Tuesday, 19 January 2021 19:47

NHTSA Issues Regulation Allowing Replica Car Sales to Begin


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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has completed a regulation permitting low volume motor vehicle manufacturers to begin selling replica cars that resemble vehicles produced at least 25 years ago.

Congress enacted a SEMA-led bill into law in 2015, which streamlined requirements for small automakers, but implementation was delayed while awaiting the NHTSA regulations. Replica car businesses will now be able to produce and sell replica vehicles.


“SEMA applauds NHTSA’s final rule allowing companies to market classic-themed cars,” said SEMA President and CEO Christopher J. Kersting. “Regulatory barriers have previously prevented small automakers from producing heritage cars for eager customers. The roadblocks have been eliminated. Companies will be able to hire workers, start making necessary parts and components, and produce and sell cars.”  


The replica car law and implementing regulations allow a low volume manufacturer to construct up to 325 such replica cars a year, subject to federal regulatory oversight.


Replica cars resemble production vehicles manufactured at least 25 years ago---from 1930s roadsters to 1970s muscle cars and more.


Until now, the U.S. had just one system for regulating automobiles, designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles. The new program recognizes the unique challenges faced by companies that produce a small number of custom cars.


The vehicles are required to meet current model year emissions standards. In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidelines for...

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