[Comment: For dates of non-regulatory government publications,
publications of recognized organizations and associations, federal rules, and
federal statutory provisions referenced in this rule, see the "Incorporation by
Reference" section at the end of rule
3304-6-01 of the
flooring. Wheelchair flooring is a covering on the floor of the vehicle that
promotes ease of use and safety in mobility of a wheelchair user.
(a) On ribbed vehicle floors of non-lowered
floor OEM vehicles, wheelchair flooring shall be constructed of exterior grade
or better plywood with a minimum thickness of three-eighths inch or sheet steel
of at least twenty gauge.
flat portions of floors adjacent to ribbed floor areas where wheelchair
flooring has been installed, wheelchair flooring shall be constructed of
exterior grade or better plywood or sheet steel of sufficient thickness for a
smooth transition. Other materials may be acceptable as equivalent in structure
to plywood or sheet steel, but their use shall be reviewed and approved by
the RTSU of RSC
Wheelchair flooring shall not perceptively sag under load into depressions in
the vehicle floor.
Installation of wheelchair flooring shall be designed to be permanent. The
method of fastening may be bolts, rivets, spot welding, bonding, or other
methods. However as part of the final inspection,
representative may partially remove the flooring in order to verify compliance
to this rule.
If the work was performed
according to specifications and
removed it for inspection,
pay for reinstallation of the flooring.
flooring and the work was not performed according to specifications, the vendor
shall absorb the cost of reinstallation.
(3) The floor covering shall be
commercial-grade carpet, indoor/outdoor carpet, or nonskid material such as RCA
rubber. Carpet shall be unpadded, low-pile, fire-resistant, and it shall be
attached all across the floor; perimeter tack strips shall not be
A dropped floor is a recessed area that allows a wheelchair to be lower
relative to the windows than is possible with open flooring. This lowering is
necessary to achieve a safe eye-height for a driver who is driving from a
wheelchair. Dropped floors are considered radical modifications and, as such,
should be used when the driver is unable to transfer from a wheelchair into a
suitable driver's seat to achieve maximum visibility for the driver who is
seated in a wheelchair. In passenger applications, dropped floors should be
considered only as an exception when a less radical raised-top modification
cannot assist in obtaining sufficient head height clearance for the passenger
in a wheelchair.
When a dropped floor is
necessary on a 2004 or later full-size van, it shall be done only on vehicles
with an independent frame (non unit body construction) and on a model which has
not been specifically disapproved by the OEM for such a modification. The
structural modifier shall submit a plan that demonstrates compliance with all
applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations. Data
verifying compliance with the following items shall be submitted to
the RTSU of RSC
(a) If the
structural modifier has tested the floor lowering to the satisfaction of the
OEM for the model vehicle being modified, approval of the floor lowering on OEM
signed letterhead shall be sufficient proof of compliance.
If the structural modifier is using the
NMEDA floor lowering plan as the method to demonstrate compliance, the
structural modifier shall:
(i) Be accredited
as NMEDA QAP structural modifier and be able to produce a copy of the relevant
NMEDA QAP lowered floor guidelines manual for the vehicle being modified. The
vehicle shall be inspected to assure compliance with that guideline;
(ii) Produce certification from the fuel tank
manufacturer stating that the fuel tank has been tested and found to be in
compliance with FMVSS 301, fuel system integrity, in a vehicle using the NMEDA
QAP lowered floor guidelines for the
vehicle being inspected; and
Produce certification that the fuel system as installed per the NMEDA
QAP lowered floor guidelines and the fuel
tank manufacturer's instructions meet all federal emissions
structural modifiers who plan to independently demonstrate compliance with
applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations shall submit
(i) The structural
modifier has been audited for a comprehensive quality control program (e.g.,
participation in the ford truck quality program or equivalent).
The modification complies with
applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards
, 108, 114, 118, 135, 201 to 204, 207,
208, 214 and 225 that are not exempted by 49 C.F.R. 595
, or evidence that the
non-exempted part of the FMVSS is not relevant to the modification.
The modification complies with federal
motor vehicle safety standards
to 104, 106, 111, 113, 116,
124, 129, 205, 206, 209, 210, 212, 213, 216, 301 and 302, or evidence that the
indicated FMVSS is not relevant to the modifications.
(iv) The modification is in compliance with
federal emissions standards.
The modifier has liability insurance as defined in paragraph (I)(1) of rule
the Administrative Code. Proof that such insurance remains in full force and
effect shall be provided to
on an annual basis. The structural modifier shall
notify his/her insurance carrier(s) that
notified within thirty days of any reductions in coverage or cancellation.
structural modifier shall also supply an indemnification notice to
stating that he/she shall indemnify and hold
, its agents,
employees, and consultants harmless from all claims, damages, suits or actions,
including any judgment, costs, expenses, and legal fees arising from any
modifications made by said structural modifier.
All structural modifiers demonstrating
compliance pursuant to paragraph (B) of this rule shall meet the following
additional requirements and shall provide documentation to
the RTSU of RSC
relative to compliance with these requirements:
(i) No part of the body shall be attached to
the frame except in a manner consistent with the concept and design of the
requirements described in paragraphs (A) to (A)(3) of this rule shall apply to
a dropped floor.
(iii) A dropped
floor shall be a minimum of eleven-gauge fabricated steel.
(iv) A dropped floor shall have heat
shielding over the catalytic converter, exhaust pipe and the muffler to prevent
transmission of excess heat to the floor.
(v) All seams shall be waterproof and treated
to prevent corrosion through application of a suitable sealant, primer and
paint. An automotive grade undercoating shall be applied to the exterior
surfaces of the dropped floor. Installation shall not leave gaps or holes of
any kind between the original floor and the dropped floor.
(vi) Cutting and/or welding of the body for
the lowered floor installation shall be performed by a certified welder. The
methods used shall meet or exceed OEM recommendations and methods described in
service and shop repair manuals for that model vehicle and shall conform to SAE
welding standards and good engineering practice. There shall be no
Cutting of the frame for the lowered floor installation shall be allowed only
if the floor is to be lowered more than six inches.
(viii) If the body is raised in order to
lower the floor by the needed amount, the modification shall comply with
paragraphs (C)(1) to (C)(4) of this rule concerning raised bodies.
If the fuel system is modified to lower
the floor, the modification shall comply with the fuel delivery system
modifications described in rule
of the Administrative Code.
quick release removable seat base shall be provided in all vans configured so
that an individual can drive from a wheelchair. The removable driver's seat
shall have a suitable restraint system pursuant to paragraph (B) of rule
of the Administrative Code. During the approval process, the modifier shall
the RTSU of RSC
whether or not the removable driver's seat can be
moved to the passenger side if the floor is lowered on both sides and, if so,
whether the air bags and other parts of the restraint system work properly in
the alternate locations.
Approval of the structural modification.
(a) All information provided by the
structural modifier in paragraphs (B)(1)(a) to (B)(1)(d) of this rule shall be
considered public information and subject to public information
(b) The information shall
be reviewed by a team of licensed engineers for approval. When a dropped floor
is being considered, the review may include a visual inspection of the
All design changes to
an approved structural modification shall be reported to
the RTSU of RSC
. The information to be submitted for design change
review is that indicated in paragraphs (B)(1)(a) to (B)(1)(d) of this rule.
When the information previously provided in paragraphs (B)(1)(a) to (B)(1)(d)
of this rule remains the same as the original design, the structural modifier
shall provide a written statement to that effect in lieu of resubmitting the
The RTSU of RSC
shall determine whether the design change is
sufficient to warrant the need for approval as a new structural
not purchase design changes prior to notice, review and approval by
the RTSU of RSC
The RTSU of RSC
reserves the right to suspend or withdraw approval
without prior notification to the manufacturer if the structural modifier's
product is found to be in violation of these rules or is found to involve a
significant risk to the consumer's safety.
Floor lowering on 2003 or earlier full
sized vans may not be possible due to the availability of fuel tanks and fuel
systems which comply with FMVSS 301 and current federal emissions regulations.
All bids shall be coordinated with
the RTSU of
(4) Any engine cover notch shall be sealed to
prevent exhaust fumes from entering the van and shall be sufficient for
fender wells for wheelchair footrests shall not restrict the travel of the
vehicle's wheel in any direction.
Raised body. If the body is raised to
lower the floor more than the OEM design allows between the body and the frame
in order to achieve consumer visibility needs, the following specifications
shall be met:
(1) Body raise spacers shall be
solid steel or other material with comparable characteristics, and no less in
diameter than the existing base of the body mount. Any replacement bolts shall
be minimum grade eight. Body supports shall be equal in number and similar in
function to the OEM design. Locations shall be in accordance with the
lowered floor guidelines
manual unless the structural modifier is
able to demonstrate compliance through independent crash test
(2) For the radiator
and fan shroud to remain in the same relationship to the engine as before
modification, both shall be remounted to the vehicle body in a manner that
retains the original fan-to-radiator relationship.
(3) To retain the steering column's original
angle, the original entry hole shall be enlarged. If the existing rubber boot
or seal will not cover the new opening, it shall be replaced with another boot
or with a sheet metal plate conforming to the shape of the column. The plate
shall be fastened to the dash panel above the entry point to cover the new
opening. The entry point shall be sealed with a flexible sealant to assure that
the juncture is watertight.
Body raises shall not be completed in combination with roof raises that are of
more than twelve inches.
Raised roofs. Raised roofs are structural
modifications to any vehicle that substitute an after-market roof for the
original roof of the vehicle. The after-market roof is installed to increase
vertical clearance inside the vehicle to facilitate entering, exiting, and
maneuvering inside the vehicle. The principal objective of paragraphs (D)(1) to
(D)(2)(c) of this rule is to prevent any unreasonable compromise to vehicle
structural integrity by removal of the original sheet metal roof and
reinforcing members and by substitution of a raised roof.
Raised roofs shall be constructed of
durable materials, suitably finished to resist the effects of sunlight,
moisture, snow, ice, and temperature extremes. Any fixtures mounted in a roof
such as windows, ventilators, antennas, etc. shall be designed to be
air-and-moisture leak resistant. The exterior of the raised roof shall be
painted to match the body color of the van to which it is affixed.
The roof interior shall be trimmed in a material and color to
complement the vehicle's interior.
Any raised roof conversion shall be
provided with suitable reinforcement members. These members connect the sides
of the vehicle body and preserve interior space in the event of a major
collision or rollover. The raised roof shall meet the following specifications:
Any van that has had the factory top
removed shall have structural reinforcement added to restore rigidity to the
van body. When possible, enough of the original roof shall be retained so that
the original front roof support remains in place. The structural reinforcement
shall be composed as follows:
(i) If the
original front roof support remains in place, three cross-members shall be
perpendicular to the sides of the van with one bar in front of the side doors,
one to the rear of the side doors, and one in the rear of the van. If the
original front roof support is removed, roof reinforcement must be done exactly
as described in the NMEDA
raised roof and
doors guidelines with a total of five cross-members.
(ii) The cross-members shall be connected by
three equally spaced bars (longitudinal members) running parallel to the sides
of the van at the new roof line.
(iii) All bars shall be one-inch by two inch
minimum one-eighth inch steel tubing, and shall be spaced to prevent slap
against the top.
shall be welded together and welded to
one-and-one-half inch by one-and-one-half inch eleven-gauge steel header
installed along the top interior sides of the van to which reinforcement is
(a) a steel header
composed of tubing ( 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch by 11 gage thick), or
(b) a steel attachment, plate as described by the NMEDA
guidelines (75 mm by 100 mm by 4 mm thick), or (c) a steel
base plate as described by SAE J1725, "Structural modification for personally
licensed vehicles to meet the transportation needs of persons with
disabilities',which ever option is compatible with the original vehicle design
and/or the raised roof design.
The horizontal bars shall be
compatible with NMEDA and SAE
gussetted to the side header
to prevent front or
rear shearing in rollover.
structural reinforcement shall have one-half inch clearance from the raised
(b) Neither water
leaks under water hose pressure nor water collection points that could develop
leaks shall be acceptable.
height of the roof shall be determined by the consumer's needs for safe and
convenient entry and exit.
shall not purchase a raised roof or reinforcement
if the only reason for the increased height is to accommodate the addition of
carpeting or padding. Further,
shall not purchase a roof with vents or windows
unless it costs the same or less than a ventless/windowless roof of comparable
height. A label identifying the maximum exterior height shall be prominently
displayed within the driver's view.
(d) Roof raises of more than twelve inches
shall not be completed in combination with body raises.
(e) The raised roof shall comply with
applicable portions of FMVSS 216, roof crush resistance.
The raised roof shall have an interior
shell or headliner to protect occupants from the structural reinforcement.
Raised roof interiors shall comply with
applicable sections of FMVSS 201 not excluded by 49 C.F.R. 595
(ii) Interior shells or headliners shall
comply with FMVSS 302.
Modified doors. Any alteration to the OEM
vehicle doors that necessitates changes to the door frame constitutes a
modified door. These modifications may be accomplished to increase entry height
or width, to accommodate a raised roof or wheelchair lift installation, or for
other special needs.
Extensions to doors
to make them taller or wider shall be accomplished in such a manner as to
preserve the original door strength and rigidity. Corresponding alterations to
door pillars and frames shall also preserve the structural integrity of the
original body member. Raised entry doors and door frames shall meet the
(a) Extended doors
and door frames shall be braced in a manner consistent in strength to the
original door and door frame.
Completed doors shall include rubber molding and shall be moisture-sealed to
prevent moisture or water entry in the full-powered closed position so that the
seal is at least equivalent to the manufacturer's original
When a lift has
not been mounted inside the extended doors, the doors must comply with
applicable sections of the FMVSS 206, door locks and door retention components.
All OEM latches shall remain functional and comply with the FMVSS 205, glazing
materials. Documentation of compliance with the FMVSS governing latching of
doors shall be provided to
the RTSU of
(2) All body work shall be primed and painted
in accordance with accepted standards of automotive practice, and shall be
comparable to the original fit and finish. Trim of the interior of the modified
door shall be comparable to the original trim of the door. Door modifications
shall be free of exposed burrs or sharp metal edges.
Bumper height. The bumper height shall
not be altered from the original height unless (1)
directed to by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) during vehicle
structural modification and, (2) the new bumper height configuration has been
tested as directed by OEM or to a thirty mph frontal impact as described in
FMVSS 208 and a five mph frontal impact no airbag deployment test. At no time
shall the raised bumper violate the Ohio motor vehicle code
Ohio Admin. Code 3304-6-10
119.032 review dates:
Effective Dates: 09/04/1990, 05/10/1995, 08/02/1999, 06/03/2002,