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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]


From Datsun 1200 Club

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Category: General Information

Datsun 1200 sold in the U.S.A. were subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Datsun 1200s sold in Canada had to meet the equivalent standards of Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) which are for the most part the same. These rules can explain in part why 1200s sold in North America differ from those sold in other markets.



These standards are administered by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

FMVSS is still in effect. If you try to import a car into the USA, it must meet the standards in effect at the year of manufacture. However, cars over 25 years old can be granted a waiver from meeting the standards.

For the official word, see

Following is a partial description of some Standards.


Certification Regulation

Aug 31, 1969 build date tag
Jan 1, 1972 GVWR required

Part 567 - Certification Regulation (Effective 8-31-69) This part specifies the content and location of and other requirements for the label or tag to be affixed to motor vehicles and items of motor vehicle equipment manufactured after August 31, 1969. This certificate will provide the consumer with information to assist him or her in determining which of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are applicable to the vehicle or item of vehicle equipment, and its date of manufacture.

An amendment effective January 1, 1972, required gross vehicle weight (GVWR) information on the certification label.

Crash Avoidance

  • 68-01 Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays
    • essential controls be located within reach of the driver when the driver is restrained by a lap belt and upper torso restraint, and that certain controls mounted on the instrument panel be identified
  • 72-01 Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays
    • All manually operated controls must be identified by words
  • 72-09 Standard No. 101 Controls and Displays
    • identification of essential controls and displays must be illuminated whenever the headlamps are lit (Except for foot-operated controls or manually operated controls mounted on the steering column)
  • 68-01 Standard No. 102 Transmission Shift Lever Sequence, Starter Interlock, and Transmission Braking Effect
  • Standard No. 103 Windshield Defrosting and Defogging Systems
  • Standard No. 104 Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems
  • 68-01 Standard No. 105 Hydraulic and Electric Brake Systems
  • 68-01 Standard No. 106 Brake Hoses performance and labeling
  • 69-01 Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment
  • 68-01 Standard No. 109 New Pneumatic Tires for Passenger Cars
    • the famous "DOT" approved tire standard
  • 68-04 Standard No. 110 Tire Selection and Rims for Passenger Cars
    • include placard requirements
  • 68-01 Standard No. 111 Rearview Mirrors
  • 69-01 Standard No. 113 Hood Latch System
    • requires double-latch for the hood
  • 70-01 Standard No. 114 Theft Protection
  • 68-01 Standard No. 116 Motor Vehicle Brake Fluids
  • 73-01 Standard No. 124 Accelerator Control Systems
    • requires the return of a vehicle's throttle to the idle position
  • 74-01 Standard No. 125 Warning Devices


  • 68-01 No. 201 Occupant Protection in Interior Impact
    • requirements for instrument panels, seat backs, sun visors, and arm rests. interior compartment doors are required to remain closed during a crash
  • 69-01 No. 202 Head Restraint
  • 68-01 No. 203 Impact Protection for the Driver from the Steering Control System
    • All american Datsun 1200s are fitted with collapsing steering column
  • 68-01 No. 204 Steering Control Rearward Displacement
  • 68-01 No. 205 Glazing Materials
  • 68-01 No. 206 Door Locks and Door Retention Components
  • 68-01 No. 207 Seating Systems
  • 68-01 No. 208 Occupant Crash Protection (seat belts)
    • requires Lap (or lap and shoulder) seat belt assemblies for each designated seating position
  • 72-01 No. 208
    • requires one of the following:
      1. complete passive protection system, or
      2. Lap belts, belts warning and meeting 48 km/h (30 mph) crash test requirements, or
      3. Lap or lap and shoulder belts, seat belt warning; outboard seats shall have a single-point pushbutton release and emergency-locking or automatic-locking seat belt retractors
  • 73-01 No. 208 same as above except upper torso restraints shall have an emergency-locking retractor
  • 67-03 No. 209 Seat Belt Assemblies
  • 68-01 No. 210 Seat Belt Assembly Anchorages
  • 70-01 No. 212 Windshield Mounting
  • 71-04 No. 213 Child Restraint Systems
  • 73-01 No. 214 Side Impact Protection
  • No. 215 [Bumpers] Exterior Protection, Passenger Cars
    • Vehicle doors must provide resistance to load applied via a rigid steel cylinder


Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108

Prior to 1968, cars did not have side marker lamps, which made them difficult to see (from the side) at night.

  • After January 1, 1970 cars had to have lamps for both front and rear Side Lamps.
  • Beginning with the 1970 model year, FMVSS 108 required a red rear and amber front side marker
  • The total area of illumination per SAE Standards
  • CHMSL 1986


The mandate that created the "park-bench" bumpers were not about safety, but part of the Cost Saving Act. The idea was to reduce the cost of repair of minor accidents (below 5 mph).

No. 215

  • 215(a) the initial 1973 regulations that required compliance with a barrier test
  • 215(b) regulations after 1974 that required both a pendulum and an upgraded barrier test
  • 215(c) regulations after 1978 that limited total vehicular damage as a result of the pendulum and barrier tests.
quote Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 215, "Exterior Protection," was initially effective on September 1, 1972, and imposed requirements which prohibited damage to specified safety-related components such as headlamps and fuel systems in a series of perpendicular barrier impacts, at 5 mph for front and 2.5 mph for rear bumper systems.
  • 1973, thus last-year B110s had larger bumpers -- see 1973 USA Bumpers. NOTE: USA Model year traditionally starts September/October, so an effective date of 1 Sep 1972 effectively covered all 1973 Datsun 1200s
  • 1974 faced upgraded test. So Nissan USA fitted the large bumpers to the B210. No small bumpers were ever fitted.

Unfortunately the bumper mandate was a failure...
quote In order to reduce car repair costs for consumers, damage resistance tests were established for bumpers in model year 1973 and upgraded in 1974 and 1979. The bumper standards did not significantly change net costs for consumers: the savings in repair costs over the lifetime of the car are almost equal to the increase in the initial cost of the bumpers.

NHTSA Publication DOT HS 805 866

Post Crash

  • 68-01 No. 301 Fuel System Integrity
  • 72-09 No. 302 Flammability of Interior Materials

Other Regulations

  • 72-02-01 Part 566 - Manufacturer Identification
    • requires manufacturers of motor vehicles to submit identifying information and descriptions of the items they produce to the Department of Transportation (standard VIN was not required until 1983)
  • 69-08-31 Part 567 - Certification Regulation
    • label to be affixed to motor vehicles manufactured after August 31, 1969
  • 72-01-01 Part 567 - Certification Regulation
    • required gross vehicle weight (GVWR) information on the certification label
  • 73-09-26 Part 570 - Vehicle-In-Use Inspection Standards
  • 71-10-01 Part 573 - Defect and Noncompliance Reports
    • reporting safety-related defects, maintaining owner lists, etc
  • 71-01-01 Part 575 - Consumer Information Regulations

Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Saving Act

15 USC 1901

Pub.L.92-513,. the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, amended 1972 and possibly other dates

  • limit on damages to victims of odometer fraud 

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