When comparing vehicle communication architectures, the passive star network has been shown to be the highest fault tolerant system. Despite this trait, the passive star architecture has not been widely implemented due to its potential application limitations: insufficient node count and relatively short node lengths. These constraints arise from the basic function of the star, i.e. to evenly distribute a given amount of optical power to all nodes connected to the star without amplification or retransmission. This paper provides a solution to overcome the limitations of the passive star through the introduction of a new communication component, the Active Distribution Node (ADN). The ADN enables a passive star network to support larger node counts and significantly longer node lengths, without sacrificing fault tolerance or the low cost nature of the basic passive star architecture.