Mr. Mike Arnett
County Rd 8
Fort Lupton, CO 80621
Dear Mr. Arnett:
This responds to your inquiry asking whether your vehicles are “modified roof vehicles,” a type of vehicle that is excluded from the applicability of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 226, “Ejection mitigation.” As explained below, our answer is yes.
Paragraph S2 of FMVSS No. 226 excludes “modified roof vehicles” from the standard. The term “modified roof” is defined in S3 of FMVSS No. 226 as follows: “‘Modified roof’ means the replacement roof on a motor vehicle whose original roof has been removed, in part or in total, or a roof that has to be built over the driver's compartment in vehicles that did not have an original roof over the driver's compartment.”
You state that you “purchase Transit cargo vans from Ford direct and then upfit the interior” to produce recreational vehicles. You state that you do not remove the roof of the vehicle “in total,” but cut a 14-inch by 14-inch hole in the roof for an electric exhaust vent. You ask if we would consider your modification to constitute a removal of the original roof “in part.”
Our answer is yes, we consider you to be removing the original roof “in part” when you remove the 14- by 14-inch section of the roof to install the electric exhaust vent.
In an August 1, 2019 telephone conversation with Deirdre Fujita of my staff, you explain that the exhaust vent is part of an air ventilation and/or conditioning unit that is used when the vehicle is providing temporary living quarters. It is evident to NHTSA that the unit is important for the comfort of occupants and to the vehicle’s functionality as a recreational vehicle.
After considering the information you provide, we conclude that your vehicles are “modified roof vehicles” under FMVSS No. 226. Our conclusion is consistent with the agency’s
March 22, 2016 interpretation to Mr. Richard Coon of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association where NHTSA affirmed that vehicles with roofs modified by the addition of “vents with moveable covers, exhaust or air circulation fans” would be modified roof vehicles under FMVSS No. 226.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact
Ms. Fujita at (202) 366-2992.
Jonathan C. Morrison
Ref: FMVSS No. 226