M. Guy Dorleans
International and Regulatory Affairs Manager
VALEO Vision
34, rue Saint-Andre
93012 Bobigny cedex

Dear M. Dorleans:

This is in reply to your letter of May 22, 1997, regarding the "Baroptic" lower beam headlamp developed by VALEO. This headlamp is visually/optically aimable, incorporating one removable light source. You have enclosed drawings (Figs. 1-4) illustrating the new headlamp.

You believe that the headlamp would be permitted by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, but you have asked the following three questions:

"a) Does the provision in S7.4(a)(3) apply? We think it does not, since the 'Baroptic' is not an integral beam. As a matter of consequence, the ratio between the luminance of each light-emitting surface is not a legal criterion. Nor is the relative contribution of each Fresnel lens to the lowbeam beam pattern."

If you have decided that the "Baroptic" is not an integral beam headlamp system, then paragraph S7.4(a)(3) would not apply since paragraph S7.4 applies only to integral beam headlamp systems. The "Baroptic" lower beam headlamp will be a "replaceable bulb headlamp" regulated under paragraph S7.5 provided that its replaceable light source is designed to conform to the requirements of Appendix A or Appendix B of Part 564 and the appropriate information has been submitted to and accepted by NHTSA.

"b) Where do we need to mark the name of the light source as required in S7.5(g)? We propose to place this mandatory marking on the outer lens (6), in front of the center of the midpoint Fresnel lens if an odd number of lenses is used (Figure 3a), or in between the central Fresnel lenses if their number is even (Figure 3b)."

S7.5(g) requires only that the lens of a replaceable bulb headlamp be marked "in front of " each replaceable light source. The locations you have chosen meet this requirement.

"c) We have the same question and same proposal as above for the 'mark' of the optical axis' as per S7.8.1(b) of FMVSS 108."

S7.8.1(b) requires headlamps to have a mark or markings that are visible from the front of the headlamp . . . to identify the optical axis of the headlamp . . ." These markings " may be on the interior or exterior of the lens or indicated by a mark or central structure on the interior or exterior of the headlamp." The marks for optical axis that are shown in Figure 3(a), Figure 3(b), and Figure 4 of your submission would appear to indicate the optical axis itself of the respective headlamp design, but must be placed in the location necessary for correct aiming and photometric testing.

If you have further questions, you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office (FAX 202-366-2830).

John Womack
Acting Chief Counsel