49 CFR § 595.5 - Requirements.

§ 595.5 Requirements.

(a) Beginning January 19, 1998, a dealer or motor vehicle repair business may modify a motor vehicle manufactured before September 1, 2015, by installing an on-off switch that allows an occupant of the vehicle to turn off an air bag in that vehicle, subject to the conditions in paragraphs (b)(1) through (5) of this section.


(1) The dealer or motor vehicle repair business receives from the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle a letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that authorizes the installation of an on-off switch in that vehicle for that air bag and includes a form to be filled in by the dealer or motor vehicle repair business with information identifying itself and describing the installation it makes.

(2) The dealer or motor vehicle repair business installs the on-off switch in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer of the switch.

(3) The on-off switch meets all of the conditions specified in paragraphs (b)(3)(i) and (ii) of this section.

(i) The on-off switch is operable solely by a key or a key-like object. The on-off switch shall be separate from the ignition switch for the vehicle, so that the driver must take some action other than inserting the ignition key or turning the ignition key in the ignition switch to turn off the air bag. Once turned off, the air bag shall remain off until it is turned back on by means of the device. If a single on-off switch is installed for both air bags, the on-off switch shall allow each air bag to be turned off without turning off the other air bag. The readiness indicator required by S4.5.2 of § 571.208 of this chapter shall continue to monitor the readiness of the air bags even when one or both air bags has been turned off. The readiness indicator light shall not be illuminated solely because an air bag has been deactivated by means of an on-off switch.

(ii) A telltale light in the interior of the vehicle shall be illuminated whenever the driver or passenger air bag is turned off by means of the on-off switch. The telltale for a driver air bag shall be clearly visible to an occupant of the driver's seating position. The telltale for a passenger air bag shall be clearly visible to occupants of all front seating positions. The telltale for an air bag:

(A) Shall be yellow;

(B) Shall have the identifying words “DRIVER AIR BAG OFF”, “PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF”, or “PASS AIR BAG OFF”, as appropriate, on the telltale or within 25 millimeters of the telltale;

(C) Shall remain illuminated for the entire time that the air bag is “off;”

(D) Shall not be illuminated at any time when the air bag is “on;” and,

(E) Shall not be combined with the readiness indicator required by S4.5.2 of § 571.208 of this chapter.

(4) The dealer or motor vehicle repair business provides the owner or lessee with an insert for the vehicle owner's manual that -

(i) Describes the operation of the on-off switch,

(ii) Lists the risk groups on the request form set forth in appendix B of this Part,

(iii) States that an on-off switch should only be used to turn off an air bag for a member of one of those risk groups, and

(iv) States the safety consequences for using the on-off switch to turn off an air bag for persons who are not members of any of those risk groups. The description of those consequences includes information, specific to the make, model and model year of the owner's or lessee's vehicle, about any seat belt energy managing features, e.g., load limiters, that will affect seat belt performance when the air bag is turned off.

(5) In the form included in the agency authorization letter specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the dealer or motor vehicle repair business fills in information describing itself and the on-off switch installation(s) it makes in the motor vehicle. The dealer or motor vehicle repair business then sends the form to the address below within 7 working days after the completion of the described installations: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Attention: Air Bag Switch Request Forms, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590-1000.

[62 FR 62442, Nov. 21, 1997; 62 FR 67754, Dec. 30, 1997, as amended at 65 FR 30770, May 12, 2000; 69 FR 31034, June 2, 2004; 77 FR 52623, Aug. 30, 2012]