Law & Order

North Dakota Introduces Bill to Restrict Vehicle Modifications

A bill has been introduced in the North Dakota State Legislature to prohibit the modification of any motor vehicle that alters the manufacturer's original suspension, steering or brake system unless the state highway patrol issues an inspection certificate. Current law permits modification if the equipment meets “SEMA standards.”

The bill adds that modifying equipment may also meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Among other things, the bill also would require fenders on all motor vehicles. The measure will be considered by the North Dakota House Transportation Committee on February 3, 2011. In a letter to the committee, SEMA informed legislators that there are no specific SEMA standards applicable to equipment used to modify suspension, steering or brake systems. SEMA does not set standards. Further, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) only issues FMVSS to regulate equipment that is required on all new motor vehicles. An aftermarket part may only be regulated if it takes a vehicle out-of-compliance with a required piece of safety equipment when installed. For example, lift kits used to modify ride height for function and utility are not specifically regulated by FMVSS. 

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