Mr. Chad Hooper
Quality Eng Leader
Carlex Glass Company
77 Excellence Way
Vonore, TN 37885
Dear Mr. Hooper:
This responds to your inquiry asking whether the marking you are considering for your glazing would violate any Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS). You ask about the location of the AS1 mark with respect to the shade band area of a windshield. As explained below, the marking you suggest in your email is permissible under Federal law.
By way of background, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is authorized to issue FMVSS that set performance requirements for new motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment. NHTSA enforces compliance with the standards by purchasing and testing vehicles and equipment, and we also investigate safety-related defects. The agency has established FMVSS No. 205, Glazing Materials (49 CFR 571.205), which specifies performance requirements for various types of glazing. FMVSS No. 205 incorporates by reference American National Standard for Safety Glazing Materials for Glazing Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment Operating on Land Highways-Safety Standard ANSI/SAE Z26.1-1996 (ANSI Z26.1). The following is our interpretation of FMVSS No. 205 based on our understanding of the information provided in your email.
In your email, you explain that you would like to keep the AS1 mark in the same location on windshields that have a shade band and shade dot matrix between the visors and on windshields that only have dot matrix between the visors. You would like to print the AS1 mark at the edge of the windshield and below the shade band area (we assume you to mean that on windshields that only have dot matrix between the visors, the shade band area is where the shade band would appear on windshields that have a full shade band) and keep this consistent between all parts. That is, you would like to have the AS1 mark appear in this same location where the windshield only has a dot matrix between the visors as where it appears on windshields that have a shade band. You state, There is a 62 mm difference in the shade band and the dot matrix area between the visors, and ask if it would be acceptable for the AS1 mark to be 62 mm lower than the dot matrix area.
Our answer is yes. Requirements for shade bands and markings are found in FMVSS No. 205 in section S5.3 (shade band requirements) and section S6 (certification and marking requirements for glazing). Section S5.3 of FMVSS No. 205 requires that windshield shade bands comply with either the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Recommended Practice J100 (rev. June 1995), Class A Vehicle Glazing Shade Bands (SAE J100), or with other specific requirements in S5.3.2 establishing a lower boundary for windshield shade bands. There is no provision in S5.3 that requires the manufacturer marking to appear in any other specific position or area of the glazing. S6 of FMVSS No. 205 requires that glazing have the markings referred to in section 7 of ANSI Z26.1. Section 7 of ANSI Z26.1 requires that manufacturers mark the windshields to show the limits of the area having a luminous transmittance of less than 70 percent (e.g., shade bands). Regarding the location of this marking, section 7 specifies that [g]lazing materials, which in a single sheet of material are intentionally made with an area having a luminous transmittance of not less than 70% (Test 2), adjoining an area that has less than 70% luminous transmittance [i.e., shaded areas], shall be permanently marked at the edge of the sheet to show the limits of the area that is intended to comply with Test 2. (Emphasis added.) Assuming the markings and shade bands meet all requirements in section S6 of FMVSS No. 205 and section 7 of ANSI Z26.1, the AS1 mark may appear at the edge of the sheet of glazing 62 mm below the lowest edge of the dot matrix area or shade band.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Alves of my staff at this address or by telephone at (202) 366-2992.
Anthony M. Cooke