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Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems

Christopher A. Hart
Federal Register
July 21, 1994

[Federal Register: July 21, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. 74-09; Notice 38]
RIN 2127-AE39

 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Child Restraint Systems

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 
Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This document amends Standard No. 213, Child Restraint 
Systems, to facilitate the manufacture of ``belt-positioning'' child 
seats (i.e., booster seats designed to be used with the vehicle's lap/
shoulder belts). The amendment adopts performance and labeling 
requirements and test criteria for belt-positioning booster seats that 
are more appropriate than Standard 213's current criteria for these 
child seats. This document also specifies that child booster seats must 
be labeled as being suitable for children weighing not less than 30 
pounds.
    This rule responds to the NHTSA Authorization Act of 1991 (sections 
2500-2509 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act 
(``ISTEA'')), which directed the agency to initiate rulemaking on child 
booster seat safety and other issues.

DATES: This rule is effective on August 22, 1994.
    The incorporation by reference of the material listed in this 
document is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of 
August 22, 1994.
    Petitions for reconsideration of the rule must be received by 
August 22, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Petitions for reconsideration should refer to the docket and 
number of this document and be submitted to: Administrator, Room 5220, 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., 
Washington, D.C., 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. George Mouchahoir, Office of 
Vehicle Safety Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, D.C., 20590 
(telephone 202-366-4919).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Background
    a. Statutory origins of this rulemaking
    b. Booster NPRM
    c. Dummy NPRM
    d. Overview of comments on booster NPRM
    e. Overview comparison of booster NPRM and final rule
II. Amendments for belt-positioning seats
    a. Definition
    b. Test procedures
    1. Type of belt system used to test belt-positioning seats
    2. Standard seat assembly
    c. Performance criteria
    d. Labeling and printed instructions
    1. Appropriate vehicle belt system
    2. Placement of shoulder belt
    3. Aircraft use
III. Labeling boosters for children weighing not less than 30 pounds
IV. Leadtime
V. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
    a. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures
    b. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    c. Executive Order 12612
    d. National Environmental Policy Act
    e. Executive Order 12778

I. Background

a. Statutory Origins of This Rulemaking

    This final rule regarding child booster seats responds to the NHTSA 
Authorization Act of 1991 (sections 2500-2509 of the Intermodal Surface 
Transportation Efficiency Act (``ISTEA''), Pub. L. 102-240), which 
directed the agency to initiate rulemaking on child booster seat safety 
and other issues. This rule was preceded by an advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) published on May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22682), 
and an NPRM published on September 3, 1993 (58 FR 46928).
    The ISTEA directive on booster seats originated in S. 1012, a bill 
reported by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation and added verbatim to the Senate's surface 
transportation bill (S. 1204). The Senate Commerce Committee report on 
S. 1012 expressed concern about suggestions that booster seats, 
``depending on their design, can be easily misused or are otherwise 
harmful,'' and that some child booster seats ``may not restrain 
adequately a child in a crash.'' The Committee's concerns grew out of a 
study1 performed by Calspan Corporation. Calspan found that then-
manufactured booster seats could adequately restrain the 3-year-old (33 
pound) test dummy that is used to test the seats for compliance with 
Standard 213. However, Calspan also found that when the booster seats 
were tested with a 9-month-old and a 6-year-old test dummy, the booster 
seats could not adequately restrain those dummies. Yet, the booster 
seats were recommended by their manufacturers as being suitable for 
children in the 9-month-old and 6-year-old weight ranges.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\``Evaluation of the Performance of Child Restraint Systems'' 
(DOT HS 807 297, May 1988). NHTSA's follow-up testing to the Calspan 
study is discussed in ``Evaluation of Booster Seat Suitability for 
Children of Different Ages and Comparison of Standard and Modified 
SA103C and SA106C Child Dummies,'' VRTC-89-0074, February 1990.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Calspan study indicated that booster seat safety could be 
improved if booster seats were capable of properly restraining the wide 
range of manufacturers' recommended child sizes. Belt-positioning 
booster seats are capable of accommodating a wider range of child sizes 
than currently manufactured shield-type booster seats. Moreover, belt-
positioning seats used with vehicle lap/shoulder belts appear to 
perform better than shield booster seats used with vehicle lap/shoulder 
belts.
    Pursuant to the ISTEA directive, NHTSA issued two notices of 
proposed rulemaking (NPRM's). The first addressed booster seat 
performance and labeling requirements; the second, dummies for use in 
testing booster seats and other child restraint systems.

b. Booster NPRM

    NHTSA proposed to amend Standard No. 213, Child Restraint Systems, 
to facilitate the manufacture of ``belt-positioning'' child seats 
(boosters designed to be used with the vehicle's lap/shoulder belts). 
The NPRM would add a definition of ``belt-positioning seat'' to the 
standard, and amend the definition of ``booster seat'' to include belt-
positioning booster seats. Standard 213's compliance test procedures 
would be amended to specify that belt-positioning seats are dynamically 
tested when restrained to the test apparatus with a lap/shoulder belt. 
The NPRM described the test apparatus in detail to ensure that the test 
would be carefully controlled. NHTSA also proposed to amend labeling 
and informational requirements to decrease the likelihood that belt-
positioning booster seats would be misused. The agency believed that 
the proposed performance and labeling requirements would be more 
appropriate than Standard 213's current criteria for these boosters.

c. Dummy NPRM

    NHTSA also issued an NPRM to add additional child compliance test 
dummies to Standard 213. (59 FR 12225, March 16, 1994.) The NPRM 
tentatively selected three new child dummies to add to Standard 213. 
These dummies are the newborn infant dummy described in subpart K of 49 
CFR part 572 (NHTSA's regulation on anthropomorphic test dummies), the 
9-month-old dummy in subpart J, and the instrumented 6-year-old dummy 
in subpart I. Subjecting booster seats and other child restraint 
systems to more thorough compliance testing with additional dummies 
better ensures that each child restraint safely restrains the range of 
children for whom the restraint is recommended. (Readers should note 
that, if proposals from the March 1994 NPRM are adopted, those 
amendments could modify some of the requirements adopted today, such as 
the labeling specified for booster seats.)

d. Overview of Comments on Booster NPRM

    The response to the NPRM was very favorable. Commenters included 
vehicle and child seat manufacturers (Volvo, Ford, Chrysler and Cosco) 
and child passenger groups and consultants (Tarrant County Child Car 
Safety Coalition, Solutions Unlimited, the University of Michigan-Child 
Passenger Protection Program (UM-CPP), Ms. Deborah Davis Stewart, 
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety). Commenters also included the 
American Academy of Pediatrics, the Air Transport Association and the 
National Transportation Safety Board. All commenters supported 
permitting the manufacture of belt-positioning booster seats. Many 
suggested changes about specific proposals, and several had suggestions 
for or commented on future work on belt-positioning and other booster 
seats. All comments were fully considered and the significant ones are 
addressed below.

e. Overview Comparison of Booster NPRM and Final Rule

    This rule adopts most of the proposed amendments, with the 
following changes. The rule makes minor changes to the definition of a 
booster seat for clarification purposes. The rule corrects errors in 
the specification of the test apparatus used for belt-positioning 
booster seats, and does not require metric units on the child seat 
label.

II. Amendments for Belt-positioning Seats

a. Definitions

    To facilitate the manufacture of belt-positioning seats and to 
distinguish those child seats from other types of seats for testing and 
labeling purposes, NHTSA amends Standard 213's definitions in three 
ways. The first amendment is to include belt-positioning booster seats 
in the present definition of ``booster seat.'' NHTSA defines a belt-
positioning seat as a type of booster seat because belt-positioning 
seats and present booster seats serve similar functions, i.e., both 
function to bridge the transition of the child from toddler or 
convertible child restraints to the vehicle belt systems. (A 
convertible restraint is specially adjustable so that it can be used 
rear-facing by an infant or a very young child, and forward-facing by a 
toddler. A ``toddler'' child restraint positions a child forward-facing 
only and is not capable of being adjusted to face an infant rearward.) 
It is also advantageous to place belt-positioning restraints in the 
same category as present (shield-type) boosters, because both types of 
child restraint systems appear to pose similar potential misuse 
problems. That is, both could be inappropriately used by children who 
are too small to be adequately restrained by a child booster seat. 
Similar countermeasures, such as labeling and instructional 
information, can be developed to address those misuse problems.
    The second amendment defines a belt-positioning seat. ``Belt-
positioning seat'' is defined as:

    A child restraint system that positions a child on a vehicle 
seat to improve the fit of a vehicle Type II belt system on the 
child and that lacks any component, such as a belt system or a 
structural element, designed to restrain forward movement of the 
child's torso in a forward impact.

    This definition is the same as the one proposed in the NPRM. 
Commenters were generally supportive of the definition. Volvo asked for 
clarification that the definition applies to both add-on and built-in 
belt-positioning seats. The definition so applies. Volvo's uncertainty 
appears to have resulted from several proposed requirements that were 
worded in such a way that they were appropriate for add-on seats, but 
not for built-in ones. (E.g., as proposed, S6.1.2.1.1 stated that a 
belt-positioning seat ``shall be secured to the standard vehicle seat'' 
using a lap/shoulder belt.) NHTSA has reworded those sections to 
clarify the distinction between add-on and built-in seats to avoid any 
suggestion that the definition does not apply to built-in belt-
positioning seats.
    The third amendment slightly revises the definition of ``booster 
seat.'' Standard 213 defines a booster seat as ``a child restraint 
which consists of only a seating platform that does not extend up to 
provide a cushion for the child's back or head.'' (S4 of 49 CFR 
Sec. 571.213) The NPRM would not have changed that definition except to 
add ``or a belt-positioning seat'' to the end of it. Ms. Weber of the 
University of Michigan Child Protection Program (UM-CPP) said that such 
a change would be confusing because it implies--contrary to NHTSA's 
intent--that belt-positioning seats must not have seat backs. She 
suggested Standard 213 should better distinguish between the 
traditional shield-type booster, which may not have a back, and a belt-
positioning booster which may, by naming the former a ``backless child 
restraint system.'' ``This will help clarify the fact that a Belt 
positioning seat can have a back.''
    NHTSA concurs that naming the backless type of booster seat will 
help distinguish the two types of child seat. As a result of today's 
amendment, ``booster seat'' encompasses two types of restraint system 
for older children who are still too small to sit directly on a vehicle 
seat and use a vehicle belt system. One type is the traditional shield-
type booster used with a Type I belt; the other is the belt-positioning 
seat used with a Type II belt system. The commenter's suggestion will 
help clarify that a belt-positioning seat can have a back, and a child 
booster other than a belt-positioning seat cannot.
    The absence of a seat back for boosters other than belt-positioning 
seats is one of the main features that distinguishes a booster seat 
from a convertible child seat. The distinction is important for 
Standard 213 testing. The standard specifies that most restraints are 
to be anchored with only a lap belt during agency compliance testing. 
However, the standard permits a booster seat designed with a top 
anchorage strap (tether strap) to be tested at 30 mph with the tether 
attached. NHTSA permitted attachment of a tether for boosters to 
facilitate the manufacture of boosters that provide a harness system, 
rather than a short shield, for upper torso restraint. Some child 
safety researchers believed a harness system was superior to a shield 
in terms of abdominal loading, head and neck loading, submarining and 
ejection. (51 FR 5335.)
    Cosco raised a concern about NHTSA's proposal to simply add ``or a 
belt-positioning seat'' at the end of the present ``booster seat'' 
definition. Cosco believed that the change would be inadequate because 
it would not allow shield-type boosters to have a seat back. (As 
explained above, under Standard 213's present definitions, a child 
restraint cannot have a seat back and be considered a ``booster seat.'' 
This restriction is to limit the numbers and types of child restraints 
that can be tested in Standard 213's 30-mph dynamic test with their 
tether attached.) The commenter said that safety data do not show a 
need to prohibit seat backs on booster seats. Cosco requested that the 
definition be reworded either to allow both types of boosters to use a 
seat back or to prohibit both from doing so.
    NHTSA declines to adopt the change requested by Cosco. NHTSA agrees 
with Cosco that data do not indicate a safety need to prohibit seat 
backs on belt-positioning seats. However, the commenter suggests 
amending the ``booster'' definition such that a seat back would be an 
acceptable feature on a shield booster. That suggestion is beyond the 
scope of the NPRM and has not been adopted.
    In further response to Cosco, the absence or presence of a seat 
back is the only feature that distinguishes shield-type boosters from 
toddler or convertible child restraint systems. Distinguishing booster 
seats from other child restraint systems is important because Standard 
213 provides that a tether on a booster seat may be tested in the 30 
mph dynamic test, while a tether on a toddler or convertible child 
restraint system will not be attached. NHTSA does not attach the tether 
when testing toddler and convertible restraints because many consumers 
do not properly attach tethers on their child seats. Limiting the use 
of a tether in the test better ensures that child seats perform 
satisfactorily as they are typically used in the real world. If 
boosters were permitted to have seat backs, a new way to distinguish 
shield booster seats from other types of child restraint systems would 
have to be developed.
    An alternative approach to distinguishing between shield booster 
seats and other child restraint systems could be to remove the reason 
for having to distinguish between the restraint systems. That is, NHTSA 
could amend Standard 213 to specify that all child restraint systems, 
including shield boosters, would be tested without attaching any 
tethers. NHTSA believes all booster seats are currently manufactured 
without a tether. The agency will consider for future rulemaking 
whether Standard 213 should continue to specify attaching tethers on 
shield boosters in the standard's 30 mph dynamic test.

b. Test Procedures

1. Type of Belt System Used To Test Belt-Positioning Seats
    The agency is amending Standard 213's test procedures to specify 
the testing of belt-positioning seats using a lap/shoulder belt. Cosco 
commented that there should be a misuse test in which a belt-
positioning booster is tested with a lap belt. The commenter said 
research has shown that the HIC and head excursions of dummies in belt-
positioning seats tested with lap belts were much greater than the 
limits in Standard 213. Conversely, the NTSB stated that, ``Because 
there is no information on the extent of booster seat misuse * * * it 
appears premature to require misuse tests.''
    NHTSA is not requiring testing belt-positioning seats secured by a 
lap belt only. Standard 213's approach is to require child restraint 
systems to be tested in configurations they were designed for, absent 
information showing that misuse of the restraints are resulting in 
safety problems. The reason for this approach is that child seat 
manufacturers must design many safety features into their child 
restraint systems to protect a restrained child. To do this, the 
manufacturers must anticipate how the restraint will be used and design 
safety into their system bearing in mind their assumptions about such 
use. The manufacturer's assumptions about the expected use of the 
restraint are reflected in the use instructions to the consumer. 
Today's rule requires belt-positioning seats to be conspicuously 
labeled with instructions about the proper use of the seat, including 
information on the appropriate vehicle belt system to be used. Absent 
information showing a safety need for a belt misuse test, it is 
premature to require testing belt-positioning boosters with only a lap 
belt.
2. Standard Seat Assembly
    This rule adopts test specifications appropriate for testing belt-
positioning seats. The agency believes that the specifications for the 
testing procedure should be sufficiently detailed so tests conducted 
uniformly by various organizations would provide the same results. This 
presupposes that the test conditions that affect the performance of the 
dummy/child restraint should be standardized. Accordingly, NHTSA amends 
the provisions concerning the standard seat assembly used to test child 
restraint systems to depict added anchorages for the shoulder belt 
system. This rule specifies a Type II seat belt assembly for use in 
testing belt-positioning seats. The standard belt system eliminates the 
variability of these belt parameters. In response to Ford and UM-CPP, 
this rule also modifies some of the specifications proposed in the 
NPRM.
    Ford and UM-CPP suggested that the rule should specify the type of 
latch plate, and further suggested ``that a locking latch plate is 
appropriate, given the new rule on lap belt lockability.'' NHTSA has 
specified that retractors and reels are not used in the standard seat 
assembly, which is what was proposed in the NPRM. Since retractors and 
reels are absent, the latch plate functions as a locking latchplate. 
The agency agrees with these commenters that this is appropriate given 
the FMVSS No. 208 lockability requirements that will be effective on 
September 1, 1995.
    The agency's lockability final rule published in the Federal 
Register on October 13, 1993, ``requires that lap belts or the lap belt 
portion of lap/shoulder belts be capable of being used to tightly 
secure child safety seats, without the necessity of the user's 
attaching any device to the seat belt webbing, retractor, or any part 
of the vehicle in order to achieve that purpose.'' This requirement 
applies to rear vehicle seating positions that are recommended, in 
FMVSS No. 213, as the safest positions for placing a child restraint 
system. The latchplate used for Standard 213 testing will be consistent 
with the lockability requirement, and will reflect the type and 
operation of latchplates used in vehicles for attaching child restraint 
systems.
    Ford and UM-CPP said that the buckle assembly length should be 
specified as measured from the inboard anchor, ``such that the length 
exposed beyond the bight is consistent with the maximum allowed by SAE 
J1819.'' NHTSA agrees that the length of the belt exposed beyond the 
bite (i.e., the intersection of the seat back and seat cushion) needs 
to be specified and agrees with using the value recommended by the 
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) in its draft recommended practice 
J1819, ``Securing Child Restraint Systems in Motor Vehicles.'' The 
J1819 draft recommended practice is a result of a joint effort of 
manufacturers of motor vehicles and child restraint systems to promote 
compatibility between child restraints and vehicle seats and seat 
belts. As stated in the draft recommended practice, ``[C]hild restraint 
systems and vehicle seats and seat belts having features that conform 
to this document are more likely to be compatible with one another.'' 
By using the J1819 value, the agency not only specifies a uniform 
standard test procedure but also reinforces the guidelines that promote 
the compatibility between child restraints and vehicle seats and seat 
belts. Accordingly, NHTSA has revised Figures 1A and 1B and the 
addendum (addendum A, Seat Base Weldment, dated July 1, 1993) to the 
Drawing Package SAS-100-1000 to show the length of the buckle assembly. 
(The materials have also been revised to round off the dimensions to 
the whole millimeter.)
    Ford suggested that tension in the standard belt be set at the 2 to 
4 pound (9 to 18 N) force specified in Standard 208, rather than the 12 
to 15 pound (53 to 67 N) force specified by Standard 213 for securing 
add-on child seats. Ford said that the former range is more 
representative of the tension induced in a typical Type 2 belt by the 
emergency locking retractor. NHTSA agrees. This rule adopts the 
proposed requirement in S6.1.1.3 stating that--

    [T]hese seat belt assemblies meet the requirements of Standard 
No. 209 (Sec. 571.209) and have webbing with a width of not more 
than 2 inches, and are attached to the anchorage points without the 
use of retractors or reels of any kind.

However, the agency has replaced S6.1.2.2 with a new section to specify 
preloading of the various belts. The new section maintains the current 
12 to 15 pounds pretensioning of the lap belt that restrains the add-on 
child restraint to the test seat assembly, but specifies that the 
shoulder portion of the Type 2 belt should be pretensioned to a 2-pound 
force as in FMVSS 208.
    UM-CPP suggested that the shoulder belt should not be tightened to 
12 to 15 lb prior to the test as is currently required for lap belts. 
It said that a procedure to determine the tension in the shoulder 
portion of the belt may be needed. The commenter suggested that a 
procedure consisting of placing a curved block with a given radius 
against the dummy's chest, tightening the belt to the usual tension, 
and removing the block before the test, is a repeatable method of 
introducing appropriate slack when tightening the belt. NHTSA disagrees 
that the suggested procedure is necessary. Today's rule adopts a 
procedure in S6.1.2.2 which specifies that the tension of the shoulder 
belt is measured by a load cell placed on the webbing portion of the 
belt system prior to the dynamic test. Thus, there is a procedure for 
ensuring that the belt has the proper tension. NHTSA believes it is 
immaterial how the belt is tightened as long as the requisite tensile 
force is achieved. Moreover, a procedure for tightening the belts can 
be addressed in the Laboratory Procedures for the Standard 213 dynamic 
test. Describing the procedure in the laboratory procedures is 
preferable to describing it in the standard because there might be ways 
to tighten the belt (e.g., by use of a metallic roller) that might be 
easier to use than another procedure (e.g., use of a wooden block), 
that lead to equally uniform and repetitively consistent results.
    Ford stated that additional specifications for belt elongation are 
needed for the seat belt assembly to be used in testing belt-
positioning booster seats. Ford said that--

    Standard 209 allows use of webbing having any elongation up to 
30 percent in Type 2 belts. Using webbing with 30 percent elongation 
for the lap/shoulder belt on the standard test seat may result in 
quite different results than using webbing of 7 percent elongation.

It suggested that S6.1.1.3 be amended to include a close tolerance 
specification for elongation of the standard belt webbing used in the 
Standard 213 test for all child restraint systems, based on typical 
polyester belt webbing, such as the draft ECE 44 Annex 13 standard seat 
belt webbing specification of 81 percent at 11 kN.
    NHTSA does not believe there is a need to specify the elongation of 
the webbing material used for testing belt-positioning seats. Standard 
213 does not currently specify the elongation of the webbing used for 
testing child restraint systems. Further, NHTSA is unaware of 
information indicating that elongation should be specified. (Under 
S4.2(c) of Standard 209, the webbing in a Type I seat belt assembly 
shall not extend to more than 20 percent elongation at 2,500 pounds.) 
There is no apparent reason why elongation should be specified for the 
Type 2 assemblies used to test belt-positioning seats, when elongation 
is not specified for the Type I assemblies used to test all other child 
restraint systems. Also, not specifying elongation better ensures the 
dynamic test is representative of real-world crash conditions. NHTSA 
obtains webbing material from seat belt suppliers for use in Standard 
213's dynamic test. These suppliers also furnish vehicle manufacturers 
with the webbing used in motor vehicles. Under current Standard 213 
test procedures, NHTSA tests child restraint systems using webbing that 
is typical of that installed in vehicles. Any manufacturer that is 
concerned about the possible effect that elongation might have on the 
performance of the child restraint can identify and perform a ``worst 
case.'' A manufacturer may determine that a child restraint meeting 
Standard 213's performance criteria when tested under worst case 
conditions will likely meet those criteria when tested under less 
severe conditions. A manufacturer that tests its restraint for 
certification purposes could limit its testing by deciding to test only 
a ``worst case'' scenario, i.e., testing under the most austere or 
unfavorable conditions and circumstances specified in the 
standard.2
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    \2\ Relying on worst case testing as a basis for a 
manufacturer's certification is commonplace among manufacturers. For 
example, Standard 208, ``Occupant Crash Protection,'' requires 
injury criteria to be met with the test vehicle traveling forward at 
any speed ``up to and including 30 mph'' into a fixed barrier ``that 
is perpendicular to the line of travel of the vehicle, or at any 
angle up to 30 degrees in either direction from the perpendicular'' 
(S5.1). Manufacturers typically test a vehicle at 30 mph into a 
perpendicular barrier since that is the worst case test. The 
manufacturers believe that if the vehicle passes that worst case 
test, it is reasonable to conclude it will pass less severe tests 
(e.g., at lower speeds into angled barriers).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ford and UM-CPP pointed out an error in the location of the inboard 
anchor point. UM stated that the location

    [D]oes not follow the research results reported in DOT-HS-
808003, TABLE 9, and has an unintended negative effect on test 
results. Although the lateral (Y) position relative to the outboard 
anchor has been used, the X and Z dimensions of the old center 
anchors have been retained. This inappropriately low anchor creates 
an especially long inboard belt length which, when loaded during the 
test, makes the booster suddenly shift toward the outboard anchor, 
sometimes shoving the dummy's neck into the shoulder belt and 
sometimes leaving the upper torso lagging behind at an angle, 
depending on the initial geometry. This occurs because the effective 
center of this very asymmetrical belt, when loaded, is not halfway 
along the Y axis.

    UM-CPP recommended that the higher and more forward inboard anchor 
location, determined by NHTSA's research, be used. Ford also commented 
that--

    Anchorages for the lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt on the 
standard test seat assembly are highly asymmetric, with the inboard 
anchorage about 185 mm lower than and rearward of the outboard 
anchorage. Such highly asymmetric anchorages are atypical. The 
outboard anchorage also appears to be unusually high.

Ford suggested that anchorages be located based on the average 
dimensions of the vehicles surveyed in the agency's research program.
    NHTSA agrees with the comments made by Ford and UM. The proposed 
location for the anchor points was based on the average location of the 
anchorage points that was determined by the agency's research. However, 
among the proposed set of coordinates for the inboard anchor point, 
only the y-coordinate was based on the average location. The x- and z-
coordinates of the old anchor were used. NHTSA will define all three 
coordinates of the inboard anchor point to reflect the location of the 
``average'' condition identified by the NHTSA research.
    In January 1994, tests were conducted at the agency's Vehicle 
Research and Test Center (VRTC), to verify that the change in anchorage 
point does not negatively affect the quality and consistency of the 
tests. Those tests were directly comparable to the tests in the earlier 
study, DOT-HS-808003, using the same booster/dummy configuration, 
except that the inboard anchorage was at the ``old'' location in the 
fore-aft and vertical axes. The tests showed that the corrected 
anchorage locations had a negligible affect on the performance of the 
child seats used to restrain 3- and 6-year-old dummies. That is, there 
was no marked difference in the performance of the child seats using 
the old anchorage locations as compared to the performance of the seats 
with the corrected locations. The principal difference observed in the 
kinematics was that the booster seat did not slide toward the outboard 
anchorage location when tested with the corrected inboard anchorage, as 
it tended to do using the old anchorage. This sliding is attributed to 
the asymmetry of the inboard and outboard anchorages when tested with 
the old anchorage configuration. A report on these VRTC tests is 
available in the docket for this rulemaking.
    UM-CPP commented on the issue of the flexibility of the seat 
assembly's seatback for testing booster seats. The commenter believes 
the specified seatback is too flexible to represent real-world vehicle 
seats, and that the flexibility unrealistically affects booster test 
results. In the March 1994 dummy NPRM discussed above, NHTSA announced 
that its research has shown that rulemaking does not appear warranted 
on changing the flexibility of the seatback. The research evaluated the 
performance of booster seats when restrained under both conditions of 
flexible and rigid seat back test assembly. The research findings 
indicated that the flexibility of the seatback is not a factor that 
affects the test dummy's performance during compliance testing of 
shield-type booster seats. These findings were summarized in a report 
titled, ``Evaluation of Effects of FMVSS 213 Seat Back's Flexibility on 
Booster Seat Responses,'' October 1992 (VRTC-82-0236, ``Child Restraint 
Testing (Rulemaking Support),'' DOT-HS-808006.
    In commenting on this issue, UM said that the research was too 
limited. The commenter also did not agree with the conclusion not to 
undertake rulemaking:

    A very limited investigation of the issue concluded that shield 
boosters that had passed compliance tests with the flexible seatback 
also passed with a rigid seatback. What the report did not 
acknowledge was the fact that, with the rigid back, knee excursion 
increases were significant, and rebound in every case saw the dummy 
rise well above the cushion and its head well above the seatback. 
The VRTC film footage is more dramatic than the still frames in the 
report, and it also shows the impacts of the dummy's head with the 
structure behind the seatback. * * * I recommend that the rigid 
seatback be adopted now at least for the 3-point belt test 
procedure.

    NHTSA does not dispute that the flexibility of the back of the test 
seat assembly can affect a dummy's performance during compliance 
testing of shield-type booster seats. NHTSA also recognizes that there 
are good reasons to further evaluate the representativeness of the 
standard's test buck, concerning current vehicle seats. Moreover, NHTSA 
believes there might be other reasons that may justify changing the 
Standard 213 seat back, such as possible cost reductions due to not 
having to change the flexible pin in the seat hinges of the standard 
seat assembly after each test. The agency has an on-going feasibility 
study at VRTC to determine if a need exists to upgrade the current 
FMVSS 213 test buck with regard to these issues.
    However, NHTSA disagrees that the agency's research was too 
limited. NHTSA evaluated films and test reports for all (seven) 
available FMVSS 213 compliance tests on child booster seats that were 
performed in 1990 and 1991. In addition, sled tests were conducted on 
each of the booster seats that showed forward movement and contact with 
the dummy during the compliance testing. There were four of these 
seats. When the seat back was fixed (rigid), the dummy's knee excursion 
increased. However, the increased values for knee excursions did not 
exceed the 36-inch limit of FMVSS 213. In view of a lack of a safety 
need to revise the seat back, the agency has decided to complete the 
VRTC feasibility study before deciding whether to undertake rulemaking 
on the matter.
    UM-CPP is correct that the dummy rose above the seat cushion when 
tested with the rigid seat back, and did impact its head on the 
structure located behind the test assembly. However, that finding is 
inconclusive because the impacted structure was placed on the test buck 
for the research and evaluation program on belt-positioning booster 
seats, and will not be part of the seat assembly used in FMVSS 213 
compliance testing. Thus, the dummy's head will not impact the 
structure in an FMVSS 213 compliance test.

c. Performance Criteria

    This rule adopts performance requirements for belt-positioning 
seats. This rule requires belt-positioning seats to meet the structural 
integrity, excursion, and injury criteria requirements of Standard 213 
when dynamically tested. Those requirements include maintaining the 
structural integrity of the seat, retaining the head and knees of the 
dummy within specified excursion limits (limits on how far those 
portions of the body may move forward), and limiting the forces which 
the head and chest of the dummy may experience during the test. 
Compliance with these requirements better ensures that a child using 
the seat will not be injured by the collapse or disintegration of the 
seat, or by contact with the interior of the vehicle, or by 
experiencing intolerable forces. Commenters overwhelmingly supported 
dynamically testing belt-positioning seats.
    This rule does not adopt additional performance requirements for 
belt-positioning seats. The NPRM asked for comments on the merits of 
additional performance requirements, and commenters disagreed with each 
other on the issue. UM-CPP and Solutions Unlimited believed that the 
weight of the booster seat should be limited in order to limit loading 
the back of a child occupant. Cosco said that it is unaware of any data 
that indicate a safety problem with the loads that could be generated 
by booster seat backs. Cosco said excessive back loading would result 
in either higher HIC's or higher G forces, and possibly greater 
excursions. The commenter believed it may be unnecessary for the agency 
to try to measure seat back loading, unless NHTSA has research showing 
this phenomenon is of potential concern.
    Advocates also believed that Standard 213's dynamic test would 
detect problems relating to booster seat backs. The commenter urged 
NHTSA to--

    Carefully monitor and investigate defect complaints and 
manufacturer data related to special design features. These aspects 
of booster seats can be dealt with through future rulemaking 
specifically addressing a problem identified by manufacturer testing 
and consumer use.

    NHTSA has decided not to specify limits on seat back loading at 
this time. There is a lack of data indicating a safety problem. 
Further, there is no procedure at present for measuring or determining 
a threshold value for the loads imposed.

d. Labeling and Printed Instructions

    This rule adopts requirements for labeling and printed consumer 
instructions to decrease the likelihood that belt-positioning seats 
will be misused. The information that needs to be conveyed to the 
consumer is: (a) That a belt-positioning seat must be used with a 
vehicle lap/shoulder belt system to perform effectively and must not be 
used with just a vehicle lap belt; (b) when using a shield booster with 
a vehicle's lap/shoulder belt system, the consumer must place the 
shoulder belt portion of the system behind the child's head; and (c) 
the belt-positioning seat is not certified for aircraft use. Each of 
these items of information is discussed below. This rule does not adopt 
the proposal that the manufacturer's height and weight recommendations 
on the label include the information in metric units. In commenting on 
the NPRM, Tarrant County Child Car Safety Coalition said that the 
metric units would be extremely confusing to many parents. Similarly, 
Ford and Cosco commented that the proposed use of the word ``mass'' in 
the label would be confusing. NHTSA concurs that the metric information 
on the label is unnecessary at this time. (Pursuant to the agency's 
plan to convert to the metric system pursuant to the Omnibus Trade and 
Competitiveness Act and E.O. 12770, this rule specifies metric units in 
the specifications for Standard 213's compliance test procedures, see 
e.g., figures 1A and 1B. Since these values will not be any part of a 
labeled child seat, the metric values will not engender confusion on 
the part of ordinary consumers.)
1. Appropriate Vehicle Belt System
    NHTSA adopts a requirement that each add-on and built-in belt-
positioning seat be labeled with a warning about using the seat with 
Type 1 or the lap portion of Type 2 belt systems in a vehicle. No 
commenter other than Chrysler disputed the need for the labeled 
warning. (Chrysler's comment is discussed below with respect to ``dual 
purpose'' boosters.) In response to Cosco's belief that the warning was 
proposed to be on a separate label, no such requirement was proposed. 
The warning can be on the existing installation label. Advocates for 
Highway and Auto Safety believed that there is need for an installation 
diagram showing the proper installation of the belt-positioning seat in 
a vehicle. The American Academy of Pediatrics believed the installation 
diagram should be placed directly on the child seat, and not on 
accompanying printed material. Child restraints are already required to 
be labeled with an installation diagram showing the restraint in the 
right front seating position in a vehicle, with a lap/shoulder belt 
(S5.5.2(l)).
    NHTSA proposed a labeling requirement for ``dual purpose'' 
boosters. These boosters can be used with either a lap or a lap/
shoulder belt in the shield mode, but only with a lap/shoulder belt in 
the belt-positioning mode. These seats also typically require different 
belt routing for the two modes. To better ensure the boosters are 
properly used, the agency proposed requiring dual purpose boosters to 
be labeled with information about the appropriate vehicle belt system 
(lap-only or lap/shoulder belt system, depending on the design of the 
booster) to use with the booster, and about how the booster must be 
used with the particular belt system (e.g., with or without the 
booster's shield).
    Chrysler believed there is no need to label built-in dual purpose 
boosters that are factory-installed. Chrysler believed these seats are 
already labeled with too much information, and that the information on 
the proposed label ``will mostly duplicate the information that is 
already provided in the [vehicle] owner's manual.'' Conversely, Volvo 
commented that built-in belt-positioning seats ought to be labeled with 
information on correct belt usage.
    NHTSA disagrees with Chrysler. There is a substantial amount of 
information that must be labeled on built-in seats. However, it is 
vitally important that built-in seats be used with the appropriate 
vehicle belt system. Instructing consumers how to use the belt-
positioning booster increases the likelihood of correct usage. Further, 
the agency believes that consumers are more likely to refer to the 
information if it is ``handy'' on the seat rather than in the vehicle 
owner's manual. However, NHTSA is aware of concerns that there is too 
much information placed on child seat labels. The agency will evaluate 
the labeling mandated by Standard 213 in the near future to determine 
if changes are warranted.
2. Placement of Shoulder Belt
    This rule requires manufacturers to label shield boosters with a 
warning to consumers that if the booster is used with a Type II belt 
system, the shoulder belt portion of the belt system should be placed 
behind the child. Comments on the proposed requirement were divided. 
UM-CPP ``strongly support[ed]'' the proposal because it found high head 
accelerations resulting from impact of the dummy's head with the 
dummy's arm. Cosco disagreed with the proposal, stating that the 
proposal ``ignores the excellent performance of shield booster seats 
used with the shoulder belt in front of the child.'' (Emphasis in 
text.)
    NHTSA disagrees with Cosco about the effectiveness of shield-type 
booster seats used with the shoulder belt routed in front of the child. 
The agency's VRTC Report No. DOT-HS-808-005 titled, ``Evaluation of 
Belt Positioning Booster Seats and Lap/Shoulder Belt Test Procedures,'' 
summarized the findings of the agency's test program on different 
booster seats. The report stated that, for small shield booster seats, 
``the routing of the shoulder belt (three point belt) in front of the 
dummy did significantly effect the HIC, 3 msec chest clip 
[acceleration], and head excursion values, regardless of dummy size.'' 
Specifically, the study stated that:

    The 3 year old dummy/three point belt tests had 80% to 90% 
higher HIC values than the corresponding lap only belt tests, while 
for the 6 year old dummy, the three point belt tests were 18% to 59% 
higher. The 3 year old/three point belt tests were the only test 
conditions that produced HIC values above 1000.

    The study also showed that the chest clip acceleration increased 
for the 3-year-old dummy tested in two shield booster seats, from 31G 
to 44G and from 38G to 45G, respectively. The chest acceleration 
increases for these seats were from about 36G to 52G and 28G to 44G 
respectively.
    In short, NHTSA does not know of any shield-type booster seat that 
performs well when the booster seat is used with a lap/shoulder belt 
system and the shoulder portion of the belt system is left in front of 
the child.
3. Aircraft Use
    This rule requires that belt-positioning seats be labeled with a 
statement that they are not certified for use on aircraft. The Air 
Transport Association and UM-CPP supported the proposed requirement but 
also suggested requiring all boosters to be so labeled. That suggestion 
is outside of the scope of the NPRM and has not been adopted. However, 
NHTSA and the Federal Aviation Administration are jointly examining 
this issue and may initiate a separate rulemaking, if warranted.
    ATA was concerned that both the statement against aircraft use and 
the statement certifying to aircraft use are required to be in red. ATA 
suggested that the former statement be in a color other than red, to 
distinguish it from the latter. The commenter believed an other-than-
red contrasting color will help airline personnel better identify which 
child seats are suitable for aircraft.
    NHTSA does not agree with the suggestion that there is a need to 
require the use of an other-than-red contrasting highlight color to 
distinguish the warning against aircraft use from the certification to 
aircraft use. The red color is sufficient to draw the attention of 
airline personnel to a warning. NHTSA believes using a color other than 
red would not necessarily increase the level of awareness of the 
message contained in the warning. Rather, a message highlighted in red 
would catch the eye of the reader (in this case, airline personnel), 
who would then read the message. Further, because belt-positioning 
boosters lack any component in front of the child, they are readily 
distinguishable from other types of child restraints (i.e., child 
restraints suitable for aircraft). The unique appearance of belt-
positioning seats should facilitate their identification by airline 
personnel.

III. Labeling Boosters for Children Weighing Not Less Than 30 
Pounds

    This rule adopts a labeling requirement to address the problem of 
booster seats being used for children too small for the restraints. 
This rule requires that, in labeling booster seats with their 
recommendations for the maximum and minimum weight and height of 
children who can safely occupy the seats (S5.5.2(f) and S5.5.5(f)), 
manufacturers must not recommend the seat for use by a child whose mass 
is less than 13.6 kilograms (30 pounds). No specific comments were 
received on the feasibility of developing a booster seat that would 
safely restrain children weighing less than 30 pounds.
    Comments on the proposal were divided. Supporting the proposal were 
Volvo, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, UM-CPP, and the American 
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Advocates believed that if booster seats 
are permitted to cover a wide range of body weight and size, they 
become less appropriate at either end of the weight spectrum of 
recommended use. Further, Advocates said ``merely stating a minimum 
figure of 30 pounds in the manufacturers' recommendations for the 
weight and height range of the restraint is not sufficient.'' It said 
the booster seats should also have a separate affirmative warning 
statement that the booster seat is not recommended for children who 
weigh less than 30 pounds.
    AAP stated:

    While the Academy encourages NHTSA to be responsive and 
supportive of innovations in restraint technology, development of 
new products should be guided by a recognition of a child's 
requirements for protection at different stages of growth. What 
would be the low-weight end for such a product? We doubt that it is 
appropriate to approve a booster seat for children weighing less 
than 30 pounds, when these children can be more safely transported 
in standard car safety seats. Ten years ago, it was not uncommon for 
boosters seats to be available for children who weighed 20 pounds. 
Gradually, the industry shifted because of concern for protection of 
the younger children to where the low-weight end for boosters became 
30 pounds. To drop below 30 pounds as the minimum weight for 
boosters, again, means to consider designs that provide for upper-
trunk support, designs like the early Strolee booster seat that 
included a five-point harness and tether. Since it is unlikely that 
this design would find popular acceptance and use, a more reasonable 
course might be to explore the potential of integrated booster seats 
in motor vehicles for children weighing less than 30 pounds. To do 
this, however, requires attention to developing a lap/shoulder belt 
that can adjust to varying heights so that the fit is across the 
child's chest, not the child's face or neck.

    Ford and Cosco opposed the proposal. Ford said that the vehicle 
manufacturer should have the flexibility to recommend use of a belt-
positioning (booster) seat, ``even for some children under 30 pounds.'' 
Ford said, ``A very thin child weighing less than 30 pounds may be too 
tall for a convertible child restraint, but an ideal candidate for a 
belt-positioning booster.'' Ford suggested that rather than base the 
prohibition on weight (30 pounds), NHTSA base it on height or age. 
Thus, Ford suggested that Standard 213 specify that no booster can be 
recommended for children of standing heights less than 900 mm (36 
inches) or less than two years of age. Cosco believed that the 
prohibition against recommending a booster for children less than 13.6 
kilograms (kg) is design restrictive:

    Surely it is possible that a booster seat meeting all 
requirements * * * could be developed either for children under 30 
pounds or over 60 pounds in the future. Requiring a product to meet 
all the dynamic test requirements regardless of what weight is 
recommended should be sufficient.

    NHTSA does not agree with Ford and Cosco that Standard 213 need not 
specify that boosters must not be recommended for children of less than 
13.6 kg. NHTSA generally agrees with Cosco that dynamic test 
requirements should be the criteria in determining whether a given 
design performs adequately. However, in the case of booster seats, the 
dynamic test failed to prevent substandard restraining devices, with 
respect to protecting children at the extremes of the weight ranges 
recommended for the restraints (e.g., the 20 pound and the 48 pound 
child). As explained in the ANPRM preceding this rule, heretofore, 
manufacturers had great leeway in manufacturing booster seats and 
specifying which size (weight) children were suitable for the seats. 
That leeway resulted in alarming practices:

    Concerns about shield-type boosters arose from the 
recommendations by manufacturers about the size of children which 
could appropriately use a particular booster. Particular designs or 
models of boosters were typically recommended for a broad range of 
children. Often, the seats were recommended for use by children 
weighing from about 20 to 70 pounds. Such recommendations engendered 
concerns as to whether these boosters could provide adequate 
protection for children ranging from nine-month-old infants (average 
weigh 20 pounds) to six-year-old (48 pounds) and older children.

57 FR 22682, 22683; May 29, 1992.
    As explained in the ANPRM, in tests conducted by NHTSA and by 
Calspan Corporation, it was found that shield boosters could not 
restrain a test dummy representing a 9-month-old child when dynamically 
tested using Standard 213's procedures. Yet, the boosters were 
certified as meeting Standard 213, because only the three-year-old (33 
pound) child dummy is used to determine compliance with the standard. 
So tested, the restraints met Standard 213.
    NHTSA agrees with the commenters that children with a mass of less 
than 13.6 kg are better protected in convertible and toddler seats. 
These child seats have been performing well when tested with the 
various sizes of dummies. However, booster seats have not performed 
adequately in restraining dummies with masses of less than 13.6 kg in 
tests done over the years at Calspan, the University of Michigan and 
VRTC. Moreover, the 9-month-old dummy in Part 572 that could be used to 
evaluate the effectiveness of booster seats in protecting children with 
masses less than 13.6 kg is not instrumented, and is therefore limited 
in its ability to provide a full and accurate indication of the safety 
of booster seats in protecting the very young child. Accordingly, the 
agency agrees with AAP that the proposed minimum weight limit for use 
of booster seats should be imposed until, and if, the state of the art 
of the technology evolves to design and develop a booster seat that 
would protect children with masses of less than 13.6 kg. However, the 
agency does not agree with Advocates that an affirmative warning label 
is appropriate. The label is ladened with warning statements, and 
adding to the label risks ``information overload,'' which could reduce 
the effectiveness of each warning.

IV. Effective Date

    This rule is effective in 30 days. An effective date of less than 
180 days is justified because this rule relieves present requirements 
in Standard 213 that restrict the manufacture of belt-positioning 
booster seats. Moreover, the rule facilitates the manufacture of a 
booster seat that could provide safety benefits.
    However, sections of Standard 213 adopted today that affect present 
labeling of shield booster seats and the printed instructions 
accompanying these seats are effective September 1, 1994. Those 
sections are S5.5.2(i)(2) and S5.6.1.9(a). Ford and Cosco pointed out 
that the NPRM included proposals on those sections that would affect 
how present booster seats are labeled, and how printed instructions now 
read. S5.5.2(i)(2) and S5.6.1.9(a) require that a booster seat be 
labeled with and provided with instructions on a warning to use the 
booster seat only with the vehicle's lap belt system, or with the 
shoulder belt portion of a Type II belt behind the child.3 Ford 
and Cosco argued for a longer leadtime for these changes. NHTSA agrees 
that more leadtime is appropriate. The agency agrees with Cosco that 
more leadtime will help deplete supplies of existing labels (Cosco 
suggested three months is adequate), and concurs with Ford that more 
leadtime is warranted to change existing labels and printed 
instructions. (Ford suggested an effective date of September 1, 1994.) 
This rule makes the requirements affecting the labeling and printed 
instructions for shield boosters effective September 1, 1994.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\The commenters were particularly concerned about the proposal 
that would have required boosters to provide children's height and 
weight information in metric units of measurement. This rule does 
not adopt the proposal for metric units on the label. Further, while 
this rule adopts the proposal that child booster seats must not be 
recommended for children of masses of less than 13.6 kg (30 pounds), 
all child booster seats are now not recommended for children of 
masses less than 13.6 kg.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With regard to belt-positioning seats, the labeling requirements 
adopted today do not change the way these child seats are labeled. 
Since belt-positioning seats cannot now meet Standard 213, there are no 
belt-positioning seats manufactured today for children under 50 pounds. 
The requirements only apply if manufacturers desire to produce such 
seats for children under 50 pounds.

V. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This rulemaking document was not reviewed under E.O. 12866, 
``Regulatory Planning and Review.'' The agency has considered the 
impact of this rulemaking action under the Department of 
Transportation's regulatory policies and procedures, and has determined 
that it is not ``significant'' under them. NHTSA has prepared a final 
regulatory evaluation for this action which discusses its potential 
costs, benefits and other impacts. A copy of that evaluation has been 
placed in the docket for this rulemaking action. Interested persons may 
obtain copies of the evaluation by writing to the docket section at the 
address provided at the beginning of this document.
    To briefly summarize the evaluation, while the agency believes that 
belt-positioning seats will improve safety, the magnitude of that 
improvement is not known. Belt-positioning booster seats might be more 
acceptable to children than shield-type boosters. This could lead to 
increased usage rates for child restraint systems. Increased usage is 
important because child restraints are highly effective when used 
properly. Belt-positioning booster seats raise the child up in the 
vehicle seat, increasing the chances that the vehicle's shoulder belt 
would fit properly, and also that the lap belt will fit properly 
because it will be positioned lower on the child's hips.
    NHTSA also concludes that this rule will result in negligible costs 
for testing labs and manufacturers of belt-positioning booster seats. 
The costs would result from testing and certifying belt-positioning 
seats. Manufacturers will be minimally affected by this rulemaking 
because it simply permits new designs in booster seats and does not 
require any design change or impose additional costs on manufacturers. 
Manufacturers that do not want to manufacture a belt-positioning 
booster seat will not be affected.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    NHTSA has considered the effects of this rulemaking action under 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I hereby certify that it will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The agency knows of 14 manufacturers of child restraints, 
seven of which NHTSA considers to be small businesses (including 
Kolcraft, which with an estimated 500 employees, is on the borderline 
of being a small business).
    Regardless of the number of small businesses, this rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on these entities. The rule would 
affect manufacturers only if they choose to manufacture a new type of 
booster seat. The amendment could benefit manufacturers by allowing 
them to manufacture and sell a new product. However, the agency does 
not know how interested manufacturers are in belt-positioning child 
seats, and even if they were interested, the extent to which consumers 
would purchase the product.
    Small organizations and governmental jurisdictions procure child 
restraint systems for programs such as loaner programs. However, only a 
small percentage of loaner programs carry booster seats. In any event, 
NHTSA believes that any small impact on price, either positive or 
negative, will not have a substantial impact on these loaner programs. 
Thus, these entities would not be significantly affected by this rule.

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism)

    This rulemaking action has been analyzed in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 12612, and the 
agency has determined that this rule does not have sufficient 
federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism 
Assessment.

National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has determined that 
implementation of this action will not have any significant impact on 
the quality of the human environment.

Executive Order 12778 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rule does not have any retroactive effect. Under section 49 
U.S.C. 30103, whenever a Federal motor vehicle safety standard is in 
effect, a state may not adopt or maintain a safety standard applicable 
to the same aspect of performance which is not identical to the Federal 
standard, except to the extent that the state requirement imposes a 
higher level of performance and applies only to vehicles procured for 
the State's use. 49 U.S.C. 30161 sets forth a procedure for judicial 
review of final rules establishing, amending or revoking Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards. That section does not require submission of a 
petition for reconsideration or other administrative proceedings before 
parties may file suit in court.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, Incorporation by 
reference.

PART 571--[AMENDED]

    In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA amends 49 CFR Part 571 as 
set forth below.
    1. The authority citation for Part 571 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 30111, 30115, 30117 and 30166; 
delegation of authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

    2. Section 571.213 is amended by:
    a. Adding to S4, in alphabetical order, definitions of ``backless 
child restraint system'' and ``belt-positioning seat,'' and revising in 
S4 the definition of ``booster seat;''
    b. Revising--
    1. S5.3.2,
    2. the introductory paragraph of S5.5.2(f),
    3. S5.5.2(n),
    4. S5.5.4,
    5. the introductory paragraph of S5.5.5, and
    6. the introductory paragraph of S5.5.5(f);
    c. Adding S5.5.2(i), S5.5.5(l), S5.6.1.9(a), (b) and (c), and 
S5.6.4; and
    d. Revising S6.1.1.3, S6.1.2.1.1(a), S6.1.2.1.2(a), S6.1.2.2, 
S6.1.2.4, and S7.3(a)(1).
    The revised and added paragraphs read as follows:


Sec. 571.213  Standard No. 213, Child Restraint Systems.

* * * * *
    Backless child restraint system means a child restraint, other than 
a belt-positioning seat, that consists of a seating platform that does 
not extend up to provide a cushion for the child's back or head and has 
a structural element designed to restrain forward motion of the child's 
torso in a forward impact.
    Belt-positioning seat means a child restraint system that positions 
a child on a vehicle seat to improve the fit of a vehicle Type II belt 
system on the child and that lacks any component, such as a belt system 
or a structural element, designed to restrain forward movement of the 
child's torso in a forward impact.
    Booster seat means either a backless child restraint system or a 
belt-positioning seat.
* * * * *
    S5.3.2  When installed on a vehicle seat, each add-on child 
restraint system, other than child harnesses and belt-positioning 
seats, shall be capable of being restrained against forward movement 
solely by means of a Type I seat belt assembly (defined in 
Sec. 571.209) that meets Standard No. 208 (Sec. 571.208), or by means 
of a Type I seat belt assembly plus one additional anchorage strap that 
is supplied with the system and conforms to S5.4. Each belt-positioning 
seat shall be capable of being restrained against forward movement 
solely by means of a Type II seat belt assembly (defined in 
Sec. 571.209) that meets Standard No. 208 (Sec. 571.208).
* * * * *
    S5.5.2  * * *
* * * * *
    (f) One of the following statements, inserting the manufacturer's 
recommendations for the maximum weight and height of children who can 
safely occupy the system, except that booster seats shall not be 
recommended for children of masses of less than 13.6 kg:
* * * * *
    (i)(1) Except for a booster seat which is recommended for use with 
both a vehicle's Type I and Type II seat belt assembly, and except for 
a backless child restraint system manufactured before September 1, 
1994, one of the following statements, as appropriate:
    (i) WARNING! USE ONLY THE VEHICLE'S LAP AND SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM 
WHEN RESTRAINING THE CHILD IN THIS BOOSTER SEAT; or,
    (ii) WARNING! USE ONLY THE VEHICLE'S LAP BELT SYSTEM, OR THE LAP 
BELT PART OF A LAP/SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM WITH THE SHOULDER BELT PLACED 
BEHIND THE CHILD, WHEN RESTRAINING THE CHILD IN THIS SEAT.
    (2) For a booster seat which is recommended for use with both a 
vehicle's Type I and Type II seat belt assemblies, the following 
statement:
    WARNING! USE ONLY THE VEHICLE'S LAP BELT SYSTEM, OR THE LAP BELT 
PART OF A LAP/SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM WITH THE SHOULDER BELT PLACED BEHIND 
THE CHILD, WHEN RESTRAINING THE CHILD WITH THE insert description of 
the system element provided to restrain forward movement of the child's 
torso when used with a lap belt (e.g., shield), AND ONLY THE VEHICLE'S 
LAP AND SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM WHEN USING THIS BOOSTER WITHOUT THE insert 
above description.
* * * * *
    (n) Child restraint systems, other than belt-positioning seats, 
that are certified as complying with the provisions of section S8 shall 
be labeled with the statement ``This Restraint is Certified for Use in 
Motor Vehicles and Aircraft.'' Belt-positioning seats shall be labeled 
with the statement ``This Restraint is Not Certified for Use in 
Aircraft.'' The statement required by this paragraph shall be in red 
lettering and shall be placed after the certification statement 
required by paragraph (e) of this section.
* * * * *
    S5.5.4  (a) Each built-in child restraint system other than a 
factory-installed built-in restraint shall be permanently labeled with 
the information specified in S5.5.5 (a) through (l). The information 
specified in S5.5.5(a) through (j) and in S5.5.5(l) shall be visible 
when the system is activated for use.
    (b) Each factory-installed built-in child restraint shall be 
permanently labeled with the information specified in S5.5.5(f) through 
(j) and S5.5.5(l), so that the information is visible when the 
restraint is activated for use. The information shall also be included 
in the vehicle owner's manual.
    S5.5.5  The information specified in paragraphs (a) through (l) of 
this section that is required by S5.5.4 shall be in English and 
lettered in letters and numbers that are not smaller than 10-point type 
and are on a contrasting background.
* * * * *
    (f) One of the following statements, inserting the manufacturer's 
recommendations for the maximum weight and height of children who can 
safely occupy the system, except that booster seats shall not be 
recommended for children whose masses are less than 13.6 kg:
* * * * *
    (l) In the case of a built-in belt-positioning seat that uses 
either the vehicle's Type I or Type II belt systems or both, a 
statement describing the manufacturer's recommendations for the maximum 
height and weight of children who can safely occupy the system and how 
the booster should be used (e.g., with or without shield) with the 
different vehicle belt systems.
* * * * *
    S5.6.1.9
* * * * *
    (a) Except for instructions for a booster seat that is recommended 
for use with both a vehicle's Type I and Type II seat belt assembly, 
and except for instructions for a backless child restraint system 
manufactured before September 1, 1994, the instructions shall include 
one of the following statements, as appropriate, and the reasons for 
the statement:
    (1) WARNING! USE ONLY THE VEHICLE'S LAP AND SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM 
WHEN RESTRAINING THE CHILD IN THIS BOOSTER SEAT; or,
    (2) WARNING! USE ONLY THE VEHICLE'S LAP BELT SYSTEM, OR THE LAP 
BELT PART OF A LAP/SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM WITH THE SHOULDER BELT PLACED 
BEHIND THE CHILD, WHEN RESTRAINING THE CHILD IN THIS SEAT.
    (b) The instructions for a booster seat which is recommended for 
use with both a vehicle's Type I and Type II seat belt assemblies shall 
include the following statement and the reasons therefor:
    WARNING! USE ONLY THE VEHICLE'S LAP BELT SYSTEM, OR THE LAP BELT 
PART OF A LAP/SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM WITH THE SHOULDER BELT PLACED BEHIND 
THE CHILD, WHEN RESTRAINING THE CHILD WITH THE insert description of 
the system element provided to restrain forward movement of the child's 
torso when used with a lap belt (e.g., shield), AND ONLY THE VEHICLE'S 
LAP AND SHOULDER BELT SYSTEM WHEN USING THIS BOOSTER WITHOUT THE insert 
above description.
    (c) The instructions for belt-positioning seats shall include the 
statement, ``This restraint is not certified for aircraft use,'' and 
the reasons for this statement.
* * * * *
    S5.6.4  In the case of a built-in belt-positioning seat that uses 
either the vehicle's Type I or Type II belt systems or both, the 
instructions shall include a statement describing the manufacturer's 
recommendations for the maximum height and weight of children who can 
safely occupy the system and how the booster must be used with the 
vehicle belt systems appropriate for the booster seat. The instructions 
shall explain the consequences of not following the directions. The 
instructions shall specify that, if the booster seat is recommended for 
use with only the lap-belt part of a Type II assembly, the shoulder 
belt portion of the assembly must be placed behind the child.
* * * * *
    S6.1.1.3  Attached to the seat belt anchorage points provided on 
the standard seat assembly (illustrated in Figures 1A and 1B) are Type 
1 seat belt assemblies in the case of add-on child restraint systems 
other than belt-positioning seats, or Type 2 seat belt assemblies in 
the case of belt-positioning seats. These seat belt assemblies meet the 
requirements of Standard No. 209 (Sec. 571.209) and have webbing with a 
width of not more than 2 inches, and are attached to the anchorage 
points without the use of retractors or reels of any kind.
* * * * *
    S6.1.2.1.1  Test configuration I.
    (a) In the case of each add-on child restraint system other than a 
belt-positioning seat, a child harness, a backless child restraint 
system with a top anchorage strap, or a restraint designed for use by 
physically handicapped children, install the add-on child restraint 
system at the center seating position of the standard seat assembly in 
accordance with the manufacturer's instructions provided with the 
system pursuant to S5.6.1, except that the add-on restraint shall be 
secured to the standard vehicle seat using only the standard vehicle 
lap belt. A child harness, a backless child restraint system with a top 
anchorage strap, or a restraint designed for use by physically 
handicapped children shall be installed at the center seating position 
of the standard seat assembly in accordance with the manufacturer's 
instructions provided with the system pursuant to S5.6.1. An add-on 
belt-positioning seat shall be installed at either outboard seating 
position of the standard seat assembly in accordance with the 
manufacturer's instructions provided with the system pursuant to 
S5.6.1, except that the belt-positioning seat shall be secured to the 
standard vehicle seat using only the standard vehicle lap and shoulder 
belt.
* * * * *
    S6.1.2.1.2  Test configuration II.
    (a) In the case of each add-on child restraint system which is 
equipped with a fixed or movable surface described in S5.2.2.2, or a 
backless child restraint system with a top anchorage strap, install the 
add-on child restraint system at the center seating position of the 
standard seat assembly using only the standard seat lap belt to secure 
the system to the standard seat.
* * * * *
    S6.1.2.2  Tighten all belts used to restrain the add-on child 
restraint to the standard test seat assembly and all belts used to 
directly restrain the dummy to the add-on or built-in child restraint 
according to the following:
    (a) Tighten all Type 1 belt systems and any provided additional 
anchorage belt (tether), that are used to attach the add-on child 
restraint to the standard seat assembly to a tension of not less than 
53.5 newtons and not more than 67 newtons, as measured by a load cell 
used on the webbing portion of the belt.
    (b) Tighten the lap portion of Type 2 belt systems used to attach 
the add-on child restraint to the standard seat assembly to a tension 
of not less than 53.5 newtons and not more than 67 newtons, as measured 
by a load cell used on the webbing portion of the belt.
    (c) Tighten the shoulder portion of Type 2 belt system used to 
directly restrain the dummy in add-on and built-in child restraint 
systems as specified in S11.9, Manual belt adjustment for dynamic 
testing.
* * * * *
    S6.1.2.4  If provided, shoulder (other than the shoulder portion of 
a Type 2 vehicle belt system) and pelvic belts that directly restrain 
the dummy in add-on and built-in child restraint systems shall be 
adjusted as follows: Tighten the belts until a 9-newton force applied 
(as illustrated in Figure 5) to the webbing at the top of each dummy 
shoulder and to the pelvic webbing 50 millimeters on either side of the 
torso midsagittal plane pulls the webbing 7 millimeters from the dummy.
    S7.3  Standard test devices.
    (a) * * *
    (1) For testing for motor vehicle use, a standard seat assembly 
consisting of a simulated vehicle bench seat, with three seating 
positions, which is described in NHTSA's Office of Vehicle Safety 
Standard's Drawing Package SAS-100-1000 (consisting of drawings and a 
bill of materials) with Addendum A, Seat Base Weldment, dated July 1, 
1993 (incorporated by reference; see Sec. 571.5).
* * * * *
    3. Figures 1A and 1B at the end of section 571.213 are revised to 
read as follows:

BILLING CODE 4910-59-P







BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    Issued on July 15, 1994.
Christopher A. Hart,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 94-17683 Filed 7-18-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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