ARCHIVED — Vol. 145, No. 25 — December 7, 2011

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Registration

SOR/2011-264 November 17, 2011

MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT

Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Interpretation and Standards 207 and 210)

P.C. 2011-1318 November 17, 2011

Whereas, pursuant to subsection 11(3) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (see footnote a), a copy of the proposed Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Interpretation and Standards 207 and 210), substantially in the annexed form, was published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, on May 22, 2010 and a reasonable opportunity was afforded to interested persons to make representations to the Minister of Transport with respect to the proposed Regulations;

Therefore, His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, pursuant to subsection 3(2), sections 4 to 6 (see footnote b) and subsection 11(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (see footnote c), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Interpretation and Standards 207 and 210).

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY REGULATIONS (INTERPRETATION AND STANDARDS 207 AND 210)
AMENDMENTS

1. (1) The definitions “designated seating capacity” and “designated seating position” in subsection 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (see footnote 1) are replaced by the following:

“designated seating capacity” means the designated seating capacity determined in accordance with section 2.3; (nombre désigné de places assises)

“designated seating position” means a location in a vehicle that is likely to be used as a seating position and that has a seating surface width of at least 330 mm; (place assise désignée)

(2) Subsection 2(1) of the Regulations is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“seating surface width” means the maximum width of a seating surface when it is measured in a zone extending from a transverse vertical plane that is 150 mm behind the front leading surface of that seating surface to a transverse vertical plane that is 250 mm behind that front leading surface, measured horizontally and longitudinally; (largeur de la surface de siège)

“shoulder reference point” means the point 563 mm above the H-point along the torso line; (point de référence de l’épaule)

“wheelchair location” means a location in a vehicle that is designed to be used to secure an occupied wheelchair; (emplacement pour fauteuil roulant)

2. Sections 2.2 to 2.4 of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

2.2 For the purpose of determining the number of wheels on a motorcycle or a three-wheeled vehicle, two wheels are considered to be one wheel if they are mounted on the same axle and the distance between the centres of their areas of contact with the ground is less than 460 mm.

DESIGNATED SEATING CAPACITY

2.3 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the designated seating capacity of a vehicle is the sum of the number of designated seating positions and wheelchair locations in the vehicle.

(2) The designated seating capacity of a motor home that has a GVWR greater than 4 536 kg may, at the option of the manufacturer, be the number of sleeping positions in the motor home.

(3) If a folding or removable seat is positioned at one or more wheelchair locations, the greater of the following shall be used for the purposes of subsection (1):

  • (a) the number of designated seating positions that the seat contains, and
  • (b) the number of wheelchair locations.

NUMBER OF DESIGNATED SEATING POSITIONS

2.4 (1) In subsection (3), “measurement zone” means the zone extending from a transverse vertical plane that is 150 mm behind the front leading surface of a seating surface to a transverse vertical plane that is 250 mm behind that front leading surface, measured horizontally and longitudinally.

(2) If a location in a vehicle that is likely to be used as a seating position has a seating surface width of at least 700 mm, the number of designated seating positions at that location shall be determined by using whichever of the following formulae is applicable and rounding the quotient down to the nearest whole number:

  • (a) if the location has a seating surface width of less than 1 400 mm,

N = W / X

where

N is the number of designated seating positions,

W is the seating surface width in millimetres, and

X is 350 or, at the option of the manufacturer, a number that is chosen by the manufacturer and is less than 350 but not less than 330; and

  • (b) if the location has a seating surface width of 1 400 mm or more,

N = W / X

where

N is the number of designated seating positions,

W is the seating surface width in millimetres, and

X is 450 or, at the option of the manufacturer, a number that is chosen by the manufacturer and is less than 450 but not less than 330.

(3) Adjacent seating surfaces are considered to form a single seating surface, unless

  • (a) the seating surfaces are separated by a fixed trimmed surface that has an unpadded top surface and that has a width of not less than 140 mm in each transverse vertical plane, as measured in the measurement zone;
  • (b) the seating surfaces are separated by a void whose cross section in each transverse vertical plane within the measurement zone is a rectangle that is not less than 140 mm wide and not less than 140 mm deep, and the top edge of the cross section in each of those planes is congruent with the transverse horizontal line that intersects the lowest point on the portion of the top profile of the seating surfaces that lie within the plane;
  • (c) interior trim interrupts a line drawn between the H-points of adjacent seating surfaces; or
  • (d) the seating surfaces are adjacent outboard seats, and the lateral distance between each point on the seat cushion of one seat and each point on the seat cushion of the other seat is not less than 140 mm.

(4) Folding, removable and adjustable seats must be measured in the configuration that results in the largest seating surface width.

(5) The number of designated seating positions in a bench type seat in a school bus shall be the number of seating positions determined in accordance with subsection 222(5) of Schedule IV.

PRESCRIBED CLASS OF A VEHICLE

2.5 (1) For the purpose of determining the prescribed class of a vehicle, any wheelchair location is considered to be equivalent to four locations for the purpose of determining the designated seating capacity if

  • (a) the vehicle was designed to have a designated seating capacity of more than 10; and
  • (b) any of the intended designated seating positions are replaced by a wheelchair location.

(2) For the purpose of determining the prescribed class of a vehicle resulting from the alteration of a bus by the replacement of any designated seating position with a wheelchair location, the location may, at the option of the manufacturer, be considered to be equivalent to four locations for the purpose of determining the designated seating capacity.

3. The portion of item 210 of Schedule III to the Regulations in column II is replaced by the following:

Column I
Item (CMVSS)

Column II
Description

210

Seat Belt Anchorages

4. Schedule IV to the Regulations is amended by replacing the section references after the heading “SCHEDULE IV” with the following:

(Subsections 2(1) and 2.4(5) and sections 5, 6 and 12)

5. Section 207 of Schedule IV to the Regulations is replaced by the following:

207. (1) Every passenger car, three-wheeled vehicle, truck, bus and multi-purpose passenger vehicle shall conform to the requirements of Technical Standards Document No. 207, Anchorage of Seats (TSD 207), as amended from time to time.

(2) The label referred to in S4.4 of TSD 207 shall be in both official languages.

(3) In the case of a truck or multi-purpose passenger vehicle with a GVWR greater than 4 563 kg or a motor home, a seat that is labelled in accordance with S4.4 of TSD 207 is not considered to be a designated seating position.

(4) This section expires on September 1, 2017.

6. Subsections 210(7) and (8) of Schedule IV to the Regulations are replaced by the following:

(7) When the seat belt anchorages for a Type 1 seat belt assembly or for the pelvic portion of a Type 2 seat belt assembly that is equipped with a detachable upper torso restraint are tested for strength in accordance with Test Method 210 — Seat Belt Anchorages (January 2010) by applying a force of 22 241 N, none of the seat belt anchorages shall separate completely from the vehicle structure or seat structure.

(8) When the seat belt anchorages for the pelvic portion and for the upper torso portion of a Type 2 seat belt assembly are tested for strength in accordance with Test Method 210 — Seat Belt Anchorages (January 2010) by simultaneously applying a force of 13 345 N, none of the seat belt anchorages shall separate completely from the vehicle structure or seat structure.

COMING INTO FORCE

7. These Regulations come into force on September 1, 2012.

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Issue and objectives

These amendments update the Canadian safety standards for Anchorage of Seats and Seat Belt Anchorages and amend the definition for designated seating position to improve the safety of vehicles by ensuring that occupants are provided with seat belts in all intended seating locations. They also address comments received from the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations by adding a new definition for “shoulder reference point.”

In addition to improving safety, these amendments advance Canada’s policy to pursue internationally harmonized motor vehicle regulations and to reduce trade barriers within North America. They will assist the government in achieving the mutual goals of the three NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) nations, which include encouraging compatibility of regulations and elimination of redundant testing. Specifically, these amendments align the requirements for seat anchorages and update the requirements for designated seating positions to align with those published in the United States on October 8, 2008. (see footnote 2) They also harmonize and clarify the definition of designated seating capacity by including wheelchair locations in the calculation. These amendments also clarify the scope of section 2.2 (Number of Wheels).

Description and rationale

The Canadian safety standard 207, regarding seat anchorage strength, was initially introduced in 1970 to improve the safety of vehicle seats. It was amended in 1972, (see footnote 3) setting new requirements for the anchorage of seats in vehicles and by excluding side-facing seats or bus passenger seats from the testing requirements. In 1976, (see footnote 4) Test Method 207 was introduced in an effort to clarify the testing requirements and place them in a separate document, which was incorporated by reference in the safety standard. No substantive amendments have been made to the Canadian safety standard or Test Method in the interim period.

In 1994, (see footnote 5) the corresponding U.S. safety standard was updated to include a test for seats that are adjustable in height. As a result of this amendment, the current Canadian and American safety standards are no longer aligned. These amendments will again align the requirements of the two countries by revoking the current Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard and introducing a new safety standard that incorporates by reference a Technical Standards Document, which reproduces the seat anchorage requirements of the U.S. safety standard. This eliminates any separate testing burden to manufacturers while also improving safety.

These amendments update the definition of “designated seating position” as well as add a new method for determining the number of designated seating positions. These changes closely align with the U.S. standards and improve safety in two ways. First, exemptions for temporary, folding or other auxiliary seats are removed so that installation of seat belts is required in all seating locations. The strength test conditions in Test Method 210 are amended to account for seat belts installed for side-facing seats. Second, the method for determining the number of designated seating positions would promote seat design that provides improved visual cues of where an occupant should sit in a vehicle. This ensures that occupants sit only in locations where they receive the safety benefits that seat belts and other safety features provide.

This amendment updates the definition of “designated seating capacity” to include the number of locations used to secure an occupied wheelchair in its determination. This has the effect of including the mass of an occupant in a wheelchair for the purpose of vehicle mass calculations. Previously, the mass of an occupant in a wheelchair was not required to be taken into account for these calculations.

This amendment also inserts a phrase into section 2.2 (Number of Wheels) to clarify that it applies only to motorcycles and not all vehicle classes.

To address comments received from the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations, a definition for “shoulder reference point” is added to the list of definitions to clarify a term that is used in multiple locations.

Consultation

Published on a quarterly basis, the Regulatory Plan of the Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation Directorate of the Department of Transport is distributed to virtually all members of the automotive industry, either directly or through various associations. The proposal pertaining to the present amendments has been included in the plan since January 2008.

On July 29, 2008, a letter was sent to the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association (CVMA) and the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC) explaining the initial intentions of this proposal. A one-month period was given to respond and provide comments. AIAMC responded by expressing their appreciation of the Department of Transport’s continued focus on harmonization. CVMA responded by commending the Department of Transport’s proposed approach to align testing requirements for anchorages of seats between Canada and the United States. No other specific comments or concerns were received relating to the sections this proposal intends to amend.

The proposal was pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, on May 22, 2010, followed by a 75-day comment period. Following the Part Ⅰ publication, six comments were received. The majority of comments requested clarification of the Part Ⅰ publication and did not raise any concerns with the proposal, although several changes have been made to clarify the intent.

A concern was expressed about the method for calculating the number of designated seating positions. It demonstrated that the calculation could reduce the number of designated seating positions in a vehicle when the seating surface width of multiple adjacent seats is greater than 1400 mm. This was not the intent of the calculation. The intent is that this calculation is to be used to determine the minimum number of designated seating positions at a location. Therefore, section 2.4 has been modified to allow, at the option of manufacturers, the ability to specify more designated seating positions at these locations.

CVMA provided additional comments in a letter dated August 5, 2010. They commented that there are subtle differences in the method of calculating the number of designated seating positions and questioned why Transport Canada deviated from the United States text. Canada has different drafting conventions than the United States. They also recommended that Transport Canada publish a document similar to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Supplemental Laboratory Test Procedure. (see footnote 6) As mentioned in their letter, the Transport Canada method for calculating the number of designated seating positions does not result in a different number of designated seating positions than that calculated using the NHTSA method. Therefore, it is not necessary to publish any supplementary document.

CVMA also expressed concern with the amendment to Canadian motor vehicle safety standard (CMVSS) 210. They note that this amendment brings into force new compliance requirements and there should be a minimum of 36 months of lead time provided. In a letter dated August 29, 2008, the same association suggested that a Technical Standards Document be created for CMVSS 210 but raised no concerns about lead time. To allow manufacturers time to ensure their vehicles comply with the new requirements in this amendment, the effective date has been set to September 1, 2012.

AIAMC commented, in a letter dated August 4, 2010, and corrected October 1, 2010, that their members were generally supportive of the proposal. They did note that the United States definition of “designated seating position” does not come into force until September 1, 2011. They requested that if the amendment were published prior to this date, Transport Canada should allow the option of complying with either the current or amended requirements until this date. There is no need to address this concern since the effective date has been set after this date.

A manufacturer requested clarification of section 2.2. They were concerned that the proposed change in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, publication eliminated this section’s application to three-wheeled vehicles. This was not the intent of the proposal, and therefore the determination of the number of wheels in section 2.2 has been modified and now applies to three-wheeled vehicles as well as motorcycles.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Motor vehicle manufacturers and importers are responsible for ensuring that their products conform to the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. The Department of Transport monitors 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 defect in a vehicle or equipment is identified, the manufacturer or importer must issue a Notice of Defect to the owners and to the Minister of Transport. Any person or company who contravenes a provision of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act is guilty of an offence, and liable to the applicable penalty set out in the Act.

Contact

Kyle Hendershot
Regulatory Development Officer
Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Regulation Directorate
Transport Canada
275 Slater Street, 16th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0N5
Email: kyle.hendershot@tc.gc.ca

Footnote a
S.C. 1993, c. 16

Footnote b
S.C. 1999, c. 33, s. 351

Footnote c
S.C. 1993, c. 16

Footnote 1
C.R.C., c. 1038

Footnote 2
73 FR 58887

Footnote 3
SOR/72-96

Footnote 4
SOR/76-692

Footnote 5
59 FR 37167

Footnote 6
NHTSA Supplemental Laboratory Test Procedure for Determining the Number of Designated Seating Positions in a Row, TP-DSP-00, February 27, 2009