Mr. Mitch L. Williams
President & CEO
Hella, Inc.
P.O. Box 2665
Peachtree City, GA 30269

Dear Mr. Williams:

This is in reply to your letter of August 12, 1997, to Richard Van Iderstine of this agency. For your future reference, interpretations of the Federal motor vehicle safety standards, including Standard No. 108, are properly addressed to the Office of Chief Counsel.

You write that Hella "is currently working with a vehicle manufacturer to provide a fog lamp kit to be initially offered and installed at the car dealer, or vehicle manufacturer zone level, with a possible introduction later for the assembly line." Some of the vehicles will have daytime running lamps (DRL), and on such vehicles, the manufacturer wants to tie the fog lamps into the DRL circuit so that the fog lamps will illuminate when the vehicle is started and be extinguished when the upper beam of the headlamps are activated (if the fog lamp switch is in the "on" position), or when the ignition is turned off. You ask whether we concur with your conclusion that you see no problem with this arrangement.

I regret to say that we cannot concur with your conclusion. Although Standard No. 108 does not regulate fog lamps, it does regulate DRLs. Paragraph S5.5.11 provides that "Any pair of lamps on the front . . ., whether or not required by this standard, other than parking lamps or fog lamps, may be wired [as DRLs]. . . ." Therefore, wiring fog lamps to operate as DRLs is expressly forbidden by Standard No. 108. This means that the fog lamps cannot be tied into the DRL circuit on those vehicles equipped with DRLs.

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

John Womack
Acting Chief Counsel