NHTSA Drops International Window Safety Standards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its plans to forgo its 2012 proposal regarding the harmonization between U.S. vehicle window safety standards with international rules.

“NHTSA withdraws its June 21, 2012 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which proposed revising Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) No. 205, “Glazing materials,” to harmonize it with Global Technical Regulation (GTR) No. 6, “Safety Glazing Materials for Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment,” according to the NHTSA.

According to the administration, it considered adopting international rules related to types of glazing materials used for windshields. Now however, the NHTSA stated it has withdrawn the proposal because it was unable to conclude increased safety would result from harmonizing them.

“Based on the results of the agency’s review of available information and analysis of the technically substantive comments on the proposal, NHTSA is unable to conclude at this time that harmonizing FMVSS No. 205 with GTR No. 6 would increase safety,” according to the NHTSA.

In June 2012, the administration published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) as part of its ongoing effort to blend vehicle safety standards. The NPRM stated the harmonization would modernize test procedures for tempered glass, laminated glass, and glass-plastic glazing used in front windshields and rear and side windows. The NHTSA also stated “current glazing materials are performing acceptably,” and that adopting international rules would “better reflect real world conditions and eliminate redundant and unnecessary testing.”

The U.S. has established performance requirements for vehicle windows. Its goals are to ensure transparency for driver visibility and minimize the likelihood of occupants being thrown through vehicle windows in accidents.

After the administration took public comments regarding its NPRM, it was met with a majority of affirmative comments. Its crash data report concluded “since the 1960s, the magnitude of the safety problem for glazing has been substantially reduced.”

The current glazing standard ensures emerging and evolving glazing technologies produce equal benefits and that glazing remains a safety concern rather than becoming a safety problem, according to the NHTSA.

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