Ricca & Whitmire, P.A.
Clearlake Plaza - Suite 800
500 South Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Dear Mr. Garcia:
This responds to your request for an interpretation whether the Kawasaki Mule KAF 450-B1, with a top speed of 25 miles per hour, is a motor vehicle. You describe the Mule as an "off-road" light utility vehicle, and enclose a photocopy of what appears to be a Kawasaki brochure describing the Mule.
The Mule is similar to two on and off-road capable vehicles, reviewed by NHTSA for a determination whether the vehicles are motor vehicles. Enclosed are two interpretation letters, one to Mr. Matthew J. Plache, dated December 3, 1991, and one to Mr. Hiroshi Kato dated October 31, 1988. Both letters addressed vehicles which could attain a top speed of 25 miles per hour and were not intended by their manufacturers to be used on the public roads.
Both letters describe five criteria which NHTSA applies when determining whether a vehicle with on and off-road capability is a motor vehicle. We do not have sufficient information to apply the five criteria to the Mule. However, we believe that if the facts are known, the criteria are easily applied, and a determination whether the Mule is a motor vehicle may be made.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please contact Dorothy Nakama of my staff at this address or at(202) 366-2992.
Philip R. Recht Chief Counsel