The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to change the way a manufacturer assigns the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to make sure there is a nearly endless number of possible combinations. The VIN is a grouping of 17 digits and letters unique to every car and truck in the United States but the current supply is shrinking (VIN positions: 1–3 identify manufacturer, 4–8 vehicle attributes, 9 accuracy code, 10 model year, 11 manufacturing plant, 12–17 sequential production numbers).
Law & Order
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing to clarify the performance and test requirements of the brake hose standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 106. The NHTSA revised the standard in 2004 to make it consistent with the most current requirements adopted by the Society for Automotive Engineering (SAE). The changes take effect on December 20, 2007, and relate to hydraulic, vacuum, and air brake hoses, plastic air brake tubing and end fittings. For further information:
Regulatory oversight of imported products has not kept pace with the increased volume of foreign goods coming into the United States. That was the conclusion of a government panel which is studying ways to improve safety measures both at the U.S.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced a plan to control global warming emissions by raising taxes on carbon-based fuels, such as gasoline. The proposal calls for a $.50 cents per gallon tax hike for gasoline, a tax of $50 on every ton of carbon released from coal and petroleum sources, and a phase-out of the mortgage tax deduction for homes bigger than 3,000 square feet. "A carbon tax is going to carry with it a lot of pain," Dingell said.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced the closure of approximately 100,000 acres in the Indian Creek Corridor of San Juan County, Utah. While OHV use will be permitted on existing roads and trails, all “cross-country” OHV activity within the designated area is prohibited. This closure will remain in effect until the BLM completes a review of its existing management plan for OHV use in San Juan County.
A bill to ban the sale or installation of "an exhaust system which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust” will be considered by the Massachusetts Joint Transportation Committee on October 2. The bill excludes limited-use “antique motor cars” from its scope, a clear attempt by the bill’s sponsors to divide the automobile hobby in an effort to gain clearer sailing for this restrictive and damaging piece of legislation.
The California Air Resources Board is proposing to revise its current requirements for the sale and use of aftermarket and re-manufactured catalytic converters. The proposed requirements would extend the period for meeting emissions reductions from 25,000 to 50,000 miles or a period of five years, applicable to all new converters sold, advertised or installed after January 1, 2009.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to regulate paint-stripping operations that use methylene chloride and surface coating and autobody refinishing operations that use paints containing hazardous metal compounds. The rule targets hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), which the agency believes may cause cancer or other health disorders. The rule would apply to most coating activities that emit HAPs.
A federal judge in Vermont rejected a challenge by the auto industry that the greenhouse gas emissions standards issued by California are actually fuel-economy standards, thereby restricted to federal jurisdiction. The standards have been adopted by Vermont and 10 other states and require a 30% reduction in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars and trucks by 2016 on a phased-in basis beginning in model year 2009. A similar lawsuit is pending in California.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has upgraded the side-impact protection standard for new cars and trucks. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 214 will now require that test vehicles be slammed sideways into a pole to determine how well they protect occupants. Although NHTSA does not dictate how to construct vehicles that will comply with the test’s performance requirements, most automakers are expected to install airbags.