SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 36, September 10, 2009

NHTSA Denies Request to Harmonize Headlamp Standard

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) denied a five-year-old petition to harmonize the headlamp lighting standards for Europe and the United States. In 2004, the Groupe de Travail “Bruxelle 1952” (GTB) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Lighting Committee requested an alternative to existing specifications in the headlamp lighting standard (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108) that would make it easier for industry to design, test and market one lamp for multiple markets.

The changes would provide an optional requirement for upper- and lower-beam headlamp patterns based on specifications under “ECE R112” approved by the United Nations' Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).

The NHTSA did not believe there was enough supporting documentation to verify that any cost savings would not compromise safety benefits in the United States. The agency noted that it is pursuing a comprehensive review of the lighting standard which could result in some regulatory changes proposed under the petition.

The NHTSA stated that it may take some time to translate the existing provisions into “performance-oriented terms independent of technology.”

For more details, contact Steve McDonald

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