DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. NHTSA 03-16523]

RIN 2127-AF36

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards;
Fuel Systems Integrity


    AGENCY:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:  Final rule.

    SUMMARY:  In this document, NHTSA is upgrading the rear impact test in the Federal motor vehicle safety standard on fuel system integrity. To simulate being struck in the rear by another vehicle, that standard currently specifies that the full width of the rear of the test vehicle be impacted with a flat, rigid barrier at speeds up to 48 km/h (30 mph). This final rule replaces that full rear impact test procedure with an offset rear impact test procedure specifying that only a portion of the width of the rear of the test vehicle be impacted at 80 km/h (50 mph). Under the new rear impact procedure, a lighter, deformable barrier is used. The barrier is very similar to the one used for dynamic testing in the agency's side impact protection standard, except that the rear impact barrier's face is mounted slightly lower to simulate the diving of the front end of a vehicle during pre-crash braking. The agency has concluded that the new, more stringent rear impact test procedure will save lives and prevent injuries.

    This final rule replaces the standard's lateral (side) impact test procedure with the procedure specified in the agency's side impact protection standard at an impact speed range of 53 1 km/h. The agency has concluded that this change will provide a more realistic test, increase safety, and reduce testing costs.

    DATES:  This final rule is effective [insert date that is 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register]. Voluntary compliance is permitted on or after that date. If you wish to submit a petition for reconsideration of this rule, your petition must be received by [insert date that is 45 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register].

    ADDRESSES:  You may submit petitions for reconsideration [identified by DOT DMS Docket Number] by any of the following methods:

    Instructions:  All submissions must include the agency name and docket number or

    Regulatory Identification Number (RIN) for this rulemaking. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading under Regulatory Notices.

    Docket:  For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to https://www.regulations.gov at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    For technical and other non-legal issues, you may call Dr. William J.J. Liu, Office of Crashworthiness Standards (Telephone: 202-366-2264) (Fax: 202-366-4329).

    For legal issues, you may call Mr. Chris Calamita, Office of Chief Counsel (Telephone: 202-366-2992) (Fax: 202-366-3820).

    You may send mail to both of these officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590.

    You may call Docket Management at 202-366-9324. You may visit the Docket on the plaza level at 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, D.C., from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

 

Table of Contents

  1. Background

    1. Existing Standard

    2. Safety Problem

  2. 1995 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  3. 2000 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. Proposed Rear Impact Test Procedure

    2. Proposed Side Impact Test Procedure

    3. Door System Integrity

    4. Lead Time

    5. Costs and Benefits

    6. Request for Comments on Additional Issues

  4. Summary of Comments

    1. Rear Impact Test Procedure Upgrade

    2. Side Impact Test Procedure Upgrade

    3. Door System Integrity

    4. Lead Tim

      1. Rear Impact Test Upgrade

      2. Side Impact Test Upgrade

    5. Costs and Benefits

    6. Additional Issues

      1. Real World Data

      2. Head and Neck Injury Criteria

      3. Seat Back Failure

      4. Use of 5th Percentile Female Dummies

      5. Test Vehicle Loading Conditions

      6. Lowering the Barrier Face

      7. Pole Side Impact Test

      8. Prohibiting Fuel Leakage in Frontal Impact Crash Tests

      9. Compliance Responsibility of Second-Stage Manufacturers

      10. Fuel Siphoning

  5. Final Rule

    1. Summary of the Final Rule

    2. Rear Impact Test Procedure

    3. Side Impact Test Procedure

    4. Door System Integrity

    5. Lead Time

      1. Rear Impact Test Upgrade

      2. Side Impact Test Upgrade

    6. Benefits

    7. Costs

    8. Additional Issues

      1. Real World Data

      2. Head and Neck Injury Criteria

      3. Seat Back Failure

      4. Use of 5th Percentile Female Dummies

      5. Test Vehicle Loading Conditions

      6. Lowering the Barrier Face

      7. Pole Side Impact Test

      8. Prohibiting Fuel Leakage in Frontal Impact Crash Tests

      9. Compliance Responsibility of Second-Stage Manufacturers

      10. Fuel Siphoning

  6. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices