Notice of renewal of exemption, request for comments.
FMCSA announces its decision to renew for a period of 5 years Ford Motor Company's (Ford) current exemption allowing motor carriers to operate Ford's Transit-based commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that do not meet the exhaust system location requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). The FMCSRs require (1) the exhaust system of a bus powered by a gasoline engine to discharge to the atmosphere at or within 6 inches forward of the rearmost part of the bus and (2) the exhaust system of every truck and truck tractor to discharge to the atmosphere at a location to the rear of the cab or, if the exhaust projects above the cab, at a location near the rear of the cab. Although the Ford Transit does not meet these requirements, it has undergone performance-based testing that demonstrates that the exhaust system achieves a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety that would be obtained by complying with the regulation. Ford performed carbon monoxide (CO) concentration tests, which used CO monitors at various locations within the vehicle to measure the concentration of CO ingress into the occupant compartment (from the vehicles' own powertrain and exhaust system), under various driving conditions including idle and top speed. The tests showed that the resulting CO concentration is below every threshold used by Federal Agencies. The Agency has concluded that granting this exemption renewal will maintain a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety provided by the rule restricting the location of exhaust systems on CMVs to ensure that exhaust fumes will not affect the driver's alertness or health or the health of passengers.