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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
DCE   11/9/2011 9:12:57 AM
I should have stated that if the chassis /unibody already has a VIN attached. The VIN does, after all, define the mfg/model year, does it not?


I have seen such in regards to one particular make of car (limited edition, yes, but  I believe it still applies) where someone ended up with a complete chassis and some body parts for a Shelby Cobra. The car was never assembled by Shelby. The chassis had a VIN (which was used for verification that it was indeed a Shelby Cobra). The car was assembled using a modern power train, but it was considered a 1960's automobile, as least as far as the state of Nevada was concerned.

What does FMVSS standards say about that? Does it still apply? Does it apply to my FIL's '57 Chevy BelAir that was built up from a salvaged chassis? What standards apply? I have to admit to some confusion in regards to this. If the DeLorean parts are assembled into completed automobiles, what model year are they? Are they 2012 models even if the parts all date back to the 1980's? If it uses the modern EV power train while all the rest of the vehicle is original 1980's parts, which standards apply?

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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
MIROX   11/8/2011 9:43:17 PM
for the year of manufacture of the chassis/unibody applies


Send me the Federal Ragister reference where it was signed into law or CFR 49 Title 571 section where it is so stated and I will pay you $1,000




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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
Stuart21   11/8/2011 8:23:22 PM
And what about that French Aircar? Always 'in production' next year - but haven't heard about them for a few years now.

Sounds like a conspiracy - of the self created kind.


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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
DCE   11/8/2011 3:45:44 PM
If the chassis/unibody being used to build these cars was manufactured in the past, then the safety regulations for the year of manufacture of the chassis/unibody applies. That means if DeLorean uses a chassis and/or unibody manufactured in 1985 to build a 'new' EV, the safety regulations from 1985 apply, not the year the autombile was finally assembled.

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it's not what it says, it's how it works.
tagert   11/5/2011 2:00:38 AM
Law (and thus the regulation it spawns) is about politics first and foremost. What's politics about? Helping friends and hurting rivals while increasing one's income and power. Combine this with the fact that there are so many laws and regulations with various interpetations what results is selective enforcement, special dispensations, etc and so on. Friends are more important than the letter of the law. The letter of the law is for those without the right friends and without the right friends complying with the letter of the law may not even be enough. 

I don't think this little DeLorean parts company has what it takes to get through that. They may be counting on a law SEMA (who has some friends) has been lobbying for with regards to producing less than 1000 cars per year. A re-creation (or in this case built of NOS parts) of a car such as an early 80s DeLorean (now offically an antique in most if not all states) would probably qualify under any law that SEMA has drafted.

Just look for the “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2011”

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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
MIROX   11/4/2011 8:46:48 PM
FMVSS is acronym for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Systems, the agency that is responsilbe for enforcement is www.nhtsa.gov - read their stuff !

On more than one occasion NHTSA has rules that "series of one" constitutes a production run and there is absolutely NO exemption nor ever was for small volume.

You may get temporary exemption for one specific aspect of just a "part" for one regulation like ESC (Electronic Stability Control) that for example TESLA got for total of 81 cars, if you prove that you have spent millions trying to develop it and have been a non profitablew venture for 3 to 5 years.

With 65 million quaterly loss that was no problem for TESLA, but still that exemption is only good for cars made befre December 31, 2011


Generally if you do not have money to confirm to FMVSS you detinitely do not have the time and moneyto get exemption, that is why cars like SPYKER, FERRARI, BUGATTI, etc get it, and other do not.

Basically if you can not make car that has the same features as $12,000 hyuindai then you have no point to be in Auto Business in USA.

And the FMVSS are "applicable" as of date of assembly - used to be"manufacture" but even that has changed - so day you put it together all the FMVSS in effect must be on your vehicle CFR 49 Section 571

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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
steelwheel   11/4/2011 3:58:14 PM
Would you agree or disagree with the statement that FMVSS has provisions for low production rates?  If there is such a provision, do you know the title of the person at FMVSS to contact?

We would like to product a vehicle that travels at highway speeds, but in very low volume, and from what I understand from your post (and other information), it would not be cost effective.


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Re: DeLorean electric car.
melllowfelllow   11/3/2011 6:08:56 PM
For those not obsessed with the impossibility of it all, I swerved into some additional photos and info-


The battery positioning helps improve on the rear-biased 35%/65% weight distribution of the standard DeLorean. The motor in the prototype is a DC-type, but the next prototype will move to regenerative AC technology, which will boost efficiency further.

The above statement is more consistent with my expectations [AC motor], but it shows that the initial prototypes were just for show [and maybe to raise some more $$$].

One disturbing item in multiple photos is the 'hinged on one end' front grille. When open for charging it protrudes a considerable distance and will get broken or damaged - probably by the owner - in multiple instances. The ergonomic/mechanical design could cause one to wonder how it was approved.

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Re: Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
MIROX   11/3/2011 2:03:15 PM
It is funny how people who have never certified a single vehicle to even one FMVSS know the "law" and are ready to offer advice !

I have certified 32 vehicles in 26 years.

If there indeed was a way to do it legally, then the $3,200 Chinese made EV's of which dozens are listed on Alibaba.com would be all over American Roads.

Chery spent over $4 million under Bricklin only to find out in the end that theri vehicles can not be modified to meet current FMVSS.

Chrylser then spent million more to find out the same!

Also if it was so simple the FIAT 500 would have been in USA much sooner, instead it took 2 years and new factory had to be built in Mexico, as the Polish made 500 was also not only impossaible to certify as it is made for Europe, it could not even be produced on the same assembly line!

Granted a hand made cars have advantage there, but stil, before you make buiness plan and start announcing the impossible you sould check what you are into especially if money is limited.

Just see where FISKER, CODA, ZENN and ZAP are today after making promisses for years.

But hey "dreams" and especialy the ones from little guy where the big industry is quishing out the FLux Capacitor, the 100 MPG Carburetor and cars that run on nothing more than water - WHAT A CONSPIRACY STORY !!!

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Key Word is "applicable" in FMVSS standards
melkosa   11/3/2011 1:03:49 PM
1.  My father was a WWII fighter pilot and we attended a  Military Reunion Event in Branson,  Missouri.   Branson, Missouri is a family oriented entertainment center which stars such as Andy Williams perform ( father went to high school with Andy Williams in Cincinnati).

2.  While at Branson in 1970's, the entire family road the WWII Ducks Amphibians which toured Branson Mainstreet (four miles) and then drove into Table Rock Lake for five mile lake tour. My father noticed no vehicle license/registration on the WWII Ducks, and inquired whether a FMVSS approval/vehicle license was required (New law at the time via Ralph Nader).  The Ducks owner advised him that the key word was "applicable" and the definition of "vehicle" according to his corporate attorney.  Under FMVSS,  a "vehicle" was defined as a engine powered machine designed for "..primary use..." on "highways", thus FMVSS was only applicable to those "vehicles",  not off the road vehicles such as Construction Equipment/Well Drilling/Truck Cranes/Concrete Pumping Trucks,etc whose primary use was NOT for highway use( more than 50% off road construction site use).

3.  My father was a believer in Sikorsky's helicopter in every garage and Dennis  Bushnell's (NASA chief scientist) personal on demand VTOL/High speed efficient cruise/DARPA heliplane vision (also see Europe's MyCopter- March 31, 2011 conference) We went to Washington DC FMVSS DOT office for five long days and researched/copied every case/decision that involved the scope of "applicable"..."primary use".. (three banker boxes of documents/cases).   The most interesting case was on Truck Cranes, which we discovered the EAA Wisconsin attorney had filed and won on appeal (Experimental Aircraft Association attorney-also  represented the Wisconsin Crane Industry).  He successfully won on appeal that Truck Cranes were primarily designed for construction sites (off road greater than 50%) and thus not subject to FMVSS standards.  Similar cases about golf carts designed primarily for golf course use, agrilcultural tractors designed primarily for farm use, and many interesting cases regarding kit cars that provided parts that were "assembled" by owner -manufacturing involved assembly of two of more vehicles. Further,some Kit car also used "donor" vehicles approach which complied to FMVSS (nonstructural/nonmechanical surface modifications).  FMVSS/DOT personnel were very helpful/informative regarding the limited scope of the law.

4. FMVSS will grant variances.  For example, Terrafugia (MIT group/EAA roadable aircraft presentation -July 2011) announced they had obtained three FMVSS waivers (ie, electronic stability system).  In fact, I would guess their roadable aircraft is designed "primarily" to fly probably had impact on their variance application.  However, Terrafugia announced their future goal was future full FMVSS compliance.  In 1993, Professor Palmer Stiles, Branco Sarr and other several EAA/AIAA members (including myself) invited the administrator to speak at Huntington Beach, CA conference.  The administrator was very candid about  specific narrow definitions of "applicability" , "manufacture" , "designed for "primarily for highway use".  When I legally drive my 12 foot wide tractor down the road in Missouri, ride my all terrain vehicle vehicle down the road in Missouri, ride my amphibian down the road to the Lake to fish, operate my lift truck attached behind my trailer used for unloading my trailer (on the road at construction sites). or test our heliplane (triphibian designed primarily to fly, secondary as watercraft, and only intermittedly on the road ( triphibian like a duck), our triphibious heliplane vehicle is not "applicable" to FMVSS standards.

5. After spending a week in Washington DC, and several months reading three banker boxes of cases, the FMVSS law originally passed and amended has a relatively narrow scope of coverage.  There are a dozen words which may exclude/include coverage.  Further, there are possible exemptions based upon speed/performance/suspension/use/production volume/"manufacture",etc. I am pleased to report that all of us at EAA are having great fun with roadable aircraft. Our annual EAA meeting is the last week in July each year. The Friday night session on roadables starts at 6PM and ends after midnight. One member drove his Dune-Buggy roadable aircraft from Florida to Oshkosh Wisconsin, and then flew home to demonstrate flexibility of flying in good weather, and driving in bad weather.  His first eight roadable aircraft sold are used with Medical Ships. They take off from the ship and drop annoucements of medical services in the African Jungle with port location of services.

In summary, FMVSS has several provisions for low vehicle production rates(ie,limos)/start ups ( DOT wishes to facilitate innovation) and I urge entrepreneurs to meet with DOT officials to discuss their innovative plans.










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