The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) denied Consolidated Glass & Mirror’s (CGM) request to have mismarked windshields and sidelites used in buses considered an inconsequential violation of federal highway safety standards.
CGM, a subsidiary of Guardian Industries Corp., discovered in 2018 that some laminated glass parts do not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 205 for glazing materials due to incorrect printing.
The company asked the NHTSA to consider the misprint to be an inconsequential noncompliance.
In a 2018 noncompliance report, the company noted that about 223 laminated windshields manufactured in 2018 and shipped to IC Corp Tulsa Bus Plant for installation into Navistar buses were potentially involved with the noncompliance report dated December 14, 2018.
Approximately 1,390 bus door sidelights manufactured between November 1, 2017, and March 29, 2018, were also out of compliance. CGM sold the sidelites to Vapor Bus for use in the fabrication of bus doors. Vapor Bus subsequently shipped the bus doors to Nova Bus for installation in their buses.
The company told NHTSA that it incorrectly marked the windshield as AS-2 instead of the correct designation of AS-1.
The laminated bus door sidelites were similarly mismarked.
CGM says the laminated glass parts bear the Guardian trademark, the correct DOT manufacturer’s code mark, and the model number assigned by the manufacturer of the safety glazing material. The manufacturer can use the model number to identify the glazing material’s construction type.
The company claims although the glass parts carry the misprinted AS numbers, the company where the parts were made is in full compliance with federal regulations.
CGM told NHTSA that it believes the misprinted AS numbers do not affect the safety of the laminated glass parts, and despite the misprint, it shipped the correct parts to Navistar and Nova Bus.
The NHTSA rejected those arguments. Its long-standing position is that incorrect markings reduce safety effectiveness.
The correct markings assure the agency, consumer, and secondhand vehicle owners that the glass complies with federal safety regulations.
The agency noted firsthand and secondhand vehicle owners might go to the original vehicle manufacturer and glazing supplier to get replacement parts when the affected glazing needs replacement.
“However, it is also likely that many vehicle owners will instead purchase replacement parts from aftermarket suppliers and rely on the marking suggested on the glazing, which will trigger safety-related concerns if the vehicle owners replace the glazing solely based on the incorrect marking suggested on the glazing,” NHTSA says.
“The agency believes it is important to inform all vehicle owners, including firsthand and secondhand vehicle owners, what the proper specifications are for replacement products,” the agency says.
The agency told Guardian to notify vehicle owners of the misprinted windshield and sidelites and offer a free remedy.
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