Mr. Chris Tinto
Technical & Regulatory Affairs, Safety
Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
1850 M Street
Washington, DC 20036
Dear Mr. Tinto:
This responds to your request for an interpretation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. As discussed below, we confirm that paragraph S4.5.1(e) requires only one air bag warning label on the dashboard (or the steering wheel hub).
As you noted in your letter, paragraph S4.5.1(e), Label on the dashboard, includes three sections. Section (1) states that "(e)xcept as provided in S4.5.1(e)(2), each vehicle that is equipped with an inflatable restraint for the passenger position shall have a [specified] label attached to a location on the dashboard or the steering wheel hub. . . ." Section (2) [S4.5.1(e)(2)] specifies requirements for a similar label for vehicles certified to meet requirements for advanced air bags before December 1, 2003, and section (3) specifies requirements for a similar label for vehicles certified to meet requirements for advanced air bags on or after December 1, 2003.
You stated that Toyotas concern is that although S4.5.1(e)(1) makes an exception for S4.5.1(e)(2), it does not make an exception for S4.5.1(e)(3). You indicated that therefore, as written, both sections S4.5.1(e)(1) and S4.5.1(e)(3) apply. You noted the similarity of the labels required by the two sections, and that the one required by section (3) includes details related to advanced air bags. You stated that Toyota believes it was not NHTSAs intention to require vehicles to have both labels.
This confirms your understanding. The agency intended the S4.5.1(e)(2) and (3) labeling requirements for vehicles certified to meet requirements for advanced air bags to supersede the labeling requirement in S4.5.1(e)(1). Therefore, the exception identified in S4.5.1(e)(1) should include S4.5.1(e)(3) as well as S4.5.1(e)(2). We will issue a technical correction concerning this matter in the future.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Edward Glancy of my staff at (202) 366-2992.