MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING - Seat Belt Fit Evaluation for the 50th Percentile Male ATD in Front Outboard Seating Positions

BETWEEN: Her Majesty the Queen as represented by the Minister of Transport hereinafter "Transport Canada"

AND: (Insert Name of Vehicle Manufacturer), hereinafter "The Manufacturer"

Purpose:

This Memorandum of Understanding – Seat Belt Fit Evaluation for the 50th Percentile Male ATD in Front Outboard Seating Positions (hereinafter referred to as "the MOU") sets out the general terms with regard to implementation of seat belt fit evaluation procedures for the 50th percentile male ATD, in the front outboard seating positions of passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating of 3856 kg (8,500 lbs) or less, other than incomplete vehicles, hereinafter referred to as "Applicable Vehicles".

This non-regulatory program, while considered acceptable to both parties concerned, does not preclude Transport Canada from introducing new seat belt fit regulations under the authority of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. As always, the federal government's regulatory process will provide the opportunity for commentary, industry lead-time and adequate notice.

Background:

Transport Canada developed the Belt-fit Test Device (BTD) to promote the installation of properly fitting seat belts and proposed amendments to CMVSS 208 and CMVSS 210.

Transport Canada agreed with an industry proposal for a joint government-industry research program under the direction of a Joint Working Group on Abdominal Injury Prevention, composed of representatives from Transport Canada and the automotive industry, hereinafter referred to as JWG, to develop an alternative belt fit evaluation procedure.

The joint industry-government development of the electronic (or computer-based) Belt-fit Test Device (hereinafter referred to as the "eBTD"), based on a computer software module, developed by Human Solutions of North America, Inc., has culminated in procedures and criteria for front outboard seats that are agreeable to Transport Canada and the automotive industry as defined herein.

Principles:

Seat belts that fit well produce important safety benefits that result from the effective restraint of vehicle occupants in the event of a collision, and

Seat belts that fit well also promote proper seat belt use.

Application:

In recognition of the preceding, both parties understand and mutually agree that:

  1. The MOU is applicable to front outboard seat belt systems in Applicable Vehicles, with major model change design commitment or "design freeze" dates occurring at least 18 months after the date of execution of the MOU, provided that the front outboard seat belt system's anchorage types are included in the eBTD anchorage library, maintained by the JWG at least 6 months prior to a major model change design commitment or "design freeze" date. These applicable seat belt systems are hereinafter referred to as "Applicable Systems".
       
  2. Applicable Systems will be designed and evaluated by The Manufacturer using the eBTD module or other validated software, according to the front seat belt fit criteria specified in Addendum 1.

Software and Physical BTD:

  1. Belt fit is measured using the eBTD software, version 1.7 or subsequent validated versions, developed by Human Solutions of North America Inc. Transport Canada will evaluate the vehicle using the same software version used by The Manufacturer.
       
  2. The Manufacturer will ensure that proper training in the use of the software and for the submission of appropriate data to Transport Canada will be conducted, as specified in Addendum 2.
       
  3. The Manufacturer will be free to use alternative software, however, it must be demonstrated that it produces comparable results to the eBTD software module and has been validated to the satisfaction of the JWG, according to the validation process developed by the JWG, for validation of the eBTD software module, contained in Addendum 1.
       
  4. Any manufacturer not utilizing the eBTD software or validated alternative software to evaluate front seat belt fit for any of their Applicable Systems, will utilize the physical BTD for evaluation and will supply supporting data as specified in Addendum 1.

Confirmatory Data

  1. On an annual basis, and for five years subsequent to the signing of the MOU, The Manufacturer will identify to Transport Canada (in a non-confidential fashion) each new model vehicle equipped with front outboard seat belt systems that have been evaluated in accordance with the front seat belt fit criteria.
       
  2. On a case-by-case basis, and upon request by Transport Canada, The Manufacturer will identify which method was used to evaluate front seat belt fit for an Applicable Vehicle, (i.e. the eBTD, an alternative software to the eBTD, the physical BTD), and will supply the appropriate supporting data for the evaluation, as specified in Addendum 1.
       
  3. Anchorage types currently not included in the eBTD anchorage library may be added to the eBTD software module on a priority basis, as determined by the JWG. When new anchorage types have been added to the eBTD anchorage library, the Applicable Vehicle(s) in which they are installed, for which major model change design commitment or "design freeze" dates occur at least 18 months after the signing of the MOU, and where the new anchorage types have been added to the library at least 6 months prior to the major model change design commitment or "design freeze" date, will be subject to the terms of the MOU.

Entry into Force, Modification and Termination

  1. The MOU shall enter into force upon signature by authorized representatives of Transport Canada and The Manufacturer.
     
  2. The Parties to the MOU may at any time propose modifications to it. Such modifications as are adopted shall be in writing and signed by both parties.
     
  3. The MOU shall remain in effect until both parties mutually agree that such an understanding is no longer desirable. Notwithstanding the preceding, in the event of changes to any Canadian or U.S. regulatory requirements, which make compliance with the MOU impracticable, The Manufacturer and Transport Canada reserve the right to terminate this MOU upon 90 days prior written notice to the other party. Transport Canada, agrees to notify all other signatories to the MOU, listed in Addendum 3, in the event that the MOU, between Transport Canada and any signatory, has been terminated.

The MOU shall become effective on the ___________ day of ________________, 2006.

The Manufacturer: ___________________________________

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Signature

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Print Name

The Manufacturer:

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Signature

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Transport Canada:

_______________________ Date _______________________
Signature

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