Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Designated Seating Positions and Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages
We are proposing to amend the definition of ``designated seating position'' in the Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSSs), and to establish a new procedure for determining the number of designated seating positions on bench and split bench seats. This document also proposes to apply that procedure to all types of vehicles, regardless of weight, and eliminate the existing exclusion for temporary or folding jump seats. The proposed rule would also revise test procedures for seat belt anchorage requirements so that they are suitable for side-facing, temporary or folding jump seats. NHTSA's goal in proposing these amendments is to improve the objectivity of the ``designated seating position'' definition and thereby facilitate efforts of the agency to ensure that the number of designated seating positions and occupant restraint systems in a vehicle is representative of real world occupancy. The proposed rule would also revise the general incorporation by reference provision for the FMVSSs by providing a centralized index of all matters therein incorporated by reference.