Company seeks exemption for trailer-mounted electric brake controllers

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Updated Feb 10, 2011

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for public comment on an application for exemption from Innovative Electronics regarding the use of trailer-mounted electric brake controllers, which monitor and actuate trailer brakes based on inertial forces developed in response to the braking action of the towing vehicle.

While trailer-mounted electric brake controllers function like an electric surge brake, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations define a surge brake as a “self-contained, permanently closed hydraulic brake system” As such, the use of trailer-mounted electric brake controllers on commercial motor vehicles currently is prohibited.

Innovative Electronics is requesting a temporary exemption in advance of petitioning FMCSA for rulemaking to modify the current definition of a surge brake. Comments may be submitted at; the docket number is FMCSA–2010–0022.