The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a policy statement on how it will enforce the federal lighting standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, with respect to replacement lighting equipme...
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a policy statement on how it will enforce the federal lighting standard, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, with respect to replacement lighting equipment. The statement is significant in that Canadian regulations generally follow the NHTSA standards.
In its policy statement, NHTSA acknowledges that replacement equipment does not have to be identical to original equipment. Without establishing design specifications, NHTSA will require that replacement equipment must incorporate all required functions of the original equipment it is designed to replace.
NHTSA will permit alternative light sources for replacement lighting equipment other than headlamps, provided that the replacement equipment meets FMVSS No. 108 (making it permissible to replace an incandescent taillamp bulb with a red light-emitting diode).
Nevertheless, with respect to headlamps, NHTSA will proceed with its original interpretation that replacement headlamps must comply with all applicable photometry requirements using the same light sources as the OE equipment (it is illegal to switch incandescent bulbs with high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps).
For lighting equipment other than headlamps, NHTSA intends to provide some flexibility in selling pairs of lamps in which the design configuration for an individual lamp is not identical to the original equipment but the lamp nevertheless complies with FMVSS No. 108 (it is permissible to switch a clear bulb behind a red lens with a red bulb behind a clear lens).
NHTSA will not allow functions to be moved from one lamp to another lamp (moving the reflex reflectors from the tail lamp to a trunk lamp). At least one aftermarket manufacturer has withdrawn some models of aftermarket headlamp assembly ahead of the new standards.