Ultra Bond Licensing Corporation
2458 I-70 Business Loop, Ste. B-1
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Dear Ms. Campfield:
This responds to your request for an interpretation of this agency's laws that apply to your new product, EDGEGUARD, a clear material that is placed on the outer three inches or less of a windshield perimeter to prevent cracks. I apologize for the delay in responding.
As you are aware from past correspondence, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to regulate the manufacture of new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. NHTSA has promulgated Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 205, Glazing Materials, which specifies performance and location requirements for motor vehicle glazing. For windshields, Standard No. 205 specifies minimum levels of light transmittance (70 percent) and light stability; resistance to abrasion, delamination (humidity and boil tests), impact and penetration; and maximum levels of optical deviation and distortion. The various tests and criteria are contained in ANSI/SAE Z26.1, which is incorporated by reference in Standard No. 205.
NHTSA has stated in past interpretation letters that films such as the type your letter describes are not glazing materials themselves, and would not have to meet Standard No. 205. However, depending on who installs the glazing, installation of such films on new motor vehicles may be prohibited if, after installation, the vehicle glazing no longer meets the requirements of Standard No. 205, such as those for light transmittance, abrasion resistance and optical distortion.
A vehicle manufacturer or dealer placing your film on glazing in a new vehicle prior to sale of the vehicle must certify that the glazing continues to meet Standard No. 205. 49 U.S.C. Section 30112(a) prohibits any person from manufacturing for sale, offering for sale or selling any motor vehicle or equipment that fails to comply with applicable safety standards, including Standard No. 205. After the vehicle has been sold to the first purchaser, the owner may modify the vehicle as he or she pleases, subject to State requirements. Under Federal law, the owner could install your product on the vehicle whether or not such installation adversely affects the light transmittance and other properties of the vehicle's glazing. However, we urge consumers not to degrade the safety of their vehicles.
49 U.S.C. Section 30122(b) provides that a manufacturer, distributor, dealer or motor vehicle repair business "may not knowingly make inoperative" any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard. "Make inoperative" means to remove, disconnect or degrade the performance of a system or element of design installed pursuant to the FMVSSs. Thus, none of these persons may knowingly install your film on a vehicle for its owner if the installation would make inoperative the light transmittance or abrasion resistance of the vehicle glazing. Violations of this section may result in Federal civil penalties of up to $1,100 for each violation.
Because State law may affect the installation of your product on owners' vehicles, you should check the law in the States where you believe your product may be sold or installed for any applicable requirements.
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.
Acting Chief Counsel