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Car Agency to Remove|Head Injury Criterion

WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has changed a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard on child restraint systems, to disregard the "head injury criterion" because a connection in the test dummy used can be too stiff.

Because the chin-to-chest contact reading in the Hybrid III 10-year-old child test dummy may be inaccurate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed that the "head injury criterion ... not be used to assess the compliance of the tested child restraint."

In 2005, the agency proposed the use of the 10-year-old child test dummy to test child restraints for older children. Later, because of variations in chin-to-chest contact readings regarding the dummy, the agency proposed in 2008 that the dummy be positioned a certain way. Comments to the 2008 proposal objected to the positioning and suggested a different procedure, developed by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.

The agency's other proposals to deal with the defective dummy are to "permit the agency to use, at the manufacturer's option, the Hybrid II or Hybrid III versions of the 6-year-old test dummy, and ... to use the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute procedure to position the Hybrid III 6-year-old and 10-year-old dummies when testing belt-positioning seats."

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