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    Mr. Jim Pike
    Business Development Manager
    DSM Engineering Plastics
    645 Waverly Circle
    Copley, OH 44321

    Dear Mr. Pike:

    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 whether your brake hose products may be certified as meeting the December 20, 2004 final rule on brake hoses. The answer is yes.

    In responding to your letter, I note that 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.

    You inform us that your company "has developed thermoplastic copolyester materials" that have resulted in products that meet all requirements applicable to plastic airbrake tubes as specified at S11. and S12. in the December 20, 2004, (69 FR 76298) final rule updating FMVSS No. 106. The final rule takes effect on December 20, 2006, but manufacturers were provided the option of early compliance with the new rule beginning on February 18, 2005. Thus, until December 20, 2006, your company has the option of manufacturing products to meet either the requirements in the December 20, 2004 final rule or the present FMVSS No. 106.

    When certified as meeting FMVSS No. 106, the products can be sold in the U.S. , and placed on vehicles to be sold in the U.S. and used on U.S. roads. No changes were made in the way the products must be labeled. However, if there was a change in how the manufacturer of the tubing is designated (i.e. , change in company name or change of company logo), the December 20, 2004, final rule specifies the information is to be provided to a different NHTSA office than that presently specified. The December 20, 2004 final rule does not have the effect of requiring any manufacturer to re-register. If a brake hose or tubing manufacturer has already registered with NHTSA, there is no need to re-register.

    In the December 20, 2004, final rule (at page 76,298), we noted that the rulemaking began from a joint petition that was submitted in light of a 1997 proposal to revise Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) provisions for brake tubing and hose adequacy (at 49 CFR 393.45) and for brake tubing and hose connections (at 49 CFR 393.46). You ask about the status of this rulemaking to remove the FMCSR provisions. Sections 393.45 and 393.46 are administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA published the Final Rule on August 15, 2005 (70 FR 48008).

    I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, please contact Dorothy Nakama of my staff at (202) 366-2992.


    Stephen P. Wood
    Acting Chief Counsel