Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Occupant Protection in Interior Impact; Side Impact Protection; Fuel System Integrity; Electric-Powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection; Side Impact Phase-In Reporting Requirements
This final rule incorporates a dynamic pole test into Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 214, ``Side impact protection.'' To meet the test, vehicle manufacturers will need to assure head and improved chest protection in side crashes. It will lead to the installation of new technologies, such as side curtain air bags and torso side air bags, which are capable of improving head and thorax protection to occupants of vehicles that crash into poles and trees and vehicles that are laterally struck by a higher-riding vehicle. The side air bag systems installed to meet the requirements of this final rule will also reduce fatalities and injuries caused by partial ejections through side windows. Vehicles will be tested with two new, scientifically advanced test dummies representing a wide range of occupants, from mid-size males to small females. A test dummy known as the ES-2re will represent mid-size adult male occupants. A test dummy known as the SID-IIs will represent smaller stature occupants. The SID-IIs is the size of a 5th percentile adult female. This final rule also enhances FMVSS No. 214's moving deformable barrier (MDB) test. The current 50th percentile male dummy in the front seat of tested vehicles will be replaced with the more biofidelic ES- 2re. In the rear seat, the new 5th percentile female SID-IIs dummy will be used, thus improving protection to a greater segment of occupants seated in rear seating positions. The ``Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU),'' was enacted in August 2005. Section 10302 of the Act directed the agency ``to complete a rulemaking proceeding under chapter 301 of title 49, United States Code, to establish a standard designed to enhance passenger motor vehicle occupant protection, in all seating positions, in side impact crashes.'' In accordance with Sec. 10302, the side impact air bags installed in front seats and vehicle changes made to rear seats will enhance, substantially, passenger motor vehicle occupant protection in side impacts.