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Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Fuel System Integrity; Crossover Lines

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

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

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Fuel System Integrity; Crossover Lines

Barry Felrice
Federal Register
May 17, 1994

[Federal Register: May 17, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. 94-39; Notice 1]
RIN 2127-AC62

 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Fuel System Integrity; 
Crossover Lines

AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: This notice proposes to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standard No. 301, Fuel System Integrity, to require vehicles equipped 
with a crossover line connecting dual fuel tanks to comply with 
requirements that would reduce the likelihood of fuel spillage. The 
affected vehicles would be almost exclusively heavy trucks. A vehicle 
equipped with a crossover fuel line would not be permitted to have fuel 
spillage exceeding 30 grams (1 ounce) (by weight) beginning with the 
onset of the application of a 11,100 Newtons (2,500 pounds) test force 
and ending two minutes after the end of the test force application. The 
agency has tentatively determined that the proposed requirements would 
eliminate most of the fuel spillage from crossover line breakage and 
prevent a substantial number of fires and secondary crashes due to fuel 
spillage.

DATES: Comments. Comments must be received on or before July 18, 1994.
    Proposed Effective Date. The proposed amendments in this notice 
would become effective [insert date one year after publication of a 
final rule in the Federal Register.]

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket and notice numbers above 
and be submitted to: Docket Section, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Docket 
hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. William J.J. Liu, Office of 
Vehicle Safety Standards, National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, 20590. 
Telephone: (202) 366-2264.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    A. Current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 301
    B. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
II. Rulemaking Petition
III. Crossover Lines and Frangible Valves
IV. NHTSA's Initial Analysis of the California Highway Patrol 
Petition
    A. Grant Notice and Initial Study
    B. NHTSA's Test Program
    C. Society of Automotive Engineers
V. Agency's Decision to Propose Amending Standard No. 301
    A. General Considerations
    B. Requirements and Test Procedures
    C. Applicability
    D. Benefits
    E. Costs
    F. Leadtime

I. Background

A. Current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 301

    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 301, Fuel System 
Integrity, specifies requirements for the integrity of the entire motor 
vehicle fuel system which includes the fuel tanks, lines and 
connections and emission controls. The standard's purpose is to reduce 
the deaths and injuries occurring in fires that result from fuel 
spillage during and after motor vehicle crashes, and resulting from 
ingestion of fuels during siphoning. The standard currently applies to 
passenger cars, and to multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and 
buses that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds 
or less and use fuel with a boiling point above 32 deg. Fahrenheit. The 
standard also applies to school buses with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds 
that use fuel with a boiling point above 32 deg. F.
    Standard No. 301 limits the amount of fuel spillage that can occur 
from fuel systems of vehicles both during and after various specified 
barrier impact tests. Fuel spillage as a result of any of the required 
impact tests cannot exceed one ounce by weight during the time from the 
start of the impact until motion of the vehicle has stopped, and cannot 
exceed a total of five ounces by weight in the five-minute period 
following cessation of motion. For the remaining portion of the test 
period, fuel spillage cannot exceed one ounce by weight during any one-
minute interval. Similar fuel spillage limits are required for the 
standard's static rollover test.
    The impact tests specified for all vehicles that have a GVWR of 
10,000 pounds or less are a 30-mph frontal fixed barrier impact, a 30-
mph rear moving barrier impact, and a 20-mph lateral moving flat 
barrier impact. A static rollover test is conducted following the 
barrier impacts.
    Only one impact test is specified for heavy school buses, i.e., 
those with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. It is a 30-mph moving contoured 
barrier crash test at any point and any angle. A static rollover test 
is not specified for heavy school buses.

B. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) requires commercial motor 
vehicles engaged in interstate commerce to comply with its Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Among the FMCSRs' 
requirements in Subpart E for Fuel Systems are ones addressing fuel 
lines (Sec. 393.65(f)) and fuel line valves (Sec. 393.65(g)). Section 
393.65(f), Fuel Lines, states that a fuel line which is not completely 
enclosed in a protective housing must not extend more than two inches 
below the fuel tank or its sump. Diesel fuel crossover, return, and 
withdrawal lines which extend below the bottom of the tank or sump must 
be protected against damage from impact.\1\ Under this provision, every 
fuel line must be (1) long enough and flexible enough to accommodate 
normal movements of the parts to which it is attached without incurring 
damage and (2) secured against chafing, kinking, or other causes of 
mechanical damage. Section 393.65(f), Excess flow valve, states that 
when pressure devices are used to force fuel from a fuel tank, a 
device, which prevents the flow of fuel from the fuel tank if the fuel 
feed line is broken, must be installed in the fuel system.
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    \1\A crossover line is a flexible hose connected between two 
vehicle fuel tanks at or near the bottom of the tanks.
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II. Rulemaking Petition

    On May 30, 1986, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) submitted a 
rulemaking petition to NHTSA to amend Standard No. 301 to apply to 
medium and heavy trucks and truck tractors, i.e., those that have a 
GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds.\2\ The petition requested NHTSA to add 
performance requirements to reduce the frequency and magnitude of fuel 
spills caused when road debris damage the fuel tank, the shut-off 
valve, or the crossover line on medium and heavy trucks and truck 
tractors.
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    \2\These vehicles are referred to as ``heavy trucks'' throughout 
the remainder of the notice.
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    The CHP based its petition on data gathered from 142 diesel fuel 
spills that occurred on Southern California highways during 1984 and 
1985. According to the petition, ``one-third of the 142 spills were 
caused by an object on the road being struck by [a heavy vehicle's] 
front wheels and thrown against the tank or fuel lines.'' CHP stated 
that the major consequence of these diesel fuel spills was the cost to 
the State of cleaning the spill, investigating the leak, and 
undertaking traffic control. In addition, CHP stated that seven 
``secondary'' accidents were caused by vehicles that struck a dropped 
fuel tank or skidded out-of- control on spilled fuel. Based on the 
above considerations, CHP requested that NHTSA issue standards that 
would protect fuel lines, crossover lines and bottom fittings against 
breakage from road debris.

III. Crossover Lines and Frangible Valves

    By gravitational effect, a crossover line enables both fuel tanks 
to maintain a constant fuel level and allows the engine to draw fuel 
from only one tank. On vehicles equipped with dual tanks, the crossover 
line is typically one of the fuel system components close to the 
ground. In this location, unprotected crossover lines are susceptible 
to being struck by road debris, or being snagged in crashes when the 
truck overrides another vehicle or highway structure.
    Given this potential danger, vehicle manufacturers may protect 
crossover lines from contact with road debris by routing the fuel line 
through a metal sleeve or attaching the fuel line to the rear of an 
angle iron or beam. Nevertheless, this manner of protection at times is 
not capable of preventing crossover line failures when a truck 
overrides another vehicle or highway structure.
    Another way to protect crossover lines is through the use of 
breakaway/frangible valves which stop fuel flow if the crossover line 
fails.\3\ Such devices are installed at the point where the line would 
otherwise be attached to each tank. They serve as the weakest point in 
the line, so that they break before any other part of the line fails. 
When the frangible valve breaks, it seals both sides of the break, thus 
stopping the fuel flow before fuel can be spilled. To date, relatively 
few motor vehicles have been equipped with these devices.
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    \3\These valves are referred to as frangible valves throughout 
the remainder of the document.
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IV. NHTSA's Initial Analysis of the California Highway Patrol Petition

A. Grant Notice and Initial Study

    On May 2, 1988, NHTSA published a notice granting the CHP petition 
that requested Standard No. 301 be amended to establish minimum 
positioning, size, and strength requirements to protect fuel lines, 
crossover lines and bottom fittings against breakage when struck by 
road debris. (53 FR 15578). In the grant notice, the agency stated that

    The issues raised by the petitioner warrant further 
consideration. NHTSA plans to conduct research into the issue of 
heavy vehicle post-crash fires to determine whether rulemaking is 
appropriate on this issue.

    In September 1989, NHTSA published a final report titled, ``Heavy 
Truck Fuel System Safety Study--Prepared in Response to Senate Report 
No. 100-198 HR 2890 Department of Transportation and Related Agencies 
Appropriation Act of 1988,'' based on a research study prepared by the 
University of Maryland's Fire Protection Engineering Department.\4\ The 
report analyzed and discussed accident records for truck fuel system 
fires, diesel fuel system designs, chemistry and physics of truck 
fires, system safety analyses, and fire mitigation strategies. With 
respect to the CHP petition, the report found that spilled diesel fuel 
is difficult to ignite, except during crashes when the fuel may be 
misted or vaporized. The report concluded that in some instances, fires 
originate from diesel fuel spilled from breached fuel system 
components, and improvements to the fuel system to prevent breaching 
may be possible. In addition, the report indicated that significant 
benefits could be obtained by improving the protection of crossover 
lines.
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    \4\(DOT HS-807-484, September 1989).
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B. NHTSA's Test Program

    NHTSA's Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) prepared a report 
titled, ``Testing to Develop Fuel System Integrity Standard,'' March 
1992, based on a test program evaluating crossover lines. A copy of 
this report has been placed in the docket. The purpose of the test 
program was to develop a test procedure that could be used in a 
performance standard to ensure crossover line integrity. VRTC employed 
a quasi-static pull test in which force was applied at a constant 
displacement rate to crossover lines to evaluate crossover line 
protection. While such a test is not an exact replication of conditions 
in which road debris strike a crossover line, it provides an acceptable 
approximation of that situation. Further, it provides an easily 
duplicated and repeatable method of evaluation.
    The VRTC study found that a shear force of between 100 and 600 
pounds is necessary to sever frangible valves while a shear force 
between 700 and 1,000 pounds is necessary to sever an unprotected fuel 
line. The study also found that devices called ``substantial protection 
devices'' protect crossover fuel lines even when a shear force of 
11,100 Newtons (2,500 pounds) is applied. The basis for the 11,000 
Newtons (2,500 pounds) is discussed in a subsequent section of the 
notice titled ``Requirements and Test Procedures.'' ``Substantial 
protection devices'' are used as a brace loaded in compression to 
reduce the amount of flexing of the frame and the tank mounting 
brackets. They are typically metal frames in which the crossover lines 
are placed. They are typically bolted to the tank mounting brackets, 
with the brackets providing longitudinal support. In contrast, testing 
of ``non-substantial protection devices'' indicated that they offer 
little additional protection for the crossover line. This type of 
protection device is typically light weight and is bolted to the frame 
rails.
    VRTC concluded that a potentially appropriate test procedure would 
be one specifying the application of a specified force to the crossover 
line protection device. That procedure could be coupled with a 
requirement limiting the maximum amount of fuel leakage that would be 
allowed during the force application and for a period of time 
thereafter.

C. Society of Automotive Engineers.

    NHTSA notes that the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is 
currently drafting a Recommend Practice, J1624, Fuel Crossover Line, to 
evaluate crossover lines and set minimum strength requirements for 
these devices. This Recommended Practice would set forth tests 
procedures and requirements related to crossover lines. The SAE draft 
Recommended Practice includes a different test procedure than the one 
being proposed by NHTSA. The Recommended Practice specifies a different 
and higher load level (22,200 Newtons (5,000 pounds) compared to 11,100 
Newtons (2,500 pounds)), and the load is applied in a different manner. 
In addition, the Recommended Practice requires the removal of the 
vehicle's transmission, an action the agency disfavors. NHTSA requests 
comments on the differences between these procedures and their effect 
on benefits and costs.

V. Agency's Decision to Propose Amending Standard No. 301

A. General Considerations

    Based on the foregoing and other available information, NHTSA has 
decided to propose amending Standard No. 301 to limit fuel spillage 
experienced by vehicles equipped with a crossover fuel line to 30 grams 
(1 ounce) (by weight) beginning with the onset of the application of a 
11,100 Newtons (2,500 pounds) test force and ending two minutes after 
the end of the test force application.
    The agency envisions two primary methods by which a vehicle 
manufacturer could comply with the proposed requirements. One would be 
the installation of a ``substantial protection device.'' The other 
would be the installation of a frangible valve.
    The agency has tentatively determined that the proposed 
requirements would eliminate most of the fuel spillage from crossover 
line breakage and annually prevent one fatality and 55 injuries that 
occur in secondary crashes due to fuel spillage. A detailed analysis of 
the rulemaking's anticipated benefits is presented in the Preliminary 
Regulatory Evaluation (PRE), which has been placed in the public 
docket.
    NHTSA requests comments on the proposal, including whether there is 
a safety need for it. Would the installation of a substantial crossover 
line protection device or frangible valves on a crossover line prevent 
fuel spillage from damaged crossover lines due to impacts by highway 
debris or other crashes? To what extent are other components in the 
fuel system (e.g., supply and return lines, water separators, fuel 
heaters) vulnerable to damage from road debris?

B. Requirements and Test Procedures

    NHTSA is proposing several details related to the crossover line 
requirement and test procedures. These include the permissible amount 
of fuel spillage, the appropriate maximum test load, the time for 
evaluating fuel spillage, the nature of force application, the point 
and angle of force application, and the nature of the test apparatus.
    As explained above, each vehicle that is equipped with a crossover 
line connecting dual fuel tanks would be permitted to have only a 
limited amount of fuel spillage after the application of a test force. 
The proposed requirement would permit fuel spillage of 30 grams (1 
ounce) by weight. This amount of fuel spillage is based on the VRTC 
report of crossover lines that indicated that no frangible valve is 
capable of stopping the fluid flow instantaneously. It is also based on 
previous agency rulemakings about fuel system integrity. For instance, 
the static rollover test in Standard No. 301 permits fuel spillage of 
30 grams (1 ounce) per minute after each 90 deg. rotation. (See S6.4) 
The agency invites comments about whether to permit fuel spillage in 
addition to 30 grams of fuel.
    NHTSA is proposing to specify that a test force of 11,100 Newtons 
(2,500 pounds) be applied to any crossover fuel line connecting dual 
fuel tanks. This test force is based on the tests run by VRTC. These 
tests indicated that a force application of 11,100 Newtons (2,500 
pounds) would be sufficient to require the installation of devices that 
would protect the crossover lines while screening out less protective 
devices. The agency invites comments on whether the proposed test load 
is appropriate to ensure crossover line integrity. Would the agency's 
specification of a shear force less than 11,100 Newtons (2,500 pounds) 
result in a significant increase in the number of severed fuel lines 
compared to the number that would occur if a shear force of 11,100 
Newtons (2,500 pounds) were specified? If so, how much of an increase 
would be expected? How often do vehicles equipped with a crossover line 
contact road debris but not leak? Conversely, would it be more 
appropriate to specify a higher test force?
    The proposed time period for evaluating the fuel spillage from the 
crossover line begins with the onset of the application of the test 
force and ends two minutes after the end of the test force application. 
The agency tentatively concludes that a two minute period is sufficient 
to evaluate a crossover fuel line failure. The agency requests comments 
on whether the proposed two minute period is appropriate to ensure 
crossover fuel line integrity.
    NHTSA is proposing to specify that the test force be applied to the 
full level between 10 and 20 seconds, be maintained between 5 and 10 
seconds, and then be released. This time frame is based on the VRTC 
tests. The agency considered an alternative approach in which the load 
would have been applied at a rate of 1.9 cm/second. However, the agency 
has tentatively concluded that the apply-hold-release time provision is 
consistent with practical laboratory procedures. NHTSA requests 
comments about how the force application should be specified.
    NHTSA is proposing to specify that the test force be applied 
downward in a vertical plane and toward the rear of the vehicle, 
parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, and at an angle of 
15 deg. with the road surface. This test condition is based on VRTC's 
recommendation that the pull test be conducted at a 15 deg. angle 
relative to the road. The agency notes that in real-world situations in 
which road debris contact the vehicle, the dynamic load would be 
applied at various angles. Nevertheless, the general direction is 
toward the rear of the vehicle. The tests at VRTC indicated that the 
small variations in test angle between 0 deg. and 15 deg. did not 
significantly affect the test results. The agency believes that this 
test angle would simplify the test set- up, thereby making it more 
practicable.
    NHTSA is also proposing specific provisions related to the test 
apparatus, a hydraulic device whose characteristics are described in 
Figures 3 and 4. The test apparatus incorporates a loading application 
device attached to the end of a hydraulic pulling device which pulls 
the crossover line structure. The test loading application device has a 
length of four inches which would be placed around the crossover line 
or support structure. This would enable testing the exposed ends of a 
crossover line near the juncture at the fuel tank if the exposed area 
exceeded four inches in length. An additional allowance of two inches 
is provided since the test load application device may not fit over 
curved portions of a crossover support structure at its transition from 
horizontal to vertical. Exposed portions of crossover lines would have 
to be tested if the exposed length of crossover line exceeds six 
inches. NHTSA requests comments about the proposed test conditions as 
well as alternative procedures such as the SAE Recommended Practice 
J1624.

C. Applicability

    Standard No. 301 currently applies to vehicles with a GVWR of 
10,000 pounds or less and to heavy school buses. This notice proposes 
to extend Standard No. 301's applicability to any vehicle that is 
equipped with a crossover line that connects dual fuel tanks. As a 
practical matter, the proposed amendment would affect heavy trucks 
almost exclusively. A majority of these vehicles are equipped with a 
crossover line that connects dual fuel tanks. In contrast, light 
vehicles typically are not equipped with dual fuel tanks equipped with 
a crossover line. Nevertheless, even though the proposal would not 
affect light vehicles, the agency is proposing to apply the 
requirements to any vehicle equipped with a crossover line that 
connects dual tanks in case light vehicles are equipped with such 
devices in the future.
    The proposed requirements would affect a vehicle only if it is 
equipped with a crossover line connecting dual fuel tanks. The proposal 
would not require a vehicle to be equipped with crossover lines. 
Further, the proposal would not prevent vehicles equipped with dual 
fuel tanks from being equipped with devices other than crossover lines 
for filling up both fuel tanks (e.g., dual fuel supply and returns 
system). The agency does not wish to hinder the efforts of 
manufacturers which are developing devices that may eliminate the need 
for crossover lines. The agency requests comments about the 
applicability of the proposed crossover line integrity requirements.

D. Benefits

    NHTSA anticipates that, if adopted, the proposed amendment to 
Standard No. 301 would significantly reduce the potential involvement 
of heavy truck crossover lines in fatal and injury-producing accidents. 
As a result of the amendment, there would be fewer breached fuel lines 
and less fuel spilled by heavy trucks. The PRE estimates that the 
rulemaking would prevent one fatality and two injuries each year 
resulting from crossover line breaches in crashes involving truck 
undercarriages. In addition, the rule would prevent one fatality and 55 
injuries that occur in secondary crashes. NHTSA also estimates that 
about 131,000 gallons of fuel are spilled each year from crossover 
lines that are breached. The annual direct economic costs associated 
with this fuel spillage are estimated to be $8,423,000 per year. These 
costs are broken down as follows: Fuel spill cleanup costs of 
$2,181,000, traffic delays of 221,000 vehicle-hours costing $2,393,000 
in lost productivity, environmental damage of $3,425,000 from 
unreported fuel spills that are not properly cleaned-up, vehicle 
property damage of $276,000, and fuel spillage loss of $148,000. While 
no studies have been conducted to estimate an effectiveness rate for 
the proposed requirement, i.e., the degree to which it would prevent 
these losses, the agency expects that a high percentage of the fuel 
spillage incidents and the associated costs would be prevented, since 
most of the frangible valves now on the market appear to be able to 
prevent fuel spillage.
    NHTSA requests comments about the anticipated benefits of the 
proposal to reduce fuel spillage in vehicles with crossover lines. 
Please provide any information on frangible valve performance in over-
the-road usage.

E. Costs

    Among the PRE's principal conclusions are that vehicle 
manufacturers could comply with the proposed performance requirements 
and thus eliminate crossover fuel line spills by either installing 
frangible valves, or by providing a crossover line protection device. 
NHTSA is basing the following estimate on the alternative to install 
frangible valves since they appear to provide more protection against 
spills at a lower cost. The vehicle manufacturers' choice of frangible 
valves would minimize the rulemaking's overall costs. These valves are 
currently commercially available for a valve manufacturer's estimated 
retail cost of $25 per valve including installation. However, based on 
agency discussions with valve manufacturers, the cost could be as low 
as $15 per valve installed, if sufficient quantities are purchased at a 
wholesale rate. This would result in a cost of between $30 and $50 per 
vehicle to equip both sides of the crossover line with frangible 
valves, since two valves are needed. Given this range of between $30 
and $50 per vehicle, the agency has decided to use an average cost of 
$40 per vehicle in the PRE. The agency requests comments about whether 
this estimate accurately represents the costs related to preventing 
fuel spillage caused by severed crossover lines.
    NHTSA estimates that the costs associated with installing ``more 
substantial'' crossover protection structures rather than ``less 
substantial'' structures'' to be $50 to $60 per vehicle. This includes 
the extra cost of steel structural components and labor to manufacture 
the structure. In addition, ``more substantial'' structures would 
result in a weight premium of an estimated 20 pounds. Because of this 
weight penalty and the higher estimated cost, NHTSA believes that most 
vehicle manufacturers and operators would use frangible valves.
    NHTSA notes that eliminating the crossover line by installing dual 
supply and return lines on trucks is an alternative to increasing the 
strength of the crossover line structure or installing frangible 
valves. Although the agency has not determined the precise cost of dual 
supply and return systems, it believes that their cost would be higher 
than either frangible valves or substantial crossover support 
structures. The agency requests data about the number of vehicles using 
dual supply and return systems versus vehicles using crossover lines.
    According to the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association 
publication, ``1992 Facts & Figures,'' there were 70,831 medium and 
171,309 heavy new trucks sold in the United States in 1991. The agency 
estimates that about 20 percent of medium trucks and 70 percent of 
heavy trucks are equipped with dual fuel tanks, based on information 
provided by truck manufacturers. Based on these figures, 14,166 medium 
and 119,916 heavy new trucks were equipped with crossover lines in 
1991. Based on those figures, the annual cost to install frangible 
valves on these vehicles at a cost of $40 per vehicle would be as 
follows:

Medium Trucks--$567,000
Heavy Trucks--$4,797,000
Total Cost--$5,364,000

    NHTSA requests comments about the current production levels of 
vehicles equipped with crossover lines. What number and percentage of 
heavy, medium, and light trucks are equipped with dual fuel tanks? By 
vehicle size, what number and percentage of dual fuel tanks are 
equipped with a crossover line? For dual fuel tanks that are not 
equipped with a crossover line, what method of fuel level equalization 
is used? By vehicle size, what number and percentage of dual fuel tanks 
are equipped with alternative fuel equalization devices? Is there a 
trend for vehicles with dual fuel tanks to be equipped with dual feed 
and return lines for drawing fuel from both fuel tanks?
    NHTSA also requests comments about the current production levels of 
vehicles equipped with devices used to prevent or reduce the number of 
crossover line breaches. What number and percentage of vehicles 
equipped with crossover lines are equipped with (1) crossover line 
protection devices that would meet the proposed strength requirements, 
(2) frangible valves, or (3) any other technologies that would enable a 
vehicle to comply with the proposed requirements?
    NHTSA anticipates that the compliance test costs incurred by 
vehicle manufacturers would not be significant because it believes that 
most manufacturers would meet the proposed requirements by installing 
frangible valves instead of providing crossover protection devices. The 
agency estimates that most of the cost associated with conducting the 
proposed compliance test would be about $400 to $1000, with the cost 
range of $400 for a manufacturer with in-house equipment and capability 
to $1,000 for a manufacturer using an outside laboratory. The agency 
requests comments about the cost of compliance testing of the proposed 
requirements.

F. Leadtime

    NHTSA anticipates that truck manufacturers would need to devote 
relatively minor engineering and development time to incorporate 
frangible valves or crossover line protection devices in their current 
vehicle designs. Frangible valves are readily available. The agency 
expects that valve manufacturers could increase production to meet the 
additional demand for such valves. Since the agency does not anticipate 
any significant leadtime problems, it is proposing that the amendment 
take effect one year after the final rule's publication in the Federal 
Register. The agency welcomes comments about whether such a leadtime is 
appropriate.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This notice was not reviewed under E.O. 12866. NHTSA has analyzed 
this proposal and determined that it is not ``significant'' within the 
meaning of the Department of Transportation's regulatory policies and 
procedures. A PRE setting forth the agency's detailed analysis of the 
economic effects of this proposal has been prepared and been placed in 
the docket. A summary of the anticipated benefits and costs appears 
above.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, NHTSA has 
evaluated the effects of this action on small entities. Based upon this 
evaluation, I certify that the proposed amendments would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This action would primarily affect the manufacturers of heavy trucks 
and frangible valves. The agency is not aware of any manufacturer of 
heavy vehicles or frangible valves that would be considered a small 
entity. The agency does expect that the requirements would increase the 
market for and production of such valves. The added cost of modifying a 
vehicle to comply with the proposed requirements is very small in 
comparison to the overall cost of a vehicle. Therefore, these changes 
would not significantly affect purchase decisions. The industry test 
cost per vehicle to assure compliance with the proposal would be even 
smaller in comparison to the vehicle's overall price. For these 
reasons, vehicle manufacturers, small businesses, small organizations, 
and small governmental units which purchase motor vehicles would not be 
significantly affected by the proposed requirements. Accordingly, no 
regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared.

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism)

    This agency has analyzed this action in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in E.O. 12612 and has determined that 
the proposed rule would not have sufficient Federalism implications to 
warrant preparation of a Federalism Assessment. No State laws would be 
affected.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The agency has considered the environmental implications of this 
proposed rule in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 and has determined that the proposed rule would improve the 
human environment by eliminating spillage of approximately 131,000 
gallons of fuel each year.

Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule would not have any retroactive effect. Under 
section 103(d) of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act 
(Safety Act; 15 U.S.C. 1392(d)), 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. Section 105 of the 
Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 1394) 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.

Public Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on the proposal. 
It is requested but not required that 10 copies be submitted.
    All comments must not exceed 15 pages in length. (49 CFR 553.21). 
Necessary attachments may be appended to these submissions without 
regard to the 15-page limit. This limitation is intended to encourage 
commenters to detail their primary arguments in a concise fashion.
    If a commenter wishes to submit certain information under a claim 
of confidentiality, three copies of the complete submission, including 
purportedly confidential business information, should be submitted to 
the Chief Counsel, NHTSA, at the street address given above, and seven 
copies from which the purportedly confidential information has been 
deleted should be submitted to the Docket Section. A request for 
confidentiality should be accompanied by a cover letter setting forth 
the information specified in the agency's confidential business 
information regulation. 49 CFR part 512.
    All comments received before the close of business on the comment 
closing date indicated above for the proposal will be considered, and 
will be available for examination in the docket at the above address 
both before and after that date. To the extent possible, comments filed 
after the closing date will also be considered. Comments received too 
late for consideration in regard to the final rule will be considered 
as suggestions for further rulemaking action. The NHTSA will continue 
to file relevant information as it becomes available in the docket 
after the closing date, and it is recommended that interested persons 
continue to examine the docket for new material.
    Those persons desiring to be notified upon receipt of their 
comments in the rules docket should enclose a self-addressed, stamped 
postcard in the envelope with their comments. Upon receiving the 
comments, the docket supervisor will return the postcard by mail.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles, Rubber and rubber 
products, Tires.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the agency proposes to amend 49 
CFR 571.301, Fuel System Integrity, to read as follows:

PART 571-- FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

    1. The authority citation for part 571 would continue to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 1392, 1401, 1403, 1407; delegation of 
authority at 49 CFR 1.50.

    2. Section 571.301 would be amended by revising S3, S5, S6 and the 
introductory text of S7 to read as follows and by adding a definition 
of ``crossover line'' to S4 to be placed in the proper alphabetical 
location and by adding S7.6 through S7.6.3 to read as follows:


Sec. 571.301  Standard No. 301, Fuel System Integrity.

* * * * *
    S3. Application. This standard applies to passenger cars, and to 
multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses that have a GVWR of 
10,000 pounds or less and use fuel with a boiling point above 32 deg. 
F, and to school buses that have a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds and 
use fuel with a boiling point above 32 deg. F. In addition, S5.8 
applies to each vehicle that is equipped with a crossover line 
connecting dual fuel tanks and uses fuel with a boiling point above 
32 deg. F.
    S4. Definitions.
* * * * *
    ``Crossover line'' means a flexible hose connected between two fuel 
tanks at or near the bottom of the fuel tanks.
* * * * *
    S5. General requirements.
    S5.1  Passenger cars, and multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, 
and buses with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less. Each passenger car and 
each multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, and bus with a GVWR of 
10,000 pounds or less shall meet the requirements of S6.1 through S6.4. 
Each of these types of vehicles that is manufactured to use alcohol 
fuels shall also meet the requirements of S6.6. Each vehicle that is 
equipped with a crossover line connecting dual fuel tanks shall also 
meet the requirements of S6.7.
    S5.2  [Reserved]
    S5.3  Vehicles (Other than Schoolbuses) with a GVWR greater than 
10,000 pounds. Each vehicle (other than a schoolbus) with a GVWR 
greater than 10,000 pounds that is equipped with a crossover line 
connecting dual fuel tanks shall meet the requirements of S6.7.
    S5.4  Schoolbuses with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds. Each 
schoolbus with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds shall meet the 
requirements of S6.5. Each schoolbus with a GVWR greater than 10,000 
pounds that is manufactured to use alcohol fuels shall meet the 
requirements of S6.6. Each schoolbus with a GVWR greater than 10,000 
pounds that is equipped with a crossover line connecting dual fuel 
tanks shall meet the requirements of S6.7.
    S5.5  Fuel spillage: Barrier crash. Fuel spillage for each vehicle 
in any fixed or moving barrier crash test shall not exceed 1 ounce by 
weight from impact until motion of the vehicle has ceased, and shall 
not exceed a total of 5 ounces by weight in the 5-minute period 
following cessation of motion. For the subsequent 25-minute period, 
fuel spillage during any 1-minute interval shall not exceed 1 ounce by 
weight.
    S5.6  Fuel spillage: Rollover. Fuel spillage for each vehicle in 
any rollover test, from onset of rotational motion shall not exceed a 
total of 5 ounces by weight for the first 5 minutes of testing at each 
successive 90 deg. increment. For the remaining testing period, at each 
increment of 90 deg., fuel spillage during any 1-minute interval shall 
not exceed 1 ounce by weight.
    S5.7  Alcohol fuel vehicles. Each vehicle manufactured to operate 
on an alcohol fuel (e.g., methanol, ethanol) or a fuel blend containing 
at least 20 percent alcohol fuel shall meet the requirements of S6.6.
    S5.8  Fuel spillage: Crossover line. Fuel spillage for each vehicle 
that is equipped with a crossover line connecting two fuel tanks shall 
not exceed 30 grams (1 ounce) by weight of fuel in the two-minute 
period following the end of the test force application.
    S6.  Test Requirements.
    (a) Each vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less shall meet 
the requirements of any applicable barrier crash test followed by a 
static rollover, without alteration of the vehicle during test 
sequence. A particular vehicle need not meet further requirements after 
having been subjected to a single barrier crash test and a static 
rollover test. In addition, each vehicle that is equipped with a 
crossover line connecting two fuel tanks shall meet the crossover line 
test set forth in S6.7.
    (b) Each vehicle with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds that is 
equipped with a crossover line connecting two fuel tanks shall meet the 
crossover line test set forth in S6.7.
    S6.1  Frontal barrier crash. When the vehicle traveling 
longitudinally forward at any speed up to and including 30 mph impacts 
a fixed collision barrier that is perpendicular to the line of travel 
of the vehicle, or at any angle up to 30 deg. in either direction from 
the perpendicular to the line of travel of the vehicle, with 50th 
percentile test dummies as specified in part 572 of this chapter at 
each front outboard designated seating position and at any other 
position whose protection system is required to be tested by a dummy 
under the provisions of Standard No. 208, under the applicable 
conditions of S7., fuel spillage shall not exceed the limits of S5.5.
    S6.2  Rear moving barrier crash. When the vehicle is impacted from 
the rear by a barrier moving at 30 mph, with test dummies as specified 
in part 572 of this chapter at each front outboard designated seating 
position, under the applicable conditions of S5.7, fuel spillage shall 
not exceed the limits of S5.5.
    S6.3  Lateral moving barrier crash. When the vehicle is impacted 
laterally on either side by a barrier moving at 20 mph with 50th-
percentile test dummies as specified in part 572 of this chapter at 
positions required for testing to Standard No. 208, under the 
applicable conditions of S5.7, fuel spillage shall not exceed the 
limits of S5.5.
    S6.4  Static rollover. When the vehicle is rotated on its 
longitudinal axis to each successive increment of 90 deg. following an 
impact crash of S6.1, S6.2, or S6.3, fuel spillage shall not exceed the 
limits of S5.6.
    S6.5  Moving contoured barrier crash. When the moving contoured 
barrier assembly traveling longitudinally forward at any speed up to 
and including 30 mph impacts the test vehicle (schoolbus with a GVWR 
exceeding 10,000 pounds) at any point and angle, under the applicable 
conditions of S7.1 and S7.5, fuel spillage shall not exceed the limits 
of S5.5.
    S6.6  Anti-siphoning test for alcohol fuel vehicles. Each vehicle 
shall have means that prevent a hose made of vinyl plastic or rubber, 
with a length of not less than 120 centimeters (cm) (47.2 inches) and 
an outside diameter of not more than 5.2 millimeters (mm) (0.20 
inches), from contacting the level surface of the liquid fuel in the 
vehicle's fuel tank or fuel system, when the hose is inserted into the 
filler neck attached to the fuel tank with the fuel tank filled to any 
level from 90 to 95 percent of capacity.
    S6.7  Crossover fuel lines. When the crossover fuel line test 
apparatus is applied to the test vehicle at any point along the 
crossover fuel line (including the contiguous protective structure) 
with a force of 11,100 Newtons (2,500 pounds), under the applicable 
conditions of S7.1 and S7.6, fuel spillage shall not exceed the limits 
of S5.8.
    S7  Test conditions. The requirements of S5.1, S5.3, S5.4, S5.5 and 
S5.6 and S6.1, S6.2., S6.3, S6.4, and S6.5 shall be met under the 
following conditions. The requirements of S5.8 and S6.7 shall be met 
under the conditions set forth in S7.1.1, S7.1.2, S7.1.5, and S7.6. 
Where a range is specified, the vehicle shall be capable of meeting the 
requirements at all points within the range.
* * * * *
    S7.6  Crossover line test conditions. Compliance with S5.8 and S6.7 
shall be demonstrated in accordance with the following:
    S7.6.1  Place and level the test vehicle on a rigid surface so that 
it is entirely supported by means of the vehicle frame. Secure the test 
vehicle so as to prevent any motion of the test load.
    S7.6.2  Apply the test force specified in S6.7, as shown in Figures 
3 and 4, in a downward direction in a vertical plane toward the rear of 
the vehicle direction, and parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal axis, 
at an angle of 15 deg. with respect to the road surface.
    S7.6.3  Load the crossover line to the 11,100 Newtons (2,500 
pounds) in not less than 10 seconds or more than 20 seconds and 
maintain it for not less than 5 or more than 10 seconds. Release the 
test force in not less than 5 or more than 10 seconds.
    S7.6.4  Apply the test force until either 11,100 Newtons (2,500 
pounds) is reached, or the crossover line is severed, or total 
separation of any of the crossover line valves occurs.
    S7.6.5  Ensure that the fuel supply and return lines remain in 
place for the testing if they are located on the crossover line.


Sec. 571.301  [Amended]

    3. Section 571.301 would be amended by adding Figure 3 and Figure 4 
to read as follows:

BILLING CODE 4510-59-P







BILLING CODE 4910-59-C
    Issued on: May 11, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-11920 Filed 5-16-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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