NHTSA Amends FMVSS 205
The Engineering and Standards Committee's Vehicular Subcommittee of the Glass
Association of North America's (GANA) Glass Tempering decision presented a report
on the coming changes in Federal Motor Vehcicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) at Glass
Week 2006. Subcomittee chair Henry Gorry of Guardian provided committee members
with a memo detailing the coming changes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced a
change in FMVSS 205 Glazing Materials, to be effective November 6, 2006. The Federal
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards apply to original equipment (OE) glazing in vehicles.
The final rule amends 49CFR571.205 as follows:
1. It adopts, by, reference ANSI/SAE Z26.1-1996: details test equipment, test
procedures and interpretation of results, which are used to determine if safety
glazing materials, including windshields, possess certain qualities.
2. It addresses the lower limit of windshield shade band: NHTSA has amended
the Standard to adopt, by reference, an industry practice of establishing a lower
limit of a shade band on windshields. NHTSA has now ruled that manufacturers may
certify compliance by using either the ECE R43 (seven degree up angle) OR the
unmodified SAE J100 (five degree up angle) methods to establish the lower limit.
3. Excepted areas of the windshield: The amended rule now allows obscuration
bands with a maximum width of 300 mm, centered to a longitudinal median plane
of the vehicle, between a 7- and 3-dgree up angle.
4. Shade bands on aftermarket windshields: any aftermarket windshield made
on or after November 1, 2006 must comply with the shade band requirements cited
5. Shade bands on side- and backlites: NHTSA has ruled that shade bands on
side- and backlites when incorporated into the design of the parts may be shaded,
but the shading must not impede the ability of the glazing to meet the light transmittance
requirements of FMVSS 205 at "levels requisite for driver visibility."
NHTSA has not yet defined what these levels are but is expected to do so in the
6. Most difficult part or pattern: changes what gets tested in the fracture
test (test 7) for the purpose of certifying compliance with 205. The change means
that if a side- or backlite are fabricated from the same glass construction, and
the backlite is known to perform worse than the sidelite when submitted to the
test, then it is the read window that must be tested to certify compliance. Prior
to the rule change, NHTSA had ruled that the most difficult pattern be tested,
thinking it would be the most likely to fail.
7. Location of the arrow within the AS markings: corrects a typographical error
in the previous version of the rule. AS will remain in the second position (AS
arrow 1) rather than the third position.