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Title 49 Part 523

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter V → Part 523

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 523

e-CFR data is current as of October 17, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter V → Part 523


Title 49: Transportation


§523.1   Scope.

This part establishes categories of vehicles that are subject to title V of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, 15 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.

(Sec. 301, Pub. L. 94-163, 80 Stat. 901 (15 U.S.C. 2001))

[42 FR 38362, July 28, 1977]

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§523.2   Definitions.

As used in this part:

Ambulance has the meaning given in 40 CFR 86.1803.

Approach angle means the smallest angle, in a plane side view of an automobile, formed by the level surface on which the automobile is standing and a line tangent to the front tire static loaded radius arc and touching the underside of the automobile forward of the front tire.

Axle clearance means the vertical distance from the level surface on which an automobile is standing to the lowest point on the axle differential of the automobile.

Base tire (for passenger automobiles, light trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles) means the tire size specified as standard equipment by the manufacturer on each unique combination of a vehicle's footprint and model type. Standard equipment is defined in 40 CFR 86.1803.

Basic vehicle frontal area is used as defined in 40 CFR 86.1803 for passenger automobiles, light trucks, medium duty passenger vehicles and Class 2b through 3 pickup trucks and vans. For heavy-duty tracts and vocational vehicles, it has the meaning given in 40 CFR 1037.801.

Breakover angle means the supplement of the largest angle, in the plan side view of an automobile that can be formed by two lines tangent to the front and rear static loaded radii arcs and intersecting at a point on the underside of the automobile.

Bus has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Cab-complete vehicle means a vehicle that is first sold as an incomplete vehicle that substantially includes the vehicle cab section as defined in 40 CFR 1037.801. For example, vehicles known commercially as chassis-cabs, cab-chassis, box-deletes, bed-deletes, and cut-away vans are considered cab-complete vehicles. A cab includes a steering column and a passenger compartment. Note that a vehicle lacking some components of the cab is a cab-complete vehicle if it substantially includes the cab.

Cargo-carrying volume means the luggage capacity or cargo volume index, as appropriate, and as those terms are defined in 40 CFR 600.315-08, in the case of automobiles to which either of these terms apply. With respect to automobiles to which neither of these terms apply, “cargo-carrying volume” means the total volume in cubic feet, rounded to the nearest 0.1 cubic feet, of either an automobile's enclosed nonseating space that is intended primarily for carrying cargo and is not accessible from the passenger compartment, or the space intended primarily for carrying cargo bounded in the front by a vertical plane that is perpendicular to the longitudinal centerline of the automobile and passes through the rearmost point on the rearmost seat and elsewhere by the automobile's interior surfaces.

Class 2b vehicles are vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranging from 8,501 to 10,000 pounds.

Class 3 through Class 8 vehicles are vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more as defined in 49 CFR 565.15.

Coach bus has the meaning given in 40 CFR 1037.801.

Commercial medium- and heavy-duty on-highway vehicle means an on-highway vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more as defined in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a)(7).

Complete vehicle has the meaning given to completed vehicle as defined in 49 CFR 567.3.

Concrete mixer has the meaning given in 40 CFR 1037.801.

Curb weight has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Dedicated vehicle has the same meaning as dedicated automobile as defined in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a)(8).

Departure angle means the smallest angle, in a plane side view of an automobile, formed by the level surface on which the automobile is standing and a line tangent to the rear tire static loaded radius arc and touching the underside of the automobile rearward of the rear tire.

Dual-fueled vehicle (multi-fuel, or flexible-fuel vehicle) has the same meaning as dual fueled automobile as defined in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a)(9).

Electric vehicle means a vehicle that does not include an engine, and is powered solely by an external source of electricity and/or solar power. Note that this does not include electric hybrid or fuel-cell vehicles that use a chemical fuel such as gasoline, diesel fuel, or hydrogen. Electric vehicles may also be referred to as all-electric vehicles to distinguish them from hybrid vehicles.

Emergency vehicle means one of the following:

(1) For passenger cars, light trucks and medium duty passenger vehicles, emergency vehicle has the meaning given in 49 U.S.C. 32902(e).

(2) For heavy-duty vehicles, emergency vehicle has the meaning given in 40 CFR 1037.801.

Engine code has the meaning given in 40 CFR 86.1803.

Final stage manufacturer has the meaning given in 49 CFR 567.3.

Fire truck has the meaning given in 40 CFR 86.1803.

Footprint is defined as the product of track width (measured in inches, calculated as the average of front and rear track widths, and rounded to the nearest tenth of an inch) times wheelbase (measured in inches and rounded to the nearest tenth of an inch), divided by 144 and then rounded to the nearest tenth of a square foot. For purposes of this definition, track width is the lateral distance between the centerlines of the base tires at ground, including the camber angle. For purposes of this definition, wheelbase is the longitudinal distance between front and rear wheel centerlines.

Full-size pickup truck means a light truck or medium duty passenger vehicle that meets the requirements specified in 40 CFR 86.1866-12(e).

Gross axle weight rating (GAWR) has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Heavy-duty engine means any engine used for (or for which the engine manufacturer could reasonably expect to be used for) motive power in a heavy-duty vehicle. For purposes of this definition in this part, the term “engine” includes internal combustion engines and other devices that convert chemical fuel into motive power. For example, a fuel cell and motor used in a heavy-duty vehicle is a heavy-duty engine. Heavy duty-engines include those engines subject to the standards in 49 CFR part 535.

Heavy-duty vehicle means a vehicle as defined in §523.6.

Hitch means a device attached to the chassis of a vehicle for towing.

Incomplete vehicle has the meaning given in 49 CFR 567.3.

Light truck means a non-passenger automobile meeting the criteria in §523.5.

Manufacturer has the meaning given in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a)(14).

Medium duty passenger vehicle means a vehicle which would satisfy the criteria in §523.5 (relating to light trucks) but for its gross vehicle weight rating or its curb weight, which is rated at more than 8,500 lbs GVWR or has a vehicle curb weight of more than 6,000 pounds or has a basic vehicle frontal area in excess of 45 square feet, and which is designed primarily to transport passengers, but does not include a vehicle that—

(1) Is an “incomplete vehicle”' as defined in this subpart; or

(2) Has a seating capacity of more than 12 persons; or

(3) Is designed for more than 9 persons in seating rearward of the driver's seat; or

(4) Is equipped with an open cargo area (for example, a pick-up truck box or bed) of 72.0 inches in interior length or more. A covered box not readily accessible from the passenger compartment will be considered an open cargo area for purposes of this definition.

Mild hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle means a vehicle as defined by EPA in 40 CFR 86.1866-12(e).

Motor home has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Motor vehicle has the meaning given in 49 U.S.C. 30102.

Passenger-carrying volume means the sum of the front seat volume and, if any, rear seat volume, as defined in 40 CFR 600.315-08, in the case of automobiles to which that term applies. With respect to automobiles to which that term does not apply, “passenger-carrying volume” means the sum in cubic feet, rounded to the nearest 0.1 cubic feet, of the volume of a vehicle's front seat and seats to the rear of the front seat, as applicable, calculated as follows with the head room, shoulder room, and leg room dimensions determined in accordance with the procedures outlined in Society of Automotive Engineers Recommended Practice J1100, Motor Vehicle Dimensions (Report of Human Factors Engineering Committee, Society of Automotive Engineers, approved November 2009).

(1) For front seat volume, divide 1,728 into the product of the following SAE dimensions, measured in inches to the nearest 0.1 inches, and round the quotient to the nearest 0.001 cubic feet.

(i) H61-Effective head room—front.

(ii) W3-Shoulder room—front.

(iii) L34-Maximum effective leg room-accelerator.

(2) For the volume of seats to the rear of the front seat, divide 1,728 into the product of the following SAE dimensions, measured in inches to the nearest 0.1 inches, and rounded the quotient to the nearest 0.001 cubic feet.

(i) H63-Effective head room—second.

(ii) W4-Shoulder room—second.

(iii) L51-Minimum effective leg room—second.

Pickup truck means a non-passenger automobile which has a passenger compartment and an open cargo area (bed).

Pintle hooks means a type of towing hitch that uses a tow ring configuration to secure to a hook or a ball combination for the purpose of towing.

Recreational vehicle or RV means a motor vehicle equipped with living space and amenities found in a motor home.

Refuse hauler has the meaning given in 40 CFR 1037.801.

Running clearance means the distance from the surface on which an automobile is standing to the lowest point on the automobile, excluding unsprung weight.

School bus has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3.

Static loaded radius arc means a portion of a circle whose center is the center of a standard tire-rim combination of an automobile and whose radius is the distance from that center to the level surface on which the automobile is standing, measured with the automobile at curb weight, the wheel parallel to the vehicle's longitudinal centerline, and the tire inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.

Strong hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle means a vehicle as defined by EPA in 40 CFR 86.1866-12(e).

Temporary living quarters means a space in the interior of an automobile in which people may temporarily live and which includes sleeping surfaces, such as beds, and household conveniences, such as a sink, stove, refrigerator, or toilet.

Transmission class has the meaning given in 40 CFR 600.002.

Tranmission configuration has the meaning given in 40 CFR 600.002.

Transmission type has the meaning given in 40 CFR 86.1803.

Truck tractor has the meaning given in 49 CFR 571.3 and 49 CFR 535.5(c). This includes most heavy-duty vehicles specifically designed for the primary purpose of pulling trailers, but does not include vehicles designed to carry other loads. For purposes of this definition “other loads” would not include loads carried in the cab, sleeper compartment, or toolboxes. Examples of vehicles that are similar to tractors but that are not tractors under this part include dromedary tractors, automobile haulers, straight trucks with trailers hitches, and tow trucks.

Van means a vehicle with a body that fully encloses the driver and a cargo carrying or work performing compartment. The distance from the leading edge of the windshield to the foremost body section of vans is typically shorter than that of pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Vocational tractor means a tractor that is classified as a vocational vehicle according to 40 CFR 1037.630

Vocational vehicle (or heavy-duty vocational vehicle) has the meaning given in §523.8 and 49 CFR 535.5(b). This includes any vehicle that is equipped for a particular industry, trade or occupation such as construction, heavy hauling, mining, logging, oil fields, refuse and includes vehicles such as school buses, motorcoaches and RVs.

Work truck means a vehicle that is rated at more than 8,500 pounds and less than or equal to 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, and is not a medium-duty passenger vehicle as defined in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a)(19).

[81 FR 74235, Oct. 25, 2016]

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§523.3   Automobile.

(a) An automobile is any 4-wheeled vehicle that is propelled by fuel, or by alternative fuel, manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways and rated at less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, except:

(1) A vehicle operated only on a rail line;

(2) A vehicle manufactured in different stages by 2 or more manufacturers, if no intermediate or final-stage manufacturer of that vehicle manufactures more than 10,000 multi-stage vehicles per year; or

(3) A work truck.

(b) The following vehicles rated at more than 6,000 pounds and less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight are determined to be automobiles:

(1) Vehicles which would satisfy the criteria in §523.4 (relating to passenger automobiles) but for their gross vehicle weight rating.

(2) Vehicles which would satisfy the criteria in §523.5 (relating to light trucks) but for their gross vehicle weight rating, and which

(i) Have a basic vehicle frontal area of 45 square feet or less,

(ii) Have a curb weight of 6,000 pounds or less,

(iii) Have a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or less, and

(iv) Are manufactured during the 1980 model year or thereafter.

(3) Vehicles that are defined as medium duty passenger vehicles, and which are manufactured during the 2011 model year or thereafter.

(Sec. 9, Pub. L. 89-670, 80 Stat. 981 (49 U.S.C. 1657); sec. 301, Pub. L. 94-163, 89 Stat. 901 (15 U.S.C. 2002); delegation of authority at 41 FR 25015, June 22, 1976)

[42 FR 38362, July 28, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 12013, Mar. 23, 1978; 44 FR 4493, Jan. 2, 1979; 71 FR 17676, Apr. 6, 2006; 74 FR 14449, Mar. 30, 2009]

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§523.4   Passenger automobile.

A passenger automobile is any automobile (other than an automobile capable of off-highway operation) manufactured primarily for use in the transportation of not more than 10 individuals.

(Sec. 301, Pub. L. 94-163, 80 Stat. 901 (15 U.S.C. 2001))

[42 FR 38362, July 28, 1977]

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§523.5   Non-passenger automobile.

A non-passenger automobile means an automobile that is not a passenger automobile or a work truck and includes vehicles described in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section:

(a) An automobile designed to perform at least one of the following functions:

(1) Transport more than 10 persons;

(2) Provide temporary living quarters;

(3) Transport property on an open bed;

(4) Provide, as sold to the first retail purchaser, greater cargo-carrying than passenger-carrying volume, such as in a cargo van; if a vehicle is sold with a second-row seat, its cargo-carrying volume is determined with that seat installed, regardless of whether the manufacturer has described that seat as optional; or

(5) Permit expanded use of the automobile for cargo-carrying purposes or other nonpassenger-carrying purposes through:

(i) For non-passenger automobiles manufactured prior to model year 2012, the removal of seats by means installed for that purpose by the automobile's manufacturer or with simple tools, such as screwdrivers and wrenches, so as to create a flat, floor level, surface extending from the forwardmost point of installation of those seats to the rear of the automobile's interior; or

(ii) For non-passenger automobiles manufactured in model year 2008 and beyond, for vehicles equipped with at least 3 rows of designated seating positions as standard equipment, permit expanded use of the automobile for cargo-carrying purposes or other nonpassenger-carrying purposes through the removal or stowing of foldable or pivoting seats so as to create a flat, leveled cargo surface extending from the forwardmost point of installation of those seats to the rear of the automobile's interior.

(b) An automobile capable of off-highway operation, as indicated by the fact that it:

(1)(i) Has 4-wheel drive; or

(ii) Is rated at more than 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight; and

(2) Has at least four of the following characteristics calculated when the automobile is at curb weight, on a level surface, with the front wheels parallel to the automobile's longitudinal centerline, and the tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure—

(i) Approach angle of not less than 28 degrees.

(ii) Breakover angle of not less than 14 degrees.

(iii) Departure angle of not less than 20 degrees.

(iv) Running clearance of not less than 20 centimeters.

(v) Front and rear axle clearances of not less than 18 centimeters each.

(Sec. 9, Pub. L. 89-670, 80 Stat. 981 (49 U.S.C. 1657); sec. 301, Pub. L. 94-163, 89 Stat. 901 (15 U.S.C. 2002); delegation of authority at 41 FR 25015, June 22, 1976.)

[74 FR 14449, Mar. 30, 2009]

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§523.6   Heavy-duty vehicle.

(a) A heavy-duty vehicle is any commercial medium or heavy-duty on-highway vehicle or a work truck, as defined in 49 U.S.C. 32901(a)(7) and (19). For the purpose of this section, heavy-duty vehicles are divided into four regulatory categories as follows:

(1) Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans;

(2) Heavy-duty vocational vehicles;

(3) Truck tractors with a GVWR above 26,000 pounds; and

(4) Heavy-duty trailers.

(b) The heavy-duty vehicle classification does not include vehicles excluded as specified in 49 CFR 535.3.

[81 FR 74237, Oct. 25, 2016]

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§523.7   Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans.

(a) Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans are pickup trucks and vans with a gross vehicle weight rating between 8,501 pounds and 14,000 pounds (Class 2b through 3 vehicles) manufactured as complete vehicles by a single or final stage manufacturer or manufactured as incomplete vehicles as designated by a manufacturer. See references in 40 CFR 86.1801-12, 40 CFR 86.1819-17, 40 CFR 1037.150, and 49 CFR 535.5(a).

(b) Heavy duty vehicles above 14,000 pounds GVWR may be optionally certified as heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans and comply with fuel consumption standards in 49 CFR 535.5(a), if properly included in a test group with similar vehicles at or below 14,000 pounds GVWR. Fuel consumption standards apply to these vehicles as if they were Class 3 heavy-duty vehicles. The work factor for these vehicles may not be greater than the largest work factor that applies for vehicles in the test group that are at or below 14,000 pounds GVWR (see 40 CFR 86.1819-14).

(c) Incomplete heavy-duty vehicles at or below 14,000 pounds GVWR may be optionally certified as heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans and comply with to the fuel consumption standards in 49 CFR 535.5(a).

[81 FR 74237, Oct. 25, 2016]

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§523.8   Heavy-duty vocational vehicle.

Heavy-duty vocational vehicles are vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) above 8,500 pounds excluding:

(a) Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans defined in §523.7;

(b) Medium duty passenger vehicles; and

(c) Truck tractors, except vocational tractors, with a GVWR above 26,000 pounds;

[76 FR 57491, Sept. 15, 2011]

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§523.9   Truck tractors.

Truck tractors for the purpose of this part are considered as any truck tractor as defined in 49 CFR part 571 having a GVWR above 26,000 pounds.

[76 FR 57492, Sept. 15, 2011]

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§523.10   Heavy-duty trailers.

(a) A trailer means a motor vehicle with or without motive power, designed for carrying cargo and for being drawn by another motor vehicle as defined in 49 CFR 571.3. For the purpose of this part, heavy-duty trailers include only those trailers designed to be drawn by a truck tractor excluding non-box trailers other than flatbed trailer, tanker trailers and container chassis and those that are coupled to vehicles exclusively by pintle hooks or hitches instead of a fifth wheel. Heavy-duty trailers may be divided into different types and categories as follows:

(1) Box vans are trailers with enclosed cargo space that is permanently attached to the chassis, with fixed sides, nose, and roof. Tank trailers are not box vans.

(2) Box van with front-mounted HVAC systems are refrigerated vans. Note that this includes systems that provide cooling, heating, or both. All other box vans are dry vans.

(3) Trailers that are not box vans are non-box trailers. Note that the standards for non-box trailers in 49 CFR 535.5(e)(2) apply only to flatbed trailers, tank trailers, and container chassis.

(4) Box van with a length greater than 50 feet are long box vans. Other box vans are short box vans.

(5) The following types of equipment are not trailers:

(i) Containers that are not permanently mounted on chassis.

(ii) Dollies used to connect tandem trailers.

(iii) Equipment that serves similar purposes but are not intended to be pulled by a tractor.

(b) Heavy-duty trailers do not include trailers excluded in 49 CFR 535.3.

{81 FR 74237, Oct. 25, 2016]

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