Mr. Charles I. Sassoon

Panor Corp.

125 Cabot Court

Hauppage, NY 11788

Dear Mr. Sassoon:

This responds to your letter regarding the permissibility of a combination Stop, Turn Signal, Taillamp (STT) and backup lamp under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment (FMVSS). Based upon the information you provided the agency and the analysis below, we have concluded that your design incorporating 18 white Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the outer perimeter of the STT would not be prohibited under FMVSS No. 108.

By way of background, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is authorized to issue FMVSSs that set performance requirements for new motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment (see 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301). NHTSA does not provide approvals of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment. Instead, manufacturers are required to self-certify that their products conform to all applicable safety standards that are in effect on the date of manufacture. FMVSS No. 108 specifies requirements for original and replacement lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment. NHTSA selects a sampling of new vehicles and equipment each year to determine their compliance with applicable FMVSSs. If our testing or examination reveals an apparent noncompliance, we may require the manufacturer to remedy the noncompliance, and may initiate an enforcement proceeding if necessary to ensure that the manufacturer takes appropriate action.

The lamp you have designed consists of two areas, an inner area containing what appear, from your illustrations, to be nine LEDs, and an outer ring containing 18 white, 8 millimeter LEDs, which will serve as a backup lamp. You ask if there is any provision of FMVSS No. 108 which would prohibit this configuration.

The standard does not prohibit this combination lamp, as long as when a specific function is activated, the lamp performs that function in a manner that meets the minimum performance requirements established by Standard No. 108. It is the manufacturers

responsibility to confirm that the lamp meets all FMVSS No. 108 requirements relative to the functions for which the lamp is certified. We note that these issues have been raised in a 1990 letter to Mr. Suichi Watanabe,[1] and a copy of that interpretation has been included for your convenience.

If you have any more questions, please contact Ari Scott of my staff at (202) 366-2992.


Anthony M. Cooke

Chief Counsel




[1] 5/30/90 letter to Suichi Watanabe, available at