49 U.S. Code § 32101. Definitions

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In this part (except chapter 329 and except as provided in section 33101)—
(1)bumper standard” means a minimum performance standard that substantially reduces—
the damage to the front or rear end of a passenger motor vehicle from a low-speed collision (including a collision with a fixed barrier) or from towing the vehicle; or
the cost of repairing the damage.
insurer” means a person in the business of issuing, or reinsuring any part of, a passenger motor vehicle insurance policy.
(3)interstate commerce” means commerce between a place in a State and—
a place in another State; or
another place in the same State through another State.
“make”, when describing a passenger motor vehicle, means the trade name of the manufacturer of the vehicle.
(5)manufacturer” means a person—
importing motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for resale.
“model”, when describing a passenger motor vehicle, means a category of passenger motor vehicles based on the size, style, and type of a make of vehicle.
motor vehicle” means a vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power and manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways, but does not include a vehicle operated only on a rail line.
motor vehicle accident” means an accident resulting from the maintenance or operation of a passenger motor vehicle or passenger motor vehicle equipment.
multipurpose passenger vehicle” means a passenger motor vehicle constructed on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road operation.
(10)passenger motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle with motive power designed to carry not more than 12 individuals, but does not include—
a motorcycle; or
a truck not designed primarily to carry its operator or passengers.
(11)passenger motor vehicle equipment” means—
a system, part, or component of a passenger motor vehicle as originally made;
a similar part or component made or sold for replacement or improvement of a system, part, or component, or as an accessory or addition to a passenger motor vehicle; or
a device made or sold for use in towing a passenger motor vehicle.
State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.
United States district court” means a district court of the United States, a United States court for Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, and the district court for the Northern Mariana Islands.

Historical and Revision Notes

Pub. L. 103–272



Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)


15:1901(5), (6) (words before semicolon), (11).

Oct. 20, 1972, Pub. L. 92–513, § 2(1)–(6) (words before semicolon), (7)–(12), (15)–(18), 86 Stat. 947, 948; Dec. 22, 1975, Pub. L. 94–163, § 301, 89 Stat. 901; Oct. 10, 1980, Pub. L. 96–425, § 8(a)(2), 94 Stat. 1828; Oct. 25, 1984, Pub. L. 98–547, § 101(b), 98 Stat. 2767.




















15:1901(3), (4).





In clause (1), the text of 15:1901(11) is omitted as surplus because the complete title of the Secretary of Transportation is used the first time the term appears in a section. The definition of “property loss reduction standard” is combined with the definition of “bumper standard” because the former term is used only in the definition of the latter term. Before subclause (A), the words “the purpose of which is” and “eliminate” are omitted as surplus. In subclauses (A) and (B), the words “(or both)” are omitted as surplus. In subclause (A), the word “physical” is omitted as surplus.

In clause (2), the words “of passenger motor vehicles” and “engaged” are omitted as surplus.

In clause (5)(A), the words “manufacturing or assembling” are substituted for “engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of” to eliminate unnecessary words.

In clause (8), the words “maintenance or operation” are substituted for “operation, maintenance, or use” to eliminate an unnecessary word.

In clauses (12) and (13), the words “the Northern Mariana Islands” are added because of section 502(a)(2) of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, as enacted by the Act of March 24, 1976 (Public Law 94–241, 90 Stat. 268), and as proclaimed to be in effect by the President on January 9, 1978 (Proc. No. 4534, Oct. 24, 1977, 42 F.R. 56593). The words “the Canal Zone” are omitted because of the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977.

In clause (12), the word “means” is substituted for “includes” as being more appropriate. The words “a State of the United States” are substituted for “each of the several States” for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the United States Code.

In clause (13), the words “of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico” are omitted as surplus because the district court of Puerto Rico is a district court of the United States under 28:119.

Pub. L. 103–429

This makes a conforming amendment to 49:32101 necessary because of the amendment to 49:32304(a)(11) made by section 6(29) of the bill and to clarify the restatement of 15:1901 by section 1 of the Act of July 5, 1994 (Public Law 103–272, 108 Stat. 1034).


1994—Pub. L. 103–429 amended introductory provisions generally. Prior to amendment, introductory provisions read as follows: “In this part (except section 32304 and chapter 329)—”.

Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 103–429 effective July 5, 1994, see section 9 of Pub. L. 103–429, set out as a note under section 321 of this title.