Mr. Mark A. Evans
Photometric Engineer
Calcoast - ITL Lighting Technology
P.O. Box 8702
Emeryville, CA 94662

Dear Mr. Evans:

This is in reply to your letter of May 16, 1997, to Messrs Van Iderstine and Boyd of this agency. For your future reference, the Office of Chief Counsel has been designated as the Office of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration responsible for providing legal interpretations of the Federal motor vehicle safety standards.

You ask what components of a headlamp must be included when a corrosion test is conducted on it pursuant to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108. Specifically you ask whether it is "just the housing lens, reflector and bulb?" Because paragraph S8.4(b) "makes a reference to unfixtured," you also ask whether that implies that "the aim and mounting hardware should be included?" Finally, because the connector is to be attached to the bulb, you ask whether that makes "the bulb compression spring a headlamp component?"

The performance requirements to which paragraph S8.4 relates are set forth in paragraph S7.4(h)(3) (applicable to integral beam headlamps) and paragraph S7.5(i) (applicable to replaceable bulb headlamps). These paragraphs require that, after a corrosion test of a headlamp conducted according to paragraph S8.4, "there shall be no evidence of external or internal corrosion or rust visible without magnification." When a headlamp is tested as provided in paragraph S8.4, it is to be tested "with connector attached to the terminals, unfixtured . . . ." Paragraph S4 defines a headlamp test fixture as a test device "whose mounting hardware and components are those necessary to operate the headlamp as installed" on a motor vehicle.

Since the headlamp is to be tested unfixtured, this means that a test headlamp need not be equipped with mounting hardware and associated components at the time of testing for corrosion resistance. However, all other components of the headlamp would be subject to the corrosion test, including its aiming hardware (if so equipped) and the bulb compression spring, and be required to comply with corrosion resistance requirements specified by Standard No. 108.

If you have further questions, you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office (202-366-5263).

John Womack
Acting Chief Counsel