[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
A lowered-floor minivan (L-FM) shall meet all of the
requirements identified in rules
of the Administrative Code, when applicable. When the requirements in this rule
exceed the requirements in rules
of the Administrative Code, this rule shall govern.
(A) A minivan can be modified to an L-FM when
a consumer's mobility needs will be equally or better served by specifying an
L-FM as an alternative to a dropped-floor full-size van. Factors to be
considered include the smaller, lower exterior; the impact of less interior
maneuvering room; and the ability of the consumer in a wheelchair, to negotiate
a ramp less than thirty inches wide that is fifty-four inches long with a slope
of approximately eleven degrees.
The only minivans that may be converted
to L-FMs are "
vehicle(s)" as defined in division (C) of section
of the Revised
Code, except as specified in paragraph (B)(2) of this rule.
New means dropped-shipped or from a converter's
pool, and not previously titled.
These minivans shall meet the following specifications:
(a) A wheelbase of at least one hundred
sixteen inches equipped with front-wheel drive instead of all-wheel
(b) Tire size recommended by
OEM for greatest GVW (gross vehicle weight).
(c) Power door locks (only if required by the
L-FM after-market manufacturer) and windows.
(d) Speed control and tilt steering
(e) Front air
(f) Rear window
defrost and wiper.
(g) Heavy duty
suspension or trailer towing package.
(h) Rear air conditioning.
Exceptions. If a consumer
owns, or is
planning to purchase
a minivan with the characteristics identified in
paragraphs (B)(1)(a) to (B)(1)(h) of this rule, his/her vehicle may be
converted when it meets the following requirements:
Has less than
thousand miles and is less than
(b) Is fully covered by the manufacturer's
new vehicle warranty as issued to the original purchaser;
(c) Is accepted as suitable for the
conversion process by the converter; and
Has been inspected by an inspector hired
pursuant to paragraph (K) of rule
of the Administrative Code and found to be appropriate for the modifications
situations for conversion to an L-FM will be considered by
the RTSU of RSC
on a case-by-case basis.
Qualified L-FM retail dealers. A
qualified L-FM retail dealer shall meet the requirements of paragraphs (A) to
(H) of rule
the Administrative Code; shall be recognized as a provider of technical
service/repairs by the L-FM converter; shall be able to demonstrate the vehicle
consumers at no cost to either
or the consumer; shall have a permanent business
location in the state of Ohio; shall have, at the location, all facilities
necessary to maintain, repair and replace those components/assemblies excluded
from the OEM's warranty; and shall have employee(s) who have been trained and
certified by the converter.
L-FM retail dealer shall not make any structural modifications to an L-FM, and
shall not specify to the converter any structural modifications not
specifically approved by
the RTSU of
, even if the consumer offers to
pay for the changes. Prohibited features are specified in paragraphs (D)(2) to
(D)(2)(c) of this rule.
Qualified L-FM retail dealers who operate more than one facility in Ohio shall
conform to paragraphs (B)(1) to (B)(9) of rule 3304-6-03 of the Administrative
Code for each location and show that the certificate(s) required by paragraph
(B)(7) of rule
the Administrative Code apply to all in-state branches. An L-FM retail dealer
who is a branch operation of an out-of-state dealer shall show that the
certificate(s) required by paragraph (B)(7) of rule 3304-6-03specifically apply
to the Ohio-based branch.
(3) A qualified L-FM retail dealer
shall be a manufacturer-approved dealer for at least one make of manually
operated hand controls; one make of servo assisted hand controls; one make of
low effort steering; and one make of WTORS and shall have trained experienced
technicians to install, adjust, and repair this equipment.
minivans (L-FMs). An L-FM, in order to be considered under paragraph (A) of
this rule, shall conform to the following requirements:
The L-FM shall have the following
features (exceptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis):
(a) A one hundred sixteen-inch or longer
lowered floor from
the firewall to eighteen inches (approximate) forward of the rear
(c) A powered door with means
for operation if power fails.
powered ramp with a means for operation if power fails.
(e) Controls for the door and the ramp on the
exterior of the vehicle and on the interior of the vehicle near the door/ramp
within the driver's reach. The controls shall have a system to prevent
door/ramp operation while the vehicle is in motion.
(f) One quick-release front seat with
three-point restraint for occupant.
(g) WTORS in the mid-section to accommodate
restraint of the occupied wheelchair without additional drilling or cutting by
the L-FM retail dealer, and anchor points for the three-point restraint for the
(h) A rear
bench seat with OEM passenger restraints.
(i) A kneeling feature which complies with
paragraph (D)(3)(f) of this rule when recommended by the driver rehabilitation
shall not have any of the following features:
(a) Automatic leveling, except for
(b) A raised roof.
(c) A sliding ramp, unless successfully crash
tested with this configuration.
An L-FM shall conform to the following
(a) The powered ramp shall be
of a sufficient width to safely accommodate the intended user. The actuator
shall be of electro-mechanical design. It shall have a side barrier on both
sides to within twelve inches of the outboard end. The surface shall be covered
with a durable non-slip surface. The ramp shall have an interior means for
manual operation if power fails.
(b) The ramp shall support a routine
operating load of six hundred pounds at the midpoint. It shall be capable of
supporting a nine hundred pound proof load at its midpoint for one minute
without any permanent bending, cracking, or changes, which would detract from
its continued performance.
of four inches.
points under the body with the following exceptions:
Ground clearance, or "running clearance" (as defined per
CFR 523.2 ), means the distance from the
surface on which an automobile (vehicle) is standing to the lowest point on the
vehicle, excluding unsprung weight (mass).
The area under
the vehicle, from twenty inches forward and aft of both the front and rear
wheel centerlines, shall have a ground clearance of four inches or
The unsprung mass consists of the
combined equivalent mass which is sprung between the tire and the suspension
springs, and includes: wheel, tire, brakes, suspension linkage and suspension
Front and rear wheel centerlines, shall have a ground
clearance of four inches or greater.
(iii) The exhaust
pipe and associated components shall have a ground clearance of four inches or
Regardless of ground clearance measurements, the
distance from the lowest point on the vehicle shall be greater
distance from any wheel rim to the ground.
(d) Jacking points, or similar provisions,
shall be provided to permit any tire to be raised to clear the ground. A jack
capable of achieving these goals shall be provided together with a sticker
identifying the jacking points and any other necessary instructions.
(e) Towing of the vehicle, with the driving
wheels raised, shall be possible with the normal apparatus carried by a tow
When the vehicle
modification includes a system to raise and/or lower the rear end of the
vehicle for reduction of ramp angles for loading, the raising and lowering
mechanism shall be capable of withstanding the following tests:
(i) The lifting or lowering mechanism shall
be able to withstand a life cycle test of the empty vehicle for four thousand
four hundred cycles.
(ii) When the
test identified in paragraph (D)(3)(f)(i) of this rule has been completed, the
lifting mechanism shall be able to withstand a life cycle test of the vehicle
at its maximum GVWR for twenty cycles.
Testing requirements. By means
of crash tests conducted in accord with the prescribed procedures, an identical
vehicle shall have demonstrated conformance to the following FMVSS:
(1) When part of the hydraulic braking system
deviates from that of the unmodified vehicle, the L-FM shall be re-tested and
conform to FMVSS 135.
protection for the driver from the steering column system. Any deviation from
the unmodified vehicle's steering assembly that might alter the force developed
on the chest body block impacting the steering assembly at fifteen miles per
hour, shall require re-testing to meet the criteria of FMVSS 203.
(3) Steering control rearward displacement.
If any changes have been made to the steering control system, including but not
limited to, the steering wheel, the steering column-shaft assembly, the front
structure, the bumper, and the attaching parts, the L-FM shall be tested and
meet the criteria of FMVSS 204, steering control rearward
(4) The seating
systems of the vehicle shall have been tested to conform to FMVSS
(5) The vehicle shall have
been tested to meet occupant crash protection acceptance criteria of FMVSS
(6) Seat belt assembly
anchorages shall have demonstrated conformance in test prescribed in FMVSS
(7) Side door strength. When
FMVSS 214, side impact protection, is applicable to the unmodified vehicle, the
modified vehicle shall demonstrate conformance to the standard of the
prescribed test procedure.
system integrity. The vehicle shall have demonstrated conformance to FMVSS
requirements. The applicable components of the finished vehicle shall conform
to the following
requirements (conformance attested by
(1) Brake hoses. If any brake
hoses are different from the unmodified vehicle, those hoses shall be
recertified as conforming to FMVSS 106, brake hoses.
(2) Seat belt assemblies. Any deviation in
seat belt assemblies from the unmodified vehicle shall be certified as
conforming to FMVSS 209.
Flammability of interior materials. Burn resistance of all materials used
within the passenger compartment, which have been added by the converter, shall
be certified as conforming to FMVSS 302.
(4) Ramp loading. Conformance to the
requirements of paragraph (D)(3)(b) of this rule shall be certified.
(5) Kneeling system. Conformance to the
requirements of paragraph (D)(3)(f) of this rule shall be certified.
Approved final-stage or
intermediate converters of L-FM. The converter who produces an L-FM shall
provide evidence that he/she is registered as an intermediate manufacturer or a
final stage manufacturer (as defined in 49 C.F.R. 568 ) with the federal
department of transportation. The converter shall conform to the requirements
as applicable. The approved final-stage or intermediate converter shall also
meet the requirements of paragraph (G) of rule
the Administrative Code.
The RTSU of
will maintain a listing of
approved L-FM converters who are in good standing.
The converter shall supply the following
documentation about warranty:
(a) From the
OEM, identification of those components/assemblies, etc., of the L-FM which are
no longer covered under the OEM warranty because of the changes made by the
From the converter,
stipulation that those items no longer covered in paragraph (G)(1)(a) of this
rule are warranted by the converter as follows:
(i) For structural modifications made on the
vehicle unit body and suspension system, warranty conditions, time, and mileage
are equal to, or better than, that offered on the unmodified vehicle.
(ii) Non-structural modifications, such as
door and power operator, electrical modifications, etc., are warranted for
three years or more.
Insurance requirements. The converter
shall provide proof of liability insurance coverage that provides a minimum of
million dollars for each claim, with a minimum aggregate for a one-year policy
period of four million dollars. Proof that such insurance remains in full force
and effect shall be provided to
on an annual basis. The converter shall notify
his/her insurance carrier(s) that
shall be notified within thirty days of any
reductions in coverage or cancellation.
The converter shall supply an
indemnification notice to
stating that they shall indemnify and hold
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 converter.
The converter shall supply
list of the names and addresses of their qualified L-FM retail dealers within
Ohio who currently meet all of the converter's requirements for an L-FM retail
dealer. This list shall be updated when an L-FM retail dealer has been added or
removed. If no changes have been made, the list shall be re-submitted
(5) The converter shall
supply a list annually, by September thirtieth, of those individuals who have
completed their training/certification program, and are authorized to perform
warranty and repair work.
converter shall maintain a list of current owners of vehicles which have been
converted (including options/features of each vehicle) to enable a recall,
should it be needed.
converter shall have sufficient records to document and establish engineering
practices including the following:
Engineering drawings and specifications maintained on all parts, assemblies,
etc. unique to the converter's product(s).
For any changes that are or have been
made to the product which could have an effect on the conformance to FMVSS or
requirements, documentation that a professional engineer has signed off
that there is no detriment to the product with respect to
converter shall have documented quality control and assurance procedures
records to assure that:
items/assemblies made by the converter are within the converter's dimensional,
material, performance, and appearance specifications or standards.
(b) All structural welding shall be completed
by a certified welder.
purchased components/assemblies that could affect the safety of the vehicle,
the conformance to FMVSS or to
requirements that they are certified by the
supplier, by lot, verifying that they conform to specification; or that they
have been inspected using a recognized sampling plan for inspection which
rejects the lot on one defect.
The converter agrees that a
may inspect/audit the manufacturing and conversion
operations and or any available data or process pertaining to the requirements
contained in paragraphs (G)(6) to (G)(8)(c) of this rule.
With respect to conformance to FMVSS,
the converter shall supply:
that crash tests have been conducted at a recognized independent testing
facility supervised and approved by a registered professional engineer with
verification that the vehicle passed the criteria for acceptance of FMVSS 135,
203, 204, 207, 208, 210, 214 (when applicable to the unmodified vehicle), and
documentation that the products, materials, and assemblies used in the vehicle
conform to FMVSS 106, 203, and 209 as applicable; and
(c) Certification that the delivered product
does not differ from the vehicle tested and approved under the requirements in
paragraphs (G)(10)(a) and (G)(10)(b) of this rule.
Specialty vehicles. Specialty
vehicles are considered vehicles that are not full-sized vans and do not
conform with paragraph (B) of this rule. At the discretion of
the RTSU of RSC
, structural modifications may be considered to
specialty vehicles if the vehicle complies with paragraphs (D) to (G) of this
rule. Exceptions for special design characteristics which are different from
paragraphs (D) to (G) of this rule may be made on a case by case basis and
shall be documented by
the RTSU of RSC
before the approval process begins.