NHTSA Issues Final Rule Amending FMVSS 122 - Motorcycle Brake Systems
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Final Rule amending FMVSS 122 - Motorcycle Brake Systems. This revision adds and updates requirements and test procedures while harmonizing with Global Technical Regulation No. 3 (GTR-3) without changing the scope, applicability and safety purpose of the current regulation. The GTR was developed under the United Nations 1998 Global Agreement with the United States as an active participant, and it was derived from various motorcycle braking regulations from around the world including the UNECE Regulation No. 78, FMVSS No. 122, and the Japanese Safety Standard JSS 12-61.
NHTSA believes that updating this standard to reflect modern technologies will help prevent the introduction of unsafe motorcycle brake systems on the road while benefiting from harmonization, including decreased testing costs and ease of market entry. These benefits will accrue to current and new manufacturers, and will in turn get passed on to consumers.
The effective date for this Final Rule is October 23, 2012 with compliance mandatory for Category 3-5 motorcycles manufactured on and after September 1, 2015 and all other motorcycles manufactured on and after September 1, 2014. Optional compliance is permitted on and after October 23, 2012. To accommodate the extra year of lead time for category 3-5 motorcycles and the optional early compliance, NHTSA retained the text of the current version of FMVSS No. 122 in a new Standard, FMVSS No. 122a. NHTSA amended paragraph S3 of the new FMVSS No. 122a to limit its applicability to motorcycles not certified to the new FMVSS No. 122.
NHTSA collaboratively worked on modernizing motorcycle brake regulations with other Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement, particularly Canada, the European Union and Japan. Through the exchange of information on ongoing research and testing, and through the leveraging of resources for testing and evaluations, the Agency was part of the efforts that culminated in the establishment of the Motorcycle Brake Systems GTR-3. As a Contracting Party of the 1998 Agreement that voted in favor of establishing this GTR, the US was obligated under the 1998 Agreement to initiate the process for adopting the provisions of the GTR. On September 17, 2008, NHTSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update FMVSS No. 122 based on GTR-3 content.
In response to the NPRM, NHTSA received comments from the following parties: Motorcycle Industry Council, American Honda Motor Company, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Robert Bosch LLC, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, ASTM International, SMO Group, L.L.C. and American Association for Justice. In this Final Rule NHTSA addressed these comments and explained NHTSA’s response to the submitted petitions. In some cases NHTSA agreed with the petitioners and made revisions to the NPRM that are now reflected in the Final Rule. In other instances the agency did not agree with the proposed changes and provided their rationale for not modifying those portions of the NPRM. Following are some of the items addressed as a result of the petitions:
- NHTSA corrected inconsistencies for the motorcycle categories 3-4 and 3-5 and incorrect paragraph references for 'lightly loaded'.
- NHTSA declined to allow manufacturers a choice of performance measures in certain performance tests. NHTSA believes stopping distance is a better performance criterion than a measurement of deceleration, and also declined to make revisions to the Peak Breaking Coefficient criteria. NHTSA does not ordinarily provide manufacturer options for compliance because it can create an enforcement problem for the Agency.
- NHTSA corrected a reference for the stopping distance correction formula.
- NHTSA agreed that it is clearer if the test procedures appear in Table 1 in the same order in which they are to be performed and will put the Heat Fade test at the end of the list.
- NHTSA believes that the language of the proposed brake burnish procedure in S188.8.131.52(c) is consistent with their intent, and therefore, elected not to modify the proposal as requested.
- In response to a request for additional lead time, NHTSA revised the mandatory compliance date for Category 3-5 motorcycles.
Petitions for Reconsideration of this Final Rule must be received by NHTSA on or before October 9, 2012.