petitions have indicated, however, that 
not all of the information appears on many of 
the pre-Standard No. 109 casings, or appears in 
such a way that it cannot practicably be used 
for purposes of relabeling. The NHTSA has 
accordingly decided to modify the labeling re- 
quirements for pre-Standard No. 109 casings, 
and to make requirements for "DOT" casings 
consistent with them. As amended in this issu- 
ance, casings need only be labeled with (a) the 
tire's size designation, and (b) its actual number 
of plies or ply rating. Information obtained by 
NHTSA has indicated that almost all casing 
sizes allowed to be used by the standard had this 
information permanently labeled onto the tire 
sidewall. 

The standard requires the casing to contain 
its original size marking. It also requires that 
the designated size of the retreaded tire be no 
larger (although it may be smaller) than the 
size of the original casing. Size is the chief 
criterion for consumers in the purchase of tires. 
The NHTSA has concluded that retreaded tires' 
sizes must be related to original casing markings 
in order to provide assurance that the correct 
size is placed on the retreaded tire, and that 
retreaders should not be allowed to determine 
casing size or the size of retreaded tires by any 
other means. Both petitions for reconsideration 
requested that this item of information not be 
required, and in this regard they are denied. 

Casings are also required by this amendment 
to be labeled with either the tire's actual number 
of plies, or its ply rating. This modifies the 
proposed requirement that the "actual number 
of plies" appear. This information is also being 
required by today's amendment to appear on the 
retreaded tire. Ply rating is the basic criterion 
for determining the tire's maximum permissible 
inflation pressure and its maximum load. It is 
required to be on the casing because it cannot be 
determined with assurance except from the 
original tire marking. Some tires manufactured 
before the effective date of Standard No. 109 
were not labeled with the actual number of plies, 
but of those that were not, almost all contained 
the ply rating. Consequently, requiring either 
actual number of plies or ply rating to be on 
casings will not reduce significantly the number 
of otherwise retreadable casings, and insofar as 



the petitions requested complete deletion of this 
requirement, they are denied. 

The standard is amended as requested by the 
petitions to eliminate the requirement that the 
generic name of the cord material, and whether 
the tire is tubeless or tube-type, appear on the 
casing. It appears that industry practice before 
the eflFective date of Standard No. 109 varied in 
the manner that information of this type was 
labeled on new tires, and that requiring the in- 
formation to be on the casing would unnecessar- 
ily restrict the types of usable casings. 

Mention was made in the petitions of the pos- 
sibility of information appearing on new tires 
being rubbed off in service, making casing label- 
ing requirements difficult to meet. The NHTSA 
is of the opinion that, while this is a possible 
occurrence, complete obliteration of the labeling 
is unlikely. More important, however, is the 
fact that casings where the labeling does not 
appear should not, from a safety standpoint, be 
retreaded. The NHTSA has concluded that 
despite any consequent reduction in the number 
of casings, retreaders should not be left to their 
own devices in determining casing size and ply 
rating on completed tires, but that such infor- 
mation, for the safety of consumers, must be 
based on the casing's original markings. 

Physical dimension requirements. The peti- 
tions have asked that the physical dimension 
requirements be amended to allow for a 3 per- 
cent minus deviation from the minimum size 
factor specified for the tire's size designation 
and type. The standard presently allows a plus 
10 percent, and minus 3 percent deviation from 
the maximum section width only. The requests 
are based on the tendency of certain retreaded 
tires to shrink temporarily as a result of the 
retreading process. 

These icquests are denied. Data obtained 
from NHTSA tests indicate that the present 
requirements are being met, and that further 
relief is unnecessary. However, as a result of 
a comment received, paragraph S5.1.2 is being 
rewritten for purposes of clarity. 

Labeling. The notice of proposed rulemaking 
published December 23, 1971 (36 F.R. 24825), 
specified a system by which retreaded tires would 
be required to be labeled with certain safety 



PART 671; S 117— PRE 10 



EffMMva: January 1, 1973 
Rciuuad: Maich 33, 1973 



information. The use of an affixed label would 
be allowed for a li nited period following? the 
standard's effective date, but after that period 
the information would be required to be perma- 
nently molded into or onto the tire sidewall. 
The final rule issued today adopts this system, 
with certain modifications in the information to 
be provided, resulting from the amendments to 
paragraph S5.2.4. The information is the same 
for both affixed and molded labeling, and con- 
sists of (a) the tire's size designation, (b) its 
maximum permissiblei. inflation pressure, (c) its 
maximum load, (d) the actual number of plies, 
ply rating, or both, (e) the words "tubeless" or 
"tube type" as applicable, (f ) the words "bias/ 
belted" if the tire is of bias-belted construction, 
and (g) the word "radial" if the tire is of radial 
construction. 

Size, maximum load, and maximum permis- 
sible inflation pressure are required because each 
is necessary for proper selection and use of pas- 
senger car tires. While the standard requires 
the size to be based on the original casing size, 
the values for maximum load and inflation pres- 
sure may, where necessary, be based on a table 
incorporated into the standard. The values in 
the table are based on the values for the tire's 
size designation and type as they appear in 
Standard No. 109 (§ 571.109), and are determined 
according to the tire's size and ply rating, both 
of which are required to be on the casing. 

The words "bias/belted" and "radial" are re- 
quired, where appropriate, in order to identify 
tires of different types of construction. There 
is presently a large body of opinion, supported 
by NHTSA, that mixing tires of differing con- 
struction types on the same vehicle or same axle 
of a vehicle is not in the best interests of safety. 
In the case of the requirement that the words 
"bias/belted" appear, while not proposed in the 
notice of December 23, the information would 
have been available if the proposed language, 
"actual number of plies in the sidewall and the 
actual number of plies in the tread area, if dif- 
ferent," had been retained. The NHTSA does 
not believe labeling the words "bias/belted" will 
present significant problems for retreaders as 
most belted tires were manufactured after the 
effective date of Standard No. 109, and are con- 
sequently identified as such. Those that were 



not usually contained some similar identification. 
Moreover, it api^ears that after proper buffing, 
belted tires exhibit visible differences from pure 
bias construction. 

The word "radial" is also being required, de- 
spite the fact that as proposed it would not have 
been required imtil permanent markings were 
required. At the time of the proposal, however, 
NHTSA was not aware that radial tires were 
being retreaded. It appears now that they are, 
and in the interests of safety the term "radial" 
is required to be added to all retreaded radial 
tires. 

The words "tubeless" or "tube type" are also 
required to be labeled onto completed retreaded 
tires. Almost all of the comments considered 
this information to be safety related. Even 
though not required to appear on the casing, the 
information will be available to retreaders, as 
( 1 ) most tubeless casings were in fact so marked, 
and (2) a tube-type tire, in most cases, can be 
identified by the lack of inner lining that is 
present on tubeless tires. In those cases where 
identification is not possible, the casing should 
not be retreaded, as this information would like- 
wise be unknown at time of sale. 

The proposed requirement that the tire be 
labeled with the generic name of its cord ma- 
terial is not retained. The comments have 
argued, and NHTSA agrees, that in the case of 
retreaded tires this information is not substan- 
tially related to safety. This, combined with 
the fact that it appears only on certain casings, 
where it must if it is to be relabeled, has con- 
vinced the NHTSA that at present the require- 
ment should not be included in the standard. 

Many comments opposed the requirement that 
labeling be molded into or onto the tire sidewall 
until such a time as new tire labeling was re- 
quired to be placed in a position where it would 
not be buffed off during retreading, and could 
thus be retained through the retreading process. 
These comments argued that permanent labeling 
of this type proijosed was unreasonably difficult 
to apply to retreaded tires because tires that 
would require different labeling are retreaded 
in the same matrix. This would require constant, 
time consuming changing of the matrix, and a 
resultant high possibility of error. 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 11 



HhcHv*: Jonuoiy I, 1972 
IcUtuMl: March 23, 1972 



Tires, however, may be subject to many ap- 
plications during their useful life. They are 
transferred from wheel to wheel, and from 
vehicle to vehicle, and each time this takes place 
the information on the tire sidewall becomes 
important. Permanent labeling is therefore re- 
quired if the information is to perform its func- 
tion, as it can be readily assumed that affixed 
labels will last little longer than the first time 
the tire is mounted. Affixed labels, as indicated 
in the preamble to the proposed rule of December 
23, are to be permitted only because methods for 
permanent labeling are not immediately avail- 
able to retreaders, and not as a viable substitute 
for permanent labeling. The NHTSA disagrees 
with industry claims that permanent labeling 
presents unreasonable technical problems. Meth- 
ods for permanent labeling developed for com- 
pliance with the Tire Identification and Record- 
keeping Regulations (49 CFR Part 574) can be 
readily adapted to meet these requirements. In 
fact, of all the information required in today's 
amendment, only the "size" and "maximum load 
rating" will vary to a significant amount from 
casing to casing. Each of the other items of 
required information can be applied uniformly 
to large groups of casings and need not be 
changed from tire to tire if proper sorting is 
done before retreading occurs. 

In light of the above. Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 117, "Retreaded Pneumatic Tires," 



§571.117 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regula- 
tions, is revised .... 

Effective date: The standard's effective date 
of January 1, 1972, has been stayed as a result 
of court litigation, which is still pending. The 
NHTSA does not expect manufacturers to main- 
tain a state of constant preparation so as to be 
able to comply with the standard as of the time 
the stay, should the court so decide, is lifted. 
It has determined, therefore, that additional 
leadtime will be necessary. Accordingly, the 
provisions of the standard, except those regard- 
ing labeling, shall become effective 30 days from 
the day the stay is lifted. The labeling require- 
ments requiring the use of affixed labels shall 
become effective 90 days from that date, and 
those for permanent labeling, approximately one 
year from that date. Notice of exact dates will 
be published in the Federal Register at the time 
the stay is lifted. 

This notice is issued pursuant to the authority 
of sections 103, 112, 113, 114, 119 and 201 of the 
National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
(15 U.S.C. §§ 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407, 1421) ; and 
the delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.51. 

Issued on March 17, 1972. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

37 F.R. 5950 
March 23, 1972 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 12 



M*c«v«: JuiM 1, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreaded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket 1-8; Notic* 9) 



This notice revokes high speed and endurance 
requirements in Motor Vehice Safety Standard 
No. 117, "Retreaded Pneumatic Tires," in ac- 
cordance with an order of the United States 
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 
H & H Tire Company v. Volpe, No. 71-1935, 7th 
Cir., December 5, 1972. It also specifies effective 
dates for provisions of the standard subject to a 
stay that was entered by the court on December 
31, 1971, and removed by its order. 

In a notice published March 23, 1972 (37 F.R. 
9590), the NHTSA indicated that it did not be- 
lieve retreaders should be required to maintain 
a state of constant preparation, so as to be able to 
conform to the standard immediately following 
the lifting of the stay by the reviewing court. The 
NHTSA took this position although the stay 
had been imposed only 24 hours before the stand- 
ard was to become effective, and retreaders should 
have by that time taken all necessary steps to 
achieve compliance. The notice accordingly spec- 
ified that those requirements of the standard 
dealing with matters other than labeling would 
become effective approximately 30 days after the 
stay imposed by the court had been lifted. Re- 
quirements dealing with affixed labels (S6.3.1) 
were to become effective in 90 days, and require- 
ments for permanent labeling (S6.3.2) in one 
year. 

When these dates were projected, however, the 
NHTSA had assumed a decision would be ren- 
dered by the court in a short time. That assump- 
tion proved incorrect, and the NHTSA has 
determined that more leadtime than that specified 
on March 23, 1972, should be allowed. This 
leadtime will allow retreaders to use up their 
already acquired inventory of casings, and to 
obtain labels to conform to the affixed labeling 
requirements. 



This notice provides, therefore, that provisions 
of the standard except those dealing with per- 
manent labeling are effective 120 days from the 
day of publication. The permanent labeling re- 
quirements of the standard are effective one year 
from the day of publication. The NHTSA is of 
the opinion that 120 days is sufficient under the 
circumstances for retreaders to take whatever 
remaining steps are necessary to achieve con- 
formity with these requirements. 

In light of the above. Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 117, "Retreaded Pneumatic Tires", 
49 CFR 571.117, is amended. . . . 

Elective date: Jime 1, 1973, except for the 
provisions of paragraph S6.3.2, which are effec- 
tive on February 1, 1974. The requirements of 
this standard were originally issued April 17, 
1971, to become effective January 1, 1972. The 
standard in its present form was published 
March 23, 1972, but did not take effect due to a 
stay imposed on December 31, 1971. Accord- 
ingly, adequate lead time has already been pro- 
vided for any long-range steps necessary for 
compliance. The public was notified of expected 
effective dates by the notice of March 23, 1972. 

It is therefore foimd, for good cause shown, 
that an effective date less than 180 days from the 
date of publication of this notice is in the public 
interest. 

(Sec. 103, 112, 113, 114, 119, 201, Pub. L. 
89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 
1403, 1407, 1421; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.51) 

Issued on January 24, 1973. 

Douglas W. Toms 
Administrator 

38 F.R. 2982 
January 31, 1973 



PART 671; 8 117— PRE 13-14 



EffMHvai Frtruory I, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreaded Pneumatic Tires 

(Docket No. 71-23; NoHco 3) 
(Dockot No. 1-8; NoHco 10) 



This notice amends Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards Nos. 109 and 117 (49 CFR 571.109) 
to reduce the minimum size of permanent safety 
labeling to 0.078 inches. Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 109, "New Pneumatic Tires," was 
amended November 4, 1972 (37 F.R. 23536), to 
specify both a location on the tire sidewall for 
safety labeling and a labeling size of not less 
than %2 of an inch. Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 117, "Retreaded Pneumatic Tires", 
was amended March 23, 1972 (37 F.R. 9590), to 
specify permanent labeling of the same minimum 
size. 

The Michelin Tire Company has protested 
that the %2 iiic^ minimum size is inconsistent 
with the existing practice of European tire 
manufacturers of labeling tires in letters having 
a size of 0.078 inches (2mm). It has pointed 
out that as a consequence of the amendment, 
European tire manufacturers will have to in- 
crease the size of all existing labeling. The 
NHTSA has concluded that the difference be- 
tween letters 0.078 inches in size and those of 
0.093 inches is not significant, and does not jus- 
tify the resultant expense to manufacturers of 
modifying tire molds. By this notice the 
NHTSA therefore reduces the minimiiTn size to 
0.078 inches for labeling required by S4.3 of 
Standard No. 109. 



Because the permanent labeling provisions of 
Standard No. 117 are intended to be ultimately 
met with new tire labeling, the size requirements 
for permanent labeling in that standard are also 
modified. 

In light of the above, Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 109, 49 CFR 571.109, and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 117, 49 CFR 
571.117, are amended .... 

Effective dates: July 1, 1973, for the amend- 
ment to S4.3 of 49 CFR 571.109; February 1, 
1974, for the amendment to S6.3.2 of 49 CFR 
571.117. These amendments relieve an unneces- 
sary restriction without a significant effect on 
motor vehicle safety. Consequently, it is found 
for good cause that notice and public procedure 
thereon are unnecessary, and that an effective 
date less than 180 days from the day of issuance 
is in the public interest. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 113, 114, 119, 201, Pub. L. 
89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 
1403, 1407, 1421; delegations of authority at 49 
CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on March 8, 1973. 

James E. Wilson 
Acting Administrator 

38 F.R. 6999 
March 15, 1973 



PART 671; S 117— PRE 15-16 



MkHv*: Jwm 1, 1973 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retread^d Pneumatic Tires 
(Dock*! No. 1-8; NeHc* 11) 



This notice amends paragraph S65 of Standard 
No. 117, Retreaded Pneumatic Tires (49 CFR 
671.117), to allow the temporary certification 
label permitted by that paragraph to be affixed 
to the sidewall of the tire, as well as to the 
tread. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
No. 117 was published March 23, 1972 (37 F.R. 
5960) and amended January 31, 1973 (38 F.R. 
2982). Although the standard relating to the 
placement of a conformity label stated that the 
temporary label would be affixed "to the tread 
of the tire," the NHTSA did not intend to be 
restrictive of the label's location, and the limiting 
language was inadvertent. 

Eflective date : June 1, 1973. This amendment 
is corrective in nature and imposes no additional 



burden on any person. Accordingly, it is found 
that notice and public procedure thereon are un- 
necessary, and that good cause exists for an effec- 
tive date less than 180 days from the day of 
publication. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 113, 114, 119, 201, Pub. L. 
89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 
1403, 1407, 1421 ; delegation of authority at 49 
CFR 1.61) 



Issued on April 12, 1973. 



James E. Wilson 
Acting Administrator 

38 F.R. 9668 
April 19, 1973 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 17-18 



HmNv*! Jui w ory f, 1*74 
I, 1»74 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMMT TO MOTOR VEHiaE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 



PiiMimatk TirM 

(OMlMt H: 1-«; Netk* 14) 



On August 21, 1973 (38 F.R. 22493), the 
NHTSA proposed to amend 49 CFR §571.117 
(Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 117, "Re- 
treaded Pneumatic Tiree") to revise retreaded 
tire physical dimension requirements, to facili- 
tate the labeling of bias/belted tires, to specify 
acceptable methods of permanent labeling, and 
to reduce labeling size. Interested persons were 
given the opix)rtunity to submit comments by 
September 24, 1973. Only three comments were 
submitted within the comment period, none of 
which objected to the substance of the proposed 
amendments. Accordingly, the proposed revi- 
sion of paragraphs S5.1.2, S6.3.1, and S6.3.2 of 
49 CFR § 571.117 is adopted without change as 
set forth below. 

Effective date: The amendments to S5.1.2 and 
S6.3.1 are effective January 9, 1974. The amend- 



ment to S6.3.2 is effective February 1, 1974. 
These amendments facilitate compliance with 
the standard, relieve restrictions, and do not re- 
duce the level of safety established by the stand- 
ard. Accordingly, good cause exists and is 
hereby found for an effective date less than 30 
days from publication. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 113, 114, 119, 201 Pub. L. 
89-563, 80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 
1403, 1407, 1421; delegations of authority at 49 
CFR 1.51.) 



Issued on January 3, 1974. 



James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 1443 
January 9, 1974 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 19-20 



EHmHv*: hbniary 1, 1974 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreoded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket No. 1-8; Notice 15) 



This notice and an accompanying notice of 
proposed rulemaking (39 F.R. 3571) are intended 
to implement the decision of the United States 
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
in the National Tire Dealers'' and Retreaders' 
Association, Inc., v. Brinegar (Case No. 72-1753; 
decided January 8, 1974). Standard No. 117 
was published in its present form on March 23, 

1972 (37 F.R. 5950) and amended January 31, 

1973 (38 F.R. 2982), March 15, 1973 (38 F.R. 
6999), April 19, 1973 (38 F.R. 9668), May 3, 
1973 (38 F.R. 10940), and January 9, 1974 (39 
F.R. 1443). 

Standard No. 117 would have required, effec- 
tive February 1, 1974, that each retreaded tire 
be permanently labeled with each of the follow- 
ing items of information : the tire's size designa- 
tion; the tire's maximum permissible inflation 
pressure, either as it appears on the casing or as 
set forth in Table 1 of the standard; the tire's 
maximum load, either as it appears on the casing 
or as set forth in Table 1 ; the actual number of 
plies, ply rating, or both; the word "tubeless", 
if the tire is a tubeless tire, or the words "tube- 
type" if the tire is a tube- type tire; the words 
"bias-belted", or the actual number of plies in 
the sidewall and the actual number of plies in 
the tread area, if the tire is of biasA>elted con- 
struction ; and the word "radial" if the tire is of 
radial construction. The Court's opinion vacates 
those parts of the permanent labeling require- 
ments dealing with tire size, maximum inflation 
pressure, ply rating, tubeless or tube-type, and 
bias/belted and radial construction. It states 
that the standard should contain requirements 
for permanent labeling of the maximum permis- 
sible load, the actual number of plies, and the 
composition of the material used in the ply of 



the tire. This notice clarifies Standard No. 117 
to require the maximum load to be permanently 
labeled onto each retreaded tire. As that re- 
quirement remains unchanged as a result of the 
Court's ruling, its effective date of February 1, 
1974, is retained. Requirements for permanent 
labeling of the actual number of plies and the 
generic name of the cord material are not pres- 
ently contained in the standard, and are accord- 
ingly proposed in a companion notice published 
on page 3571 of this issue of the Federal Register. 

Under the language of Standard No. 117, the 
deletion of permanent labeling requirements re- 
sults in a continuation of the existing require- 
ment for affixed labeling in paragraph S6.3.1 
with respect to the items of information deleted. 
Any information required to be labeled by para- 
graph S6.3.1 that is not permanently labeled onto 
the tire sidewall, i.e., either retained from the 
casing or relabeled on to the retreaded tire, must 
be included on a label, not easily removable, 
affixed to the tire sidewall. 

In light of the above, paragraph S6.3.2 of 49 
CFR 571.117 (Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
No. 117) is revised. . . . 

Effective date: February 1, 1974. This notice 
merely restates an effective date established Jan- 
uary 31, 1973 (38 F.R. 2982), 

(Sec. 103, 112, 113, 114, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 
80 Stat. 718, 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 1403, 
1407, 1421; delegation of authority at 49 CFR 
1.51.) 

Issued on January 24, 1974. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 3553 
January 28, 1974 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 21-22 



Efftcflva: May 12, 1975 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 

Retreaded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket No. 1-8; Notice 17) 



This notice amends Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 117, Retreaded Pneumatic Tires, 
to require additional iiermanent labeling for re- 
treaded tires. A notice of proposed rulemaking 
regarding this amendment was published Jan- 
uary 28, 1974 (39 F.R. 3571). 

The permanent labeling required to be on each 
retreaded tire by this notice is the actual number 
of plies in the tire's sidewall and the actual 
number of plies in its tread area (if different), 
and the generic name of each cord material used 
in the plies (both sidewall and tread area) of 
the tire. These requirements are in addition to 
the existing requirement that each retreaded tire 
be permanently labeled with its maximum per- 
missible load. 

Under the rule as hereby amended, retreaders 
do not have to relabel the ply and cord material 
information if it is retained on the casing side- 
wall through the retreading process. If the in- 
formation is removed during processing, however, 
it must be relabeled so that it will be perma- 
nently affixed to the completed tire. If the in- 
formation does not appear on the casing before 
retreading the casing may not be retreaded un- 
less the retreader can otherwise determine the 
correct information. 

The requirements for the permanent labeling 
of these information items are based specifically 
on section 201 of the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1421). The 
NHTSA did not include them in earlier versions 
of the standard, as it had concluded that their 
relationship to safety was not sufficient to justify 
permanent relabeling. In its opinion in NTDRA 
V. Bnnegar 409 F.2d 31 (D.C. Cir., 1974), how- 
ever, the Court of Appeals stated that under the 
Safety Act the NHTSA was unauthorized to 



reach this conclusion, since Congress had deter- 
mined that permanent labeling requirements for 
actual number of plies and cord material must 
be included in the standard. The proposal of 
January 28, 1974, was issued as a direct result 
of that opinion. 

Many industry comments suggested that the 
NHTSA implement this aspect of the opinion 
by requiring the information to appear on com- 
pleted retreaded tires only when the information 
was retained through the retreading process. In 
cases where the information could not be re- 
tained, one comment, from the National Tire 
Dealers and Retreader's Association (NTDRA), 
suggested the use of affixed paper or plastic 
labels to supply the information, so it could be 
available to the purchaser at the time of pur- 
chase. Most of the comments, however, sug- 
gested that when the information could not be 
retained, no requirement should be imjwsed. 
These comments argued that for the agency to 
require otherwise would present substantial bur- 
dens on retreaders because of the difficulties in 
labeling all of the possible combinations of ply 
and cord material. The industry comments fur- 
ther pointed out that the permanent labeling 
problem will eventually disappear because of the 
amendment to Standard No. 109, which requires 
all tires manufactured after July 1, 1973, to con- 
tain required labeling between the tire's maxi- 
mum section width and bead. This labeling can 
be retained through the retreading process. 

After careful consideration of the issues pre- 
sented, the NHTSA has determined that it must 
issue the requirements in the form described. 
The agency is not unmindful that this will pre- 
vent the retreading of some casings otherwise 
usable, and will require relabeling of the infor- 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 23 



Efhcliv*: May 12, 1975 



mation on others. The NHTSA believes that to 
issue the requirements in the form suggested by 
the industry comments would not be consistent 
with the requirements of Section 201 of the 
Safety Act as interpreted by the Court of Ap- 
peals in NTDRA v. Brinegar. To follow the 
industry suggestions would leave some tires 
without the information iiermanently labeled. 
It is impossible to reconcile this result with the 
statutory requirement as interpreted by the 
Court. Nor can the agency, in conformity with 
the statute, establish an effective date so far in 
the future as to provide sufficient time for tires 
not containing necessary labeling to enter the 
retreading i)rocess. 

Based on its review of the record, the NHTSA 
does not find the requirement unreasonable or 
impracticable. Since the opinion in NTDRA v. 
Bi'inegar, methods have been de\eloi)ed whicli 
allow for the jjermanent labeling or relabeling 
of retreaded tires using a rubber medallion 
which is cured to the sidewall of the tire when 
the tire is in the mold. The comments indicate 
that this method is presently being used to 
permanently label not only a tire's maximum 
permissible load, as required, but its size, ply 
rating, and whether it is tubeless or tube tyi^e 
as well. The technology for this labeling ap- 
proach has been fully documented in retreading 
journals, and in communications to the docket. 
The NHTSA has furnished opinions stating 
that the use of the medallion conforms to the 
standard's [permanent labeling requirements. 
The docket contains clear information regarding 
the cost of medallion labeling. Each label costs 
the retreader some 2.5 cents, and the record 
demonstrates that the cost of both label and 
application should not exceed 10 cents i^er tire. 
This differs from representations previously 
made regarding permanent labeling costs, which 
had been represented at $2.50 per tire. 

An additional problem raised in the comments 
is that adding the two information items greatly 
increases the labeling burden due to the nimiber 
of possible combinations of information. The 
NHTSA does not believe the record supports 
this contention. According to NHTSA esti- 
mates, the variations in ply and cord material 
are relatively few in bias and bias-belted con- 



structions, with only six possible combinations 
of ply and cord material in the case of bias tires 
and ten possible combinations in bias-belted con- 
struction. Together, these constructions would 
necessitate a maximum of 16 labels. ^Vhile 
NHTSA estimates show a greater number of 
[xtssible combinations in the case of radial tires, 
the record in this rulemaking suggests that few 
radial tires are as yet being retreaded. It ap- 
l)ears most radials used for retreading will have 
been manufactured after July 1, 1973, and will 
have casings on which no relabeling would be 
needed. 

Furthermore, one comment, which claimed an 
increase from 67 to 2,000 ix)ssible labels, pre- 
sumed that all of tlie information (size, ply rat- 
ing, maximum iiermissible inflation pressures, 
tubeless or tube type, as well as maxiuumi per- 
missible load, number of plies, and generic name 
of the cord materials) is placed on one label. 
However, there is nothing to prohibit the use of 
an additional label for both ply and cord ma- 
terial information, or even an additional label 
for each. Finally, relabeling is necessary only 
when the specified information is not retained 
through the retreading process. Estimates fur- 
nished by the industry and placed in the docket 
show that the information added by this amend- 
ment is not in a retainable iwsition in only 1 out 
of 10 tires otherwise suitable for retreading. 
The requirement would presently affect a maxi- 
mum of 10% of retreaded tires, and by the time 
of its effective date that percentage should de- 
crease. 

Prior to this amendment. Standard No. 117 
required that on or after August 1, 1974, the 
only casings that could be used for retreading 
would be those that bore, originally molded into 
or onto their sidewalls, the symbol DOT, the tire 
size, and the actual number of plies or ply rat- 
ing. The notice of proposed rulemaking of 
January 28, 1974, proposed to delete the ply- 
rating alternative, making it necessary to use 
only casings that show the actual number of 
plies. It also proposed to add a requirement 
that the casings to be used would be only those 
that had originally been labeled with the generic 
names of their cord materials. These casing re- 
quirements were proposed on the assumption 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 24 



Efhctlva: May 12, 1975 



that the casing should already contain this in- 
formation if it is to appear on the completed 
retreaded tire. 

Several comments objected to these proposed 
requirements on the basis that they would cause 
a reduction in the number of retreadable casings 
in certain older and hard-to-find sizes. The 
NHTSA finds merit in these arguments, and the 
proposed requirements, that casings used for re- 
treading must be only those that are originally 
labeled with their actual number of plies and 
their cord materials, are not adopted. Retreaded 
tires as they are finally produced must contain 
this information. But unlike "size" and "ply 
rating," which are crucial for safety and should 
only be based on original casing labeling, the 
NHTSA has decided that retreaders should be 
free to otherwise obtain information on the num- 
ber of plies and cord materials and then place it 
permanently on the tire. 

One objection raised in the comments with 
respect to the requirement that all casings bear 
the symbol DOT erroneously assumed that these 
requirements are part of the proposal. The re- 
quirement that on or after August 1, 1974, only 
DOT casings be retreaded was issued March 23, 
1972 (37 F.R. 5950), because of the agency's 
concern over the continued use of older casings 



which were not manufactured to meet Standard 
No. 109. It was based on industry comments 
that a 6-year supply of casings was required to 
meet industry needs. August 1, 1974, is 6 years 
from the date that all new tires were required 
to be labeled with the specified safety informa- 
tion which is the source of both affixed and 
permanent labeling under this standard. 

The existing casing requirements therefore re- 
main unchanged: tlie only casings that may be 
used for retreading are those that bear original 
permanent labeling of the DOT symbol, size, 
and the actual number of plies or ply rating. 

In light of the above, section 571.117 of Title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations (Motor Vehicle 
Safety Standard No. 117), is amended .... 

Eifective date : May 12, 1975. 

(Sees. 103, 112, 113, 114, 119, 201; Pub. L. 
89-563; 80 Stat. 718 (15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1402, 
1403, 1407, 1421 ) ; delegation of authority at 
49 CFR 1.51.) 

Issued on November 6, 1974. 

James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

39 F.R. 39882 
November 12, 1974 



PART 571; S 117— PRE 25-26 



MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 117 



Retreaded Pneumatic Tires 
(Docket No. 1-8; Notice 7) 



51. Scope. This standard specifies perform- 
ance, labeling, and certification requirements for 
retreaded pneumatic passenger car tires. 

52. Purpose. The purpose of this standard is 
to require retreaded pneumatic passenger car 
tires to meet safety criteria similar to those for 
new pneumatic passenger car tires. 

53. Application. This standard applies to re- 
treaded pneumatic tires for use on passenger 
cars" manufactured after 1948. 

54. Definitions. 

54.1 "Casing" means a used tire to which ad- 
ditional tread may be attached for the purpose 
of retreading. 

"Retreaded" means manufactured by a process 
in which a tread is attached to a casing. 

54.2 All terms defined in $ 571.109 and 
$ 571.110 are used as defined therein. 

55. Requirements. 
S5.1 Retreaded tires. 

55.1.1 Except as specified in S5.1.3, each re- 
treaded tire, when mounted on a test rim of the 
width specified for the tire's size designation in 
Appendix A of S 571.109, shall comply with the 
following requirements of $ 571.109: 

(a) S4.1 (Size and construction). 

(b) S4.2.1 (General). 

(c) S4.2.2.3 (Tubeless tire resistance to bead 
unseating). 

(d) S4.2.2.4 (Tire strength). 

55.1.2 Except as specified in S5.1.3, each re- 
treaded tire, when mounted on a test rim of the 
width specified for the tire's size designation in 
Appendix A of $ 571.109, shall comply with the 



requirements of S4.2.2.2 of § 571.109, except that 
the tire's section width shall not be more than 
110 percent of the section width specified, and 
the tire's size factor shall be at least 97 percent 
of the size factor specified, in Appendix A of 
S 571.109 for the tire's size designation. 

55.1.3 Each retreaded tire shall be capable of 
meeting the requirements of S5.1.1 and S5.1.2 
when mounted on any rim in accordance with 
those sections. 

55.1.4 No retreaded tire shall have a size des- 
ignation, recommended maximum load rating, 
or maximum permissible inflation pressure that 
is greater than that originally specified on the 
casing pursuant to S4.3 of S 5'71.109, or specified 
for the casing in Table I. 

S5.2 Casings. 

55.2.1 No retreaded tire shall be manufactured 
with a casing— 

(a) On which bead wire or cord fabric is 
exposed before processing. 

(b) On which any cord fabric is exposed dur- 
ing processing, except that cord fabric that is 
located at a splice, i.e., where two or more seg- 
ments of the same ply overlap, or cord fabric 
that is part of the belt material, may be exposed 
but shall not be penetrated or removed to any 
extent whatsoever. 

55.2.2 No retreaded tire shall be manufactured 
with a casing— 

(a) From which a belt or ply, or part thereof, 
is removed during processing; or 

(b) On which a belt or ply, or part thereof, 
is added or replaced during processing. 



PART 571; S 117-1 



S5.2.3 Each retreaded tire shall be manufac- 
tured with a casing that bears, permanently 
molded at the time of its original manufacture 
into or onto the tire sidewaU, each of the fol- 
lowing: 

(a) The symbol DOT; 

(b) The size of the tire; and 

(c) The actual number of plies or ply rating 
SS2A [Reserved] 

S6. Certification and labeling. 

56.1 Except as specified in S6.2, each manu- 
facturer of a retreaded tire shall certify that his 
product complies with this standard, pursuant 
to section 114 of the National Traffic and Motor 
Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, by labeling the tire 
with the symbol DOT in the location specified 
in $ 574.5 of this chapter. 

56.2 From June 1, 1973 to July 31, 1973, a 
manufacturer may certify compliance by affixing 
to the tread or sidewall of the tire, in such a man- 
ner that it is not easily removable, a label that 
states in letters not less than three thirty-seconds 
of an inch high: 

This retreaded tire was manufactured after 
June 1, 1973 and conforms to all applicable 
Federal motor vehicle safety standards. 

56.3 Labeling. 

S6.3.1 Each retreaded pneumatic tire manu- 
factured on or after June 1, 1973, shall be labeled, 
in at least one location on the tire sidewall in 
letters and numerals not less than 0.078 inches 
high, with the following information: 

(a) The tire's size designation; 

(b) The tire's maximum permissible inflation 
pressure, either as it appears on the casing or as 
set forth in Table I; 



(c) The tire's maximum load, either as it ap- 
pears on the casing or as set forth in Table I; 

(d) The actual number of plies, ply rating, 
or both; 

(e) The word "tubeless" if the tire is a tube- 
less tire, or the words "tube type" if the tire is 
a tube- type tire; 

(f) If the tire is of bias/belted construction, 
the words "bias/belted", or the actual number of 
plies in the sidewall and the actual number of 
plies in the tread area. 

(g) The word "radial" if the tire is of radial 
construction. 

The information shall either be retained from 
the casing used in the manufacture of the tire, 
or may be labeled into or onto the tire during 
the retreading process, either permanently 
(through molding, branding, or other method 
that will produce a permanent label) or by the 
addition of a label that is not easily removable. 

S6.3.2 Each retreaded tire manufactured on 
or after May 12, 1975, shall bear permanent 
labeling (through molding, branding, or other 
method that will produce a permanent label, or 
through the retention of original casing label- 
ing) in at least one location on the tire sidewall, 
in letters and numbers not less than 0.078 inches 
high, consisting of the following information: 

(a) The tire's maximum permissible load, 

(b) The actual number of plies in the tire 
sidewall, and the actual number of plies in the 
tire tread area, if different; and 

(c) The generic name of each cord material 
used in the plies (both sidewall and tread area) 
of the tire. 



PART 571; S 117-2 



Table I-PLIES 





2 Ply-4 Ply (4 Ply Rating) 


4 Ply (6 Ply Rating) 


4 Ply (8 Ply Rating) 


Tire Size 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 




Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


6.00-13 


__ 1010 


32 


1080 


36 


1140 


40 


6.50-13 


_ 1150 


32 


1230 


36 


1300 


40 


7.00-13 


_ 1270 


32 


1360 


36 


1440 


40 


6.45-14 


1120 


32 
32 


1200 
1310 


36 
36 


1270 
1390 


40 


6.95-14 


_ 1230 


40 


7.35-14 


__ 1360 


32 


1450 


36 


1540 


40 


7.75-14 


_ 1500 


32 


1600 


36 


1690 


40 


8.25-14 


1620 


32 


1730 


36 


1830 


40 


8.55-14 


1770 


32 


1890 


36 


2000 


40 


8.85-14 


_ 1860 


32 


1990 


36 


2100 


40 


5.60-15 


970 


32 


1040 


36 


1105 


40 


5.90-15 


1060 


32 
32 


1130 
1320 


36 
36 


1200 
1390 


40 


6.85-15 


1230 


40 


7.35-15 


1390 


32 
32 
32 


1480 
1590 
1720 


36 
36 
36 


1570 
1690 
1820 


40 


7.75-15 


1490 


40 


8.85-15 


_ 1610 


40 


8.25-15 


1620 


32 
32 
32 


1730 
1860 
1890 


36 
36 
36 


1830 
1970 
2000 


40 


8.45-15 


1740 


40 


8.55-15 


1770 


40 


8.85-15 


_ 1860 


32 


1980 


36 


2100 


40 


9.00-15 


1900 


32 
32 
32 


2030 
2100 
2360 


36 
36 
36 


2150 
2230 
2500 


40 


9.15-15 


1970 


40 


8.90-15 


2210 


40 









PART 571; S 117-3 



Table I-PLIES-Continued 





2 Ply-4 Ply (4 Ply Rating) 


4 Ply (6 Ply Rating) 


4 Ply (8 Ply Rating) 


Tire Size 




Mudmum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 




Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


J/mH 


Inflation 
Pressure 


Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


A70-13 


_ 1060 


32 


1130 


36 


1200 


40 


D70-13 


_ 1320 


32 


1410 


36 


1490 


40 


1)70-14 


_ 1320 


32 


1410 


36 


1490 


40 


E70-14 


_ 1400 


32 


1490 


36 


1680 


40 


F70-14 


_ 1500 


32 


1610 


36 


1700 


40 


070-14 


_ 1620 


32 


1730 


36 


1830 


40 


H70-14 


1770 


32 
32 


1890 
1980 


36 
36 


2010 
2100 


40 


J70-14 


_ 1860 


40 


L70-14 


_ 1970 


32 


2100 


36 


2230 


40 


C70-15 


_ 1230 


32 


1320 


36 


1390 


40 


D70-15 


_ 1320 


32 


1410 


36 


1490 


40 


E70-15 


_ 1400 


32 


1490 


36 


1580 


40 


F70-15 


_ 1500 


32 


1610 


36 


1700 


40 


G70-15 


_ 1620 


32 


1730 


36 


1830 


40 


H70-15 


_ 1770 


32 


1890 


36 


2010 


40 


J70-15 


_ 1860 


32 


1980 


36 


2100 


40 


K70-15 


_ 1900 


32 


2030 


36 


2150 


40 


L70-15 


_ 1970 


32 


2100 


36 


2230 


40 



PART 571; S 117-4 



Table I— PLIES— Continued 





2 Ply-4 Ply (4 Ply Rating) 


4 Ply (6 Ply Rating) 


4 Ply (8 Ply Rating) 


Tire Size 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 


Maximum 




Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


Load 


Inflation 
Pressure 


165-13 


1050 


32 
32 


1130 

1240 


36 

36 


1200 
1350 


40 


175-13 


_ 1150 


40 


185-13 


_ 1270 


32 


1390 


36 


1510 


40 


155R13 


950 


32 


1015 


36 


1075 


40 


155R14 


_ 1010 


32 


1080 


36 


1140 


40 


155R15 


_ 1015 


32 


1085 


36 


1150 


40 


165R13 


_ 1010 


32 


1080 


36 


1140 


40 


165R14 


_ 1120 


32 


1200 


36 


1270 


40 


165R15 


_ 1130 


32 


1200 


36 


1270 


40 


175R14 


_ 1230 


32 


1310 


36 


1390 


40 


185R14 


_ 1360 


32 


1450 


36 


1540 


40 


185/70R13 „ 


1090 


32 


1140 


36 


1190 


40 


145-1 4* 


_ 865 


32 


905 


36 


935 


40 


145-15 


_ 895 


32 


940 


36 


975 


40 


195-15 


_ 1550 


32 


1680 


36 


1820 


40 


205-15 


1700 


32 


1840 


36 


2000 


40 



• Dash Radial-Not an "R" Radial 



36 F.R. 7315 
April 17, 1971 



PART 571; S 117-5 



EfNcNv*: February I, 1971 



PREAMBLE TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 118 

Power-Operated Window Systems for Passenger Cars and Multipurpose Passenger Vehicles 

(Docket No. 69-1 la) 



In May 1968 the Director of the National 
Highway Safety Bureau issued a public advis- 
ory, stating that numerous cases of injury and 
death from accidental operation of power win- 
dows had been reported to the Bureau. He 
warned that many of those injuries and deaths 
had occurred because power windows could be 
closed when the ignition switch was off. In the 
advisory, the Director cautioned owners of ve- 
hicles with power-operated windows to have the 
wiring adjusted to prevent closure of the win- 
dows when the ignition switch is off. 

It has been determined that the interests of 
motor vehicle safety require the imposition of a 
safety standard which will reduce, if not elimi- 
nate, the toll of deaths and injuries resulting 
from accidents involving power-operated win- 
dows. 

A notice of proposed rule making relating to 
power-operated window systems in passenger 
cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles was 
published in the Federal Register on August 23, 
1969 (34 F.R. 13608). Comments were requested 
concerning two objectives of the proposal : ( 1 ) 
To minimize the likelihood of personal injury 
or death occurring when a person is caught be- 
tween a closing window and the frame, channel 
or seal, and (2) to insure that vehicle occupants 
can make emergency exits from vehicles equipped 
with power-operated windows in the event of a 
severe accident. 

The comments received have been given careful 
consideration in the formulation of the safety 
standard issued today. To achieve the first major 
objective it was proposed that a power-operated 
window, once opened, not close when the igni- 
tion key of the vehicle is not in the "on" or 
"Start" position. This proposal would have pro- 



hibited operation of windows when the key was 
in the "accessory" position, a position pro\aded 
to avoid battery discharge and possible damage 
to the electrical system. The proposal would 
also have prohibited activation of power tailgate 
windows from the exterior of the vehicle. Sev- 
eral commenters objected that the proposal would 
in these respects prohibit widely accepted con- 
venience features without corresponding safety 
benefits. These comments have been determined 
to have merit, and the standard as presently 
issued has been modified to require that a power- 
operated window system not be operative, except 
by muscular force or by operating an outside 
lock, when the key is removed from the ignition 
lock or is in an off position. This permits opera- 
tion of windows with the key in the "accessory" 
position, as well as by a key-locking system on 
the exterior of the vehicle. 

To achieve the second objective, it was pro- 
lX)sed that a control be required that would open 
power-operated windows from inside the pas- 
senger compartment of the vehicle, regardless of 
the key position. Allowance of such a control, 
however, might tend to defeat the first major 
objective, and also make it easier for thieves to 
enter a locked vehicle. Further, an accident se- 
vere enough to jam a vehicle door very likely 
would be severe enough to jam the window in 
its channel or to interfere with the power source 
for emergency operation of the window. For 
these reasons this proposal has not been adopted 
in Standard No. 118. The standard does, how- 
ever, permit installation of master control 
switches for overriding control of power-operated 
windows when the ignition key is in a position 
other than off. 



PART 571; S 118— PRE 1 



EffMNv*: Fabnrary 1, 1971 

Comments indicated an assumption that power- 
operated interior partitions were covered, as they 
were intended to be, though not specifically men- 
tioned in the preamble of the proposal. To 
insure that there is no ambiguity on the point, 
Standard No. 118 includes partitions in the re- 
quirements. 

The subject matter covered by this rulemaking 
action is being adopted at this time because it 
has been determined that it is feasible and that 
it can be implemented at an early date. The 
notice of proposed rule making upon which this 
rulemaking action is based was issued in con- 
junction with an advance notice of proposed rule 
making (34 F.R. 13609, Aug. 23, 1969) on power- 
operated window systems that dealt with the 
subject of mechanisms that would interrupt, stop, 
or reverse the direction of the window when a 
predetermined force is exerted on an object be- 
tween the glazing and the frame, channel, or 



seal upon which it closes, and other fail-safe 
considerations. The advance notice involved 
engineering and economic problems of a substan- 
tial magnitude. Those problems and their solu- 
tions are undergoing further study and will be 
given consideration for rulemaking based on the 
results thereof. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 
571.21, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, 
is amended by adding Standard No. 118, Power- 
Operated Window Systems .... 

Effective date : February 1, 1971. 

Issued on July 17, 1970. 

Douglas W. T(Mns, 

Director, 

National Hi^-'hway Safety Bureau 

35 F.R. 11797 
July 23, 1970 



PART 571; S 118— PRE 2 



EffMtiva: July 29, 1975 



PREAMBLE TO AMENDMENT TO MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 118 

Power-Operated Window Systems 
(Docket No. 74-1; Notice 3) 



The purpose of this notice is to amend Stand- 
ard No. 118, Power-Operated Window Systems, 
49 CFR 571.118, to permit the operation of 
power windows under certain conditions when 
the ignition is not in the "on" position. 

On September 23, 1974, the agency published 
a notice (39 F.R. 34062) proposing to allow the 
operation of power windows, when the key that 
controls the vehicle's engine is in the off position 
or is removed from the lock, only in circum- 
stances where (1) only muscular force is used, 
or (2) a key-locking system on the vehicle's ex- 
terior is activated, or (3) a door that has no 
frame meeting the upper edge of the closed 
window is opened a specified amount and a 
switch separate from the normal power window 
switch is activated. 

Nine comments were submitted to the docket, 
all of which approved of the basic proposal to 
allow operation of the power windows when the 
vehicle engine is not running. General Motors, 
who suggested the proposal as it was published, 
supported its adoption. However, most of the 
commenters objected to the proposed provision 
that a separate switch be required to operate a 
window when the door is open to a degree suf- 
ficient to permit a ball the size of a child's head 
to pass between the top edge of the fully closed 
window and the vehicle's roof rail. The objec- 
tion was based on a contention that the separate 
switch provision was design restrictive and not 
necessary from a safety standpoint. According 
to the comments, required use of a separate 
switch for activation of the windows when the 
doors are opened would not assure a higher level 
of safety than use of the normal power activa- 
tion switch. 



The NHTSA finds merit in commenters argu- 
ments. It is the considered opinion of the agency 
that the absence of a separate switch requirement 
will have no effect on the safety of the power- 
operat«d window system since no switch would 
be capable of activation unless the vehicle's door 
were opened to the specified distance. For this 
reason the proposed separate switch requirement 
is deleted. Manufacturers will thus be free to 
install whatever type of activation system they 
wish, as long as the criteria of S3(c) are satis- 
fied. 

In addition, the description of the locations 
between which the test ball must fit appears to 
need clarification. It is the agency's intention 
that the ball be capable of passing between the 
upper rear comer of the fully closed window 
and the vehicle's roof rail. Therefore, the term 
"trailing edge" in S3(c) is changed to "upper 
rear comer." 

In consideration of the foregoing, S3, of 
Standard No. 118, Power-Operated Window 
Systems (49 CFR 571.118) is amended. . . . 

Elective date: Because this amendment re- 
lieves a restriction and imposes no additional 
burden on any person, it is found for good cause 
shown that an immediate effective date is in the 
public interest. 

(Sees. 103, 119, Pub. L. 89-563, 80 Stat. 718 
(15 U.S.C. 1392, 1407); delegation of authority 
at 49 CFR 1.51.) 



Issued: July 23, 1975. 



James B. Gregory 
Administrator 

40 F.R. 31773 
July 29, 1975 



PART 571; S 118— PRE 3-4 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 118 

Power-Operated Window Systems 
[Docket No. 82-07; Notice 2] 



ACTION: Final Rule. 

SUMiy/IARY: This notice amends Federal Motor 

Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 118, Power- 
Operated Window Systems, to permit the operation 
of a vehicle's power windows and partitions dur- 
ing the interval between the shutting off of the 
engine and the opening of a front door on the ve- 
hicle. This amendment, which was proposed in 
response to a petition from General Motors Cor- 
poration (GM), would permit the manufacturers to 
offer power window systems which are more con- 
venient than current systems. The agency believes 
the amendment would increase design flexibility 
without adversely affecting safety. 

DATES: This amendment is effective on May 5, 
1983. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1970, 
NHTSA issued FMVSS 118 in response to 
numerous cases of injury and death resulting from 
accidental operation of power windows. The stan- 
dard sought to address the main so\u"ce of these ac- 
cidents, the unsupervised use of power windows by 
children, which could result in the child being 
caught between the closing window or partition 
and the window or partition frame. 

The standard provides that power-operated win- 
dow and partition systems may be operable only 
in certain specified circumstances. First, operation 
is permitted when the vehicle's ignition switch is 
in the "ON," "START," or "ACCESSORY" posi- 
tion. The rationale for permitting operation in that 
situation is that the driver would presumably still 
be in the vehicle to supervise the operation of the 
windows by any children who are passengers. Sec- 



ond, the standard permits operation of the systems 
by "muscular force." Third, the systems may also 
be operated by a key -locking system on the exterior 
of the vehicle. Here again, the driver would 
presumably be able to observe the window or par- 
tition being closed to assure that the closing track 
is clear. Fourth, the standard permitted operation 
of the systems when the key is in the "off' posi- 
tion or removed from the vehicle and the door is 
opened a specified amount. This provision, which 
applies only to vehicles having doors with no frame 
meeting the upper edge of the closed window, was 
added to the standard in 1975 in response to a peti- 
tion from GM. However, neither GM nor any other 
manufacturer ever produced the system which this 
provision was intended to permit, and it appears 
that no manufacturer plans to offer such a system 
in the future. 

On April 1, 1982, in 47 FR 13845, the agency pro- 
posed to permit operation of power windows and 
partitions in a fifth circumstance, in response to 
another petition from GM. Under this proposal, 
these systems would be operable during the inter- 
val between the time the vehicle's ignition key is 
shut off to the time one of the vehicle's doors is 
opened. This provision would permit windows to 
be operable in situations such as refueling stops 
at service stations, an added convenience for the 
driver. However, it would also assure, except in 
rare circumstances that the driver is still in the 
vehicle and able to supervise the operation of the 
windows. The provision was proposed as a method 
of increasing driver convenience and was antici- 
pated to have no impact on safety. 

The agency received 28 comments on the pro- 
posal. Comments from the vehicle manufacturers 
favored the proposal, with some having proposals 



PART 571; S118-PRE 5 



for slight refinements of the proposed regulatory 
language. Comments were also received from a 
number of individuals, most of whom opposed the 
amendment. After careful consideration of these 
comments, the agency has determined to prom- 
ulgate the proposed amendment. 

The individuals who opposed the proposed 
amendment generally argued that the change 
would permit the operation of power windows by 
unsupervised children and therefore would be a 
detriment to safety. Based on the agency's review 
of the comments and conversations with several of 
these individuals, it appears that they were 
unaware that the window systems would cease be- 
ing operational as soon as the engine is shut off and 
a door is opened and would remain nonoperational 
even if the door were again closed. Thus, the pro- 
posal would tend to assure that the driver is in the 
car when the windows can move. Once this aspect 
of the proposal was explained to the individuals, 
they no longer opposed the amendment. 

While there is a possibility under the new option 
for power windows to be operational without the 
driver being present in the vehicle, that possibility 
could arise only in rare circumstances. Further, 
similar possibilities exist under one of the existing 
options. For example, under the new option, a 
driver could get out of a vehicle, leaving the engine 
running and close the door. The windows would 
still be operational. Then, if the driver's window 
were open so that he or she could reach through 
the open window instead of opening the door to 
shut the engine off, the windows would continue 
to be operational. Similarly, under one of the cur- 
rent options, power windows would be operable in 
the same circumstances, at least until the driver 
reached into the vehicle and shut of the engine. The 
agency believes that these circumstances would 
rarely occur and would be even less likely to occur 
when children were in the car. Accordingly, the 
agency believes that this potential detriment 
would, if it occurs at all, be very small. Even if it 
does occur, it could be offset by a small benefit sug- 
gested by other commenters. They felt that the 
amendment would provide a security advantage, 
by permitting drivers to quickly close the vehicle's 
windows for protection without first having to turn 
on the ignition switch. Overall, the agency does not 
anticipate that the proposal would result in any in- 
crease in injuries or deaths. 

Several manufacturers argued for certain 
modifications to the proposed rule. Mercedes-Benz 



argued that the interval after engine shut-off dur- 
ing which the windows are operable should end 
when one of the front doors is opened. American 
Motors made a similar suggestion. The agency 
agrees that, in the case of four door automobiles, 
it is unlikely that the driver would exit from one 
of the rear doors and entry to or exit from rear seats 
should not impede the ability of the driver to super- 
vise children in the vehicle. Therefore, the agency 
has adopted this suggestion. 

Fiat Motors suggested that the agency permit the 
use of systems incorporating a 20 second time 
delay, i.e., windows would be operable for 20 
seconds after the engine is shut off regardless of 
whether a door had been opened. Such a system 
could provide a brief interval during which 
children in a vehicle would be unsupervised and 
the power window system would be operational, 
possibly increasing the risk of the types of accidents 
FMVSS 118 was designed to prevent. The agency 
believes, on the basis of current information, that 
adoption of the proposal is not appropriate. If Fiat 
or any other commenter wishes to present data or 
arguments with regard to the safety impacts of 
such a system, the agency will reconsider permit- 
ting the use of this type of system. 

American Motors Corporation (AM) also sug- 
gested several clarifications to the proposed rule. 
First, AM suggested that the rule explicitly state 
that power window and partition systems may be 
operable when the ignition switch is in the 
"ACCESSORY" position after a door is opened. 
Since the standard always permitted systems to be 
operable whenever the ignition key is in the 
"ACCESSORY" position, no substantive change 
would be involved. The agency has attempted to 
clarify this point. AM further suggested that 
references in the standard to the "key that controls 
activation of the vehicle's engine" be replaced by 
"ignition switch." However, the standard would 
apply to any systems used in electric vehicles or 
other motor vehicles which operate by energy pro- 
duced by means other than ignition. Therefore, the 
latter suggestion has not been adopted. 

AM also favored the deletion of the provision per- 
mitting the operation of power windows in certain 
vehicles when a door is opened a specified amount, 
since that provision never has and likely never 
would be used. Since this provision is apparently 
obsolete, it has been deleted. 

The agency is making this amendment effective 
immediately upon publication, since the amend- 



PART 571; S118-PRE 6 



ment "relieves a restriction" within the meaning 
of 5 U.S.C. 553(dXl), by permitting the use of cer- 
tain systems which were previously unauthorized. 
The agency also finds that making this amendment 
effective immediately is in the public interest, in 
accordance with section 103(e) of the National Traf- 
fic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, since doing so 
will permit the use of more convenient power win- 
dow systems at an early date. Also, since the 
amendment relieves a restriction in FMVSS 118, 
providing 180 days lead time is unnecessary. 

NHTSA has determined that this proceeding 
does not involve a "major rule" within the mean- 
ing of section 1, paragraph (b), of Executive Order 
12291 because it is not likely to have an effect on 
the economy of $100 million or more, to result in 
a major increase in costs or prices, or to have a 
significant adverse effect on competition, employ- 
ment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the 
ability of United States firms to meet foreign com- 
petition. Similarly, this action is not deemed 
"significant" for purposes of Department of 
Transportation procedures for internal review of 
regulatory actions. The economic impacts of this 
Amendment are so minimal as to not warrant 
preparation of a full regulatory evaluation, since 
the amendment merely permits the use of certain 
systems which were previously prohibited. 

Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the 
agency has considered the impact of this rule- 
making action on small entities. I certify that this 
action will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities, in- 
cluding small organizations or governmental units. 
Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required for this action. The agency has concluded 



that few, if any, manufacturers of power window 
systems are small entities and that the impacts of 
this rule on those companies which decide to take 
advantage of the new alternative method of com- 
pliance should be minimal. There would be no 
significant impact on the cost of new vehicles 
manufactured in accordance with the new provi- 
sion. Therefore, there should be no significant im- 
pact on small entities which purchase vehicles with 
power windows. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 § 571.118 
is amended as follows: 
1. Section 3 is revised to read as follows: 
S3. Power window or partition systems may be 
operable only in the following circumstances. 

(a) When the key that controls activation of the 
vehicle's engine is in the "ON", "START", or 
"ACCESSORY" position; 

(b) By muscular force unassisted by a vehicle 
power source; 

(c) Upon activation by a key-locking system on 
the exterior of the vehicle; or 

(d) During the interval between the time a run- 
ning engine is turned off and the opening of either 
of a two-door vehicle's doors or, in the case of a vehi- 
cle with more than two doors, the opening of either 
of its front doors. 

Issued on April 29, 1983 



Raymond A. Peck, Jr., 
Administrator 

48 F.R. 20237 
May 5, 1983 



PART 571; S118-PRE 7-8 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 
Power-Operated Window Systems 
[Docket No. 82-07; Notice 3] 



118 



ACTION: Final rule, response to petition for 
reconsideration. 

SUMMARY: This notice responds to a petition for 
reconsideration filed by General Motors Corporation 
with regard to the agency's recently issued inile 
amending Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
(FMVSS) No. 118, Power-Operated Windmv Systems. 
GM requested that the agency clarify the language 
of this amendment, which permits operation of power 
windows during the interval between the shutting 
off of a vehicle engine and the opening of a door. 
NHTSA agrees that the clarification suggested by 
GM is consistent with the agency's intent in ori- 
ginally amending the standard, and the agency is 
therefore further amending the standard 
accordingly. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 14, 1983. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 5, 

1983, NHTSA published a final rule amending 
FMVSS 118 (49 CFR 571.118), in response to a 
rulemaking petition filed by General Motors Corpora- 
tion. The GM petition requested that the standard 
be amended to permit operation of power windows 
during the interval between the shutting off of a 
"running engine" and the opening of the vehicle's 
front doors. GM sought this amendment to permit 
it to offer power window systems which GM believes 
are more convenient to use. Prior to this amendment, 
vehicles had to be designed so that a driver who shut 
his or her vehicle's engine off but remained in the 
vehicle would have to turn the vehicle ignition back 
to the "ON" or "ACCESSORY" position in order 
to operate the vdndows. 

FMVSS 118 was originally issued to prevent in- 
juries resulting from automative power windows 
closing on small children. Prior to the issuance of that 



standard, such injuries most often occurred when 
children operated the windows without the driver 
present. The standard seeks to minimize the 
hkelihood of this unsupervised operation of the win- 
dows by requiring that operation of the windows be 
controlled by a key, typically the ignition key. This 
requirement assures, in most instances, that the 
driver is present in the vehicle when power windows 
are operable. 

The GM petition was foimd by the agency to be con- 
sistent with this concept of positive key control of 
power window operation. Between the time a run- 
ning engine is shut off and the opening of a front 
door, the driver of the vehicle would in all likelihood 
still be in the vehicle and able to assure that children 
in the vehicle were not playing with the windows. 
Therefore, the agency granted the GM rulemaking 
petition and amended FMVSS 118 to permit window 
operation during that time interval. See 48 FR 20237, 
May 5, 1983. 

On June 3, 1983, GM requested that the agency 
clarify the langauge adopted in the May 5th amend- 
ment, either by issuing an interpretation concerning 
the specified language or by amending the language. 
The problem pointed out by GM is that most power 
window systems do not actually sense whether an 
engine is running. Instead, they sense the position 
of the ignition locking device, which usually cor- 
relates very closely vrith the operation or nonopera- 
tion of the engine. Thus, for example, in a system 
designed to comply with the amended standard by 
sensing the key position, if the ignition key were 
turned to the "ON" position and then the "OFF" 
position, the power windows would remain operable 
until a front door opened. However, strictly speak- 
ing, this hypothetical situation might not involve 
turning off a "running engine" (for example, when 
the engine stalls). Therefore, such a system could be 
considered in violation of the standard. 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 9 



The agency agrees with GM that there is no signifi- 
cant safety-related difference between window 
systems which sense key position and those which 
sense engine operation. The important consideration 
from the agency's perspective is the assurance that 
the driver is likely to be present in the vehicle to 
supervise operation of the power windows. These 
two possible system designs appear to provide equal 
assurance that the driver is present. Requiring that 
the power window system sense engine operation in 
addition to key position would, on the other hand, 
add substantially to the cost of such systems. 
Therefore, NHTSA is herein amending FMVSS 118 
to clarify the time interval during which power win- 
dow operation is permissible, consistent with the GM 
request. This action is being taken in the form of an 
amendment to the standard rather than as an inter- 
pretation, to provide the clearest public notice of the 
requirements of FMVSS 118. This amendment is con- 
sistent with the original intent of the May 5th 
amendment. 

The agency is making this amendment effective im- 
mediately upon publication since the amendment 
merely clarifies an existing provision of FMVSS 118. 
The agency finds that making this amendment effec- 
tive immediately is in the public interest in accord- 
ance with Section 103(e) of the National Traffic and 
Motor Vehicle Safety Act, because the amendment 
will facilitate the use of more convenient power win- 
dow systems at an early date. Also, since the amend- 
ment does not add any substantive requirements to 
FMVSS 118, providing 180 days lead time is 
unnecessary. 

NHTSA has determined that this proceeding does 
not qualify as a "major rule" within the meaning of 
section 1, paragraph (b), of Executive Order 12291 
because it is not likely to have an effect on the 
economy of $100 million or more, to result in a major 
increase in costs or prices, or to have a signficant 
adverse effect on competition, employment, invest- 
ment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of the 
United States firms to meet foreign competition. 
Similarly, this action is not deemed "significant" for 
purposes of Department of Transportation pro- 



cedures for internal review of regulatory actions. The 
economic impacts of this amendment are so minimal 
as to not warrant preparation of a full regulatory 
evaluation, since the amendment merely clarifies 
regulatory language permitting the use of certain 
systems which were prohibited prior to May 5, 1983. 

Pursuant prior to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
the agency has considered the impact of this rulemak- 
ing action on small entities. I certify that this action 
will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities, including small 
organizations or governmental units. Therefore, a 
regulatory flexibility analysis is not required for this 
action. The agency has concluded that few, if any, 
manufacturers of power window systems are small 
entities, and that the impacts of this rule on any 
manufacturer should be minimal. There would be no 
significant impact on the cost of new vehicles 
manufactured in accordance with the new provision. 
Therefore, there should be no significant impact on 
small entities which purchase vehicles with power 
windows. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR 571.118 
is amended as follows: 

1. Section 3(d) is revised to read as follows: 

(d) During the interval between the time the lock- 
ing device which controls the activation of the 
vehicle's engine is turned off and the opening of 
either of a two-door vehicle's doors or, in the case 
of a vehicle with more than two doors, the opening 
of either of its front doors. 

Issued on October 7, 1983. 



Diane K. Steed 
Deputy Administrator 

48 FR 46793 
October 14, 1983 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 10 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE 
SAFETY STANDARD NO. 118 

Power-Operated Window Systems 
(Docket No. 87-10; Notice 2) 



ACTION: Final Rule 



SUMMARY: This final rule amends Standard No. 
118 Power-Operated Window Systems, to extend the 
Standard's applicability to light trucks. The agency 
concludes that power windows in light trucks present 
the same risk of injury to vehicle occupants as power 
windows in vehicle types already subject to the Stand- 
ard. This rule also narrows the restrictions on the 
operation of power windows so that these restrictions 
no longer apply to the opening of power windows. 
NHTSA is making this change because the only sig- 
nificant risk of injury by a moving power window oc- 
curs during the closing of such a window. 

In the notice proposing to amend Standard 118, 
NHTSA also considered a number of proposals: ex- 
tending the standard's requirements to power-oper- 
ated sunroofs; and either permitting external non-key 
locking systems to operate power windows and sun- 
roofs, or prohibiting all external operating systems. 
For the reasons stated in the preamble to this final 
rule, the agency is reserving judgment on these is- 
sues, and will address them further in a subsequent 
notice of proposed rulemaking. 

DATES: Paragraph S2, extending the application of 
Standard 118 to light trucks, is effective December 
21, 1988. Paragraph S3, limiting Standard 118 re- 
quirements to closing a power-operated window or 
partition, is effective July 25, 1988. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction. On 
October 16, 1987, NHTSA published a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing several changes 
to Standard No. 118, Power-Operated Window 
Systems (49 CFR 571.118). (52 FR 38488, October 16, 
1987.) First, the agency proposed to include light 
trucks (less than 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight 
rating or "GVWR") among the vehicle classes to 
which the Standard applies. The principal examples 
of these vehicles are pickup trucks and cargo vans. 
The agency noted that light truck owners frequently 
use these vehicles to transport passengers, including 
small children. NHTSA tentatively concluded that 
power-operated window systems in light trucks 
should offer the same protection as power window 



systems installed in other vehicles commonly used to 
transport passengers. 

Second, the agency proposed to amend the introduc- 
tory portion of subparagraph S3 of Standard 118 to 
make its requirements regarding the operation of 
power windows apply only to closing a power window 
(rather than to any circumstance where the window 
is "operable"), because injury during unsupervised 
power window operations is likely to occur only when 
a closing power window catches an occupant's head 
or other body part between the closing window and 
the door frame. NHTSA stated that opening a power 
window seemed unlikely to cause adverse safety 
consequences. 

Third, the agency proposed either revising or 
eliminating paragraph S3(c). The proposed revision 
was to reduce the restrictions on the type of external 
mechanism that could be used for operating a power 
window by replacing the term "key-locking system" 
in subparagraph S3(c) with the less restrictive term 
"locking system." NHTSA stated that the term "key- 
locking system" excludes nontraditional, keyless lock- 
ing systems that permit a person to control entry and 
other aspects of vehicle operation externally through 
punching numeric or alpha numeric codes on a touch- 
pad control. In the interest of facilitating technolog- 
ical innovation, the agency proposed adopting the 
broader term provided that this action would have no 
adverse safety consequences. 

In the alternative, the agency addressed the ques- 
tion whether to eliminate subparagraph S3(c) en- 
tirely, doing way with any external controls for clos- 
ing a power-operated window. NHTSA had received 
reports of a small number of incidents alleging that 
children were harmed when a child inside the vehicle 
reached out and operated the key-locking mechanism, 
or when a person outside the vehicle inadvertently 
raised a power-operated window. 

Fourth, the agency proposed to expand Standard 
118 to include power-operated sunroofs. The agency 
tentatively concluded that operating a sunroof pre- 
sented the same risk of injury to small children as 
operating traditional power windows and partitions. 
While it appeared that most manufacturers installed 



PART 571; S118-PRE 11 



power sunroofs that met Standard 118 requirements, 
NHTSA sought to eliminate the risk of a manufac- 
turer's installing a power sunroof or similar device 
that does not provide protection for the technical 
reason that the device is neither a "window" nor 
"partition." 

Commenters. The agency received 18 comments on 
these proposed changes. Ten commenters were motor 
vehicle manufacturers: Austin Rover Group, Ltd. 
(ARG); BMW of North America (BMW); Chrysler 
Motors Corporation (Chrysler); Fiat; Ford Motor 
Company (Ford); General Motors Corporation (GM); 
Jaguar; Land Rover Ltd. (Land Rover); Toyota Motor 
Corporation (Toyota); and Volkswagen of North 
America (VWoA). The National Automobile Dealer's 
Association (NADA), the Injury Prevention Resource 
and Research Center (IPRRC), and six individuals 
also commented. NADA and IPRRC endorsed the 
proposed amendments without further comment. Two 
individuals raised matters that were beyond the scope 
of the notice. 

Extending the Standard to Light Trucks. Chrysler, 
Ford, Land Rover, GM, Toyota, and Fiat all supported 
this part of the proposal. Chrysler and GM stated that 
power window systems in their light duty trucks 
already comply with Standard 118. Ford stated that 
it "generally concurred" in the agency's (NPRM) 
rationale, but made no further comment. 

VWoA suggested that the agency document the 
safety need for expanded coverage. The agency be- 
lieves that there already is sufficient justification for 
extending the Standard to light trucks. As the NPRM 
stated, light trucks commonly are used for passenger 
transport, including transporting small children. The 
rationale for Standard 118 is to minimize the risk of 
injury to children from unsupervised power window 
operation. This safety rationale applies to all vehicles 
commonly used for passenger transport. 

One individual commenter, Mr. Charles B. Jones, 
suggested that the agency also extend the Standard 
to include vans. The Standard already applies to 
passenger vans, which fall in the category of multi- 
purpose passenger vehicles. The multipurpose pas- 
senger vehicle (MPV) class consists of vehicles con- 
structed on a truck chassis, or constructed with 
special features for occasional off-road operation, and 
which have a designed seating capacity of 10 or less 
than 10 persons. When this final rule becomes effec- 
tive, the Standard will also apply to cargo vans, which 
are classified as trucks. 

Other individuals whose comments were within 
the scope of the notice either did not address this 
issue, or endorsed this part of the proposal without 
comment. 

For the preceding reasons, and for the reasons set 
out in the NPRM, NHTSA is amending Standard 118 
by including light trucks among the vehicle classes 
to which the Standard applies. 



Applying the Standard to Closing Power Windows 
Only. All of the motor vehicle manufacturers who 
commented on the notice supported this part of the 
proposal generally for the reasons the agency set out 
in the proposal. , 

Of the three individuals who commented on this { 
question, one expressed unqualified support, and two. 
Misters C.R. Blydenburgh and Charles B. Jones, ex- 
pressed disagreement. Mr. Blydenburgh commented 
that NHTSA's position apparently does not contem- 
plate a child's falling out of an open window, and 
noted that because power windows are easier to oper- 
ate than a conventional window, the likelihood is 
greater that a small child will be exposed to this 
safety risk in a vehicle with a power window system. 
Mr. Jones stated that a child can be injured if the 
child puts a finger between the glass and traction slot 
on an opening window. 

The agency agrees with Mr. Blydenburgh that some 
children may find it easier to operate a power win- 
dow than a conventional one. However, NHTSA does 
not agree thai this condition creates a significant 
safety risk. First, the agency believes that most 
children who would be at risk of falling out of a vehi- 
cle after opening one of its power windows are young- 
sters of about 2 or 3 years old. All 50 states and the 
District of Columbia require that these children be 
in child safety seats. The most recent results in a 
19-city survey reveal that for August through October 
of 1987, child restraint usage in the survey area was 
82%. Since children who are properly restrained are j 
not subject to this risk and since a substantial major- 
ity of children are restrained, the potential popula- 
tion subject to the risk suggested by Mr. Blydenburgh 
is limited. Similarly, a child who is properly re- 
strained is somewhat less likely to subject himself to 
the harm that Mr. Jones addresses. 

Second, the risk of injury as a result of falling from 
an open window is greatest in a moving vehicle. Since 
this amendment only regulates the operation of power 
windows in stationary vehicles, it will not affect the 
safety risk suggested by Mr. Blydenburgh. Further, 
in many vehicles equipped with power window sys- 
tems, a driver may prevent the operation of power 
windows. For small children, this design feature can 
make a power window system safer than a conven- 
tional one, and again reduces the prospect of a child 
catching a finger between the glass and traction slot. 

Finally, the agency is not aware of any data sup- 
porting a safety need to restrict power window open- 
ings. For these reasons, and for the reasons set out 
in the NPRM, NHTSA is amending the Standard so 
that it applies only to the closing of power windows. 
The provision of this amendment narrowing the ap- 
plication of Standard 118 to opening power-operated 
windows and partitions, will be effective 30 days after A 
publication in the Federal Register. (§571.118, I 
paragraph S3.) The agency finds that there is good 



PART 571; S118-PRE 12 



cause for making paragraph S3 effective in less than 
180 days because the change will relieve a restriction, 
thereby expanding manufacturer flexibility. 

Other Issues. As noted earlier in this notice, the 
agency proposed other changes to Standard 118. 
Earlier in this document, the agency described the 
two options under consideration with respect to par- 
agraph S3(c). They were (1) deleting the word "key" 
from the term "key-locking system" to expand design 
options for external power window controls, or (2) 
deleting paragraph S3(c) altogether, and thereby pro- 
hibit external controls on the vehicle for closing power 
windows. The remaining proposed change was to ex- 
tend the Standard to cover power-operated sunroofs. 
The agency has determined to reassess these pro- 
posals, and to issue a subsequent notice of proposed 
rulemaking addressing them. NHTSA is delaying ac- 
tion on these issues for the following reasons. 

While most commenters said that non-key locking 
systems should be permissible, a few raised the ques- 
tion of whether it is possible for unsupervised children 
more easily to gain access to a vehicle through a key- 
less locking system. One commenter stated that a 
touch-pad system lends itself to this danger, while an 
infrared remote system would not. The agency has 
some concern whether key-less systems present an 
unreasonable safety risk, or whether a minimum 
force requirement for operating such systems would 
reduce any unreasonable risk. NHTSA will invite 
comment and explore these issues in the subsequent 
NPRM. 

All but one of the relevant comments opposed the 
alternative suggestion of prohibiting any external 
control for opening a power window. After having 
reviewed the comments, NHTSA tentatively con- 
cluded that a ban on all external power window 
system controls would be inappropriate given the 
absence of data that show external key-locking sys- 
tems present an unreasonable safety risk. However, 
if the agency determines that key -less locking systems 
should be an acceptable means for complying with 
Standard 118, then NHTSA may propose performance 
requirements for external key-less systems. For ex- 



ample, there is a question whether a key-less lock- 
ing system should operate only when a positive force 
is applied to the locking device. These matters should 
be the subject of another proposal. 

Most relevant comments endorsed the agency's pro- 
posal to extend the Standard to power-operated roof 
systems, although a number suggested alternative 
wording so that power-operated convertible roofs do 
not fall under the Standard. Some of these power roofs 
operate through the key-less kinds of controls that the 
agency is considering addressing in a subsequent 
notice. Use of key-less systems for power roofs is per- 
missible since power roofs are not currently subject 
to the Standard. If the agency were to extend the 
Standard and its current prohibition against key-less 
locking systems to power roofs, then those power roofs 
using those systems would have to be redesigned. Un- 
til the agency resolves the issue of key-less locking 
controls, NHTSA has determined to maintain the 
status quo. This means that there is no prohibition 
against installing a key-less locking system for 
sunroofs. 

In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 
Title 49 CFR §571.118 as follows: 
S2 would be revised to read as follows: 
S2. Application. This standard applies to passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks 
with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds 
or less. 
3. S3 would be revised to read as follows: 
S.3. Operating Requirements. Power window or par- 
tition systems may be closed only in the following 
circumstances: 

fill ^ ^ 

Issued on June 21, 1988 



Diane K. Steed 
Administrator 

53 F.R. 23766 
June 24, 1988 



PART 571; S118-PRE 13-14 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO 
FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 

Power-operated Windows 

(Docket No. 87-10) 
RIN 2127-AC25 



118 



ACTION: Final rule. 

SUMMARY: This notice amends Standard No. 118, 
Power-operated Window Systems in several respects. 
It extends the Standard to encompass power-operated 
roof panels. It also establishes requirements for power 
window control systems located on the vehicle exterior 
and for remote control devices. 

DATES: The changes made in this rule are effective 
September 1, 1992. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This final rule 
makes several changes to Standard No. 118, Power- 
operated Window Systems (49 CFR 571.118). The pur- 
pose of the Standard is to minimize the risk of personal 
injury that may result if someone is caught between 
a closing power-operated window and the window 
frame. The agency's experience is that children are the 
group of people most likely at risk from inadvertent 
or unsupervised operation of power windows. 

On October 16, 1987, NHTSA pubhshed a notice of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing several 
changes to Standard No. 118 (52 PR 38488). These pro- 
posed amendments included extending the Standard 
to light trucks, eliminating the limitations on the cir- 
cumstances in which power windows may be opened, 
and eliminating the requirement that power windows 
operable outside of a vehicle be operable only with a 
key-locking system located on the vehicle. 

On June 24, 1988, NHTSA issued a final rule amend- 
ing certain provisions of the Standard (53 PR 23766). 
In particular, it extended the Standard's applicability 
to light trucks and restricted the applicability of the 
Standard to the closing of power windows; in other 
words, the Standard no longer regulated the opening 
of power windows. That final rule also noted that 
several remaining issues raised in the NPRM would be 
addressed in a subsequent rulemaking. 

On April 6, 1990, the agency published a second 
NPRM to address these issues. Specifically, the agency 
proposed to (1) amend the Standard to apply to power- 
operated roof panels, (2) revise the requirements relat- 
ing to key-locking systems in S3(c) of the Standard to 



include minimum force levels for operating those sys- 
tems, (3) include provisions that would permit the use 
of external locking systems that do not rely on the use 
of conventional keys (hereinafter referred to as "non- 
key locking systems"), and (4) add new requirements 
to permit remote control systems for power-operated 
windows and roof panels. 

As discussed below, this final rule extends the Stand- 
ard to cover power-operated roof panels, and includes 
provisions which allow the use of non-key locking and 
remote control systems. In the development of this 
rule, NHTSA has sought to maximize the safety bene- 
fits of the new requirements whUe seeking to avoid re- 
quirements that would unnecessarily affect the design 
choices of manufacturers. 

NHTSA received nine comments on the proposed 
rule, all of which were from vehicle manufacturers. The 
commenters included Ford, BMW of North America 
(BMW), Chrysler Fiat, Mercedes Benz of North 
America (Mercedes), General Motors (GM), Volkswa- 
gen of North America (VW), Toyota, and Jaguar. The 
agency has considered the points raised in the com- 
ments in developing the final rule. The agency's dis- 
cussion of the significant comments and other relevant 
information is set forth below. For the convenience of 
the reader, this notice follows the NPRM's order. 

A. Roof Panels 

The purpose and scope section (SI) and operating re- 
quirements (S3) of Standard No. 118 currently apply 
to power-operated window and partition systems. 
Although the 1987 NPRM proposed to extend the re- 
quirements to include power-operated roof panels, and 
most comments received by the agency at that time 
supported the proposal, NHTSA decided in the 1988 
final rule to defer a decision on this proposal until the 
agency addressed the issue of non-key locking systems. 
The agency explained at that time that non-key sys- 
tems had already been developed for power roof sys- 
tems, but that power-operated roof panels were not 
subject to the Standard. Thus, the locking systems of 
some roof panels might have had to be redesigned if 
the 1988 final rule had extended Standard No. 118 to 
power roof panels without resolving the issue of non- 
key locking systems. 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 15 



The 1990 NPRM noted that since it contained pro- 
posed requirements for non-key systems, it would be 
beneficial to reconsider extending the Standard to 
power-operated roof panels. That notice explained that 
since roof panels pose the same potential dangers as 
power-operated windows and partition systems, it 
would be appropriate to include power roof panels in 
sections SI and S3 to ensure that these devices were 
treated the same as power-operated windows and were 
required to provide equivalent levels of safety. 

All manufacturers commenting on this issue sup- 
ported the proposal to include power-operated roof 
panels in Standard No. 118. Mercedes requested that 
only sliding roof panels be subject to the Standard, and 
that pop-up type roof panels not be included. The com- 
menter stated that the maximimi height of the open- 
ing on a pop-up roof panel is four inches, and that this 
is not a large enough opening for a child's head to pass 
through, VW recommended that a definition of roof 
panel should be included in the final rule in order to 
clarify that power-operated convertible tops are not 
covered by the standard. 

NHTSA does not agree that pop-up roof panels 
should be excluded from the requirements of the Stand- 
ard. The opening created by such a panel, while not 
large enough to endanger a child's head, is certainly 
large enough to put fingers and hands at risk. Thus, 
the final rule does not provide an exclusion for pop-up 
roof panels that are power-operated. 

The agency agrees with VW's comment, and the final 
nile includes a definition of "power-operated roof 
panel" that specifically excludes convertible top 
systems. 

B. Force Requirements for Key-Activated 
Systems 

Standard No. 118 currently contains no force require- 
ment for operating key-activated systems located on 
the exterior of a vehicle. The April 1990 NPRM pro- 
posed that a minimum continuous level of torque be 
required for the operation of such systems. The intent 
of this proposal was to set a torque level high enough 
to prevent young children from operating it. The 
proposal would have required that a minimum of 4.5 
in-oz of torque be applied to the key in order to oper- 
ate the system. 

Overall, the comments received did not support the 
establishment of minimum force requirements for key- 
activated systems. Generally, GM, Chrysler and VW 
were concerned that a force requirement could impede 
the ability of some adults, especially the elderly, per- 
sons suffering from arthritis, and the handicapped, 
from operating the system. 

Chrysler questioned the information on which the 
proposed level was based, stating that there were no 
data on the proper torque level sufficient to prevent 
actuation of the mechanism by a small child, but which 



would not impede use by the elderly or infirm. That 
commenter indicated that the proposed level might be 
too low to serve as a deterrent to young children. VW 
likewise expressed concern about the lack of data avail- 
able to support the requirement, and also suggested 
that there is no demonstrated safety need for the 
requirement. 

Ford supported the introduction of a force level for 
key-activated systems, but offered no data on the pro- 
posed force requirement. Mercedes did not object to 
the force requirement, but indicated that the regula- 
tion should be worded to clarify that the torque is to 
be applied continuously. 

Based upon its analysis of the comments received, 
NHTSA believes it is inappropriate to establish mini- 
mum force requirements for key-activated systems. 
There appear to be no avaOable data that would address 
the specific question of the appropriate torque level 
that would preclude use by small children, but allow 
ease of operation for others. Since it is not clear that 
such a torque level exists, this final rule does not specify 
a force value for key-activated systems. 

In lieu of a force value, this final rule requires that 
a key-activated system operate only while a force is ap- 
plied, if the force is removed, window movement must 
stop immediately. The agency believes that this re- 
quirement will meet the need for safety without un- 
duly burdening those vehicle operators who could 
experience difficulty operating a key-activated system 
subject to a minimum torque requirement. 

C. Requirements for Non-iiey Locldng Systems 

Section S3(c) currently allows power-operated win- 
dows to be closed "upon activation of a key-locking sys- 
tem on the exterior of the vehicle." In comments to 
the 1987 NPRM, manufacturers stated that they were 
concerned that S3(c) needlessly prohibited innovative 
exterior systems for operating power-operated window 
and roof panel systems. These manufacturers inter- 
preted the word "key" to mean that a conventional key- 
based system is the only allowable way to comply with 
S3(c), and that the phrase "on the exterior of the vehi- 
cle" means the device must be physically attached to 
the vehicle. Because the agency agrees with these 
manufacturers that this interpretation of the existing 
Standard is correct, it proposed in the April 1990 
NPRM to expand the permissible external systems for 
closing power-operated windows to include non-key 
locking systems located on the vehicle exterior and re- 
mote control systems. 

As explained below, this final rule adopts an amend- 
ment permitting these additional types of systems for 
externally operating power-operated windows. 

1. External Non-key Locking Systems 
As noted in the April 1990 NPRM, NHTSA has con- \ 
sidered different types of external non-key locking 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 16 



systems. The agency is aware that manufacturers are 
developing several types of non-key locking devices, in- 
cluding touch pads on the vehicle, infrared actuators, 
and credit card systems. The agency realizes that this 
list is not exhaustive, and intends to permit any type 
of non-key locking system that complies with this final 
rule. 

The NPRM proposed a minimum activation level for 
non-key locking systems of at least 9 pounds as a safety 
mechanism to prevent young children from activating 
the system. Under the proposal, this force would have 
to be applied continuously. These criteria sought to pro- 
hibit the use of a single-touch control and to make it 
necessary for persons seeking to close the windows 
and/or roof to do so through a sustained effort. 

The NPRM also requested comment on an alterna- 
tive approach for non-key locking systems, under which 
the system would be equipped with an automatic rever- 
sal feature such that if a window or roof panel encoun- 
tered resistance when closing, it would automatically 
reverse direction. This feature was proposed for remote 
control systems in the NPRM, as explained below. 

A number of comments were received on the 
proposal for non-key locking systems. GM recom- 
mended that there be no restrictions on external non- 
key systems, since requirements such as those pro- 
posed could impede adult users as well as children. GM 
stated that an alpha-numeric keypad system is the only 
alternative that would be operable by adult users, but 
not by young children. GM had concerns about the pro- 
posed force requirement for non-key systems for the 
same reasons it expressed in its comments on the force 
requirement for key systems. 

Ford suggested that a requirement for an automatic 
reversal mechanism would be better than a minimum 
force requirement. Ford, like GM, had concerns about 
the proposed force level, and noted that it was substan- 
tially greater than the force level for keyless entry sys- 
tems now used by Ford. The commenter also indicated 
that force levels are not needed for alpha-numeric sys- 
tems, since the required code makes it sufficiently 
difficult for children to operate the system. 

BMW suggested that the words "key" and "non- 
key" be removed from the proposed regulatory text, 
since the manufacturer believes use of these terms 
could restrict future technologies. BMW also requested 
that the proposal be revised to allow systems with child- 
proof coding, such as electronic alpha-numeric touch 
pad systems, without specifying minimum force re- 
quirements, since these devices are more child-proof 
than the window reversal feature discussed below. 

Chrysler supported allowing non-key systems, but in- 
dicated that it had no near term plans to adopt such 
a system. The manufacturer stated that a nine pound 
force requirement is inappropriate for on-vehicle touch 
pads. 

Based upon its consideration of the comments 
received, NHTSA believes there are insufficient data 



to support the establishment of the proposed force re- 
quirement, given the difficulties that elderly adults or 
those with arthritic or other handicaps may encounter. 
In order to ensure design flexibility consistent with the 
need for safety, the final rule requires instead that any 
automatic closing system located on the exterior of a 
vehicle comply with one of two alternative provisions. 
The first specifies that, in order to make the window 
move, the operating control must be continuously ac- 
tivated by the user (such as pressure on a key or but- 
ton) so that the instant pressure is removed from the 
control, window movement stops. Alternatively, the 
vehicle can be equipped with an automatic reversal 
mechanism that will reverse the window direction upon 
its meeting an obstruction. (For further details con- 
cerning the automatic reversal feature, see the discus- 
sion below about remote control devices.) U the system 
incorporates the automatic reversal feature, it is ac- 
ceptable that the system closes upon a single force 
application instead of continuous operation. 

The final rule imposes these requirements on all sys- 
tems that are attached to the exterior of the vehicle, 
without regard to whether they are key-operated, or 
operated by other means. While a distinction between 
key and non-key systems is useful for discussion pur- 
poses, the agency has determined that both closing sys- 
tems should be subject to the same regulatory 
requirements, i.e., either continuous activation or 
automatic reversal, because the risk of having a per- 
son caught between a closing power-operated window 
and the window frame is the same for key and non-key 
systems. 

2. Remote control svstems 

As discussed in the NPRM, section S3(c) of the ex- 
isting standard requires that an external closing device 
be attached to the vehicle exterior. However, NHTSA 
is aware of systems under development that would ena- 
ble the power windows or roof panel of a vehicle to be 
closed by a remote control device sending a signal to 
the vehicle, in a manner similar to the operation of a 
remote control television. Remote systems are distin- 
guished from the external systems discussed above by 
the fact that, unlike an external system, a remote sys- 
tem has a control unit that is not attached to the ex- 
terior of the vehicle. The April 1990 NPRM requested 
comments on the technical or safety problems that 
could be encountered with remote systems, and pro- 
posed requirements for these systems. 

The proposal would have allowed remote window 
closing systems only if the manufacturer provided a 
feature that would stop the power window from clos- 
ing and then reverse its direction whenever the win- 
dow encountered resistance of a specified magnitude. 
The proposal would have required activation of this 
reversal feature if the closing window encountered a 
resistive force of 22 pounds or more. This force level 
was based on guidelines in Germany's Road Traffic Act 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 17 



(No. 60 paragraph 30, section 3 StVZO, 1984) which 
established a level of not more than 100 Newtons ("N," 
1 Newton = 0.2248 pounds) for window reversal. The 
proposal also specified a zone of potential harm within 
the window opening area in which the window would 
have to reverse automatically upon contact with an ob- 
ject. The purpose of the zone was to protect children 
from having a power window close on their head or 
arms. This zone was proposed to begin at 200 mm (ap- 
proximately 8 inches) from the top of the window open- 
ing; however, the proposal would not have required 
operation of the reversal feature once the window was 
4 mm (approximately .16 inch) from being completely 
closed. The proposal explained that the zone need not 
extend completely to closure because there is a point 
after which injury from window closure is no longer 
possible, but at which unnecessary automatic reversal 
could result from the window's misalignment or ob- 
struction by ice. 

The comments received on this portion of the 
proposal focused on three issues: the proposed require- 
ments for the automatic reversal function, concerns 
about the effect the proposal would have on the proper 
closure and sealing of windows, and limitations on the 
range of the remote control unit. 

All of the manufacturers commenting on the ques- 
tion of remote devices supported allowing their use. 
BMW and Mercedes argued that the existing Standard 
already allows remote devices. BMW indicated that it 
and other manufacturers had already incorporated this 
feature on cars for the U.S. market. The manufacturer 
disagreed with NHTSA's interpretation that "key- 
locking" as used in the Standard is limited to mechan- 
ical keys. BMW stated that with the rapid advance- 
ments being made in electronic technology, such a 
narrow interpretation is inappropriate, as an infrared 
remote control is as safe, secure, and vehicle specific 
as a mechanical key. This commenter also stated that 
the device is being used on the exterior of the vehicle, 
and that it should therefore be considered consistent 
with existing requirements. BMW claimed that in the 
NPRM. NHTSA for the first time uses the phrase 
"attached to the exterior of the vehicle" (emphasis 
added) in interpreting the term "on the exterior of the 
vehicle." 

Mercedes likewise stated that existing S3(c) does not 
prohibit remote devices. Mercedes argued that since 
the Standard refers to a key-locking system, rather 
than merely a key, and considering the broad list of 
definitions for "on" in the dictionary, one must con- 
clude that the Standard does not specifically prohibit 
remote devices that are part of the "key -locking sys- 
tem" and do not function far away from, or inside the 
vehicle. 

NHTSA disagrees with these commenters. The 
Standard is very specific. It states "on the exterior of 
the vehicle", meaning the vehicle's "outside surface." 
It does not state "exterior to the vehicle" or words to 



that effect. The agency reconfirms its position that the 
existing Standard prohibits the use of external systems 
not physically attached to the vehicle. This is why the 
agency believes it is important for this final rule to 
amend the Standard to allow the use of remote con- 
trol systems. 

Chrysler, Ford and GM believed that the automatic 
reversal feature is needed for remote control devices, 
although all three expressed concern about the ade- 
quacy of the data supporting the 22 pound force re- 
quirement. Toyota also expressed concern about the 
lack of data supporting this number. On the other hand. 
Jaguar and BMW provided suggested regulatory lan- 
guage which adopted the 22 pound force, and Mercedes 
did not object to the requirement in its suggested lan- 
guage. Based on the German guideline on window 
reversal, the agency has concluded that the 22 pound 
value is a reasonable resistive force, and it has been 
retained in the final rule. 

Toyota, VW, and BMW expressed concern about the 
effect of the automatic reversal requirement on design 
flexibility, BMW thought the requirement was reason- 
able, but that, in order to provide maximum flexibil- 
ity, it should be permitted as an alternative to other 
means of safeguarding window activation. 

Toyota suggested that requiring the reversal feature 
to be activated only upon the application of force or 
resistance to the window is not the only alternative. 
That manufacturer suggested that a system using op- 
tical sensors to detect an obstruction need not be sen- 
sitive to resistive force. Toyota also recommended that ' 
if resistive force sensors are used, manufacturers 
should be allowed to place them in the top track of the 
window, rather than on the moveable portion of the 
window, as this would allow the use of trigger mechan- 
isms in the track similar to those used in elevator doors. 

VW also recommended that the automatic reversal 
feature be an alternative available to manufacturers 
who wish to produce a system that can be closed in a 
manner other than those specified in S4. 

The agency agrees with the concerns expressed by 
BMW, VW and Toyota regarding design flexibility and 
the use of alternative approaches. In accordance with 
the agency's intention to ensure maximum design flex- 
ibility in complying with the new rule, it does not pro- 
hibit the use of devices such as optical sensors. 

Three manufacturers, Toyota, GM and Mercedes 
provided comments on the zone of potential harm in 
which the window would have to reverse upon encoun- 
tering an obstruction. 

Toyota suggested a compliance procedure which 
would require that when a cylinder 4 mm to 200 mm 
in diameter obstructs the opening, the window or roof 
panel must reverse before a resistive force of 22 pounds 
is exceeded. ^ 

The agency agrees with Toyota's suggestion, given " 
problems with incomplete closure resulting from 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 18 



obstruction of the window seal. The agency further be- 
haves the procedure suggested by Toyota is a practica- 
ble and effective means of determining whether the 
vehicle complies with the final rule's requirement for 
remote control systems equipped with the automatic 
reversal feature. The final rule includes this compliance 
procedure. 

GM and Mercedes expressed concern that the pro- 
posed requirements may make it difficult to ensure that 
windows seal properly. GM suggested that the 4 mm 
"top" of the zone be measured perpendicularly between 
the top edge of the window glass and the window day- 
light opening. Mercedes recommended changing the 
words "total closure in proposed S3(e) to "aperture" 
in order to exclude that portion of a window or panel 
that fits into a sealing channel from the 4 mm 
measurement. 

NHTSA agrees that these concerns are valid and be- 
lieves that both of the suggested approaches will ade- 
quately address this concern. The agency nevertheless 
has determined that GM's recommended wording is 
superior because it is self-explanatory while Mercedes 
approach would require additional explanation to de- 
fine "aperture." Therefore, the final rule adopts GM's 
suggestion that the window opening zone be measured 
between the top edge of the glass and the daylight 
opening. 

Concerning the range of operation for remote con- 
trol systems. BMW stated that no additional restric- 
tions for remote systems are needed, BMW took this 
view because the infrared control only functions within 
15 feet of the vehicle, and only when in a line of sight 
with the vehicle, so the operator can clearly see 
whether there are children near the windows or 
sunroof. 

Mercedes also stated that infrared remote controls 
should not be subject to the automatic reversal require- 
ment because the devices only operate at close prox- 
imity, within line-of-sight of the vehicle. Based on this 
concern, Mercedes provided revised regulatory lan- 
guage that would exclude remote devices that required 
a line of sight to the vehicle from less than 25 feet from 
the requirement to have the automatic reversal feature. 

Jaguar provided suggested regulatory text that ap- 
peared to be intended to allow remote control devices 
to operate without being subject to the automatic rever- 
sal feature as long as the range of the control device 
is less than 10 meters (approximately 33 feet). 

VW commented that the automatic reversal feature 
should be required only for remote systems capable of 
operation beyond the distance from which the the in- 
terior of the car is visible, suggesting 20 feet as an 
appropriate distance. 

NHTSA agrees with those recommendations that 
vehicles using a line-of-sight remote control not be 
required to have the automatic reversal feature. 
However, as discussed above, the operating control for 



such systems must be continuously activated by the 
user. The agency believes that a line-of-sight system 
with limited range will provide adequate safeguards 
against injury, because under the final rule, the per- 
son operating the remote control must be in close 
enough proximity to the vehicle that hr> or she would 
be able to see whether there are children in the vicinity 
of a closing window or roof panel. NHTSA has deter- 
mined that a maximum remote control range of 20 feet 
from the vehicle provides adequate convenience while 
still ensuring that the operator of the remote control 
remains close to the vehicle while using this feature. 
As discussed above, since this final rule does not draw 
a distinction between non-key and remote systems for 
purposes of control operation, the agency has deleted 
the proposed minimum force requirement that was con- 
tained in the NPRM for remote control systems. 

D. Leadtime 

The NPRM inadvertently omitted a proposed effec- 
tive date and discussion of leadtime considerations. 
Mercedes and BMW requested an effective date of at 
least one year from publication of this final rule for any 
new requirements. VW requested that to the extent 
its suggested provisions were not adopted, sufficient 
leadtime should be provided. Jaguar commented that 
if its suggested text was not adopted, the effective date 
for this nile should be delayed until MY 1995 to allow 
sufficient time for system modification and 
development. 

NHTSA believes the changes in Standard No. 118 
made by this rule provide manufacturers with increased 
flexibility. Based upon the comments received however, 
it appears that the amendments may affect the on- 
going efforts of some manufacturers to develop designs 
for these systems. The agency believes that one full 
model year of leadtime is adequate for manufacturers 
to comply with this rule. Accordingly, as stated above, 
the effective date is September 1, 1992. 

In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR S571.118 
is amended to read as follows: 

S571.118 is revised to read as follows: 
S571.118 Standard No. 118; Power-operated window 
systems. 

51. Purpose and scope. This standard specifies re- 
quirements for power operated window, partition, and 
roof panel systems to minimize the likelihood of death 
or injury from their accidental operation. 

52. Application. This standard applies to passenger 
cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks with 
a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less. 

53. Definition. "Power operated roof panel sys- 
tems" mean moveable panels in the vehicle roof which 
close by vehicle supplied power either by a sliding or 
hinged motion, and do not include convertible top 
systems. 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 19 



S4. Operating requirements. Except as provided in 
S5, power operated window, partition, or roof panel 
systems may be closed only in the following circum- 
stances: 

(a) When the key that controls activation of the ve- 
hicle's engine is in the "ON", "START", or "ACCES- 
SORY" position; 

(b) By muscular force unassisted by vehicle supplied 
power; 

(c) Upon continuous activation by a locking system 
on the exterior of the vehicle; 

(d) Upon continuous activation of any remote actu- 
ation device, provided that the remote actuation device 
shall be incapable of closing the power window, parti- 
tion or roof panel from a distance of more than 20 feet 
from the vehicle. 

(e) During the interval between the time the lock- 
ing device which controls the activation of the vehicle's 
engine is turned off and the opening of either of a two- 
door vehicle's doors or, in the case of a vehicle with 
more than two doors, the opening of either of its front 
doors. 



S5. (a) Notwithstanding S4. power window, 
partition or roof panel systems which, while closing, 
reverse direction when they meet, a resistive force 
of 22 pounds or more from a solid cylinder of 4 to 
200 mm in diameter and open to at least 200 mm, may 
close— 

(1) Upon the one-time activation of a locking sys- 
tem on the exterior of the vehicle, 

(2) Upon the one-time activation of any remote ac- 
tuation device, or 

(3) Upon continuous activation of any remote ac- 
tuation device capable of closing the power window, 
partition or roof panel from a distance of more than 
20 feet from the vehicle. 

(b) The 4 to 200 mm dimension cited in S5(a) is meas- 
ured from the window or panel's leading edge to the 
daylight opening. 

Issued on April 10, 1991 

Jerry Ralph Curry 
Administrator 

56 F.R. 15290 
Aprii 16, 1991 



PART 571; S 118-PRE 20 



PREAMBLE TO AN AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY 

STANDARD NO. 118 
Power-Operated Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems 

(Docket No. 87-10; Notice 5) 
RIN2127-AE14 



ACTION: Final rule; response to petitions for 
reconsideration. 

SUMMARY: In response to petitions for 
reconsideration of a final rule published in the 
Federal Register (56 F.R. 15290) on April 16, 
1991, this final rule amends Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standard No. 1 1 8, Power-Operated 
Window, Partition, and Roof Panel Systems. The 
final rule provides additional flexibility to manu- 
facturers, clarifies the requirements, and delays by 
one year the effective date for the extension of the 
Standard to cover power-operated roof panels. 

EFFECTIVE DATE: The changes made in this rule 
are effective September 1, 1992. Vehicles manu- 
factured before September 1, 1992 may comply 
with the changes made in this rule. 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background 

At present. Standard No. 118 is titled Power- 
Operated Window Systems (49 CFR 571.118). 
The purpose of the standard is to minimize the 
risk of personal injury that may result if a person 
is caught between a closing power-operated win- 
dow and the window frame. The agency's experi- 
ence is that children are the group of people most 
likely at risk from inadvertent or unsupervised 
operation of power windows. 

On April 6, 1990, the agency published in the 
Federal Register (55 F.R. 12871) a notice of pro- 
posed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend Standard 
No. 118. Among other things, the agency pro- 
posed to: extend the standard's coverage to apply 
to power operated roof panel systems, add force 
requirements for key-activated systems located on 
the exterior of the vehicle, and permit non-key 
locking systems on the vehicle exterior and 
remote control systems. 



On April 16, 1991, the agency published in the 
Federal Register (56 F.R. 15290) a final rule 
amending the standard. The standard's require- 
ments were extended to cover power-operated 
roof panels. It had previously applied only to 
power windows and power partition systems. A 
new requirement was established for key-activated 
power window/partition/roof panel control sys- 
tems located on the vehicle exterior. Such sys- 
tems, which previously had been permitted, were 
now required to either have an operating control 
that must be continuously activated by the user, 
or to have an automatic reversal mechanism that 
reverses window/partition/roof panel direction 
upon the window/partition/roof panel meeting an 
obstruction while closing. The final rule also 
newly permitted non-key locking systems on the 
exterior of the vehicle, which were required to 
meet the same requirements as key-activated sys- 
tems located on the vehicle exterior. Finally, the 
final rule newly permitted remote control devices 
for power window/partition operation. Such 
devices were required to either be incapable of 
operating from a distance of more than 20 feet 
from the vehicle, or to have an automatic reversal 
mechanism. The same requirements were estab- 
lished for remote control devices for power roof 
panel operation. 

In response to the final rule, the agency 
received three timely petitions for reconsideration, 
from Prospects Corporation, the Rover Group, 
Ltd. and the Association of International Auto- 
mobile Manufacturers (AIAM). NHTSA also 
received submissions from the International Sun- 
roof Institute (ISI) and General Motors Corpora- 
tion (GM). The latter two submitters each appar- 
ently considered its document to be a petition for 
reconsideration. However, because the documents 
were submitted after the filing deadline estab- 
lished in 49 CFR 553.35, the agency is treating 
them as petitions for rulemaking {see 49 CFR 
Part 552). 



PART 571: S1I8-PRE-21 



In responding to the petitions for reconsider- 
ation, the agency has, however, been able to 
address the issues raised in the petitions for rule- 
making, since the late petitions raised issues 
related to those presented in the petitions for 
reconsideration. Therefore, this notice responds to 
both the petitions for reconsideration and the peti- 
tions for rulemaking. 

The agency now turns to addressing the issues 
raised by the petitioners. 

Automatic Reversal Safety Feature 

Standard No. 118, as amended in the April 
1991 final rule, permits power window/partition/ 
roof panel systems to be closed only under speci- 
fied circumstances. As indicated above, one 
option manufacturers may select for power con- 
trol systems on the exterior of the vehicle and 
remote control systems is to provide an automatic 
reversal mechanism that reverses window/parti- 
tion/roof panel direction upon the window/parti- 
tion/roof panel meeting an obstruction while clos- 
ing. The regulatory text related to this option, as 
set forth in the April 1991 final rule, reads as 
follows — 

S5 (a) Notwithstanding S4, power window, parti- 
tion or roof panel systems which, while closing, 
reverse direction when they meet a resistive force 
of 22 pounds or more from a solid cylinder of 4 
to 200 mm in diameter and open to at least 200 
mm, may close — 

( 1 ) Upon the one-time activation of a locking 
system on the exterior of the vehicle; 

(2) Upon the one-time activation of any 
remote actuation device; or 

(3) Upon continuous activation of any 
remote actuation device capable of closing the 
power window, partition or roof panel from a dis- 
tance of more than 20 feet from the vehicle. 

(b) The 4 to 200 mm dimension cited in S5(a) 
is measured from the window or panel's leading 
edge to the daylight opening. 

1 . Circumstances for Closing When Reversal 
Feature Is Provided 

Petitions submitted by Prospects and GM 
argued that the permissible circumstances for the 
closing of a window, partition or roof panel with 
a reversal feature are overly narrow. Prospects 
requested that the standard permit the closing of 
windows dipped with its "intelligent control sys- 



tem." With this system, drivers could leave win- 
dows open about an inch when they leave their 
vehicles. The windows would shut automatically 
if the system detects rain falling. Prospects stated 
that section S5(a)(l)'s reference to one-time 
activation of the vehicle locking system could be 
interpreted as prohibiting an automatic power 
window system from continuously responding to 
signals to close (if rain should fall intermittently), 
in the event the window or sunroof does not actu- 
ally close. GM noted that in the April 1991 final 
rule, S4 pertains to supervised power window 
closing and S5 pertains to unsupervised power 
window closing. GM requested that the final rule 
be amended to remove the specified cir- 
cumstances when power windows with an auto- 
matic reversing safety feature are permitted to 
close. 

Upon reconsideration, the agency has decided 
not to restrict closing of power-operated window, 
partition and roof panel systems which include an 
automatic reverse feature. NHTSA believes that 
the safety concerns ordinarily associated with 
unsupervised window closing modes do not exist 
if an automatic reverse feature is provided. Even 
if a child places his or her fingers, arms or head 
in the path of a such a closing window, the auto- 
matic reversal feature would prevent serious 
injuries. The April 1991 final rule permitted cer- 
tain specified unsupervised window closing 
modes if an automatic reversal feature was pro- 
vided. However, as evidenced by the petitions for 
reconsideration, manufacturers would like to pro- 
vide a number of other unsupervised window 
closing modes. Upon review, the agency does not 
see any safety reason why, if an automatic rever- 
sal feature is provided, some unsupervised win- 
dow closing modes should be permitted but not 
other modes. Accordingly, in response to the peti- 
tions for reconsideration, NHTSA is amending 
S5(a) of Standard No. 118 to remove restrictions 
on the circumstances under which closing is per- 
mitted for systems equipped with an automatic 
reversal feature. 

2. Size of Opening to Which System Must Reverse 

In order for manufacturers to take advantage of 
compliance options provided for systems 
equipped with a reversal feature, they must ensure 
their reverse mechanisms meet specified criteria. 
One criterion of the April 1991 final rule was 
that, upon reversal, a power window/partition/roof 



PART 571: S1I8-PRE-22 



panel must open to "at least 200 mm." Three 
petitioners. Prospects. Rover and ISI, raised the 
issue of how that requirement could be met if the 
maximum size of the opening was less than 200 
mm. As an example of a system that may be 
unable to comply with such a requirement. Rover 
noted that pop-up sunroofs typically have a maxi- 
mum opening of 100 mm. 

Prospects stated a concern about opening to 
200 mm because of security considerations. As 
previously noted. Prospects' "intelligent control 
system" permits windows to be open about an 
inch but automatically shuts the windows if the 
system detects rain falling. Prospects stated that a 
design which caused the windows to open to 200 
mm upon meeting an obstacle while closing 
would compromise the vehicle's security, since a 
200 mm opening would be large enough to permit 
a person to gain access to the vehicle interior. It 
recommended amending the language of S5(a) to 
require opening "to at least the same original 
position prior to the automatic closing." The peti- 
tioner argued that if a person's fingers, arms or 
head could be moved into an open window or 
sunroof area prior to the automatic closing, they 
could be moved out of the same area when the 
window glass or roof panel is reopened to the 
same position. 

The agency agrees with petitioners that the size 
of the opening upon reversal should be reconsid- 
ered. Both issues that were raised, the impossibil- 
ity of complying with the 200 mm requirement 
for some power-operated systems, and security 
considerations, are valid. Therefore, in the final 
rule, the agency retains the opening to 200 mm 
criterion as one alternative and adopts language 
similar to that proposed by Prospects as another 
alternative. The agency agrees with Prospects' 
argument that opening to the position prior to 
initiation of closing would meet the need for 
safety in this area. However, the agency believes 
that adopting only the language proposed by Pros- 
pects would be too restrictive, since it would 
require windows and panels that were initially 
open further than 200 mm to return automatically 
to that position. Therefore, the amendments make 
the criteria less restrictive than the language 
adopted in the April 1991 final rule. 

3. Resistive Force Specification 

Another criterion specified in the April 1991 
final rule for reversal mechanisms is that such 



systems must reverse direction "when they meet 
a resistive force of 22 pounds or more from a 
solid cylinder of 4 to 200 mm in diameter." 

Prospects stated that this wording may mean 
that windows must reverse at the actual moment 
of contact. Prospects expressed its concern that 
only systems that use force sensoring to control 
reversing would be practical for unsupervised or 
automatic closing. If this were the case. Prospects 
believes that systems with proximity sensors to 
detect exposed fingers, which reverse the window 
before actual contact (avoiding resistive force in 
the solid cylinder test), would not be permitted. 

NHTSA notes that the purpose of the resistive 
force specification is to ensure that reversal takes 
place before a level of force occurs that causes 
injury. Thus, reversal before contact would obvi- 
ously meet this safety concern. Since the wording 
of the April 1991 amendment appears to con- 
template that reversal takes place after contact, 
the agency is revising the language to make it 
clear that reversal may take place before contact 
occurs. 

ISI requested a review of the resistive force 
specification as applied to power operated sunroof 
panels. ISI stated that because sunroof panels are 
equipped with edge frames two or three times the 
thickness of glass, sunroofs should be allowed a 
higher resistive force based on the lower contact 
pressure (force per unit area) that occurs with 
sunroofs as compared to windows. 

NHTSA does not agree with ISI's argument 
that sunroof panels should be permitted a higher 
force limit simply because they result in lower 
contact pressure than windows. Standard No. 
118's focus on force resulted from the agency's 
review of an investigation conducted by the 
University of Heidelberg for the Kraftfahrt- 
Bundesmat, the German governmental body 
responsible for type approval of automotive 
equipment. The university study concluded that 
10 kg (22 pounds) is sufficient to strangle an 
infant whose neck is caught face down between 
the window edge and the door frame. NHTSA 
believes that force is a better predictor of the risk 
of strangulation and bone breakage than pressure. 
While a pressure specification might be better 
than force for predicting cutting injuries, window/ 
partition/roof panel edges are sufficiently blunt 
that cutting injuries are not a significant safety 
concern. 



PART 571; S118-PRE-23 



NHTSA notes that, consistent with its poHcy of 
using metric measurements where feasible, the 
agency is revising the force limit from 22 pounds 
to 100 newtons (22.48 pounds). The revised force 
limit is identical to that in the German Road Traf- 
fic Act, which was the original source for the 
limit. 

4. Test Procedure 

I