On January 16th the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rejected a request from Nissan regarding vehicle safety testing procedures. The automaker petitioned for a change to the electrical shock protection requirements as defined in 2010 by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 305, “Electric-powered vehicles; electrolyte spillage and electrical shock protection.” Nissan urged the NHTSA to allow the use of a megohmmeter and inert gas as an alternative testing method. A megohmmeter is a specialized instrument that determines electrical isolation resistance directly, rather than measuring voltage and calculating resistance.
The agency’s response plainly rejects Nissan’s request, citing concerns about the tool’s accuracy. The NHTSA said that incorporating the alternative test procedure into the existing standard would exceed the scope of rulemaking and hinder the public’s opportunity to comment. The agency concluded that instead of changing the existing rule, it would be more appropriate to draft a new proposal altogether.