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

Interpretation Response #98-0374 ([Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America] [Edwin C. Amsler])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America

Individual Name: Edwin C. Amsler

Location State: IL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

JUN 2, 1999


Mr. Edwin C. Amsler                                  Ref. No. 98-0374
Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing
     of America
100 N. Mitsubishi Motorway
Normal, IL 61761

Dear Mr. Amsler:

This is in response to your letter dated October 29, 1998, concerning air bag devices that are packed in non-specification, reusable-high strength plastic containers for transportation from a manufacturing facility to the assembly facility under § 173.166(e)(4) of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171-180).

You state that the airbag devices are packed in open-top reusable containers that are stacked on a skid. The containers do not have lids and are constructed to interlock when stacked on top of each other, with a top cap placed on the topmost container.  The stacked containers are then banded twice in both directions to the skid.  You enclosed four photographs showing two different loading configurations for the air bags as prepared for transportation.  Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Ql. Do the containers depicted in attachments 1 and 1-A meet the requirements prescribed in § 173.166(e)(4)(ii)?

Al.  Section 173.166(e)(4)(ii) requires a container or dedicated handling device that is not completely enclosed by design to be covered with plastic, fiberboard, or metal and secured to the container by banding or other comparable methods.  It is the opinion of this Office that your stacked, high strength plastic containers when fitted with a top cap and securely banded to the skid satisfy the requirements of a dedicated handling device.

Q2.  Do the closures on the containers depicted in attachments 2 and 2A meet the requirements prescribed in § 173.24(f)?

A2. The general requirements in § 173.24 apply to all packagings.  As required by § 173.24(f), the closure on a container must be designed, closed and secured to the container so that under conditions (including the effects of temperature and vibration) normally encountered in transportation there is no release of the hazardous material from the container.  Therefore, your packaging
configurations would satisfy the applicable requirements provided the following conditions are met: (1) the air bag devices are properly secured against movement within the containers (§ 173.166(e)(4)(iii)); and (2) the skid of stacked containers fitted with a top cap is tightly secured to prevent both the release of the airbag devices from the containers and the release of the containers from the skid during normal transportation conditions.

Please contact this office if we can be of further assistance.  A copy of this response has been sent to the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.



Hattie L. Mitchell, Chief
Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.166 Safety devices