Mr. Lance Tunick
Vehicle Services Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 23078
Santa Fe, NM 87502-3078
Dear Mr. Tunick:
This responds to your March 9, 2004, e-mail concerning Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 225, "Child Restraint Anchorage Systems" (49 CFR 571.225), and the installation of air bag on-off switches.
You ask whether the standard requires a dealer or motor vehicle repair business that installs an air bag on-off switch at the front passenger seating position in a vehicle pursuant to 49 CFR Part 595, "Retrofit on-off switches for air bags," to install also a child restraint anchorage system in that position. The answer to your question is a child restraint anchorage system would not have to be installed.
FMVSS No. 225 requires each vehicle manufactured on or after September 1, 2002, to have a child restraint anchorage system at certain designated seating positions. Generally, these are forward-facing rear designated seating positions. An exception is set forth in S5(c)(1) and (c)(2) of FMVSS No. 225, which specify that each vehicle that has an air bag on-off switch must have a child restraint anchorage system for a designated passenger seating position in the front seat.
Under section 30112(b) of our statute (49 U.S.C. Chapter 301), the FMVSSs apply only to the manufacture and sale of new vehicles. Thus, S5(c)(1) and (c)(2) of FMVSS No. 225 require each vehicle that has an air bag on-off switch installed as original equipment to have a child restraint anchorage system in the front passenger seating position. The requirement does not apply to the vehicle once it is sold and delivered to the first purchaser.
If you have further questions, please contact Deirdre Fujita of my staff at (202) 366-2992.