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Interpretation ID: 2618y

Susan Birenbaum, Esq.
Acting General Counsel
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, DC 20207

Dear Ms. Birenbaum:

This responds to your letter asking whether a product would be considered an item of "motor vehicle equipment," within the meaning of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act (the Safety Act). I apologize for the delay in this response. The product in question is called "kwik kool" and is intended to improve the performance of motor vehicles' air conditioning systems. The packaging and labeling for this product that were enclosed with your letter indicate that "kwik kool" is intended exclusively for use with a motor vehicle and by ordinary users of motor vehicles. We conclude that this product is "motor vehicle equipment."

As you are aware, section 102(4) of the Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 1391(4), defines, in relevant part, the term "motor vehicle equipment" as:

any system, part, or component of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured or any similar part or component manufactured or sold for replacement or improvement of such system, part, or component or as any accessory, or addition to the motor vehicle . . .

"Kwik kool" is an aerosol component that appears to be manufactured and sold for the improvement of motor vehicle air conditioning systems. As such, it is "motor vehicle equipment" within the meaning of the Safety Act.

You noted in your letter that the Consumer Product Safety Act excludes items of "motor vehicle equipment" from those "consumer products" subject to the authority of the Consumer Product Safety Commission under that Act. This agency, on the other hand, has express statutory authority to investigate allegations that an item of motor vehicle equipment contains a defect related to motor vehicle safety. Pursuant to the request in your letter, we have forwarded the complaint enclosed with your letter to our Office of Defects Investigation.

If you have any questions or would like some additional information about this topic, please feel free to contact Mr. Marvin Shaw of my staff at this address or by telephone at (202) 366-2992.


Paul Jackson Rice Chief Counsel

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