MGA’s expertise in automotive safety extends beyond the mass-produced vehicles from the major OEM’s. The same safety standards that the OEM’s adhere to also apply to most altered vehicles on the road. That includes vehicles being converted to a hybrid-electric drivetrain, campervans and RV type conversions, and vehicles that have been adapted for people with disabilities, among others. For over 30 years MGA has been there to support these modifiers with testing services to NHTSA FMVSS and other standards, ensuring the safety of the vehicle and consumers.
In the case of the mobility industry, where vehicles are often modified for wheelchair accessibility, the modifications made to the vehicle themselves can vary and often be intrusive to the structure with varying floor heights and wheelchair access from the side and rear. Frequently the fuel tank is relocated or changed, and the floor structure is partially or completely replaced. Due to the nature of some of these modifications, the vehicle modifier can then become responsible for the safety of the vehicle as it pertains to NHTSA’s FMVSS standards.
Common standards that manufactures need to validate include:
FMVSS 206 Doors Locks and Door Retention Components
FMVSS 207 and 210, and 225 Seat and Seatbelt Anchors and Child Seat Anchors
FMVSS 208 Occupant Crash Protection
FMVSS 214 Side Impact Protection
FMVSS 301 Fuel System Integrity
FMVSS 305 Electric Powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection (For Hybrids and EV’s)
MGA has been testing to the above standards, among others, with modified mobility vehicles since we began testing at our Wisconsin Proving Grounds in the early 90’s. In that time the industry has progressed and evolved, and MGA has helped our customers develop with it. With those 30 years’ experience working directly with the major OEM’s and NHTSA, we’ve been heavily involved in the evolution of test methodologies and know how to apply those methodologies to any vehicle on the road today, including modified mobility vehicles.
MGA has also established relationships with organizations such as the National Mobility Equipment Dealers’ Association (NMEDA), who are dedicated to ensuring the quality and safety of the products that their members manufacture and sell, including modified vehicle manufacturers. Attending NMEDA conferences and networking within the mobility industry has kept MGA current with the latest trends in modifications.
The auto industry is constantly evolving, and the mobility industry is no different. The future holds an entire new set of challenges as vehicles become more electrified and more autonomous. MGA has always been in the forefront of the automotive industry and will remain the same in the mobility industry. Our objective is to support the industry by helping to ensure the safety of modified vehicles on the road from development to compliance.