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Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

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

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment

Barry Felrice
Federal Register
November 21, 1994

[Federal Register: November 21, 1994]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 571

[Docket No. 93-57; Notice 2]
RIN 2127-AF00

 
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Lamps, Reflective Devices 
and Associated Equipment

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: This notice responds to a notice of request for comments that 
NHTSA published in 1993 implementing the grant of a petition by Robert 
Bosch GmbH. It proposes an amendment to the Federal motor vehicle 
standard on lighting that would permit replaceable lenses on integral 
beam and replaceable bulb headlamps that incorporate on-board headlamp 
aimers, provided that such headlamps meet more rigorous environmental 
tests. The benefit of headlamps with replaceable lenses is that the 
lens or reflector could be replaced in the event of breakage of either 
without the present necessity to replace both components if only one is 
damaged.

DATES: Comments are due February 21, 1995. The amendments would be 
effective 30 days after publication of the final rule in the Federal 
Register.

ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to the docket number and notice 
number, and be submitted to: Docket Section, Room 5109, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590 (Docket hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 
4:00 p.m.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patrick Boyd, Office of Rulemaking, 
NHTSA (202-366-6346).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On August 12, 1993, NHTSA published a Notice 
of Request for Comments in implementation of a grant of a petition for 
rulemaking submitted by Robert Bosch GmbH (58 FR 42924). The notice 
sought views relevant to a decision on whether to proceed with 
rulemaking to amend Standard No. 108 to allow the lens to be 
replaceable on a replaceable bulb headlamp equipped with an on-vehicle 
aiming device. In addition to comments on the five benefits ascribed by 
Bosch to replaceable lens headlamps, NHTSA asked for comments on 
fifteen relevant issues. The reader is referred to the notice for 
further information.
    Comments were submitted by 21 interested persons: Advocates for 
Highway Safety (Advocates), American Automobile Manufacturers 
Association (AAMA), American Honda, Fiat Auto R&D USA, Ford Motor 
Company, General Electric Worldwide Automotive Lighting (GE), General 
Motors Corp. (GM), Hella KG Hueck & Co., KC Hilites, Koito 
Manufacturing Co. Inc., Oscar Lidstrom, Jr., Maine Bureau of Highway 
Safety, Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz of 
North America, Osram Sylvania, Inc., PACCAR, Inc., Stanley Electric Co. 
Ltd., Virginia State Police, Volkswagen of North America (on behalf of 
itself and Audi), Volvo of North America, and J. L. Witt. The concept 
of replaceable lenses for certain headlamps was opposed by three 
commenters: Advocates, GE, and KC Hilites. Six others expressed 
reservations: AAMA, GM, Maine, Massachusetts, Stanley, and Koito. The 
remaining 12 commenters either actively supported the concept or 
submitted comments that did not indicate opposition to it. Where 
appropriate, these comments are mentioned in the discussion of issues 
that follows.
    NHTSA's evaluation of the comments that were submitted has 
synthesized agency concerns into three issues: the photometric 
performance of headlamps after relensing, the durability performance of 
headlamps before and after relensing, and the economic benefits to the 
consumer of replaceable lens headlamps.

Photometric Performance of Headlamps After Relensing

    The first issue of concern is whether a headlamp with a replaceable 
lens will provide photometric performance equivalent to a headlamp 
using the original lens. NHTSA had previously denied two petitions 
(from GM and BMW of North America) for replaceable lens headlamps, 
principally from concern for potential aiming problems and corroded 
reflectors.
    The potential for misaim has two bases. The first is relevant to 
mechanically aimable headlamps, which have three alignment pads on the 
lens to orient alignment tools. Some designs use pads ground to the 
individual characteristics of each reflector/lens assembly. This 
creates lamp-to-lamp differences in lenses, irrelevant when the lens is 
permanently attached to the reflector assembly, but of possible concern 
when lenses may be replaced. Even in designs without custom ground 
pads, continuation of proper aim is dependent upon the repeatability of 
the attachment of the lens to the reflector. Small differences in fit 
or gasket crush could modify the interaction between the reflector and 
the lens and thereby reorient the aiming pads.
    The aiming pad issue does not arise under the Bosch petition 
because it includes only headlamps with on-board aiming devices, which 
aim the reflector without reference to the lens. Bosch provided data 
from photometric tests demonstrating that, absent the aiming pad 
considerations, headlamp photometry was insensitive to lens 
replacement. The illumination at required test points produced by the 
test reflector and bulb was nearly identical in each test, using five 
replaceable lenses with different production dates. The differences 
between lenses of the same part number and any variations in lens 
alignment due to repeated replacement had no apparent effect on the 
photometric performance of the combination of new components.
    Advocates had criticized the minimum ``above-horizontal'' 
illumination requirements established by the agency for 1994 and newer 
model vehicle headlamps as providing poorer performance than that of 
sealed beam headlamps. It opposed lens replacement on the basis of a 
potential for a further reduction in ``above-horizontal'' illumination 
which it believed would result from deviations in lens alignment during 
replacement. The Bosch data should allay Advocates' concern, as should 
a comment by Osram Sylvania that headlamp photometry is not sensitive 
to the slight misalignments possible during lens replacement. Although 
Osram Sylvania had other criticisms of replaceable lenses, it reported 
that common design practices for replaceable bulb headlamps limit the 
sensitivity of photometric performance to lens misalignment and that 
replacement lenses need not be identical to original lenses to maintain 
equivalent photometric performance.
    In summary, comments and data submitted to the docket are 
persuasive that photometric performance of new lamps is not sensitive 
to typical production variations of replacement lenses. For the reasons 
expressed above, it appears that headlamps with on-vehicle aiming and 
replaceable lenses are equivalent in photometric performance to 
headlamps with on-vehicle aiming and bonded lenses.

Durability Performance of Headlamps Before and After Relensing

    For new headlamps, Standard No. 108's tests for dust penetration, 
corrosion, humidity, vibration, and water sealing should assure that 
headlamps with replaceable lenses will have a lens-to-reflector sealing 
that is equivalent to the protection provided by headlamps with bonded 
lens/reflector assemblies. However, if the reflector of a headlamp is 
affected by exposure during the period when the vehicle is operated 
with a broken lens or by improper cleaning attempts during relensing, 
there is a strong possibility that an owner may continue to use the 
unit after relensing without being aware of its degraded performance. 
Less than half of all states have periodic vehicle inspection, and 
those that do differ in their rigor. Thus, inspection programs cannot 
be expected to detect the decreased photometric performance of 
headlamps with degraded reflectors. The second potential problem is 
that the lens-seal integrity could be lost during relensing, and that 
an otherwise good reflector would be subject to moisture and dust for 
the remaining life of the vehicle.
    Reflector degradation was not a concern before 1983 when 
replaceable bulb headlamps were allowed. In a sealed beam lamp, a crack 
in the lens large enough to admit moisture would cause the filament to 
fail, necessitating the replacement of the entire headlamp. However, 
replaceable bulb headlamps can continue to operate despite a broken 
lens, and the possibility of degraded reflectors was considered by the 
agency during the course of rulemaking that allowed them. The 
requirement for a bonded lens was motivated in part by NHTSA's desire 
to avoid creating a potential safety problem that had been impossible 
when Standard No. 108 allowed only sealed beam headlamps. It is a 
conservative requirement that results in the replacement of reflectors 
when the condition of the lens indicates possible long term exposure of 
the reflector to water and dirt. Even a small hole can cause the 
headlamp to fill with water due to condensation during the heating and 
cooling cycle of lamp use.
    A potential safety disadvantage of the bonded lens requirement is 
that the cost of replacing a headlamp rather than a lens may tend to 
delay or to discourage repair altogether. However, the desire to 
maintain the aesthetic quality of a newer vehicle and the obvious 
performance problem of a cracked lamp containing moisture should 
motivate many owners to make a replacement, even if costly. A more 
powerful motivation is provided by the vehicle inspection programs 
maintained by less than half of the states. Typically, the states 
inspect for aim and for damaged lenses, and in some instances inspect 
replaceable bulbs for maximum power to prevent the use of high powered 
``off road'' aftermarket bulbs. But even strict states, such as 
Virginia, do not inspect for the low light output that would identify 
headlamps with degraded reflectors. Many commenters who favored the 
concept of replaceable lenses voiced concerns about the potential loss 
of performance of relensed units. AAMA suggested replaceable lenses for 
integral beam headlamps as well as for those with replaceable bulbs, 
but it commented that any rulemaking allowing replaceable lenses must 
assure that reflectors are designed to be more resistant to abrasion 
and solvents, with special durability and environmental qualification 
requirements added. American Honda was concerned about technical 
problems which may exist in ensuring that photometric performance is 
equal to the level of performance before the lens was damaged, and 
ensuring adequate sealing against dust and moisture after the lens 
alone is replaced. GE commented that the average consumer or automotive 
mechanic does not have the background and understanding to make the 
decisions necessary to determine if a headlamp is safely repairable. 
Osram Sylvania agreed with the Bosch petition that reflector surfaces 
can be cleaned during lens replacement, but it cautioned that the 
reflector can be damaged by improper cleaning and handling. It also 
advised that the touch of human hands can deposit skin oil on the 
reflector with the possible consequences of reflector fogging, reduced 
output and increased glare. It further commented that the lens 
replacement process could break the sealing coat, protecting the thin 
aluminum coating on the reflector from moisture, which could lead to a 
very rapid loss of reflecting area and photometric performance.
    Volkswagen's comments also responded to questions about performance 
loss of relensed lamps. It suggested that only specially trained dealer 
service personnel should install lenses, presumably refusing to relens 
degraded lamps, and that state inspections should monitor the condition 
of reflectors. These steps may be feasible in Europe where reflector 
corrosion, at least in older designs, is a problem requiring universal 
inspection and where the manufacturers control the replacement lens 
supply. But they are not effective in the United States. Less than half 
the States have inspections, and those that do are not required to 
cover the condition of the reflector because it was never a concern 
during the long era in which sealed beams were the only type of 
headlamps allowed. Also, the U.S. aftermarket would not be limited to 
OEM lenses (conferring on dealers the power to refuse to repair 
degraded lamps) because non-OEM manufacturers would be free to 
manufacture components and sell them directly to vehicle owners.
    Volkswagen and American Honda commented that replaceable lens 
headlamps could be designed to require removal of the headlamp from the 
vehicle in order to replace the lens. This would have the effect, 
desirable to the commenters, of causing owners to rely on the vehicle 
manufacturer's dealers for lens replacement. However, causing lens 
replacement to be more expensive and less convenient diminishes the 
prospect of greater headlamp maintenance in states without inspection. 
Further, owners compelled by state inspection to replace parts often 
insist on making their own repairs to minimize their burden. Making the 
task unnecessarily complex only increases the chances that the owner 
will make a poor repair. In the case of HID integral beam headlamps, 
easy removal of the lens without disturbing the other components may 
reduce high voltage hazards during owner repairs. The better solution, 
suggested by the AAMA and others, is to adopt durability and 
environmental requirements for replaceable lens headlamps to increase 
the likelihood that relensed headlamps will perform satisfactorily 
regardless of who services them. This solution minimizes the potential 
loss of performance from degraded reflectors and maximizes the 
potential for inexpensive voluntary lens repairs in states without 
inspections.
    The most detailed comments to the question of reflector durability 
were those of Ford Motor Company. They contain a comprehensive 
statement of the reflector durability problem and some general guidance 
concerning appropriate test procedures. Ford commented:

    Replaceable bulb headlamps currently incorporate reflective 
surfaces not specifically designed to withstand direct environmental 
exposure or abrasion. If the condition prompting replacement of a 
lens has resulted in contamination or discoloration of the reflector 
surface (e.g., as might occur due to a lens crack or loss of 
integrity of the lens/reflector seal), a degradation in photometric 
performance would be expected, as compared to a new replacement 
headlamp. Attempts to clean a contaminated reflector, as by wiping, 
could result in abrasion to the metallized surface, possibly 
resulting in degraded photometric performance and/or increased 
glare. Ford therefore recommends that rulemaking on replaceable lens 
headlamps consider the need for the reflective surfaces of 
replaceable lens headlamps to withstand appropriate environmental 
exposure and cleaning operations.

    Ford's recommendations were:

    Ford recommends that headlamps with replaceable lenses, in 
addition to present requirements applicable to replaceable bulb 
headlamps, be subjected to salt-fog, moisture and dust exposure 
without the lens in place. Additionally, the reflector surface 
should be capable of withstanding resistance to chemicals that are 
likely to be used by consumers or repair facilities to clean 
contaminated reflector surfaces. Subsequent to appropriate 
environmental and chemical exposure, the reflector should be cleaned 
according to a prescribed procedure. When fitted with a lens 
following exposure and cleaning, the headlamp should be capable of 
meeting the same photometric requirements applicable to replaceable 
bulb headlamps with bonded lenses. Aftermarket lens manufacturers 
should be required to certify that any headlamp for which the lens 
is intended is capable of meeting photometric requirements when 
fitted with a lens of that design. Additionally, aftermarket 
replacement lenses should be accompanied with complete instructions 
for properly removing the old lens, cleaning the interior of the 
headlamp body, cleaning and preparing the mating surface on the 
headlamp body and installing the new lens on the headlamp body.

    The durability and environmental requirements for the present 
replaceable bulb headlamps and the deliberations that led to them may 
be useful in considering reasonable requirements for the reflectors of 
replaceable lens headlamps. When the agency amended Standard No. 108 to 
permit replaceable bulb headlamps, it was aware that German vehicle 
inspection data showed significant rejections due to dull, corroded and 
damaged headlamp reflectors. Thus, NHTSA promulgated an appropriate 
test of corrosion resistance for replaceable bulb headlamps for use in 
the United States. The lamp assembly must be exposed for ten days in a 
salt spray chamber, with the additional requirement than the bulb be 
removed and the spray deactivated during the last hour of all but two 
test days. The test put a premium on the ability of the lens to protect 
the reflector from the salt spray. It also required a degree of direct 
corrosion resistance exceeding the performance of some European 
headlamps by having the lamps exposed to several hours of salty air in 
the chamber without direct spray. In its original form, the rule 
required that the headlamp pass the photometric test at the completion 
of the corrosion test. The post-exposure photometric test was later 
eliminated because of the possibility of salt deposits that could not 
be removed easily from a headlamp with a bonded lens.
    A corrosion test of increased rigor for reflectors of replaceable 
lens headlamps would remove much of the safety concern about relensing 
lamps that have become contaminated with dust and moisture. The agency 
is proposing a specific environmental test for reflectors of 
replaceable lens headlamps which it believes is consistent with Ford's 
recommendations while imposing minimum testing burdens. NHTSA is 
proposing an additional salt spray test with the following features for 
new replaceable lens headlamps: (a) A 24 hour exposure to salt spray 
with the lens removed, (b) a 48 hour drying period, (c) cleaning of the 
reflector according to instructions to be furnished with replacement 
lenses and included in the owner's manual, (d) a non-magnified 
examination for corrosion, and (e) a photometric test of the headlamp 
as reassembled with a new lens. The proposed exposed reflector test 
mimics the existing test of headlamps with lenses but with a much 
reduced duration since reflector exposure in service would not be 
continuous. However, it makes use of the expected salt deposit 
formation to test the durability of the reflector coating to cleaning. 
Finally, it would require the manufacturer of a headlamp with a 
replaceable lens to demonstrate photometric compliance of the 
reassembled cleansed lamp.
    Ford recommended three distinct tests of headlamp reflector 
exposure to salt-fog, moisture, and dust, while the agency proposes a 
single test. Comment from parties familiar with reflector construction 
and exposure testing is sought. The following questions are of 
particular interest:
    (1) A cracked lens frequently causes a headlamp to partially fill 
with water. Is the moisture and exposure time involved in an ASTM B 
117-73 salt spray test sufficient to test moisture resistance of 
reflectors? If not, what test would be sufficient?
    (2) The present dust test for replaceable bulb headlamps uses 
Portland cement as dust, and the agency presumes that Ford's comment 
refers to the same kind of dust test. Cleaning the reflector after 
Portland cement dust exposure may be equivalent to a rigorous abrasion 
test. The agency believes that the proposed salt-spay test will coat 
the headlamp reflector with salt deposits and that the subsequent 
cleaning will provide an adequate abrasion test. However, does a 24-
hour salt spray test deposit enough salt to act as a de facto abrasion 
test? Should a particular method of salt removal be required or should 
the manufacturers' cleaning instructions dictate the test procedure, as 
proposed? Is a Portland cement dust test as well as a salt spray test 
of reflectors needed, and if so, why? Should a direct abrasion test be 
used rather than the indirect abrasion of cleaning, and if so, what 
procedure would be appropriate?
    (3) Is the proposed 24-hour salt spray test followed by 48 hours 
drying time sufficient to test the headlamp reflectors and the metal 
light shields sometimes used? What corrosion criteria are appropriate 
for light shields? Can rusty water dripping from metal light shields 
eventually cause otherwise durable headlamp reflectors to fail because 
of stains?
    (4) The present standard for replaceable bulb headlamps exposes 
lamp assemblies with the bulb removed (but the lens attached) for eight 
hours to humid salty air in a salt spray chamber with the salt spray 
turned off. Is this present test (followed by a photometric test and 
whatever cleaning is necessary) sufficient to qualify headlamp 
reflectors for use with replaceable lenses without the proposed direct 
salt spray test or the moisture, dust and salt spray tests recommended 
by Ford?
    The existing Standard No. 108 also includes a chemical resistance 
test of the exterior of the lamp to fuel, tar remover, power steering 
fluid and antifreeze. NHTSA has tentatively concluded that the test 
should be extended to headlamp reflectors using chemicals suggested by 
the manufacturer in the cleaning instructions or with a realistic 
probability of use by vehicle owners despite the manufacturer's 
instructions. Chemicals in the latter category would include tar 
remover, lacquer thinner and mineral spirits. The manufacturer's 
instructions may concentrate on water soluble contaminants because of 
the salt spray test. The inclusion of the other chemicals gives the 
owner a means to remove organic contaminants without resorting to 
abrasion. Since mineral spirits is a major constituent of tar remover, 
a separate test for mineral spirits appears unnecessary.
    The plastic lenses on replaceable bulb headlamps manufactured for 
use in the United States are given a hard protective coating that would 
be expected to exceed the reflector coating requirements established by 
the proposed tests. NHTSA expects that similar coating methods could be 
used to create robust reflectors for replaceable lens headlamps. It 
would be reasonable to expect successful lens replacement by vehicle 
owners, especially if the lens attachments were designed to be 
accessible without disturbing the headlamp aim. The requirement for 
headlamp reflector durability also reduces concern about untrained 
persons installing the lens seal. Should an owner install the seal 
incorrectly, causing moisture to collect inside the lamp, the reflector 
will not degrade quickly. The visible moisture would serve as a 
telltale, and an owner motivated to replace the lens initially would be 
motivated to disassemble, clean and reinstall the lens until the 
desired repair was successful. If manufacturers choose to design 
headlamps for ease and economy of lens replacement by owners, the 
prospect of better lamp maintenance in non-inspection States is 
realistic.

Economic Benefits to the Consumer of Replaceable Lenses

    The cost to replace two replaceable bulb headlamps can equal 10 
percent of the value of an entire car after it is 5 to 8 years old. 
Consumers used to the cost of sealed beam headlamps are critical of 
state vehicle inspection programs when they force the replacement of 
headlamps at costs which far exceed those of sealed beams. When 
Standard No. 108 was amended to permit replaceable bulb headlamps, the 
economic consequences of lens/reflector assembly replacement were not 
considered to be relevant to safety, and the ability to replace the 
light source gave some promise of consumer benefit. Ironically, the 
economic burden to consumers now fuels a safety debate about whether 
the reluctance of owners to replace expensive cracked lamps or the 
possibility of degraded performance of relensed lamps is the greater 
threat to safety. The styling benefits of replaceable bulb headlamps 
over sealed beams have resulted in large potential cost penalties and 
an unquantifiable degree of performance loss when the headlamps are 
damaged.
    Volkswagen commented that the cost to replace a headlamp is 7 to 8 
times that of the lens alone. It cited examples of lamps costing $215 
to $270 and estimated the cost of replaceable lenses in the $30 to $40 
range. Mercedes estimated the cost of replaceable lenses at $126 to 
$150 and complete headlamps at $250 to $640 with on-board aiming. While 
the cost of headlamps with the fasteners, gaskets, and indexing 
features required for replaceable lens designs would be higher than the 
cost of headlamps with simple bonded lenses, reductions in repair costs 
of 50% to 85% appear to be likely.
    The agency anticipates that replaceable lens designs would be 
attractive only for headlamps using glass lenses. These are 
predominantly used on imported vehicles. Replaceable bulb headlamps 
which have coated polycarbonate plastic lenses are extremely resistant 
to cracking and chipping. AAMA commented that the impact resistance of 
plastic lenses significantly reduces any servicing need to provide 
replaceable lenses. Glass lenses are less expensive than coated plastic 
lenses, and they have greater resistance to high operating temperatures 
and abrasion by headlamp wipers.
    However, the additional cost of a replaceable lens design would 
probably negate the economic advantage a manufacturer might achieve by 
changing to a less expensive replaceable glass lens when it had been 
using bonded plastic lenses. It is likely that the market for 
replaceable bulb headlamps with replaceable lenses would be confined to 
a small segment of the import market in which headlamp wipers or high 
operating temperatures dictate the choice of glass lenses.
    Bosch's petition covered only replaceable bulb headlamps. However, 
AAMA commented that a greater economic benefit of replaceable lenses 
could be found in integral beam headlamps. High Intensity Discharge 
(HID) lamps are being developed for use as integral beam headlamps, and 
their operating temperatures are expected to dictate the use of glass 
lenses. An integral beam headlamp is required to be manufactured with 
the lens, bulb, reflector, cable and high voltage source configured as 
an indivisible whole. HID headlamps are much more costly than 
replaceable bulb headlamps, and the prospect of replacing the whole 
lamp (at perhaps $1000) in order to repair a cracked lens may be a 
significant impediment to introduction of the technology. Since the 
industry-imposed economic burden on the consumer is the agency's 
primary reason for considering replaceable lens headlamps, it is 
appropriate to include integral beam headlamps in the proposal.

Proposed Amendments

    NHTSA is implementing its conclusions by proposing appropriate 
amendments to Standard No. 108. As noted above, the proposed amendments 
cover integral beam headlamps as well as those with replaceable bulbs. 
The proposal requires redefinitions of ``integral beam headlamp'' and 
``replaceable bulb headlamp'' to clarify that some types of these 
headlamps need not have a bonded lens reflector assembly, those with a 
vehicle headlamp aiming device (VHAD) conforming to Standard No. 108. 
Under the proposal, each replacement lens would also have to be 
accompanied by an appropriate replacement seal, and instructions to the 
user on how to remove and replace the lens, clean the reflector, and 
seal the lens to the lamp. Manufacturers of replacement lenses would 
mark them with a DOT symbol which will be the manufacturer's 
certification that installation of the lens on the headlamp for which 
it is intended will not create a noncompliance with Standard No. 108. A 
new section is proposed that would add the chemical and corrosion 
resistance tests discussed above.
    The greatest impact of the proposal will be on future HID integral 
beam headlamps which may require heat resistant glass lenses rather 
than impact resistant plastic lenses. These head-lamps will be very 
costly and their replacement will involve high voltage components. The 
development of durable reflectors to make them suitable for replaceable 
lens will be an important step in making HID lamps practical. 
Additionally, should future changes to the standard accommodate HID 
light sources in replaceable bulb headlamps, the ability to have 
replaceable lenses would enhance their economic viability as well.
    The comments suggest that it is not critical to require replacement 
lenses to be identical to original lenses in order to maintain 
photometric performance in compliance with the standard. The only 
necessary requirement is that the replacement lens maintain compliance 
of an otherwise compliant headlamp in all respects including sealing. 
An additional practical requirement is that a replacement lens be 
supplied with a new seal and instructions for cleaning the reflector 
and installing the lens and seal.

Request for 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. Comments on the proposal 
will be available for inspection in the docket. 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.

Effective Date

    The effective date of the final rule would be [30 days after 
publication in the Federal Register]. Because the final rule 
establishes no additional burden on any party, it is hereby tentatively 
found for good cause shown that an effective date for the amendments to 
Standard No. 108 that is earlier than 180 days after their issuance 
would be in the public interest.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This action has not been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. It 
has been determined that the rulemaking action is not significant under 
Department of Transportation regulatory policies and procedures. The 
purpose of the rulemaking action is to afford a further optional means 
of compliance with the headlamp requirements of Standard No. 108. While 
a final rule could result in higher prices for buyers of glass-lensed 
headlamps of certain types, these initial costs could be offset by 
reduced repair costs during the life of the vehicle or the headlamp. 
These cost impacts are not deemed significant and preparation of a full 
regulatory evaluation is not warranted.

National Environmental Policy Act

    NHTSA has analyzed this rulemaking action for the purposes of the 
National Environmental Policy Act. It is not anticipated that a final 
rule based on this proposal would have a significant effect upon the 
environment. The design and composition of headlamps which take 
advantage of this option may change from those presently in production 
but it is anticipated that the kind of materials used will be the same.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The agency has also considered the impacts of this rulemaking 
action in relation to the Regulatory Flexibility Act. I certify that 
this rulemaking action would not have a significant economic impact 
upon a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, no regulatory 
flexibility analysis has been prepared. Manufacturers of motor vehicles 
and headlamps, those affected by the rulemaking action, are generally 
not small businesses within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act. Further, small organizations and governmental jurisdictions would 
not be significantly affected because the price of new vehicles and the 
optional headlamps would be only minimally impacted. While the price of 
new vehicle equipment might be somewhat higher if the optional headlamp 
is used, the cost of repair of such equipment will be significantly 
lessened.

Executive Order 12612 (Federalism)

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

Civil Justice

    A final rule based on this proposal would not have any retroactive 
effect. Under 49 U.S.C. 30103 (formerly section 103(d) of the National 
Traffic and Motor Vehicle 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. Section 
30163 (formerly 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.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 571

    Imports, Motor vehicle safety, Motor vehicles.

    In consideration of the foregoing, 49 CFR part 571 would be amended 
as follows:

PART 571--FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARDS

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

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


Sec. 571.108  [Amended]

    2. Section 571.108 would be amended as follows:
    a. The definitions of ``Integral Beam Headlamp'' and ``Replaceable 
Bulb Headlamp'' in Paragraph S4 would be revised to read as set forth 
below.
    b. Paragraphs S5.8.11, S7.2(e), S8.10.1 and S8.10.2 would be added 
to read as set forth below.
    c. Paragraphs S7.4(g), S7.4(h)(2), S7.4(h)(3), S7.5(h), and S8.1 
would be revised to read as set forth below.


Sec. 571.108  Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective 
Devices, and Associated Equipment.

* * * * *
S4. Definitions.
* * * * *
    Integral Beam Headlamp means a headlamp (other than a standardized 
sealed beam headlamp designed to conform to paragraph S7.3 or a 
replaceable bulb headlamp designed to conform to paragraph S7.5) 
comprising an integral and indivisible optical assembly including lens, 
reflector, and light source, except that the lens may be designed to be 
replaceable if the headlamp incorporates a vehicle headlamp aiming 
device that conforms to S7.8.5.2. An ``integral beam headlamp'' may 
incorporate light sources that are replaceable that are used for 
purposes other than headlighting.
* * * * *
    Replaceable bulb headlamp means a headlamp comprising a bonded lens 
reflector assembly and one or two replaceable headlamp light sources, 
except that the lens may be designed to be replaceable if the headlamp 
incorporates a vehicle headlamp aiming device that conforms to 
S7.8.5.2. A ``replaceable bulb headlamp'' may incorporate light sources 
that are replaceable that are used for purposes other than 
headlighting.
* * * * *
S5.8 Replacement equipment.
* * * * *
    S5.8.11 A replacement lens for a replaceable bulb headlamp or an 
integral beam headlamp that is not required to have a bonded lens shall 
be provided with a replacement seal in a package that includes 
instructions for the removal and replacement of the lens, the cleaning 
of the reflector, and the sealing of the replacement lens to the 
reflector assembly.
S7 Headlighting requirements.
* * * * *
    S7.2 (a) * * *
* * * * *
    (e) Each replacement headlamp lens with seal, provided in 
accordance with S5.8.11, when installed according to the lens 
manufacturer's instructions on an integral beam or replaceable bulb 
headlamp, shall not cause the headlamp to fail to comply with any of 
the requirements of this standard. Each replacement headlamp lens shall 
be marked with the symbol ``DOT'', either horizontally or vertically, 
to constitute certification. Each replacement headlamp lens shall also 
be marked with the manufacturer and the part or trade number of the 
headlamp for which it is intended, and with the name and/or trademark 
of the lens manufacturer or importer that is registered with the U.S. 
Patent and Trademark Office. Nothing in this paragraph shall be 
construed to authorize the marking of any such name and/or trademark by 
one who is not the owner, unless the owner has consented to it.
* * * * *
S7.4 Integral Beam Headlighting System. * * *
* * * * *
    (g) A headlamp with a glass lens need not meet the abrasion 
resistance test (S8.2). It need not meet the chemical resistance test 
(S8.3) unless it incorporates a replaceable lens. If, in addition to a 
glass lens, the headlamp uses a non-plastic reflector, it need not meet 
the internal heat test of paragraph S8.6.2. A headlamp of sealed design 
as verified in paragraph S8.9 Sealing need not meet the corrosion 
(S8.4), dust (S8.5), or humidity (S8.7) tests; however, the headlamp 
shall meet the requirements of paragraphs 4.1, 4.1.2, 4.4 and 5.1.4 for 
corrosion and connector of SAE Standard J580 DEC86 Sealed Beam Headlamp 
Assembly. An integral beam headlamp may incorporate light sources that 
are replaceable that are used for purposes other than headlighting.
    (h) * * *
* * * * *
    (2) After the chemical resistance tests of paragraphs S8.3 and 
S8.10.1, there shall be no surface deterioration, coating delamination, 
fractures, deterioration of bonding or sealing materials, color 
bleeding or color pickup visible without magnification, and the 
headlamp shall meet the photometric requirements applicable to the 
headlamp system under test.
    (3) After corrosion tests conducted in accordance with paragraphs 
S8.4 and S8.10.2, there shall be no evidence of external or internal 
corrosion or rust visible without magnification. Loss of adhesion of 
any applied coating shall not occur more than 0.125 in. (3.2 mm) from 
any sharp edge on the inside or outside. Corrosion may occur on 
terminals only if the current produced during the test of paragraph 
S8.4(c) is not less than 9.7 amperes.
* * * * *
S7.5 Replaceable Bulb Headlamp System. * * *
* * * * *
    (h) The system shall be aimable in accordance with paragraph S7.8.
* * * * *
S8 Tests and Procedures for Integral Beam and Replaceable Bulb 
Headlighting Systems. * * *
    S8.1 Photometry. Each headlamp to which paragraph S8 applies shall 
be tested according to paragraphs 4.1 and 4.1.4 of SAE Standard J1383 
APR85 for meeting the applicable photometric requirements, after each 
test specified in paragraphs S8.2, S8.3, S8.5, S8.6.1, S8.6.2, S8.7, 
and S8.10.1 and S8.10.2 if applicable. A 1/4 degree reaim is permitted 
in any direction at any test point.
* * * * *
    S8.10 Chemical and corrosion resistance of reflectors of 
replaceable lens headlamps.
    S8.10.1 Chemical resistance. (a) The entire optical surface of the 
reflector of the headlamp in the headlamp test fixture with the lens 
removed shall be wiped once to the left and once to the right with a 6-
inch square soft cotton cloth (with pressure equally applied) which has 
been saturated once in a container with 2 ounces of one of the test 
fluids listed in paragraph (b). The lamp shall be wiped within 5 
seconds after removal of the cloth from the test fluid.
    (b) The test fluids are:
    (1) Tar remover (consisting by volume of 45% xylene and 55% 
petroleum base mineral spirits);
    (2) Lacquer thinner; or
    (3) Fluids other than water contained in the manufacturer's 
instructions for cleaning the reflector.
    (c) After the headlamp has been wiped with the test fluid, it shall 
be stored in its designed operating attitude for 48 hours at a 
temperature of 73 deg.F7 deg. (23 deg.C4 deg.) 
and a relative humidity of 3010 percent. At the end of the 
48-hour period, the headlamp shall be wiped clean with a soft dry 
cotton cloth and visually inspected.
    S8.10.2 Corrosion. (a) The headlamp with the lens removed, 
unfixtured and in its designed operating attitude with all drain holes, 
breathing devices or other designed openings in their normal operating 
positions, shall be subjected to a salt spray (fog) test in accordance 
with ASTM B117-73, Method of Salt Spray (Fog) Testing, for 24 hours, 
while mounted in the middle of the chamber.
    (b) Afterwards, the headlamp shall be stored in its designed 
operating attitude for 48 hours at a temperature of 
73 deg.F7 deg. (23 deg.C4 deg.) and a relative 
humidity of 3010 percent and allowed to dry by natural 
convection only. At the end of the 48-hour period, the reflector shall 
be cleaned according to the instructions supplied with the headlamp 
manufacturer's replacement lens, and inspected. The lens and seal shall 
then be attached according to these instructions and the headlamp 
tested for photometric performance.

    Issued on November 9, 1994.
Barry Felrice,
Associate Administrator for Rulemaking.
[FR Doc. 94-28382 Filed 11-18-94; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-59-P

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