MGA is well known in the automotive industry for full vehicle and component level safety testing. MGA also leads the industry in evaluating vehicle accessories for OEMs, their suppliers and aftermarket manufactures. These accessories can include trailer hitches, side steps, cargo and pet dividers, car seat mirrors as well as roof racks and their related attachments.

Close up of running boards on a truck

Vehicle accessories should be evaluated to ensure their function does not interfere with safety of the occupants in the event of a crash.  The laws and guidelines for accessory testing fall under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). FMVSS are U.S. Federal regulations that must be followed in order for a vehicle to be legally sold. ISO creates guidelines for manufactures to follow to ensure their products meet minimum safety requirements. MGA has decades of experience with both FMVSS and ISO standards.

Exterior Accessories

FMVSS 214R Side Impact Protection
FMVSS 301R Fuel System Integrity
ISO 11154 Road Vehicles – Roof Load Carriers

Smartphone in a car use for Navigate or GPS. Driving a car with Smartphone in holder. Mobile phone with isolatede white screen. Blank empty screen. copy space. Empty space for text. modern car interior details.

Exterior accessories include trailer hitches, side steps and roof racks. Trailer hitches and side steps should be tested to ensure they do not cause fuel leaks during a rear or side crash. MGA performs rear impact crash tests and side impact crash tests following the regulations of FMVSS 301R Fuel System Integrity. Both of the FMVSS 301R tests involve a moving deformable barrier (MDB) impacting the rear or side of the vehicle at high rates of speeds to simulate a real world scenario. Side steps should also be tested following FMVSS 214R Side Impact Protection. The FMVSS 214R test also uses a MDB impacting the side of the vehicle but the focus of the test is on the calculated injuries sustained by the test dummy in the driver and rear passenger seat. Roof Racks and their attachments should be evaluated to ensure the rack system and the load they are carrying stays safely mounted in the event of a crash. Other roof rack attachments to be evaluated include bike, kayak, ladder, ski/snowboard carriers, wind deflectors, and many others.  MGA follows the guidelines from ISO 11154 Roof Load Carriers for the basis of testing which contains various test methods to simulate the loads and forces exposed to the accessory.

Car roof rack. Modern car. Blue car. Close-up

Interior Accessories

FMVSS 201 Occupant Protection in Interior Impact
FMVSS 208 Occupant Crash Protection
FMVSS 226 Ejection Mitigation
ISO 27955 Road Vehicles – Securing of Cargo in Passenger Cars

Interior Accessories include headrest tablet holders, cargo and pet dividers, car seat mirrors, flashing light units, phone holders, and van conversion kits. Headrest tablet holders or other entertainment systems mounted to the headrest should be evaluated to ensure they do not pose a potential risk of injury during a crash. MGA follows FMVSS 201P Occupant Protection in Interior Impact to check these areas.  FMVSS uses a pendulum impactor to simulate a head hitting an object during a front crash.

FMVSS 201U uses an instrument that is precisely thrown at various interior parts of the vehicle to simulate a head impacting that point.  Cargo and Pet Dividers, van conversion kits or anything else that change the roof or pillar areas should be evaluated under several regulations to ensure the occupants safety is not compromised from the additional components in the vehicle. MGA follows the regulations of FMVSS 201U Occupant Protection in Interior Impact. FMVSS 201U uses an instrument that is precisely thrown at various interior parts of the vehicle to simulate a head impacting that point.  FMVSS 208 Occupant Crash Protection and FMVSS 226 Ejection Mitigation can also be affected by accessories. FMVSS 208 is a full vehicle crash test into a flat barrier and FMVSS 226 involves deploying the side curtain airbags and confirming that an occupant cannot be thrown out of the vehicle in a rollover event.  ISO 27955 Securing of Cargo, is another guideline that may be considered during the development of a cargo or pet divider.  This standard defines the minimum requirements of the seats and partitioning systems in order to protect the occupants against shifting of cargo during a frontal impact.

Car multimedia control system with navigation map mode at the seats headrest

The above list is only a small example of the testing services that MGA offers to test and validate vehicle accessories. MGA is capable of evaluating most vehicle accessories without the need to conduct a full vehicle crash test by use of a dynamic sled test or specialized or custom impactors. Through the use of a sled test, MGA can simulate a crash test while saving money and development time.

MGA has extensive experience testing and evaluating vehicle accessories. Whether a roof rack, pet divider or tablet holder, MGA can develop a test plan to ensure the intended performance of the accessory does not introduce safety concerns for the driver or passengers in the vehicle.