Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-0739

Proposed Upgrade to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 202 - Head Restraints: Methodology and Equipment 2004-01-0739

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 202 - Head Restraints [1] sets forth criteria pertaining to the dimensional and safety requirements for front outboard head restraints in passenger vehicles, light multipurpose vehicles, trucks, and buses. On January 4, 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for FMVSS 202, wherein referred to as FMVSS 202A [2]. The proposed requirements, which apply to all outboard head restraints, provide higher strength and dimensional limits, introduce new criteria for backset and adjustment retention, and partially harmonize with existing European regulations. This paper will discuss upgraded testing equipment and methodologies with respect to head restraints and provide test data from a developmental test project.
FMVSS 202A information including equipment and test set-up, along with energy absorption and rearward moment test data, that will be presented include:
  • Dimensional Criteria including Minimum Height, Width, Backset, Gaps, and Radius of Curvature (uses the current SAE J826 H-Point Machine with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) Head Restraint Measuring Device (HRMD) and a 165 mm Hemispherical Headform).
  • Energy Absorption using a 165 mm Hemispherical Free Motion Headform.
  • Height Retention (Vertical Load) using a 165 mm Hemispherical Headform.
  • Displacement, Backset Retention, and Strength using upgraded FMVSS 202 Test System with modified software.
Readers of this paper will gain a broader understanding of the proposed changes required for future head restraint designs. This paper will provide information regarding the proposed upgrade to the current federal regulation as well as present development test data. It will also offer details regarding upgraded testing equipment and software designed to meet the new requirements.


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