NHTSA extends implementation deadline for vehicle labeling changes

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's final rule for vehicle labeling will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2004, not Sept. 1 of this year as originally announced.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials changed the date in response to petitions from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and other auto industry companies and groups, who argued that implementation of new standards for vehicle placards, labels and owners' manuals as mandated by the rule will require major changes to end-of-the-line manufacturing processes.

The rule applies to all vehicles made after 1975 with gross vehicle weight (GVW) ratings of 10,000 pounds or less, as well as new vehicles with GVWs of 10,000 pounds or less.

NHTSA is eliminating vehicle placard/label size and format requirements, plus the use of the tire icon and color, and is ordering that placards and labels be affixed to the inward-facing surface of the vehicle next to the driver's seat if the vehicle in question does not have a "side B" pillar and/or the driver's door edge is too narrow or doesn't exist.

"The number of new calculations required by this final rule may be especially challenging for manufacturers with many product lines," NHTSA officials admit.

However, the rule's tire labeling provisions will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2003.

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