The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has denied a request from the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) to reconsider the agency’s final rule regarding roof crush resistance of vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 pounds or less.
The notice in the March 22 Federal Register was the latest in a years-long dispute between NTEA and NHTSA over a new, more stringent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216 and more importantly the process of certifying that the completed vehicle complies.
In denying the NTEA’s petition for reconsideration, NHTSA said it had made a number of changes to the proposed rulemaking in response to NTEA input. The agency said these include exempting stripped chassis and other incomplete vehicles built by the OEM without a complete roof. NHTSA also said that, in response to input from NTEA, vehicles can be tested to the certified to the roof crush requirements of FMVSS No. 220, School Bus Rollover Protection, instead of FMVSS No. 216a. In addition, the agency added a test specification into the final rule so that the roof structure is the only part of the vehicle that is tested.
NTEA had requested that all multi-stage vehicles be exempt from FMVSS No. 216a on the grounds that it not practicable for final-stage manufacturers.