Europa International, Inc.
1570A Pacheco Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Dear Mr. Holland:
This responds to your letter of February 24, 1995, regarding the passive restraint phase-in requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection. You asked whether an importer which "imports Canadian specification MPV's (multipurpose passenger vehicles), such as the Chrysler Minivan, that meets (sic) the MPV passive restraint requirements of FMVSS 208 ... can count these vehicles toward the required percentage."
Section S126.96.36.199.1(a) states, "(a) vehicle that is imported shall be attributed to the importer." Thus, to determine compliance with the passive restraint phase-in requirements, Europa International should (1) count all trucks, buses, and mpv's with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less and an unloaded vehicle weight of 5,500 pounds or less, (2) count all such vehicles which meet the passive restraint requirements of FMVSS 208, and (3) determine if that class of vehicles is a sufficient percentage of the first class of vehicles to satisfy the phase-in requirements. However, as Mary Versailles of my staff cautioned you on the phone, some manufacturers are installing European (face) air bags but are not certifying that vehicles with such air bags meet the passive restraint requirements of FMVSS 208. Therefore, you should verify that any vehicle with an air bag is in fact certified to FMVSS 208's passive restraint requirements.
I hope this information has been helpful. If you have other questions or need some additional information, please contact Mary Versailles of my staff at this address or by phone at (202) 366-2992.
Philip R. Recht Chief Counsel ref:208 d:4/3/95