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04-007232-2drn

    Ms. Doris Showalter
    Senior Product Manager
    Eaton Corporation
    Hydraulic Power Fluid Division
    1660 Indian Wood Circle
    Maumee, OH 43537


    Dear Ms. Showalter:

    This responds to your request for an interpretation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 106, Brake Hoses (49 CFR 571.106).You asked about the responsibilities of distributors of your brake hose parts that assemble the parts into an air brake hose assembly.

    I note that in your requests you make several references to DOT approval of brake hose products. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does not provide approvals of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment. Under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301, manufacturers are required to certify that their vehicles and equipment meet applicable requirements.

    FMVSS No. 106 applies to brake hoses, brake hose end fittings, and brake hose assemblies. The standard specifies labeling and performance requirements for these products to reduce the likelihood of brake system failure from ruptures in the brake hose or brake hose assembly. New brake hoses, end fittings, and assemblies must meet these requirements to be sold in or imported into this country.

    The various requirements for air brake hose, brake hose assemblies, and brake hose fittings are set forth in S7 of FMVSS No. 106.

    In a telephone conversation with Dorothy Nakama of my staff, you asked whether a distributor making an assembly would be included in the definition of manufacturer at S7.2.3(b) of FMVSS No. 106. The answer is yes. In the situation where a distributor of brake hose parts assembles them into an air brake hose assembly, the distributor would be the manufacturer of the assembly. I note that the term manufacturer is defined at 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(5)(A) as a person manufacturing or assembling motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.

    You also state that you have heard that screw together fittings, often called 100R5 style reusable fittings, are no longer acceptable and ask if this is true.NHTSA understands that this style of fitting and air brake hose meets the requirements for Type AII of Table III of FMVSS No. 106 for air brake hoses assembled with reusable fittings.If this is true, and as long as the screw together fittings can meet all applicable requirements of FMVSS No. 106, they are permissible.

    In closing, we note that on December 20, 2004 (69 FR 76298), NHTSA issued in the Federal Register, a final rule updating FMVSS No. 106, including the requirements for air brake hose, brake hose assemblies, and brake hose end fittings.The final rule will be effective December 20, 2006. Brake hose manufacturers may comply with the new requirements beginning on February 18, 2005, if they so choose.

    I hope this information is helpful.In addition to the above, I am also enclosing an information sheet for new manufacturers that should address your questions regarding certification requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Dorothy Nakama at (202) 366-2992.

    Sincerely,

    Jacqueline Glassman
    Chief Counsel

    Enclosure
    ref:106
    d.1/7/05