Ground Vehicle Safety Testing


Calspan offers a full complement of compliance crash test services to verify that vehicles sold in the U.S. conform and comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). These regulations are issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who has a legislative mandate under Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301 Motor Vehicle Safety.

FMVSS are regulations written in terms of minimum safety performance requirements for motor vehicles or items of motor vehicle equipment. These requirements are specified in such a manner that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of crashes occurring as a result of the design, construction, or performance of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury in the event crashes do occur.

As a result of the capabilities and expertise at Calspan, Calspan has been awarded 5 year contracts by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to execute for the NHTSA FMVSS No. 214, Side Impact Protection Compliance Testing, FMVSS No. 301 Fuel System Integrity, and FMVSS No. 305 Electric Powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection vehicle crash tests.  Calspan also holds the NHTSA contracts for executing New Car Assessment Program crash tests.

Our testing mode capabilities include:

  • FMVSS 208, Occupant Crash Protection
  • FMVSS 212, Windshield Mounting
  • FMVSS 219, Windshield Zone Intrusion
  • FMVSS 301F, Fuel System Integrity – Frontal Impact Tests
  • FMVSS 301L, Fuel System Integrity - Lateral Impact Tests
  • FMVSS 301R, Fuel System Integrity - Rear Impact Tests
  • FMVSS 301S, Fuel System Integrity — School Buses Over 10,000 Pounds GVWR
  • FMVSS 303, Fuel System Integrity of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Vehicles
  • FMVSS 305, Electric Powered Vehicles: Electrolyte Spillage and Electrical Shock Protection
  • FMVSS No. 214P, Dynamic Side Impact Protection - Rigid Pole Side Impact Test
  • FMVSS No. 214D, Dynamic Side Impact Protection - Moving Deformable Barrier Test

It is recommended that companies that manufacture custom and specialized vehicles conduct vehicle crash tests to have substantiated proof that the vehicle that they have made part additions, substitutions or part removal still complies with U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). As noted in truck manufacturer’s Body Builder Handbooks, it is the responsibility of the subsequent stage manufacturer or completed vehicle manufacturer to determine whether regulations apply to part additions, substitutions or removal and take the necessary steps to insure that the completed vehicle complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).  This requirement is specified by U.S. Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR 567.7.

Common vehicle alterations that can affect a vehicle’s compliance with FMVSS include the addition, removal and alteration of:

  • Bumpers
  • Hoods
  • Fuel Tanks and Retention Systems
  • Lift Kits and Suspension Systems
  • Pick-up Box
  • Snow Plow


Calspan's automotive testing services are focused on supporting the test and evaluation needs of the automotive industry. These types of test services include:


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