Johnson, Sudenga, Latham & Peglow
118 East Main Street, P.O. Box 1180
Marshalltown, IA 50158-1180
Dear Mr. Sudenga:
This responds to your letter following up on my May 18, 1994, letter to your client, Mr. Neil Rowe, about Mr. Rowe's product, the "Glad Grip." In my letter, I provided information about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) requirements for manufacturers of motor vehicle equipment, and explained that NHTSA has not issued a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) applicable to a product such as the Glad Grip. In your followup letter, you indicated we did not answer your request for "approval of NHTSA in advance of major marketing efforts," concerning your client's product.
I regret that my earlier letter was unclear on the issue of NHTSA "approval" of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment. NHTSA does not approve motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment, nor does the agency endorse any commercial products. Instead, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act establishes a "self-certification" process under which each manufacturer is responsible for certifying that its products meet all applicable safety standards. As I stated in the earlier letter, the agency has not issued any safety standards for the Glad Grip. Even if there were an applicable FMVSS, NHTSA would not "approve" the Glad Grip; rather, Mr. Rowe would self- certify his product.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any other questions, please contact Marvin Shaw of my staff at this address or by phone at (202) 366-2992.
John Womack Acting Chief Counsel ref:106 d:7/1/94