Background Studies have shown that lap/shoulder belts are more effective than lap belts in reducing fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. However, the installation of a lap/shoulder belt in the rear-center position is more complicated than the outboard seats since it cannot be anchored to the side roof rail. Currently, rear center seats are only required by FMVSS 208 to have a lap belt. On December 4, 2002, the President signed into law "Anton's Law" and NHTSA was directed to issue a final rule by December 2004 that would require a lap and shoulder belt assembly for each rear designated seating position in a passenger motor vehicle with a GVWR rating of 10,000 pounds or less. A phase-in would commence in September 2005, and the requirement would be met by September 2007.
ObjectiveDetermine the incremental consumer cost and weight of rear-center 3-point belts.
Proposed Approach The cost of rear-center 3-point belts will be estimated by "teardown" studies and compared to rear-center lap belts. The analysis can be completed within a year.