Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Ejection Mitigation; Phase-In Reporting Requirements; Incorporation by Reference
This final rule establishes a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 226, ``Ejection Mitigation,'' to reduce the partial and complete ejection of vehicle occupants through side windows in crashes, particularly rollover crashes. The standard applies to the side windows next to the first three rows of seats, and to a portion of the cargo area behind the first or second rows, in motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 4,536 kilogram (kg) or less (10,000 pounds (lb) or less). To assess compliance, the agency is adopting a test in which an impactor is propelled from inside a test vehicle toward the windows. The ejection mitigation safety system is required to prevent the impactor from moving more than a specified distance beyond the plane of a window. To ensure that the systems cover the entire opening of each window for the duration of a rollover, each side window will be impacted at up to four locations around its perimeter at two time intervals following deployment. The agency anticipates that manufacturers will meet the standard by modifying existing side impact air bag curtains, and possibly supplementing them with advanced glazing. The curtains will be made larger so that they cover more of the window opening, made more robust to remain inflated longer, and made to deploy in both side impacts and in rollovers. In addition, after deployment the curtains will be tethered near the base of the vehicle's pillars or otherwise designed to keep the impactor within the boundaries established by the performance test. This final rule adopts a phase-in of the new requirements, starting September 1, 2013. This final rule advances NHTSA's initiatives in rollover safety and also responds to Section 10301 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). That section directs NHTSA to initiate and complete rulemaking to reduce complete and partial ejections of vehicle occupants from outboard seating positions, considering various ejection mitigation systems.