Vol. 150, No. 9 — February 27, 2016

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Standard 226)

Statutory authority

Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Sponsoring department

Department of Transport

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issues

Rollover fatalities account for a significant portion of the fatalities on Canadian roads. Between 2008 and 2012, these collisions accounted for almost 17% of the road fatalities in Canada. The United States has recently adopted a regulation to reduce these types of fatalities, and it is necessary for Canada to adopt the same type of requirements in order to extend these benefits to Canadians.

Background

When a vehicle is involved in a rollover collision, the rotating forces push occupants towards the side of the vehicle. Unbelted occupants may break through the vehicle glass and be completely ejected. Belted occupants may be partially ejected, and in some cases, completely ejected. The risk of a fatality to an occupant significantly increases if they are ejected from a vehicle.

Side air bags designed to protect occupants in a side impact collision may not be sufficient for protection in a rollover condition. A side impact collision may last less than 0.1 seconds, and the side air bags typically have vents that allow the air bags to provide a cushion to occupants. The duration of a rollover collision is comparatively long, as the rollover sequence may last four to six seconds. In this case, side air bags with vents may not provide sufficient protection to occupants, as the air bags may have deflated early after the collision began.

In addition, side air bags meant only for side impact collisions may only partially cover a window, whereas in a rollover, an occupant may be partially or fully ejected through any part of a window opening. In order for side air bags to protect occupants in a rollover collision, they must fully cover the side windows and remain inflated during the rollover sequence.

On January 19, 2011, the United States issued a final rule to improve the safety of occupants in rollover conditions. The rule requires all vehicles under a 4 536 kg gross vehicle weight rating to have ejection mitigation protection in the first three rows of seats and to a portion of the window in the cargo area of vehicles with one or two rows of seats. The rule also requires the air bags to remain inflated for six seconds to protect occupants throughout a rollover sequence.

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.

The absence of equivalent Canadian requirements for ejection mitigation protection for vehicle occupants has been identified as a priority by the RCC. 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 future options for Transport Canada’s consideration. The report concluded that Canada should adopt the United States requirements for ejection mitigation to reduce the risk of injury and death, especially in rollover collisions.

Objectives

The proposed Regulations would improve rollover protection in Canada by adopting the requirements of the United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 226 (FMVSS 226), Ejection Mitigation. This would also fulfill Canada’s commitment to the RCC and ensure alignment between Canada and the United States for ejection mitigation, thus minimizing costs to both manufacturers and consumers while providing a high level of safety.

Description

The proposed Regulations would align with the United States regulations, i.e. FMVSS 226, by incorporating by reference Technical Standards Document No. 226Ejection Mitigation (TSD 226). As a result, vehicles under a gross vehicle weight rating of 4 536 kg, other than convertibles, would be required to have side curtain air bags that would remain inflated for six seconds and protect occupants in the event of a rollover. It is also proposed that exemptions would be allowed, under certain circumstances, for altered vehicles that have the roof modified, have a fixed security partition, or have been modified to accommodate a disabled person.

“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 in some vehicles which have modified roofs, fixed security partitions, or have been modified to accommodate a person with a disability. Such alterations and modifications are often made by small businesses. There are no disproportionate costs to (or preferential benefits for) small businesses that produce these types of vehicles.

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 them 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.

With respect to motor vehicle safety standards, ejection mitigation (as a result of rollovers) has been identified as a high priority action item in the RCC Action Plan. Under the Action Plan, modifications to the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard are to be implemented to ensure greater alignment between Canada and the United States.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA, representing Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and General Motors) strongly supports this initiative. In a January 23, 2013, response to Transport Canada’s regulation and regulatory review, the CVMA requested that the amendment for Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 226 be commenced as soon as possible. The Global Automakers of Canada (GAC, representing 15 manufacturers including the major European and Asian makes) have not directly provided a preferred path forward on ejection mitigation to Transport Canada. However, Transport Canada noted that Canada would be proceeding with proposing to adopt ejection mitigation requirements in a May 2013 meeting with the members of the GAC. The members of the GAC have not raised any concerns with adopting ejection mitigation requirements into the Canadian regulations since that meeting.

Rationale

Fatality rates on Canadian roads were reviewed for calendar years 2007 to 2011. It was found that although frontal and side impact collisions occur much more frequently, the risk of a fatality in a rollover collision was almost 12 times higher when compared to the risk in a frontal or side impact collision.

According to a report commissioned by Industry Canada in 2012, Canada should adopt the United States requirements for ejection mitigation to reduce the risk of injury and death, especially in rollover collisions.

The air bags that would be required in this proposal would benefit occupants not only in rollover collisions, but also in side impact crashes. As the air bags would be required to cover the full side window openings, they would provide protection to occupants in multiple types of side impact collisions. In addition, in some cases of side impact collisions, there may be a secondary collision with another vehicle or object. The air bags would be required to stay inflated for six seconds, thus providing protection to occupants in these secondary types of collisions.

The proposed regulatory requirements are already being phased into new vehicles being sold in the United States, and there are no unique Canadian requirements. With an integrated North American vehicle market, almost all vehicle models sold in Canada are also sold in the United States. It is expected there will be no additional cost to the manufacturers of these common market vehicles to meet the proposed Canadian regulation, as no additional testing will be required aside from the ejection mitigation testing that is already required in the United States. With regulations being aligned between Canada and the United States, manufacturers will only need to design and certify to the United States regulations to meet the Canadian regulations. This would also fulfill Canada’s commitment to the RCC and ensure alignment between Canada and the United States for the ejection mitigation regulation.

Transport Canada reviewed vehicle model availability to determine which are non-common market vehicles. Well over 99% of the vehicles sold in Canada are also sold in the United States marketplace. Only two models have been identified as unique to the Canadian marketplace. It is unknown if these two uniquely Canadian market models would meet the proposed new ejection mitigation test requirements without modification. If modifications are needed, they are expected to be minor as these two models are equipped standard with curtain side air bags for occupant protection. It is common for some manufacturers to offer vehicles unique to the Canadian marketplace to suit the specific needs of Canadian consumers. Thus, it is not expected that this amendment would have any impact on the availability of Canadian market vehicles.

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 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.

It is proposed that this amendment come into force on September 1, 2018. This would provide adequate lead time for manufacturers to modify any unique Canadian market models not already complying with FMVSS 226.

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 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 226).

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, Motor Vehicle Safety, 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 226)

Amendments

1 Schedule III to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (see footnote 1) is amended by adding the following after item 223:

Column I

Column II

Column III Classes of Vehicles

Item (CMVSS)

Description

Bus

Motorcycle

Restricted-use Motorcycle

Multi- purpose Passenger Vehicle

Passenger Car

Snowmobile

Snowmobile Cutter

Trailer

Trailer Converter Dolly

Truck

Vehicle Imported Tempo-rarily for Special Purposes

Low- speed vehicle

Three-wheeled Vehicle

Enclosed Motorcycle

Open Motorcycle

Limited-speed Motorcycle

Motor Tricycle

226

Ejection Mitigation

X

         

X

X

       

X

   

X

2 Part III of Schedule IV to the Regulations is amended by adding the following after section 223:

Ejection Mitigation (Standard 226)

226 (1) The following definitions apply in this section.

fixed security partition means a structure that is located between two rows of designated seating positions in a vehicle and that extends the width of the vehicle so that an occupant cannot move between the rows. (cloison de sécurité fixe)

modified roof means a roof on a vehicle that has been modified in whole or in part, or a roof added to a vehicle that did not have an original roof. (toit modifié)

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the following vehicles, other than convertibles, shall conform to the requirements of Technical Standards Document No. 226 — Ejection Mitigation (TSD 226), as amended from time to time:

(3) A vehicle referred to in subsection (2) that has a modified roof or a fixed security partition does not need to conform to the requirements of TSD 226 if

(4) When one side of a vehicle referred to in subsection (2) has an outboard designated seating position equipped with a seat that has been modified for a disabled person, that side of the vehicle does not need to conform to the requirements of TSD 226 if

(5) When both sides of a vehicle referred to in subsection (2) have an outboard designated seating position equipped with a seat that has been modified for a disabled person, the vehicle does not need to conform to the requirements of TSD 226 if

(6) The statements set out in subparagraphs (3)(b)(i) and (ii) and in paragraphs (4)(b) and (5)(b) shall be included in the owner’s manual.

(7) For greater certainty, when the entire vehicle does not need to conform to the requirements of TSD 226, the vehicle is required to display only one of the applicable statements set out in subparagraphs (3)(b)(i) and (ii) and paragraph (5)(b).

Coming into Force

3 These Regulations come into force on September 1, 2018.

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