Vol. 150, No. 9 — February 27, 2016

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 214)

Statutory authority

Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Transport

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

Side impact collisions often have serious consequences. Between 2008 and 2012, side impact collisions accounted for 14.5% of the vehicle occupant road fatalities in Canada. Furthermore, the current Canadian Regulations are out of alignment with the corresponding U.S. regulations.

Background

Side impact collisions can be categorized into two types. The most common side impact collision occurs when the side of a vehicle is struck by the front of another vehicle. The second type, typically more severe side impact collision, occurs when the side of a vehicle hits a narrow, rigid stationary object, such as a pole or a tree. Compared to the front and rear ends of most passenger vehicles, the sides of a vehicle contain very limited energy-absorbing structure to protect the occupants in a collision. Occupants on the struck side of the vehicle are therefore vulnerable to greater injury.

Canada’s current Regulations consist of a quasi-static test in which a force is applied to a door, to reduce the risk of intrusion in a collision. This test requirement was aligned with the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 214 prior to their adoption of a moving deformable barrier test for passenger cars in 1996. The moving deformable barrier device is designed to simulate a striking vehicle during a typical intersection collision.

In 2003, Transport Canada introduced a moving deformable barrier test when it signed a side impact Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with each of the major vehicle manufacturers. This agreement requires vehicle manufacturers to choose to meet either FMVSS 214 or United Nations Regulation No. 95. At the time of signing of the MOU, it was determined that the safety benefits of the U.S. and United Nations regulations were similar, even though the moving deformable barrier test in each regulation differed in physical parameters.

In 2007, the United States updated FMVSS 214 to add a new pole impact test, to include a dummy in the rear seat for the moving deformable barrier test, and to require the use of a female test dummy in both testing protocols. The pole impact test is designed to simulate the impact of the side of the vehicle with a narrow stationary pole. In addition, the United States regulation allows vehicles that have been modified to accommodate a disabled person to be exempt from the moving deformable barrier and pole tests of FMVSS 214.

Canada’s policy to pursue aligned motor vehicle regulations is designed to reduce trade barriers within North America. It assists the Government in achieving the mutual goals of the three North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) nations; these goals include encouraging compatibility of regulations and eliminating redundant testing. On February 4, 2011, the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of the United States directed the creation of the joint Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC), which commits both countries to finding ways to prevent or reduce regulatory barriers to cross-border trade.

A report commissioned by Industry Canada and completed in 2012 reviewed the major existing vehicle side impact and ejection mitigation protection regimes employed worldwide and recommended options for Transport Canada’s consideration. The report concluded that given the United States’ updates to FMVSS 214, the Canadian side impact MOU had become dated in its safety requirements. The main recommendation of the report was for Canada to adopt the testing requirements of FMVSS 214.

Objectives

The proposed Regulations would update Canada’s side impact protection requirements by adopting the requirements of U.S. FMVSS 214. This would also fulfill Canada’s commitment to the RCC, ensuring alignment of Canadian and U.S. regulations for side impact, thus minimizing cost to manufacturers and consumers while providing a high level of safety.

Description

The proposed Regulations would align with the U.S. regulation, namely FMVSS 214, by incorporating by reference Technical Standards Document (TSD) 214. The aligned Regulations would mandate one of the two moving deformable barrier options under the current MOU on side impact testing protocols and would also mandate the new testing requirements of the stationary pole test. It is also proposed that exemptions would be allowed for vehicles that have been modified to accommodate disabled persons.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule does not apply to this proposal, as there is no change in administrative costs to business.

Small business lens

This proposal allows for exemptions for vehicles that have been modified to accommodate disabled persons. Such alterations and modifications are often made by small businesses. There are no disproportionate costs to (or preferential benefits for) small businesses that build vehicles for the transportation of disabled persons.

Consultation

The Department of Transport informs the automotive industry, public safety organizations, and the general public when changes are planned to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. This gives stakeholders the opportunity to comment on these changes by letter or email. The Department also consults regularly, in face-to-face meetings or teleconferences, with the automotive industry, public safety organizations, the provinces, and the territories.

In addition, the Department meets regularly with the federal authorities of other countries. Aligned regulations are key to trade and to a competitive Canadian automotive industry. The Department and the United States Department of Transportation hold semi-annual meetings to discuss issues of mutual importance and planned regulatory changes. Departmental officials also participate in and support the development of Global Technical Regulations, which are developed by the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations under the direction of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Side impact protection has been identified as a high priority action item in the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Action Plan for Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Under the Action Plan, modifications to the Canadian motor vehicle safety standards are to be implemented to ensure greater alignment between Canada and the United States.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA), representing Ford, Chrysler and GM, recommended adoption of the mandatory moving deformable barrier side impact and pole testing requirements in alignment with U.S. FMVSS 214 standard alone.

The Global Automakers of Canada (GAC), representing 15 manufacturers, including the major European and Asian manufacturers, recommended that Transport Canada maintain the side impact MOU without any changes, and has further requested that Transport Canada wait for the completion of international regulatory work on side impact protection before introducing mandatory regulations.

Rationale

The current Canadian Regulations and MOU for side impact protection are considered dated in their safety requirements. In 2012, a consultant’s report, which reviewed existing international vehicle side impact protection requirements and future options for Canada, was completed for Industry Canada. This report concluded that the U.S. regulation for side impact protection was more stringent than the European equivalent as it includes a pole test requirement, the requirement to use a female dummy in addition to a male dummy, and the requirement to test with a rear seat dummy. None of these requirements are currently featured in the United Nations regulation, the application of which is one of the options in the MOU.

Given the integrated North American vehicle market, almost all vehicle models sold in Canada are also available in the United States. It is expected there will be no additional cost to the manufacturers of these common market vehicles in order for them to meet the proposed Canadian Regulations, since no testing will be required in addition to the side impact testing that is already mandated in the United States. For common market vehicles, manufacturers will only need to design their models to the standards of the U.S. regulations to comply with the Canadian Regulations.

Transport Canada has reviewed vehicle model availability to determine which are the non-common market vehicles. Well over 99% of the vehicles sold in Canada are also sold in the U.S. marketplace. Only two models have been identified as unique to the Canadian marketplace. These two models are both equipped standard with a full complement of curtain air bags (which provide head protection) and in-seat side air bags (which provide thoracic protection for occupants). It is common for some manufacturers to offer vehicles unique to the Canadian marketplace to suit the specific needs of Canadians consumers. It is unknown if the two unique Canadian market models would meet the proposed new side impact test requirements without modification. If modifications are needed, they are expected to be minor, since most major world markets have stringent side impact testing requirements that are either regulated, as in Canada, or are part of a new car assessment program. It is therefore not expected that this amendment would have any impact on the availability of Canadian market vehicles.

“Part 595 - Make Inoperative Exemptions” of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations contains exemptions for vehicles that have been modified to accommodate disabled persons. The Canadian regulatory proposal contains similar exemptions to those of the United States in that the exemptions apply only to altered vehicles. Specifically, it is proposed that any designated seating position (including those of the driver and front passengers) that has had the seat or seat belt modified to accommodate a disabled person be exempt from the moving deformable barrier and pole test requirements as long as a warning of this deviation is posted in the vehicle.

In addition to supporting North American alignment, the Government supports international alignment efforts. The United Nations is currently working on a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) that will include a pole side impact test that is similar to U.S. FMVSS 214. This GTR will also include the use of new international WorldSID dummies. Canada has been a strong supporter of the development of this dummy family and has contributed to the international effort by testing prototypes. While phase I of the GTR with the mid-sized male dummy work is now complete, there are still several years of work left with the small female dummy. At the United Nations World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, WP.29, Canada noted its intention to propose to allow, as a regulatory option, the requirements of the GTR and the use of the new dummies once the work on the small female dummy has been completed and approved. Following the introduction of the pole test and the new dummies into the GTR, it is anticipated that the GTR will provide safety benefits similar to those of FMVSS 214.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Motor vehicle manufacturers and importers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act and its regulations. The Department of Transport monitors the self-certification programs of manufacturers and importers by reviewing their test documentation, inspecting vehicles, and testing vehicles obtained in the open market. In addition, when a manufacturer or importer identifies a defect in a vehicle or in equipment, it must issue a Notice of Defect to the owners and to the Minister of Transport. Any person or company that contravenes a provision of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act or its regulations is guilty of an offence, and liable to the applicable penalty set out in the Act.

For the purposes of voluntary compliance by vehicle manufacturers, it is proposed that this amendment come into effect upon publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II. It is also proposed that all vehicles covered by this proposed amendment and manufactured on or after September 1, 2018, be required to fully comply with the Regulations. This time frame would provide adequate lead time for manufacturers to modify any unique Canadian market models not already complying with FMVSS 214.

Contact

Anthony Jaz
Senior Regulatory Development Engineer
Motor Vehicle Safety
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Email: anthony.jaz@tc.gc.ca

Please note: It is important that your comments be provided to the attention of the person noted above before the closing date. Submissions not sent directly to the person noted may not be considered as part of this regulatory proposal. An individual response to your submission will not be provided. The version published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, will contain any changes that are made resulting from comments received, along with a summary of relevant comments. Please indicate in your submission if you do not wish to be identified or if you do not wish to have your comments published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsections 5(1) (see footnote a) and 11(1) (see footnote b) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (see footnote c), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 214).

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 75 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Anthony Jaz, Senior Regulatory Development Engineer, Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation Directorate, Department of Transport, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (email: Anthony.Jaz@tc.gc.ca).

Ottawa, February 18, 2016

Jurica Čapkun
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 214)

Amendments

1 The portion of item 214 of Schedule III to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (see footnote 1) in column II is replaced by the following:

Column I

Item (CMVSS)
Column II

Description

214

Side Impact Protection

2 Section 214 of Part III of Schedule IV to the Regulations and the heading before it are replaced by the following:

Side Impact Protection (Standard 214)

General

214 (1) The following vehicles shall conform to the requirements of Technical Standards Document No. 214, Side Impact Protection (TSD 214), as amended from time to time:

(2) However, S7 and S9 of TSD 214 do not apply to an outboard designated seating position equipped with a seat or seat belt that is for a disabled person if the following requirements are met:

(3) The statements set out in subparagraphs (b)(i) and (ii) and in paragraph (c) shall be included in the owner’s manual.

Technical Standards Document No. 214

(4) For the purposes of this section,

Transitional Provision

(5) Despite subsections (1) to (4), the vehicles referred to in subsection (1) may, until September 1, 2018, conform to the requirements of this section as it read immediately before the day on which this subsection comes into force.

Coming into Force

3 These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

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