Ms. Collette Walsh
    345 University Avenue
    Ontario K8N 5T7

    Dear Ms. Walsh:

    This is in reply to your fax of November 12, 2002, with respect to your fax requests of September 4 and 5, 2002, for interpretations of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. Im sorry to say that we have no record of receiving your earlier faxes.

    The interpretation you requested on September 4 concerns the headlamp lens marking requirement of the standard for a Type H headlighting system, specifically S7.3.9(c). Paragraph (c) requires that "The face of letters, numbers, or other symbols molded on the surface of the lens shall not be raised more than 0.020 in. (0.5 mm) . . . ." It also requires that "The marking shall be molded in the lens and shall be not less than in. (6.35 mm) in size."

    You asked whether "the lens marking (pattern) [must be] in the mold at the time of manufacture" and whether "an acceptable alternative [would be] . . . to laser etch the lens after the molding process." You explained that the marking would be indelible and not raised more than 0.020 in.

    We have no information on the durability of laser etching on a headlamp lens but note that a laser etching would not be "molded into the lens" as specified in S7.3.9(c). Therefore, we do not regard your alternative as one that would comply with the standard.

    The interpretation you requested on September 5 again involves lens marking. You asked whether it is acceptable to place the information required to be on a lens "on the top of the housing of a tail lamp or headlamp assembly" You added that "the marking would be clearly visible only if the trunk lid or engine compartment lid was open." This would not be acceptable. The information required to be on a lens must be placed on the lens.

    If you have further questions, you may call Taylor Vinson of this Office at 202-366-5263.


    Jacqueline Glassman
    Chief Counsel