FMCSA Considering Speed Limiter Retrofit Requirement For Commercial Motor Vehicles

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced last week it will move forward with a proposed rulemaking that would require speed limiters commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) weighing over 26,000 pounds and operated in interstate commerce.

The FMCSA, in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), proposed a speed limiter rule back on September 7, 2016 that was never acted upon.

That rule would have required speed limiters on newly manufactured CMVs.

The FMCSA now says it intends to issue a supplemental proposed rulemaking that would require motor carriers to retrofit CMVs manufactured after 2003 with speed limiters.

According to the FMCSA, CMVs manufactured after this date are equipped with electronic engine control units (ECUs) capable of governing maximum vehicle speed.

Motor carriers would be required to retrofit ECUs by reprograming them for use as a speed limiter set at a maximum speed that will be determined by the FMCSA in a final rulemaking.

As in the previous proposed rule, the new FMCSA proposal would apply to CMVs over 26,000 pounds operating in interstate commerce. The proposed rule would also require motor carriers to maintain the ECU limit for the service life of the vehicle.

FMCSA is seeking comments and data from interested parties regarding the adjustment or reprogramming of ECUs. The data collection includes:

— What percentage of the CMV fleet currently uses speed limiting devices?

— If in use, at what maximum speed are the devices generally set?

— What training is needed for maintenance personnel to adjust or program ECUs to set speed limits?

— What tools or equipment are needed to adjust or program ECUs?

— How long would adjustment or reprogramming of an ECU take?

— Where can the ECU adjustment be completed, on site, at a dealership or service center?

— Do responses to questions 3 through 6 change based on the model year of the power unit?

— Since publication of the proposed rule in September 2016, how has technology changed as it relates to the ability to set speed limits using ECUs?

— Should FMCSA revisit using the 2003 model year as the baseline requirement for the rule?

— Should FMCSA consider a retrofit requirement in the rule and, if so, should it be based on model year or other criteria, and what would the cost of such a requirement be?

The data collected will then be used to issue a proposed rule later in the year. EMA will comment on the proposed rule and welcomes your comments on the 10 questions listed above.

Send your Comments to Mark Morgan, EMA Regulatory Counsel at  before July 1, 2022.

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