NHTSA Exempts Pilkington from FMVSS Compliance on Certain Backlites
April 17, 2013

by Jenna Reed, jreed@glass.com

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed today to Pilkington North America's petition for exemption from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard on certain replacement backlites. The petition was filed by Pilkington after company officials realized they failed to label certain replacement backlites as required. The company stated that the windows still met safety standards and NHTSA granted approval of the exemption.

Approximately 206 replacement backlites (National Auto Glass Specifications part number FB22692GTY) are impacted for model years 2006 through 2009 Honda Civic two-door coupe passenger cars, according to a notice that appeared in today's The Federal Register. These windows were manufactured at Pilkington's Versailles, Ky., plant, on April 16, 2008.

"Pilkington explains that the noncompliance for the 205 replacement rear windows exists due to Pilkington's failure to label the replacement [backlites] with the marks required by section 7 of ANSI/SAE Z26.1-1996, the symbol 'DOT,' and its NHTSA assigned manufacturer code mark," The Federal Register reports.

According to the report, Pilkington argued that, "The noncompliances relate solely to product monograms or markings and the noncompliant [backlites]. Pilkington has tested a number of the parts in its possession and confirmed that they meet or exceed all other applicable performance requirements in FMVSS No. 205."

The Federal Register went on to say, "Pilkington also stated its belief that the noncompliance will not interfere with any future tracing of the windows because Pilkington is only one of three manufacturers of rear windows for this particular Honda Civic, the other two being Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) and AutoTemp Inc.

"Given that the windows produced by the other two manufacturers will be properly marked, Pilkington's unlabeled [backlites] should easily be identified and traced, if necessary, should any future defects or noncompliances be discovered," the report states.

In its introduction in The Federal Register, NHTSA responds, "Pilkington has provided documentation that the windows do comply with all other safety performance requirements of the standard, except labeling."

NHTSA continues, "NHTSA believes that the lack of labeling would not result in inadvertent replacement of the windows with the wrong glazing. Broken tempered glass can readily be identified as tempered glass, rather than plastic or laminated glass. Anyone who intended to replace the window with an identical tempered glass window would have to contact Pilkington for the proper part, since tempered glass windows cannot be easily manufactured by small field facilities. At that point, Pilkington, or their representative, would be able to provide the correct replacement window by use of their parts system."

Roberta Steedman, Pilkington's communication manager, says, "Pilkington North America is pleased but not surprised by NHTSA's ruling. In fact, additional testing performed at the time of Pilkington's petition confirmed that Pilkington windows met or exceeded all safety performance requirements."

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.