Search Interpretations


    Dr. Jane van Tilborg
    Manager, Brake Fluids
    Castrol Corporation
    Technology Center
    Whitchurch Hill
    Pangbourne Reading
    United Kingdom RG8 7QR

    Dear Dr. van Tilborg:

    This responds to your inquiry related to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 116, Motor vehicle brake fluids (set forth in Volume 49 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)) (49 CFR 571.116). You noted that the standard has a section related to labeling of brake fluid containers. While you recognize that this requirement applies in the United States, you asked if we could advise you about the situation for the "rest of the world". Specifically, you indicated that you may wish to "claim performance specifications FMVSS 116 DOT 3, DOT 4, etc". outside the United States, while meeting the local national labeling requirements but not the FMVSS No. 116 labeling requirements.

    We regret that we cannot advise you about the brake fluid requirements of countries other than the United States.

    We are concerned, however, that to the extent that you make claims about performance related to our standard, that the claims not be misleading. This would be a concern wherever the brake fluid is sold, and we assume that it would be a concern to other countries as well as to us. If the brake fluid meets all of the applicable requirements of FMVSS 116 other than labeling, you might include a statement to that effect on the label. Also, you must not certify that brake fluid meets FMVSS 116 if it does not meet all of the standards requirements. In addition to concerns related to the country in which the brake fluid is sold, purchasers might rely on such certification to import the brake fluid into the United States.

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


    Stephen P. Wood
    Acting Chief Counsel