U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Apr 18, 2019
S1. Purpose and scope. This standard establishes the requirement for providing a trunk release mechanism that makes it possible for a person trapped inside the trunk compartment of a passenger car to escape from the compartment.
S2. Application. This standard applies to passenger cars that have a trunk compartment. This standard does not apply to passenger cars with a back door.
Back door means a door or door system on the back end of a passenger car through which cargo can be loaded or unloaded. The term includes the hinged back door on a hatchback or a station wagon.
Trunk compartment. (a) Means a space that:
(1) Is intended to be used for carrying luggage or cargo,
(2) Is wholly separated from the occupant compartment of a passenger car by a permanently attached partition or by a fixed or fold-down seat back and/or partition,
(3) Has a trunk lid, and
(4) Is large enough so that the three-year-old child dummy described in Subpart C of Part 572 can be placed inside the trunk compartment, and the trunk lid can be closed and latched with all removable equipment furnished by the passenger car manufacturer stowed in accordance with label(s) on the passenger car or information in the passenger car owner's manual, or, if no information is provided, as located when the passenger car is delivered. (Note: For purposes of this standard, the Part 572 Subpart C test dummy need not be equipped with the accelerometers specified in § 572.21.)
(b) Does not include a sub-compartment within the trunk compartment.
Trunk lid means a moveable body panel that is not designed or intended as a passenger car entry point for passengers and that provides access from outside a passenger car to a trunk compartment. The term does not include a back door or the lid of a storage compartment located inside the passenger compartment of a passenger car.
S4.1 Each passenger car with a trunk compartment must have an automatic or manual release mechanism inside the trunk compartment that unlatches the trunk lid. Each trunk release shall conform, at the manufacturer's option, to either S4.2(a) and S4.3, or S4.2(b) and S4.3. The manufacturer shall select the option by the time it certifies the vehicle and may not thereafter select a different option for the vehicle.
S4.2(a) Each manual release mechanism installed pursuant to S4.1 of this standard must include a feature, like lighting or phosphorescence, that allows the release mechanism to be easily seen inside the closed trunk compartment.
(b) Each automatic release mechanism installed pursuant to S4.1 of this section must unlatch the trunk lid within 5 minutes of when the trunk lid is closed with a person inside the trunk compartment.
S4.3(a) Except as provided in paragraph S4.3(b), actuation of the release mechanism required by S4.1 of this standard must completely release the trunk lid from all latching positions of the trunk lid latch.
(b)(1) For passenger cars with a front trunk compartment that has a front opening trunk lid required to have a secondary latching position or latch system, actuation of the release mechanism required by paragraph S4.1 of this standard must result in the following:
(i) When the passenger car is stationary, the release mechanism must release the trunk lid from all latching positions or latch systems;
(ii) When the passenger car is moving forward at a speed less than 5 km/h, the release mechanism must release the trunk lid from the primary latching position or latch system, and may release the trunk lid from all latching positions or latch systems;
(iii) When the passenger car is moving forward at a speed of 5 km/h or greater, the release mechanism must release the trunk lid from the primary latching position or latch system, but must not release the trunk lid from the secondary latching position or latch system.
(2) The passenger cars described in paragraph S4.3(b)(1) are excluded from the requirements of this standard until September 1, 2002.