USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #12-0133R ([Autoliv Ogden Technical Center] [Mr. Dave Madsen])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Autoliv Ogden Technical Center

Individual Name: Mr. Dave Madsen

Location State: UT Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 19, 2013

 

 

Mr. Dave Madsen
Chair, Supplier Regulatory Workgroup
North American Automotive Hazardous
Materials Action Committee
Autoliv Ogden Technical Center
3350 Airport Road
Ogden, UT  84405

Reference No. 12-0133R

Dear Mr. Madsen:

This is in further response to your June 14, 2012 letter requesting clarification of §§ 173.24a(a)(3) and 173.166(e), (e)(4), and (e)(4)(iii) of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to inner packagings of air bag inflators, air bag modules, seat-belt pretensioners, and other hazardous materials.  You asked if inner packagings of these materials and other devices or dunnage are permitted to move or shift in a limited manner when placed within an outer package of a combination packaging provided no damage occurs that would reduce the overall structural integrity of the package.  You state it is your understanding that §§ 173.24a(a)(3) and 173.166(e), (e)(4), and (e)(4)(iii) permit inner packagings of hazardous materials and other devices or dunnage to move or shift in a limited manner within an outer package of a combination packaging provided no damage occurs that would reduce the package's overall structural integrity. 

Your understanding is correct.  We are writing you this additional response to clarify what is meant by the wording "prevent movement of the articles and inadvertent operation" and "internal dunnage must be sufficient to prevent shifting of the devices within the container" as these phrases are used in §§ 173.166(e) and 173.166(e)(4)(iii), respectively.  In our October 3, 2012 response, we stated that § 173.166(e) requires air bag inflators, air bag modules, seat-belt pretensioners and dunnage, which can include other equipment, to be secured within the outer packaging to "prevent movement of the articles and [their] inadvertent operation" during transportation in commerce.  The intent of this requirement is to place these devices in a packaging in a manner that prevents their accidental activation when they experience the dynamic lift, impact, shift, compressive and other forces normally encountered in transportation.  Conversely, all hazardous materials packagings and completed packages must perform the basic containment functions prescribed in the HMR's general packaging requirements (see §§ 171.8 ("Package" and "Packaging" definitions) and 173.24).  Thus, "internal dunnage must be sufficient to prevent shifting of the devices within the container" means a sufficient amount packaging material and/or dunnage must be used to secure one or more of the devices you described within an outer packaging to prevent the devices from shifting but not in so great an amount that it damages them.  A hazardous material packaging or package that is damaged (e.g., through compression with too-tightly packed inner packaging materials, forceful contact with other inner or outer packagings, or sudden inner packaging expansion) may be sufficiently reduced in effectiveness to no longer meet the HMR's general packaging requirements and increases the probability that the package may release the hazardous material or materials it contains.

I hope this further clarification is sufficient. 

Sincerely,

T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.24a, 173.166(e)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.166 Safety devices
173.24a Additional general requirements for non-bulk packagings and packages