Aranson Law Office
P.O. Box 5296
Grand Forks, ND 52806-5296
Dear Mr. Sharpe:
This responds to your further letter of June 13, 1995, with reference to your client, NYTAF Industries, Inc.
You have informed us that NYTAF will sell in the aftermarket its rear lighting system that displays verbal messages. You ask whether NYTAF must certify compliance with the Federal motor vehicle safety standards as "it is simply a manufacturer of an accessory."
The answer is no. The only aftermarket lighting equipment for which certification of compliance is required is equipment that is manufactured to replace any item of required original lighting equipment on a vehicle. The NYTAF system is not intended to replace any item of original equipment, and no certification is required.
However, because the NYTAF system is "manufactured or sold . . . as an accessory or addition to a motor vehicle", it is "motor vehicle equipment" as defined by 49 U.S.C. 30102(a)(7)(B). This means that if either NYTAF or NHTSA determines that there is a safety related defect in the system, NYTAF will be required to notify and remedy according to statutory provisions.
If you have any further questions you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office (202-366-5263).
John Womack Acting Chief Counsel
Enclosure ref:108 d:6/30/95