NHTSA proposes rule to prevent ejections

  • 04-Dec-2009 03:06 EST

Automakers would need to enhance existing side airbags and/or employ advanced laminated glazing to meet the requirements of a new, proposed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard to prevent ejection of vehicle occupants through side windows in rollover and other types of crashes. FMVSS 226, proposed by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in a Federal Register notice Dec. 2, would apply to the side windows next to the first three rows of seats in motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lb or less. The proposed rule calls for a series of tests involving a 40-lb impactor being propelled at the windows. NHTSA says the test regime has been carefully designed to represent a vehicle rollover. The agency anticipates that manufacturers would meet the standard by modifying existing side-impact airbag curtains and possibly supplementing them with advanced laminated glazing. The curtains would be made larger so they cover more of the window opening, made more robust to remain inflated longer, and made to deploy in both side impacts and rollovers. Compliance deadlines would be phased in, from Sept. 1, 2014 to Sept. 1, 2017. Comments on the proposal are due to NHTSA by Feb. 1.

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