The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a legislative mandate under Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety, to issue Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and Regulations to which manufacturers of motor vehicle and equipment items must conform and certify compliance. FMVSS 209 was the first standard to become effective on March 1, 1967. A number of FMVSS became effective for vehicles manufactured on and after January 1, 1968. Subsequently, other FMVSS have been issued. New standards and amendments to existing standards are published in the Federal Register.
These Federal safety standards are regulations written in terms of minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. These requirements are specified in such a manner “that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur.”
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