B. Michael Korte, Esq.
Law Firm of John Schwabe II
St. Louis Office
The Locust Building--Suite 900
1015 Locust Street
St. Louis, MO 63101

Dear Mr. Korte:

This responds to your letter asking about Federal standards concerning the deployment of air bags. You asked whether AFederal regulations establish a minimum speed that vehicles must be traveling, below which an air bag will not deploy.@

The answer to your question is no. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection, establishes a number of performance requirements for air bags and air-bag-equipped vehicles. However, neither that standard nor any other Federal motor vehicle safety standard specifies that air bags must not deploy in crashes below a specified vehicle speed.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any other questions, please contact Edward Glancy of my staff at this address or by phone at (202) 366-2992.


Samuel J. Dubbin Chief Counsel

Ref:208 d:1/29/96 NCC-20 Eglancy:mar:1/3/96:OCC 11373